10 hot blockbusters to see this summer

There may be no #Barbenheimer, but the 2024 summer movie season is finally heating up.

Thanks to the domestic box office success of sequels “Inside Out 2” ($469 million), “A Quiet Place: Day One” ($98 million) and “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” ($165 million), theater chains can heave a sigh of relief. For now.

There are still two months left to go. Here are the upcoming blockbusters to catch at the cinema (or at home) before the fall.

10. Eddie Murphy and Taylour Paige in “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.” (July 3)

Netflix has been essential to Eddie Murphy’s career lately. “Dolemite Is My Name” was the funnyman’s best film in ages and, even if the “Coming to America” sequel “Coming 2 America” was a letdown, it was a hot title. Now for the streamer, he’s playing Detective Axel Foley again for the first time in 30 years. This time, Axel heads back to the ritzy California town when his daughter’s life is in danger.

9. Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum in “Fly Me to the Moon.” (July 12)

A romantic comedy about the 1960s Space Race? Why not? Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson respectively play the NASA director in charge of the Apollo 11 launch and a top marketer hired by the agency to boost its image. Sparks — as well as space shuttles — fly.

8. Daisy-Edgar Jones, Anthony Ramos and Glen Powell looking afraid “Twisters” (July 19)

The tornadoes are back, even if Helen Hunt and the late actors Bill Paxton and Philip Seymour Hoffman aren’t. The sequel to the 1996 disaster-ish film “Twister” stars Daisy Edgar-Jones (“Normal People”), Glen Powell (“Top Gun: Maverick”) and Anthony Ramos (“In the Heights”), and they’re chasing cyclones through central Oklahoma.

7. Wolverine about to attack Deadpool “Deadpool & Wolverine” (July 26)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest test in years arrives with this Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman buddy comedy, which sees the Aussie actor return to the role of “X-Men’s” Wolverine for the first time since “Logan” in 2017. Expectations are high, to say the least. Box office analytics group the Quorum expects the R-rated movie to open to $200 to 239 million, which would be the biggest domestic opening of the year so far. The MCU needs the boost after flops “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “The Marvels.”

6. Bette Midler, Megan Mullally, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Susan Sarandon star in “The Fabulous Four.”

Some counter-programming to all the explosions and special effects, this well-cast girls trip comedy is about three friends who head to a kooky wedding in Key West. The pals? Megan Mullally, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Susan Sarandon. The bride? Bette Midler. It follows in the footsteps of “80 for Brady” and the “Book Club” films.

5. Josh Hartnett and Ariel Donoghue in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller “Trap.” (August 2)

The last M. Night Shyamalan film I enjoyed much was creepy “The Visit” back in 2015. But his latest with Josh Hartnett has a solid premise: A serial killer attends a pop concert with his daughter, only to realize it’s a set-up by police to arrest him. Considering Warner Bros. released that info, you can bet there’s an unexpected (and possibly ridiculous) twist along the way.

4. Eli Roth’s action movie “Borderlands” is based on a video game. (August 9)

Eli Roth’s action movie is based on a video game, apparently, about a pack of outlaws and misfits on a planet called Pandora (not the “Avatar” one). His cast is a lot of fun and way more accomplished than they need to be: Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Edgar Ramirez and Gina Gershon.

3. The alien with its mouth open Alien: Romulus” is the seventh “Alien” film. (August 16)

Every few years, “Alien” fans get to debate what the worst sequel is. Usually “Alien 3” or “Alien: Resurrection” wins, but it’s tough being compared to one of the best follow-ups of all time, James Cameron’s “Aliens.” This 7th movie is set between the events of the 1979 original and the 1986 second flick (so Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley is still fast asleep) and hopefully can tap into some of their incomparable movie magic.

2. Bill Skarsgård has gone from Pennywise to Eric Draven in “The Crow.” (August 23)

Bill Skarsgård has sneakily turned into the most successful horror actor working today. Besides playing Pennywise the Clown in “It,” he’s soon playing the vampire Count Orlok in the remake of “Nosferatu” and starred in the popular “Barbarian.” First, he’s playing Eric Draven in “The Crow,” about a killed musician who comes back from the dead looking for vengeance.

  1. Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) is back after 36 years in “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.” (September 6)

    Michael Keaton is back as that ghost with the most, Betelgeuse, in this horror-comedy sequel that’s taken 36 years to get to theaters. Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara are also back as Lydia and Delia Deetz, and Jenna Ortega plays Lydia’s daughter. I’ll be interested to see if Tim Burton can get his groove back. The director’s last movie to garner significant acclaim was “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” starring Johnny Depp, way back in 2007.
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