Last month had more than its fair share of box office duds, with Alex Proyas’ universally panned Gods of Egypt “leading” the pack. Domestically, the film brought in only $14 million against a reported production budget of $140 million, but even that disappointment was eclipsed by the runaway success of Fox’s X-Men spinoff Deadpool. The R-rated comic book film — heavily anticipated by fans — far exceeded the most generous expectations, quickly becoming one of the highest-grossing comic book films of all time. Luckily, superhero fans won’t have to wait long for another epic adaptation to burst on to the screen.
With that said, here are 10 films to check out in March 2016:
Zootopia (Release Date: March 4)
With recent releases like Frozen and Big Hero 6, Walt Disney Animation Studios appears to be on a crowd-pleasing hot streak. Zootopia — the studio’s latest family-friendly adventure — hopes to keep that momentum going, with its depiction of a world populated by anthropomorphic animals.
The film follows a con artist, fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), and a rookie cop, bunny Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), as they are forced to work together to solve a case that could have lasting effects on the city of Zootopia. While the film is likely to have plenty of wry humor and cute, fluffy creatures throughout, it remains to be seen if Zootopia has that special something that audiences have come to expect from the Mouse House.
Check out the latest trailer for Zootopia.
London Has Fallen (Release Date: March 4)
Of the two White-House-in-peril films that hit theaters in the first half of 2013, Olympus Has Fallen was ultimately the more successful. So it’s no surprise that stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman are back for the England-set sequel, aptly titled London Has Fallen.
Butler’s Mike Banning finds himself thrust in the midst of chaos once more, as he stumbles onto a plot to assassinate multiple world leaders. In the first film, the character felt very reminiscent of Die Hard‘s John McClane, with Butler lending just enough charisma to make the film work. Hopefully, the sequel can build upon that foundation and deliver an equally satisfying action thrill ride.
Check out the latest trailer for London Has Fallen.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Release Date: March 4)
Her stellar work on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock aside, Tina Fey hasn’t exactly blossomed as a movie star just yet. In fact, her most successful starring roles to date have been co-headlined by pals Steve Carell and Amy Poehler, with the latter co-starring in recent comedy hit Sisters.
However, Fey finally takes the leap to leading her own feature solo with Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Based on Kim Barker’s memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the film sees Fey plays a war correspondent covering Operation Enduring Freedom. With Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman in supporting roles, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot could not only be a memorable comedic take on the atrocity of war but also a key vehicle for Fey’s big-screen future.
Check out the latest trailer for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
10 Cloverfield Lane (Release Date: March 11)
Until January, the world didn’t even know that 10 Cloverfield Lane was on the way, but the J.J. Abrams-produced film has certainly garnered a lot of attention since its surprise trailer was released. Mary Elizabeth Winstead — who previously starred in horror films like Final Destination 3 and 2011 prequel The Thing — stars as a woman who finds herself holed up in a basement with her supposed rescuer, played by John Goodman.
Little is known about how the film will connect to the 2008 original, but we expect enough fans will be curious to learn its secrets to help 10 Cloverfield Lane turn a profit, lending further fuel to Abrams’ recent mention that a third film in the Cloverfield franchise may already be under consideration.
Check out the latest trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane.
The Brothers Grimsby (Release Date: March 11)
Sacha Baron Cohen is known for dividing audiences with controversial films like Borat and Brüno, and The Brothers Grimsby may be no exception. The film stars Baron Cohen and Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Secret Service) as an ardent football supporter and his super-spy brother, who are forced to team up to bring down a deadly terrorist plot.
The action comedy is the latest release from director Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, The Transporter) and looks to be the most comedic of any of his films to date, largely thanks to the fact that Baron Cohen himself co-wrote the screenplay. Isla Fisher, Penélope Cruz and Rebel Wilson are also set for supporting roles, and with any luck, The Brothers Grimsby could become the best spy spoof since, well, Spy.
Check out the latest trailer for The Brothers Grimsby.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (Release Date: March 18)
With The Hunger Games over and done with (for now, at least), the films based on Veronica Roth’s popular Divergent trilogy may have inherited the title of most successful ongoing YA adaptation. The Divergent Series: Allegiant opens up new story possibilities for Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James) and their friends, as they venture over the fence for the first time.
Of course, a larger conspiracy looms, involving the Bureau of Genetic Welfare and a shady character played by Jeff Daniels. For fans of the series, Allegiant is a can’t-miss release, but the film is unlikely to entice newcomers to make a trip to theaters. Moreover, it will likely feature a cliffhanger ending, setting the stage for final installment The Divergent Series: Ascendant.
Check out the latest trailer for The Divergent Series: Allegiant.
Midnight Special (Release Date: March 18)
With just three films under his belt, writer/director Jeff Nichols has become a critical darling. His last release, 2012 drama Mud, was a critical step in Matthew McConaughey’s comeback, and the filmmaker has an even greater ambition with Midnight Special: the world of science fiction.
Frequent Nichols collaborator Michael Shannon stars as a father who takes his son (Jaeden Lieberher) on the road when he discovers that the child has supernatural powers. Positioned as a sci-fi chase film, Midnight Special harkens to more contemplative genre films like 1980s cult classic Starman and features a winning supporting cast that includes Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst and Adam Driver.
Check out the latest trailer for Midnight Special.
The Little Prince (Release Date: March 18)
Even in the age of computer-generated wizardry, stop-motion animated films retain their own distinctive charm and style that has yielded many of the best animated films ever made. The Little Prince — based on the 1943 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry novel — brings the best of both worlds, combining computer and stop-motion animation to tell the classic story like never before.
The first film for director Mark Osborne since 2008 release Kung Fu Panda, The Little Prince wraps the classic story of the titular prince into a fresh tale of a young girl’s friendship with an elderly aviator. Its English-language voice cast includes Mackenzie Foy, Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams and a host of others, and the film has been met with critical acclaim overseas.
Check out the latest trailer for The Little Prince.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Release Date: March 25)
It’s a cinematic event that comic book fans have waited decades for, and very soon DC icons Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) will finally share the screen in a live-action film for the first time. Every detail surrounding director Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has already been scrutinized so much that it’s easy to forget that we still haven’t seen how successful the film in telling its much-anticipated story.
As a follow-up to the divisive Man of Steel, Batman V Superman will likely feed the flames of the needless “DC or Marvel” debate regardless of how good it is (or isn’t). Instead, fans of superhero cinema in general should be excited for the promise of years of new adventures adapted from the comic book page. As for Warner Bros., the studio has all its hopes pinned on this pivotal release connecting with audiences and building excitement for the burgeoning DC Extended Universe. With Justice League and Wonder Woman already in the works, we hope it all pays off.
Check out the latest trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
I Saw the Light (Release Date: March 25)
Tom Hiddleston may be best known as the nefarious Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there’s no Thor or Asgard in I Saw the Light. Instead, the actor stars as legendary country singer Hank Williams for writer/director Marc Abraham, with fellow MCU actor Elizabeth Olsen co-starring as Williams’ first wife Audrey Mae Williams.
Based on the book Hank Williams: The Biography, the film delves into Williams’ rise to fame and his sudden death at the age of just 29. For Hiddleston, the project also marks his latest effort to build a leading-man reputation, as he recently starred in Crimson Peak and will lead Kong: Skull Island next year.
Check out the latest trailer for I Saw the Light.
As the closing month in the first quarter of 2016, March has plenty to see for moviegoers of all tastes. From superhero spectacle to smaller, less explosion-laden releases, the weeks ahead bring many prospective box office breakouts, and the arrival of such high-profile films this early in the year truly marks the increasing irrelevancy of the term “summer movie season”, as tentpole releases are no longer bound by those months.
Once again, here are the 10 films to check out in March:
March 4: Zootopia, London Has Fallen, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
March 11: 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Brothers Grimsby
March 18: The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Midnight Special, The Little Prince
March 25: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, I Saw the Light