As we move closer and closer towards the summer it is becoming ever more obvious that the summer blockbuster season is upon us. A circulation of new trailers, posters, and interviews are beginning to trickle into the media sphere in preparation for the forthcoming summer blockbusters. Looking at the upcoming slate of movies to be released this summer, I can’t see box-offices records being broken or anything like that. I also don’t think that this summer will be as disastrous as last summer’s blockbuster season which saw many high-profile, and “guaranteed”, hits like Transformers: The Last Knight and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales under-perform dramatically, and other features like King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, The Mummy and The Dark Tower downright tank at the box-office. There are less movies this summer that I feel have the potential to drastically under-perform, but there are a few; some of which I’ll mention later.
Here’s a look ahead to five of the biggest movies to be released this summer season:
1) Avengers: Infinity War – April 27th
Opening a week earlier than expected, April 27th will see the release of, by far, the biggest movie of the summer, and arguably one of the most anticipated movies of all time. Uniting all of the MCU’s heroes to date in a crossover event that promises to deliver big on spectacle and story. The trailers thus far have certainly stoked interest in the movie, leading to ticket sales that have greatly eclipsed any previous MCU movie to date. There is little doubt that this movie will be huge, but how huge is the question that remains to be answered. One thing that the movie will have to contend with is following up from the monster hit that was Black Panther. Black Panther was a mega hit for Marvel Studios, both financially and critically, and one that provided one of the best MCU villains to date in the shape of Erik Killmonger. Infinity War will have to do a lot of work with the character of Thanos in order to create a compelling villain that can match Killmonger. Hopefully stories circulating that Thanos, not our heroes, is the main character of Infinity War will give him the time he needs to prove he is worthy of the six years we’ve waited since his introduction at the end of the original Avengers movie.
Hit Probability: 5/5
2) Deadpool 2 – May 18th
Moving from one Josh Brolin superhero property to another Josh Brolin superhero property. May will see the return of the anarchic postmodern fourth-wall breaker Deadpool, more than two years after the original Deadpool movie lit up the box-office, becoming a surprise smash-hit, and the largest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. All of that means that expectation is high for Ryan Reynolds’ return as the merc with a mouth, particularly when Fox’s X-Men universe is in a state of flux after the lukewarm reception to their recent movies, coupled with the proposed acquisition by Disney. Deadpool is definitely their most valuable property, and they need this movie to be a massive summer hit. It will be interesting to see if T.J. Miller’s alleged sexual misconduct will hurt the movie at all in the box-office in the wake of the #metoo movement.
Hit Probability: 4/5
3) Solo: A Star Wars Story – May 25th
There’s a big question mark hanging over this one. On the one hand, it’s a Star Wars movie which instantly guarantees it a large viewership who are eager to see it succeed. On the other hand, this is a movie that has been plagued by negative press, from the directorial change, to rumours of Alden Ehrenreich’s allegedly poor acting. Couple that with trailers and promotional material which hasn’t excited anyone. There is also the issue, completely out of this film’s control, of The Last Jedi’s lukewarm reception. That bad taste left in many people’s mouths could certainly hurt this film at the box-office. There is also the larger issue of this film’s existence. The Star Wars universe is vast and rich with characters and lore outside of the original trilogy. And yet, the first two Star Wars anthology movies we’ve gotten have been set in the interim between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. I think people would be more interested in seeing a Star Wars movie set in the Old Republic or an unknown part of the galaxy. Regardless of all those other issues, I think that this is a movie that could go either way, but I definitely can’t see it being a major hit; too many cooks in the kitchen on this one.
Hit Probability: 2.5/5
4) Incredibles 2 – June 15th
In contrast to the previous entry mentioned, there’s huge excitement surrounding Incredibles 2. 14 years after the original Incredibles became one of Pixar’s most-beloved hits, this summer sees the return of The Fantastic Four the Parr family. When the teaser trailer was released a few months ago it became the most viewed trailer for an animated movie ever, which only bolsters the fact that audiences have not forgotten about the Incredibles in the gap since we last saw them. This movie also has the benefit of a returning cast, minus the original Dash voice actor, and director Brad Bird. Little is known of the story yet, except it appears as though it will focus, like the first movie, on family drama instead of commentating on how superhero movies have evolved in the period since the original’s release.
Hit Probability: 5/5
5) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – June 22nd
This is another interesting one that I think might not be as successful as some people think. Many assume that because the original grossed over $1 billion that this is a sure-fire hit, but I beg to differ. Despite the fact that the original made over $1 billion, I don’t know many people who loved it. In fact, in the years since its release it has not garnered a fan base eager for a sequel. It’s simply playing on nostalgia for Jurassic Park; a tactic that won’t work as well this time around. I can see a situation like Alice in Wonderland, which similarly grossed over $1 billion, where the sequel Through the Looking Glass flopped, because audience demand and affection simply didn’t exist. Speaking in support of the movie’s success, the cast of the original is returning, as well as fan-favourite Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm. However, the trailers thus far have not proved that popular, and the directorial change might hurt the movie, it’s difficult to know. More than likely this movie will be successful, but it’s not guaranteed, especially releasing only one week after Incredibles 2 which will dominate the family market for some weeks.
Hit Probability: 3.5/5