Vampires, werewolves, superheroes, pirates, aliens, the final chapter in the saga of everyone’s favorite boy wizard… and, oh, so much more! The 2011 box office forecast is booming with potential blockbusters.
Now, AccessHollywood.com counts down the Top 10 films we can’t wait to line up for!
#10 – “Super 8”
Starring: Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Release date: Summer 2011
Why we’re excited: A new sci-fi thriller from J.J. Abrams! Need we really say more? OK, we’ll give you just a little bit. Written and directed by Abrams, the film follows a group of teens in the 1970s who capture footage of aliens in Area 51 while shooting on their – wait for it – Super 8 camera. And here you thought the film was about those low budget motels of the same name. The Air Force, the government and other various ominous suit-wearing types begin pursuit. Drama, explosions, suspense – and maybe even aliens – follow. Yes, please.
#9 – “Captain America”
Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Release date: July 22, 2011
Why we’re excited: For what will be Marvel’s final superhero installment leading up to 2012’s “The Avengers,” Chris Evans will don the stars and stripes as Steve Rogers/aka Captain America as he suits up for battle against the forces of evil in the WWII era-timed piece. Hugo Weaving (who, by the way, is it just us, or was this guy born to play a movie villain?!?) steps in as Nazi baddie Johann Schmidt/aka Red Skull, commander of HYDRA. While Evans previously joked to Access he’d be “the worst thing that ever happened to Marvel,” we have a feeling the man who once played the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch will do the red, white and blue proud.
#8 – “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”
Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Release date: May 20, 2011
Why we’re excited: Captain Jack is back – this time, with some new faces. Out are Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. In are Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane. There’s an argument to be made that if you’ve seen one “Pirates” film, you’ve seen them all. But with a combined gross of more than $2.6 billion at the worldwide box office, the Bruckheimer/Disney team is doing something right. Plus, there won’t be nary a bad word said about Johnny Depp in this column. He’s had us since he played Officer Tom Hanson on “21 Jump Street” (itself being remade for the big screen). We’ll hitch our anchor to his pirate ship any day.
#7 – The Fourth “Mission: Impossible”
Starring: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Josh Holloway
Directed by: Brad Bird
Release date: December 16, 2011
Why we’re excited: There’s an argument to be made that if you’ve seen one “Mission: Impossible” film… Wait, that’s already been used. Cruise is back as super-spy Ethan Hunt, and while many of the same faces return, joining the fray are newbies Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway and Paula Patton, all of whom should inject some exciting new blood into the latest chapter. Brad Bird makes his directorial debut, which means J.J. Abrams is out as director, but sticks around as a producer/writer. Truth be told, if J.J. wasn’t still involved, the clock may have run out on this box office “Mission.” But when it comes down to it, say what you will about Cruise, the man makes one heck of a movie.
#6 – “Green Lantern”
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Release date: June 17, 2011
Why we’re excited: Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Blake Lively. Ryan Reynolds isn’t so bad either. Throw in a fanboy classic superhero tale and with these two beyond good lookin’ folks as the leads, look for the box office to definitely go “Green” in Summer 2011. Plus, who doesn’t love to say “Saaaaaaaaarsgaaaaaaard”?! Exactly.
#5 – “Thor”
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Release date: May 6, 2011
Why we’re excited: Yet another prequel cog in Marvel’s mighty “The Avengers” machine, easy-on-the-eyes Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth steps into the iconic Norse mythological title character comic book role. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film will follow Thor as he is cast down to earth for being an arrogant fighter, only to find himself battling the dark forces of Asgard and becoming a hero to the humans. Throw in the lovely Natalie Portman as Thor’s lady love Jane Foster, Anthony Hopkins as daddy Odin — oh, and did we mention Thor’s mighty hammer Mjolnir? What can we say, we’re a sucker for a good power tool!
#4 – “The Hangover 2”
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Release Date: May 26, 2011
Why we’re excited: Details are being kept under wraps for the sequel to the side-splitting original — which has forever put to shame every groom-to-be’s bachelor party past, present and future – but as long as those four funny guys are sticking around, so are we! And hey, if they want to bring back Mike Tyson too for another musical interlude, we’re not complaining. Call it comedic masochism if you will, but we’re ready to feel the burn of another “Hangover”!
#3 – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Starring: Rooney Mara, Daniel Crag, Christopher Plummer
Directed by: David Fincher
Release date: December 21, 2011
Why we’re excited: Rising star Rooney Mara has scored one of the most talked-about roles in recent memory, nabbing the part of edgy hacker Lisbeth Salander in the U.S. big screen adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s literary set, The Millennium Trilogy. There has already been a Swedish film version of the trilogy. And, watch out soon for the announcement of a fourth book in the series. In the story, Mara and Daniel Craig (who will bring Mikael Blomkvist to life for American audiences) cross paths as they search for the missing niece of an ailing industrial tycoon. As the first installment in the series, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” sets the table for the drama and suspense to come throughout the much-buzzed about trilogy, the latter two parts of which will be rolled out in 2012.
#2 – “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part I”
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner
Directed by: Bill Condon
Release date: November 18, 2011
Why we’re excited: Why aren’t we excited is the better question. What better way to kick off the beginning of the end of “The Twilight Saga” then with a little vampire-human wedding & honeymoon action! Plus, we all know what happens on the honeymoon, right???… Room service! No? Hmm. OK, how ‘bout this — “There will be sex scenes – multiple sex scenes,” screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg previously told Access Hollywood of the romance we’ll see between Edward and Bella. Hey now! Summit has yet to announce exactly where the “Breaking Dawn” storyline will be split, but Part I will begin to put the bow on this pop culture-transcending saga, which has turned vampires and werewolves from cheap Halloween decorations to every kid’s favorite supernatural bestie. Whether you’re Team Edward or Team Jacob or even Team Whatever Happened To That Nice Rachelle LeFevere, grab your lawn chairs and get in line – there’s only 14 months until opening night – knowing the “Twi-Hards,” the good seats are probably already taken!
#1 – “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part II”
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy
Directed by: David Yates
Release date: July 15, 2011
Why we’re excited: It takes quite a monumental occasion to bump anything “Twilight” from the top of any of our lists, but the final film in the saga of boy wizard Harry Potter is exactly that. With a $5.4 billion haul in its run at the box office (the highest grossing film series of all-time), the Harry Potter films have spanned an entire decade, capturing the imagination of pre-teen boys who can now legally buy booze and little girls who are already old enough to vote in the next election. Even the films’ stars themselves have gone from teenyboppers to twenty-somethings. A pretty impressive run to say the least. Once again, a story which has been cut into two parts – allowing for more excitement and, of course, more cash at the box office, the final chapter of “Deathly Hallows” sees our spellbinding wand-slingers engage in one last battle with the evil Lord Voldemort before Hogwarts’ prized pupils say goodbye to their beloved boarding school as students one last time – at least, those of them that make it through the “Deathly Hallows” alive.