Summer 2014: an overcrowded movie season?

Feature Ryan Lambie 16 Jan 2013 - 06:53

With next summer's schedule stuffed full of robots and reptiles, we wonder whether the 2014 film season will be too crowded for comfort...

We've barely made  a dent in 2013, but news of next summer's major releases are already emerging. Over the past seven days, we've learned that Godzilla, Jurassic Park 4 and Ninja Turtles will all be coming out in May and June 2014.

It's quite common, of course, to see the summer months full to brimming with effects-heavy, expensive movies aimed at a broad audience. Continuing a tradition established by Jaws in the 70s, those few weeks between May and August are dominated by high concepts, sequels, super-heroes and grand special effects.

What we often see, during this busy rush of promotion, is a careful staggering of movies which would attract a very similar audience - after all, there's little point in releasing three horror movies on the same day, since forcing cinemagoers to make a choice could mean that all three films lose out on potential ticket sales.

In 2012, for example, we saw the US release of The Avengers in early May, leaving a generous gap between two potential superhero competitors - The Amazing Spider-Man, which came out on the 3rd July, and The Dark Knight Rises, which came out just over two weeks later on the 20th July.

Inevitably, some films still did better than others, but the careful planning of releases meant that each movie had its own opportunity to rake in the cash before something else came to take its place - a move which made sense from the studios' perspective, and also from an audience's point of view, too. In previous years, overcrowded movie schedules have resulted in some prominent casualties - Green Lantern simply couldn't hope to compete against X-Men: First Class and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, which were all released in June 2011.

Movie studios appeared to have learned from these bruising losses, as we've recently seen movies rescheduled if the competition looks too great. Last year, Paramount shifted G.I. Joe Retaliation from June 2012 to this March - in part for some late reshoots, but also, it was suggested, to move it away from high-profile release of The Amazing Spider-Man. Similarly, Warner moved Bryan Singer's Jack The Giant Killer (now called Jack The Giant Slayer) from a summer 2012 release window to the cooler, quieter month of March 2013.

Looking at this summer's release schedule as it currently stands, we appear to be looking at an extremely crowded season. Not only because of the sheer number of expensive movies, but also because so many of them cater to a very similar audience.

May, in particular, has five major releases to speak of: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2nd May), Godzilla and Ninja Turtles (both 16th May), Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (23rd May) and Pixar's The Good Dinosaur (30th May). In June, we have Jurassic Park 4 scheduled for June 13th, How To Train Your Dragon 2 out the following week (20th June) and Transformers 4 the week after that (the 27th). In July, X-Men: Days Of Future Past and The Hobbit: There And Back Again are both scheduled for release on the same day - the 18th.

Apparently anticipating this rather stuffed period, Marvel Studios has cannily kept its movies well away from the fray; Captain America: The Winter Soldier will hit US cinemas on the 4th April, and its potentially risky Guardians Of The Galaxy is due out on the 1st August. (Incidentally, although X-Men and Spider-Man are Marvel comics, their movies are made by Fox and Sony respectively.)

What's notable about May and June's releases - apart from the sheer number of reptiles and other animals they contain - is that they'll all be tapping into the same youthful audience, and will potentially feature quite similar incidents. A giant reptile will be laying waste to cities in Godzilla, while primates will continue their spread across America in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Dinosaurs will be roaring and snapping at things in Jurassic Park 4, while robots will be smashing stuff up a few days later in Transformers 4.

This sudden, probably coincidental glut of creatures and anarchy is somewhat worrying. With going to the movies such an expensive proposition these days (particularly when you factor in the 3D surcharge, which we know most of next summer's releases will include), many cinemagoers will be forced to choose which movies to avoid until they appear on DVD or Blu-ray.

It's likely, of course, that the schedule will change somewhat over the next 18 months or so, either because of production delays or simply to avoid unnecessary competition. Godzilla, for example, could face a delay, particularly as Frank Darabont's busily rewriting the screenplay for its scheduled shoot in March.

We certainly hope that Hollywood's studios see sense and negotiate a slightly different order of release. With many of summer 2014's major movies looking very promising indeed, it would be sad to see a great film lost in the blockbuster rush.

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I reckon the Hobbit seems a likely candidate for being put back until Christmas. 1 to stop the competition and secondly I imagine they will need more than the 6 months post period from finishing the desolation of Smaug that this will give them. Also if you throw in the work for the extended cut of DoS and any Pick-ups needed for TaBA then summer 2014 seems hopeful at best.

This is written terrible, green lantern did not come out in 2014. And then you say 'either' in one paragraph but give only one option. Otherwise this is right, it's going to get convoluted, but then again 2015 is looking to be just as bad

Way too crowded. I'm almost certain that at least one of the films will get pushed back.

I would prefer to see Hobbit Pt. 3 put back. Christmas time feels like the right home for Jacksons journeys into Middle Earth. Its a family experience before the Holidays my family and i enjoy very much. Walking out of the Hobbit into a warm summers evening just doesnt feel right!

Written terribly*

Is this a serious comment? You write about grammatical errors, yet in the first sentence there are already two in yours?

1. "This is written terrible" - Yes it is!
2. ". And then you say 'either'" - Two mistakes within 5 words. Never start a sentence with the word 'and', and when you quote someone you must use ", not '.
3. "Otherwise this is right" - I think you mean "Otherwise this is correct".
4. "2015 is looking to be just as bad" - Where's the full stop?

If you're going to use your comment to correct someones grammar, please make sure your grammar is also up to scratch, otherwise this is right.

Summer 2015 could well be even bigger- Avengers 2, Star Wars and Justice League have already been confirmed- three enormous movies right there.

I like how you said Marvel kept away from the fray, yet there are two Marvel movies in there with Spider Man and X-Men both in it. Every summer for the past couple of years has been getting crowded, which is fine by me, because then they start moving them to other points of the year, which means you might get some movies in March or even possibly Feb. that could have been set for early in the Summer. Stuff like 300, Watchmen, GI Joe gets moved around, and the "slow" part of the movie calender shrinks.

Brilliant!

Best start saving now. Question is, do I re-mortgage the house ........ hmmmm.

Agreed. Considering how little of all the Tolkien films are 'snow/winter' set, it's amazing that I find them more of a Autumn/Winter kinda flick.

Of course not forgetting the awful date error as well, as in "did not come out in 2014"

Is that Pixar date the UK release? They have consistently had quite long delays between their US and UK releases so we may only see that in July/August. With so many films competing I can only hope that Transformers 4 is the big box office loser!

Don't forget Pirates 5. Actually it is weird. If things stay like they are, Disney is going to put three big budget movies in the summer of 2015: The Avengers 2, Star Wars 7 and Pirates 5. If you ask me they would be wise to spread everything a bit, otherwise this planning could backfire for Disney big time.

There's a lot of reasons to look forward to 2014, the world cup, X-Men Days of Future Past, the final part of The Hobbit, Captain America and my personal favourite, the possibility of getting a Death Note film directed by Shane Black.

... I don't care, I'm watching most of those films and it's good that I have at least 18 months to save money. Then again this year has so many movies I wanna see in theaters that I should probably get another job...

Haha! That one slipped by me.

considering how much money i spend on beer, food from the work canteen, petrol etc. i honestly think the cinema remains good value. it's such a brilliant experience still and i don't think any advance in home entertainment will catch up with the audio/visual knockout experience of the big screen, cinema tickets aren't expensive :)

Ahem...Robocop?

What about the Prometheus sequel in 2014...

He did say 'Marvel Studios', who produce the Avengers franchise, not Spider-Man or X-Men (Sony and Fox, respectively)

The difference being, that I was writing a comment not an article which intended for a large audience. So get off your high horse and get a life.

Shhhh ........ we try not to mention that around here.

17 people agree with me and my high horse, 2 disagree with you. I like it up here.

The irony of you telling me to "get a life" amuses me considering your original comment.

20 people now...

It's going to be 2015 that's the big one. It's full of not just big movies, but HUGE movies.

why is it so difficult for people to go see one movie a week or even a day or even a couple a day?

100 times this!

Is there a chance of a Summer 2013 recap?

Avatar 2.

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