The Top 15 Movies Coming In 2018
Although 2017 had a 2% dip over 2016 in total box-office revenue, it certainly seemed like a good year with 35 films breaking $100 million, compared with only 28 in 2016. Like last year, we have a mouthful of superhero themed movies – 5 from Marvel alone (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, X-Men: Dark Phoenix), DC Comics (Aquaman) and three other entries from major franchises (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Mission Impossible 6). Even though only fifteen movies are mentioned here, this year is packed with eye and ear candy.
1. Black Panther (2/16/18)
Director: Ryan Coogler (Creed)
Composer: Ludwig Göransson (Creed, Central Intelligence)
Yet another of the seemingly endless spinoffs in the Marvel Universe, but at least we have a slightly different flavor here. After first being introduced in Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa aka The Black Panther, returns home to claim the throne of Wakanda after his father’s murder only to be challenged by a formidable foe. Of course it culminates in a conflict where the fate of the world hangs in the balance. The pre-buzz around this one is extraordinary, so get your tickets now!
2. A Wrinkle in Time (3/9/18)
Director: Ava Duvernay (Selma, Middle of Nowhere)
Composer: Ramin Djawadi (Westworld, Game of Thrones, Iron Man)
This is one of the more intriguing offerings this year. Based on the classic 1962 novel of the same name, it expounds on time travel, tesseracts and astral projection. All from the viewpoint of a few kids trying to rescue their father from an omnipotent evil. Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid and Chris Pine star in this “Alice-in-Wonderland-in-space” epic adventure.
3. Tomb Raider (3/16/18)
Director: Roar Uthaug (The Wave)
Composer: Junkie XL (Mad Max:Fury Road, Deadpool)
Alicia Vikander stars in this latest franchise reboot which will be based on the 2013 video game. Clearly a rehash of the original Angelina Jolie films, this will test the star power of Ms. Vikander in an action role. However, with strong female leads becoming much more in vogue (an area where she excels) this vehicle should be well suited to her abilities.
4. Ready Player One (3/30/18)
Director: Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones)
Composer: Alan Silvestri (The Avengers, Forrest Gump, Back to the Future)
Although it’s another dystopian futuristic sci-fi flick, this one has the majority of its occupants living in a virtual reality world called OASIS. When the creator dies, he hides his fortune in an Easter Egg somewhere in the game. Whoever finds it will inherit his fortune. The film is packed with 80’s and 90’s pop culture references including Back to the Future, TRON, Akira and Duke Nukem, plus a ton of others. John Williams was supposed to compose the score, but couldn’t because of a scheduling conflict with his work on Spielberg’s other film, The Post. If I had to pick any other person to replace him, it would definitely be Alan Silvestri.
5. Avengers: Infinity War (4/27/18)
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo (Captain America 1 & 2)
Composer: Alan Silvestri (Night at the Museum, A-Team)
The Avengers movies continue to add more and more characters. While the action is great, I wonder how many they can keep adding while still maintaining any sense of character development. One thing you can be sure of is that is as big as movies get.
6. Deadpool 2 (5/18/18)
Director: David Leitch (Atomic Blonde)
Composer: Tyler Bates (Guardians of the Galaxy, John Wick)
As the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever, Deadpool shocked the genre with what was possible in a superhero movie. The sequel, as-yet untitled, has some big shoes to fill. Josh Brolin is a nice addition here playing Cable. Besides the ridiculously fake synopsis Twentieth Century Fox released, the story so far is unknown.
7. Solo: A Star Wars Story (5/25/18)
Director: Ron Howard (Da Vinci Code, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13)
Composer: John Powell (Jason Bourne, How to Train Your Dragon)
This should be an interesting one. Of course, Rogue One was a huge success, but Solo has already started to incur some negative buzz. With the departure of the original directors only a few weeks from finishing principal filming, this project has felt a little out of balance throughout its production. They were going for an improv-comedy angle that apparently wasn’t working, so Disney brought in Ron Howard to take over. Howard was George Lucas’ original choice to direct The Phantom Menace, so fans should have some confidence in him. John Williams will be composing a new theme for the film, while John Powell takes over scoring duties.
8. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (6/8/18)
Director: J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls, The Orphanage)
Composer: Michael Giacchino (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Jurassic World)
After the Jurassic World theme park was shut down, a dormant volcano that no one noticed on Isla Nubar has suddenly become active. Why anyone cares if a volcano kills the already extinct dinosaurs that have continued to wreak havoc on the world every time they’re brought back is beyond me….but, Owen (Chris Pratt) returns to the island to rescue his favorite pet velociraptor Blue, and in the process uncovers some horrible conspiracy that could affect the whole planet. The script is by the same guys who wrote the last one, so that’s either a good thing or a bad thing (they also happen to be writing Star Wars IX). Let’s just hope it’s not as bad as it sounds.
9. Ant-Man and the Wasp (6/29/18)
Director: Peyton Reed (Ant-Man, Yes Man)
Composer: Christophe Beck (Ant-Man, Frozen)
Unlikely super hero Paul Rudd is back as Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. After the fallout of the events in Captain America: Civil War, Scott tries to balance his life as a father and as Ant-Man. He is approached by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with a mission that requires him to don the Ant-Man suit once again. Pre-buzz has been pretty minimal with this movie, but that’s not necessarily bad considering Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War are releasing his year as well. If it’s anything like the original, fans will be happy.
10. The Incredibles 2 (7/13/18)
Director: Brad Bird (Tomorrowland, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Incredibles)
Composer: Michael Giacchino (Jurassic World, Rogue One, The Incredibles)
Considering the $631 million the original grossed, I’m not sure why it took 14 years to produce a sequel. But, director Brad Bird has said he would only do one if he had a story that was as good or better than the original. We don’t know very much about it yet, other than it picks up right where the original left off and the focus shifts from Bob (Craig T. Nelson) to Helen (Holly Hunter) as the main protagonist. Michael Giacchino returns to score his 7th Pixar movie.
11. Alita: Battle Angel (7/20/18)
Director: Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado)
Composer: Junkie XL (Deadpool, Mad Max: Fury Road)
With James Cameron producing and Robert Rodriguez directing, you know this film is going to “bring it.” A Japanese manga adaptation, the story follows a female cyborg – Alita (Rosa Salazar) – who is found in a trash dump and reconstructed by Dr. Ido (Christoph Waltz). Her body is artificial with a human brain, yet she has no memory. Her journey to discover who she forces her to fight to change the world she’s in. The Alita character is CGI and was shot using the latest ‘Avatar’ technology. If the film does well, there will be a lot more to come from this franchise.
12. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (7/27/18)
Director: Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Jack Reacher)
Besides Tom Cruise breaking bones during the filming of this movie, not much is known yet. But considering the track record of this franchise and having director Chris McQuarrie at the helm, it will assuredly hit where it needs to. With Tom getting up there in age, I’m not sure how many more of these we will get, so enjoy it while it lasts.
13. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (11/2/18)
Director: Simon Kinberg
Composer: Hans Zimmer
The twelfth film in the X-Men series, X-Men: Dark Phoenix will start a new trilogy based on a more faithful adaptation of “The Dark Phoenix Saga.” In this one, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) loses control of her abilities due to a solar flare during a space rescue mission and becomes a Dark Phoenix. This seems to happen to her rather frequently in the X-Men films…… It will be interesting to see what Hans Zimmer brings here, as he publicly stated he was “retiring” from superhero films after Batman v Superman. Simon Kinberg reportedly convinced him to do the score.
14. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (11/16/18)
Director: David Yates (Fantastic Beasts, Harry Potter 5 – 8)
Composer: James Newton Howard (Maleficent, Batman Begins, The Village)
I have to admit that I found the original Fantastic Beasts a little slow and boring, although there did seem to be potential. Let’s hope this sequel (out of a planned five films) brings a little more to it than the first. It certainly seems like it could with the idea of a younger Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) teaming up to thwart Grindelwald’s (Johnny Depp) agenda of relegating all the muggles of the world subservient to the rule of pure-blood wizards.
15. Aquaman (12/21/18)
Director: James Wan (Furious 7, Insidious, Dead Silence)
Composer: Rupert Gregson-Williams (Wonder Woman, The Legend of Tarzan)
The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is working hard to catch up to Marvel with an array of spin-offs and Ensemble films. Aquaman marks their sixth entry after Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Justice league, but there are four more after this already in production and SIXTEEN more in development. Jason Momoa finally gets his own film as the King of Atlantis in which he must fend off multiple villains who want his throne. Joining Aquaman is Mera (Amber Heard), who is a warrior of the undersea Atlantis endowed with “hydrokinetic” powers and telepathic abilities and Nicole Kidman as his mother, Queen Atlanna.