Get Hyped: The big movies of 2019 (part one)

APRIL

SHAZAM!

Don’t look now but the DCEU has maybe gotten its groove back. After the dumpster fire that was Justice League‘s box office performance, the DC Comic Book universe has bounced back with a strong Aquaman and looks to continue its momentum with Shazam.

The tone looks light, the actors look like they’re having fun. There’s almost a Marvel feel to it all, which Aquaman also had (the movie was basically Thor meets Raiders of the Lost Ark). The property is not as well known as Wonder Woman or Batman, but the ads have been exactly what they needed to be and with momentum on its side (something DC hasn’t had since The Dark Knight Rises bowed in 2012), this might be the movie that makes everyone forget the Zack Snyder films and sees WB/DC comic book universe in a whole new light

It’s not going to blow the box office away and it’s releasing in a busy part of the calendar, but these are babysteps.

BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $650mm

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PET SEMATARY

After IT (Chapter One) impressed in the fall of 2017, everyone knew what would come next. No, not the second part of the movie (though that was a given), the rush to adapt everything else Stephen King has written over the years. Pet Sematary has been adapted before but now it looks like it’ll get the “IT” treatment (a good cast, serious tone, and a loyal translation). The initial trailer was effectively spooky without giving too much plot away for those who don’t know the book.

The movie lacks the pop culture resonance that IT had going for it (thanks in large part to the old Made For TV movie and Tim Curry’s incredible performance), so it’s not likely to reach the same peak, but it should still make nice money as counter-programming to Shazam.

BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $350mm

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AVENGERS: ENDGAME

There’s nothing to say. It’s going to be the biggest movie of the year, maybe the decade…maybe ever. The only thing holding it back from taking the crown is its projected three-hour runtime. Repeat business should be monstrous, though.

BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $2.9 billion

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MAY

DETECTIVE PIKACHU

Who knows. This movie is probably too niche and weird to capture mainstream attention. It’s a bizarre movie based off a spin-off of a very popular Nintendo franchise. It has that going for it, along with Ryan Reynolds, but really this is a movie that could make 90mm or 900mm and I wouldn’t be surprised. Reality is probably somewhere in the middle.

BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $300mm

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ALADDIN

Disney’s second big remake of the year is the one that probably has the least amount of goodwill behind it, even less than last year’s Beauty and the Beast. When you think of Disney’s Aladdin you think of Robin Williams, a man so expressive, so manic, so real-life-animated by nature that Disney simply drew around his rapid-fire impressions and one-liners. Williams’ genie made the movie the monster hit it was back in 1992 so doing a remake without him is a tall order. You’re basically obligated to go in a different direction with the Genie.

Enter Will Smith.

Apparently, he will be blue but he won’t do impressions. There will probably be a slew of “Fresh Prince of Agrabah” jokes. But if the songs are there, if the tone is light, and if the movie offers enough reminiscing (apart from the Genie), it’ll be okay. I am keeping my optimism high while recognizing this whole thing could crash and burn. I don’t think it will…but it could.

BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $1.1 billion

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GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

I liked the 2014 Godzilla movie. It was flawed but there was love and respect in the making. I did NOT love 2017’s Kong: Skull Island and it baffles me how people went so crazy for it. I thought it was horribly acted and lazily written. But maybe people just don’t care about that stuff as long as there are big giant monsters throwing down.

In that case, this movie should make a fortune.

It has the benefit of owning one of the very best trailers of the year in 2018 (the Comic-Con trailer that revealed all the various kaiju). The effects look great, as expected, but more than that the art design looks perfect. This is going to be a beautiful movie to look at; hopefully, everything else measures up.

BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $600mm

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JUNE

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX

Is this movie ever going to release? It should have been out months ago and it’s been delayed more times than I can count. With Disney now in control and the X-Men rights expected to revert within the first half of the year, this movie feels dead in the water. All the goodwill that had been brought back to the franchise with First Class and Days of Future Past went out the window with the dreadfully mediocre Apocalypse. There’s no momentum here, no big groundswell of excitement to bid farewell to the Fox X-Men series which, for the most part, has been more good than bad. Instead, there’s just a longing to hurry up and euthanize it already so we can see the Mutants done the MCU way.

Dark Phoenix tries again with the story that was attempted horribly with X-Men 3 back in 2006. It sucked then. I doubt it’ll suck now, but it’ll probably put me to sleep. I don’t think anyone cares about this. If Disney cancelled it and released it as a Hulu exclusive no one would bat an eye. I can see this movie releasing like a wet fart and disappearing even quicker.

BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $300mm

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TOY STORY 4

Weirdly, a lot of the reaction to this movie is “why do we need another one; the series ended perfectly with the third,” which was exactly what people said when Toy Story 3 was announced. The second movie wrapped up everything perfectly. We didn’t need another one.

And then the movie came out.

I’ve shed enough tears over Pixar movies, I’m not going to second guess them now. The studio isn’t the guaranteed magic maker they once were (too many movies and too much corporate interest to accommodate will do that), but when they’re on they’re on. I think they know the place Toy Story holds, not only in the hearts of audiences but as the granddaddy movie of their whole company. They won’t screw it up.

BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $1.5 billion

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*****

And that’s just the first six months. We didn’t even cover Spider-Man, Lion King, Star Wars, etc. There’s a slew of huge films coming out in the back-half of the year; stay tuned for that article soon!

Which movie are YOU most looking forward to in the first half of 2019? Let us know in the comments below!

> Check out part 2 of the article here

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