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If you are a fan of action and sci-fi movies, then you can probably feel that familiar tingle of huge Hollywood blockbusters approaching with your Spidey sense. Obviously I am a fan of all movies, big and small, and love a small film with a good script and a great cast. That being said, I am no fool either and the thought of Hulk punching Ironman with a car makes my nerd boner want to blast into orbit!
Summer is a magical time for the movie industry, when millions of sweaty nerds cascade inside movie theaters to get out of the sun and hand over billions of dollars to see their fantasies come to life on the big screen. Note: comic fantasies, not their real fantasies that involve Lt. Uhura, a leather jacket, and the theme from Shaft.
Summer officially starts on May 1st with Avengers: Age of Ultron and ends on August 14th with one of the most interesting movie release weekends in recent memory. Each month has at least one big release, with May stacking up to be one of the biggest box office months that we have ever seen. I mean have you seen the trailer for Pitch Perfect 2? The Pitches are back and better than ever! With so much excitement getting ready to explode onto screens across the world, let’s take a month-by-month look at what to expect and maybe a few predictions along the way.
May: One Month to Rule Them All
The month of May is going to be a power house of Hulk-like proportions the likes of which we have never seen. Even the movies that I’m not as excited to see, like San Andreas and Tomorrowland are going to clear $100 million at the box office. Kids will flock to any movie starring The Rock, and women from far and wide will show up to see George Cloontang doing his signature “tilt your head down and then slowly look up and say something” move that has been cashing checks and making women shuck clam (hat tip JP) for going on 3 decades now. Those movies are going to be successful, you can count on it, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface on what Hollywood is unleashing on the month.
Mad Max: Fury Road hits theaters May 15th and if you are anything like me, you grew up with Mad Max and could not be more excited that George Miller is dusting off this franchise and has cast Bane as the lead. Fun fact: Miller did Mad Max, Road Warriors, and Thunderdome in the 80s and also did Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet, and Happy Feet Two. If you can find a director with a more…ummm…diverse body of work, then you are better than me. Fury Road is one of those movies that I am going to see more than once, and I will be there on opening day. In fact, I already have plans for a bro date with Movie Yoda to be in attendance, because if there is anyone who can appreciate a George Miller classic, it’s the Movie Yoda.
Those films are certain to have box office success, but only one has the singular goal of taking down Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time. Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to come out guns blazing and isn’t looking up until there are no other competitors in its path. If Marvel has proven anything, it’s that it absolutely knows how to make a blockbuster, and this movie is meant to top them all. They already have 2 of the top 10 grossing movies of all time with Avengers and Iron Man 3 checking in a 3 and 6 respectively, and there is no doubt in my mind that the fine people at that studio want that top spot, and they want it bad.
Age of Ultron is going to be a runaway train at the box office that even Denzel and Captain Kirk won’t be able to stop. I am going to watch this movie in 2D, 3D, IMAX, at the drive in, on a bootleg copy from the convenience store up the street, at Cinema Latino, and any other format that I can possibly find. I have very, very high hopes for this movie and all of the Science Bros goodness that it has promised. It is going to deliver on that promise and I am calling it now…Avengers: Age of Ultron will end the summer as the highest grossing movie of all time.
June: Starlord vs. T-Rex vs. Drama
The month gets started with Vinnie, E, Turtle, Johnny Drama and the rest of the Entourage crew hitting the big screen for what is sure to be a mixed bag of results. Critics are going to HATE this movie, and fans of the show will enjoy spending more time with the group that came into their living rooms for so long. The fact is, this movie was never made for anyone other than fans of the show, and to be a mindless summer movie with jokes, action, and what is sure to be a ton of nudity. This movie does not care if you like it or not, it is going to have its audience, and that group will be loyal to the brand and will turn out to see the movie.
The following week will be the next big test for Chris Pratt, when Jurassic World hits the big screens with its made-up dinosaurs and Starlord charisma. Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge success, thanks in large part to Pratt, but that movie was going to make money regardless. The fact that it was outstanding as well is directly tied to Pratt’s charm that jumped off of the screen in 3D, so to see him carry another franchise with a script that might not be as good is an excellent test for him. I’m not sure if Jurassic World will be any good or not, but I am fairly certain that Pratt will be. How much of a box office draw will he be alone? We will find out this June, and I for one am very, very excited to see the results, even if I’m not as excited about the franchise.
July: Star Spangled Stripping
Two things are going to be a certainty this 4th of July. 1) I am going to get stuck in a crowded parking lot with my daughter trying to see fireworks, because there are very few things in this world a 6-year-old likes more than exploding fireballs in the sky. 2) I am going to be irrationally angry when Magic Mike XXL makes more money at the box office than Terminator Genisys.
I completely get that there is nothing more patriotic to the ladies than Channing Tatum and his thong full of independence, but I have no way to be rational about the Terminator, so I am going to see it twice in protest. I just hope that I see those same women the following weekend hanging their heads in shame as they walk by that poster on the way to see Minions with the kids. I may even tell a kid to ask his mom why those men aren’t wearing any clothes on the poster as payback. Who knew that movies about bondage and stripping would be the woman version of comic book movies in 2015? I may need to take a jazzercise class at my local Curves gym to get into shape for this new trend.
The great thing about July is that after the stripper dust settles that weekend, the next two weeks will be two of my favorite of the summer with Ant-Man and Trainwreck being released. I have zero thoughts on Ant-Man, other than it is going to be the closest thing to a comedy that Marvel has released to date, but that doesn’t mean it is going to be a good movie. I have faith in Marvel Studios, but this is the first thing that they have released that I have some serious trepidation over. It could be great, but the casting really gives me pause.
Trainwreck, however, might be the surprise hit of the summer, and outside of Ultron and Mad Max is the movie that I am the most excited about seeing. Amy Schumer is a power house comedian and one of the funniest people on the entire planet, so the fact that she wrote this movie is a huge plus. The other huge plus is that Bill Hader is in it with her, and Hader is someone who I would watch in absolutely anything. There is something to be said about good casting, but this might be the perfect casting for a very, very R-rated movie that is sure to be great.
August: Straight Outta My Childhood
There are only two possible outcomes with the NWA biopic that comes out this August, but your guess is as good as mine with which is most likely. It will either be Ray-level good and become a movie that is talked about far and wide, or it will be a steaming pile of shit that will lead Ice Cube to throat punch critics for talking bad about his son’s portrayal of him. There will be no other possible outcomes here, which is part of the excitement of this movie.
Most people are saying that if you don’t get Easy right, then the movie won’t work, but I humbly disagree. When is the last time you heard Easy talking? I’m not talking about in a song; I just mean talking in general? That is my point exactly, there are very few people who even know what his speaking voice sounds like, and in reality, the driving force behind the group was always Cube. He was the first one to have solo success, he was the first one to star in a movie, and he has one of the most recognizable voices in the world to this day. If you mess up that role, then the entire movie goes down the toilet, which is the same reason Notorious was doomed from the start.
Biggie and Tupac had two of the best and most unique voices that the music industry has ever seen, and Notorious missed badly on both of them. That is the secret rule for biopics that studios don’t seem to understand, and the one rule I wish they could get right. It’s never been about how much an actor looks like someone, it is how much they sound like them, and that rule holds even more weight with someone in music.
I know that several people enjoyed Walk the Line, but I grew up listening to Johnny Cash, and for all of the acting talents that Joaquin Phoenix has, he never, ever, ever sounded even a little like Cash. It ruined the movie completely and makes it unwatchable to this day. If they make that mistake with Cube in this movie, then it will never make it and will be a complete failure.
Stephen Balding is the Entertainment Badass for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenB_41.