Yes, it's a jungle up there; so, it only stands to reason that The Lion King will probably rule the big screen come mid-July. Business Insider has already dubbed this "a bleak summer full of stale sequels." Three big-budget sequels, in the X Men, Godzilla and Secret Life of Pets franchises, have already tanked (Dark Phoenix is the worst-performing title in X-men history). But the good news is that the King is coming on Friday, July 19.
Meanwhile, here are a few other high-profile titles in the next couple of months, and a few art house gems that you probably shouldn't miss.
Thursday, June 20 – Toy Story 4. True, we thought this franchise was over. But hey, it's Pixar. It's Tom Hanks. It's Tim Allen. So yes, we'll be there on opening day.
Friday, June 28 – The Last Black Man in San Francisco. We're VERY excited to see this film from director Jim Taylor, one of the best new filmmakers on the scene.
Friday, June 28 – Yesterday. On paper, the premise sounded swell: A freak global accident results in no one, except a flailing musician, remembering who the Beatles were. So, the musician passes off the Fab Four's classics as his own. Sad to say, early reviews have been far from stellar.
Friday, July 2 – Spider-Man: Far From Home. The Hollywood Reporter says this sequel is tracking for a huge $150 million-plus holiday bow. We're skeptical.
Friday, July 12 – The Art of Self-Defense. At its SXSW premiere, it was hailed as "an instant offbeat comedy classic." We're in.
Friday, July 19 – The Lion King. Long live the king. Cinema owners may want to start popping the extra popcorn right now.
Friday, July 26 – One Upon a Time...In Hollywood. Tarantino. DiCaprio. Pitt. Yes.
Friday, Aug. 8 – The Farewell. This Sundance breakout stars the always-watchable Awkwarfina.
Friday, Aug. 16 – Where'd You Go, Bernadette? This dark comedy from director Richard Linklater (Boyhood) and starring Cate Blanchett has been bounced around the calendar quite a bit, but we're still anxious to see it.
Friday, Aug. 23 – David Crosby, Remember My Name. We've already seen this film from Idaho's own A.J. Eaton and it's a winner.