Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 November 2019

Summer blockbusters: 10 of the biggest films and how they’ll do at the box office

As another scorching summer approaches, so are things hotting up in the multiplexes. The blockbuster season gets underway with the release tomorrow of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2. James Mottram picks the 10 biggest movies coming our way between now and August, and we predict which will be massive hits, those that will scrape by and the ones for which the jury’s out.

Unless otherwise noted, release dates are for North America. UAE dates are yet to be announced and might be delayed by Ramadan

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Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell

Opens: May 4 (UAE)

Plot: The ragtag team of intergalactic space freaks are back, facing a new enemy from close to home.

Prospects: It’s Marvel, so obviously this is big. The original cast – Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista – are all back, including CGI creatures Rocket Raccoon and Groot, the monosyllabic walking tree, now in uber-cute baby form. Early reactions have been a little mixed, but it is still the funkiest superhero franchise.

Prediction: Massive

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Alien: Covenant

Stars: Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride

Opens: May 19

Plot: The crew of the spaceship Covenant land on a remote planet where they make a terrifying discovery.

Prospects: Alien prequel Prometheus (2012) underwhelmed, even with the director of the 1979 original, Ridley Scott, at the helm. This follow-up looks closer to the tone of the classic series – but has the damage been done. Scott again directs, with Michael Fassbender back as android David, and Katherine Waterston taking the lead, with the looks of original star Sigourney Weaver. Scariest movie this summer? You bet.

Prediction: Jury’s out

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Stars: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley

Opens: May 26

Plot: Captain Jack Sparrow is back, this time on the hunt for the Trident of Poseidon.

Prospects: The previous Pirates outing, 2011’s On Stranger Tides, made more than US$1 billion (Dh3bn) – and there is no reason why this fifth outing cannot do similar business – as Depp’s Sparrow does battle with Bardem’s ghostly pirate. Early word suggests it has the same sense of fun as the original 2003 movie, The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Prediction: Massive

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Wonder Woman

Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright

Opens: June 2

Plot: An original story for the DC Comics superheroine.

Prospects: Gal Gadot stole the show as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman, and this first solo outing could strike a chord beyond the fanboys. Patty Jenkins is the first women to direct a superhero movie, and is likely to bring a different sensibility to the DC-verse – no bad thing, given the critical reception to the movies in the franchise so far. Could be the summer’s dark horse.

Prediction: Jury’s out

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The Mummy

Stars: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson

Opens: June 9

Plot: When the tomb of an Egyptian princess is unearthed, she rises to wreak havoc.

Prospects: Tom Cruise stars in this new spin on the classic Universal monster movie, the first in a proposed series that will ultimately unite Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, The Wolf-Man and others, Avengers-style. Star Trek Beyond’s breakout star Boutella looks fabulous as the Mummy, while Cruise and Crowe coming together on screen for the first time is intriguing. Given that this is intended to kick-start a shared universe, the stakes are high – but will audiences care?

Prediction: Jury’s out

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Cars 3

Stars: Armie Hammer, Cristela Alonzo, Nathan Fillion, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt

Opens: June 16

Plot: On a losing streak, race car Lightning McQueen looks for help to mount a comeback.

Prospects: Cars is not Pixar’s most lucrative franchise, but it is loved by kids and the race footage in the teaser for this latest instalment is thrilling. With Cars storyboard artist Brian Fee graduating to director, and Armie Hammer voicing Lightning’s rival Jackson Storm, it should have enough juice in the tank.

Prediction: Scrape by

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Transformers: The Last Knight

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins

Opens: June 23

Plot: With the world at war with the Transformers, Cade Yeagar (Wahlberg) discovers why the robots keep returning.

Prospects: Critics might sneer at them, but the previous two Transformers movies each earned more than $1bn, so there is no sign audiences are tired of the CGI bots just yet. Star Wahlberg returns and director Michael Bay for his fifth, and as he says final, Transformers movie.

Prediction: Massive

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Despicable Me 3

Stars: Steve Carell, Trey Parker, Kristen Wiig

Opens: June 30

Plot: Gru meets his long-lost twin, and faces-off against a new villain, Balthazar Bratt.

Prospects: The biggest animated movie of the summer, for sure, DM3 brings back villain-turned-dad Gru and his yellow Minions, fresh from their own $1bn spin-off movie in 2015, and pits them against a 1980s-loving villain voiced by South Park creator Trey Parker. Perfect for kids, and with enough retro-nostalgia to please the parents, this will be huge.

Prediction: Massive

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Stars: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya

Opens: July 7

Plot: The newest incarnation of the web-slinger gets his first solo outing.

Prospects: Huge. Holland’s introduction as Spider-Man last year in Captain America: Civil War was the film’s highlight, as Peter Parker finally joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Avengers connection remains strong in Spidey’s own movie, with Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark/Iron Man continuing to act as his snarky mentor.

Prediction: Massive

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Dunkirk

Stars: Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Fionn Whitehead

Opens: July 21

Plot: Allied troops are evacuated from French beaches during the Second World War.

Prospects: Christopher Nolan, director of The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, makes his first real-life historical saga – featuring the acting debut of One Direction’s Harry Styles. Production was itself like a military operation, complete with real Spitfires. Whether it makes enough cash to be considered a blockbuster remains to be seen, but it is likely to be a major Oscar contender.

Prediction: Scrape by

Updated: May 2, 2017 04:00 AM

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