After a surprisingly strong past few months, the summer movie going season has finally arrived to (hopefully) crank the dial to 11. May is packed full of a wide variety of exciting releases, from the superhero blockbuster to the R-rated comedy – so much so that it’s hard to pick just one must-see film for the month.
Specifically, there are three films that rank very high not just on our most anticipated list for the month but also for the year, and that alone makes May a very exciting movie-going time. Whether or not those films will deliver is another thing, but that’s the beauty of the last days before summer: everything has the potential to be great.
So, without further ado, here are the 6 films we’re looking forward to in May 2014.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Release Date: May 2nd)
No matter how fans may feel about the latest Spider-Man reboot, it’s pretty clear that Sony is doubling down on the Spidey franchise starting with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. If rumors are to be believed, ASM 2 will not only secure Spider-Man’s future by introducing upcoming villains and characters, but it will also set the stage for the Sinister Six movie.
We’ll admit, though, that there were a lot of dangling concerns surrounding The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but our early preview of the movie helped squash a lot of those fears. The movie’s also already out in international markets and thus far reception has been mixed, but the general consensus is that Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an improvement over the first film. North American audiences will find out for themselves very soon.
Check out the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Neighbors (Release Date: May 9th)
The Seth Rogen comedy has been a staple of the summer movie season for the last few years, and that trend continues with the release of Neighbors in early May. In this film, Rogen and Rose Byrne play new parents forced to do “battle” with the fraternity living next door – a fraternity that just so happens to be led by Zac Efron.
That premise in and of itself has the potential for Rogen-level hijinks, but early reviews of Neighbors peg the film as a genuine comedic treat. Perhaps it’s Rogen playing a more mature (if that’s possible) character, or maybe it’s the concept of dueling neighbors – whatever the case, Neighbors could be the comedic hit of the summer.
Check out the trailer for Neighbors.
Godzilla (Release Date: May 16th)
Ever since its brief tease back at Comic-Con 2012, Godzilla has been at their top of our must-see list. Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) clearly loves the property and wants to do it justice, and he’s certainly helped make his job easier by populating the film with A-level talent. But really, the true appeal of Godzilla rests with the monsters.
While some of the other summer releases may suffer from overexposure, Godzilla has the benefit of underexposure. That alone makes the intrigue of seeing these relatively mysterious monsters go toe-to-toe that much greater. It also doesn’t hurt that what we’ve seen of the movie thus far looks compelling on multiple levels.
Admittedly, Legendary and Warner Bros’ other giant monster movie, Pacific Rim, did not win over domestic audiences, but the thinking is that a known property like this will have a better chance at success. Regardless, fan anticipation is very high for this one.
Check out the trailer for Godzilla.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Release Date: May 23rd)
When it was first announced, X-Men: Days of Future Past seemed like the perfect idea. Combining the casts of the new First Class franchise and the old X-Men series was nothing short of a dream scenario for fans, and with original director Bryan Singer back on board it felt like FOX had big plans in place. In fact, the studio echoed that sentiment by announcing a follow-up to DOFP, X-Men: Apocalypse, well before the 2014 film even hit theaters.
But, a lot has changed since then, and expectations appear to have changed as well. Some trailers have drummed up a lot of excitement, promising a time-bending adventure that features the biggest superhero ensemble ever put to film, while other promotional materials, like the Quicksilver Carl’s Jr. commercial, have had the opposite effect. That being said, it’s hard to imagine missing out on such a big comic book blockbuster.
Check out the trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Maleficent (Release Date: May 30th)
A big budget, live-action adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is easily one of the riskiest releases of the month. On the one hand, the film follows in the footsteps of Alice in Wonderland, which made a ton of money for Disney, and it has Angelina Jolie in a role she seems born to play, but the rumors surrounding Maleficent‘s troubled production suggest this could be one of those historic failures.
Or maybe the appeal of one of Disney’s most iconic villains will be enough to carry the movie to box office success. The world of Maleficent certainly looks unique, but will only get the movie so far. Either way, we’re curious to see how effects-artist-turned-director Robert Stromberg has brought this untold story to life.
Check out the trailer for Maleficent.
A Million Ways to Die in the West (Release Date: May 30th)
Seth MacFarlane is arguably one of the most polarizing figures in comedy: you either love him or you hate him. Thankfully (for him) enough people fall in the former camp, which should help A Million Ways to Die in the West do very well. It also doesn’t hurt that MacFarlane, who also serves as writer, director, and lead actor on the film, has surrounded himself with some quality talent in Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, and Neil Patrick Harris.
Although the creator of Family Guy is not very well versed in the live-action genre, particularly not as an on-screen actor, his showmanship is hard to overlook. Combine that with this overly anachronistic concept, and there’s the potential for plenty of clever laughs. And, if A Million Ways holds the same appeals as MacFarlane’s last film, Ted, it could end up making huge bank at the box office.
Considering The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is already doing great business overseas it’s safe to say the film has a decent chance of exceeding its predecessor’s performance at the domestic box office. But the bigger question is whether it will be the highest grossing movie of the month. To be honest, while we hope that Godzilla does well, chances are this is a two-movie race between Spider-Man and X-Men, with both showing strengths and weaknesses.
There’s also the potential throwdown between Neighbors and A Million Ways to Die in the West – two R-rated comedies geared at similar audiences. Will the ever-consistent Rogen beat out MacFarlane, whose 2012 film Ted is one of the highest grossing R-rated comedies ever? And what about Maleficent? Will Disney’s big budget, live-action gamble pay off? Those answers and more will be answered in about 30 days.
Once again, here are the 6 films we’re looking forward to this month:
- May 2nd: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- May 9th: Neighbors
- May 16th: Godzilla
- May 23rd: X-Men Days of Future Past
- May 30th: Maleficent, A Million Ways to Die in the West
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina