Saturday, July 19, 2014

Marvel announces release dates for five new "mystery films"

Marvel is the hottest studio in Hollywood right now. They built up a ton of hype for The Avengers with their "Phase 1" movies and then wrecked the box office when the superhero team-up was finally released. Since The Avengers hit theaters, Marvel has had three major box office successes. Iron Man 3 grossed over a billion dollars worldwide, both Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier improved vastly over their predecessors and Guardians of the Galaxy is about to become one of the summer's biggest hits. It's been pretty good for the studio so far.

Marvel is also very good at planning far in advance. Before their most recent announcement, they had release dates set in 2015, 2016 and 2017 already and studio head Kevin Feige has stated that the company has a plan that goes all the way up to 2028. Pretty incredible. Yesterday, Marvel announced five more release dates, which led fans to obsessively speculate over what movies could fill those spots. Take a look at the upcoming calender for Marvel Studios (release dates announced yesterday are in bold print):

-Guardians of the Galaxy- August 1, 2014
-Avengers: Age of Ultron- May 1, 2015
-Ant-Man- July 17, 2015
-Captain America 3- May 6, 2016
-Untitled Marvel Film- July 8, 2016
-Untitled Marvel Film- May 5, 2017
-Untitled Marvel Film- July 27, 2017
-Untitled Marvel Film- November 3, 2017
-Untitled Marvel Film- July 6, 2018
-Untitled Marvel Film- November 2, 2018
-Untitled Marvel Film- May 3, 2019

That's quite the schedule. I'm expecting the studio to announce the name of at least three of these titles at Comic-Con, but with Marvel, anything can happen. It's almost been all but confirmed at this point that Scott Derrickson's Dr. Strange will be hitting theaters on July 8, 2016. The likelihood of Marvel announcing Dr. Strange officially (along with the actor who will be playing the lead, presumably Benedict Cumberbatch) is high.

I would also assume that Thor 3 is in the pipeline. The May 2017 date is a strong possibility, but I think that many are assuming that The Avengers 3 will be taking that date. However, I'm betting on July 2018 as the release date for Avengers 3. I think that would be a smart move. If they moved up that release date a few days to take advantage of the Fourth of July holiday, the movie would make a ton of money. At this point, I'm betting on Thor 3 hitting theaters on May 5, 2017 and Avengers 3 coming later.

After that, I think that it's safe to assume that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will take the July 2017 spot. Tracking for Guardians is good and I think that it's a franchise now for sure. I believe that the November 2017 spot will be taken by Black Panther. That's another film that Marvel really wants to get off the ground and a spot outside of the summer season seems like it would be a good fit for an original property. And finally, as I previously stated, I believe that Avengers 3 will debut in July 2018.

There are only two spots left after and I believe that both will be original properties. The November 2018 spot will likely belong to Ms. Marvel or the Black Widow spin-off. I believe that Scarlett Johannson can definitely carry her own film and I think that a spin-off starring her as Black Widow is certainly going to happen. Finally, something big is going to hit theaters on May 3, 2019. It won't be Avengers 4, but it could be Guardians of the Galaxy 2 or Inhumans, another original property that Marvel has wanted to make for a long time. It's too early to tell at this point.

So there you have it folks. That's your Marvel movie schedule for the next five years. Quite amazing. The next film is only two weeks away!

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