Everyone keeps talking about the massive tentpoles that will arrive in 2015 (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII, Batman vs. Superman, and so on), but in the meantime 2016 has quietly gone ahead and begun to put together its own impressive release slate composed of big sequels and blockbusters – and we’re only two weeks into 2014!

Last week, the news broke that 20th Century Fox has gone ahead and recruited Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves to co-write and direct the next installment in the franchise, which we’ll simply refer to as Planet of the Apes 3 in lieu of an official title. As we predicted, the next Apes movie (after Dawn opens this year) has been scheduled for release in Summer 2016, which gives Reeves some two and a half years to write, shoot and edit the effects-heavy film.

Fox has set Planet of the Apes 3 to open in theaters on July 29th, 2016. There are currently no other films set to debut that day, though Reeves’ projects will round out a month with a release docket that so far includes Independence Day 2, the Angry Birds movie, Ice Age 5 and an unspecified Marvel Studio project (potentially, Inhumans or Guardians of the Galaxy 2).

Funny thing is, a few years ago everyone would’ve laughd at the idea of a Planet of the Apes movie being considered a heavy-hitter on par with the latest superhero flicks and blockbuster sequels, but Andy Serkis’ motion capture performance as the simian Caesar have given the sci-fi property a heart and soul that it’s been lacking for years. If Reeves is able to deliver a captivating Empire Strikes Back-style sequel (read: smarter and better all around) with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, then anticipation for Planet of the Apes 3 will only grow.

The other major upcoming title that Fox has given a release date to is the Poltergeist remake, which was originally expected to make it to theaters by 2014. However, the studio has instead settled on a February 13th, 2015 date, pitting the supernatural horror sequel against Fifty Shades of Grey during opening weekend; suffice it to say, overlap shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Poltergeist is the latest in a growing line of controversial 1980s/90s’ remakes, but with a cast that has Sam Rockwell (The Way, Way Back), Rosemarie DeWitt (Promised Land) and Mad Men alum Jared Harris, it has a good deal working in its favor. Plus, director Gil Kenan (Monster House) knows how to blend scares with humanity, while screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) is also well-versed at telling stories about families in crisis. If nothing else, this remake may have more heart than Insidious (a spiritual descendent of the original Poltergeist) and should be okay with the lighter competition in early 2015.

As for the rest of 2016: the release schedule that year also includes Avatar 2, X-Men: Apocalypse, How to Train Your Dragon 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Finding Dory, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Alice in Wonderland 2 (with more to come). So, as crazy as 2015 is shaping up to be, 2016 might just give it a run for its money.

Poltergeist opens in theaters on February 13th, 2015.

Planet of the Apes 3 arrives in theaters on July 29th, 2016.

Source: Box Office Mojo