A 2013 Summer Movie Preview... or Something Like One

2013 Summer Movie Preview

Today I have quite the double-bill. It begins at noon with a screening of Noah Baumbach's much-talked-about Frances Ha, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year and, along with playing the Seattle Film Festival, will hit limited theaters on May 17. Then, this evening my Summer Movie Season begins with Iron Man 3, which half the world has already seen to the tune of $195.3 million and reviews have been through the roof.

My 2013 Summer Movie Season continues tomorrow night with Star Trek Into Darkness (5/17) and next Monday I'll be screening The Great Gatsby (5/10). I've already seen Before Midnight (5/24) and while in Cannes I'll see The Bling Ring (7/14), Only God Forgives (7/19), Ain't Them Bodies Saints (8/16) and Fruitvale Station (7/26).

I mention all of this because I was considering writing up a Top Ten Most Anticipated 2013 Summer Movies feature, or even a Too 15, but when I will have seen nearly my entire list before the first month of Summer 2013 is over what is really the point?

If you're curious, here are the films I was likely to work with for my Top 15:

Top 15 Most Anticipated 2013 Summer Movies

  • Ain't Them Bodies Saints
  • Before Midnight
  • The Bling Ring
  • Blue Jasmine
  • The Conjuring
  • The East
  • Elysium
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Frances Ha
  • Fruitvale Station
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Man of Steel
  • Only God Forgives
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • The World's End

By the end of May, I will have already seen Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Before Midnight, The Bling Ring, The East, Fast & Furious 6, Frances Ha, Fruitvale Station, The Great Gatsby, Only God Forgives and Star Trek Into Darkness, which leaves five films on the list to look forward to, but is Summer 2013 really that front-loaded?

Let's take a look as I bring you my official 2013 Summer Movie Preview and we'll just go down the list on a month-by-month basis.


2013 Summer Movie Preview: May Movies

May has some big titles, beginning with Iron Man 3 on May 3 followed by The Great Gatsby on the 10th and Star Trek Into Darkness on the 17th (though it opens on the 9th in select territories including the UK, Germany and Australia). The following weekend is sure to hold some serious fireworks.

On May 24 not only will Fox release the first major animated film of the summer with Epic, but Universal and Warner Bros. will release two of the biggest, non-superhero franchises in recent memory with Fast & Furious 6 and The Hangover Part III respectively.

With five films under its belt, the Fast and Furious franchise has amassed $1.5 billion worldwide with Fast Five accounting for $626.1 million of that number. Fast 6 is expected to certainly top $700 million, but going up against the third film in the Hangover franchise makes for an interesting battle.

Comparatively, the first two films in The Hangover franchise have made over $1 billion worldwide with The Hangover Part II bringing in $586.8 million despite a lackluster response from audiences and critics. It would seem the Fast series is more of an audience favorite, but I can't believe support for the Wolf Pack has dwindled by any measure.

Domestically, Fast Five opened with $86.1 million in 2011 and Hangover 2 opened with $85.9 million the same year. Are we looking at a weekend where the top two films will combine for a total of more than $180 million?

That same weekend Before Midnight opens in limited theaters in New York and Los Angeles and may create quite a stir itself in limited release.

May concludes with the release of M. Night Shyamalan's After Earth starring Will and Jaden Smith. I think Men in Black III showed Will Smith's star hasn't dwindled in the slightest, but Shyamalan's certainly has, how will the conflicting stardom play out on the film rumored to be budgeted at $130 million?

The final weekend of May also introduces Sundance standouts The East and The Kings of Summer into theaters along with the magician version of Robin Hood, Now You See Me and the second Ethan Hawke movie in a row, The Purge, co-starring Lena Headey.


2013 Summer Movie Preview: June Movies

June begins with comedy, which actually could help Shyamalan's After Earth make a little extra dough. The month kicks off with the Wedding Crashers reunion of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in The Internship along with Joss Whedon's micro-budget backyard adaptation of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

Comedy continues to be the June motto five days later with the Wednesday, June 12 release of This is the End as it hopes to get a jump start on its box office take before Superman hits the scene two days later with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel.

Competing for audience eyeballs on June 12 will be Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, which is already getting some unintentional support from real-life Bling Ring-er Alexis Neiers who commented on Twitter with...

it's trashy and inaccurate. Based on Detective Goodkin and Nancy Joe Sales inaccurate information. 2 people who are everything they accused us of being. Celebrity status obsessed, fame & money hungry...The detective who has been caught in multiple lies and who played himself in this film and a woman who is an irresponsible,inaccurate and a dishonest journalist who is currently writing a book based on inaccurate facts. The truth will come out soon enough and I have no intention of seeing this film.

I'll be catching The Bling Ring at the Cannes Film Festival and I can't wait.

June 21 sees the release of the latest Pixar sequel, Monsters University, which I have had multiple sources tell me they caught an early screening and enjoyed what they saw, along with the much-troubled production of World War Z starring Brad Pitt.

Also releasing on the 21st in limited theaters is Franck Khalfoun's first-person serial killer remake Maniac starring Elijah Wood, which looks intriguingly gruesome and one I want to see.

The month of comedy concludes with The Heat, an R-rated comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and what may end up being an unintentional comedy, Roland Emmerich's White House Down with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. Yes, the White House is in trouble for the second time this year and Magic Mike must help protect Django from the chaos.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

    Great preview, Brad. I'm personally looking forward to The Great Gatsby the most this summer.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/andyluvsfilms/ andyluvsfilms

    I'm quite the jealous cat you're gonna see Frances Ha today, it looks awesome

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Winchester/ Winchester

    Actually, in fairness now I think about it Summer 2013 may be more frontloaded than usual.

    My Summer Popcorn Film list is headed by 'Star Trek Into Darkness' and then I'm also interested in catching 'Iron Man 3' (well, that one is ticked off the list), 'The Great Gatsby' and 'Fast and Furious 6' which are all May releases.

    Then I'll be interested in 'White House Down', 'World War Z', 'Elysium', 'Pacific Rim', 'The Worlds End' and 'Man of Steel' over the rest of the Summer.

    In all probability, some of the smaller releases along the way may well catch my interest and be seen along the way, but they'll be decisions for nearer the time they get released in cinemas.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    I'm very excited for Only God Forgives, The Grandmaster, The Bling Ring, Elysium, and Man of Steel.
    I'm looking forward to Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, Monsters University, Fast & Furious 6, The Kings of Summer, and The World's End
    I will not be seeing The Conjuring, Grown Ups 2, This is the End, The Hangover part III, and The Heat

  • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

    In terms of blockbusters, I'm really excited for "The Great Gatsby", "Star Trek Into Darkness", "Man of Steel", "The Conjuring" and "Elysium." As for the smaller releases, I can't wait for "The Bling Ring", "Much Ado About Nothing", "Only God Forgives", "Blue Jasmine" and "The Spectacular Now" though whether or not I see them will largely depend on how wide their releases are.

    But, I tend to go to the movies a lot over the summer, so I'll probably end up seeing most of these, even some I don't think look particularly good. The only ones I will actively be avoiding are "Grown Ups 2" and "After Earth."

  • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

    Nice writeup, Brad. My top five most anticipated, in order, are:

    1) Man of Steel
    2) Star Trek: Into Darkness
    3) Iron Man 3
    4) The Conjuring
    5) Now You See Me

    Honorary Mention: The Purge, Fast & Furious 6, Hangover 3, The Way Way Back, Only God Forgives, The Bling Ring, You're Next

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Thornsy/ Thornsy

    Not much this summer that excited me. I'm cautiously optimistic about the Great Gatsby, and of course I'm going to see Iron Man 3. I'll probably see the animated sequels- I really enjoyed Despicable Me. I might see This is the End, as well.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Adu/ Adu

    Iron Man 3 one day and Star Trek 2 the next, Brad, you gotta love being a critic man :)

    Look forward to your reactions!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

    Most Anticipated
    1) The World's End
    2) Before Midnight
    3) Elysium
    4) Only God Forgives
    5) The Bling Ring

  • http://letterboxd.com/austin/ Austin G.
  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Kessler/ Kessler

    My Top 5 Most Anticipated of the Summer are:

    1. Star Trek Into Darkness
    2. Man of Steel
    3. Iron Man 3
    4. The Great Gatsby
    5. Before Midnight

    I'm kinda sad that they all come out in May or June. My birthday is in July and there was always one big summer movie that I was dying to see. This year, I can't think of one.

    I'm also interested in The Bling Ring, Fast and Furious Six, Monsters' University, White House Down, Lone Ranger. Pacific Rim, The Kings of Summer, Now You See Me and The Way, Way Back.

  • http://www.digitalkebab.com Shaun Heenan

    I'm surprised you're so cold on Elysium, Brad. Did you not like District 9?

    Don't bother getting too excited for Grandmasters. That one's an absolute nightmare.

  • http://letterboxd.com/austin/ Austin G.

    My most anticipated of the summer are:

    1. Man of Steel
    2. Iron Man 3
    3. Star Trek Into Darkness
    4. Monster's University
    5. Only God Forgives

    Honorable mentions:
    The Conjuring, The Purge, Fast and Furious 6, Elysium

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jake17/ Jake17

    My Top 15
    1. Before Midnight
    2. Only God Forgives
    3. The Bling Ring
    4. The World's End
    5. Star Trek Into Darkness
    6. The Kings of Summer
    7. The Way, Way Back
    8. Grandmasters
    9. Ain't Them Bodies Saints
    10. Blue Jasmine
    11. The Great Gatsby
    12. Iron Man 3
    13. This is the End
    14. The Conjuring
    15. Much Ado About Nothing
    Honorable Mentions: You're Next, Monsters University

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

    I'm probably going to see Iron Man 3, The Great Gatsby, Star Trek Into Darkness, Fast And Furious 6, The Internship, This Is The End, The Heat, Grown Ups 2, RED 2, R.I.P.D, 2 Guns, and Kick-Ass 2. I might see Now You See Me, Man Of Steel, Monsters University, and Despicable Me 2. I probably won't see anything else.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

      Also, after seeing that Wondercon footage I'll probably be seeing Pacific Rim.

    • SohoDriver

      Would you say you're only interested in mainstream cinema? Not meant as a slight, just genuine curiosity.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

        Well sometimes I enjoy smaller films (for example I loved Moonrise Kingdom and I just recently saw the trailer for The Way, Way Back and I think it looks great) however I would say yes, I tend to only be interested in mainstream cinema.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/DapperDanMan/ DapperDanMan

    Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Hangover Part III, Star Trek Into Darkness, This is the End, Now You See Me are the big movies I'm looking forward to this Summer... With After Earth and R.I.P.D as two more high up on the list as well... A lot of these movies you listed I want to see though, so it looks to be a decent Summer at the theatre...

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/DapperDanMan/ DapperDanMan

      And Before Midnight!! I'm really excited for that one... And Ths Bling Ring looks really good too... And I hope to find some gems at the Seattle International Film Festival this year as well...

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

    Regarding the apocalyptic-sounding Memorial Day weekend...I honestly think the marketplace will implode on itself with FOUR major tentpoles all competing for dollars. I can't recall a more densely packed weekend...ever, especially one with three films (including the second weekend of Star Trek, which should be coming off a $100 million-plus opening) all competing for the same audience. And all three will also be competing with Epic--the first kids' film in two months--for screens and seats.

    I really think it's pretty audacious of the studios to think that this many films can co-exist. Take a typical fourteen screen multiplex: a movie like Iron Man 3 will likely open on at least six screens given the lack of competition. But with four films competing against each other, each one gets three screens with one each left over for holdovers Gatsby and Iron Man. Yes Iron Man will be bigger than any of those four films anyway, but I really don't think the screens are there to justify two films hitting $80 million in the same weekend, especially with Epic probably guaranteed to hit at least $50 million. Bigger, twenty-plus screen megaplexes won't have as much of a problem, as they'll be able to get the four films on four screens each. But then again, a twenty screen theatre will likely open Iron Man on ten screens.

    I actually think Epic may end up winning that weekend, though it will likely be very close and there could be a different winner of the three day frame versus the four day frame. I expect each of the four will end up in the $45-60 million range, with the likelihood of winning going Epic, Fast, Star Trek, Hangover (unless I'm totally wrong about everyone hating Hangover 2, but that film made half of its domestic total in its first five days. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of quality).

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

      I actually never considered this but I think you just might be right.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

    By the way Brad, when can we be expecting your reviews of Iron Man and Star Trek?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Paige/ Paige

    So excited for Great Gatsby and Iron Man 3. I will most likely end up seeing Man of Steel, The Lone Ranger, and Now You See Me. And hopefully Bling Ring & Only God Forgives will come to my theater; I'll be seeing them if they do. All May, June, and July certainly have huge releases that will have big weekends, and it'll keep the theaters busy.

    August, however, looks ridiculously slow. Not excited for that.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

    I'll start off by saying I love the photo poster you made for this article.
    I have to reply to the quote regarding The Bling Ring. Who the hell cares whether some cop lied?! Id see this film regardless of whether it was based on true events. Coppola is a writer director worth paying attention to. The acting is well done and the screen play witty. It is one of my most anticipated "fun" movies of the summer that has substance.
    Most of June doesnt interest me. Maybe Im just picky. I know you'll think Im insane, but Im looking forward to a laugh in The Heat!
    Much a do looks interesting. I saw the trailer (unavoidably) yesterday, which had a slick feel to it.Seeing how there is little else in that I care to spend my dough on, I'd be willing to give this one a try. The rest I will save for dvd.
    May on the other hand is ripe for the pickin'. I dont have enough time or money to see them all, but if I did, I most likely would do so.

  • SohoDriver

    My top 10 most anticipated:

    Ain't Them Bodies Saints
    Before Midnight
    Blue Jasmine
    The Bling Ring
    Fruitvale Station
    The Kings of Summer
    Only God Forgives
    The Spectacular Now
    The Way, Way Back

    I'll most likely see Man in Steel, might see Star Trek and if reviews are good, might check out Pacific Rim but other than that, most big releases aren't interesting me at all. Still, lots of great indie flicks releasing this summer!