When it comes to blockbusters, bigger and bolder is Hollywood’s plan for this summer. Movie studios are counting on new and improved sequels to make up for last summer’s poor showing at theater box offices.
Disney and Marvel have had a great start with Avengers: Infinity War. The superhero movie had the biggest worldwide opening weekend in history, with more than $640 million in tickets sold. And that does not include the market in China, where the movie just opened.
The film’s secret weapon? The largest-ever group of superheroes (including Black Panther), explosive special effects in outer space and an unpredictable ending.
Joe Russo co-directed the film with his brother Anthony.
“Nobody has ever done this before. You are taking this many…really successful franchises, and combining them all to one movie, to one big finale.”
The film cost $320 million to make. But the Disney-Marvel studio has recovered its expenses many times over. As of Thursday, it has earned more than $1.2 billion at movie theaters.
Infinity War’s unusual storyline may also signal a change toward more imaginative big action films than in summers past.
The darkly funny 2016 film Deadpool was such a success that 20th Century Fox has produced a sequel. Fans hope that Deadpool 2 will keep the humor and unexpected storytelling of the first in the series.
Walt Disney and Lucas Film studios are hoping to earn back the production cost of the science fiction film Solo: A Star Wars Story. Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard re-shot 80 percent of the film after taking over when the original directors resigned. Howard’s uncompromising demand for quality pushed production costs to over $250 million. The movie tells the story of the early years of Star Wars hero Han Solo and his hairy co-pilot Chewbacca.
Bigger and more frightening describe the latest Jurrasic Park movie from Universal. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom includes dinosaurs, naturally, but also an environmental appeal; humans seek to save the huge animals from disappearing.
The robbery comedy, Ocean’s 8, features diamonds, beautiful clothes and fearless females. Sandra Bullock stars along with Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway. The film is an all-female version of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s series. Warner Brothers Studios expects the film will be a big hit with girls and women.
I’m Ashley Thompson.
VOA movie correspondent Penelope Poulou reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
bold – adj. not afraid of danger or difficult situations
sequel – n. a book, movie, etc., that continues a story begun in another book, movie, etc.
box office – n. used to describe how many tickets have been sold for a movie, play, etc.
franchise – n. collection of related movies.
finale – n. the last part of something (such as a musical performance, play, etc.)
science fiction – n. stories about how people and societies are affected by imaginary scientific developments in the future
feature – v. to give particular attention to (someone or something important)