Well, the 2013 Summer Blockbuster season gets underway this week, and the 2013 season is possibly one of the strongest ever. Peppered with known properties, consisting of both prequels and sequels, re-imaginings and original sci-fi content, this could wind up as the top-grossing summer yet for the movie industry.
Iron Man 3 – May 3
For the seventh straight year, a film based on a Marvel comic book character will open the Summer Blockbuster season, and the fourth straight for Marvel Studios, as ‘Iron Man 3’ brings Robert Downey Jr. back to the big screen as Tony Stark/Iron Man in what has become one of the biggest movie characters and franchises of our generation.
Marvel Studios has become one of the most bankable companies in the world, and an expected box office gross of $400 million in North America and $600 million or more internationally will only further serve to cement this fact.
The Great Gatsby – May 10
While ‘The Great Gatsby’ was pushed back from an original release date in December of 2012 to this current date as results of issues with its production schedule. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is based on the novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Directed by Baz Luhrmann, famous for his work on ‘Moulin Rouge!’, this film will be his return to the North American box office for the first time since ‘Australia’ was a major disappointment in 2008. As is the norm in a Luhrmann film, the visuals look spectacular and there is no fear there, so the hope is that the story and acting will complete it as well.
Star Trek into Darkness – May 17
One of the biggest hits of 2009 was the reboot of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise, directed by J.J. Abrams. Creating a new timeline while still being able to use many of the characters made famous by The Original Series, ‘Star Trek’ brought in over $250 million at the North American box office, proving that a Trek film could also be a mainstream hit.
‘Star Trek into Darkness’ is the return to that universe and with positive word of mouth and great trailers could be enough to push this new entry over $300 million in North America, which would be huge for both Paramount and the Trek franchise. That being said, this could be Abrams’ last foray as director, as he is taking over as director of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, at least for one film.
Fast and Furious 6 – May 24
If anyone had ever thought we would see a sixth movie in the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise, no one would have believed them, yet here we are, with our third film in the franchise in the past five year, with a possibility of a seventh title in the franchise coming next year as well.
With Paul Walker and Vid Diesel back in the fold for yet another turn, along with burgeoning action star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson back for his second film, ‘Fast & Furious 6’ promises to amp up the action as the franchise has successfully transitioned from a car racing series to a jack-of-all-trades action flick, and one that is chock full of testosterone.
The Hangover: Part III – May 24
While the original ‘Hangover’ was one of the biggest surprise hits of the past ten year at the box office, the sequel was a bit of a step back as it essentially just re-hashed all of the same jokes from the original while changing the locale. Much of the fear of a another retread stems from the fact that the locale in this year’s edition is once again Las Vegas.
EPIC – May 24
There is only one animated film coming out in during the month of May and that is ‘Epic’ from 20th Century Fox. As the only real family release in May, and coming out during the holiday weekend time period in both Canada and the United States, ‘Epic’ should be great counter-programming at the box office.
The only issue with this is the fact that it is coming out a week after ‘Star Trek into Darkness’ and the same weekend as ‘Fast & Furious 6’ and ‘The Hangover: Part III’ which could hurt its overall box office a tad.
After Earth – May 31
The latest box office offering from M. Night Shyamalan, featuring Will Smith and his son Jaden, ‘After Earth’ is a sci-fi offering about what happens to Earth once the Human race leaves it to evolve on its own.
‘After Earth’ was bumped up a week to May 31 to give it a second week in theatres before ‘Man of Steel’ is released, but coming a week after three other nationwide releases could severely impact it’s possible box office take. An original sci-fi film with one of the biggest bankable sci-fi start of our generation should be enough to overcome that, but trailers clearly show that Jaden Smith is the lead actor of this film, so some viewers may wind up staying away from this film.
Stay tuned for other monthly previews for June, July and August later this month as well. For all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer.