Get Ready for A(nother) Summer of Sequels and Superheroes

May 5, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, kicks off a summer movie season chalk full of superheroes and sequels.

Superheroes and sequels will rule the box office this summer, as the big releases vie to break the billion dollar mark. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz talked with Akron Beacon Journal pop culture writer Clint O’Conner about the busy season that kicks off today.

Box Office Billions
“This is the big time. This is when they make all their money during the summer, traditionally.”

"Beauty and the Beast"  has already made more than $1 billion worldwide, which O’Conner says is unusual for a movie released in March. The same goes for "The Fate of the Furious", which came out in April.

So, why are movies suddenly breaking the billion-dollar mark so quickly?

“It’s the magic of Marvel and all the superhero movies,” O’Conner says.

D.C. Comics will be playing catch-up this summer. O’Conner says “Wonder Woman” could very well dispel the myth that women can’t lead superhero epics.

Sequels galore

Gru and his minions are back this summer for the latest entry in the "Despicable Me" franchise.

It’s going to be a big year for sequels. Fourteen, by O’Conner’s count.

Another "Pirates of the Caribbean", "Planet of the Apes", "Transformers", "Despicable Me", and yet another "Spiderman" reboot are all part of this summer’s sequel salad.

“I am looking forward to 'Guardians of the Galaxy',” O’Conner says. “I loved the first one.”

And the third installment of "Despicable Me" has something for everyone.

“Because families will go … but it also draws adults, and it also draws teenagers.”

Something new
For fans wanting something more serious, there’s Christopher Nolan’s World War II film, “Dunkirk,” which comes out in July. Writer-director Nolan is known for films like “Memento” and “The Prestige.”

Director Christopher Nolan is back this summer with Dunkirk

“It’s the story of the great rescue/escape of the British and other forces during World War II from Dunkirk, France,” O’Conner says. “[Nolan] also shot it with IMAX cameras, so it’s very large-format.”

Oh, and Al Gore is back.

“An Inconvenient Sequel” follows up on Gore’s 2006 documentary about climate change. This time, directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk follow Gore’s efforts to spread the gospel of global warming.

The competition
As far as how the film industry is doing as a whole these days, O’Conner says “it’s leveled off.” He says rising ticket prices and competition from streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are taking a slight toll.

But there’s still nothing like a summer release on a big screen, as O’Conner puts it, “with great sound and great people.”