Summer blockbuster season is almost here! The summer movie season kicks off with the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” on May 5, and there’s a (potential) blockbuster pretty much every weekend till August. Here are the biggest movies to keep on your radar:
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (May 5) is my most anticipated movie of the summer and, unless there’s a surprise breakout film, it will likely be the biggest money-maker of the season. The previews so far have been tons of fun (I’m betting Drax and Baby Groot will steal the show). However, the one risk I see with this movie is that the first “Guardians” was such a fun, out-of-left field surprise; now, it’s a more established property, and it may be tough to escape from a certain “been there, done that” feeling (I’m looking at you, “Age of Ultron”).
The next superhero to take on the box office is “Wonder Woman” (June 2), which has me both excited and worried. We’re overdue for a female superhero movie, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman stole all the scenes she appeared in during last year’s “Batman v. Superman.” But the DC Cinematic Universe hasn’t had the best track record on the big screen, and I’m really, really hoping they can break that curse with “Wonder Woman” because I think it has all the right ingredients — great story, great cast, great concept — to succeed.
Marvel’s Spider-Man will return to the big screen in “Homecoming” (July 7), this time as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (sort of). While I think Sony has rebooted Spider-Man far too many times in too short a time frame, I loved Tom Holland’s cameo as the character in “Captain America: Civil War.” I also think getting Robert Downey Jr. to appear as Iron Man in an extended cameo was a smart move. I hope this film sticks to a smaller scale and highlights the character’s high school experience; at least it appears to be skipping the origin story we’ve already seen twice! 😉
This summer we’ll also see a number of franchise continuations, though the one I’m most looking forward to is “War for the Planet of the Apes” (July 14). I always kind of forget about this franchise, which makes me feel bad because the past two installments have been excellent, thought-provoking films. This next chapter will see the balance of power shift even more towards the apes in their battle against the humans.
The new Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers movies are more of a gamble. I have a soft spot for the first three Pirates movies, even though the second and third movies were rather polarizing. But the fourth just didn’t have the same magic, and it felt like more of a cash-grab than a film that needed to be made. Perhaps I’m simply falling for the hype again, but I’m actually pretty excited about the fifth one, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” (May 26). The trailers have been fun, and it looks like they actually are trying to do something different, by pulling in Will and Elizabeth Turner’s now grown-up son. I’m actually hoping Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow will be more of a supporting character in this one, which could help avoid the feeling that Disney is just retreading old ground. As for Transformers, on the whole it’s not my favorite franchise out there, though I will admit that the fourth one is a guilty pleasure of mine. (Maybe it was Mark Wahlberg, maybe it was Optimus Prime riding a mechanical T-Rex into battle.) But I also feel it’s time to wrap this franchise up, and I’m curious to see whether the box office results for “The Last Knight” (June 23) send the same message.
The Alien franchise will also be returning to theaters with “Covenant” (May 19). I’ve haven’t read a lot about this one or watched many previews, since thrillers are more fun the less you know about the plot going in. I think the box office results for this one will be key in determining whether this reboots or wraps up the Alien franchise.
And speaking of franchises… Universal looks to kick-start a new franchise of its own with the Tom Cruise-starring “The Mummy” (June 9). I really enjoyed the Brendan Fraser Mummy movie that came out in the 1990s and I thought it had a great blend of humor, scares, and action. I’m not as excited about a modern-day set reboot but will be curious to see what the reviews are for this one. It’s also going to need to perform very well if it will lead to a new franchise with other classic movie monsters. For potential franchise starters, we’ve also got Guy Ritchie’s new King Arthur movie, “Legend of the Sword” (May 12). I enjoy Ritchie as a director but I’m a bit worried about this one’s box office prospects. It seems like this might have been a good one to hold until fall, but we’ll see how it does!
Another movie I’m a bit surprised to see come out in summertime is Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” (July 21), based on a true story from World War II. This one seems like it would have made a great November movie, but I love Nolan as a director so I’m definitely in for this one. It’s completely different from anything else he’s done before, and I’m excited to see him challenge himself as a director.
While I haven’t even come close to touching on all the movies coming out in theaters this summer 😉 I’ll wrap things up with two more. “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” (July 21) looks like a fun sci-fi adventure with exotic cinematography…or it could flop like “Jupiter Ascending.” I’m rooting for it to be good because I think more sci-fi is always a good thing! The summer movie season will start wrapping up in August with Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” (Aug. 4). Although I’m not normally a fan of horror, which King is known for, I am a fan of Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, who are both starring in this dark fantasy.
So, what movies are you most looking forward to this summer? What will be the biggest hit, or the biggest flop?