Let the 2013 Summer Movie Season Begin - Will This Top Last Year?

May 2, 2013

2013 Summer Movie Season

Tonight, movie fans around the United States everywhere are lining up for midnight showings of Marvel's Iron Man 3. It's the evening of May 2nd and the 2013 summer movie season is about to begin. Marvel jumped on this slot to follow-up The Avengers with another summer opening to pave the way. While there's always a particularly palpable sense of excitement at the beginning of a summer, after six years of writing about these openings (and many more years of living them), I've learned to never trust the early buzz. By the end, when we look back in August, everything is in a different place - big hits, big failures, lots of surprises inbetween. But it's time to finally get things underway, and this summer looks like it has a strong line-up.

In addition to Marvel's Iron Man 3, directed by Shane Black, in theaters this weekend, May is packed with some big hits already. Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby hits US theaters next weekend, May 10th. After that it's J.J. Abrams' sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness opening big on May 17th, quickly followed by Justin Lin's Fast & Furious 6 and Todd Phillips' The Hangover III out on May 24th. Hitting limited theaters that week is Richard Linklater's Before Midnight. To wrap up the month, Louis Leterrier's Now You See Me and M. Night Shyamalan's sci-fi After Earth are set for May 31st.

In June, things get a bit crazy, with The Purge on June 7th. But then there's Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen apocalypse comedy This is The End on June 12th, right before Zack Snyder's Superman origin reboot Man of Steel lands in theaters on June 14th. Based on all the buzz, I've got a good feeling Man of Steel is going to open BIG. Also arriving in limited is Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring. Two opposite movies hitting on June 21st - Marc Forster's World War Z with Brad Pitt, and Pixar's prequel Monsters University. Then to end this month, they're dropping Paul Feig's comedy The Heat, which might just be the sleeper hit of the summer, and Roland Emmerich's newest action extravaganza White House Down, on June 28th.

Man of Steel

Finally, we get to July, which is usually the big month. For the 4th of July week, Disney is dropping Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger on July 3rd, with Illumination's animated sequel Despicable Me 2 hitting as well. Next up is one we're all excited for - Guillermo del Toro's monsters vs robots movie Pacific Rim, on July 12th, which should open huge. If you'd rather watch some dumb comedy, Adam Sandler's Grown Ups 2 also hits theaters then. Horror sequel V/H/S 2 arrives around this time, too. Next, DreamWorks Animation is dropping Turbo on Wednesday, July 17th, before James Wan's horror The Conjuring on July 19th. Also on the 19th is Dean Parisot's sequel RED 2 and the Reynolds/Bridges team-up R.I.P.D., plus in limited, Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives with Gosling. Finally, July ends with James Mangold's The Wolverine unleashing on July 26th, along with Woody Allen's new film Blue Jasmine and Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station. Finally, The Smurfs 2 is out on July 31st if anyone is interested.

As always, there's a few possible gems hidden in August. On the 2nd, we'll get Baltasar Kormákur's 2 Guns and Noam Murro's sequel 300: Rise of an Empire, plus in limited the sci-fi Europa Report and James Ponsoldt's The Spectacular Now. One of the big ones I'm waiting for is Neill Blomkamp's Elysium, set for August 9th, which is also the release of Disney's Planes. On the 16th is Jeff Wadlow's comic book sequel Kick-Ass 2, which could be a sleeper hit, and Robert Luketic's Paranoia, plus Maggie Carey's The To-Do List (formerly The Hand Job). Finally, to cap things off, there's Kar Wai Wong's epic The Grandmaster and Edgar Wright's new movie with Simon Pegg & Nick Frost, The World's End, landing on August 23rd.

It's always fun to take a look at the line-up that lies ahead before the summer begins, and then look back at everything later. So what do you make of this year's line-up? Anything that you think will stand out already, or is it impossible to top last year's 2012 summer of The Avengers, Prometheus, Battleship (right?) and The Dark Knight Rises? Only time will tell. And it's time to start kicking things off now. What are you looking forward to the most, and do you think it will live up to your expectations? I can only hope some of you are planning to camp out for a midnight movie or two this summer. I remember back to our camp out for Bryan Singer's Superman Returns back in 2006, which is when this site was created. Here we are seven years later.

It's time to start the 2013 summer movie season. Let's see what it holds for moviegoers, good or bad, big or small, hopefully it's a memorable year. From DC and Marvel superheroes to Kaiju and Jaeger to Fitzgerald, zombies and the apocalypse, there's a wide variety of exciting adventures that lie ahead. Enjoy your time at the cinema. We'll always be around to keep you excited for the next one, excited for that very first showing.

Find more posts: Discuss, Feat, Hype



Last summer I thought that the summer film schedule was packed, but I really didn't see that much. This summer I feel like I will live at the theater and that isn't a bad thing. I can't wait to see many of these movies.

Chase on May 2, 2013


Man of Steel is gonna be huge

truong18 on May 2, 2013



thaRiddler on May 3, 2013


Personally, if I had to name just three: FAST AMPERSAND FURIOUS 6; MAN OF STEEL, PACIFIC RIM.

DAVIDPD on May 2, 2013


Just got home from an early showing of Iron Man 3. I have to say that I really enjoyed the movie. It is definitely good and a great way to start off a summer full of great movies. I can't wait for Superman!!!!

Jeremy Henry on May 2, 2013


This summer gives me a husband bulge.

TyRawrrnosaurus on May 2, 2013


Well, Iron Man 3 certainly started things off with a bang. I expected it to be good, but I didn't anticipate it being THAT good. The fact that we've got this, Star Trek, and F&F6 all in the same month is pretty fantastic in and of itself.

Matt on May 2, 2013


Just got home from seeing IM3 myself and it was definitely a nice start to the summer. I can't say for sure, but last year it seemed like I could take a break from week to week between big releases, but this year it looks like I'll be at my local theater almost every weekend up through August. So much goodness.

Adreth Stark on May 2, 2013


I don't see why "The Hangover III" and "Fast & Furious 6" have to come out on the same date. The studios are crossing their "bro" crowds. One of those should definitely move to the June 7th date which is looking pretty weak. Other than that, STACKED.

Noe on May 2, 2013


I could very well expect some line in Man of Steel that's a jab to marvel "I don't need ARMOR.." Man of Steel is going to blow the doors off at the box office.

Nick Sears on May 3, 2013


"I don't need armor. I AM armor."

DAVIDPD on May 3, 2013


can't wait for the kick off! For me is pacific rim the most anticipated one and onley god forgives at second place...

Avi on May 3, 2013


(Won't add IM3 in the mix cause I saw the midnight showing of it already) Top 3 Movies to see: PACIFIC F***ing RIM!!! Star Trek 2!! Man of Steel/Elysium! I feel like Pacific Rim will do the most box office damage but you never know. Looking forward to posting a review about IM3 because everyone who's seen it is DEFINITELY gonna post after seeing that movie.

JBrotsis on May 3, 2013


Alex, you should do this every year. Write up an article about the list of summer movies coming compared to a recap of the previous summers' movies! I've often found myself trying to remember what ALL movies hit last summer and trying to think which summer had the best line up.

JBrotsis on May 3, 2013


Yes in Big Pictures , I agree with you dear Alex. Pacific Rim Fast & Furious 6 Iron Man 3 Man of Steel Lone Ranger Kick-Ass 2 Elysium After Earth White House Down But im waiting for these too: Rec4: Apocalypse // Grandmaster (full version) // Raid2: Berandal // Horns // Black Sky(Steven Quale) // Beauty & Beast(cristopher gans) // Host II // A Most Wanted Man // Nymphomaniac ( Lars von Trier) // Coup (John Erick Dowdle) // Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch) // Insidious II // Foxcatcher // Green Inferno // Snowpiercer // Unforgiven (japanes version) // Last Voyage of Demeter // Protector II (Tony Jaa) // Past (Asghar Farhadi) // Labor Day // Third Person // Blood Ties // Out of Furnace // Don Jon Addict // Lovelace // Wolf of Wallstreet // Haunter (Vincenzo Natali) // Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (Stephen Chow) // Loft // Marble City // Two Faces of January (Viggo Mortensen) // Straw Shield (Takashi Miike) // Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg) // Exists (Eduardo Sánchez) // Wolf Creek 2 // Odd Thomas (Stephen Sommers) // Shrooms 3D // Queen of the Desert (Werner Herzog) // Non-Stop (Liam Neeson).........

Ehsan Davodi on May 3, 2013


yooooooo , if non stop is is a great movie, that movie might hit 400 mil or more, the premise of that movie sounds wicked

me on May 3, 2013


The iron man image is from the hot toys 1/6 photoshoot! Everyone has been using it

Antony on May 3, 2013


Let me start with iron man 3...well its rubbish...nuff said...

safichan on May 3, 2013


The last sentence of this article is so cheezy!! And I love it 😀

DavideCoppola on May 3, 2013


Had to get that in there... 😉

Alex Billington on May 3, 2013

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