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2015 Summer Movie Preview: The May Release Edition
This summer movie season is expected to be one of the biggest in sometime, as well as a vast improvement over last years box office and with the line up of releases this summer, these expectations should not be disappointed. This summer will tout the usual suspects in the form of comic book based films, big budget action trillers, sequels, sequels and more sequels and the usual companion of the big tent pole films comedies or romantic comedies. Just some of the big titles to look forward to this summer are The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Fantastic 4, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World and Pan. It’s going to be a big summer break with a lot of good films to see, so here we go with releases for May 2015.
Will you be going to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron?
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
May is usually the biggest month for the industry and this one shouldn’t be one for the books. Each weekend is stacked with the films that each of the big studios would like to get them off to a running start for the summer and also make that bottom line look great to the share holders. Unfortunately, for all of the other studios Disney will probably putting a slight dent into their early earning for their movies coming out in the first couple weeks of May. The biggest title for the summer and probably the whole rest of the year is The Avengers: Age of Ultron to be released May 1st.
Just incase you live under a rock, this film is a sequel to 2012’s highest grossing film The Avengers, which opened with a staggering $207.4 million and went on to gross $603.8 million domestically and $1.5 billion world wide. Age of Ultron will be featuring the Marvel universes favorite good guys to take on the Avengers arch enemy Ultron. This film will feature Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evens as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and James Spader as Ultron. The plot centers around The Avengers combatting the Tony Stark and Bruce Banner created Ultron from taking over the world. Directed by the very talented Joss Whedon, the film should hold up to the high bar set by The Avengers.
Marvel comics owner Disney will be looking to do as the films predecessor did 2012, by extending a leg out for the competition to stumble over and it probably will. Right now, according to Pro.Boxoffice.com, Age of Ultron is projected to open with $217 million and gross $567 million domestically. These are early projections and will probably be adjusted up or down (probably up) as Age of Ultron’s release nears, but these numbers are are probably not soft. The first Avengers film sat in the number one slot for several weeks and hobbled the first few big films that that came out in those weeks. Now some of those films where able to over come this initial blow and went to make back what they would have made anyway, but still it’s a handicap.
It does appear that the industry did prepare for this effect, because there are no other big studio films slated to release the same weekend only the usual small budget horror and independent films. Typically, summer films are released in pairs, one tent pole movie and a companion romantic comedy for example. The next big studio film will be the following weekend Hot Pursuit and even this film isn’t paired up with any other big titles as well.
Will you be seeing Hot Pursuit?
As mentioned before, the next summer film will be the comedy Hot Pursuit starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vegara and will bow at the box office May 8th. Witherspoon, fresh off of an Oscar nomination for Wild, plays a police officer tasked with the protection of a drug kingpins wife played by Modern Family’s Vegara. Hot Pursuit was written by experienced sit-com writers David Feeney and John Quaintace and directed by Anne Fletcher, who also directed The Proposal. If the trailer is any indication, it does look very funny and it’s earnings should not be effected by the monster that will preceded it. Look for this film to debut in the number two slot for its opening weekend, but should still be a big hit.
Which will you be seeing?
Mad Max & Pitch Perfect 2
May 15th, will have the first two potential films to throw Age of Ultron off the top spot at the box office, Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2. Mad Max: Fury Road is of course a fourth addition to the Mad Max franchise, but this time in the title role will be filled by Tom Hardy with Charlize Theron in a supporting role. Fury Road is a prequel to the first Mad Max and first new film of the series since the 1985 release of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Like the first three films it is directed and written by the visionary director George Miller. It should be a gritty action filled film and full of gorgeous imagery. Also, with Tom Hardy as Max, we should be treated with a great performance worthy of the role.
Pitch Perfect 2 is the follow up to the 2012 surprise musical/comedy hit Pitch Perfect. The film will also mark the directing debut of Elizabeth Banks, who had produced and appeared in the original. The quirky and cute Anna Kendrick and the always funny and extremely versatile Rebel Wilson reprise their roles as they attempt to duplicate the magic of the first film. The film will also feature several cameos including by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Mathews, which as someone who lives near Green Bay I will be hearing and seeing non-stop references to.
For the these two films being released on May 15th, I would not be surprised if Pitch Perfect 2 come out on top with Mad Max coming in a close second. Now, this mainly depends what Mad Max ends up being rated, either a PG-13 or R. The first Pitch Perfect is still a hugely popular movie and there is already a lot of buzz around it. As for Mad Max, it has been nearly 30 years since the last film, which I don’t think that will have any real bearing on it, but if does end up with an R rating it will not open as large as it would with a PG-13. With its $100 million budget, Mad Max could end up with the PG-13 and opening up above Pitch Perfect by a bit. Mad Max would also, be most effected by Age of Ultron and some of it’s opening could be siphoned off.
Which will you be seeing?
Poltergeist & Tomorrowland
May 22nd will host the most interesting paring of May, in the form the horror remake Poltergeist and children’s movie Tomorrowland. Poltergeist, produced by Spider-Man director Sam Rami and not staring Craig T. Nelson, but Sam Rockwell is the remake of the 1982 horror classic about a hunted house that kidnaps a little girl and the family that tries to rescue her. I’m not a huge fan of horror films, but Poltergeist is one of my favorites and yes it does have the creepy clown doll that attacks the older brother. The film is directed by Gil Kenan who also directed the animated movie Monster House and also features Jared Harris. This film should do well, but judging by the trailer it does follow the Steven Spielberg co-written original extremely close, so this may spell trouble.
The big hit of this weekend will be Tomorrowland, directed by Brad Bird the director of The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and several Simpsons episodes. Tomorrowland is about a fantasy world that has a direct effect on the real world and the young woman and man that are trying to save it. The film features George Clooney, Brit Robertson and Hugh Laurie. Brad Bird will bring his usual visual flare and expert story telling that has made is last outing such successes. Also, with the boat load of money that Disney already had made off of Age of Ultron, Fantastic 4 and Pixar’s Inside Out, this should turn out to be a great year for them.
Which will you be seeing?
Aloha & San Andreas
The final weekend of May will see the release of the romantic comedy Aloha and the action/disaster film San Andreas, both open on May 29th. Aloha is a particularly special movie, its directed and written by Cameron Crow. I call it special because this will be Cameron Crow’s first really good outing since 2005, that wasn’t a documentary or We Bought a Zoo. It has an amazing cast headlined by Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and also features Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Alec Baldwin and Danny McBride. Aloha is about a military contractor played by Cooper, who returns to Hawaii, meets up with his ex-flame and falls for an air Force watchdog assigned to him played by Stone. This film should be a wonderful addition to Crow’s resume and being set in Hawaii should be full of the beauty of the islands.
For San Andreas I have three words, earthquakes and The Rock, or maybe just two words. Dwayne Johnson plays a helicopter rescue pilot that must save his daughter during an massive earthquake outbreak in Los Angeles. This will be definitely the guilty pleasure of the summer along the lines of so absurd it works, kind of like the movie 2012. San Andreas also, features Paul Giammatti who plays a seismologist that attempts to warn the city of the pending doom. I just can’t wait for the eventual Rifftrax soundtrack on this one.
Overall, the month of May will be giving the summer movie season a good kickstart. It will also be interesting to see how The Avengers: Age of Ultron will affect the films that come out afterwards. Here is a complete list of the May releases.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Far From the Maddening Crowd, She’s Funny That Way and Welcome to Me
The Seven Five
Five Flights Up, Hot Pursuit, Maggie, Saint Laurent, Somnia and The D Train
Forbidden Films and One Cut, One Life
Good Kill, Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2 and Where Hope Grows
Aloft, Poltergeist, Tomorrowland and When Marnie Was There
Aloha, Hillsong-Let Hope Rise and San Andreas