As expected, May 2015 brought a number of big-budget hits and fan-favorites to the top of the box office. Avengers: Age of Ultron - while not as universally acclaimed as its predecessor - proved that Earth's Mightiest Heroes aren't leaving the $1 billion club anytime soon, and Mad Max: Fury Road earned critical raves and solid cash, despite failing to top Pitch Perfect 2 on its debut weekend. Meanwhile, Tomorrowland proved to be the month's biggest letdown for many, as the Brad Bird directed film attracted a smaller-than-expected audience amid mediocre reviews.
Looking ahead, June brings its own share of much-anticipated sequels, promising original releases, and another chance to judge whether non-franchise fare can land a box office home run.
Here are the 7 films to check out in June 2015:
Entourage (Release Date: June 3)
Producer Mark Wahlberg and various members of the Entourage cast have spent years promising that a big-screen adaptation was on its way. Now the film version of the popular series - which aired on HBO from 2004 to 2011 - is about to hit theaters, with a plot focusing on Vincent Chase's (Adrian Grenier) directorial debut. However, that story serves largely as a plot device designed to reunite the whole gang.
Entourage is quite clearly a male-centered attempt to duplicate the success of the Sex and the City movie, another film adaptation of a hit HBO series. It remains to be seen if guys will gather in droves to see the film in theaters or if its audience will be limited strictly to those who are already fans of director Doug Ellin's show. In either case, Entourage could serve as a franchise launchpad for Warner Bros. if it emerges a box office champ.
Check out the latest trailer for Entourage.
Spy (Release Date: June 5)
Melissa McCarthy has already proven herself a marquee name with back-to-back hits The Heat and Identity Thief in 2013. However, last summer's Tammy, while successful, failed to soar to the same heights. This time, McCarthy reteams with Paul Feig (The Heat, Bridesmaids) for Spy; and judging by the film's positive response during its premiere at South by Southwest (SXSW) earlier this year, it could become one of the actress's biggest hits thus far.
The spy caper comedy - in which a CIA analyst (McCarthy) volunteers to go undercover on a dangerous mission - also stars Jason Statham (fresh off the success of Furious 7), Rose Byrne and Jude Law. With that cast and Feig's strong track record at the box office, Spy could very well be the breakout R-rated comedy hit of the summer - though it will face competition from another film hitting theaters this month (more on that later).
Check out the latest trailer for Spy.
Insidious: Chapter 3 (Release Date: June 5)
Horror sequels are known to be hit-and-miss, but in the case of Insidious: Chapter 3, there is legitimate reason to think that the franchise is in good hands. After all, it marks the directorial debut for franchise co-writer Leigh Whannell - who also plays Specs in this series - and features a brand-new case for medium Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) and her team of paranormal investigators.
A prequel to the first two films, the deceptively titled Insidious: Chapter 3 endeavors to keep the series fresh with a new family facing supernatural danger; and, in doing so, could shed new light on the mysterious spirit-inhabited world known as The Further. The second film in the franchise toyed with conventions of time and space and created a richer mythology in the process - one that either deflated the first movie's eerie allure or added intriguing new wrinkles of complexity to the story, depending on how you look at it.
Perhaps the third time's a charm, and Insidious: Chapter 3 can strike the perfect balance?
Check out the latest trailer for Insidious: Chapter 3.
Jurassic World (Release Date: June 12)
It's been so long since a fourth Jurassic Park film was revealed to be in development that longtime fans of the series may have been understandably skeptical that the project would ever arrive in theaters. This month, Jurassic World will finally continue the story 14 years after its predecessor (Jurassic Park III) and 22 years since Steven Spielberg's iconic original film. It has a lot to live up to, but with Spielberg's blessing and an expected opening weekend of $100 million, dino fever may be about to strike again.
Thus far, the footage has somewhat divided fans of the franchise. However, when you have Star-Lord himself (Guardians of the Galaxy's Chris Pratt) leading a team of trained raptors, it's a safe bet that anyone with even a passing interest in Jurassic Park will show up to see the insanity that ensues when dinosaurs run amok at a theme park that is actually open this time.
Check out the latest trailer for Jurassic World.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Release Date: June 12)
Hitting theaters in wide release the same weekend as Jurassic World, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl made a big splash in its debut at the Sundance Film Festival early this year, winning both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize. Starring Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler and Olivia Cooke, the indie drama centers on a pair of teenage filmmakers who befriend a cancer-ridden classmate and end up putting together a film for her.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl marks only the second film from director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (The Town the Dreaded Sundown). It's based on the 2012 novel by Jesse Andrews (who also wrote the script), and looks like it could nail just the right melancholic combination of comedy and tragedy to be one of 2015's sleeper indie hits. If nothing else, its stars and director are liable to see a career boost following its lauded festival reception.
Check out the latest trailer for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Inside Out (Release Date: June 19)
Pixar may have tarnished its flawless reputation in recent years with its heavy focus on sequels. So Inside Out brings audiences their best chance in years to witness the birth of another animated masterpiece from the house that made the Toy Story trilogy, Up and The Incredibles. It certainly doesn't hurt that Pete Docter (Up, Monsters Inc.) is co-directing and co-writing the film.
Delving into the emotional complexity of a young girl, the story of Inside Out is told from the perspective of her emotions and features a broad cast that includes Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black. The team at Pixar are experts at creating exciting new worlds that are fun and lively enough to delight children as well as complex enough to resonate with adult viewers. Inside Out looks like it could use this creative storytelling device to highlight the confusion of adolescence and the ongoing efforts necessary to keep a family together. Early Inside Out reviews indicate Pixar has another winner on its hands, too.
Check out the latest trailer for Inside Out.
Ted 2 (Release Date: June 26)
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has a pretty smooth transition into his film career with the 2012 release of Ted. The comedy told the story of a man-child (Mark Wahlberg) whose bond with his living teddy bear best friend (voiced by MacFarlane) is keeping him from growing up and committing to his girlfriend (Mila Kunis). Ted wound up earning $549 million worldwide, so now we're getting Ted 2 - which appears to have turned its attention to the plush bear himself.
When Ted and his new wife (Jessica Barth, reprising her role from the first film) decide to adopt a baby, they face legal obstacles that force Ted to prove his humanity in court. It's a little hard to decide just how worthwhile the story at the heart of Ted 2 is without seeing how it plays out onscreen. Still, the antics of "thunder buddies" Ted and John (Wahlberg) are sure to bring fans back to theaters. MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West performed quite poorly last year, so a surefire hit like Ted 2 couldn't come for the actor/writer/director soon enough.
Check out the latest trailer for Ted 2.
Now in the heart of summer, June has something for everyone, from heartwarming family films (Inside Out) to sci-fi thrills (Jurassic World) and R-rated comedies (Spy, Ted 2). July has its own share of promising new features in store, but with any luck, June will be a red-letter month for blockbuster fans of every genre.
Once again, here are the 7 films to check out in June:
- June 3: Entourage
- June 5: Spy, Insidious: Chapter 3
- June 12: Jurassic World, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
- June 19: Inside Out
- June 26: Ted 2