Thursday, June 29, 2017
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

the mummy Weekend Box Office: The Mummy Entombed With $32M U.S. Debut

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
‘The Mummy’

The Tom Cruise-led ‘Mummy’ reboot fared far better overseas, opening to nearly $142 million internationally; ‘Wonder Woman’ easily stays No. 1 in North America after falling a scant 45 percent in its second weekend.

One of Hollywood’s most iconic monsters was no match for an Amazonian princess-turned-superhero at the North America box office over the weekend.

Universal’s The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, opened to a withering $32.2 million domestically from 4,035 theaters, a dismal start for summer event film that launches Universal’s new Dark Universe of interconnected monster movies. The movie fared far better overseas with a winning $141.8 million from 63 markets, Cruise’s best international opening.

In the U.S., The Mummy was relegated to second place behind Warner Bros.’ box-office sensation Wonder Woman, which fell a scant 45 percent in its second weekend to $57.2 million from 4,165 theaters. That’s one of the lowest drops ever for a superhero tentpole. Generally speaking, a superhero film can fall 60 percent.

Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, jumped the $200 million mark domestically on Sunday, its tenth day in release. Overseas, it took in another $58.1 million for a foreign tally of $230 million and $435 million globally. The movie is a much-needed win for Warner Bros.’s DC Extended Universe of superhero titles.

Conversely, The Mummy, costing $125 million to make after rebates, is a rough start for Universal’s monsters-themed Dark Universe..

Plagued by withering reviews and a B- CinemaScore from audiences, The Mummy opened behind any of the openings for the Mummy films starring Brendan Fraser, as well as for spin-off The Scorpion King. Unlike those movies, the reboot decided to fashion itself as an action pic set in modern times.

Universal executives said on Sunday that each Dark Universal title will be its own entity. Up next is Bill Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein. They also said The Mummy‘s global launch was impressive overall.

“Kudos to the filmmakers. I myself have seen the movie five times. And kudos to the cast, especially Tom Cruise,” said Universal domestic distribution president Nick Carpou. “Unfortunately in the U.S., the critical acclaim wasn’t there to the degree that people use that as a guidepost.”

The Mummy‘s ultimate financial standing will largely depend on its foreign showing. Universal notes that the movie’s global debut of $174 million is also a best for the actor. All told, it opened No. 1 in 46 markets. China led with $52.2 million. The Middle Kingdom was one of 46 markets where The Mummy marked Cruise’s top showing to date.

Directed by Alex Kurtzman, the story follows an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) who is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, threatening mankind. Cruise plays the man who discovers the tomb of Ahmanet and unleashes her powers. The film cost $125 million to make after tax rebates. Russell Crowe and Annabella Wallis also star.

Captain Underpants, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 rounded out the top five.

In its second weekend, DreamWorks Animation’s Captain Underpants slipped 48 percent to $12.3 million for a domestic total of $44.6 million.

Pirates 5 jumped the $600 million mark globally earning $10.7 million domestically and $38.4 million overseas. The movie has earned far more internationally, or $464.4 million. Fellow Disney release Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 rounded out the top five with $6.2 million domestically for a worldwide tally of $833.2 million.

Two other movies from a pair of indie distributors also opened nationwide this weekend: A24’s apocalyptic horror film It Comes at Night and Bleecker Street’s drama Megan Leavey, starring Kate Mara as a young Marine fighting in Iraq with her bomb-sniffing combat dog.

It Comes at Night, opening in 2,500 theaters and coming in No. 6, grossed a solid $6 million from 2,253 theaters despite a D CinemaScore. Directed by Trey Edward Shults (Krisha), the $5 million film stars Joel Edgerton as a man trying to protect his family from an unnatural threat, only to find his plan go awry upon the arrival of another desperate family.

Meagan Leavey, nabbing an A CinemaScore, debuted to $3.8 million from 1,956 cinemas, ahead of expectations.

Additionally, Fox Searchlight’s release of My Cousin Rachel starring Rachel Weisz, delivered an estimated $954k from 523 theaters, a meager $1,824 per theater average.

In limited release, Roadside’s release of Beatriz at Dinner delivered an estimated $150,160 from five theaters for a strong, $30,032 per theater average. Oscilloscope’s Night School debuted at the IFC Center in New York and brought in an estimated $1,600 after playing to several sold out shows over the weekend in the 40 seat auditorium. Freestyle’s release of Miles debuted in two theaters and brought in an estimated $5,176 ($1,676 PTA) while The Orchard’s The Hero debuted with an estimated $48,414 from four screens for a $12,104 average.

Next weekend sees four new wide releases hitting theaters, three of which will be playing in over 3,000 locations. Among them, Disney and Pixar’s Cars 3 is looking to debut in over 3,900 theaters, Entertainment Studios will release 47 Meters Down in ~3,500 theaters and Sony will release the R-rated comedy Rough Night in over 3,000 theaters. Lionsgate’s release of Summit’s All Eyez on Me, telling the story of rapper 2Pac, will also be hitting theaters, debuting in ~2,400 locations.

Wonder Woman Box office predictions: How high will Wonder Woman soar?

Wonder Woman is off to an impressive start at the domestic box office. The blockbuster has lassoed a robust $11 million from Thursday night preshows, putting in on track to clear at least $90 million across its first three days in wide release. Comparatively, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy collected $11.2 million in Thursday preview ticket sales back in 2014 en route to a $94.3 million debut. In terms of recent DC releases, Wonder Woman‘s Thursday numbers still trail those of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, which bagged $27.7 million ($166 million) and $20.5 million ($133.7 million) on opening day, respectively, last year.

EARLIER: A glass ceiling isn’t the only thing Wonder Woman is poised to break this weekend; the Warner Bros. blockbuster also has its sights set on shattering records for female-fronted superhero flicks as it eyes an opening that could topple $100 million. With only one major newcomer (Fox’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie) entering the fray this weekend as well, Wonder Woman should handily conquer the domestic chart. As for where the rest of this week’s contenders will fall, read on for EW’s June 2-4 box office predictions.

1: Wonder Woman – $100 million+

It’s been more than 75 years in the making, but Wonder Woman is finally headlining her first major standalone feature this weekend, as the namesake DC Comics adaptation storms roughly 4,100 theaters Friday (with Thursday preshows). While the film’s contemporary DCEU forerunners (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad) opened to well over $100 million across their three-day debuts, industry forecasts have remained a tad conservative on Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, with the studio expecting an opening in the $70-75 million range.

Still, with some of the best critical reviews for a monolithic superhero picture to date, Wonder Woman has seemingly tapped into a powerful vein, as the narrative surrounding the U.S. political divide has largely been wedged by issues pertaining to gender equality, meaning the $149 million picture is landing at a time when a story about a strong-willed woman fighting back against seemingly insurmountable opposition has more social relevance than ever before.

As we’ve seen in the recent past, critical reviews can make or break a picture at the box office, but when it comes to big-budget tentpoles of the Marvel and DC ilk, these pictures are often review-proof, as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad (44 percent and 40 percent on Metacritic, respectively) earned buckets of cash despite scathing reception from film journalists; On the other hand, Wonder Woman is being hailed as one of the best DC movies of all time, and that certainly can’t hurt its box office prospects.

Historically, action films led by women have performed better in recent years, with all four of Jennifer Lawrence’s Hunger Games films climbing past $100 million openings since 2012, and two prominent Star Wars titles — The Force Awakens and Rogue One — rocketing to worldwide success with women (Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones) at the center in 2015 and 2016. Before that, Halle Berry, Jennifer Garner, and Charlize Theron each starred in a high-profile action flop (Catwoman, Elektra, Aeon Flux).

Expect Wonder Woman to approach the $100 million mark through Sunday.

2: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie – $28 million

While the broad appeal of Wonder Woman will draw single adults and families alike to theaters around the country, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie will hold its own at the box office this weekend when it opens at 3,434 locations. With a popular book series providing a solid foundation of familiarity, primarily with children, the animated title will be difficult for ticket-buyers to ignore, even with titanic competition looming overhead. It doesn’t have the potential to clear the opening grosses of similar summer pictures like or The Secret Life of Pets or The Angry Birds Movie, but it should be in good shape if it posts $25–30 million by the end of the week.

3:  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – $22 million 

Disney’s fifth Pirates outing is taking on water in the days ahead, as Wonder Woman swoops into the game to steal most of its demographic. The franchise picture already underwhelmed over the Memorial Day stretch, bagging a so-so $63 million over the standard three-day weekend, indicating the once-passionate fanbase for this $4 billion series has mostly jumped ship since its 2003 start. Despite solid audience reception (the film received an A- grade on CinemaScore), expect Pirates 5 to sink roughly 60 percent to $20 million–$22 million this weekend.

4: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – $10 million 

At $342 million and counting, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has already zoomed past the $333 million North American haul of its predecessor after just 26 days in release. It bested Baywatch, which premiered last weekend, for the holiday period’s No. 2 slot, meaning another gradual slide in the 40 percent-50 percent range is in the cards.

5: Baywatch – $7.5 million 

After an underwhelming launch over Memorial Day weekend, Baywatch is entering troubled waters for its second go-round at the box office, with the all-encompassing appeal of Wonder Woman likely funneling away a large portion of this raunchy comedy’s adult audience. As a whole, comedy has struggled at the box office in recent months, with everything from Amy Schumer’s Snatched to the contemporary reboot of CHiPs coming in below modest industry expectations. Look for Baywatch to take on around $7–8 million through Sunday.

Outside the top five, the Mexican comedy 3 Idiotas looks to extend the winning streak of Hispanic-oriented productions in the modern market, after both Lowriders and How to Be a Latin Lover averaged $8,149 and $10,959, respectively, during their opening frames. The film opens Friday at approximately 325 sites.

Elsewhere, Zoe Lister-Jones’ Band Aid and Demetri Martin’s Dean open in limited release, where they should both translate decent festival reception into healthy bows on the specialty scene.

wonder woman Box Office: Wonder Woman Opens to Historic $100.5M

Clay Enos/Warner Bros.
‘Wonder Woman’

The tentpole lands the top domestic opening of all time for a female director, and launches the first major studio film franchise featuring a female superhero; overseas, ‘Wonder Woman’ takes in $122.5 million for a $223 million global bow.

In a defining moment for Hollywood’s gender problem, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman grossed a winning  $100.5 million from 4,165 theaters in its domestic box office debut, the biggest opening of all time for a female director.

And overseas, Wonder Woman also won the weekend with $122.5 million from 55 markets for a global bow of $223 million, including a No. 1 debut in China with $38 million.

Hollywood studios are notoriously loath to hire female directors, not to mention for a big-budget tentpole featuring a marquee superhero. Wonder Woman‘s performance could put even more pressure on film companies to make women filmmakers more job offers.

The $150 milllion Warner Bros. movie, starring Gal Gadot, also launches the first film franchise featuring a female superhero after both Catwoman and Elektra flopped in the mid-2000’s. Wonder Woman — which has been in development since 1996 — skewed female (52 percent), almost unheard for a superhero title, which usually draws an audience that is 60 percent male.

“Patty’s vision mesmerized the audience. She is a real talent,” said Warners domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein. “Clearly, this is a movie that is resonating with moviegoers around the globe,”

Wonder Woman becomes the 16th superhero film to cross $100 million in its domestic box-office launch, a list that is topped by the likes of Marvel’s The Avengers ($207 million), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3 million), Captain America: Civil War ($179.1 million), Iron Man 3 ($174 million) and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million). Wonder Woman beat out the openings of the first two Thor and Captain America movies, as well as the first Iron Man.

The previous record-holder for top opening for a female director was Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey, not adjusting for inflation. That film debuted to $93 million over the four-day Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day weekend in 2015, including a three-day haul of $85 million.

Earning rapturous reviews and an A CinemaScore from audiences, Wonder Woman is a much-needed critical win for Warners and DC Entertainment, whose Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) were largely snubbed.

Wonder Woman also restores the luster to the early summer box office after the worst Memorial Day weekend in 18 years. Overall weekend revenue was up 33 percent over the same frame last year.

Jenkins’ movie opens as World War I pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and his plane crash on Themyscira, the island of the Amazons, where the Princess Diana (Gadot) has been trained by her aunt, the great warrior Antiope (Robin Wright). Soon, Diana leaves the island to try and stop the war, marking the beginning of her transformation into Wonder Woman.

Internationally, Wonder Woman came in ahead of fellow Warners superhero film Man of Steel in many markets, including China. According to Warners, it is also pacing ahead of both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, the first two Iron Man films and the first two Captain America titles.

Wonder Woman snagged the fourth-best Warners opening in both China and Mexico ($8.4 million). It raked in $8.5 million in South Korea and $8.3 million in Brazil. In Europe, the movie debuted to $7.5 million in the U.K., although it lost in Russia and Italy to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Wonder Woman has yet to open in several major markets, including France and Germany.

Imax theaters accounted for $18.3 million globally — the third biggest launch for a DC Comics film — including $9 million domestically.

The weekend’s other new offering, DreamWorks Animation’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, placed No. 2 behind Wonder Woman with an estimated $23.5 million from 3,434 theaters after costing a modest $38 million to produce.

Based on the popular book series, Captain Underpants tells the tale of two fourth-grade troublemakers (voiced by Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch) who hypnotize their mean principal (Ed Helms) into thinking he’s Captain Underpants, a hero from a comic book. The movie’s characters also include Professor Pippy P. Poopypants (Nick Kroll) and a school snitch named Melvin Sneedly (Jordan Peele).

Captain Underpants is the final DWA title that Fox will distribute before Universal takes over all marketing and distribution duties for DWA movies. (NBCUniversal bought DWA last year.)

Among holdovers, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales tumbled 66 percent in its second weekend domestically — the biggest drop of any film in the franchise — to $21.6 million for a domestic total of $114.6 million. But overseas, Pirates 5 continues to find plenty of treasure, earning another $73.8 million and jumping the $500 million mark globally. In addition to Russia, it prevailed over Wonder Woman in Spain and in a number of smaller markets. And in China, the movie’s total has climbed to a mighty $143 million.

Dead Men Tell No Tales placed No. 3 domestically, followed by fellow Disney release, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with roughly $9.7 million for a global tally of $816.6 million.

Paramount and Skydance’s Baywatch, which bombed in its U.S. debut last weekend, rounded out the top five with $8.5 million for a domestic total of $41.7 million. The R-rated movie fell nearly 55 percent. Overseas, Baywatch opened to $23.8 million from 31 markets, including a pleasing $5.8 million in the U.K., not all that far behind Wonder Woman.

box office Box office preview: Alien: Covenant to hatch atop weekend chart

 ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ could be dethroned over the May 19-21 frame

Alien: Covenant is poised to launch a Facehugger attack squarely at Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend.

The Ridley Scott-directed Prometheus sequel guns for the peak position on the domestic chart as the superhero sequel enters its third weekend in wide release, while a pair of modestly-budgeted newcomers — Warner Bros.’ literary adaptation Everything, Everything and Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul— are expected to perform well against what’s shaping up to be a pack of steady holdovers.

Check out May 19-21 weekend box office predictions below.

1 – Alien: Covenant – $43 million

While Scott’s Alien franchise lacks in consistency (it has dabbled in everything from the mindless carnage of the Alien vs. Predator days to the high brow philosophical musings of 2012’s Prometheus), its seemingly bottomless lows (Alien 3, anyone?) are typically outweighed by its soaring highs, and Covenant — a continuation of Prometheus in a planned prequel trilogy leading up to the events in the 1979 original — is shooting for the moon (and beyond) at the weekend box office.

With a budget of $97 million, someone obviously had stellar hopes for the flick, which bows at 3,757 sites (including IMAX) this Friday. While Fox is hoping for a debut in the $40-45 million range, there’s reason to believe the film could push higher — especially given the film has pulled in stronger reviews than the aforementioned Alien Vs. Predator, which overcame negative critical reception to post $38 million over its first three days in 2004. Prometheus was also able to rope in $51 million worth of ticket buyers without the Alien moniker, and Covenant is being touted as a return-to-form for Scott’s space-centric sci-fi series, which should pull in both the curious and the nostalgic.

Still, as 2017 has shown us so far, aging franchises aren’t exactly the safest bets at the box office. Power Rangers quickly tumbled from a solid $40.3 million start in March and Kate Beckinsale’s Underworld series hit a new low in January, as did the Milla Jovovich-led Resident Evil collection later that same month (though the latter has gone on to make a stunning $312 million worldwide). That’s not to say any of those films’ trajectories are on-par with the time-tested legacy Scott and Sigourney Weaver introduced almost 40 years ago, just that mainstream audiences can quickly tire — sometimes for no detectable reason — of that which they’re familiar.

There’s little reason to believe Covenant is headed for a crash-landing, however, as social media activity is healthy for the film, as is the playing field upon which it enters this weekend — Guardians of the Galaxy is prepping for its third go-round with moviegoers and both fellow newcomers are aimed at entirely different demographics, so expect Covenant to gobble up $40-50 million (or more).

2 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – $36 million

It’s time for round No. 3 for Guardians of the Galaxy‘s second Hollywood installment, following its massive $146.5 million opening earlier this month. The film has thus far raked in $646.9 million worldwide, and that total will climb even higher after this weekend when the film enters steady territory (most tentpole comic book films tend to tumble hard from week one to week two, and level out from week three onward). Guardians of the Galaxy should pull in an additional $30-40 million through Sunday.

3 – Everything, Everything – $11 million

As Warner Bros. reels from the disappointing figures posted by the expensive action epic King Arthur, the studio will likely see a few rays of sunshine this weekend when its Nicola Yoon adaptation Everything, Everything opens at roughly 2,800 sites this Friday (with Thursday pre-shows). Warner produced the film alongside MGM on a reported $10 million budget — a number the film should clear over its first three days, given the performance of comparable titles like 2016’s Me Before You, which earned $18.7 million last June. That number seems a bit high for Everything, Everything to clear, though its source material’s status as a similarly popular best-seller — particularly among teens — should push it past the $11 million mark at the close of the week.

4 – Snatched – $10 million

After rising $2 million above initial projections to a healthy $19.5 million premiere thanks to a healthy Mother’s Day push last weekend, Snatched positioned Goldie Hawn back in the good graces of the movie-going public after a 15-year big screen absence. The film has continued to grow at a solid pace, with midweek numbers averaging between $1.2 and $1.9 million. Summer comedies typically hold on stronger than entries from other genres, with Schumer’s own Trainwreck coasting through the middle of 2015 to an impressive $110 million. While Snatched won’t reach that number, it should, given seasonal trends, dip around 40-50 percent (even in the wake of its middling B grade on CinemaScore) over its sophomore frame.

5 – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul – $9 million

Since 2010, three Diary of a Wimpy Kid titles have amassed decent ticket sales on domestic screens, with final totals landing between $49 and $64 million. The Long Haul — the fourth in a line of family-oriented movies based on the popular children’s books — takes a creative risk, though, as it replaces the cast that occupied the first three installments (Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris) with series newcomers Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone, and Tom Everett Scott. Those who’ve flocked to see the previous Wimpy Kid films are less likely to care about cast and character than they are about the films’ wacky hijinks, which its theatrical trailer promises plenty of. As the aging series winds down, look for The Long Haul to post between $9 and $12 million this weekend.

Outside the top five, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword looks to pad its disastrous opening weekend (the film cost $175 million to make, earning just $15.4 million on North American screens) throughout week No. 2, though it’s likely to fall hard (a fall in the 50-60 percent range isn’t out of the question) as Covenant swoops in to steal a large chunk of its audience.

Elsewhere, on the specialty front Bryan Cranston leads Wakefield — which traveled the 2016 fall festival circuit to positive reviews — to a single location alongside Jennifer Garner and Beverly D’Angelo in the days ahead, where it should post a decent number given the film’s buzzy premise (a man abandons his family home only to spy on his loved ones in the aftermath) and glowing critical reception.

guardiansvol2 The 5 post credits scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and here’s what they all mean.

 There’s a long lineage of cosmic visions in Marvel Comics. The Fantastic Four were only a few years old when co-creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced Galactus, a supra-sentient spacegod who literally kills planets for breakfast. Kirby, in particular, loved exploring the cosmos, and his legacy led bold creators like Jim Starlin and Steve Gerber to map out the outer reaches of the Marvel Universe’s many galaxies.

That cosmic tradition faded from prominence during the grimdark age of superheroes, but never really went away. And in the work of writer-director James Gunn, the Marvel Cosmos has received its most prominent showcase… well, everGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 remixes some iconic figures from Marvel Comics with Gunn’s own candy-colored space opera vision. And, in what feels like some kind of wild dare, Gunn’s film ends with a whole series of credits-adjacent stingers, all of them potential guideposts for the future of the Guardiansseries and the whole Marvel universe. Let’s dig in, shall we? (Kabillion Spoilers Ensue.)

Before the Credits: Nebula Unleashed

After playing a secondary antagonist in the first Guardians, Karen Gillen’s Nebula returns in the new film as an uneasy ally to the space adventurers. She ultimately comes to peace with her stepsister Gamora — and sets off on her own mission of heroic vengeance. Nebula departs Vol. 2 on the hunt for Thanos, the monstrous warlord who raised her to be a psychotic assassin. Thanos, as hopefully everyone knows by now, is the primary antagonist of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a pivotal role in next year’s megafranchise-unifying Avengers: Infinity War. That film’s plot will be loosely derived from The Infinity Gauntlet, which prominently features Nebula. We haven’t seen the last of her.

Credits 1: Kraglin the Brave

The first and least narratively essential end-credits sequence finds Yondu lieutenant Kraglin experimenting with his (recently deceased) boss’ whistle weapon.

 I bring this scene up because we’re about to dive deep into some deep comic book lore. And it’s important to note that what makes the Guardians movies special is how – unlike some comic book franchises which just throw together a lot of famous stories adding nothing new, like if some goofball made The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman into one single movie for no reason plus also Wonder Woman – Gunn has carved new ground with some characters. Like, this is the whole history of Kraglin in Marvel Comics. (Also worth pointing out: Kraglin is played by Gunn’s brother Sean, who also works overtime as the on-set Rocket stand-in.)

Credits 2: Ravagers of the Galaxy

Sylvester Stallone appears early in Guardians 2 as Stakar, a mysterious and somewhat paternal figure for Yondu. It’s established that Stakar represents some larger force of Ravagers and that Yondu himself is an outcast, having broken the Ravagers’ outlaw moral code by running children back to Ego’s planet.

At the end of Guardians 2, Yondu has rescued his reputation (and the universe, sort of) at the expense of his own life. His old Ravager pals show up. If you’re a typical moviegoer – or even if you’re someone like me, who hasn’t read 30-year-old Guardians of the Galaxy comics in a long time – you experienced this scene in the following way:



…was that speaking machine Miley Cyrus?

In the second post-credits sequence, Stallone’s Stakar assembles his “old team,” expressing some sadness that they only got together because of the death of Yondu. But now, having gotten together, they want to stick together. “Let’s go steal some sh–,” says Stakar.

Ving Motherf—ing Rhames is playing a character named Charlie-27. Michelle Motherf—ing Yeoh is Aleta. The glass-looking dude is named Martinex, played by Michael Rosenbaum. And the machine is called Mainframe, indeed voiced by Miley Cyrus.

Besides Mainframe, all of the characters in this sequence share a common ancestry: They were all members of the Guardians of the Galaxy team in the comic books. In Marvel history, the Guardians have had various permutations – and the Peter Quill-fronted team that provides the film’s main inspiration only debuted in the 2000s. From the ’60s through the ’90s the Guardians were a superteam from Marvel’s far-future. And I would never say they were “boring,” because their adventures involved crazy far-out space adventures and ultimately trended into weird time travel flimflammery. But they were definitely a little more square: Each of them the last member of their race, fighting for good, generally not stealing sh–.

It’s a nifty way to honor the Guardians’ history but also reboot it. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these characters are old rogues, a crew of Expendables contrasted with fast and furious youngsters like Star-Lord and Gamora. Don’t expect a Ravagers spinoff just yet, but James Gunn told BuzzFeedthat Cyrus could factor into the next Guardians film. Presumably, if Miley’s in, Sly’s in.

Credits 3: The Power of… HIM!!!

Throughout Vol. 2, the Guardians are pursued by Ayesha, leader of the golden-skinned species comprising the Sovereign. The Sovereign initially seem like your garden-variety outer-space gene-fascists, focused on the perfection of their bloodline and eerily upset over the robbery of some batteries. By the end of the film, Ayesha’s pursuit of the Guardians has left her fleet decimated. There’s the implication that she’s about to be called to task for this, but she already has another plan. She’s created something new, something that will definitely prove to be the Guardians’ undoing. We see a weird ectoplasmic biomechanical cocoon, and she declares, “I think I will call him Adam.”

The cocoon and the name “Adam” are telltale signs. Inside of that cocoon is a golden man of unbridled power who, in the comics at least, is ultimately known as Adam Warlock.

 Adam Warlock’s comic book history is wonderfully confusing. It ties directly into some major comic book events, and it also spirals off into its own weird directions. Initially, the character was known only as “Him,” a weird laboratory creation built by one of the the Fantastic Four’s many mad-scientist nemesis branches. He was created by Lee and Kirby, and could’ve been one of a hundred one-offs they were cranking out in their prime. Then Roy Thomas and Gil Kane launched the character into his own series. Newly named “Adam Warlock,” he became a literal Christ Figure, a new Messiah exploring an extremely ’70s version of Earth.

And then things really got weird. Jim Starlin sent Warlock out into the cosmos and embroiled him in a willfully strange, explicitly philosophical, and all-around freaking incredible ongoing story arc. (If you have 22 dollars, put them here now.) Warlock met Thanos, fought a Church, fought himself. Starlin’s writing is lysergic, his drawing phantasmagorical. There is the constant and explicit possibility that the hero of the story is going crazy, or already there.

So: Adam Warlock is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. How? In the comic books, Warlock was a key figure in the Infinity Gauntlet and the various tie-in stories focusing on the Infinity Gems, renamed Infinity Stones in the movies for no reason. It’s unclear but unlikely that Warlock will appear in Infinity War – there are already so many people in Infinity War, freaking Nebula is in Infinity War – so this seems more likely to pay off in the third Guardians movie. That film is currently undated, but Gunn himself promised on his Facebook page that Vol. 3will pick up after Infinity War and set the stage for the future of Marvel’s cosmic adventures.

So it seems likely that Adam Warlock will be a villainous figure in Vol. 3. Maybe even the villain? Adam Warlock’s story often intersects with Thanos in the comics. And if Thanos lives on after Infinity War – if he remains a diminished antagonist figure, battling the Guardians or possibly allying with them against some newer evil – it’s likely that Warlock will play a massive role in the third film.

And then he’ll get his own movie in 2025, let’s say. Matt Bomer seems like he’d make a good Adam Warlock, or Trevante Rhodes, or weirdly even Alex Pettyfer would finally make sense in a movie for once. Anyhow, let’s get to the good stuff already!

Credits 4: Teen Groot

Teen Groot! He’s a teenager now!

Credits 5: Who Watches the Watchers?

Stan Lee’s cameo in Guardians vol 2. gets split in two. He first appears earlier in the film during Rocket and Yondu’s merry megajump across the galaxy. Lee’s talking to some big bald guys on a distant space rock. This scene reappears as the final stinger of the movie. Lee specifically mentions his past as a FedEx guy – a reference to his cameo in Captain America: Civil War. Ultimately, the big bald guys walk away, while Lee yells after them, “I’ve got more stories to tell!”

Those big bald guys are Watchers, a race of extraterrestrial beings that Lee co-created with Kirby, in the same story arc that first introduced Galactus. The Watchers represent one of the most cosmic branches of Marvel’s larger universe, a race that is simultaneously remarkably powerful and totally passive. They watch what happens – live! – and are sworn to never take any action. One Watcher in particular, Uatu, is stationed on Earth’s Moon.

Because Stan Lee has appeared in essentially every Marvel-derived movie for a brief cameo, popular theories have sprouted up that he is actually the same character in every movie – a theory that depends on Lee being some essentially omniscient and immortal character. Fortunately, there are several characters who fit that description, and many people have concluded that Lee is actually a Watcher.

This sequence is an explicit nod in that direction, although you can read this scene as proof that Lee is a Watcher (albeit some kind of renegade) or proof that he definitely isn’t a Watcher (because he isn’t giant and bald and the other Watchers don’t seem to like him very much.) Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige recently endorsed the idea that all of Stan Lee’s cameo characters are the same person, which is either a totally mindblowing concept or just a cute thing to say. Assuming it’s a mind-blowing concept, my own theory is that Lee is actually Korvac. No, no, he’s Eternity! Wait, no, he’s the Beyonder, but like Secret War II Beyonder!

guardians of the galaxy vol. 2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Movie Review

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

James Gunn’s sequel to the 2014 Marvel hit brings the gang — including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper — back together for more.

When a disarmingly wacky and amusing B-team of Marvel characters parachuted in three summers ago and made off with a worldwide haul of $771 million, the fifth biggest of any Marvel production, Guardians of the Galaxy resembled a makeshift expansion sports franchise that somehow played above its own level all year long and snuck into the World Series. But the second season brings this team back to reality, if not to planet Earth, and while the stadiums will remain packed, the results on the field are not nearly so pretty for this manic and sometimes grating continuation of a scattershot narrative, in which the survival of the universe is treated far more glibly than its knotty superhero daddy issues.

In 2014, writer-director James Gunn emerged out of Troma-land — that is, virtually nowhere — to inject some unexpected irreverence and mangy humor into the customary Marvel format; it was as if a prankster had slipped onto the premises and pinpricked the hot air out of some bloating franchises that were approaching retirement age. In the highly controlled realm of Marvel, where nothing happens by accident, Gunn came off like a court jester who had been officially sanctioned to prove that royalty could tolerate a few jibes made at its own expense.

However, warning signs turn up early on in Vol. 2 that things are not quite as they were the first time around. The factor that most distinguished the original Guardians from its stablemates was its goofball collection of misfit characters: figures who might never have been candidates to carry a franchise alone but who, together, made up an appealing team.

Alas, most of these maverick mercenaries prove rather less charming the second time around; they’re like bickering family now and not in an amusing way. For starters, some of the characters who, at first exposure, were ingratiating in part because of their rough edges have now turned downright ornery and are not much fun to be around. First and foremost of these is Zoe Saldana’s green-skinned assassin Gamora, whose every line now seems barked out in an elevated state of annoyance. Part of her problem is that her equally badass sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) has returned and not only tries to harm her, but also brings up their unpleasant family history. But even before this, Gamora is in a rotten mood, ostensibly for having to babysit so many loony colleagues. 

Then there’s Rocket the cybernetically enhanced raccoon (voiced once again by Bradley Cooper), whose ill-tempered wisecracks have curdled in inverse proportion to the growth of his ego. Impatient and far too taken with his own abilities, he’s prematurely become a genuine curmudgeon annoyed by everyone and everything. Or maybe stardom’s just gone to his head.

At the bottom of the food chain is Baby Groot. His famously three-words-capable forebear having sacrificed himself in Vol. 1, the baby is a literal splinter of the original and spends most of his time observing things warily with big ink-pool eyes. Vin Diesel is back to provide vocals for this critter, but you’d be hard-pressed to identify the speaker just from hearing him, and if the actor spent more than an hour in studio recording his stuff it was too long. Nice payday.

As far as the original crew is concerned, this leaves just two guys. Evidently forbidden by contract ever to appear with a shirt on, Dave Bautista’s Drax has more to do this time around in that he’s given increased opportunities to burst out laughing at events as they transpire; would that the audience had as many occasions for it. All the same, the muscle man wrestler generates more mirth and goodwill than anyone else does and seems genuinely glad to be on board for the journey, wherever it takes them.

But burrowed in somewhere among the more or less random space battles, showdowns, shoot-outs, personal fights and hair-breadth encounters with instant oblivion, which are mostly staged in a visually elaborate but manically suspense-free manner, is the opportunity for Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) to get to know his father (Kurt Russell). The latter, simply known as Ego but whose full name is the even more memorable Ego the Living Planet, is an ambiguous figure birthed by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby over a half-century ago. Although there is doubtless more to this mysterious character than initially meets the eye, he cuts a largely benign figure here as he begins to part the clouds of uncertainty of heritage and mission that have plagued his son, aka Star-Lord. The scenes between the well-cast Russell and Pratt are the best in the film, the one occasion Gunn calms down a bit to stage meaningful exchanges.

One semi-amusing new character is another youngster raised by Ego who goes by the name of Mantis (Pom Klementieff), an innocent young thing with thick black eyelashes and two antenna emanating from her forehead; her hesitant, uncertain ways with the guardians are played for mild comic relief, which nicely offsets the more rambunctious behavior of the others.

Aside from the malevolence emanating from Nebula and her golden-skinned colleagues, opposition, such as it is, comes from the Ravagers, a crude bunch of ragtag biker types so lame that one of their own, the blue-skinned Yondu (Michael Rooker), has turncoated to the good guys. But threatening to lend new weight to the baddies’ cause is a mysterious stranger by the name of Stakar Ogord, who strides through a handful of shots, weapon in hand and very short of words. Given that he’s impersonated by Sylvester Stallone, he can only be presumed to play a more important role in Vol. 3, as he does zilch here.

The heavy, elaborate action is both plentiful and rote; in their geometric design and execution, the special effects feel exceedingly computer-generated. Unlike, say, the best space battles in the Star Wars series, the frantic ballistic parrying here often makes the viewer feel as if trapped inside a pinball machine. The attitude toward all the violence and mayhem is mostly good-humored, casual and tossed off, which provokes a few good laughs and chuckles, and writer-director Gunn gets away with a lot of lame stuff simply by moving on quickly to the next gag or explosion. As before, his bluffly cynical, good-times attitude supplies a devil-may-care feel to the proceedings that’s quite appealing to audiences. But Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 plays like a second ride on a roller coaster that was a real kick the first time around but feels very been-there/done-that now.guardians of the galaxy vol two ver33 xlg Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Movie Review

Production: Marvel Studios

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell

Director: James Gunn

Screenwriter: James Gunn

Producer: Kevin Feige

Executive producers: Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda, Stan Lee

Director of photography: Henry Braham

Production designer: Scott Chambliss

Costume designer: Judianna Makovsky

Editor: Fred Raskin, Craig Wood

Music: Tyler Bates

Visual effects supervisor: Christopher Townsend

Casting: Sarah Halley Finn

PG-13 rating, 135 minutes

How to Be a Latin Lover Box Office: Fate of the Furious Wins; How to Be a Latin Lover, Baahubali Beat The Circle

Courtesy of Pantelion Films
‘How to Be a Latin Lover’
‘The Circle,’ starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, comes in No. 4 with $9.3 million; ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ blasts off overseas with $101 million a week ahead of its domestic debut.
‘Furious 8’ Tops $1 Billion, ‘Latin Lover’ and ‘Baahubali 2’ Open Big & ‘Guardians 2’ Debuts

In an unexpected upset, How to Be a Latin Lover and Indian film Baahubali: The Connection both beat Emma Watson’s new high-tech thriller The Circle at the North American box office on the last quiet weekend before the summer season kicks off.

Overall, Universal’s The Fate of the Furious stayed atop the chart in its third weekend with $19.4 million from 4,077 theaters for a domestic total of $192.7 million. Globally, the eighth outing in the action series gunned past the $1 billion mark after clearing a massive $867.6 million offshore, including a record-breaking $361 million in China.

How to be a Latin Lover followed in the U.S. with $12 million from only 1,000 locations, well ahead of expectations and marking the biggest opening to date for Pantelion Films, a label devoted to movies targeting Hispanic audiences. Lionsgate and Televisa own Pantelion.

The comedy — made available in both English and Spanish — stars popular Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included) and Salma Hayek. The story revolves around a lothario who is finally dumped after 25 years of marriage and must move in with his estranged sister. Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raphael Alejandro, Raquel Welch and Rob Riggle also star. Nearly 90 percent of ticket buyers were Hispanic.

“We positioned the movie knowing Eugenio is huge star,” says Lionsgate distribution chief David Spitz.

If you deliver the content, the audience will show up. He has established himself as a big star. In May, going into production on a remake of Overboard, MGM. We want to be in the ED busienss.

How to Be a Latin Lover wasn’t the only film going after a specific audience that overperformed.Baahubali placed No. 3 with $10.1 million from a mere 450 theaters. That’s the top launch ever for an Indian film in the U.S. A run in 45 Imax films paid off, generating $1.8 million, an Imax record for a foreign-language film.

Baahubali, which also opened in India this weekend and is a follow up to the 2015 blockbuster, puts the spotlight on the South Indian industry, which is often overshadowed by Hindi-language Bollywood. The sequel continues the story of warring royal cousins in an ancient mythical kingdom, and stars Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannah and Anushka Shetty.

No one expected either Baahubali or How to Be a Latin Lover to do laps around The Circle, which stars Watson — who is coming off the blockbuster success of Beauty and the Beast — alongside Tom Hanks.

Directed by James Ponsoldt, The Circle came in No. 4 with $9.3 million from 3,163 theaters after getting skewered by critics and audiences, who gave the film a rare D+ CinemaScore. Heading into the weekend, EuropaCorp and STX Entertainment were hoping for $12 million.

The Circle, about invasion of privacy in the Internet age, is set in the near future at a high-tech company where a new employee (Watson) uncovers a dark agenda that will affect the lives of her friends, family and society at large. EuropaCorp acquired the project, based on Dave Eggers’ novel, for $8 million from producers Parkes+MacDonald and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, with STX handling domestic distribution duties.

John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane, Patton Oswalt and the late Bill Paxton also star in the $18 million film.

Elsewhere, Blumhouse’s genre label BH Tilt released Sleight, a thriller about a street magician that opened to a $1.7 million from 500 theaters. The film, which made its debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, revolves around a young street magician who must use his wits and tricks to save his sister from kidnappers. It’s helmed by  J.D. Dillard.

The big headline overseas this weekend was Marvel and Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which grossed $101 million from its first 37 markets, 57 percent ahead of the first film when comparing the same suite of territories.

The U.K. led with $15.5 million, the second-biggest number of the year after Beauty and the Beast. It also prospered in Australia ($11.6 million), followed by Germany ($8.3 million), France ($7.9 million), Mexico ($7.6 million), Brazil ($6.9 million), Italy ($4.1 million) and Indonesia ($3.4 million).

Guardians Vol. 2 doesn’t land in the U.S. until May 5 and has a bevy of other major markets left to open, including China, South Korea and Russia.

In limited release China Lion’s Battle for Memories brought in an estimated $210k from 42 theaters ($5,000 PTA); Oscilloscope’s One Week and a Day opened with an estimated $9,500 from 3 theaters ($3,167 PTA); Well Go’s Buster’s Mal Heart brought in $7,800 from one location; and Abramorama’s Bang! The Bert Berns Story also debuted in just one theater where it brought in an estimated $4,227.

Next weekend belongs to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which got off to a strong start internationally this weekend, bringing in an estimated $101.2 million from ~58% of the overall international market. The film was #1 in all markets in which it opened outside of Portugal, Turkey and Vietnam and all markets topped the opening performance for the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Estimated results include the UK ($15.5M), Australia ($11.6M), Germany ($8.3M), France ($7.9M), Mexico ($7.6M), Brazil ($6.9M), Italy ($4.1M), Indonesia ($3.4M), Spain ($3.3M), Philippines ($3.2M), Thailand ($2.7M), Taiwan ($2.4M), Malaysia ($2.0M) and New Zealand ($2.0M).

As for how this performance compares to previous Marvel releases, Disney estimates the opening is +57% ahead of the original Guardians which ended with $440.2 million internationally, +50% ahead of Captain America: Winter Soldier ($454.5M internationally) and +19% ahead of Thor: The Dark World ($438.2M internationally) when comparing the same suite of territories and all at today’s exchange rates. The film has still yet to open in Russia, Korea, China and Japan.

As for Guardians 2‘s domestic debut, the film will open in ~4,200 theaters and while it was originally expected Fate of the Furious would become 2017’s second $100+ million opener until it fell short, Guardians most certainly will cross that mark as an opening around $150 million is within reach.

guardians of the galaxy 2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Exclusive First Look PhotosYondu (Michael Rooker), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora (Zoey Saldana), Star-Lord (Chris Pratt),  Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)Gamora Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Exclusive First Look PhotosGamora (Zoe Saldana)

Rocket Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Exclusive First Look Photos

Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)Groot Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Exclusive First Look PhotosGroot (voiced by Vin Diesel)Taserface Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Exclusive First Look PhotosTaserface (Chris Sullivan)Ego Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Exclusive First Look PhotosEgo (Kurt Russell)Ayesha Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Exclusive First Look PhotosAyesha (Elizabeth Debicki)Mantis and Drax Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Exclusive First Look PhotosMantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista)James Gunn and Yondu Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Exclusive First Look PhotosDirector James Gunn and Yondu (Michael Rooker)

summer 2017 The Summer Movies 2017: Every Sequel, Reboot and Remake Hitting Theaters

Courtesy Photos
All the trailers and premiere dates for sharper swords, faster cars and many more superheroes on the big screen.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    May 5

    Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillen and Michael Rooker, along with the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, return as misfit superheroes in the Marvel sequel. James Gunn again directs the retro-minded follow-up, with additions Kurt Russell, Chris Sullivan and Elizabeth Debicki, and Sylvester Stallone cameo.

  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    May 12

    Charlie Hunnam stars as the titular monarch in Guy Ritchie’s gritty take on the medieval legend’s reign. The Warner Bros. reimagining also stars Jude Law, David Beckham and Djimon Hounsou.

  • Alien: Covenant

    May 19

    Ridley Scott once again returns to helm the franchise he began with 1979’s Alien. It is described as a second chapter in an Alien prequel trilogy (following 2012’s Prometheus), with the colony ship Covenant discovering a paradise world on the far side of the galaxy, only to learn it’s actually a dangerous world whose only inhabitant is the synthetic David. Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Carmen Ejogo star in the Fox film, with Prometheus’  Michael Fassbender returning as the android David and Noomi Rapace appearing as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

    May 19

    Jason Drucker stars as Greg this time around, as he and his parents (played by Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott) head off on a road trip to attend his grandma’s 90th birthday party. Things go off the tracks in this next installment of the Wimpy Kid franchise when Greg decides he’d rather go to a video game convention.

  • Baywatch

    May 26

    Dwayne Johnson stars in the action-comedy inspired by the long-running TV show, playing a leader of an elite group of lifeguards who is forced to team up with a hotshot former Olympian (Zac Efron) to save the beloved bay. Seth Gordon directs the Paramount reboot, also featuring Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario and Hannibal Buress, plus a cameo by the series’ star, David Hasselhoff.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

    May 26

    Johnny Depp is back as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth installment of the hit Disney franchise — this time, attempting to escape the haunts of a ghostly villain played by Javier Bardem and seeking out a legendary artifact that grants its possessor total control over the seas. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg co-direct the fantasy film, also starring Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites, and featuring a cameo by Paul McCartney.

  • Wonder Woman

    June 2

    Gal Gadot plays the titular heroine in the origin story of how Diana Prince, an Amazon princess, leaves her island home to become the DC warrior. Also starring Chris Pine and Robin Wright, the Warner Bros. title is helmed by Patty Jenkins, making her the first woman to direct a studio superhero film.

  • The Mummy

    June 9

    Tom Cruise leads the Universal reboot of the zombie-filled adventure, also starring Russell Crowe, Courtney B. Vance, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson. Directed by Alex Kurtzman, the fantasy-action flick is set to launch a monster-filled cinematic universe (Javier Bardem is on board for a future Frankenstein film, while Johnny Depp has signed on for The Invisible Man).

  • Cars 3

    June 16

    Owen Wilson reprises his voice role as Lightning McQueen in Pixar’s automotive threequel. Brian Fee directs the animated film, which sees the spiffy red hot-rod attempting to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best racecar in the world.

  • Transformers: The Last Knight

    June 23

    Mark Wahlberg returns to star in the fifth installment of the Paramount action franchise, which sees Optimus Prime facing off against the villain Megatron. Michael Bay again directs the film, which also features Anthony Hopkins, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro.

  • Despicable Me 3

    June 30

     This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Starring Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell and Miranda Cosgrove. Directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin.

    Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig reprise their voice roles in Universal’s animated, minion-filled threequel, directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and co-directed by Eric Guillon. Trey Parker — the co-creator of South Park and the Broadway hit The Book of Mormon — voices Gru’s newest nemesis: a former child star who has grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the ‘80s.

  • Amityville: The Awakening

    June 30

    Bella Thorne and Jennifer Jason Leigh are among those in the 14th installment of the classic horror franchise. Directed by Franck Khalfoun, the latest entry from Dimension and Blumhouse follows a young girl who moves into a new home with her single mother and comatose young brother, who makes a miraculous recovery as other strange phenomena occurs.

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

    July 7

    Tom Holland steps into the suit of Peter Parker for the character’s first solo film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jon Watts directs the Sony movie, also starring Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Donald Glover and Jon Favreau.

  • War for the Planet of the Apes

    July 14

    Andy Serkis return as the reluctant leader of the genetically-evolved apes in the follow-up to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Matt Reeves again directs the Fox film, also starring Judy Greer, Steve Zahn and Woody Harrelson.

  • An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

    July 28

    Al Gore’s documentary follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth comes a decade after the original, this time with a slightly more hopeful tone, though it does focus on some concerns about President Trump’s stance on the environment.

  • Annabelle: Creation

    Aug. 11

    Miranda Otto is featured in the New Line sequel to the doll-centric 2014 hit. David Sandberg directs the spinoff of the Conjuring franchise, which follows a dollmaker and his wife who, 20 years after the tragic death of their little girl, welcome a nun and several orphans into their home, only to see them targeted by the possessed titular creation.

  • The Nut Job 2

    Aug. 18

    Will Arnett returns as Surly Squirell in the Open Road sequel to the 2014 film, alongside Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Gabriel Iglesias, Jackie Chan, Bobby Cannavale, Bobby Moynihan and Jeff Dunham. The Cal Brunker sequel sees the animals joining to save their home from an evil mayor who decides to bulldoze Liberty Park to build a dangerous amusement park.

  • It

    Sept. 8

    Stephen King’s frightening tale of Pennywise the Clown has become a cult horror classic. The evil taking the form of the clown terrorizes a group of children and follows them into adulthood. Newcomer Bill Skarsgard will portray the evil clown in the feature film adaption.

  • The Lego Ninjago Movie

    Sept. 22

    Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Fred Armisen, Abbi Jacobson, Michael Pena, Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani and Zach Woods make up the voice cast of the Lego Movie spinoff. Directed by Charlie Bean, the Warner Bros. animated action-comedy sees a ninja teaming with fellow toys to fight an evil warlord, who also happens to be his father.

guardiansvol25897cc290546d Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Exclusive Pictures
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..L to R: Yondu (Michael Rooker), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

The latest trailer for James Gunn’s superhero sequel (out May 5) features an expanded lineup of Guardians, Elizabeth Debicki’s golden-skinned alien, and Fleetwood Mac’s rock classic “The Chain.” Also? Snake freakin’ Plissken!

guardians 1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Exclusive Pictures
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Trailer

The big question before the debut of the new Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer was, Would it feature Kurt Russell? Spoiler alert: it does! But the clip makes us wait for our first proper look at the Escape From New York legend, who is playing father Star-Lord has never met, a.k.a. Ego the Living Planet. We’re not really complaining about the opening, however, which features some nice badinage between Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill and Zoe Saldana’s massive gun-carrying Gamora (“Is that a rifle?” “You don’t know what a rifle looks like?”)

guardians 2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Exclusive Pictures
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Trailer

Why does Gamora need such an outsized weapon? It’s likely connected to the team’s new career as galactic mercenaries and to the arrival of an enormous, tentacled creature. Fortunately, Dave Bautista’s knives-equipped alien Drax seems happy to take on the sucker, which Gunn revealed last year to be a multi-dimensional being known as an “Abilisk.”guardians 3 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Exclusive Pictures

galaxy Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Meet new alien Mantis in sequel concept art

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

In this concept art for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, you can see all your favorites: Drax, Groot, Yondu, Star-Lord, Rocket, Nebula, and Gamora. But wait! Who’s that alien lady with the antennae?

The answer is a brand-new character named Mantis, an acquaintance of the Guardians played by actress Pom Klementieff (Spike Lee’sOldboy). “She has never really experienced social interaction,” says executive producer Jonathan Schwartz. “Everything she learns about dealing with people, she learns from the Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a very weird group to learn your social intricacies from.”

Mantis may not be the only new character, according to Schwartz, who says audiences will be treated to a very different Groot from the stoic man-tree of the original 2014 film. “He doesn’t have the wisdom and experience of that Groot,” Schwartz says. “He’s a younger Groot and a more rambunctious Groot. The question is, is he the same Groot, just smaller? Or is he a different Groot that’s sprung up from the seed of the first Groot?”

We’ll leaf it at that for now, except to say that Marvel will release the group portrait, drawn by Andy Park, as a special treat for fans attending  San Diego’s Comic-Con International, which runs July 21-24.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is slated to hit theaters on May 5, 2017.