Reactionary Causes

Every Franchise Ever and Then Some to Hit Theaters in 2015

Too much? Not enough? Doesn't matter?

Every Franchise Ever and Then Some to Hit Theaters in 2015

UPDATE: Only minutes after posting this article Fox bumped Roland Emmerich's Independence Day 2 from July 2015 to July 1, 2016.

UPDATE #2 Focus has set a February 13, 2015 release date for Fifty Shades of Grey.

UPDATE #3 Paramount has now set a Christmas Day release for Mission: Impossible 5.

UPDATE #4 FilmDistrict has set an April 3, 2015 release for Insidious: Chapter 3.

UPDATE #5 Warner Bros. has set an May 15, 2015 release for Mad Max: Fury Road.

Back in July I took a look at the mess of franchises and sequels hitting theaters in 2015 (find that here), but things have picked up a little since then. A few films such as Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and Finding Dory have moved out of the 12 month timeframe, but the studios have found plenty to fill in. I felt it was worth a little update as Fox recently shuffled their deck and moved their Fantastic Four reboot back three months and it's always good to make sure our 36 month calendars are up to date.

2015 won't waste anytime getting into familiar territory when Fox releases yet another adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy on January 16 and in February we have our first sequel scheduled to hit theaters with SpongeBob SquarePants 2 on the 13th. March brings Kenneth Branagh's live action Cinderella on the 13th with the Madagascar spin-off The Penguins of Madagascar dated for the 27th.

April is still without anything of note, though Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak has been rumored for the month, but by the time we hit May things are truly underway.

Summer 2015 begins with The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1 and June kicks it up a notch with the new Jurassic Park film, Jurassic World, on June 12, Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot was just moved to June 19 and Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg reteam for Ted 2 on June 26.

July is even busier with Thor: The Dark World helmer Alan Taylor taking on Terminator and rebooting that franchise, the Despicable Me franchise continues with the Minions spin-off on July 10 and July 17 brings Batman vs. Superman. But no, that's not all, Marvel looks at DC and says, "Batman vs. Superman?" and continue their Avengers franchise with Ant-Man two weeks later on July 31.

What? No. That's not all. Video games jump to the big screen again with the Michael Fassbender-led Assassin's Creed on August 7 and The Smurfs 3 will hit theaters on August 14 while Sony brings Hotel Transylvania 2 to theaters a little over a month later on September 25.

October offers a little breathing room, for now, considering Paranormal Activity 7 has not yet been announced, though rumors of a Saw 8 may also come to fruition two years from now, but we're back at it in November with Sam Mendes following up Skyfall with James Bond 24 on November 6, the same weekend Charlie Brown and the gang hit the big screen with a feature animated version of Peanuts. Two weeks later, the Hunger Games franchise comes to a close with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, which takes us right into December where I think you know what evil lurks.

No, not Alvin and the Chipmunks 4, though that is evil and does release on December 11, but Star Wars: Episode VII, which is currently slated for December 18 along with the third Dan Brown adaptation for Tom Hanks and Ron Howard, Inferno, as well as another video game property to feature film, Warcraft from Moon and Source Code helmer, Duncan Jones.

No, dammit! That's not all. Don't forget about Kung Fu Panda 3 on December 23 and Paramount has yet to announce an official date for Mission: Impossible 5.

Obviously more will be added, but this is the franchisification, universitotalitarian, cinematic wonderland we can expect from here on out. See anything you like? Or, I should say, think you'll like?

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  • Joao Costa

    Shame Pirates and Nemo sequels were delayed.

  • Alexander Meatlog

    Reminds me of the music video for The Death Set's "They Come to Get Us". Yikes.

  • Guest

    Franchises I want to continue in 2015 that unfortunately, likely will not:

    - The Mighty Ducks (you still can't stop Russ Tyler's knuckle puck 20 years later)

    - Home Alone (they need to figure out how to have Macaulay Culkin play as the kid again)
    - Scream (seriously - who wants an MTV series? Craven's fourth installment was a ton of fun)
    - Saw (yes, they got stupid towards the end, especially the fifth, but I tend to find some enjoyment in them still)
    - Heavyweights (Ben Stiller back as Tony Perkis - still his best character)
    - Beverly Hills Cop (who doesn't want more foul mouthed Axel Foley?)
    - Bad Boys (the second is one of my favorite Michael Bay movies)
    - Ace Ventura (need to bring back Jim Carrey of course - maybe Dumb and Dumber To will inspire this)

    • cuteview

      Don't leave out The Mask 2, and Charlie's Angels 3...

  • G-Man

    Franchises I want to continue in 2015 that unfortunately, likely will not:

    - The Mighty Ducks (you still can't stop Russ Tyler's knuckle puck 20 years later)

    - Home Alone (they need to figure out how to have Macaulay Culkin play as the kid again)
    - Scream (seriously - who wants an MTV series? Craven's fourth installment was a ton of fun)
    - Saw (yes, they got stupid towards the end, especially the fifth, but I tend to find some enjoyment in them still)
    - Heavyweights (Ben Stiller back as Tony Perkis - still his best character)
    - Beverly Hills Cop (who doesn't want more foul mouthed Axel Foley?)
    - Bad Boys (the second is one of my favorite Michael Bay movies)
    - Ace Ventura (need to bring back Jim Carrey of course - maybe Dumb and Dumber To will inspire this)

  • Criterion10

    The only good thing that comes out of this is the fact that I will have plenty of time to catch up on the older classics that I have yet to see.

  • Bryan Baca

    Independence Day bailed.

  • Carlos

    Alvin and the Chipmunks 4? My god, they really are shameless.

    • RBBrittain

      Not quite as shameless as The Smurfs 3...

  • Corbin

    Yeesh. Way to pack it in, studios.

  • navaneethks

    Is 2015 the death of real cinema?

    • Corbin

      Most likely. Get ready to see Batman vs. Superman be a Best Picture nominee.

      • navaneethks

        Le Sigh.

      • Ian

        That won't happen, but I do think more serious minded films may just avoid 2015 altogether, given what a glut of franchise material will be dominating. So I have a feeling it will be a particularly poor year in terms of quality, though it will undoubtedly set a new yearly box office record.

        • Steve Stager

          I actually disagree. I feel like there will be the same, if not more, seriously minded films. These franchise/sequel/remake/reboot films are geared more for the younger crowd. The adults and serious movie goers need something to watch throughout the year. It will be a big year for counter-programming, that's for sure.

          • Ian

            It's possible for sure, but it seems like the marketplace will just be too saturated. Because it isn't just about competing for audiences as much as it's simply about competing for screens and seats. I suppose the September-December timeframe isn't any more overloaded than usual, it's really just the summer that seems so piled high. So hopefully some quality films will find their way in.

    • Fox

      No. I hear this argument more and more, and it makes me mad.

      I would argue that there are movies these days that are as good or better than any other age before it. Granted, there's mounds of crap that studios flood out to make money, but that doesn't take away from films who don't go that route.
      I promise you 2015 will have a large list of interesting, thought provoking films. The issue is that almost none of the ones mentioned above will be on it.

  • paststrange

    This headline sounds like something from The Onion. God have mercy on us all...

  • Silga

    “Consider this ‘re-make’ business that is taking away opportunities for new ideas and new films to happen. If the movie was made right the first time, why make it again? The only reason this is happening is it has become a safer way for the Studios.” – Bernie Brillstein

    “ 'The 41-Year-Old Whore' – That would probably be the sequel.” – Steve Carell

  • GregDinskisk

    Hey Wes! April is open for you to release The Royal Tenenbaums 2! Get on that!

  • Ian

    Of that entire list, the only movies I'm remotely interested in are Frankenstein (just out of pure curiosity, though the release date doesn't suggest quality), and Mockingjay just to see how that franchise finishes out. Other than that...#DisposableCinema.

  • Ryan Jayden

    Can't wait to see which ones will bomb.

    • Newbourne

      Assassin's Creed will probably bomb. Too bad it's the one I'm most looking forward to.

  • Ian

    Also, as we've seen just today, some of these will still move and it's possible other franchise titles may still get shuffled in. At a glance I'd guess Inferno, Warcraft, and Kung Fu Panda are all likely to move (the first two absolutely will) now that Star Wars is in December.

  • topyxyz

    The article reminds me of Home Shopping Network's "but wait, there's more" ads.

    • TheLastEquivocationofBrist

      You get a second IMAX ticket to a Marvel movie for free! Just pay separate shipping and handling. We'll even throw in a download code to watch the Agents of SHIELD pilot for free, a $100 value!

  • Winchester

    I think there's a few things that I tend to keep in mind.

    First - most of these films haven't even shot a second of footage yet, so I would expect that despite studio's determination to set release dates well ahead of time (as much as for early marketing purposes as anything else) I would expect some of these dates to shift as production realities emerge.

    Second - while the big films always get their dates in first, there will undoubtedly be lots of mid budget and then lower budget/arthouse films which will also be released. But since they often end up craving Oscar attention many of them will have dates until well into 2015 (and even when they get them, they don't always stick to their original plans either) so the year will probably end up with the usual mix of releases when all is said and done.

    Third - some of these films might actually be good in terms of their particular function or intentions. Disposable cinema is a nice fashionable buzz phrase we all like to use just now but at the end of the day there has always been good and bad films made in any year across all types of movie making and I really doubt 2015 will be any different. But while the budgets and the marketing of popcorn or such minded films grows ever higher, the basic existence of junk is nothing new and you can find it going back decades. The desire sometimes for people to intentionally watch something nice and easy for the straightforward entertainment or silliness of it won't be removed and that's why some of these films will do well.

    • Ian

      For me at least, the idea of disposable cinema is this fairly recent phenomenon of only making movies so you can make sequels. It's never about the movie at hand as much as it's about creating buzz for the next one (hense the teasers at the end of these movies to get people excited for the next one even though they just watched two hours of crap). Movies are just turned into marketing that in turn generate...more marketing. Obviously the Disney / Marvel franchise is the biggest offender in this regard, but it's clear WB is hoping for the same with the DC franchise, Sony with Spider-Man, Fox with Wolverine / X-Men movies, etc. There's no notion of telling a coherent, concrete story, it's just more more more. It's easy to see this coming from comic book movies though, since that's essentially how comics are structured and one of the reasons I have a very hard time accepting them as a serious art form, because there's no sense of coherent story or continuity (there are of course exceptions with graphic novels like Watchmen and V for Vendetta and others which were intended as standalone stories). So that's where I think the idea of disposable cinema starts, but then it can been expanded to include, for example, Adam Sandler and Tyler Perry comedies and the like whose only purpose is to divert your attention for an hour and a half and then be forgotten. I'd say animation sequels fall into this category as well, or really any sequel that has no real reason to exist as part of continuing a story that eventually has an endpoint. This is why, despite their flaws, I wouldn't consider The Hunger Games or, begrudgingly, even Twilight disposable cinema, because they're at least working toward a complete story with an ending. But the way The Hobbit has been bloated out so badly is another form of disposable cinema in that it's two movies and six or so hours longer than it actually needs to be.

      • Winchester

        It may depend on how a person deploys the term 'Disposable' then, quite possibly.

        But for a lot of people it's the very fact that (for instance the MCU) is in fact connected that appeals, because of the comic book universe aspect you mentioned. In the comic book world you have all this overlapping of characters and worlds who interact and whose characters haven't ended yet. I don't think that precludes each of the film's having a story of their own but their acknowledgement of being in a world building set of stories does mean that you'll get sharing. And there's a strong element of playing to the core comic audience in doing so, but I don't think that so far you have to watch every MCU film to necessarily get enjoyment out of the one singular film.

        Or perhaps I simply don't mind because I was exposed to endless sequels that strictly speaking didn't need to exist via the 'Star Trek' film franchise, which ultimately never needed to be sequel-ised (or necessarily made into a film series at all) and never had a specific end point but kept getting made because the previous film was financially successful enough and there was a core audience who would normally turn up regardless (granted finally after about 25 years they finally stopped doing that - enter Abrams) but the idea is still the same as a comic book world. No specific end point and lots of in references you can layer into each film that general audiences may skip but core fans get. The concept isn't problematic for me at all. I've sort of experienced slightly similar already.

        Twilight is the kind of thing I would completely dismiss on the other hand, because even though it has a beginning, middle and end - the beginning, middle and end are claptrap. I've never seen The Hunger Games yet so can't comment there. But it's all swings and roundabouts in the end when it comes to this type of film.

        That said, while I've also never read The Hobbit, I've yet to meet anyone who has who really understands why three films were needed to really tell it. Because, obviously sometimes what appears to be a marketing/profiteering exercise is just that, and I do think that WB (and Jackson, he can't be exonerated) viewed two trilogies as more appealing that a trilogy and then a two hour film straggling along at the end like the forgotten cousin.

        • Ian

          Regarding Twilight, I completely agree that those movies are absolute dreck. But they were a (more or less) faithful adaptation of a previous source, which also happens to be dreck. But if Lionsgate decided to try spinoffs/reboots/remakes, then I'd consider that disposable. As you say, it's all about how you interpret that term really.

          Regarding Disney / Marvel, that type of serialized storytelling just doesn't appeal to me in cinematic form. Even in television it gets old after a while if you don't keep the stories fresh and don't know what you're progressing towards (probably part of the reason Game of Thrones is so appealing to me; I know it's building towards a definitive conclusion). I didn't read comic books growing up (unless you count Tintin), so maybe it's just the lack of exposure I have to those types of universes. And while I agree that Star Trek was serialized and much like the big budget television Brad and Laremy have described the Marvel universe as being, at least there was breathing room (2 or 3 years generally) between installments. With Marvel it's two movies a year, with a year or more of marketing leading up to each one which is all but forgotten after it's first week (in some cases two), and gone from theatres a month later (The Avengers was the exception in this case; I'm more talking about the intermediate installments). It just becomes too much after a while, especially when the moviemaking quality is so poor. They're not just giving us endless movies, they're giving us endless bad movies.

          • Winchester

            I do think that in terms of Marvel there will be a point inevitably in the future where gravity takes effect and they come down financially, and I do think that two films a year risks saturation.

            I can't lie, I don't have the opinion of the MCU others do but that could well change over time. I don't take them to be heavily more than they are and what they are serves it's purpose when I'm inclined that way.

            But at some point I agree the tide will turn with general audiences probably too.

  • Rohan Michael Morbey

    It's all about Mission: Impossible 5 for me. It always was, always will be! Couldn't give a damn about any of the others in the list right now.

  • Nardog

    Oh hello Fifty Shades of Gray.

  • Roger Judd

    Bring 'em on!

  • Newbourne

    Wasn't Batman vs. Superman moved to November?? They made a huge deal about it just a week ago.