With Avengers: Infinity War effectively the blockbuster to beat this summer - it's currently tracking to pass close to half A BILLION in its opening weekend worldwide - there's still plenty of challengers to come for the title spot of Summer Blockbuster of 2018.
We count no less than twelve movies between now and the middle of August that are being heavily promoted by the studios as blockbusters to rival the Marvel behemoth. So, without further ado, let's begin with...
Ryan Reynolds is back in the red leotard and he's squaring off against Josh Brolin - who's probably the first actor in recent memory to star in two major comic-book blockbusters in the space of one quarter-year. The introduction of supporting characters like Office Favourite Terry Crews, Zazie Beetz and Rob Delaney is a welcome treat, but the real draw for us is the fact that David Leitch - as in, John Wick co-director David Leitch - is behind the camera orchestrating the madness.
The behind-the-scenes tumult on Solo: A Star Wars Story will likely never see the light of day for at least a couple of years from now, but the cliff notes is that two of the most promising directors working today - Phil Lord and Chris Miller - were shot out of a cannon and away from the movie, with industry veteran Ron Howard drafted in to do a major course correction. The trailers so far have been... pretty decent, to be fair. Really, this could go either way - but let's just hope that Disney / Lucasfilm does the right thing and give the internet the Lando Calrissian spinoff he deserves.
Your internet boyfriend Jeff Goldblum is back for a cameo-of-sorts, but really the draw here is giant dinosaurs on a volcanic island going crazy. Jurassic World may not have been to everyone's tastes, but the numbers don't lie - it was a box-office smash and the understanding is that it'll do the same here. Bringing in J.A Bayona to direct - whose primarily known for disturbing fare like The Orphanage and TV's Penny Dreadful - should give you some kind of barometer as to where it's headed. If nothing else, it'll be interesting to see how he does it.
What a cast. Rihanna, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Awkwafina, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter - not to mention what'll probably a gaggle of cameos to boot - in what's likely to be the glitziest, most glamourous film of the year and probably the most raucously entertaining too.
Although it's been close to fourteen years since the first Incredibles was released, the trailer shows that Brad Bird has lost none of his ability to charm and delight with his superpowered family. What'll be telling is whether or not the audiences can connect with in the way they did the first time. Don't forget that comic-book movies weren't as plentiful as they are now, so you've to wonder if a general fatigue with this kind of story is going to affect it. Probably not, in fairness - just look at the trailer.
The Hardest Working Man In Mass-Market Entertainment is back to ensure that he can not only deliver spills, but also thrills. The early blockbuster opener Rampage did pretty decent bang at the box office, but Skyscraper is his last chance this year to secure a major hit. Given this is essentially a Die Hard ripoff and there hasn't been a decent Die Hard film since Die Hard With A Vengenace, this might work. Also, since when is Neve Campbell doing action movies?
When you think blockbusters, you think Dwayne Johnson, explosions, those giant standees in your local multiplex and entertainment websites (not like us) chirping on about their commercial prowess incessantly right? Well, leaving aside The Rock and bombs going off, Mamma Mia 2 is absolutely a blockbuster and you can rest assured it is going to do gangbusters at the Irish box office - and could even topple Infinity War in the process.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT (July 27th)
Tom Cruise's willingness to hurl himself out of perfectly decent aircraft for your amusement notwithstanding, the Mission: Impossible franchise has always been a reliably enjoyable entry in the calendar every couple of years or so. The trailer features Henry Cavill's impressive moustache and good striking form, but also has an insane stunt involving a helicopter chase that's likely to go down as one of the most thrilling moments in this year's blockbuster fare.
Given how we're totally best buds with Paul Rudd and the first one was decent fun, this could be a welcome antidote to Avengers: Infinity War's insanely tense and high-stakes action. Broadly described as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first romantic comedy - which makes sense seeing as how director Peyton Reed cut his teeth on them - there's bound to be a lot of laughs had here.
Giant Shark. Let's just repeat that so you get what we're saying. This is a movie about a giant shark called The Meg. It stars Jason Statham and it features a giant shark. Jason Statham is not the giant shark in this movie. But he does attempt to understand and face down the giant shark. The giant shark that is called The Meg. This has been a description of the movie called The Meg, which is about a giant shark. Please now watch the trailer which features a giant shark and Jason Statham.
Denzel Washington's clearly happy to take up that sweet, sweet cash that Liam Neeson's giving up as the resident middle-aged murdering badass of your local cinema, otherwise he wouldn't have signed up for a second Equalizer. This trailer gives away the entire film and features a finger-breaking move involving the Vulcan salute. Yeah.
CRAZY RICH ASIANS (August 17th)
Going head-to-head with Denzel Washington's rampage is the adaptation of publishing phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians, directed by Jon M. Chu of... uh, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never fame. The trailer kind of tells you everything you need to know about the Asians who are both rich and crazy, but keep an eye out for Fresh Off The Boat's Constance Wu in the lead role.