HOLLYWOOD—It’s official, 2010 is long gone and 2011 has arrived. While there were many blockbusters in 2010 such as “Toy Story 3,” “Inception,” “Twilight: Eclipse” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” to name a few, 2011 promises to be even bigger with the return of familiar franchises, sequels galore and the invasion of superheroes. Slated to be more explosive than its predecessor is “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” arriving in theaters on July 1. This next chapter in the saga will be missing a familiar face as Megan Fox will not be joining Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf). The previous film was panned by critics so expect this film to redeem itself with more action than ever.
If you’re looking for a familiar superhero, then perhaps “Thor” is your cup of tea slamming into the theaters on May 6. The film stars Chris Hemsworth as the title character alongside Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and Idris Elba. I must say the trailer looks promising, and of course who doesn’t remember that iconic hammer from the comics? There’s also the “Green Lantern” on June 17 starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. Reynolds portrays the superhero whose ring possesses an enormous amount of power. For those who crave the return of the most popular mutants of all time, “X-Men: First Class” debuts on June 1, but this is more of an origin tale of the first mutants; so this should be interesting to say the least. Chris Evans will don that infamous shield and suit for “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which arrives on July 22. Evans, who recently portrayed the Human Torch in the “Fantastic Four” franchise, should have no problem tackling this role. With so many superheroes I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with choices. By the way, did I mention most of them are expected to be in 3D?
For those movie lovers looking for more family-friendly films perhaps “Cars 2” on June 24 will please your little tike. The follow-up to the 2006 flick will likely be a hit amongst kids. There’s also the return of Jack Black for “Kung Fu Panda 2” in May. The last film was hilarious so don’t expect anything less. Maybe the big screen version of everyone’s adored blue people will please moviegoers as “The Smurfs” arrive. The cartoon has been a favorite for many growing up.
If you’re looking for a film that is a likely to boggle the mind check out Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga in “Source Code” on April 15. Gyllenhaal stars as a man who has the ability to take over other people’s identities for a limited amount of time in an attempt to stop an explosion. Liam Neeson stars alongside January Jones and Diane Kruger in the psychological thriller “Unknown.” He portrays a man who wakes up from a coma to find his entire life altered. Looks like a perfect mind-bender. Amanda Seyfried stars in “Red Riding Hood,” a retelling of the classic fairytale that hits the screen in March. This version looks to be a bit darker and more for the adults.
Some of the biggest franchises return to the screen in 2011 such as Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” on May 20. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are out, but Penelope Cruz is in as a love interest for Sparrow. This installment finds Captain Sparrow searching for the fountain of youth. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return for “Fast Five” on April 29. The last film was a boxoffice hit; this time around the gang hits Rio De Janerio to race some really fast vehicles with explosions along the way. Expect the final chapter of the Harry Potter franchise with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” on July 18, where Harry’s fate will finally be revealed. The final chapter of the Twilight saga also begins with “Breaking Dawn: Part I” arriving in November; the concluding chapter arrives in 2012. My money is on “Breaking Dawn” reigning supreme at the box office.
Last summer, 3D came directly at audiences in “The Final Destination.” The movie proved to be a superior 3D film that excelled, but death appears to have returned in “Final Destination 5” arriving August 26. This time around, a group of people escape a suspension bridge accident. Emma Bell and Tony Todd star in this suspense thriller that was shot in 3D. Rumor has it that someone’s demise will be at the hand of eye laser surgery; sounds scary. My top pick for the must see film of the year is “Scream 4” arriving on tax day, April 15. It’s been 10 years since we’ve last seen Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courtney Cox Arquette). While “Scream 3” was expected to be the final chapter in the series, writer Kevin Williamson has returned with a new story that is expected to launch a brand new trilogy in the franchise. Wes Craven also helms as director. Ghostface won’t only be targeting our faves this time around as Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Lucy Hale, Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin, Rory Culkin and Adam Brody are just a sleuth of stars in the film that is likely to redefine the horror genre once again. “Do you like scary movies?”
These are just a few highlights of films that are likely to dominate the boxoffice in 2011; while many others will arrive in the coming months these should be on your must-see list. Trust me, you’ll be pleased with the results!