There’s a lot of sequels and even more prequels on the roster for this summer’s box office hopefuls, plus some adaptation and a few remakes and reboots. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson star as two salesmen who find their jobs have become replaced by the Internet, and try to compete for an internship at Google against a group of hot, young, tech-savvy hotshots.
Man of Steel
Unlike heavy superhero hitters like “The Avengers” or “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Man of Steel” doesn’t command quite enough weight to make other movies flee in its wake, but Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Superman story could still outweigh them all with ticket sales from hoards of salivating fanboys alone. Brit Henry Cavill steps into the boots of the defender of truth, justice and the American Way, while Amy Adams takes up Lois Lane’s notebook and pen.
It’s tough to follow up on the tear-jerking ending of 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.,” but going back in time? Totally legal. “Monsters University” follows a young Mike and Sully as they duke out their differences in college, where they closer resemble frenemies than the bromance they were in the original.
World War Z
Brad Pitt’s take on Max Brooks’ nerd-acclaimed book looks iffy and the zombie apocalypse is starting to be kind of passe, isn’t it? Still, Brad Pitt. Zombies. End of the world. It’s worked in the past.
Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy star in what looks to be kind of a “Miss Congeniality”-“Bridesmaids” amalgamation. Bullock plays an uptight FBI agent forced to work with the more aggressive McCarthy to take down a ruthless drug lord, but both have the reputation of being loners and difficult to work with. Cue the cross-cultural jokes and eventual, hard-won friendship and understanding.
White House Down
Channing Tatum goes to the bold new heights Gerard Butler already did a few months ago, which is to save the White House and the president. So if you liked the explosive excitement that was “Air Force One, Except This Time on the Ground,” you might like seeing it again, except with different actors and a slightly different plot.
Despicable Me 2
The Minions are back, and this time they (uh, and Gru, and Agnes, and Edith, and Margo) are tasked with taking down a new supervillain. If you didn’t already know this was coming out, you don’t have children, don’t know any children or live under a rock. Or maybe just the children I know are super excited.
Armie Hammer dons the iconic mask and Johnny Depp puts on warpaint and a loincloth (is that even still allowed nowdays?) to bring the radio and television serial to the big screen. Hammer looks kind of like Orlando Bloom if you squint a bit, Depp’s here in all of his muttered-line glory, and the movie’s directed by Gore Verbrinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. So, you know, it’s another Pirates of the Caribbean, Old West Style.
Apparently the biggest threats to Earth haven’t come from aliens, but deep-sea monsters or something, so soldiers have to pile into big robots to beat them up. Guillermo del Toro directs, and I’m sure it will be a terribly exciting movie, but every time I see the preview I can’t help but think it’s Godzilla vs. the Power Rangers Megazord.
Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich are back for more as retired spies thrust back in the game, and are joined this time by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins. The first one was really, really fun. If this one is only one “really”-worth of fun, it will still be worth seeing.
After 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” killed it in all the wrong ways at the box office, the creative team behind Hugh Jackman’s admantium-clawed X-Man decided to reboot the story, differentiating it from the last movie by taking out the X-Men reference and adding a definitive article at the front. Oh, and also it takes place in Japan, so it’s different. It might not sound like it, but I’m excited for this.
The Smurfs 2
I’ve included this in the preview as more of a “heads-up, parents” than as something to get excited about. A sequel? Seriously? And have you seen the previews? Oh. My. Gosh. It makes “The Chipmunks” 2 and 3 look like high art.
Not yet rated
Mark Wahlbrg and Denzel Washington star as a pair of tough-as-nails investigators — one from the Drug Enforcement Agency, the other undercover Naval Intelligence — who find out they’ve been set up against each other by the mob, which they each thought they’d been stealing money from, so then they decide to work together. Because the mob would have never anticipated they’d do that.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
This second adaptation of a book in Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series finds the title character and his friends in search of the Golden Fleece to save Camp Half-Blood from a rising ancient evil. Still a better sequel than “Smurfs 2.”
Not to be confused with Disney-Pixar’s “Cars,” “Disney’s Planes” (yes, that’s the official title) has to do with planes that fly around and talk to each other.
We’re the Millers
Not yet rated
Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Stone and Ed Helms star in this comedy about a pot dealer who creates a fake family as part of a plot to move a heckaton of the stuff across the border to Mexico.
The gang is back in this sequel to 2010’s unconventional superhero story, with Red Mist plotting revenge against the costumed high-school hero.
Not yet rated
Liam Hemsworth stars as a low-level employee at a large company who finds himself in a corner office. There’s just one catch — he has to spy on his boss’ old mentor to get a big-money corporate advantage. Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Richard Dreyfuss and Josh Holloway (better known as That One Guy From “Lost”) also star.
Not yet rated
Forrest Whitaker stars as Cecil Gaines, the White House’s head butler from 1952 to 1986 through eight presidents and a period of significant race relations, in this biopic that takes place in The White House but where (presumably) nothing gets blown up.
The World’s End
These apocalyptic movies are becoming a dime a dozen but this Edgar Wright-directed comedy could stand out. Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman star as two of five friends who attempt to recreate a pub crawl from two decades before, during which they inadvertantly become the human race’s only chance for survival. Rosamund Pike also stars.