When we last left our heroes (and villains, and monsters, and dramas, and comedies), they were in disarray. In fact, it was almost exactly one year ago when we took a look at the chaos that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought to the summer movies. Dates were being moved, titles were being shifted to streaming, and changes were happening so quickly that updates were made to that article minutes after it was posted. Warner moved most of its slate to HBO Max. Some Disney titles shifted to Disney+. Tiny movies stormed the box office by playing to brave crowds at drive-ins. It was, well, weird. But with millions of Americans vaccinated and precautions still in place, movie theaters are coming back in a big way, and they’re bringing a lot of delayed movies with them. Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll see on the big screen from now through Labor Day weekend.
What’s Left of May
May has already seen big releases like Spiral: From the Book of Saw, but studios seemed to book the front end of the month a bit more cautiously. However, this last weekend of May sees two major releases in Cruella, Disney’s villain origin story, and the sequel to the extremely successful and well-reviewed A Quiet Place.
- Cruella (May 28; also Disney+)
- A Quiet Place II (May 28)
The eighth entry in The Conjuring Universe is as close to a sure thing as there is in Hollywood . . . unless you count F9, the latest in the Fast/Furious series. Another highlight of the month is the long-awaited In the Heights, based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winner.
- The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (June 4; also HBO Max)
- Samaritan (June 4)
- Spirit Untamed (June 4)
- In the Heights (June 11; also HBO Max)
- The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (June 16)
- Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (June 18)
- F9 (June 25)
- Zola (June 30)
Speaking of sure things, Marvel gets back on the big screen (for the first time since Spider-Man: Far from Home all the way back in July of 2019) with Black Widow. It’s the first of four MCU entries for the year, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings following in September, Eternals in November, and Spider-Man: No Way Home in December. You can probably also expect big things from Jungle Cruise, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt, and The Green Knight, a new take on the Arthurian legend.
- The Forever Purge (July 2)
- Black Widow (July 9; also Disney+)
- Space Jam: A New Legacy (July 16; also HBO Max)
- The Night House (July 16)
- Escape Room 2 (July 16)
- Old (July 23)
- Snake-Eyes (July 23)
- Jungle Cruise (July 30
- Stillwater (July 30)
- The Green Knight (July 30)
August is a big month for music legends. Respect sees Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson take on the role of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. On the documentary side, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has put together footage of The Beatles from during the filming of 1970 documentary Let It Be and assembled it into an entirely new film, The Beatles: Get Back.The Suicide
- Squad (August 6; also HBO Max)
- Hotel Transylvania 4 (August 6)
- Don’t Breathe 2 (August 13)
- Free Guy (August 13)
- Respect (August 13)
- Bios (August 20)
- Paw Patrol: The Movie (August 20)
- Reminiscence (August 27; also HBO Max)
- Candyman (August 27)
- The Beatles: Get Back (August 27)
Labor Day marks the traditional end of summer, and Marvel is laying claim to the weekend with the film debut of long-time comic book martial arts hero Shang-Chi. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and starring Simu Liu and Awkwafina, the film also features two titans of Asian cinema in Tony Leung and Michelle Yeoh.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3)
Featured image: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock
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