Tag Archive: Civil War


There’s nothing quite like the start of May. Yes, the movie release schedule has become much more varied in recent years, with blockbusters invading all parts of the calendar. But there’s nothing quite like the start of the summer movie season.

The moments before the summer movie season begins are among my most hopeful. The time when all the would-be blockbusters seem like they could surprise, entertain and wow us. When the hype, excitement and hope is at its highest point. When a quick look at the movie schedule over the next four months brings questions on just how am I going to see all these movies? As a movie fan, there are few times that rival the start of May.

What will this summer bring? Let’s take a quick look. Part one will look at Superhero films and animation. Part two will hit this weekend and look at big sequels and potential breakouts.

Superhero showdown

Possibly the biggest film of the summer will also be its first. “Captain America: Civil War” is essentially an Avengers film. And both of those can lay claim to two of the top five opening weekends of all time. The buzz has been high and the reviews have been strong. Add in seeing the appeal of Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Tony Stark) face off, as well as several of the other heroes in the Marvel universe, and this is a slam dunk. Marvel can do no wrong so far and the hype on this one seems higher than even “Age of Ultron”. It won’t be “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”-type numbers, but it may be the highest Marvel opening ever.

Opening weekend: $210 million.

Total: $550 million.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” seems like it should be set to enter the upper echelon of franchises. Yet, “Days of Future Past”, which performed strongly with critics and holds a very strong rating on IMDB, topped out at $233 million, essentially tied with “The Last Stand”. Only one X-Men film has grossed more than $300 million: Deadpool.

Given this track record, it’s hard to see Apocalypse doing significantly better, even if this is a great film.

Opening weekend: $115-120 million (four-day).

Total: $240-250 million.

“Suicide Squad” will be among the most interesting to watch from a box office perspective. It’s being released in August, which normally isn’t a great time (though “Guardians of the Galaxy proved a film can thrive in this timeframe). Will Smith provides a huge name, though everyone remembers “After Earth” don’t we?

The biggest question is how, if at all, does “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” affect this film. It is a connected universe, after all. And that film’s bad reception has caused a very different trailer to come out, one that makes the film look far lighter than all previous trailers. I wonder if that will dent this film’s long-term prospects.

Opening weekend: $85-95 million.

Total: $260-270 million.

Animation overload?

In a somewhat unusual situation, there could be a major animation overload this summer. “Finding Dory” will likely be the cream of the crop. Pixar unleashes a sequel to one of its most beloved films. It should improve significantly on “Finding Nemo” in terms of opening box office. The first film hit theaters with $70.5 million. This one should flirt with $100 million. The overall quality will determine its legs, though. “Toy Story 3” was great. “Monsters University” fell off rather quickly by Pixar standards.

Opening weekend: $90-100 million.

Total: $290-310 million.

I’m still not sure if I’m excited for “The Secret Life of Pets”. But thanks to a stellar marketing campaign, this one could be one of the summer’s breakout hits. The premise seems fun and one that, surprisingly, hasn’t been explored yet.

Opening weekend: $70-80 million.

Total: $230-270 million.

“The Angry Birds Movie” is one of those that could be hard to predict. I don’t know a single person who is excited for this film, but it should do well drawing the millions and millions of kids out to theaters. “The Lego Movie” taught us that films like this can surprise. But my guess is if “Finding Dory” is up to Pixar’s lofty standards, this one may struggle to find its audience.

Opening weekend: $35-45 million.

Total: $130-150 million.

“Ice Age: Collision Course” sees the band getting back together .. again. The series has had diminishing returns in the U.S. And coming hot on the heels of “The Secret Life of Pets”, this one smells bomb to me.

Opening weekend: $30-40 million.

Total: $110-130 million.

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After being introduced so spectacularly to the world in “Terminator: Salvation”, “Avatar” and “Clash of the Titans”, Sam Worthington has continued to mix high budget films with low budget films. He’s done films like “Texas Killing Fields” and “Man on a Ledge”. Now he’s headed to the Civil War as he joins the film “The Keeping Room” from Daniel Barber (“Harry Brown”). Worthington will play a soldier who discovers a group of women left to fend for themselves. The film also stars Brit Marling Hailee Steinfeld and Nicole Beharie.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” will be released Nov. 9 of this year and expands the following week. The film will focus on the last four months of Lincoln’s life.

This has got to be my most anticipated film remaining to come out this year. The movie boasts such a strong cast. Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones, Oscar nominees  David Strathairn (“Good Night and Good Luck”) and John Hawkes as well as Jackie Earle Haley (“Watchmen”), Jared Harris (“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“The Dark Knight Rises”), James Spader (“The Office”, “The Practice”) and Tim Blake Nelson (“The Incredible Hulk”). Oh yeah, Tony Kushner, who has a Pulitzer Prize, helped write the script. This is the real Lincoln film, the one we all should be excited about.

I’d say it’s pretty safe to say this will turn out better than “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

First look at Django Unchained

The first photos of director Quentin Tarantino’s (“Kill Bill”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Inglourious Basterds”) upcoming film “Django Unchained” have surfaced. Needless to say, the film is one of the more anticipated films of the year. The film’s got a heck of a cast, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gerald McRaney, Dennis Christopher, Kurt Russell, Laura Cayouette, M.C. Gainey, Don Johnson, Kerry Washington, Anthony LaPaglia, RZA, Tom Wopat, James Remar, James Russo and Todd Allen.

Here’s the official synopsis. 

Set in the South two years before the Civil War, “Django Unchained” stars Academy Award®-winner Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Academy Award®-winner Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. The unorthodox Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him upon the capture of the Brittles – dead or alive.

Success leads Schultz to free Django, though the two men choose not to go their separate ways. Instead, Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Django by his side. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago.

Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Academy Award®-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation where slaves are groomed by trainer Ace Woody (Kurt Russell) to battle each other for sport. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Academy Award®-nominee Samuel L. Jackson), Candie’s trusted house slave. Their moves are marked, and a treacherous organization closes in on them. If Django and Schultz are to escape with Broomhilda, they must choose between independence and solidarity, between sacrifice and survival…

Looks like another blast to me. Tarantino’s alternative takes on historical periods have been entertaining. And, Leo and Jamie Foxx? Heck yes.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.