The Sequels to See this Spring
Many argue that some of cinema’s best-ever films have been a next installment – think Godfather 2, Aliens, or The Empire Strikes Back. Many sequel skeptics, however, love reminding us of disasters that ruined perfectly good movie legacies, from Fletch 2 to Jaws 2 to the time Francis Ford Coppola forgot to quit while he was ahead and gave the world Godfather 3. Whichever sequel side of the aisle you’re on, the fact is there are a slew of big ones coming out this spring. Here, a handy guide to which flicks you won’t regret dropping 14 bucks on.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release Date: March 25
Follow-up to: Man of Steel (2013)
Official Plot Synopsis: With Batman (Ben Affleck) convinced that Superman (Henry Cavill) is a threat to humanity, he embarks on a personal vendetta against him. At the same time, villain Lex Luthor (Jesse Einsenberg) launches his own attack against the Man of Steel.
Returning Cast Members: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne
New Stars to Look For: Ben Affleck, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot
The Buzz: The combo of DC Comics’ pedigree, a bunch of A-listers, and two of the world’s most famous fictional characters make for a movie a lot of people are excited about. The recent release of a new international trailer made news with many comic book junkies taking a certain scene as confirmation we can expect an appearance by fabled DC villain Darkseid, which is apparently a pretty big deal. Two weeks before opening weekend, advance ticket sales had already totaled upwards of $25 million, according to Deadline.
Worldwide Box Office on the Last One: $668 million worldwide
You’ll Want to See It If … you’re a superhero movie fan and, thus, are well aware that Batman and Superman have never before been seen together in a live-action film, and that this will also be the first time you’ll get to see Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg on the big screen. It’s basically like one big superhero cocktail party.
Barbershop: The Next Cut
Release Date: April 15
Follow-up to: Barbershop (2002) and Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004)
Official Plot Synopsis: In the decade since we last saw Calvin (Ice Cube) and crew, they’ve made some changes to the shop, including turning it co-ed. The neighborhood has taken a turn for the worse, however, prompting the gang to come together to save both the shop and the neighborhood.
Returning Cast Members: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Anthony Anderson
New Stars to Look For: Nicki Minaj, Common, J.B. Smoove, Tyga
The Buzz: Some news has centered around the fact that fans are disappointed that Michael Ealy is sitting this one out instead of reprising his role as Ricky. And the fact that the movie seems to focus more on cleaning up the Chicago neighborhood outside the shop might mean less time for witty comedy inside. But there’s anticipation around the fact that it’s been 10 years since the last installment, and the fact that there are more ladies on the scene will probably just add to the sharp barbershop banter, especially with the addition of Minaj.
Total Box Office Numbers for the Last Films: $77 million and $66 million respectively
You’ll Want to See It If … you’d like to say you saw a comedy over the last year not starring Tina Fey, you enjoy new cast additions, or you feel you don’t get to see J.B. Smoove – who’s always bringing comedy gold to the table – enough these days. And in case you didn’t like the previous incarnations, there’s a new director at the helm this time around, Spike’s cousin Malcom D. Lee, whose credits include Roll Bounce and The Best Man.
Captain America: Civil War
Release Date: May 6
Follow-up to: Captain America: the First Avenger (2011) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Official Plot Synopsis: With former allies Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) now feuding, the rest of the Avengers are forced to take sides.
Returning Cast Members: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Emily VanCamp, Paul Bettany
New Stars to Look For: Robert Downey, Jr, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd
The Buzz: This is yet another major-superhero-takes-on-major-superhero flick, so there’s been no lack of serious buzz, with many movie bloggers expecting the film to be the most exciting release of the year as well as Marvel’s best flick to date. The movie has been taking social media by storm for months, the first trailer was viewed a whopping 51 million times within 24 hours of being released last November, and a recent reveal of Spider-Man in the trailer had fans beside themselves.
Total Box Office Numbers on the Last Films: $370 million and $714 million, respectively
You’ll Want to See It If … you are into action movies, superheroes, Marvel comics, or any of the gazillion big stars in the film, or if you want to be the ticket buyer who helps the movie break the $1 billion box-office mark.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Release Date: May 20
Follow-up to: Neighbors (2014)
Official Plot Synopsis: When Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) realize that the new sorority that’s moved into the house next door is even more debaucherous than the fraternity that came before them, they look to former frat boy Teddy (Zac Efron) for help.
Returning Cast Members: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne
New Stars to Look For: Cholë Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Selena Gomez and Lisa Kudrow
The Buzz: Since the first incarnation of the comedy was even more successful than anticipated, grossing around 15 times its $18 million budget, chances are the new version, with a built-in fan base, starlets Moretz and Gomez, and plenty of college-age girls in skimpy outfits, could be an even bigger hit.
Total Box Office on the Last One: $270 million
You’ll Want to See It If … you’re looking for a goofball movie with lots of physical comedy you don’t have to think about too hard, Seth Rogen’s laugh just makes you laugh, or you’re curious what a movie about sorority girls that isn’t porn looks like.
Release Date: May 27
Follow-up to: There have been nine X-Men films, but this one’s a direct sequel to X-Men Days of Future Past (2014)
Plot Synopsis: Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) is disillusioned with the world he discovers upon awakening after thousands of years and recruits a team of fellow mutants to create a new world order over which he’ll reign. Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
Returning Cast Members: James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Oliver Isaac, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult
New Stars to Look For: Olivia Munn, Sophie Turner
The Buzz: It’s the franchise that started the superhero movie craze of this millennium, it’s being released Memorial Day Weekend, and it’s being offered in 3D so it’s bound to be a box office boon for the franchise.
Total Box Office on the Last One: $748 million
You’ll Want to See It If … you’ve seen the last nine and want to keep your record going, you missed the previous two superhero sequels this spring and need a fix, you’re big into special effects (they’re supposed to be great) or if you’re a Jennifer Lawrence fan. She’ll have a pretty hefty role in the flick and it’s rumored to be her last time playing Mystique. Though you’ll most likely find her in another movie somewhere, someday. Just a guess.