It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No it’s not Christmas, it’s the summer movie season! Here is what’s big, what’s new, and what you may have missed at the movies.
The Blockbuster: “Warcraft”
Originally announced to the world way back in 2006, Duncan Jones’ “Warcraft” finally hits theaters this weekend. Already being hailed for its stunning special effects (the movie cost about $160 million to make) Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment (makers of the popular video game franchise that spawned the movie) are hoping that the movie can find an audience beyond the dedicated fan base the game holds. Having grossed about $168 million overseas, only time will tell whether the battle between the Orc-ish Horde and the Human Alliance will capture the imagination of U.S. audiences.
The Sequel: “Now You See Me 2”
The follow up to 2013’s “Now You See Me” brings back most of the original cast (the exception being Isla Fisher, whose roll on the team is filled by Lizzy Caplan), and a new director (Jon M. Chu taking over for Louis Leterrier). Daniel Radcliffe, a new comer to the franchise (but not to the world of magic) looks to up the charm factor in a cast lead by Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Mark Ruffalo. “Now You See Me 2” hopes to dazzle audiences with the same slick paced sleight of hand escapades that made the original a box office success (making about $350 million on a $75 million budget).
The Horror Sequel: “The Conjuring 2”
Leading the charge of the modern horror revival, “The Conjuring 2” looks to provide a change of pace for summer moviegoers who are used to annual action blockbusters and gut busting comedies. Director James Wan (who took a break from the genre to drive last year’s smash “Furious 7”) returns to the franchise that solidified his status as one of modern horrors great auteurs. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson (who are quickly building horror followings of their own) return as supernatural investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (the plot of the film is based on the real life couples case files) attempting to uncover the truth behind the haunting of a girl in one of Britain’s spookiest locations. “The Conjuring” was a hit with both critics and audiences, with an 86 percent critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, and grossing $318 million on a $20 million budget.
The Movie Only Your Friends Who Call Movies “Films” Want to See: “The Lobster”
Helmed by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Lobster” is a tale of love, loneliness, and partnership in a dystopian society. In this world, you are given a mere 45 days to find a partner. If you fail, you are turned into an animal. Yes, this is actually the plot of the film. Yes, it’s weird. However, if you are willing to buy into the concept, this is a solid movie with fantastic performances by Colin Farrell (playing a much more docile character than his usual leading man roles) and Rachel Weisz, whose deadpan narration elevates the film from melodramatic musings on love to a thoughtful examination on what it means to be in love, fall out of love, and feel lonely in a world full of people.
All box office figures provided by boxofficemojo.com.