Summer movie preview: 25 sizzling blockbusters for ’16

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

It’s the season of superheroes, sequels and “Suicide Squad.”

Summer doesn’t officially kick off until June 20, but the summer movie season launches Friday with the release of “Captain America: Civil War,” the latest Marvel blockbuster-to-be.

From there, the movie schedule is a barrage of franchise entries, reboots, kids pics and tent-poles. Want Oscar movies? Wait until fall. Summer movies just want to have fun.

Here are the 25 hottest blockbusters to look forward to before Labor Day:

1. “Captain America: Civil War”: Captain America and Iron Man aren’t seeing eye to eye, so a showdown is in order. Might as well consider this superhero battle royale “The Avengers 3.” (May 6)

2. “Finding Dory”: Thirteen years after “Finding Nemo,” Pixar returns to the sea to pick up the story of the absent-minded blue tang fish Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) in this hugely anticipated sequel. (June 17)

3. “Suicide Squad”: Will Smith and Margot Robbie head up this team of comic super villains, but it’s another comic super villain — Jared Leto’s Joker — that has everyone already foaming at the mouth. (Aug. 5)

4. “Alice Through the Looking Glass”: The cast of 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” returns — including Mia Wasikowska’s Alice and Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter — but director James Bobin replaces Tim Burton. (May 27)

5. “Independence Day: Resurgence”: It’s been 20 years since “ID4” blew up the White House, and now director Roland Emmerich returns with a cast of new and old faces. What will they blow up this time? (June 24)

6. “X-Men: Apocalypse”: Everything is totally fine in the “X-Men” universe and not much happens in this intimate character study. Just kidding, they’re all trying to stop the end of the world. Good luck guys! (May 27)

7. “The BFG”: The Big Friendly Giant of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book could be the BFG of summer’s box office. Talented upstart Steven Spielberg directs Oscar winner Mark Rylance in the CGI title role. (July 1)

8. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”: The 2014 “TMNT” reboot grossed nearly $200 million at the North American box office, so, of course, the pizza-loving heroes in a half-shell are back. (June 3)

9. “Star Trek: Beyond”: Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk returns for his third voyage on the Starship Enterprise, along with the rest of his crew, to battle new alien enemies. Justin Lin (“Fast Five”) directs. (July 22)

10. “Jason Bourne”: Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass return to the “Bourne” franchise for the first time since 2007. So let’s just forget about 2012’s Jeremy Renner-starring “The Bourne Legacy,” OK? (July 29)

11. “Ghostbusters”: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones suit up to bust some ghosts in this gender flip on the 1984 comedy classic. Yes, have some. (July 15)

12. “The Secret Life of Pets”: Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Hannibal Buress and more give voice to the pets in this animated comedy about the lives and rivalries of housebound animals behind closed doors. (July 8)

13. “The Angry Birds Movie”: Animation takes time, which is why a movie based on 2010’s hottest mobile gaming sensation is just now hitting screens. Voices by Sean Penn, Jason Sudeikis and Charli XCX. (May 20)

14. “Ice Age: Collision Course”: The fifth installment of the animated “Ice Age” franchise will probably earn star Ray Romano a new car, or at least give him the money needed to put a new deck on his house. (July 22)

15. “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”: The first time around, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne were young parents battling a frat next door. Now it’s a sorority, and the sisters are just as randy. With Chloe Grace Moretz. (May 20)

16. “Central Intelligence”: It was only a matter of time before the two hardest-working men in showbiz, The Rock and Kevin Hart, teamed up on screen. This action comedy pits them as mismatched secret agents. (June 17)

17. “Now You See Me 2”: Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson are back for another round of illusions. Best trick: Locking down such a great cast. (June 10)

18. “The Legend of Tarzan”: Alexander Skarsgård suits up as the King of the Jungle in this live adventure, but his biggest rival could come in the form of “The BFG,” which opens the same day. Rumble in the jungle! (July 1)

19. “War Dogs”: Director Todd Phillips (“The Hangover”) takes on this comedy about a pair of arms dealers (Jonah Hill and Miles Teller) who are contracted to supply weapons to U.S. allies in Afghanistan. (Aug. 19)

20. “Pete’s Dragon”: A remake of the 1977 original about a dragon who lives in a forest in the Pacific Northwest. With Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard and young Oakes Fegley as Pete. (Aug. 12)

21. “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”: Andy Samberg stars as a pop star returning to his boy band roots in this send-up of the pop music world from Samberg’s pals, the Lonely Island. (June 3)

22. “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”: A romantic comedy with Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza that sounds like “Dude Where’s My Car” mixed with “Wedding Crashers.” (July 8)

23. “The Conjuring 2”: Director James Wan revisits paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) in this sequel to the 2013 horror hit. (June 10)

24. “The Nice Guys”: Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”) directs this comedy caper starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as a private eye team in over their heads in 1970s Los Angeles. (May 20)

25. “The Purge: Election Year”: Hey, this third entry in the “Purge” franchise can’t be any scarier than the actual election, can it? (July 1)

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