2013 looks like it is shaping up to be yet another year of sequels, remakes, and reboots—but don’t let that discourage you from heading to the theatre. There are some hotly anticipated sequels in line this year, along with some hotly anticipated original gems; so grab your popcorn and let’s see what’s in store for the year!
One of the hottest tickets will be the period drama ‘Gangster Squad’, which had its trailer yanked from the promotional circuit following the Colorado theatre massacre and then heavily reedited to exclude a scene showing a theatre shooting. Despite all of the controversial buzz, there’s a real chance this movie will do well at the box office: it has an all-star cast (including Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, and Sean Penn) and the filming looks slick.
Not be outdone, however, the incredibly controversial ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ will move into a wide release this month, though whether the film will generate box office numbers to match the talk remains to be seen.
Finally, ‘Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters’ is a revisionist fairy tale that looks to continue a very dark and fun trend in storytelling for grownups. Stay tuned.
Things pick up a little in February with the oddball comedy ‘Warm Bodies’, which looks like it could follow in the vein of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ in uniting zombie films with romance. Also looking to splatter a little blood this Valentine’s Day: ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’, which introduces John McClane’s son to the franchise. On a lighter note, yet another Nicholas Sparks adaptation hits theatres (‘Safe Haven’), though it doesn’t look like it will make much of a splash outside of Sparks’ hardcore fan base.
Ah, now we get into the meatier releases of the year. James Franco stars in a twin set of oddball films, albeit with very different target audiences: ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ is director Sam Raimi’s colorful (and perhaps somewhat adult) imagining of the origins of the famous Wizard, while ‘Spring Breakers’ puts him together with former Disney good girls Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens for a tale of girls gone wild with drugs and thieving.
Sparking a great deal of interest is the big screen adaptation of ‘The Host’ from author Stephanie Meyers (remember her? She wrote a little book called ‘Twilight’). The sci-fi film boasts Saoirse Ronan and Diane Kruger in starring roles, which alone is enough to excite audiences; better yet, the film is directed by Andrew Niccol, who has experience in the genre after directing ‘In Time’ and ‘Simone’.
Two films that were pushed back from the summer of 2012 will finally hit theatres. ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ seems to have been heavily beefed up in post-production, from the look of the latest trailers, and looks like it will be a nice addition to the long line of fairy tale revisionist films of the past year or so. Also, ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ finally arrives, so we can see if it’s true the film was delayed to expand Channing Tatum’s role (yes, please!).
Last but not least: Chloe Moretz will make or break her horror movie pedigree by playing the title character in a remake of the classic teen screamer ‘Carrie’. Can you believe Hit Girl is all grown up? Neither can we, but the movie looks promising enough that we don’t mind.
‘Jurassic Park’ re-releases in 3D, which is newsworthy because it’s one of the few films that seems like it really needs to be re-released in the new format. In the same genre, Tom Cruise’s mysterious sci-fi click ‘Oblivion’ finally lands, with a delicious cast including Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Melissa Leo, and Morgan Freeman. Destroying Earth seems to be a popular theme for the year, and Cruise’s film isn’t the only one to explore the theme of a post-Apocalyptic planet (gee, wonder where the inspiration came from?), but it looks like the most likely one to rock the box office.
On an entirely different note: ‘Scary Movie 5’ stars Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Heather Locklear, and Ashley Tisdale. Um…no.
Fanboy alert: May is the unofficial start of the superhero and action movie season, and with the exception of a few films later in the year, most of the year’s biggest releases in this genre will happen over the next few months. May gets the ball rolling with ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’, but superheroes aren’t the only game in town. ‘The Hangover 3’ brings the wolf pack back, while ‘Fast and Furious 6’ brings on newcomer Gina Carano (‘Haywire’) to hold her own against Vin Diesel and the boys.
On the delayed-too-long beat, ‘The Great Gatsby’ also releases this month after initially being scheduled for Christmas 2012. Don’t wonder if it will be worth the wait; just buy your tickets in advance. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher, and Carey Mulligan are just a few of the shining stars lighting up this film.
Three action-packed and hotly anticipated films open this month. ‘Man of Steel’ will be the first Superman reboot that doesn’t majorly disappoint, helmed by Zak Snyder and Christopher Nolan and boasting a rebooted story that has everyone guessing and no one waiting to see it on week two.
After a bevy of pre-production and filming problems, Brad Pitt’s ‘World War Z’ finally (tentatively) lands in theatres on June 21st, though after multiple previous release date changes, you might not want to circle the date in ink. And ‘Kick-Ass 2’ continues the sequel trend, though it’s hard to say whether the spoof will do as well as the original, especially in a year liberally peppered with superhero flicks.
Disney’s epic ‘The Lone Ranger’ his theatres this month amid waves of speculation that it won’t be able to live up to the hype or the massive ($250 million+) budget. Meanwhile, ‘The Wolverine’ will give Hugh Jackman’s iconic superhero a chance to change audience minds about the succession of X-Men reboots after a disappointing initial outing.
Sequels abound this month as well, with ‘Despicable Me 2’, ‘Grown Ups 2’, and ‘Smurfs 2’ all landing in theatres. Are the movie studios not even trying to come up with original titles anymore?
We promised lots of sequels this year, and we weren’t joking. August is when the summer movie season winds down and lesser projects pop up, so this month you’ll see less well-known sequels like ‘Red 2’ and ‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’. However, there are some potential gems this month if you know where to look. The futuristic sci-fi thriller ‘Elysium’ stars Matt Damon trying to navigate between a ravaged Earth and a modern space station for the rich and powerful.
Also, the big-screen adaptation of the popular young adult series The Mortal Instruments finally arrives with ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’, which could be the first in a new and profitable franchise. With ‘Twilight’ out, the potential is there for this franchise to catch on and become the Next Big Thing.
The really big news this month is the 3D re-release of ‘Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones’. Also getting a 3D re-release is Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’, though if recent efforts to re-release Disney’s vault of movies can tell us what to look for at the box office, that film won’t make much of a splash (pun intended).
‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2’ and ‘Riddick’ arrive as the month’s obligatory sequels.
A few low-budget horror films are led by a planned ‘Paranormal Activity 5’, though as of yet no plot details or other information are available. At this point, perhaps a more pertinent question is: do audiences even care about the franchise anymore?
Things pick up a bit more this month for movie lovers. Arguably one of the most anticipated movies of the year, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is slated to open on November 22. ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and ‘Ender’s Game’ also open this month, and while they’ll likely be overshadowed by the next installment in the ‘Games’ franchise, they did have the good sense to open 2-3 weeks ahead so as not to be in direct competition for an audience.
The next installment in the ‘Hobbit’ trilogy hits theatres, and Peter Jackson’s team has to be holding their breaths as they wait to see whether ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ can lift this trilogy up a bit from its disappointing beginnings.
The other major release of the month is a reboot of the popular Tom Clancy character Jack Ryan, who has been played by no less than three different actors in four different movies. Now another actor joins the ranks: Chris Pine will play a younger version of the CIA man in the simply titled ‘Jack Ryan’, which is billed as a prequel to the other films.