With Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 now in theaters, it feels as if we’re entering the summer movie season. Summer doesn’t officially start until late June, but for cinematic purposes we often define the season more in terms of the typical school calendar—roughly mid-May through August. At any rate, the movies we’ll ultimately refer to as 2017’s “summer blockbusters” are right on the horizon now. Let’s take a look at the slate, with a few words on 10 of the biggest releases to look forward to.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
A lot of people have probably given up on this series, and with good reason. The original trilogy got progressively sillier as it went along, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides felt like a big, unfortunate sidestep from most of what had made the first movie (and to a lesser extent the second and third ones) interesting. One look ahead at 25 summer movies pointed out that the early word is surprisingly good on this fifth installment. It would really be something if Johnny Depp got this franchise back on track, given that it’s become hard to remember how fun the first film was. Either way this one should rake in the dollars at the box office. Its appeal to all ages coupled with Depp’s popularity will be a convincing draw.
This is the movie that might draw the most attention in terms of how it performs at the box office. Wonder Woman will be the first superhero film with a female lead, and the studio (along with countless comic book fans) will be eager to prove that Wonder Woman can be just as big a draw as some of her male counterparts. It’s a bit of a toss-up right now though. DC and Warner Bros. have churned out some duds, but Gal Gadot is a convincing Wonder Woman, and the trailers show what looks like a very unique superhero project.
The reboot for The Mummy could flop, because its trailer looks even more ridiculous than it ought to. Then again, even the 1999 version of this film is a guilty pleasure for a lot of people, and Tom Cruise (who’s in the lead role) always draws people to the theaters.
The Big Sick
The Big Sick looks less like a blockbuster than any other film on this list. It’s not a sequel, it doesn’t have superheroes, and it doesn’t involve any kind of combat or large-scale destruction. The word coming out of Sundance was that it might be the best romantic comedy in years. If that kind of praise catches on, this one could bring in a crowd not unlike those for some of the other movies we’re talking about here.
Transformers: The Last Knight
Here’s something that might blow your mind if you’re not already aware of it. Transformers: Age Of Extinction (the one released in 2014) made more than a billion dollars in its worldwide release. This franchise might be getting a little blurred, but given that number there’s virtually no doubt this will be one of the highest earning films of the year.
This might be the biggest event of the summer. There’s a new Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Iron Man is here, and it’s Marvel Studios’ first attempt at a Spider-Man movie (the last two series having been made by Sony). There’s even a new Spider-Man game coming out, though it reportedly has little to do with the movie. Spider-Man is still one of the most popular heroes of all time, and Tom Holland’s brief but entertaining debut in Captain America: Civil War got a lot of people confident that they’ll get it right this time.
War Of The Planet Of The Apes
The first two movies in this rebooted franchise were better than a lot of people expected. As long as Andy Serkis (Gollum from Lord of the Rings) is still on board doing his wonderful motion capture work as the lead ape Caesar, this is going to be compelling material. This could wind up being a sleeper hit that makes a lot more money than most people expect.
Dunkirk is the upcoming World War II movie from Christopher Nolan, and we should never put it past Nolan to make something extremely popular. His past films have always matched up against more traditional big budget flicks. In fact, a game based on his arguably most popular film symbolically holds up against standard blockbusters through its representation in online gaming. Looking at the top ten slot games based on movies, The Dark Knight (based on the Nolan film) is one of only four not based on Marvel characters. These are just games, but they effectively prove that Dunkirk can stand up to the likes of Spider-Man and Wonder Woman.
Atomic Blonde is probably the least likely blockbuster candidate on this list, but it’s quickly gaining a lot of publicity. Its trailer recently debuted, and it more or less looks like Charlize Theron going on a rampage. Theron is always popular, and more than a few people have compared the look of this project to the overnight action sensation that is John Wick. If that comparison holds up once it’s released, people will start streaming out to see Atomic Blonde.
The Dark Tower
We recently featured the new trailer for The Dark Tower, and the first look at the movie has been met with near universal praise. A lot of people are fans of the Stephen King book series this is based on and have been waiting for this one for a long time. Throw in Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba in the lead roles and it looks like box office gold.