Movies seem flashier than ever, but the domestic film market remains a slow-growth one. PwC expects annual U.S. box office revenue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of just 1.2% between 2016 and 2021.

To offset that slowdown, the industry is focusing on China, which is still posting double-digit box office growth and set to overtake the U.S. as the world's biggest movie market later this year. Here are the highest-grossing movies of the year so far -- all of which generated the majority of their revenue from markets abroad, like China.

Chart showing the five highest-grossing movies of 2017 so far

Data source: Box Office Mojo. Chart by author.

Investors should note that a movie's distributor only receives about half the box office gross, with the rest going toward theaters. The production budget also excludes marketing costs, which studios generally don't report.

These figures indicate that Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal still dominate the market with cross-cultural popcorn fare like cartoon remakes, Marvel films, the Minions, and the aging Fast and Furious series. But they also highlight the stunning popularity of Chinese franchises like Wolf Warrior -- which generated almost all its revenue from its home market. These trends should persist for the foreseeable future.

Leo Sun owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.