It’s been a bumper year for movie lovers — but 2015 will be even better.
Comic book adaptation blockbusters were very much the order of the day this year with Guardians of the Galaxy topping the bill ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Though the cast of Guardians lacked A-list names, it managed to bring in more than $160m (€128m) at the box office in its opening weekend. In comparison, big-budget Disney movie Maleficent, starring screen icon Angelina Jolie, brought in less than $70m in its first three days.
The first part of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, has been praised for featuring a strong female lead in Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence.
A bit hit at the box office, it raked in $120m in its opening weekend and got rave reviews, though it didn’t quite make as much as its predecessor Catching Fire, which opened at $160m. While Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar, made considerably less when it opened in November (less than $50m), it should also be marked as one of the most popular movies of the year, if only based on the viewers’ and critics’ overwhelmingly positive reaction.
Further nods should also go to the somewhat overlooked The Lego Movie, which opened at $70m, and the spectacular Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which opened at just over $72m.
Those records will be tested following the release of the final installment of Peter Jackson’s big-footed Hobbit trilogy The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which opened here on Friday. It grossed $25m globally in its first two days.
Action movies are set to dominate again in 2015 with Taken 3 and the seventh installment of Star Wars among the most anticipated.
Others highlights to watch out for include:
- Fifty Shades of Grey — February 13;
- The Avengers: Age of Ultron — May 1;
- Mad Max: Fury Road — May 15;
- Jurassic World — June 12:
Some 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), the Isla Nublar island is now home to a fully functioning dinosaur theme park called Jurassic World.
After 10 years of operation, visitor numbers start to decline, so a new attraction is created to put the park back in the limelight — a project which backfires horribly, of course.
The film stars Chris Pratt, who got his big break this year with The Guardians of the Galaxy, and Jake Johnson who is most remembered for his role as Nick in the sitcom New Girl.
- Pan — July 17:
Everybody knows the plot of Peter Pan — the boy who never grew up, choosing instead to live in the magical land of Neverland. But this film is set to be somewhat darker than the original fairytale, focusing on the orphan boy before he becomes a legend.
Starring Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried, the movie has sparked considerable hype in the last few months, but has also had to deal with a backlash for casting a white actress, Rooney Mara, as Native American character Tiger Lily.
- The Fantastic Four — August 7;
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 — November 20;
- Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens — December 18:
Director JJ Abrams is playing this one extremely close to the chest. The movie is a continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi.
Fans will be reassured to see familiar favourites such as the Millennium Falcon in the recently release official trailer, and to welcome back original-series stars such as Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, who was injured during filming, delaying production slightly.
Part of the film was shot in Kerry, on the island of Skellig Michael.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved