This summer, there will be blood.
On the screen, certainly. But most likely also on the balance sheets of the major studios.
Starting this weekend, and continuing nearly every
week into August, one hopeful blockbuster after another will hit the
screen, creating one of the bigger summer-movie gluts in recent memory.
Major titles include the Ryan Reynolds superhero vehicle "Green
Lantern" (due June 17), the raunchy comedy "The Hangover Part II" (May 26) and the final installment of "Harry Potter" (July 15).
With all the competition, some studios seem to be spreading their bets across similar types of movies. Disney will release "Cars 2" and "Winnie the Pooh" within weeks of each other; Sony will do the same with the family-friendly "Zookeeper" and "The Smurfs." Paramount's
slate includes two Marvel superhero movies, "Thor" and "Captain
America: The First Avenger," and youth-targeted sci-fi films,
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and J.J. Abrams' "Super 8."
You probably won't see them all — the average North
American attends only about six movies a year, according to the Motion
Picture Association of America — which means some of these big-budget
productions are destined to flop. To help you decide where to spend
your coveted entertainment dollar, here are the summer's 25 biggest
THE BEAVER (Friday)
A drama starring Mel Gibson as a depressed toy executive who begins using a beaver hand puppet to communicate with others. Jodie Foster co-stars and directs.
Chris Hemsworth plays the Norse god banished to Earth in this Marvel comics adaptation. Anthony Hopkins is Thor's father, Odin; Natalie Portman plays Jane Foster. Kenneth Branagh directs. In IMAX and 3-D.
BRIDESMAIDS (May 13)
The usually bro-focused Judd Apatow produced this comedy about a group of women cutting loose before a friend's wedding. With Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (May 20)
With no Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightley, Disney's fourth "Pirates" installment focuses on Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, who meets a shady woman from his past (Penelope Cruz). Director Rob Marshall ("Chicago") replaces Gore Verbinski. In IMAX and 3-D.
THE HANGOVER PART II (May 26)
The stars of 2009's hit comedy return for another bachelor party. It's a quiet, respectable pre-wedding brunch ... in Bangkok. With Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha. Todd Phillips, who grew up in Dix Hills, again directs.
KUNG FU PANDA 2 (May 26)
Chunky panda Po (voiced by Jack Black) faces a new villain, Lord Shen the Peacock (Gary Oldman), in this animated sequel.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (June 3)
The origin story of the superheroes, starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and a cast full of current It Girls, including January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence and Zoe Kravitz.
JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER (June 10)
The popular children's book series by Megan McDonald comes to the big screen, with newcomer Jordana Beatty as the third-grade heroine and Heather Graham as her Aunt Opal.
SUPER 8 (June 10)
As recently as last month, writer-director J.J. Abrams was still finishing up this collaboration with producer Steven Spielberg,
leaving Paramount Pictures unable to confirm many plot details. Past
trailers suggest the film involves a group of moviemaking kids, the
infamous Area 51 and an entity that is not human. Elle Fanning stars. In IMAX.
GREEN LANTERN (June 17)
Ryan Reynolds is the ring-bearing superhero. With Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong and Tim Robbins.
BAD TEACHER (June 24)
Cameron Diaz plays the hard-drinking, pot-smoking title character in this R-rated comedy. Also with Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake. Directed by Jake Kasdan ("Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story").
CARS 2 (June 24)
Owen Wilson again provides the voice of race car
Lightning McQueen, now heading overseas to compete in the World Grand
Prix. Additional voices by Michael Caine, Larry the Cable Guy and Emily Morti mer. In IMAX and 3-D.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (July 1)
Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky in the latest addition to the toy-based movie franchise. With Josh Duhamel, Patrick Dempsey and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Sam's new girl. In IMAX and 3-D.
HORRIBLE BOSSES (July 8)
Disgruntled employees Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day (FX's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") scheme to kill their supervisors, played by Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston.
ZOOKEEPER (July 8)
Stony Brook's Kevin James plays the lead role in this live-action tale about talking animals. Rosario Dawson co-stars; Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone and Cher provide voices.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 (July 15)
The end — yes, really — of the Warner Bros. franchise that started a decade ago and has grossed an estimated $6.3 billion worldwide. In IMAX and 3-D.
WINNIE THE POOH (July 15)
The first big-screen Pooh adventure from Disney in more than 35 years, inspired by five A.A. Milne stories and hand-drawn in the classic style. Narrated by John Cleese.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (July 22)
Chris Evans plays super-soldier Steve Rogers, created to help battle the Nazis. With Tommy Lee Jones and Hayley Atwell. Directed by Joe Johnston ("The Wolfman").
COWBOYS & ALIENS (July 29)
As the title suggests, it's a sci-fi Western. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford star; Jon Favreau ("Iron Man") directs.
THE SMURFS (July 29)
The animated blue villagers find themselves in live-action New York City. With the voices of Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Fred Armisen and Anton Yelchin. In 3-D.
THE CHANGE-UP (Aug. 5)
Call it "Freaky Friday" for dudes: After a drunken night out, family man Jason Bateman and swinging single Ryan Reynolds discover they have switched bodies. With Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde.
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (Aug. 5)
An origin story for the "Planet of the Apes" franchise. James Franco and Freida Pinto star, though 20th Century Fox's press campaign has focused mostly on the computer-animated apes by WETA Digital ("Avatar").
30 MINUTES OR LESS (Aug. 12)
A pizza-delivery guy (Jesse Eisenberg) is forced to rob a bank in this comedy. Danny McBride and Nick Swardson ("Just Go With It") are the masterminds; Aziz Ansari (NBC's "Parks and Recreation") plays a reluctant accomplice.
THE HELP (Aug. 12)
A drama set in 1960s Mississippi about the friendship between a white society girl (Emma Stone) and a black housekeeper (Viola Davis). Based on Kathryn Stockett's novel. With Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney and Sissy Spacek.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN (Aug. 19)
Hawaii-born actor and model Jason Momoa tries to fill Arnold Schwarzenegger's chain mail as the muscular Cimmerian warrior. With Rose McGowan and Ron Perlman. In 3-D.
AND KEEP IN MIND THESE 10 OTHER FILMS
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (May 20)
Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams play a young couple engaged to be married in Woody Allen's latest. With Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates and Carla Bruni.
THE TREE OF LIFE (May 27)
Sean Penn is the eldest son of a Midwestern family in the '50s, and Brad Pitt, in flashbacks, is his father. Terrence Malick ("Days of Heaven") directs.
MONTE CARLO (July 1)
On a trip to Paris with friends, an ordinary teen (Selena Gomez) trades places with a princess. With Leighton Meester and Andie MacDowell.
BEATS RHYMES & LIFE (July 8)
A documentary on the influential Queens-based rap collective A Tribe Called Quest, directed by actor-comedian Michael Rapaport.
PROJECT NIM (July 8)
The true story of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee raised as human as part of a linguistics experiment. Oscar-winning documentarian James Marsh ("Man on Wire") directs.
LARRY CROWNE (July 1)
Tom Hanks directs, co-writes and stars in this
comedy-drama about a downsized worker who takes a public-speaking
course and falls for his married teacher (Julia Roberts).
MAGIC TRIP (Aug. 5)
A documentary on Ken Kesey's acid-fueled 1964 bus trip across America, filmed by the participants. Directors Alex Gibney ("Client 9") and Alison Ellwood edited the raw footage, little-seen outside the Kesey family.
ONE DAY (Aug. 19)
Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess are lovers who meet every July 15 for 20 years. David Nicholls wrote the script from his critically acclaimed, Nick Hornby-endorsed novel.
A GOOD OLD FASHIONED ORGY (Aug. 26)
A group of 30-somethings gather at a Hamptons summer home for one last party. With Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte, Lucy Punch and Lake Bell.
OUR IDIOT BROTHER (Aug. 26)
Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer are sisters caring for their hopelessly optimistic and possibly simple-minded sibling, played by Paul Rudd.
Rafer Guzman: email@example.com
(c) 2011, Newsday.
Visit Newsday online at http://www.newsday.com/.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.