There have been quite a few terms thrown around to describe the state of 2016's box office track record. "Disastrous," "a garbage fire," and "general lack of hustle" could all describe what's been a pretty off year for the movies. And while it's not like they didn't tell us this was going to happen, it's still pretty disappointing that this year's film offerings have been less than thrilling.
However, there's still hope, and it comes in the guise of the following eight films that will be released between the end of July and the end of December. 2016 doesn't have to be a complete belly flop, and these flicks are our last, best hopes for box office glory. So enjoy this list, and update your Google calendar accordingly, folks!
Release Date: 7/29/16
He may know who he is, but he surely doesn't know the whole story. After years of inaction, Jason Bourne is reporting back for duty this summer, with Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass returning to bring the brand of action and suspense that they put on the map with the Bourne series. As if that wasn't exciting enough, Julia Stiles is returning as Nicky Parsons, with Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, and Vincent Cassel all climbing on board as various figures intent on hunting Bourne down in the name of law and order. Good luck with that, guys.
Release Date: 8/5/16
Michael Keaton has knocked on the door of the Academy Awards before, and he almost made it if it wasn't for some meddling kid. Still, Eddie Redmayne is working off of the prestige of his well deserved Best Actor win, while Keaton is as hungry as ever, as proven in the trailer to our next choice, The Founder. Playing Ray Kroc, the man who took the McDonald's brand to the level we know its at today, Michael Keaton is making hamburgers, breaking deals, and eating up the competition with big, meaty gulps. It's a feast for both awards voters and audiences, as this compelling drama looks like a live wire of excitement and betrayal.
Release Date: 8/5/16
You knew this was coming, and if it wasn't for our chronological ordering, we probably would have put Suicide Squad on the top of our list. David Ayer's beast of a film has been talked up by those involved in the production, and each trailer has ramped up the excitement levels to the point where it feels like another Marvel movie is heading our way. With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice leaving audiences with a general sigh of, "Meh," Suicide Squad is the hit DC Comics and Warner Bros need to stay in the game. If what we've seen so far is any indication, then the game is, indeed, on.
Release Date: 11/4/16
Remember when we talked about how it felt like another Marvel movie was coming out this year? It turns out, there actually IS another Marvel film coming out. All kidding aside, Doctor Strange is an attractive prospect for two big reasons. First, it's attracted a cast of top notch talent, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role, and flanked by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, and Rachel McAdams. But second, and more importantly, this Strange trip will open up the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the more magical and mystical corner of its canon. Should this film stick the landing, all sorts of trippy and exciting developments will be in our future. And we're more than ready for it all!
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Release Date: 11/18/16
Well well, if it isn't Eddie Redmayne! We could swear we were just talking about you three slides ago, and here you are, ready to take the Harry Potter universe into another round of films. To say we're more than excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an understatement, as our curiosity as to how the Potterverse got started has been burning ever since we read the text this film is based off of. Not to mention, the fact that J.K. Rowling herself wrote the screenplay is something that serves as further fuel for the fire.
Release Date: 11/23/16
Disney has been on a role over the past couple of years, so Moana already comes with some lofty expectations, particularly when compared to Disney's surprise windfall this spring with Zootopia. Yet we'd like to think that Moana has some trump cards up its sleeve that'll bring it into box-office stardom, and two of them are star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and composer / lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda. Though if Hamilton and The Rock don't excite you, then maybe Disney's first Polynesian princess and her cutely spotted pig, may seal the deal for you.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Release Date: 12/16/16
We don't care about the reshoots, and all of the rumors surrounding Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Well, actually, we do, but we're trying really hard to push it to the side, if only so we can enjoy Gareth Edwards' next film with as little baggage as possible. While the tone of the film is supposedly being softened to match the first Star Wars Story up with the rest of the canon proper, we're still optimistic that whatever war is left in this new Star Wars movie will be awesome enough to blow our minds away. That, and Ben Mendelsohn as an Imperial baddie looks pretty badass.
Release Date: 12/21/16
What do you get when you mix a script from the infamous Black List with a pair of hot and talented stars that have never worked together before? Well, in this case, we're getting Passengers, which will show Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt falling in love, in a place where gravity only exists if the power's working. And from the initial reports of footage screen during this year's CinemaCon, it sounds like there are as many harrowing moments of survival as there are moments of romance for our two leads. The sooner an official trailer can be released, the better, as this spaceship-bound love story is one of the unknown quantities that's driven up a serious amount of buzz.