Avengers, ‘Star Wars’ and more: What to look forward to at the box office next year

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Stick with what works.

For Hollywood, that means superheroes and sequels, of which there are plenty on deck in the new year.

Coming off a 2017 in which each the year’s 10 highest grossers were based off of pre-existing properties — “Dunkirk,” at No. 12, was the year’s biggest original film — franchise fare is lining up for another piece of the pie in the next 12 months.

Of course, there will be surprises — few saw “Get Out” coming in and making a whopping $175 million splash this year — but for now, these are the 20 most anticipated films to look forward to in 2018. (As always, dates are subject to change.)

1. “Avengers: Infinity War”: It’s “The Avengers” x “Guardians of the Galaxy” in the biggest — cast-wise, at least — Marvel movie to date. To infinity and beyond! (May 4)

2. “Solo: A Star Wars Story”: The second “Star Wars” bridge film, following “Rogue One,” concerns a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), but the real drama played out behind the scenes when directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were replaced by Ron Howard. We’ll see if it matters. (May 25)

3. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”: One mega-franchise isn’t enough for Chris Pratt — he’ll be in “Infinity Wars” — so he’ll also be hanging out with some dinosaurs in this continuation of the “Jurassic Park” series. (June 22)

4. “The Incredibles 2”: Good things come to those who wait. It was 2004 when the first family of superheroes stepped out on the big screen, and director Brad Bird is back in the driver’s seat for this sequel. (June 15)

5. “Deadpool 2”: Ryan Reynolds snarked his way through every superhero cliche in 2016’s “Deadpool,” we’ll see if he can do the same thing with superhero sequels. (June 1)

6. “Black Panther”: Chadwick Boseman is no stranger to playing superheroes — he’s played Jackie Robinson (“42”), James Brown (“Get On Up”) and Thurgood Marshall (“Marshall”) — so suiting up as Black Panther should be no problem. (Feb. 16)

7. “Mission: Impossible 6”: We all saw the footage of Tom Cruise botching a jump on the set of this film, but don’t tell the 55-year-old he’s too old for this. With “Jack Reacher” and “The Mummy” stalling, he needs the “Mission” franchise to stay afloat. (July 27)

8. “Ocean’s 8”: Bye fellas. This time it’s Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna who are planning a heist. (June 8)

9. “First Man”: Ryan Gosling stars as Neil Armstrong in director Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to “La La Land.” Here’s to hoping he tap dances on the moon. (Oct. 12)

10. “Fifty Shades Freed”: Here comes the bride. Christian Grey finally makes an honest woman out of Anastasia in this final chapter in the trilogy we all love to kink — oops, kick — around. Save the date. (Feb. 9)

11. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”: The real-life accusations of domestic abuse against Johnny Depp, who plays the villain role in this sequel to 2016’s “Harry Potter” spinoff, have thus far dominated the conversation surrounding this film. (Nov. 16)

12. “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”: The time-shifting series is now set in the 1990s, so hopefully there’s a Marky Mark joke or two in there. (Nov. 2)

13. “Tomb Raider”: Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) takes on Angelina Jolie’s role in the rebooted video game franchise. (March 16)

14. “Ready Player One”: Speaking of video games, Steven Spielberg directs this film about a dystopian future where gamers race to find a billionaire’s fortune. (March 30)

15. “Ant-Man and the Wasp”: Paul Rudd returns as Ant-Man, whom he first played in the 2015 film, and Evangeline Lilly (“Lost”) suits up as his partner, the Wasp. (July 6)

16. “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2”: Finally, an internet-breaking that has nothing to do with Kim Kardashian. This sequel to 2012’s Disney adventure finds Ralph upgrading to Wifi. (Nov. 21)

17. “Soldado”: In this sequel to 2015’s “Sicario,” Benecio del Toro returns as an undercover agent back to settle old scores. (June 29)

18. “White Boy Rick”: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bruce Dern star in this tale of the infamous Detroit drug dealer and one-time FBI informant. (Aug. 17)

19. “Halloween”: Jamie Lee Curtis returns once again in this latest chapter of the Michael Myers saga which long ago stopped having any sort of continuity. (Oct. 19)

20. “Aquaman”: Jason Momoa suits up as the swimming superhero, hopefully making a better case for his existence than he did in “Justice League.” (Dec. 21)

agraham@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2284

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