“Avengers: Endgame” launched the summer movie season with a superhero punch. Debuting April 26, the Marvel Studios juggernaut crossed the $2 billion box office mark in a record-breaking 11 days.
More superhero action is on the way with “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and “Spider-Man: Far from Home.” But a few nonsuperhero trends are manifesting themselves. This summer will see many movies by female filmmakers telling stories featuring women as principal characters. And following last year’s Freddie Mercury biopic hit, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” more music-related movies will be in theaters.
The female-led films include “The Nightingale,” a revenge tale from Jennifer Kent, the Australian writer-director of the 2014 horror masterpiece, “The Babadook.” Writer-director Andrea Berloff’s “The Kitchen” tells an Irish mafia story about three resourceful women in New York City, circa 1978. Holly Gent Palmo co-wrote “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”, a Richard Linklater-directed comedy-drama starring Cate Blanchett as a woman who leaves her family to follow her muse.
Also, actress Olivia Wilde makes her feature-film debut as director with “Booksmart,” a coming-of-age comedy with a female perspective. Emma Thompson plays a TV talk show host in “Late Night,” written by Mindy Kaling (“The Office”) and directed by Nisha Ganatra. Lulu Wang wrote and directed “The Farewell,” a comedy-drama about a Chinese-American family and its ailing matriarch. Other female-centric films include director Claire McCarthy’s reset of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” as “Ophelia.”
The summer’s music films include the Elton John biopic, “Rocketman.” Songs by the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen inspired “Yesterday” and “Blinded by the Light,” respectively. And there are documentaries about opera star Luciano Pavarotti and Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman.
Meanwhile, this summer has its share of sequels, remakes and spinoffs, including Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” “Godzilla: King of Monsters” and Disney’s remakes of the animated classics “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.”
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Many of the movies opening from June 21 through August are listed below. Opening dates are subject to change, and not all films play in every market.
“ANNA” — Beneath her fashion-model beauty, Anna Poliatova is one the world’s most feared assassins. The Luc Besson film stars Sasha Luss, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy and Helen Mirren.
“CHILD’S PLAY” — In this remake of the 1988 slasher hit, a single mother who’s apparently never seen “Child’s Play” gives her son a Buddi doll. Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman and Mark Hamill.
“TOY STORY 4” — Woody and his gang of toy friends take a road trip. Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves and Joan Cusack.
“THE QUIET ONE” — A documentary about original Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman.
“ECHO IN THE CANYON” — The film about the 1960s Laurel Canyon music scene that included the Byrds, Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas. Showing at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.
“OPHELIA” — A reinvention of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” featuring Ophelia as the principal character. Cast: Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Tom Felton, Clive Owen and George MacKay.
“YESTERDAY” — A romantic musical comedy from director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”), “Yesterday” imagines a world where everyone but a bloke named Jack has never heard the Beatles. Cast: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon and Ed Sheeran.
Also in June
“THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO” — A young man wants to reclaim his grandfather’s Victorian house in San Francisco. Cast: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Rob Morgan, Tichina Arnold and Danny Glover.
“SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME” — After Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, travels to Europe with friends on vacation, he joins Nick Fury to fight Mysterio. Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson and Jake Gyllenhaal.
“ANNABELLE COMES HOME” — Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren lock a possessed doll in their artifacts room. Cast: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.
“Weird Al” Yankovic’s career has outlasted many of the acts he’s parodied — in some cases, by decades.
“BRAHMS: THE BOY II” — A young family, ignorant of Heelshire Mansion’s terrifying history, moves into the estate’s guest house. Cast: Katie Holmes and Christopher Convery.
“CRAWL” — After a hurricane destroys her Florida hometown, a young woman searches for her missing father. Cast: Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper.
“MIDSOMMAR” — A reluctant young woman’s summer trip with her boyfriend goes terribly wrong. Cast: Florence Pugh, Will Poulter and William Jackson Harper.
“STUBER” — A mild-mannered Uber driver takes a harrowing ride when a passenger turns out to be a cop chasing a killer. Cast: Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Mira Sorvino and Karen Gillan.
“THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE” — Jesse Eisenberg stars in a dark comedy set in the world of karate. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola and Imogen Poots.
“THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE” — After a delivery turns deadly, the deliveryman finds millions of dollars left for the taking. Cast: Maxim Roy, Eric Bruneau and Maripier Morin.
“TRESPASSERS” — A desert vacation turns bloody. Cast: Angela Trimbur, Fairuza Balk, Janel Parrish, Jonathan Howard and Zach Avery.
“THE LION KING” — Another of Disney’s live-action remakes of animated-musical classics. Cast: Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Keegan-Michael Key, Beyonce Knowles-Carter and James Earl Jones.
“ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD” — In Los Angeles in 1969, everything is changing around former TV western star Rick Dalton and his stunt double, Cliff Booth. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning.
“THE FAREWELL” — After a Chinese-American family learns their revered matriarch is terminally ill, the clan organizes a family reunion in China. Written and directed by Lulu Wang. Cast: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong and Jiang Yongbo.
New Orleans summer is here. You know this because your sweat-drenched shirt is sticking to your body, and all you did was walk outside.
“DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD” — Dora saves her parents and solves the mystery behind a lost city of gold. Cast: Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Pena and Eva Longoria.
“THE NEW MUTANTS” — Young mutants realize the “hospital” they’re in is a haunted house. Cast: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Antonio Banderas, Alice Braga and Charlie Heaton.
“FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW” — “Fast & Furious” characters Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw appear in this spinoff. Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby and Helen Mirren.
“THE NIGHTINGALE” — Jennifer Kent’s follow-up to “The Babadook.” In 1825 in the Tasmanian wilderness, a young Irishwoman seeking revenge targets a British officer. Cast: Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin and Baykali Ganambarr.
“ARTEMIS FOWL” — Twelve-year-old genius Artemis Fowl visits an ancient underground world populated by super-fairies. Cast: Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Josh Gad and Judi Dench.
“SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK” — The scary stories a young girl wrote years before become real for teenagers who enter the mansion where the girl once lived. Written by Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro. Cast: Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Austin Zajur and Gabriel Rush.
“THE KITCHEN” — Writer-director Andrea Berloff (“Straight Outta Compton”) stages a female-driven Irish mafia drama set in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss and Domhnall Gleeson.
Ice, ice baby. Oh, and snowballs.
“BLINDED BY THE LIGHT” — The songs of Bruce Springsteen help a British teen of Pakistani descent endure intolerance. Cast: Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra, Nell Williams, Aaron Phagura and Hayley Atwell.
“GOOD BOYS” — Twelve-year-old Max and his friend Lucas embark on a series of misadventures involving accidentally stolen drugs, a frat-house, the police and, most terrifying of all, teenage girls. Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Lil Rel Howery and Will Forte.
“THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2” — The flightless birds of Bird Island and green pigs on Pig Island join forces to battle a common enemy. Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones, Bill Hader, Awkwafina, Danny McBride and Peter Dinklage.
“WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?” — Cate Blanchett plays a woman who leaves her husband and daughter to pursue her creative passions. Cast: Cate Blanchett, Judy Greer, Kristen Wiig, Laurence Fishburne, Troian Bellisario and Billy Crudup.
“ANGEL HAS FALLEN” — A Secret Service agent is framed for the attempted assassination of the president. Cast: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo and Nick Nolte.
“PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE” — In this animated comedy-adventure, Marla searches for her little brother, Charlie, after he vanishes into the magical universe of PLAYMOBIL. Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Meghan Trainor, Kenan Thompson, Adam Lambert, Jim Gaffigan and Anya Taylor Joy.
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