2021 is three-quarters over, and with some bumps, the box office has been limping along (with a few notable victories). F9, A Quiet Place Part 2, Free Guy, and Godzilla vs. Kong have broken pandemic records. Marvel’s four films (Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home) will (or already will) destroy the box office or make history for Disney+ sales. China has seen its fair share of top releases such as Hi, Mom, and Detective Chinatown 3. And Disney re-released Avatar, and it grabbed some more dollars to reclaim its box-office crown from Avengers: Endgame.

2022 will try to continue to push the box office back to a “state of normalcy” after the COVID-19 pandemic derailed most films in 2020 and 2021. The summer of 2022 is the most significant talking point. Like it or not, it is because of sequels. Bigger (and better?) sequels will be upon us in months, and it is time to assess the competition.

Kicking off the early summer is Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The first was released one month before the pandemic became official, setting a record for the biggest opening weekend for a film based on video games. It was a hit with its action sequences and performances, and the sequel will introduce Idris Elba as Knuckles the Echidna. Jim Carrey will also return and continue his (comedic) villain role as Dr. Robotnik.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe releases three films throughout the summer: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Each will be steppingstones for the subsequent waves of films, especially since Chadwick Boseman passed away in 2020 and Marvel will not be recasting his character. The Marvels movie, the sequel to Captain Marvel in 2019 and continuation of Ms. Marvel on Disney+, will release in the winter to complete the MCU’s plan of four films a year.

Tom Cruise is poised to also have a breakout summer, with his Top Gun: Maverick and Mission Impossible 7 films rolling out. The former is a thirty-six-year sequel to his Top Gun work in 1986. Keanu Reeves returns for John Wick: Chapter 4 (with a fifth already in pre-production). Colin Trevorrow, Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, and more return for Jurassic World: Dominion. This

Legally Blonde 3, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Minions: Rise of Gru, Fantastic Beasts 3, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and even Indiana Jones 5 will release between April to September. And if that isn’t enough, Jordan Peele’s third film Nope and Dwayne Johnson’s portrayal of Black Adam comes to screens in July.

Wow! It will be one hell of a ride at the summer box office next year. So much anticipation awaits and more to come from it. We can only hope each delivers as promised.

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