Preview: Summer's 14 biggest movie releases
Posted May 12, 2016
HOLLYWOOD — “Captain America: Civil War” charged into US theaters this weekend, marking the beginning of the 2016 summer season.
From now until late August, big budgets, dazzling effects and witty one-liners will rule the box office, and we have a list of movies generating the most attention. Are we going to miss a few of your personal must-sees? Almost definitely. So make sure to scroll to the bottom of this article for a complete schedule of the 2016 cinematic summer season.
Captain America: Civil War - May 6
“Captain America: Civil War” is in theaters now and critics are calling it another home run for Marvel and Disney. The epic crescendo to the Steve Roger and Tony Stark tiff that started way back in 2012’s “The Avengers” comes with the promise of good guys punching good guys.
Normally, I’d strongly encourage heroic figures to talk through their differences and come to an agreement, but not during summer blockbuster season. Reasonable disputes need to end with explosions and millions of dollars in property damages.
The Angry Birds Movie - May 20
There are some people, mostly kids, who are genuinely excited for the soon-to-be-released “The Angry Birds.” Hopefully, said people are seeing something I’m not, because while I usually get excited for quirky animated projects, for me the marketing for “Birds” continues to fall flat.
That said, I’ve been duped by trailers in the past and I would like to see the feathered hot heads do well.
Alice Through the Looking Glass - May 27
Tim Burton’s 2010 “Alice in Wonderland” landed in this really bizarre place where both audiences and critics labeled it disappointing, yet it still made roughly 1.5 bajillion dollars.
As a result, it will be really interesting to see if this sequel is able to attract an audience. Not only will the studio need to convince ticket buyers there’s more to explore in Wonderland, but Disney will also be going head-to-head with the summer’s third major superhero adventure: “X-Men: Apocalypse.” No matter what the outcome, I’m sure I’ll be purchasing tickets for this one if only to hear Alan Rickman’s final performance.
X-Men: Apocalypse - May 27
For me, X-men has been a hit-and-miss franchise since its first real movie back in 2000. That said, I was pretty impressed with the creative decisions for both “First Class” and “Days of Future Past,” and was also hopeful for “Apocalypse.”
I’ll be releasing a full review for “Apocalypse” the week of its release, but for now, just know it can be a fun movie for fans but general audiences will probably want to lower expectations a bit.
Is it bad that I’m looking forward to this? Like many TMNT fans, I was hoping for more from the 2014 reboot, but that film had a bit of an identity crisis, didn’t it? “Out of the Shadows” on the other hand looks like a straight adaptation of the late 80’s TV show, and what Turtles fan hasn’t been waiting to see Bebop and Rocksteady on the big screen? I might need to find a nicklecade that still houses the original game before opening night.
Finding Dory - June 17
I love Thomas Newman’s music for “Finding Nemo.” Sure, there are a million other things Pixar got right with the original film, but play me a few notes of the “Nemo Egg (Main Title)” track and my heart grows three sizes.
Since Newman’s back for “Finding Dory,” I absolutely will be as well.
Independence Day: Resurgence - June 24
I don’t know how you have an Independence Day sequel without Will Smith, but it looks like I’ll find out on June 24th when director Roland Emmerich releases the next chapter of his 1996 mega-hit.
The good news is Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner will be returning along with new cast members, Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher. If you’re someone who looks forward to the obligatory alien invasion each summer, “Resurgence” is your 2016 model.
The BFG - July 1
I’m not entirely sure what’s going on in the recent trailers for “The BFG,” but I do know Roald Dahl’s stories have consistently transferred well to film and with Steven Spielberg’s sitting in the director’s chair, I have high hopes for the project.
The story of young Sophie and her kind-hearted 24-foot giant friend has also brought together a really interesting cast with Mark Rylance, Bill Hader, Rebecca Hall and Jemaine Clement.
Ghostbusters - July 15
I really want to like the new “Ghostbusters.” I like the cast, I love the idea of my daughters wanting to be Ghostbusters for Halloween, and I can get behind the Disney Haunted Mansion vibe they’re going for with the ghosts this time around. But that trailer. The comedy looked so lazy, right down to the never-funny line “That’s going to leave a mark.” I’m really hoping they’re saving the good stuff for July 15, because a large portion of my wardrobe revolves around that Ghostbusters logo.
Star Trek Beyond - July 22
The next addition to the Star Trek franchise will be getting a Fast and Furious makeover now that director Justin Lin has taken the reigns. This probably won’t be welcome news to fans who’ve complained the latest installments have replaced slower, thought-provoking science fiction with action sequences and explosions; or the “True Detective” fans who feel like Lin is at least partially responsible for the underwhelming second season. Add that to writer Simon Pegg’s comments to Radio Times where he said he plans to, “make a Western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it’s more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent,” and were does that leave us?
Hopefully everything works out for this one, but this is the project I have the least amount of faith in for July.
Jason Bourne - July 29
Matt Damon is taking back the Bourne franchise with “Jason Bourne.”
Before we get too far into the preview, it’s important to note that Damon recently said in an interview with E! that he believes Bourne would beat Batman in a fist fight. Yes, I want to see another Bourne movie and yes, we can go on and on about how fit Damon got for the part, but I think the more important topic we should be discussing is, isn’t it time to get Damon and Ben Affleck back together, and shouldn't that happen in a project called “Batman v Jason: Justice is Bourne”?
Suicide Squad - August 5
“Suicide Squad” is the comic book movie I have the highest hopes for in 2016. Not only will it be good to see a DC cinematic universe movie directed by someone other than Zack Snyder, but I love DC’s library of villains. Bringing DC’s B-list baddies into a sort of anti-Avengers movie is something I hope works for both the studios and audiences.
Pete’s Dragon - August 12
With “Pete’s Dragon,” I’ve seen the teaser, I’ve seen the design of the dragon, I know they have a solid cast, but still, I have no idea what to think about this remake.
Personally, I would’ve loved to see Disney go with classic 2D animation here, or at the very least, the beautiful hybrid style they used for their “Paperman” short. But from what I’m being told, that’s not this movie.
This is a more serous take on the classic live-action, animated musical about a boy and his dragon. And that’s fine. In fact, it could be amazing. My brain is still having trouble processing the idea of a more serous take on the classic live-action, animated musical about a boy and his dragon.
Kubo and the Two Strings - August 19
Have you noticed on this list there isn’t a single movie that isn’t a sequel, remake or adaptation? Any other time of year, this would make my heart weep, but its summer. Summer blockbusters are like the greasy fast-food of cinema, and around mid-May I always find I’m ready for at least 15 slices of cinematic pizza.
But, to the best of my knowledge, “Kubo and the Two Strings” is totally original. It still looks bright and colorful and ready to delight our senses, but it’s also new, which makes it that much cooler. Also, I’m a sucker for stop-motion animation so the trailer had me even before its cool rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
So that’s it for the highlights. Below we've included a more detailed breakout by month. Let us know in the comments what you’re most looking forward to or hit us up on Twitter: @KSLcom.
- Captain America: Civil War - May 6
- Going in Style - May 6
- The Darkness - May 13
- Free State of Jones - May 13
- Kidnap - May 13
- Money Monster - May 13
- The Angry Birds Movie - May 20
- Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising - May 20
- The Nice Guys - May 20
- Alice Through the Looking Glass - May 27
- X-Men: Apocalypse - May 27
- Me Before You - June 3
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - June 3
- Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping - June 3
- The Conjuring 2 - June 10
- Now You See Me 2 - June 10
- Warcraft - June 10
- Central Intelligence - June 17
- Finding Dory - June 17
- Independence Day: Resurgence - June 24
- The Shallows - June 24
- The BFG - July 1
- The Legend of Tarzan - July 1
- The Purge 3 - July 1
- Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates - July 8
- The Secret Life of Pets - July 8
- Ghostbusters - July 15
- La La Land - July 15
- Ice Age: Collision Course - July 22
- Lights Out - July 22
- Star Trek Beyond - July 22
- The Space Between Us - July 29
- Jason Bourne - July 29
- Nine Lives - August 5
- Suicide Squad - August 5
- Pete’s Dragon - August 12
- Sausage Party - August 12
- Spectral - August 12
- Ben Hur - August 19
- Arms and the Dudes - August 19
- Kubo and the Two Strings - August 19
- Untitled Lucas & Moore Comedy - August 19
- A Man in the Dark - August 26
- Mechanic Resurrection - August 26
- Hands of Stone - August 26
- The Infiltrator - Wednesday, August 31
Travis has been covering movie news, film reviews and live events for Deseret News and KSL.com since 2010 and currently keeps movie fans up to date with news and local events at www.Utah.film. Follow Travis on Twitter @tspoppleton.