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Early start to blockbuster season: 2014 spring movie preview

movieleadSummer has traditionally been the time when Hollywood rolls out its biggest blockbusters. However, with the increasingly crowded release schedule in May through August, studios have begun to shift some of those opening dates to the springtime. Films like the first “Hunger Games” have proven it’s possible to have a big blockbuster earlier in the year, and several movies this spring, including “Divergent” and the new “Captain America,” are generating potential blockbuster buzz.

Here is a rundown of some of the main films coming out in the following weeks, leading up to the official summer movie season kick-off on May 2 with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

Need for Speed (March 14)

need-for-speedBased on a popular video game, “Need for Speed” follows a street racer who’s just been released from prison after being framed by a business partner. He sees a cross country race as a chance to get revenge and to escape the bounty that’s been placed on his head.

Although video game-to-movie adaptations can be hit or miss, this movie could be a fun popcorn flick if it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It will be interesting to see how well Aaron Paul can leverage the buzz from his recent run on “Breaking Bad” and if this film can differentiate itself enough from the “Fast & Furious” franchise.

Divergent (March 21)

DIVERGENTThere’s a lot of pressure riding on “Divergent,” a sci-fi film based on a novel about teenagers living in a dystopian, futuristic version of Chicago. Young adult book-to-movie adaptations were once thought to be box office gold, but after several flops — such as “Beautiful Creatures” and “The Mortal Instruments” — Hollywood may become more cautious.

The challenge for “Divergent” will be to catch the same buzz as that other young adult post-apocalyptic hit, “The Hunger Games,” while also convincing audiences it has something new to offer.

Muppets Most Wanted (March 21)

muppetsThe box office success of Jason Segel’s 2011 Muppet movie comeback proved film audiences still had a place in their hearts for Kermit, Fozzie and the rest of the classic Muppet gang.

The new movie features plenty of celebrity cameos — including Lady Gaga, Tom Hiddleston and Christoph Waltz — and takes the Muppets to Europe, where they find themselves caught up in a jewel heist.

Noah (March 28)

NoahOne of several big-budget Biblical adaptations planned for this year, Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” stars Russell Crowe as the famous patriarch who saves his family from an apocalyptic flood by building an ark.

Entertainment news sites reported disagreements between Aronofsky and the movie studio, who reportedly had conflicting visions for the film, but the film appears to be back on track.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4)

capAOut of all the films slated for release this spring, “Captain America” likely will be the biggest blockbuster. The trailers leading up to the film’s release have been great, and the movie already has strong buzz.

I’m looking forward to seeing another solo film about Captain America and how he adjusts to life in the modern world. I’m also excited to watch him team up with Black Widow and how the film handles the differences between the two characters.

Transcendence (April 17)

TRANSCENDENCE“Transcendence,” starring Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman, explores some of the same themes introduced in “RoboCop” earlier this year — the difference between humanity and technology, and the ethics of combining mankind and machine.

The sci-fi thriller is about a terminally ill scientist who downloads his mind into a computer, giving him a kind of immortality but also possibly turning him into a dangerous and uncontrollable monster. Whether it’s fair or not, Johnny Depp seems to have fallen a bit from Hollywood grace, and this movie, with its intriguing and timely premise, could be his chance at redemption.

So, what spring movies are you most looking forward to this year? What do you think will be the biggest hit?

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14 responses

  1. Great summary.

    I am most looking forward to Budapest Hotel. After that Captain America.

    March 4, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    • Thanks! Grand Budapest Hotel looks intriguing, too.

      March 4, 2014 at 9:09 pm

  2. Mel

    Divergent, Captain America and Transcendence. They all look interesting but I may wait for the DVD on all three.

    March 5, 2014 at 12:59 am

    • I haven’t been hearing as much about Transcendence, I’m curious to see how that one turns out. I’m also curious to see how Divergent does at the box office. I don’t think it will be as big a hit as the Hunger Games.

      March 5, 2014 at 1:05 am

      • Mel

        I hope Divergent does well. I’m a big Shailene Woodley fan. She was great in The Spectacular Now. I’ve never read the book it is based on but I like the story. Transcendance looks interesting too. I like it when sci-fi gets really philosophical. Hunger Games had a pretty big fanbase before the first movie. If either of these movies do well it will be just from word of mouth. Bloggers blogging and tweeters tweeting.

        March 5, 2014 at 1:13 am

      • The book “Divergent” was pretty good, but I didn’t like it as much as I liked the “Hunger Games” novels. Yeah, word of mouth is becoming the most valuable marketing tools for movies. The level of buzz leading up to a movie’s release can make or break a film.

        March 6, 2014 at 10:33 pm

  3. Looking forward to Transcendence. Kinda’ has the same idea as Lawnmower Man but, could be good.

    March 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    • I hope it will be good, as well. It has a cool concept. Thanks for reading!

      March 6, 2014 at 10:35 pm

  4. Noah and Cap are pretty high on my list!

    March 6, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    • I hope they will both be good, hope you enjoy them!

      March 6, 2014 at 10:35 pm

  5. It’ll be interesting to see if Divergent will be a hit or not. If it has something different to say than those other young adult / dystopian sci-fi stories it might have a better shot. My personal pick is Cap 2, I’m so excited for that, it looks awesome so far!

    March 8, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    • I’m thinking “Divergent” will not do quite as well as “The Hunger Games,” but it will be interesting to see. Captain America is the film I’m most excited about too, the trailers have been amazing! :)

      March 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm

  6. TRANSCENDENCE really intrigues me because for the first time in a very LONG time it looks as if Johnny Depp is going to really do some honest acting and not rely on elaborate costumes/makeup and quirky eccentric behavior to create a character.

    March 14, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    • Yeah, I’m really hoping this one is good, the idea is really intriguing!

      March 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm

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