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2017 RANKING: 38
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen--402 (U.S. gross in millions)
2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon--352   
3. Transformers--319
4. Transformers: Age of Extinction--245  
5. Transformers: The Last Knight--130
6. Lone Survivor--125  
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows--81  
8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre--80
9. Skyscraper--67  
10. Battleship--65  
 
Skyscraper was a box-office disappointment in the U.S. (maybe setting a Die Hard ripoff in a skyscraper is a little too on-the-nose), and Bumblebee will be the first Transformers-related live-action feature without a Jablonsky score (director Travis Knight went with his usual composer, Dario Marianelli).  He is currently attached to a Vin Diesel thriller and a Mark Wahlberg/Peter Berg film of one of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Bloodshot, Wonderland 
 
 
2017 RANKING: 40
2 EMMY NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: Fences
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Wonder--32
2. The Good Shepherd--59  
3. Fences--57
4. Beastly--27
5. Brooklyn’s Finest--27
6. Remember Me--19
7. The Choice--18  
8. American Ultra--14
9. Hollywoodland--14
10. Friends with Kids--14 
 
Wonder proved to be one of the surprise blockbusters of last Christmas and Zarvos’ biggest hit to date, but The Land of Steady Habits was a Netflix film which received only cursory theatrical release, while The Best of Enemies, filmed in 2017, isn’t due in theaters until next April. The Chaperone has played at festivals but has no U.S. release date yet.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: The Best of Enemies, Breakthrough, The Chaperone, Mapplethorpe
 
 
2017 RANKING: Not ranked
2 OSCARS, 3 NOMINATIONS
2 GRAMMYS, 5 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Whiplash, La La Land
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. La La Land--151
2. First Man--44 (as of 12/16/18)
3. Whiplash--13
 
Hurwitz’s first score since his double Oscar-winner La La Land is also his first score for a film that isn’t about music, and though the film looks to be a box-office disappointment despite strong reviews, he has a good chance for a fourth nomination this year (and is part of the 15-movie short list for Original Score)
 
2017 RANKING: Not ranked
1 EMMY NOMINATION
1 GRAMMY NOMINATION
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Hostiles--29 
2. White Boy Rick--24  
3. Sarah’s Key--7 
4. The Lunchbox--4 
5. Morgan--3   
6. Miss Sloane--3 
7. Waltz with Bashir--2 
8. Testament of Youth--1 
9. Disconnect--1 
10. Wadjda--1 
 
Richter is receiving increasingly more high-profile assignments, and has a lavish piece of Oscar bait this season with the new version of Mary Queen of Scots, pitting Saoirse Ronin against Margot Robbie (so it’s basically Lady Bird vs. I Tonya), as well as Germany's submission for Foreign Language Feature.

WHAT'S NEXT: Ad Astra
 
2017 RANKING: 22
1 OSCAR
1 GRAMMY, 2 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Gravity
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Suicide Squad--325  
2. Gravity--274 
3. Baby Driver--107 
4. Fury--85   
5. American Assassin--36 
6. The World’s End--25  
7. Attack the Block--1 
 
Baby Driver was a big hit while American Assassin was a box-office disappointment. Upcoming projects include an animated kids film and a reworking of Hamlet.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Archive, Ophelia, Wonder Park
 
2017 RANKING: 30
1 OSCAR NOMINATION
3 EMMYS, 7 NOMINATIONS
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. The Passion of the Christ--370  
2. The Jungle Book--363  
3. Iron Man 2--312
4. Bruce Almighty--242
5. Liar, Liar--181
6. The Greatest Showman--174  
7. Elf--173
8. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water--162  
9. Chicken Little--135
10. The Pacifier--113
 
Since the gigantically successful Jungle Book remake, his only big hit has been the surprise December 2018 smash, The Greatest Showman, for which he and Joseph Trapanese provided the incidental music between the Pasek-Paul songs.  His eclectic slate of upcoming projects includes a Rebel Wilson romantic comedy and the new Harmony Korine film.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: The Beach Bum, Brian Banks, Isn’t It Romantic
 
2017: RANKING: 28
1 EMMY NOMINATION
1. Alvin and the Chipmunks--217
2. Identity Thief--134  
3. Ride Along--134   
4. Horrible Bosses--117
5. Bad Moms--113  
6. Hop--108
7. Pitch Perfect 3--104  
8. Sausage Party--97
9. Think Like a Man--91  
10. Ride Along 2--90 
 
Lennertz is as prolific as ever, especially in comedies (while scoring both comedies and dramas for Tyler Perry) but with no big hits lately (besides Pitch Perfect 3, the final film in a franchise which is hardly a score composer’s dream). Upcoming projects include the latest iteration of Shaft.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Shaft, Ugly Dolls, The War with Grandpa
 
2017 RANKING: 36
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Going in Style--45
2. The Age of Adaline--42 
3. Love, Simon--40
4. Nerve--38  
5. (500) Days of Summer--32
6. Gifted--24 
7. The Way Way Back--21
8. Father Figures--17 
9. Burnt--13
10. Foxcatcher--12
 
Simonsen had a minor hit with this year’s gay teen dramedy Love, Simon, and continues his new role as Jason Reitman’s composer with the Gary Hart docudrama The Front Runner.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: The Upside
 
2017 RANKING: 24
2 OSCARS, 20 NOMINATIONS
3 EMMYS
7 GRAMMYS, 16 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Awakenings, Seabiscuit, Toy Story 3
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Toy Story 3--414
2. Monsters Inc.--289 
3. Meet the Fockers--278
4. Monsters University--268  
5. Toy Story 2--245
6. Cars--244
7. Toy Story--191
8. Meet the Parents--166
9. A Bug's Life--162
10. Cars 3--152 
 
The Meyerowitz Stories gave him a nice opportunity to move away from the Pixar universe, but he returns with the inevitable Toy Story 4.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Toy Story 4
 
2017 RANKING: 34
1 OSCAR, 3 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Atonement, Darkest Hour
1. Eat Pray Love--80
2. V for Vendetta--70
3. Darkest Hour-- 56  
4. Atonement--50 
5. The Boxtrolls--50
6. Kubo and the Two Strings--48  
7. Everest--43
8. Paddington 2--40  
9. Pride & Prejudice--38
10. The Brothers Grimm--37
 
Marianelli had a Best Picture-nominated film last year with Darkest Hour, and though this year’s charming Paddington sequel was a box-office disappointment in the U.S., he rejoins his Boxtrolls/Kubo director for an unexpected assignment, a Transformers prequel.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Bumblebee 
 
2017 RANKING: Not ranked
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Lady Bird
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. The Other Guys--119
2. The Break-Up--118
3. Trainwreck--110
4. Step Brothers--100
5. Christopher Robin--99
6. This Is 40--67
7. Lady Bird--48 
8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind--34
9. The Gambler--33 
10. Magnolia--22
 
Brion had his first Best Picture nominee with Lady Bird, and a surprise hit with the Hook-ish Christopher Robin, though the scoring credit was shared with Geoff Zanelli (after the passing of originally hired composer Johann Johannsson), suggesting a troubled post-production period.

WHAT'S NEXT: Sink or Swim
 
2017 RANKING: 27
2 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Sense and Sensibility, Gosford Park
1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire--289
2. Brave--237  
3. Cinderella--201 
4. Thor--181  
5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes--176  
6. Murder on the Orient Express--102   
7. The Emoji Movie--86  
8. Eragon--74
9. Bridget Jones's Diary--71
10. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit--50  
 
Doyle had a surprise hit last year with Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express remake and apart from the animated Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, his scoring career continues to be Branagh-driven, with multiple upcoming projects including a potential Death on the Nile remake, with Gal Gadot in the Lois Chiles role.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: All Is True, Artemis Fowl
 
2017 RANKING: 32
6 EMMY NOMINATIONS
2 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Iron Man--318
2. Clash of the Titans--163
3. Safe House--126
4. Pacific Rim--101
5. A Wrinkle in Time--100 
6. Open Season--84
7. Dracula Untold--55  
8. Blade: Trinity--52
9. Warcraft--47  
10. The Great Wall--45
 
As in 2017, Djawadi is a bigger name in TV (Game of Thrones, Jack Ryan, Westworld) than in features, but he works steadily and the long-awaited A Wrinkle in Time was a modest success. And no one should hold Slender Man against him.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Queen's Corgi
 
2017 RANKING: Not ranked
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Traffic  
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Traffic--124 
2. Contagion--75  
3. Game Night--69  
4. The Lincoln Lawyer--57 
5. Den of Thieves--44 
6 War Dogs-- 43  
7. Drive--35  
8. The Foreigner--34  
9. sex, lies and videotape--24 
10.  Solaris--14
 
Martinez is quickly becoming high on the list of film-composers-that-people-who-don’t-like-film-music-like, and had two moderate hits this year, the stylish comedy-thriller Game Night and the epic crime drama Den of Thieves.
 
 
2017 RANKING: 12
3 OSCARS, 4 NOMINATIONS
4 GRAMMYS, 8 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: The Silence of the Lambs, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, Gangs of New York, The Return of the King, The Aviator, The Departed, Hugo, Spotlight
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King--377  
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers--339
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring--313
4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey--303   
5. Eclipse--300
6. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug--258  
7. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies--255   
8. Mrs. Doubtfire--219
9. The Departed--132
10. The Silence of the Lambs--130 
 
The Hobbit trilogy is finished, Cronenberg hasn’t made a film lately, and Scorsese has (at least temporarily) moved on to other composers, so Shore has been scoring historical dramas like Denial and The Catcher Was a Spy
 
WHAT’S NEXT:  The Song of Names
 
2017 RANKING: 14
1 OSCAR NOMINATION
3 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Shrek--263
2. X-Men: The Last Stand--234
3. Hancock--227
4. The Bourne Ultimatum--227
5. How to Train Your Dragon--217 
6. Kung Fu Panda--215
7. The Lorax--213  
8. Solo: A Star Wars Story--213  
9. Happy Feet--197
10. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs--196
 
Powell had a modest hit with last year’s Ferdinand and a noted box-office disappointment with this year’s Solo (though the reasons for adapting Williams are obvious, it would have been wonderful to hear an all-new, all-Powell Star Wars score). He returns to arguably his most popular realm next year with the third How to Train Your Dragon movie.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
 
2017 RANKING: 21
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. We’re the Millers--150  
2. Marley & Me--143
3. Ghostbusters--128  
4. Central Intelligence--127   
5. The Devil Wears Prada--124
6. Blades of Glory--118
7. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story--114
8. Fun with Dick and Jane--110
9. Spy--110
10. Tropic Thunder--110 
 
While still typecast in comedy, ongoing collaborations with Paul Feig (A Simple Favor) and Karyn Kusama (Destroyer) have helped him move into darker territory, but no recent blockbusters.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Destroyer
 
2017 RANKING: 16
1 GRAMMY NOMINATION
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: The Martian
1. Shrek 2--436
2. Shrek the Third--320
3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe--291
4. Shrek--263
5. Shrek Forever After--238
6. The Martian--228   
7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine--179
8. The Meg--143 
9. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian--141
10. Spy Kids--112 
 
Gregson-Williams had two modest (by today’s blockbuster standards) hits this year, the guilty pleasure shark thriller The Meg and the inevitable sequel The Equalizer 2.
 
 
2017 RANKING: 16
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Mad Max: Fury Road
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Deadpool--363  
2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice--330  
3. Mad Max: Fury Road--153 
4. Divergent--150  
5. 300: Rise of an Empire--106  
6. Black Mass--62 
7. Tomb Raider-- 57 
8. The Dark Tower--50  
9. Point Break--28  
10. Run All Night--26 
 
Holkenborg seems to be a go-to guy for lavish would-be franchise starters, as the just released Mortal Engines will be followed next year by Alita: Battle Angel, from Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron.
 
WHAT'S NEXT: Alita: Battle Angel
 
2017 RANKING: 25
1. Ocean’s 8--139
2. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.--45  
3. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword--39 
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse--35 (12/16/18)
5. Molly’s Game-- 28
6. All the Money in the World--25  
7. Steve Jobs--17  
8. The Counselor--16
9. Gold--7 
 
Pemberton had his first big hit this summer with Ocean’s 8 (replacing Nicholas Britell), and has another likely smash with the just-released Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
 
 
2017 RANKING: 18
1 EMMY, 2 NOMINATIONS
1 GRAMMY NOMINATION
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Frozen--400  
2. The Hangover--277
3. The Hangover Part II--254  
4. Ant-Man and the Wasp--216  
5. Ant-Man--180  
6. Trolls--153  
7. Cheaper by the Dozen—137
8. The Peanuts Movie--130  
9. The Hangover Part III--112
10. American Wedding—104
 
The Ant-Man sequel was an even bigger hit than the original and Beck’s score was a highlight (but sadly, with no CD release), while though he was originally announced to score the comedy Holmes & Watson, Mark Motherbaugh ended up with the assignment.

WHAT'S NEXT:
 
2017 RANKING: 19
2 EMMY NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: Hacksaw Ridge
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Wonder Woman--412
2. Grown Ups--162
3. Over the Hedge--155
4. Click--137
5. Grown Ups 2--133  
6. Bee Movie--126
7. The Legend of Tarzan--126 
8. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry--119
9. Bedtime Stories--109
10. Just Go With It--102   
 
No big hits since Wonder Woman, but Aquaman is imminent.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Aquaman
 
2017 RANKING: 33
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2--389
2. Guardians of the Galaxy--333  
3. Deadpool 2-- 319  
4. 300--210
5. Watchmen--107
6. John Wick: Chapter Two--92  
7. The Day the Earth Stood Still--79
8.  Dawn of the Dead--58
9.  Halloween--58
10. Atomic Blonde--51 
 
24 Hours to Live received only a limited release and The Spy Who Dumped Me did only modest business, but Deadpool 2 was one of the spring’s biggest hits, and he returns to the John Wick franchise next year.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: John Wick Chapter 3
 
2017: RANKING: 29
2 EMMY NOMINATIONS
1 GRAMMY
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout--220 
2. Home--177  
3. The Lego Batman Movie--175   
4. Megamind--148 
5. Terminator: Genisys--89 
6. Penguins of Madagascar--83 
7. Son of God--59
8. Pacific Rim Uprising – 59  
9. 13 Hours--52  
10. The Dilemma--48 
 
Balfe’s extremely prolific output of late ranges from the B-movie pleasures of The Hurricane Heist and Pacific Rim: Uprising to one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters, Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
 
 
2017 RANKING: 20
1 EMMY NOMINATION
1 GRAMMY NOMINATION
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Hidden Figures
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. It--327   
2. Hidden Figures--169 
3. Annabelle: Creation--102  
4. Blade Runner 2049--92  
5. Lights Out--67  
6. The Darkest Minds--12 
7. A Cure for Wellness--8  
 
Wallfisch wasn’t able to top his 2017 streak (Hidden Figures, It, Annabelle: Creation, Blade Runner 2049) in 2018, but he has a big superhero movie due this spring.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Shazam 
 
2017 RANKING: 13 
2 EMMY NOMINATIONS
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Avengers: Age of Ultron--459  
2. Iron Man 3--408  
3. Furious 7--353   
4. The Fate of the Furious--225  
5. Fast Five--209 
6. Thor: The Dark World--206   
7. Crazy Rich Asians--174 (12/16/18)
8. Fast & Furious--155
9. Now You See Me--117   
10. The Expendables--102
 
Tyler had his biggest outside-the-action-adventure-genre hit this year with the romcom smash Crazy Rich Asians, which made help garner him more people-oriented assignments (and just got him short-listed for an Original Score nomination).
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Escape Room, Five Feet Apart, Ready or Not, What Men Want
 
2017 RANKING: 10
2 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
2 EMMYS
4 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: Forrest Gump
1. Avengers: Infinity War--678
2. Marvel’s The Avengers--623  
3. Forrest Gump--329
4. Night at the Museum--250
5. Cast Away--233
6. Back to the Future--208
7. The Mummy Returns--202
8. The Croods--187   
9. The Polar Express--183 
10. What Women Want--182
 
Avengers: Infinity War was one of the year’s biggest, and he has the sequel due next year. Ready Player One may have been a relative box-office disappointment, but at least he got to score a Spielberg film, something few composers can claim. (As I finish this column, Silvestri was short-listed in the Original Score category for both Avengers: Infinity War and Ready Player One.)
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Avengers: Endgame, Welcome to Marwen
 
2017 RANKING: 15
2 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
2 EMMY NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: The Hurt Locker
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Logan-- 226  
2. World War Z--202  
3. A Quiet Place--188  
4. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines--150
5. I, Robot--144
6. Live Free or Die Hard--134
7. The Wolverine--132  
8. Scream--103
9. Scream 2--101
10. Scream 3--89
 
Beltrami’s year began with a blockbuster sci-fi horror hit that was also a critical smash (and just got him short-listed for an Original Score nomination), and ends with a high-grossing ($10 million to date) mountain climbing documentary.
 
2017 RANKING: 17
1 OSCAR NOMINATION
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: The Big Short, Moonlight
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. The Big Short--70
2. Moonlight--27  
3. Free State of Jones--20  
4. Battle of the Sexes--12  
 
Britell’s first shot at a traditional summer smash fell through when he was replaced on the hit Ocean’s 8, but this season he has two major Oscar contenders, If Beale Street Could Talk and Vice, and his score for the former is considered a likely nominee (and both scores were both short-listed for an Oscar nomination)
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Vice
 
2017 RANKING: 9
1 OSCAR NOMINATION
1 EMMY, 2 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Blind Side, A Serious Man, The Kids Are All Right, True Grit, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
1. Breaking Dawn, Part 2--292   
2. Breaking Dawn, Part 1--281   
3. The Blind Side--255  
4. Twilight--191
5. True Grit--171   
6. The General's Daughter--102
7. Where the Wild Things Are--77 
8. Conspiracy Theory--76
9. The Rookie--75
10. No Country for Old Men--74 
 
It’s been a few years since Burwell has a major box-office hit, but early this year he earned his second Oscar nomination, for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.  His latest collaboration with the Coens, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, features arguably his best score in years (and was just short-listed for an Original Score nomination), but the film’s status as a Netflix production means its box-office prospects are limited.
 
2017 RANKING: 11
5 EMMY NOMINATIONS
1 GRAMMY NOMINATION 
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Thor: Ragnarok--315  
2. The LEGO Movie--257  
3. 22 Jump Street--191 
4. Pitch Perfect 2--184  
5. Hotel Transylvania 2--169  
6. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation--167 
7. Hotel Transylvania--148  
8. 21 Jump Street--138  
9. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked--132  
10. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs--124
 
The latest Hotel Transvylania proved to be another family-friendly hit and even spawned a score CD. Next up is a comedic take on Holmes & Watson and a Lego Movie sequel
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Holmes & Watson, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
 
2017 RANKING: 35
4 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Black Panther--700  
2. Venom--212 (12/16/18)
3. We’re the Millers--150
4. Central Intelligence--127  
5. Creed--109  
6. Creed II--104 (12/16/18)
7. 30 Minutes or Less--37
8. Everything, Everything--34
9. Death Wish--34  
10. Top Five--25  
 
This year Goransson had the highest grossing movie (just short-listed for Original Score), two other smash hits, and multiple Grammy nominations for his non-film work. What I’m trying to say is that it’s all pretty much downhill from here.
 
2017 RANKING: 6
14 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
1 EMMY, 2 NOMINATIONS
3 GRAMMYS, 8 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Scent of a Woman, The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, The Green Mile, Erin Brockovich, The Help, Bridge of Spies
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Finding Dory--486  
2. Finding Nemo--380  
3. Skyfall--304   
4. WALL-E--223
5. Spectre--200  
6. The Help--169 
7. The Green Mile--136
8. American Beauty--130
9. Erin Brockovich--125
10. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events--118
 
Newman’s credit did not appear on any 2018 films, though he is rumored to have scored Steven Soderbergh’s micro-budget thriller Unsane under the name “David Wilder Savage.”
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Tolkien
 
2017 RANKING: 5
5 OSCARS, 51 NOMINATIONS
2 EMMYS, 4 NOMINATIONS
20 GRAMMYS, 60 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Fiddler on the Roof, The Towering Inferno, Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich, War Horse, Lincoln, The Post
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens--936  
2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi--620  
3. The Phantom Menace--474  
4. Star Wars--460
5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial--434
6. Jurassic Park--402  
7. Revenge of the Sith--380
8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull--317
9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone--316
10. Attack of the Clones--310
 
No new films in 2018, but The Last Jedi became the second highest grossing film of Williams’ blockbuster laden-career, while The Post was yet another Best Picture nominee for the Williams-Spielberg team.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Star Wars: Episode 9
 
2017 RANKING: 8
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: Captain Phillips
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Captain America: Civil War--408     
2. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle--404  
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier--259  
4. Big Hero 6--222    
5. Monsters vs. Aliens--198
6. Wreck-It Ralph--189  
7. Kong: Skull Island--167 
8. Ralph Breaks the Internet--154 (12/16/18)
9. Puss in Boots--149   
10. X-Men: First Class--146   
 
The Jumanji sequel/reboot was a huge Christmas hit, while his Wreck-It Ralph sequel may surpass the original at the box-office.
 
2017 RANKING: 7
8 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
1 EMMY, 3 NOMINATIONS
1 GRAMMY, 3 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: The Prince of Tides, The Fugitive, The Sixth Sense, Michael Clayton
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. The Dark Knight--533
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire--424  
3. The Hunger Games--407   
4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part 1--337 
5. The Sixth Sense--293
6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part 2--281   
7. I Am Legend--256
8. Maleficent--241 
9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them-- 234
10. Signs--227
 
His latest is the second Fantastic Beasts, which is doing reasonable but not Harry Potter business (but just put him on the short-list for an Original Score nomination). The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was a troubled production (two directors!) while Red Sparrow had one of his best scores in years. Someday I will get over my disappointment that he is not scoring the Unbreakable sequel Glass, but today is not that day.
 
 
2017 RANKING: 4
4 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
1 EMMY, 2 NOMINATIONS
9 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Good Will Hunting, Chicago, Milk, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Avengers: Age of Ultron--459  
2. Spider-Man--403
3. Spider-Man 2--373
4. Alice in Wonderland--334
5. Batman--251
6. Men in Black--250
7. Dr. Suess’ The Grinch--239 (12/16/18)
8. Oz: The Great and Powerful--234   
9. Justice League--229  
10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—206
 
2018 output ranged from Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot to the hit animated Grinch remake, as well as the last (thank Heavens) Fifty Shades film. Next is Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo, ‘cause the mouse needs money.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Dumbo
 
2017 RANKING: 3
1 OSCAR, 2 NOMINATIONS
1 EMMY, 5 NOMINATIONS
3 GRAMMYS, 8 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: Up
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Jurassic World--652  
2. Incredibles 2--608 
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story--532  
4. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom--416 
5. Inside Out--356  
6. Zootopia--341  
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming--334  
8. Up--292
9. The Incredibles--261
10. Star Trek--257
 
Another blockbuster year, including the highest-grossing (in the U.S.) animated film of all time.
 
2017 RANKING: 2
1 OSCAR, 11 NOMINATIONS
2 EMMY NOMINATIONS
4 GRAMMYS, 14 NOMINATIONS
1 TONY NOMINATION
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Rain Man, Driving Miss Daisy, As Good As It Gets, The Thin Red Line, Gladiator, Frost/Nixon, Inception, 12 Years a Slave, Hidden Figures, Dunkirk
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. The Dark Knight--533
2. The Dark Knight Rises--448   
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest--423
4. The Lion King--422    
5. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice--330  
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End--309
7. Inception--292
8. Man of Steel--291  
9. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides--241  
10. The Da Vinci Code—217
 
No blockbusters this year, but a prime piece of Oscar bait with Widows. Next year we’ll see if the “live-action” Lion King can do Jungle Book-sized business.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: The Lion King
 
2017 RANKING: 1
1 OSCAR, 9 NOMINATIONS
2 GRAMMYS, 10 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The King's Speech, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Tree of Life, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Philomena, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Shape of Water
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2--380   
2. The Secret Life of Pets--368   
3. New Moon--296
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1--294 
5. Godzilla--200   
6 The King's Speech--138  
7. Argo--136 
8. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button--127
9. Unbroken--115  
10. Rise of the Guardians--103
 
No big hits this year, but with a second Oscar and a third Best Picture winner (and just short-listed for Isle of Dogs), I think he’s doing OK.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: The Secret Life of Pets 2
 
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Comments (11):Log in or register to post your own comments
You listed no upcoming assignments for Christophe Beck, but he confirmed over a year ago that he is signed for next year's "Frozen 2" (http://filmmusicreporter.com/2017/04/26/christophe-beck-to-return-for-disneys-frozen-2/).

This is always an interesting list, but your rankings sometimes are real head-scratchers. Strange seeing Alan Silvestri drop a couple positions after his best year in a long time (your post is the first I've seen to suggest that "Ready Player One" was a box-office disappointment, by the way -- it came in pretty much where expected).

Ranking Alexandre Desplat at #1 last year was a stretch, but it is downright ridiculous in a year where he had no hits and his only major confirmed upcoming assignment is for a sequel to a mid-tier animated feature.

It's not so much that certain composers drop as that other composers rise above them -- I can't assume Ludwig Goransson will have another year like this one, but it was a hell of a year for a new-ish composer, even before he got shortlisted.

As for Desplat, I know it's a debatable choice, but he's one of the few that can really straddle giant hits (the Harry Potters, Secret Life of Pets) and major Oscar movies(look at all the Best Picture nominees he's scored -- including three winners -- in just the last 12 years; Williams has been scoring films for roughly 60 years and still has only one Best Picture winner), and he doesn't have the negative baggage of Hans Zimmer, who also scores blockbusters and Best Picture winners but is often cited as a negative example of what people don't like about contemporary film music (and not just by orchestral score collectors).

Of course, the list is arbitrary, as all such lists must be. Thank you for reading it; I'm glad someone does.

Oscars have no impact on a composer's employability.

See: Steve Price

Oscars have no impact on a composer's employability.

See: Steve Price


I don't think that's strictly true. Gravity is such a specific, almost non-musical type of score that it wasn't likely to get Price a job scoring a romance, or a comedy, or any of a lot of genres.

Sadly I am not familiar with many names on the list.

Mainly because they are scoring the type of films i generally avoid i e. Superheroes. ...Stat Wars ...etc.

Very glad to see The Death of Stalin on the list--the score of the year if not the decade as far as I'm concerned. It'll probably be forgotten by the time they get to the actual nominations but I'm glad it was on someone's mind. Nice to see Ballad of Buster Scruggs there too.

One of the best things about Bettencourt's lists is I get reminded of many films I missed. It's a great way to add to my "films to see" list.
Thanks for these!

When I was active as a film music journalist, I would print out the complete Top forty...an invaluable resource.
Bruce

(your post is the first I've seen to suggest that "Ready Player One" was a box-office disappointment, by the way -- it came in pretty much where expected).


Bettencourt must be following the "Marshall" rule of the box office. A variety of budgets have been reported for the Steven Spielberg-directed film, though most seem to agree on $175 million in production costs before marketing.
Given that, READY PLAYER ONE was indeed a $137 million domestic box office disappointment. But it was a $445 million (additional) foreign box office hit.

America First!

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