January 2, 2013

2013: THE MOVIE YEAR TO COME (April-June)


Yesterday we took a look at what’s coming to theaters in the 1st quarter of 2013 (read it here).  Today we’ll start to delve into the studio’s favorite time of year:  summer.  (August-September is here, and October-December is here.)

But first, there’s April, a month where the studios tend to reserve their big guns for the larger crowds to come.  The month kicks off on April 5 with THE HEAT (20th), teaming Sandra Bullock with Melissa McCarthy in a cop buddy comedy that looks like an unofficial sequel to Miss Congeniality.  The day also brings the latest 3D re-release of a classic, this time JURASSIC PARK (Universal).  April 12 features two kinds of horror:  the rebooted EVIL DEAD (Sony) and the spoof SCARY MOVIE 5 (Weinstein), which is also essentially a reboot (and one The Weinstein Company sorely needs after the failure of Scream 4).  Against those is the very earnest counterprogramming of 42 (Warners), the story of Jackie Robinson’s first year in the big (and up until then segregated) leagues, timed for the start of baseball season.  If you listen closely, you can hear the drums start beating for a Supporting Actor nomination for Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey.  On April 19, Tom Cruise tries once again to prove he’s a superstar in movies without Mission: Impossible in the title, this time in the big-budget sci-fi epic OBLIVION (Universal).  The pre-summer part of the year ends on April 26 with two movies appealing to very different demos:  Michael Bay’s battle of the biceps thriller PAIN AND GAIN (Paramount), with Mark Wahlberg and The Rock, pitted against the postponed-from-2012 chick flick ensemble THE BIG WEDDING (Lionsgate), toplining Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl and Amanda Seyfried.  Longterm relationships will fall asunder depending on the choices made at the multiplexes that weekend.

And then… summer!  At least as Hollywood calculates it, which is starting on May 3 with the opening of IRON MAN 3 (Disney), a franchise so big it gets the wide-release weekend to itself.  On May 10, the gentle time travel fantasy ABOUT TIME (Universal), with no star power to speak of (Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams), is scheduled to open against Baz Luhrman’s epic 3D version of THE GREAT GATSBY (Warners), with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.  The latter may not be a good movie–the trailers are fairly dire–but it’s sure to suck all the oxygen out of the weekend, so Universal may want to think twice.  Tyler Perry’s WE THE PEEPLES (Lionsgate) will, as usual, appeal to its own sizable demographic niche.  May 17 belongs to another benemoth:  STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS (Paramount).  On May 24, Memorial Day weekend brings 3 contenders:  animated EPIC (20th) and two big sequels, FAST AND FURIOUS 6 (Universal) and THE HANGOVER PART III (Warners).  Somewhat oddly, the only opening currently scheduled for  May 31 is the low-budget thriller THE PURGE (Universal) with Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey.

We get to the meat of summer with June.  The corporate empire that is Will Smith stars (with his son) in the sci-fi spectacular AFTER EARTH (Sony) on June 7, competing with the Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson comedy THE INTERNSHIP (20th) and the magician caper movie NOW YOU SEE ME (Summit/Lionsgate), starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo.  June 14 is largely handed over to the gigantic (maybe?) Superman reboot MAN OF STEEL (Warners), which its studio desperately hopes will compensate for the end of the Dark Knight series.  It’s being modestly counterprogrammed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s directing debut, the doomsday comedy THIS IS THE END (Sony).  June 21 stars monsters and zombies, with the prequel MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (Disney/Pixar) and the Brad Pitt thriller WORLD WAR Z (Paramount).  A footnote on the latter:  Paramount is already running commercials for it on ESPN and other networks 6 months in advance, and one can easily imagine a pricey Super Bowl spot in its future–at that rate, its marketing costs in the US alone could easily hit $75-100M, on top of a huge production budget.  So good luck, Paramount!  The month and quarter end on June 28 with WHITE HOUSE DOWN (Sony), the year’s 2d and more deluxe White House invasion, courtesy of director Roland Emmerich and stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx and Maggie Gyllenhaal.  Grappling with it is KICK ASS 2 (Universal), rather surprisingly given such a prominent opening date considering that the original didn’t even make $50M at the boxoffice.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."