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The late actress Carrie Fisher posing with a storm trooper as she attends the opening of the European premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in London on Dec 16, 2015.

A still from 2013's Despicable Me 2. Expect kid-friendly fare like Despicable Me 3 to do brisk business in 2017.

Superheroes, sequels and reboots galore

What were 2016's major developments and how will they impact the arts, entertainment and design next year? BT Lifestyle takes a look at the forces that'll shape 2017
Dec 30, 2016 5:50 AM

THE music world lost a Prince in early 2016, and the film universe bid farewell to a Princess just earlier this week.

It's been a rocky year of celebrity deaths and for those wondering how Carrie Fisher's sudden departure will affect Star Wars Episode VIII, word from multiple sources have confirmed that the late actress had finished filming all her scenes. Expect more tributes when the movie hits theatres at the end of 2017.

Star Wars won't be the only franchise that will be making an annual return to cinemas; superhero films will continue their reign just as they have over the last couple of years.

That should come as no surprise as out of 2016's 10 highest-grossing films, half were adapted from comic books (Captain America: Civil War, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Deadpool, Suicide Squad and Dr Strange).

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They've become such money-spinners that the studios are wasting no time in pumping them out so, unlike James Bond films or even the Star Wars saga, there is very little downtime and no need to even wait until summer blockbuster season before the next spandex-clad super human comes leaping off the big screen in 3D.

Case in point: Wonder Woman from this year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will get her own outing in June before joining up with the rest of her DC colleagues in Justice League in November (Oh, there's even an animated The Lego Batman Movie in February to whet a comic-book geek's appetite.)

Marvel will not go down without a fight, of course - on its slate are Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, and Thor: Ragnarok.

Fans of anime will definitely be looking forward to Hollywood's live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson, while British-American spy-comedy Kingsman, based on an indie comic, returns with a sequel.

Family films performed equally strongly this year too with Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, The Jungle Book and Zootopia all cracking the top 10.

Expect kid-friendly fare like Despicable Me 3 and Cars 3 to do brisk business in 2017, as well as new entrants like Dreamworks' The Boss Baby, Pixar's Coco and Sony's The Emoji Movie to entertain the young and the young-at-heart.

There will also be plenty of nostalgia before Star Wars Episode VIII rounds off the year next December with Blade Runner, The Mummy, King Kong, Alien, and even Baywatch getting reboots or sequels.

Not only that, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, World War Z, XXX, Trainspotting, The Fast and the Furious, and Saw are all returning with new sequels.

That should be more than enough for any movie-lover to make the local multiplex his or her second home for the next 12 months.