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20th Dec 2016

The biggest films, music, Instagrams and tweets of 2016

This is what was big this year.

Alex Finnis

This is what we were all watching, listening to, and looking at in 2016.

Obviously with it being the end of the year you get a lot of top 10 lists coming out, normally based off one random bloke’s opinion. Then what happens is everyone argues about it in the comments until somehow it gets onto politics and six people end up getting death threats.

However, this list contains no opinions at all – it’s a round-up of what was biggest this year – the top grossing movies, biggest songs and artists and most popular social media of 2016.

Here’s what we were doing this year other than grieving dead celebrities.

The top grossing films of 2016:

1. Captain America: Civil War ($1.15bn)


Image: Disney

2. Finding Dory ($1.03bn)


Image: Disney

3. Zootopia/Zootropolis ($1.02bn)


Image: Disney

4. The Jungle Book ($967m)


Image: Disney

5. The Secret Life of Pets ($875m)


Image: Illumination Entertainment

6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($873m)

7. Deadpool ($783m)

8. Suicide Squad ($746m)

9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($718m)

10. Doctor Strange ($653m)

Disney managed to make the four highest grossing films of 2016, becoming the first film studio to take more than $7bn in global ticket sales in a single year. There’s a pretty good chance they might make it a clean sweep of the top five before the year’s out too – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made almost $300m in its opening weekend alone.

The biggest artists on Spotify of 2016:

1. Drake

2016 American Music Awards - Show

Image: Kevin Winter / Getty

2. Justin Bieber

2016 Billboard Music Awards - Show

Image: Kevin Winter / Getty

3. Rihanna

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Image: Christopher Polk / Getty

4. Kanye West

Kanye West Yeezy Season 3 - Runway

Image: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty

5. Coldplay

Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show

Image: Christopher Polk / Getty

6. Twenty One Pilots

7. Sia

8. Shawn Mendes

9. Adele

10. Ariana Grande

Drake has more than 4.7bn streams on Spotify this year, and his single “One Dance” is now the most streamed song on the service of all time.

The most listened to Spotify tracks of 2016 in the UK:

1. “One Dance” – Drake feat. WizKid & Kyla


2. “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” (Seeb remix) – Mike Posner & Seeb

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3. “7 Years” – Lukas Graham

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4. “This is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna


5. “Lush Life” – Zara Larsson


6. “Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber

7. “Light it Up” – Major Lazer feat. Nyla & Fuse ODG

8. “Work from Home” – Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dollar $ign

9. “Work” – Rihanna feat. Drake

10. “Fast Car” – Jonas Blue Dakota

Drake’s “One Dance” was also the top streamed song globally, while Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” managed to make it into the global top five, but wasn’t as popular in the UK.

The most-liked Instagram pictures of 2016:

1. Selena Gomez

2. Selena Gomez

3. Yep, still Selena Gomez

4. Somehow Selena Gomez again

5. Hey look it’s Selena Gomez!

6. Not Selena Gomez!

7. Selena Gomez

8. Really hope you enjoy looking at pictures of Selena Gomez

9. Not Selena Gomez but here’s Ronaldo with that trophy again

10. Here come Selena Gomez!!!! O shit waddup!

As you might have guessed, Selena Gomez completely dominated Instagram in 2016. She’s the most followed person on the app as well, with more than 100.4m followers. Taylor Swift is behind her in second while Ariana Grande has the third most followed account.

The most retweeted tweets of 2016:










That Kim Kardashian tweet there was during the feud she and Kanye had with Taylor Swift back in January, while the number one tweet of the year was from a YouTuber, and the reasoning behind it is pretty dull to be honest. He picked a word and an emoji and told his fans to retweet it to be in with a chance of winning a prize.