The summer’s biggest movie — not to mention the year’s biggest movie, if not the biggest movie of all-time — is already burning up screens.
“Avengers: Endgame” hit theaters two weeks ago and has been obliterating every record in its path. A few more snaps of its fingers and it will be knocking at the door of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to become the biggest domestic hit ever, and it may become the first movie to cross the $1 billion mark at the North American box office.
What about the rest of summer? Well, there’s still plenty to look forward to beyond the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and even within the realm of Marvel. As promised, the MCU picks up where “Endgame” left off with “Spider-Man: Far From Home” over the July 4th weekend, because you didn’t really think the Marvel story was done with “Endgame,” did you?
Aside from Spidey, there are a handful of new faces and returning favorites heading to screens this summer, so here’s a preview of 10 of the biggest movies hitting theaters before Labor Day that aren’t named “Endgame.”
- “The Lion King”— For its 25th anniversary, the 1994 animated classic gets the live action treatment, courtesy of director Jon Favreau (who, as an executive producer on the “Avengers” series, finds himself at the center of modern Hollywood) and a voice cast that includes Beyoncé, Donald Glover, James Earl Jones and Seth Rogen. From an animated film to a hit Broadway show back to a film, that is the circle of life. (July 19)
- “Spider-Man: Far From Home” — Tom Holland suits up as Spidey for the fifth time but only his second full-length adventure in this sequel to 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and a continuation of the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Ah yes, but what does this film have to do with last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse,” you ask? From the looks of it, absolutely nothing! (July 2)
- “Toy Story 4” — The fourth time is the charm with this return of the original Pixar team of Woody and Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. This time around they’re joined by Forky, a spork voiced by “Veep’s” Tony Hale, along with new characters voiced by Keanu Reeves, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key. Fun fact: Andy, Woody and Buzz’s original owner, would be 32 now. (June 21)
- “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” — The ninth film from Quentin Tarantino stars Leonardo DiCaprio (in his first on-camera role since winning an Oscar for 2015’s “The Revenant”), Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino in a look at the film industry and life in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969. Bruce Dern, Lena Dunham, Timothy Olyphant and Luke Perry help round out the large ensemble cast. (July 26)
- “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” — When is a “Fast and Furious” movie not a “Fast and Furious” movie? When it’s “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.” That would be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Hobbs) and Jason Statham (Shaw) spinning off from Vin Diesel and the gang and going on their own adventure, trying to take down a terrorist played by Idris Elba. Who needs Vin Diesel? (Aug. 2)
- “Rocketman”— The wave of music biopics continues with the story of Elton John, starring “Kingsman’s” Taron Egerton as the “Your Song” singer. Dexter Fletcher, who previously directed Egerton in “Eddie the Eagle,” is behind the camera, but early buzz suggests the film will be more of an audience pleaser than awards bait, although that didn’t stop “Bohemian Rhapsody” from winning star Rami Malek an Oscar. (May 31)
- “Aladdin”— Will Smith is the genie in this live action remake of Disney’s 1992 animated tale. He gets to grant three wishes to Aladdin (Mena Massoud), who finds the genie’s lamp and unlocks his magical powers. Early trailers became the butt of internet jokes and memes, but it would be foolish to bet against what seems like a surefire summer slam dunk. Guy Ritchie directs. (May 24)
- “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” — You can’t keep a good Godzilla down. Movie trends change, superheroes come in and out of vogue, but there’s always going to be a place for the King of the Monsters. This film is the sequel to 2014’s “Godzilla” and it’s a warm-up to next year’s “Godzilla vs. Kong,” since they’re both a part of Legendary Entertainmen’s MonsterVerse. Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and “Stranger Things'” Millie Bobby Brown star. (May 31)
- “Midsommar”— Here’s a curveball. “Hereditary’s” Ari Aster returns with this story about a couple — “Fighting With My Family’s” Florence Pugh and “Transformers: Age of Extinction’s” Jack Reynor — who vacation in a Swedish village when things start to get weird. And with Aster at the helm, there’s no doubt things can get weird. A mid-summer treat for horror junkies. (July 3)
- “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum”— Keanu Reeves’ hitman character continues his killing spree in the third chapter of this violent series, which has all the built-in mythology of a deeply layered comic book series but is original to the screen. Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Halle Berry and Anjelica Huston round out the decorated cast. (May 17)