10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman tell no tales, May 26th,
Directed by: Joachim Ronning & Espen Sanderg
It seems like a long time since Disney's merry band of pirates ruled the summer. In fact one could argue that the original Pirate's film is the only good entry into the franchise. However with the return of Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush as well as the addition of a talent like Javier Bardem as the film's villain, this could be the year where Johnny Deep sets sail to the top of the summer box-office once again.
9. The Mummy, June 9th, Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
A universal monsters cinematic universe, yeah I will believe it when I see it. I have no faith in Alex Krutzman, and there has yet to be a good Mummy film. So why did it make my list? Simply on the potential of this franchise and the ageless wonder himself: Tom Cruise. Cruise is one of the few stars left in Hollywood who can carry a franchise, now lets see if he can do it for a franchise he didn't make famous in the 90's.
8. Annabelle Creation, August 11th, Directed by: David F. Sandburg
If there is one thing this summer lacks it's horror, a year after films like Light Out and Don't Breathe surprised critics and audiences alike. My hope here in putting Annabelle on my list is that there has not been a bad film yet set in the world of the Conjuring, and I don't expect this to be the first one.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, May 5th, Directed by: James Gunn
This will be at the top of many peoples list, and rightfully so the first Guardians was one of the biggest surprise franchise starters in the history of modern cinema even after many people predicted this would be the death of the MCU. My fear here is: Age of Ultron syndrome. In others words a great film, but in the end just more of the same!
6. Baby Driver, June 28th, Directed by: Edgar Wright
Lets be clear I don't expect Baby Driver to be a box-office success, I believe the title alone will keep people away. The star of this film is Edgar Wright it's been a long time (Worlds End, 2013) since the beloved director graced us with his brilliance. Ultimately I expect this film to be a critical darling on the backs of Wright, Jame Foxx, and Kevin Spacey, which most general audiences will miss out on.
5. Wonder Woman, June 2nd, Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Are Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, and guitar rifts enough to give WB it's first critically successful DC film? On June 2nd we will find out when Wonder Woman hits theaters as the first female led superhero film from the big two. If there is one thing this film has going for it: it's that Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman was universally loved in the otherwise panned Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I expect here that we get a good war/superhero origin story film much in the vain of Captain America: First Avenger.
4. War for the Planet of the Apes, July 14th. Directed by: Matt Reeves
This Andy Serkis led franchise has been the most criminally under rated in the hollywood age of sequels and cinematic universes! Both entries into this franchise were confirmed epic films despite the fact that they have two different directors (Wyatt, Reeves) as well as a transition from a hopeful to an ominous tone. While historically the 3rd film in an otherwise epic trilogy tends to be the weakest, I would not expect Matt Reeves or Caesar to let us down on July 14th.
3. Alien Covenant, May 19th, Directed by: Ridley Scott
I imagine out of all my choices here this one is the most controversial, Ridley Scott's Prometheus is probably the most polarizing summer blockbuster of the past 15 years. I have many friends/colleagues (Andrew Stokes) who love Alien, but refuse to see this film due to their feelings toward Prometheus. What will define this film for many cinephiles will be if this film feels more like a true Alien prequel or a Prometheus sequel. Either way expect more polarization, and disappoint from at least half the internet as well as the film community.
2. Spider-man Homecoming, July 7th, Directed by: Jon Watts
If you had told me that Spider-man would make it to the MCU from Sony, I would have never believed it. If you had told me Spider-man will be in the MCU, and he would debut on team Iron Man in a Civil War film, I would have not believed you. If you would have told me the first Sony/MCU film was a summer release, and that I would not have it at the top of this list, I probably would not have believed that either. However I have just been burned too many times (3 in fact) by Spider-man films, I know/hope this will be different because of the Disney input, Keaton's Vulture, and what looks like an epic heroic boat scene (pictured above). However the downward trajectory of this property, and my mistrust in Sony is enough to knock what looks like an epic film about my 2nd favorite fictional character (Batman is #1) to #2 on my list.
1. Dunkirk, July 21st, Directed by: Christopher Nolan
What can top the web slinger? Only the best director (Christopher Nolan), and best film composer (Hans Zimmer) of this generation! My love for history, and Christopher Nolan are enough to put Dunkirk at the top of this list. Don't expect this film to blow the box-office open the way Nolan's The Dark Knight did, but I truly believe even lacking a franchise anchor and a star studded cast this film has the chance to be this generation's Saving Private Ryan. Also expect Dunkirk to have long enough legs to dominate the back end of the summer box-office for multiple weeks even if it only opens in the $50 million range.