Although many people are struggling in this economy, Americans are still depending on movies to lift their spirits. According to Entertainment Weekly, movie theaters sold an estimated $10.84 billion worth of tickets domestically last year, which beat the previous record of $10.59 billion set in 2009.
Blockbuster hits like The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games and numerous other successful films drove people to theaters. With a long list of highly anticipated movies being released in 2013, it looks like this year might produce another record. These are just 10 of the dozens of highly anticipated blockbuster films of 2013.
World War Z-
Based on Max Brook’s 2006 bestseller, humans around the world desperately fight against the zombie apocalypse. Starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster, this may just be the dark horse for 2013. The zombie jamboree starts in June.
300: Rise of an Empire-
This is an unusual sequel to 2007’s highly successful historical action movie 300, which raked in more than $210 million. The story is being kept tightly under wraps, but star Rodrigo Santoro hints that this movie will take place during the same time as 300. Directed by Noam Murro, 300: Rise of an Empire opens on August 2.
Iron Man 3-
The third installment of the popular Iron Man series sees billionaire superhero Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) goes up against his toughest villain yet – the Mandarin (played by Oscar winner Ben Kingsley). Cast also includes Gwyneth Paltrow and Guy Pearce. The last film, Iron Man 2, made more than $128 million. Iron Man 3 hits theatres on May 3.
Man of Steel-
Superman makes super bucks at the box office. This is yet another reimagining of the Superman story from the comic book series. This time around, Superman is played by the Henry Cavill. The story establishes Superman’s origins and his first battles against evil. Yes, we’ve been here before, but director Zack Snyder hopes to put a modern spin on the tried and true basic plot. The movie opens on June 14.
Star Trek: Into Darkness-
The old Star Trek franchise gets new life with this latest installment of the first adventures of James Kirk (Chris Pine) and Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto.) Written by J. J. Abrams, the story places our heroes in dire straits to capture the most dangerous man in the galaxy. The last movie, simply called Star Trek (2009) beamed in more than $385 million. Star Trek: Into Darkness opens on May 17.
Thor: The Dark World-
This film is yet another sequel, this time to Thor (2011), which earned more $181 million in North America. Chris Hemsworth returns as the Norse God and super hero on November 8. Cast also includes Oscar winner Sir Anthony Hopkins. Details of the story are being kept quiet, although it looks as if Thor has to save heaven and earth again – literally.
Hugh Jackman returns as the only super hero with both long fingernails and sideburns, Wolverine. This is the latest chapter in the megahit X-Men series. The Wolverine opens on June 26.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug-
The Lord of the Rings prequel is getting milked for all its worth. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) generated more than $886 million at the box office and became the fourth highest-grossing film of 2012. Desolation of Smaug is building up quite a bit of anticipation.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire-
Based on the bestselling young adult series by Suzanne Collins, this promises to break its predecessor’s box office numbers. Fandango has dubbed this film the most anticipated blockbuster of 2013.
According to Yahoo!, The Hunger Games (2012) made more than $155 million in the opening weekend. The movie became the third-best film debut of all time behind the $158.4 million earned by The Dark Knight (2008) debut and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011), which brought in $169.2 million.
It looks like 2013 is definitely shaping up to be the year of blockbuster hits and opening weekend records.