The Biggest, Baddest Blockbusters of 2017
BIG BUDGETS AND LOTS OF VFX
2017 is the year that the biggest Hollywood studios kick down our doors, pin us to the ground, and force us to drink from a fire hose with all of the massive blockbusters coming our way. Looking at this year’s lineup, I find myself intimidated by the sheer number of big budget movies scheduled for release. We’re about to see the revival of some huge properties that have been dormant from the big screen like The Mummy and Jumanji as well as some epic sequels in The Fate of the Furious and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. New franchises like The Dark Tower and King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword are hitting the ground running with no holds barred, their caution thrown to the wind. I’m not quite sure how some of these movies are even going to break their budgets based on how crowded these release windows are looking, but it sure is ambitious on the studios’ behalf.
We’re listing out 5 of our most anticipated blockbusters for 2017. From a list of almost 30 movies, this is no easy task, but we’re confident these films are bringing something unique and exciting to audiences everywhere.
Kong: Skull Island
We’re wickedly excited for Kong: Skull Island, and we were even fortunate enough to speak with Ross Riege who spearheaded the film’s nature unit (interview coming soon!). Kong: Skull Island is the second movie in the MonsterVerse, a crossover cinematic universe built by Legendary Entertainment that will eventually see King Kong and Godzilla face off in 2020. Before that happens, we need Kong: Skull Island to deliver a new, more primal take on the titular character to match the scale of 2014’s Godzilla.
So far everything is looking promising from the film, with trailers splashed in bright, vivid colors (a la Mad Max, anyone?) and a setting that screams hostile jungle territory. Kong: Skull Island looks like it will be a blockbuster with some punch, and the fact that it features actors like Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman is icing on the cake. Oh, and check out their posters for this movie, they’re gorgeous and belong on my bedroom wall.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Two words: Guy Ritchie. It’s as simple as that. When we saw the rumors that Ritchie was developing a multi-film take on King Arthur, it seemed like quite the departure from his typical project history. King Arthur, that’s a rather boring and stuffy subject to build a franchise around, right? However, if the trailers are any indication, a big budget and crazy special effects have done little to hamper Ritchie’s unique style and delivery. You can see the traces of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch in some of the dialogue bits and cinematic flair, and the polish of the more recent The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Sherlock Holmes are evident in the production quality.
Right now, it seems like this movie could either tank or take off into the stratosphere. Realistically though, it might struggle a bit since it’s release is bordered by two other massively anticipated movies: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 a week before and Alien: Covenant a week after. With Guardians shaping up to deliver more interplanetary Marvel adventure and Alien: Covenant promising a return to the franchise’s horror roots, Ritchie’s King Arthur flick has two uphill battles to face. Doesn’t matter for us though, we’re still dropping money for two tickets to this.
Wonder Woman was one of the few saving graces in last year’s exhaustive Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. While the rest of DC’s shared cinematic universe seems to be scrambling for some semblance of stability, Wonder Woman appears to be doing many things right. For starters, it seems to understand the importance and gravity surrounding its own release. After almost 10 years of shared cinematic universes involving comic book characters, Wonder Woman will be the only one featuring a female lead. While this is a disappointing fact, Warner Bros. seems to have taken it to heart, and even realized it would be important to put a female director in charge of the project. Representation is as important in front of the camera as it is behind it, and it is refreshing to see this matter handled with such attention.
Ultimately, the DCEU will live or die on what Justice League is able to do later in the year, but we’re hoping that Wonder Woman is a special treat before that judgement day arrives. Also, do me a favor and look up Wonder Woman’s new theme music. Its heavy, raw, and was easily the most exciting part of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Martha. That’s what it was called right?
Blade Runner 2049
Harrison Ford returning to one of the most influential science fiction titles is exciting, but even more exciting is Blade Runner 2049 being directed by the incredibly talented Denis Villeneuve. Villeneuve has cemented himself as a director capable of delivering incredibly human stories in a wide range of settings, and if Arrival is any example, it means he can handle sci-fi very effectively. I can’t remember where I heard this from, but science fiction is most brilliant when it isn’t concerned with laser beams and futuristic gloss, but rather telling human stories in creative settings.
The original Blade Runner revolved around what it means to be truly alive as Deckard hunts down androids (called replicants) who are trying by all means necessary to live beyond their 4 year service times. We’re still not too sure what the plot of Blade Runner 2049 will revolve around, but we can expect some captivating science fiction with Villeneuve at the helm. Without such a talented director, Blade Runner 2049 could have been nothing more than a cash grab by the studio trying to capitalize off a well known property.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Where do I even start with this one? It’s the next main episodic Star Wars entry, so of course its making our most anticipated list. The Force Awakens was tasked with reviving the Star Wars we know and love and bringing it into the future with a new cast and setting. Now that the torch has been passed on, it is time for Rey, Finn, and Poe to take center stage and make the sequel trilogy their own story.
Rogue One was a nice little aside from the main entries, but it’s high time we step back into the real meat of Star Wars. We are looking forward to Rian Johnson’s darker sequel in The Last Jedi and unearthing new mysteries: who are Rey’s parents? Is BB-8 superior to R2-D2? And will Luke ever smile again? Thank goodness for Disney giving us tons of new Star Wars content. To me, Christmas doesn’t start on December 25th, but whenever I get to sit in a theater filled with Star Wars fans on opening night. What greater gift could there be?
This release schedule is absolutely bonkers. Between March 3 and July 28, there are only two lone weeks in April where a massive blockbuster doesn’t open. Otherwise, every week for nearly 5 months sees the release of something huge. We’ve listed below the biggest things hitting theaters this year.
- Logan – 3/3
- Kong: Skull Island – 3/10
- Beauty and the Beast – 3/17
- Power Rangers – 3/24
- Ghost in the Shell – 3/31
- The Fate of the Furious – 4/14
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 – 5/5
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – 5/12
- Alien: Covenant – 5/19
- Baywatch – 5/22
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – 5/26
- Wonder Woman – 6/2
- The Mummy – 6/9
- Cars 3 – 6/16
- Transformers: The Last Knight – 6/23
- Despicable Me 3 – 6/30
- Spider-Man: Homecoming – 7/7
- War for the Planet of the Apes – 7/14
- Dunkirk – 7/21
- Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – 7/21
- The Dark Tower – 7/28
- The LEGO NINJAGO Movie – 9/22
- Blade Runner 2049 – 10/6
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle – 10/6
- Thor: Ragnarok – 11/3
- Justice League – 11/17
- Coco – 11/22
- Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi – 12/15
- Jumanji – 12/22
And that pretty much sums up the biggest movies hitting theaters this year. While our excitement for these movies varies widely, there is no arguing that studios are betting big on these movies performing well at the box office. It will be interesting to see how much each movie takes in with such a high volume of competition. Maybe this will be the year that studios back off the aggressive scheduling, but one can only speculate on the future of the big blockbuster. Until then, we’re more than happy to get a Star Wars flick a year.