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04.24.2016by: Chris Bumbray

2016 Top 25 Summer Movie Preview (+video)

It's funny, to me it almost feels like the summer movie season has already started, with BATMAN V SUPERMAN arguably having kicked-it-off in March. With that and THE JUNGLE BOOK grossing nearly a billion bucks, the whole idea of people only really going to movies in the summer has fallen by the way side, and to me this upcoming season is a reflection of that as it doesn't seem all that more exciting than any other season.

That said, I'm sure this summer will be a make-or-break time for many franchises, and as such the season's loaded up with action, superheros and movie stars. The following is a list of out most anticipated films. Agree or disagree? Strikeback below and check out our video preview right here!

25. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

While the big TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES reboot didn't exactly set the world on fire, it wound-up making a nice chunk of change. Thus, we now have a sequel, with EARTH TO ECHO director Dave Green taking over for Jonathan Liebsman. The trailer is actually pretty decent, scored to The Beastie Boys's hard-rocking "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" and featuring glimpses of Arrow star Stephen Amell as fan-fave Casey Jones, more Shredder, more Megan Fox hotness and...Tyler Perry???

24. Pete's Dragon

Does the world really need a PETE'S DRAGON remake? While we're not quite sure of what to make of this one here at JoBlo.com, the presence of AINT THEM BODIES SAINTS director David Lowery at the helm and Robert Redford (and Bryce Dallas Howard) in the cast certainly promises a classy production from the house of mouse. It's worth mentioning that first trailer is actually quite arty. Disney by way of Terrence Malick???

23. Lights Out

This supernatural horror romp starring Teresa Palmer normally wouldn't have been high-profile enough to make our top twenty-five, but director David Sandberg's short film this is based on became a viral sensation and all the studios seem really high on the guy. Could LIGHTS OUT mark the arrival of a major new talent???

22. War Dogs

THE HANGOVER director Todd Phillips has been trying to stretch for years now, to the point that the third film in that series was barely even a comedy anymore. WAR DOGS, the true story of two frat boy arms dealers played by Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, looks like a solid, Wolf of Wall Street-style romp about two absolute assholes. Could this be the movie that elevates Phillips the same way THE BIG SHORT did for Adam McKay? Hopefully itíll be more than just a couple of jerks doing coke and partying. After all, we already have one Vinyl.

21. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

The Lonely Island crew Andy Sandberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone take another stab at Hollywood following their (underrated) flop HOT ROD with the more ambitious POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING. A mockumentary that seems like a send-up of Justin Bieber, Sanberg stars as a popstar trying to maintain his popularity, while his entourage, including SNLís Bill Hader, Sarah Silverman and more keep spending his money. The trailer is pretty slick and hilarious, so this might be the R-rated, raunchy comedy hit of the summer Ė or a total flop. Weíll see.

20. The Founder

The Founder, is a rare prestige-level drama for the summer movie season, starring Michael Keaton as the infamous Ray Kroc ,founder of McDonalds. This is apparently a Citizen Kane-styles rise-and-fall with some serious Oscar heat on it, although one wonders why itís coming out in August? At the very least itíll be interesting counter-programming and expect Nick Offerman to steal scenes as one of the original McDonald brothers.

19. Ben-Hur

Now, this is another one our readers arenít keen on, with many wondering why a studio would remake William Wyler's Charlton Heston classic (even though that film itself was a remake), with the buzz being this is a faith-driven tent-pole heavy on the religion. However, director Timur Beckmanbetov always makes visually arresting films and lead Jack Huston is primed for a breakout part. I also have to imagine Paramount wouldn't fork-out too much cash on a movie that's basically a long Sunday school lesson and it's worth noting the Christian themes are largely absent from the trailer.

18. Sausage Party

This very adult, CG-animated comedy that blew the roof off of SXSW. Seth Rogan and Kristen Wiig (as well as Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton and Salma Hayek) play groceries that discover, to their horror and theyíre about to be eaten and stage a revolt. It looks and sounds weird, but apparently itís hilarious.

17. Alice Through the Looking Glass

While Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND made over a billion dollars worldwide, did anyone actually like it? Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska are back as The Mad Hatter and Alice, but Burton's sitting this one out, with THE MUPPETS' James Bobin as his replacement. That said, the trailer Ė scored to Pinkís cover of White Rabbit isnít half bad (and very, very weird) Ė so maybe itíll surprise us?

16. Free State of Jones

Coming from THE HUNGER GAMES and SEABISCUIT director Gary Ross, FREE STATE OF JONES looks like a stirring period epic and another strong part for star Matthew McConaughey. Here, he plays a confederate soldier during the Civil War who rebels and starts his own colony where he protects southern slaves, falling in love with one of them, played by the gorgeous Gugu Mbawtha Raw, along the way.

15. Now You See Me 2

This one reminds me a bit of THE HUNSTMAN, in that while NOW YOU SEE ME was a sleeper, did anyone actually think it remitted a sequel? Lionsgate seems to think so, with a third already in the scripting phase. Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and the rest of the gang Ė minus Isla Fisher whoís being replaced by Lizzy Caplan Ė are back as the Four Horseman, with Danile Radcliffe joining them for some magical hi-jinx. Well, if thereís anything Radcliffe knows about, itís magic, right?

14. The Legend of Tarzan

Alexander Skarsgard stars as the titular vine-swinging hero, with Margot Robbie as Jane, with the two called back to the jungle after years in London. Samuel L. Jackson co-stars as an American showman who becomes Tarzanís buddy, helping him foil a plot by the dastardly Christoph Waltz, playing yet another bad guy. The most interesting thing about this is that itís directed by David Yates, who did a great job on the last few Harry Potter movies, so obviously Warner Bros has a lot invested in it.

13. Warcraft

Based on the ever popular role-playing game, and directed by Duncan Jones (SOURCE CODE, MOON), WARCRAFT is one of the huge question marks of the summer. Many are already predicting that this mega-budget wannabe franchise-starter will fizzle, with many pointing to the fact that Vikings Travis Fimmel is too unknown to be a star, while super-ambitious fantasy hasn't fared too well lately either. Still, it could surprise everyone. Based on Jones's previous work, I have to believe it'll be at least OK.

12. Ghostbusters

This reboot has already proven to be one of the most controversial movies of the year, and it doesn't even come out for another two months! Directed by Bridesmaids Paul Feig, starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the four new Ghostbusters, many fans have been in an uproar over this all-female reboot. While the trailer for this rubbed hardcore fans the wrong way, with Wiig, McCarthy and Feig involved itís hard to believe this won't be worthwhile, and while no reboot was really warranted, people should probably relax and give it a shot.

11. Neighbors 2

Now, we all loved the first NEIGHBORS, which gave new life to Zac Efron's career (saving him from the post Disney purgatory that's hit a lot of his HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL co-stars hard) and gave Seth Rogan another huge hit under-his-belt, along with providing Rose Byrne a fine comic showcase of her own. In this sequel, Chloe Grace Moretz and Selena Gomez start up a sorority which makes the first movieís frat boys look tame, forcing Rogan and Byrne to call in their handsome new pal, Efron to get rid of the gals!

10. The Conjuring 2

Since the last CONJURING, director James Wan helped Furious 7 gross over a billion dollars, but he turned down a crack at the sequel to return to this much smaller-scaled franchise, re-teaming with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators Earl and Lorraine Warrens as they investigate a new haunting. Considering the lame spin-off ANNABELLE made so much money, expect this to make a mint.

9. Finding Dory

While on the surface, FINDING DORY seems like another unwarranted sequel, the fact remains that FINDING NEMO remains one of Pixar's most beloved films and while an original from them would be more exciting, they rarely (if ever) go wrong. The first twenty-seven minutes recently screened at Cinemacon in Vegas, and the response was wildly enthusiastic.

8. The BFG

If it wasn't for Steven Spielberg at the helm, I doubt anyone would be all that enthused for this adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic. But, Spielberg plus newly minted Oscar-winner Mark Rylance and a berth at Cannes signals THE BFG just might be one very special family movie and a new classic. Fingers crossed!

7. Star Trek Beyond

So why doesn't the third installment in the STAR TREK reboot rank higher. With Justin Lin ant the helm, the first trailer definitely made this look more like a FAST & FURIOUS flick than anything resembling Star Trek. Yet, Trekkie Simon Pegg had a hand in the screenplay, and Idris Elba looks like an inspired choice to play the villain, so we'll see. Hopefully it'll at least be better than STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.

6. Independence Day: Resurgence

While it's been a full twenty years since ID4 (!),this isnít a reboot, but a full-on sequel, albeit without star Will Smith. Jeff Godlblum, and Bill Pullman are back, with Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher and Maika Monroe as the new leads. I actually visited the set of this last year and I can say this Ė itíll be BIG. Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin have set out to make something on an even larger scale than the first, and if it works it'll really work.

5. The Nice Guys

Shane Black's THE NICE GUYS seems like a welcome change-of-pace in a summer full of superhero movies and sequels. An action-comedy in the vein of Black's own KISS KISS BANG BANG, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe looks like a classic buddy-pair in the making, and if Black knows anything, it's big screen buddies (i.e LETHAL WEAPON). The period setting (1975) gives it a nice flavor and those early trailers are terrific.

4. Suicide Squad

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE pissed off many fanboys despite making close to a billion dollars. I actually didn't think it was half-bad but considering the blasting I took on Twitter after my review, it seems I was in the minority. In a way, SUICIDE SQUAD is really DCís make or break film, with Jared Letoís Joker already wildly controversial, although Margot Robbieís Harley Quinn is already iconic. Will Smith also looks great as Deadshot, and the trailers are terrific. I predict this will emerge one of the biggest hits of the summer, but will people actually like it? Your guess is as good as mine!

3. X-Men: Apocalypse

While Hugh Jackman may be sitting this X-MEN installment out, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Michael Fassbender as Magneto and James McAvoy as the now bald professor X are all back and while Oscar Issac is a controversial choice for bad guy Apocalypse, in director Bryan Singer we trust! Our own Paul Shirey visited the set and said it looked amazing.

2. Jason Bourne

I'm putting JASON BOURNE is as my second most anticipated movie of the summer. Matt Damon returns to his mega franchise alongside Paul Greengrass for the first time in nine years, and to borrow from another super-spy, "nobody does it better!" Quite simply Ė no Damon, no Bourne Ė even if you have Jeremy Renner. This looks to be bigger than all the other Bourneís put together Ė with the trailer promising epic-level action. The supporting cast is strong as always, with Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel and more.

1. Captain America: Civil War

Well, there's no surprise here, right? Who hasn't been salivating for this one since it was announced the Russo Brothers would be directing an adaptation of the CIVIL WAR story-line. This looks like the AVENGERS follow-up we really wanted instead of last year's overstuffed AGE OF ULTRON and the reviews are already through the roof, with many saying it's the best Marvel movie ever.

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