12 Future Blockbusters That Will Burn Up the Box Office This Summer

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The biggest blockbusters almost always adhere to one of a few tried-and-true formulas for success. While Hollywood still turns out a handful of gems each year — films like 12 Years a Slave and Blue Jasmine — most studios would prefer to have a box office hit than a critical darling. Money speaks louder than praise.

It’s still impossible to predict with absolute certainty which movies will score a home run and which will come up short, but Hollywood has it down to as much of a science as possible. Captain America: Winter Soldier is the biggest film at the box office right now, and absolutely no one is surprised. It’s the third film where Chris Evans has played Captain America in as many years, and the ninth Avengers film since the franchise got a reboot with Iron Man in 2008. That is to say, when movie producers find something that works, they keep doing it. The first film on this list of likely blockbusters in 2014 is a perfect example of that, and the reason it’s not much of a challenge to predict the next big box office hit.

1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 2)

The beginning of May may be a stretch for a list of “summer” blockbusters, especially if you’re living in the Midwest, but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has all the makings of a summer blockbuster. As the name would indicate, the film is the second in the latest Spider-Man reboot. The first, The Amazing Spider-Man, grossed $262 million domestically when it premiered just before the Fourth of July in 2012. In any other year, The Amazing Spider-Man may have been a runaway hit, but with stiff competition from films such as Marvel’s The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Hunger Games, it was the seventh biggest box office draw of the year. Sony likely decided to play it safe with the second film by getting out of the gate ahead of the main blockbuster season, so that it can build up some momentum unimpeded by other major releases.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t likely to be the biggest film of the year, but it will surely fall in the top 10, below the third installment of The Hunger Games franchise, which debuts in November, and likely the next Transformers film, but how it holds up against this summer’s other anticipated blockbusters will depend on a number of as yet unquantifiable variables. How good is the script? The acting? Will audiences turn up to a “summer” blockbuster at the beginning of May? Whatever its rank, though, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be one of the year’s biggest box office draws.

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