After almost three years of COVID, this summer movie blockbuster season is greatly anticipated. Already movie theaters are seeing packed houses on the weekends and the smell of popcorn permeating malls.
“Top Gun: Maverick” opened on Memorial Day, setting several box office records and the Tom Cruise reprisal has broken through the $500 million mark since opening just a few weeks ago.
So, what are teachers and their families looking forward to this summer? ThinkFives surveyed a number of our teacher friends and these were their Top 5 Most Anticipated Summer Blockbusters.
Jurassic World Dominion
They’re back. And not looking too friendly.
Their ads say, “This summer, experience the epic conclusion to the Jurassic era as two generations unite for the first time.” We can’t wait although we are somewhat suspicious that the epic conclusion is more epic than conclusion, considering it’s a $5 billion franchise.
The trailer looks great and the early critic reviews are strong as we don’t doubt that the star power of the new explorers, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard and veteran dinosaur hunters Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill will make this one of the biggest summer hits.
The plot is predictable – Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed and dinosaurs now live—and hunt—alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.
Jurassic World Dominion, from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, propels the more than $5 billion franchise into daring, uncharted territory, featuring never-seen dinosaurs, breakneck action and astonishing new visual effects.
- Opening: June 10, 2022
- Rated: PG-13
- Genre: Mystery & Thriller/Action
- Length: 2h 26m
- Expected Gross: Over $500 million
- Directed: Colin Trevorrow
- Starring: Chris Pratt, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neill
We all remember the beginning. It’s 1995 and a boy named Andy received a birthday gift: Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger. Magically, Buzz and the other toys come to life but Buzz doesn’t realize he is a toy at all. Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, Mr. Potato Head, and friends survive harrowing experiences – in 4 different movies – to always provide what Disney does best, a happy ending.
Disney has high hopes for the latest installment of this franchise, expecting perhaps its biggest blockbuster in the series. One big change coming is Buzz has a new voice. The producers thought It was important to differentiate hero Buzz from the toy based on his character and represented in the Toy Story movies. In addition, Chris Evans replaces Tim Allen as young Buzz.
This time around we have the original story of young astronaut Buzz Lightyear, who, after being marooned on a hostile planet with his commander and crew, tries to find a way back home through space and time, while also confronting a threat to the universe’s safety.
- Opening: June 17, 2022
- Rated: PG
- Genre: Animation, Kids & Family, Adventure, Comedy, Action, Sci-Fi
- Length: 1h 40m
- Expected Gross: Over $800 million
- Directed: Angus MacLane
- Starring: Chris Evans, Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Keke Palmer
Minions: The Rise of GRU
They’re mischievous. They’re funny. They’re adorable. They’re Minions. They first appeared in Despicable Me (2010) and now headline the most popular animated franchise in history. They have starred in 4 feature films and now have a new spin-off film, Minions: The Rise of Gru. It is a prequel of Despicable Me and a sequel of Minions.
Gru is the grouchy but usually smart villain who speaks with an East European accent. He leads – when he can – the minions as he tries to conquer the world. The collective mishaps are what keep us going back for more.
Gru was originally conceived as a Dracula-like character, but directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin later opted for a villain who would echo “the world of James Bond, thinking of characters like Goldfinger and obviously the Bond-ian world of technology.”
Amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru is growing up in the suburbs. A fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6, Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Luckily, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, they pull off their first missions before things go wrong and Gru discovers that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.
- Opening: July 1, 2022
- Rated: PG
- Genre: Animation, Kids & Family, Adventure, Comedy
- Length: 1h 30m
- Expected Gross: Over $300 million
- Directed: Kyle Balda
- Starring: Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Taraji P. Henson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, and many others.
There has been another Elvis sighting, this time in Baz Luhrmann’s new biopic, Elvis. When we last saw Elvisㄝ he had morphed (ballooned) into a bespectacled Vegas performer. Fortunately, this new movie skips the casino buffet line and instead explores the incredible life and music of Elvis as seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Early critic reviews are positive, claiming that “The King Lives” and “there’s a lot of shake, rattle, and razzmatazz.” Austin Butler is getting rave reviews for his performance of the King, but perhaps most anticipated is the soundtracks, with a number of Grammy-award winners performing Elvis classics including Eminem, Tame Impala, Stevie Nicks, Jack White, Jazmine Sullivan, Kacey Musgraves, Maneskin, and Doja Cat.
The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Also central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley.
- Opening: June 24, 2022
- Rated: PG-13
- Genre: Drama, Music, Biography
- Length: 2h 39m
- Expected Gross: Over $150 million
- Directed: Baz Luhrmann
- Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge
Thor: Love and Thunder
For the few who may have forgotten, Thor is the son of Odin who uses his mighty abilities as the God of Thunder to protect his home Asgard and planet Earth alike. His epic battles, Thor Odinson wields the power of the ancient Asgardians to fight evil throughout the Nine Realms and beyond.
Thor should be a familiar superego to just about everyone. The current saga started with Thor (2011) and continued through The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Obviously, the King of New Asgard has a great agent.
And for Thor fans concerned when a depressed and completely out of shape Thor appeared in Avengers: Endgame, Thor is transformed back to his god-like self.
The latest Marvel installment finds Thor on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to stop him before it’s too late. (Rotten Tomatoes)
- Opening: July 8, 2022
- Rated: PG-13
- Genre: Action, Fantasy, Adventure
- Length: 2h 13m
- Expected Gross: Could top $1 billion
- Directed: Taika Waititi
- Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, Waititi, Russell Crowe, and Natalie Portman.
- NOPE (July 22, Theaters)
- BULLET TRAIN (Aug. 5, Theaters)
- Father of the Bride
- Where the Crawdads Sing
- Shotgun Wedding
What summer movies are you looking forward to?