The first six months of 2022 have seen the premiere of major films that have easily proven that the box office is back after the extended troubled period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Films like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Jurassic World: Dominion, and The Batman have led the charge to return the movie industry to pre-pandemic numbers.
While the first half of 2022 has featured several box office juggernauts and franchise films, the second half of the year could prove to be even more promising. As such, there are specific upcoming films that are especially exciting for anyone anxious to get back to the theaters.
10 Minions: The Rise Of Gru (July 1st)
After an extended delay as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minions: The Rise of Gru is finally coming to theaters this July. The sequel to the box office-breaking original film, The Rise of Gru will see Steve Carell return to his iconic role from the Despicable Me films in a prequel that explains Gru’s relationship with his minions.
The minions have been a cultural phenomenon for well over a decade, since their first appearance in 2010, making The Rise of Gru one of the most highly-anticipated films of 2022. With the bizarrely lovable creatures returning for yet another comedic adventure, Minions 2 is sure to be the highest-grossing children’s film of the summer.
9 Thor: Love And Thunder (July 8th)
The next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Love and Thunder, promises another hilarious romp through the galaxy starring the god of thunder and his merry band of companions. This time, Chris Hemsworth’s Avenger is once again joined by his ex-girlfriend Jane, who mysteriously has adopted a similar power set, as they take on the threat of Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher.
While the trailers have revealed precious little about Love and Thunder‘s plot, fans are already lauding the performance of Christian Bale as the film’s villain, anticipating his contribution to the film to be profound. His performance combined with director Taika Waititi’s unique sensibilities and the returning cast of beloved characters, which includes the ever-hilarious Guardians of the Galaxy, Love and Thunder is primed to be one of the best entries in the MCU’s Phase 4.
8 Nope (July 22nd)
After two major successes in Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele’s third directorial endeavor, Nope, promises to take the thrills and scares even further than ever before. Nope continues to be wrapped in mystery but appears to center around strange happenings at a ranch in California, which seem to have a profound absurd effect on humans and animals in the nearby vicinity.
Expectations are high for Jordan Peele’s next film, as his name has become synonymous with the modern horror genre. The trailers for Nope have given audiences very little to go on, building up the horrific aspects that are sure to give viewers nightmares for weeks to come, much like Peele’s previous films.
7 Bullet Train (August 5th)
Bullet Train is an upcoming action thriller starring Brad Pitt as an assassin who has given up killing, only to find himself on a bullet train in Japan filled with fellow killers. As they grapple for some mysterious cargo, a mystery begins to unravel regarding their individual missions.
Bullet Train promises to be a refreshing cinematic experience in a year filled with franchise films and straight-to-streaming releases. Based on the Japanese novel Maria Beetle and featuring a cast of recognizable actors, the film looks to have enough action and humor to become the breakout hit of the summer.
6 Halloween Ends (October 14th)
The conclusion to the rebooted Halloween trilogy, Halloween Ends, is finally arriving in theaters this Fall. The film promises to reunite Laurie Strode and Michael Myers for one final confrontation, with only one emerging definitively victorious.
While Halloween Kills didn’t quite carry the same quality as its predecessor, the finale to the horror trilogy has the opportunity to bring the franchise to a worthy conclusion. As what is presumable Jamie Lee Curtis’s last time in her iconic role, the film is a must-see for anyone that is a fan of the 1978 film.
5 Black Adam (October 21st)
Dwayne Johnson finally makes his superhero film debut later this year as Black Adam in a film that serves as the next entry in the DC Extended Universe. Black Adam also stars Pierce Brosnan, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, and Quintessa Swindell as members of the Justice Society of America, which comes across Johnson’s antihero after his extended hibernation.
Black Adam is one of the most exciting superhero projects in 2022, with the film’s cast building up its excitement years before its release. With the movie only months away from hitting theaters, it will act as the first entry in Warner Brother’s newly revitalized DCEU and will likely play into the events of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which will release just two months later.
4 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (November 11th)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the long-awaited sequel to the original 2018 film, which is one of the MCU’s most successful entries of all time. Wakanda Forever is expected to address the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman and anoint a new character as the Black Panther for future films in the MCU.
Fans have been both anticipating and reading the release of this Black Panther sequel for years, knowing that their questions will finally be answered, while also having to say goodbye to Boseman’s T’Challa for good. Nevertheless, with Ryan Coogler returning to direct alongside the entire supporting cast from the first film, fans know the franchise remains in good hands. With the film only months away, they have even begun to discuss the more intimate details about the film, including theories about who Wakanda Forever‘s villain might be.
3 Creed III (November 23rd)
Creed III is the next installment in the beloved Rocky spinoff franchise. With Michael B. Jordan returning to the title role and assuming the role of director for the sequel, Creed III will pit Adonis Creed against Jonathan Majors’ character in yet another thrilling match-up.
Although recent news that Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa will not be making an appearance in the film has soured the upcoming sequel for some fans, the Creed franchise has reached a point where it no longer needs to rely on the original films in order to be a success. The mere prospect of Jordan’s Creed paired up against Majors should be enough to get fans of the boxing franchise excited for the next installment of the beloved series.
2 Avatar: The Way Of Water (December 16th)
One of the best fantasy worlds of all time is returning to theaters this December with Avatar: The Way of Water. This long-awaited sequel to one of the biggest movies of all time sees James Cameron return to the director’s chair, kicking off a series that will include three additional films, each set to release annually.
Over a decade after the release of Avatar, The Way of Water has massive expectations on its shoulders, as it not only must live up to the groundbreaking nature of its predecessor but also establish a franchise of at least five films seamlessly. Though it has a daunting task ahead of it, the star-studded film already has enough buzz to prove itself to general audiences and perhaps even surpass their wildest expectations.
1 Shazam! Fury Of The Gods (December 21st)
After the enthusiastic response to the original 2019 film, Shazam! Fury of the Gods reunites audiences with Zachary Levi’s titular superhero as he goes up against the wicked daughters of Atlas, played by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler. Additionally, Billy Batson’s entire family of superheroes is confirmed to return for this highly-anticipated film.
Coming on the heels of the long-awaited Avatar sequel, Fury of the Gods has the intimidating task of closing out the calendar year and capitalizing on the coveted holiday box office. Nevertheless, fan anticipation for the film indicates that it could prove to be a bigger success than its predecessor. As the final installment of the DCEU for the year, Fury of the Gods promises to usher the cinematic universe into a new direction as fans prepare for what is sure to be a groundbreaking 2023.
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Author: Jordan Iacobucci