Film: Disney is Preparing For Another Blockbuster Summer

We’re barreling headlong into summer blockbuster season, and there’s no shortage of big-budget extravaganzas vying for your attention—and your hard-earned dollars. As usual, virtually every major studio has at least one or two summer blockbusters lined up, but few have invested as much in the upcoming movie season as Disney. The mouse-eared media giant has a slew of new movies coming down the pipe and it can be tough to keep track of everything they’re working on. Here’s a brief look at Disney’s latest offerings for the summer of 2017, as well as whether or not they’ll actually be worth your time.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has already kicked off the summer movie season with a bang. The film is another critical and financial success for Marvel and Disney, and some even predicted that it could potentially unseat Marvel’s The Avengers from its lofty peak. The Avengers is the record-holder for the biggest May opening (with $207.4 million) and remains one of the most successful films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The five-year-old flick remains a linchpin of the MCU, and its presence continues to be felt beyond the silver screen. The movie remains one of the top rated slot games online in a field filled with licensed offerings meant to spice up the classic casino arcades. The game includes of some of the biggest and most recognizable characters of the Marvel universe and is one of the most popular games of its kind. That Marvel has managed to make the previously unknown members of the Guardians into household names is impressive in and of itself, the fact that they could even think of challenging the Avengers for box office supremacy is incredible. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently in theaters.

Cars 3

This is the latest project from Disney and Pixar, and is the third entry in what might be Pixar’s weakest franchise. While they’ve made plenty of money, the Cars movies have never been a hit with critics in the way the Toy Story trilogy or even the Finding Nemo franchise have been. To top it off, this one will be mark the directorial debut of longtime Pixar storyboard artist Brian Fee, and we wish him the best of luck as he tries once more to make us care about anthropomorphic cars.

While it might not exactly be the Pixar film we’re waiting for (that would be Coco) it’s been pointed out that safer money-makers like Cars are what help give the studio the leeway to craft more challenging films like Inside Out. It’s still Pixar after all, and we doubt it will bomb like 2015’s The Good Dinosaur. But we also doubt it will capture the magic that we’ve come to expect from the studio over the years. Cars 3 will be released June 16, 2017.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Men Tell No Tales

It’s hard to believe that the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is still going strong. We’re now on our fifth entry in the series based on the infamous Disneyland attraction, and it somehow brings out people in droves. This entry notably brings both Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley back to the fold after their conspicuous absences from the fourth film, On Stranger Tides. It’s directed by the pair behind 2012’s Oscar-nominated Kon Tiki, and will feature Academy Award-winner Javier Bardem as the main villain in a movie that could very well end up surprising us all.

In keeping with Pirates’ penchant for rock star cameos (At World’s End featured Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones), the latest movie reportedly features former Beatle Paul McCartney, which means the age-old debate of “Beatles vs. Rolling Stones” continues on the big screen. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales sails into your local cinema May 26.