While the month of June might be decidedly light in terms of overall film selection, it more than makes up for that with some of the biggest releases of the entire year. May already set the tone with some big debuts, but we suspect that June has some worthy contenders not just for highest grossing movie of the year, but also the biggest opening weekend.
For our purposes, though, it's about quality, and in that regard, June has us excited. Admittedly, the month is a little overstuffed with sequels, but for the most part these are sequels to some truly enjoyable films.
So, without further ado, here are the 4 movies we're looking forward to this month:
5 Edge of Tomorrow (Release Date: June 6th)
If there's one truly bankable star left working in the business it's Tom Cruise. While he may not always strike it big at the domestic box office, Cruise continues to kill it overseas. With that in mind, we expect big things from Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise's first big-budget summer blockbuster in almost 5 years.
Boasting an intriguing, Groundhog Day-esque conceit, a talented director, and a strong female lead, Edge of Tomorrow has all the makings of another Tom Cruise hit. Sure, there are elements that feel borrowed from other movies (and even video games), but with Cruise in the driver's seat it's hard not be at least a tiny bit excited. Not to mention early reviews for the film peg it as perfect action movie fodder.
Check out the trailer for Edge of Tomorrow.
4 22 Jump Street (Release Date: June 13th)
Two years ago, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller hit it big with the action comedy 21 Jump Street, based on the '80s TV series of the same name. The film was original in its execution, smart with its comedy, and had two strong leads in the form of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Its sequel, the appropriately titled 22 Jump Street, looks to up the ante in all the right ways, with bigger stakes, bigger action, and presumably bigger laughs. More importantly, all of the original cast and crew are back on board to ensure this follow-up does right by its fans.
Where 21 Jump Street focused on the PG-13/R-rated debauchery of high school, 22 Jump Street sees Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) headed off to the solid R, possibly NC-17, world of college on a new undercover case. It might seem like a knock to say that we hope 22 Jump Street offers more of the same, but it's a testament to the original film's strong writing and acting. These are characters who can seemingly spin comedy gold out of almost any situation, and we can't wait to see what their next adventure entails
Check out the trailer for 22 Jump Street.
3 How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Release Date: June 13th)
The first How to Train Your Dragon was, simply put, one of the best animated films to release in the last decade. It's sweeping score, beautiful cinematography, and grounded story went way beyond what we expect from the genre and established a new tone for non-Pixar films moving forward. Unfortunately, the film fell short of winning the Best Animated film Oscar, despite many feeling it was the most deserving.
But, with no Pixar film to be found this year, How to Train Your Dragon 2 has a clear path to the podium, and should take home the gold if this sequel is even half as good as its predecessor. Of course, we're just as eager to see the continued adventures of Hiccup and Toothless as the two delve deeper into dragon mythology. If you're looking for the family-friendly hit of the summer, How to Train Your Dragon 2 looks to fit the bill nicely. And it should make big money at the box office.
Check out the trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2.
2 Transformers: Age of Extinction (Release Date: June 27th)
Easily the biggest release of the summer, if not the year, Transformers: Age of Extinction has big shoes to fill. But rather than play it safe and continue with the original trilogy's storylines, director Michael Bay has decided to craft a new saga for the robots in disguise, one that sees the Transformers living in a time where their presence is detested. As you might expect, a new robotic threat forces Optimus and his crew out of hiding, and they find themselves teaming up with Mark Wahlberg's character to once again save the planet.
While a new cast of Autobots and Decepticons should have fans excited, it is the first onscreen appearance of the Dinobots that has been garnering the most attention. It's taken four movies for Bay to get there, but he is finally ready to deliver what the fans want. If the shots of Optimus riding Grimlock are any indication, Age of Extinction could very well be a fanboy's dream brought to life.
Check out the trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Say what you will about Transformers as a franchise, but Michael Bay's latest spectacle-filled blockbuster is poised to make the biggest splash in 2014. All three Transformers films have grossed more than $300 million domestic and over $700 million worldwide. In fact, the most recent release, Dark of the Moon, is a member of the $1 billion club. In other words, even if Age of Extinction falls short, it should have no problem leaving its mark.
That being said, we expect big things - both quality-wise and financially - out of all of four of these June releases. Each film has its own appeals, and three are follow-ups to hugely successful films. Could one, or even two, fall short of expectations? Sure, but it's more likely that June stands out as another huge movie-going month.
There are also a handful of June releases that didn't make our list, but might still be worth seeing in the theater. There's the surefire tearjerker The Fault in Our Stars (June 6th), which has the star power of Shailene Woodley behind it. The Clint Eastwood-directed adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys (June 20th) is a risky bet, but it's never wise to discount the power of the musical. And Think Like a Man Too (June 20th) has this year's breakout star, Kevin Hart, so we wouldn't be surprised to see this one make a play for the top spot in its opening weekend.
But what about you? Which June releases are you most looking forward to? Which film do you think will make the most money at the box office?
Once again, here are the 4 movies we're looking forward to this month:
- June 6: Edge of Tomorrow
- June 13th: 22 Jump Street, How to Train Your Dragon 2
- June 27th: Transformers: Age of Extinction
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina