Film Surf Report: 2017 Looks To Be The Year of Disney (And Its Franchises)

BEAUTY & THE BEAST

Santa Monica, CA — Looking at the big franchise films slated for release in 2017, one headline jumps out at me:  Disney (including LucasFilm, Marvel and Pixar) is gonna have a boffo year at the box office with at least nine guaranteed hits resulting in billions of dollars in revenue.

Universal will also have a big year, too (but not as many hits).  Warner Bros. & DC may have a big miss (looking at you, Wonder Woman).  And Sony, well you are looking just okay with your C-List Franchises (Barbie, Jumanji).

Marvel Studios provide Hugh Jackman’s last turn as Wolverine (via Fox), the return of Chris Pratt & Co. in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor 3: Ragnorak.  Finally, more of Phase 3 of the MCU and those darn Infinity Stones.

Pixar Studios has Cars 3 and Coco.

LucasFilm will kill it with Star Wars, Ep. VIII: Where Ya Been, Luke! (Working Title)

Meanwhile, Disney will unveil the live-action Beauty & the Beast starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson and Ian McKellen; the return of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 5; and, an as yet Untitled Live Action Disney Fairytale (Mulan?)

Here are the big tentpole films comin’ atcha, seemingly one per week in 2017:

PADDINGTON 2

TBD      Paddington 2     (Studio Canal)

Let’s not under-estimate the power of a family-based franchise such as Paddington.

DARK TOWER GUNSLINGER

Feb. 17th     The Dark Tower (Sony)

Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba star in the first installment of a planned trilogy. All right, all right, all right!  Part One centers on The Gunslinger.

WOLVERINE 2

March 3rd     X-Men: Wolverine 3  (Fox)

Thanks for the claws, Hugh Jackman!

BEAUTY & THE BEAST

March 17th   Beauty & The Beast    (Disney)

Bill Condon directs an all-star cast in this live-action re-make.  Easy to predict it will be a big hit connecting with a more diverse audience than the recent Cinderella.

KING KONG SKULL ISLAND

March 17th   King Kong: Skull Island   (Universal)

Tom Hiddleston leads a group of explorers which includes Oscar-winner Brie Larson.

 

guardians-of-the-galaxy-1

May 5th          Guardians of the Galaxy 2    (Disney & Marvel Studios)

James Gunn directs the sequel and Kurt Russell is set to portray Star Lord’s dad!  Will we see some Infinity Stones or Thanos?

 

May 12th         Barbie: The Movie     (Sony)

I. Just. Don’t. See. It.  Box Office Bomb Alert!  Sorry, Mattel.

 

POTC5

May 26th        Pirates of the Caribbean 5   (Disney)

Johnny Depp returns to much more lucrative waters.

 

BAD BOYS

June 2nd         Bad Boys 3      (Sony)

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return in hopes of reviving their careers.

MUMMY

June 9th          The Mummy    (Universal)

A re-boot starring Tom Cruise in Universal’s 1st Monster Universe franchise film. Sofia Boutella (Kingsman) is the Mummy herself!  Good counter-programming to the final entry in the Divergent series: Ascendant

June 16th         Cars 3    (Disney & Pixar Studios)

KINGSMAN DRESSING ROOM 3

June 16th         Kingsman 2    (Fox)

My personal favorite film of 2014 was Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service with Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Jack Davenport & Co.

WONDER WOMAN

June 23rd         Wonder Woman   (Warner Bros. & DC Comics)

Gal Gadot stars in this solo outing following an appearance in Batman Vs. Superman. Patty Jenkins directs the 4th installment of the newly minted DC Universe of Films following Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman, and Suicide Squad.

DESPICABLE ME 2

 

June 30th         Despicable Me 3    (Universal)

People love those Minions.  Family fare to fare quite well.

 

SPIDER-MAN ART

July 7th            Spider-Man  (Sony & Marvel Studios)

Yikes! Too soon for re-boot #3 in my opinion.  Peter Parker is now even younger.  Marisa Tomei has been cast as Aunt May!

 

JUMANJI

July 28th          Jumanji  (Sony)

I have nothing to go on but Instinct which tells me this will be a dud along the lines of Sony’s re-make of Annie.

MISSION IMP 5

Aug. TBD         Mission Impossible 6     (Paramount)

Not holding my breath here for this release date to stick.

PITCH PERFECT

Aug. 4th          Pitch Perfect 3    (Universal)

Elizabeth Banks returns as the franchise’s triple threat (acting, producing, directing!).  While I enjoyed the first one, I thought the sequel was spectacularly bad.  Fingers crossed that Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson get a better story from screenwriter Kay Cannon.

PROMETHEUS

Aug. 4th          Alien: Covenant  (Fox)

The Sequel to PrometheusGood counter-programming to PP3.

GAMBIT

Oct. 6th           TBD Marvel Movie (Fox)

Likely to be Gambit starring Channing Tatum.  Pic’s originally been slated for October 2016 but got pushed back a year since production has not even begun yet.

THOR

Nov. 3rd                Thor 3: Ragnorak    (Disney & Marvel Studios)

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe delves further into those darn Infinity Stones, and Cate Blanchett joins the cast!

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE

Nov. 17th          Justice League Part One  (Warner Bros. & DC Comics)

Count me in!  Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as The Flash.  The Super Friends will only be as good as the Legion of Doom so Warner Bros. and DC had better get their villains right.  Looking at you, Suicide Squad!

Nov. 22nd              Coco    (Disney & Pixar Studios)

 

SWTFA POSTER

Dec. 15th            Star Wars, Ep. VIII: What’s New, Luke?    (Disney & LucasFilm)

Story picks up with Rey handing Luke Skywalker his old light saber…

MULAN

Dec. 22nd           Untitled Disney Live-Action Fairytale (Mulan??)

 

Note: This Film Slate is tentative as release dates tend to be fluid and change due to re-shoots, competition, etc., so I will update this post regularly.

 

Up Next:  TV Surf Report on Pilot Season (where Disney & Universal are also big players)

DREW

About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things TransMedia from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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