A-List: Top Five Anticipated Summer 2016 Movies
By J. Don Birnam
May 5, 2016
Though the rain is pouring and the cold is soaring, the calendar mercilessly if confusingly points to one simple truth: the summer blockbuster season is upon us. We know, of course, that smart studios have for a few years been releasing potential sleeper hits in advance of that Magical May Moment-The Jungle Book and Deadpool were this year's Furious 7, for example and did not disappoint.
But it remains that magical time between May 1st and Labor Day where studios look to for hopefully consistent high returns. Last year, as we know, studios made a killing, not only because the all-time opening weekend record was broken by Jurassic World (at least until that other movie came along in December), but because comic movies and others proved good repeat business, Inside Out did remarkably well, and old franchises proved they still had resilience.
The studios are hoping for a repeat in 2016, but I have to say that the outlook looks bleaker to me than last year. It is not only that there is the usual glut of sequels, prequels, remakes and reinventions (and, oh, Lord, am I guilty of contributing to that - most of my top five consists of those movies!), it is that a lot of the subject matter of the movies does not seem particularly interesting.
Some of the new subject matter appears downright awful - I have little to no interest in movies from Warcraft to Angry Birds (when was the last good videogame based movie?), and I expect both to do terribly at the box office. Other sequels just look pointless, so I'm not sure what the makers of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows or Neighbors 2 were thinking.
Two of my honorable mentions are animated movies - The Secret Life of Pets would have made the cut based on its first trailer, which teased the concept of pets behaving badly when masters were gone. But, the second trailer brought it down a notch, seemingly focusing on some lost-adventure caper type that reminisces of movies from Finding Nemo to Shaun the Sheep, so it seems recycled. And I'm not quite sure what BFG is about, but it re-teams Steven Spielberg with Oscar winner Mark Rylance, which is intriguing to say the least.
I'm also looking forward to the reboot of Ghostbusters with women - mostly because Melissa McCarthy is hilarious and Chris Hemsworth is hot. And, okay, why not remake something like this with a twist for a change? X-Men: Apocalypse also looks deliciously over-the-top and ridiculously corny. I can't wait.
But as we wait with bated breath for the sun to finally break through, we wait more excitedly for these five movies.