Whether it is a lack of creativity or just a matter of hesitance in trusting new scripts, Hollywood’s big studios are sticking by the tried and tested. Proving my point are Warner Brothers, Disney and 20th Century Fox. These three studios alone account for over 46% of Hollywood’s releases. Just between January and April 19, 2015, these three studios made over, $ 1.4 billion out of the approximate $3 billion that Hollywood grossed.
I have earmarked these three because they all have blockbusters lined up from this year to the next:
1. Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Studio: DC Comics, Warner Brothers.
Release Date: March 24, 2016 (UAE)
Budget: $ 131 million
Warner got one of their favourites, Zack Snyder of 300-fame, to direct this project and are resorting to the ‘you-will-always-make-money’ Batman concept. You can be sure with a fan base which is now bigger than ever courtesy of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy (also produced by Warner), this movie starring Ben Affleck and Henri Cavill with a strong comic-book base, will generate a massive box office return. If it helps, you will also see Aquaman and Wonderwoman in this movie.
Details still unknown, but you can be sure that it will be one hell of a plot if Batman and Superman go up mano-a-mano.
Studio: MARVEL, Disney.
Release Date: July, 2015 (UAE) (might be pushed because of Ramadan)
This is being touted as Marvel’s impending flop by some critics like Variety. On the other hand, Avengers director Joss Wheadon says that the Ant-Man script is the best that has ever come to Marvel Studios. Tough, eh? Starring the dynamic Paul Rudd and veteran Michael Douglas, Ant-Man is a difficult one to dismiss. In fact, I predict this may be one of the biggest movies of the summer simply because of the size of its superhero. The simplicity of Ant-Man should definitely see him top through the Box Office charts.
With the ability to shrink in size but grow in strength, a con man (Paul Rudd) must help his mentor (Michael Douglas) protect the secret of his Ant-Man suit and pull off a heist that will save the world.
3. Fantastic Four (2015)
Studio: MARVEL, Disney.
Release Date: August 7, 2015 (UAE)
Budget: $100 million
Our friends at Screen Rant question how soon this reboot is coming through, but 21st Century Fox is going ahead with a script which borrows from the entire series. I think this is one superhero film too many. Let’s hope not too many give this one the slip.
Four young scientists achieve superhuman abilities through a teleportation experiment gone haywire. They must now use these abilities to save the world from an uprising tyrant i.e. Dr Doom.
4. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Studio: Lucasfilm, Disney.
Release Date: December 16, 2015 (UAE)
Budget: $200 million
Star Wars has surpassed criticism and become an untouchable brand – an integral part of pop culture. George Lucas has put everything in place for this franchise to live on forever. JJ Abrams will have to do a really poor job to stop this becoming a blockbuster. That being said, I believe JJ Abrams is doing a great job and when I spoke to one of the actors Miltos Yerolemou, he wouldn’t stop raving. May the force be with this movie.
Again, this is being kept under wraps, but the trailer should give you a decent idea of what you can expect. There are storm troopers, wookies, robots and light sabers. Honestly, Stars Wars Fans are not that hard to please [I can say that, being one myself]. What is certain though is that this movie’s plot takes off thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Studio: Marvel, Disney.
Release Date: April 30, 2015 (UAE)
Budget: $250 million
Age Of Ultron is being touted to be the best Marvel production to date. Well, it better be. With over $250 million in production alone riding on it, Disney is expecting this movie to break the record set by James Cameron’s Avatar. And with good reason. The Avengers sequel has so much going for it: the star cast, fan following, the director and the hype surrounding the film. A must-watch across the board.
When Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as they battle to save the planet from destruction at the hands of the villainous Ultron. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff and Pietro Maximoff, as well as an old friend in a new form, named The Vision. It’s on, ain’t it?