Blockbusters’ Time to Shine: Upcoming Summer Movies

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Bree Soto, Writer

After a dismal year at the box office, the movie industry is (hopefully) coming back swinging this summer. Dozens of delayed blockbusters are set to release over the next few months. As more and more people get vaccinated, theaters are expected to receive a much-needed revitalization. Can you hear that? That’s the sound of theater companies sighing in relief after spending the last year teetering on the edge of bankruptcy due to the lack of moviegoers. 

With so many movies releasing over the next few months, it may be hard to decide which ones to go see and which ones to sit out on. To help, here are some of summer’s most exciting movie releases:

A Quiet Place II: May 28

Resident horror fans rejoice! The long-awaited sequel to A Quiet Place is nearly here, a little over a year and two months later from its original release date. Following the events of the previous film, the Abbott family venture into the outside world. As the monsters that hunt by sound still lurk beyond the path of sand, the family will quickly realize that these creatures aren’t the only threat in their post-apocalyptic world. The film will also become available on Paramount+ after the 45-day theatrical release. 

Cruella: May 28

On the same day, Disney-lovers will get their own movie fix as Cruella releases in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access simultaneously. Set in 1970s London, the film will tell the villain origin story of Estella, an aspiring fashion designer played by Emma Stone, before she became Cruella de Vil of the 101 Dalmatians series.   

Luca: June 18

Luca is the next film from the beloved Pixar Studios, premiering on Disney+ and streaming at no additional cost. The story follows two young best friends, Luca and Alberto, as they adventure through an Italian isle while hiding a big secret: they are sea monsters. True to Pixar form, expect a wholesome story and maybe a tear or two when watching this film. 

F9: June 25

Perhaps the first true action blockbuster of the summer arrives in F9, a film that has experienced delays even before the COVID-19 pandemic. John Cena stars as the antagonist and the younger brother of Dom, played by Vin Diesel, after living in the shadow of his brother. Promises of incredible stunts and bright explosions are guaranteed to thrill the audience in the ninth installment of the Fast and Furious saga.  

Black Widow: July 9

My fellow Marvel enthusiasts are probably counting down the days until the release of Black Widow, the first Marvel film since the release of Avengers: Endgame all the way back in 2019. In her very own solo film, Natasha Romanoff finally gets her chance to shine. Primarily set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, we learn more about Natasha’s shadowy past and her life before joining the Avengers. Additionally to its theatrical release, Black Widow will be available on Disney+ with Premier Access.    

Space Jam: A New Legacy: July 16

Fifteen years after the original, Space Jam: A New Legacy hits theaters (and HBO Max) in the middle of July. LeBron James takes the place of Michael Jordan as he teams up with characters of the Looney Tunes to save his son from the Goon Squad. A trailer dropped last month, revealing tons of cameos from other Warner Bros. properties such as Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, and even Casablanca, to name a few. A movie of this size is sure to please all sorts of crowds, making it a fun event to check out this summer.

The Suicide Squad: August 6

Not to be confused with the hot mess of a film that was Suicide Squad that came out in 2016, The Suicide Squad hopes to make fans forget about the previous installment. James Gunn directs an ensemble cast in the explosive standalone sequel. The Suicide Squad returns with even more supervillains than last time as they team up to take on an even bigger big bad, hopefully making for a thrilling tale for audiences to behold. The film lands in theaters and on HBO Max this August.  

Free Guy: August 13

In Free Guy, Ryan Reynolds stars as “Guy,” a bank teller NPC who discovers that he is a background character in a brutal, open-world video game days before it’s set to shut down. As Guy becomes self-aware, he makes it his mission to become the hero and save the game before the developers can shut it down. At the time of writing this, Free Guy is set to release only in theaters.

Candyman: August 27

A direct sequel of the 1992 film of the same name, Candyman tells the story of a young couple who move into the now gentrified Cabrini. They discover the true horror story behind the supernatural killer known as Candyman, unleashing a new wave of violence. There should be plenty of scares to go around in this film. 

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: September 3

As the summer months start coming to an end, Marvel releases its second movie of the year, introducing the character of Shang-Chi, played by Simu Liu, the first Asian lead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the comics, Shang-Chi is known as the “Master of Kung Fu,” so it’ll be interesting to see how the hero is portrayed in the movie as he is drawn into a fight against the mysterious Ten Rings organization. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is currently expected to come out only in theaters later this year.

It’s a good time to be a movie fan and hopefully, these films are worth the long wait. Even if all of them aren’t that good, finally returning to theaters will be worth it. These next few months are sure to kickstart the movie industry again.