“The Avengers” has launched a summer movie season that will inevitably become gigantic, far larger than last year’s and perhaps the highest grossing summer ever at the box office.
As huge as “The Avengers” is on its own, grossing over $1 billion worldwide, it will by no means be the only blockbuster of the summer. Several other movie franchises have sequels, reboots and spinoffs arriving as well as other intriguing new titles.
It’s shaping up to be a great summer for the movies. And here are a few that will drive this massive season:
“Men in Black 3,” Opens May 25. Will Smith’s famous series makes a gamble of a return, shifting the focus from aliens to time travel in the sci-fi comedy. The first “Men in Black” was huge when it hit theaters in 1997 and the sequel was a blockbuster as well, which should ensure a solid performance from the new entry. But many fans feel skeptical about the new movie, which certainly is not a good thing, but the movie will still perform very well at the box office.
“Snow White and the Huntsman,” Opens June 1. This fairy tale spinoff is certainly not guaranteed a decent showing at the box office, as opposed to “Men in Black” and several other upcoming films. The movie boasts excellent visuals, and Charlize Theron will inevitably give an excellent performance as the evil Queen. Unfortunately, the movie inherently alienates many potential viewers with the casting of “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart as the titular character herself, Snow White. It’s obvious that her casting is an attempt to appeal to both genders, given that the action-oriented film seems to appeal more to a male audience. So ideally, casting the star of a series that is viewed overwhelmingly by a female audience should balance the equation and ensure the attention of both genders. But it is a gamble. It might do what the makers of the film want it to do, but it could also alienate men and women alike and bomb at the box office. We’ll find out on the first weekend in June.
“Prometheus,” Opens June 8. This is director Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated, and soon to be epic, return to science fiction. The secretive film has generated so much positive buzz that it is overshadowing other larger marketing campaigns, like “The Dark Knight Rises.” It isn’t made clear from the previews whether the movie is or isn’t a prequel to the once great “Alien” series, but it is, which helps generate lots of attention for the movie. The film should be able to make about as much money as “Men in Black 3,” but its “R” rating is going to scare some people away.
“Brave,” Opens June 22. Pixar’s new movie is considerably different from every other entry that the studio has produced. First, it is the first Pixar movie feature entering the traditional fantasy genre, and second, it is the first Pixar piece to have a female lead. The word Pixar has a tendency to attract moviegoers. They’re moving into new territory with this piece, and unless the story is disastrous, which is unlikely given Pixar’s consistent success with original stories, this new territory will likely earn them a considerable amount of money and large audiences.
“The Amazing Spider-Man,” Opens July 3. Many are skeptical to this reboot and feel that the series didn’t need to be restarted and recast with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the lead roles. But no matter how skeptical the potential viewer may be, they’ll still go to the theater to see how the new Spider-Man fares. This will be nowhere near the blockbuster of the first two Spider-Man movies of the past series, and if it’s lucky, it will end up around the gross of the third in the original series. If the movie is good, its box office success will be far greater, but regardless of quality, it will still be large. The name Spider-Man is another collection of letters that can make money appear out of nowhere.
“The Dark Knight Rises,” Opens July 20. Do I need to say anything about this movie? It is going to be massive, as the long anticipated conclusion of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Four weeks ago, I would have predicted this to be the highest grossing movie of the summer, but “The Avengers” has changed that prediction completely. Batman is going to have a painfully hard time beating the Avengers, but if there’s a movie that can do it, this is it. The movie stands a chance at passing its predecessor, The Dark Knight, but that is another painful task. Regardless of all speculation, this will be either the highest grossing or second highest of the summer, being beaten only by “The Avengers.”
“The Bourne Legacy,” Opens Aug. 3. This movie is going to need an extremely good script to do well, considering that namesake Jason Bourne isn’t even in this movie. Actor Jeremy Renner will make an interesting character, but he may not be able to pull in the same numbers that a much more established Matt Damon could. This movie really is a wild card. It is being released several weeks after “The Dark Knight Rises” and may not be able to stop the movie, much like “Battleship” not being able to stop “The Avengers.” If this becomes the case, then Bourne will be shot down the same way that “Battleship” has been utterly sunk. But it has more potential than the “Total Recall” remake that is being released on the same day. The movie isn’t released until August 3, so there will be plenty of time for further speculation.
Add all this up and it could be a record-breaking summer for the movies.