A crowded box office isn't something new to us or anyone who has been watching the market trends in the past couple of years. But this July seems stuffed to the gills even by those standards. There's a pretty diverse spread throughout this month's offerings too, as everything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the Abba song book get their due throughout the next few weeks. So if you're ready to plan some excitement, get out your calendars and prepare to make some appointments with the following movies at a theater near you.
Throughout its history, The Purge franchise has made no secret of its politically influenced motivations. So naturally, dropping The First Purge on Independence Day is a pretty big statement just on the surface alone. But with the prequel looking to test the true mettle of the franchise's brand, slotting it in July's big tentpole spot is even more daring. With fantastic showings during each of the previous film's releases, the Blumhouse franchise is about to face its greatest challenge yet.
Opens: July 4th
Just when The First Purge thinks it's safe to counter-program the box office, Ant-Man and The Wasp decides to drop in only two days past the official release date. With Peyton Reed taking control of this MCU sequel from square one, it already looks like a confident sequel that poses to be a fun and fast paced comedy. Considering the last Marvel movie we saw in theaters was the ultimate bummer, we're ready for some super-powered comedy.
Opens: July 6th
Slowly but surely, Sorry To Bother You has been gaining critical acclaim and serious buzz for its cast and director. Get Out and Atlanta star Lakeith Stanfield and writer/director Boots Riley team up with a cast including Tessa Thompson, Danny Glover and Armie Hammer, to tell a satirical story about telemarketing in a very weird alternate universe. How weird? Stanfield's protagonist has David Cross as his "white voice." Yeah, we're gonna need to see this immediately.
Opens: July 6th (selected theaters)/July 27th (wide release)
Even the youngest kids in your family have something to look forward to in July, as Adam Sandler's animated franchise Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is finally ready for their eager eyes. With the family leaving the hotel to set sail on a cruise led by a descendant of Van Helsing himself, there's clearly going to be some awkward comedy mixed in with the child-friendly shenanigans this series typically trades in.
Opens: July 13th
"Die Hard on a/in a [blank]" is a format that has made for both good and bad tentpole blockbusters in the history of film. No matter the result, it's a tried and tested formula, and it works. In the case of Dwayne Johnson's Skyscraper though, the setting isn't different, but rather the lead, as Dwayne Johnson's character is a military veteran with a limb missing. Adding an angle of personal perseverance, and a heavier, more serious looking tone to the Die Hard inspired formula, separates this one from both the crowd of fellow intimidators and the rest of this month's offerings.
Opens: July 13th
It's Denzel Washington's first sequel. It's Antoine Fuqua's first sequel. It's another movie that teams Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington together again. Clearly something about The Equalizer 2 is special, as bringing both these men back to the table for a career first is no easy feat. With Robert McCall back in action yet again, this mission is extremely personal, and deadly to those who stand in his way. When will folks learn that getting in Denzel Washington's way is just a one way ticket to a hospital bed, in the best case scenario?
*Opens: *July 20th
Say you're not into action or animation or even comic movies, but you're a big fan of musicals. Or, say you're a fan of those things, but really wanted a sequel to Mamma Mia. In either case, you're probably grinning widely thinking about how Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is only a few short weeks away. Part prequel, part sequel, part mystery as to whether Meryl Streep is alive in the universe or not, this second go at an ABBA jukebox musical looks like it'll please its fans rather well. Though even the most cynical opponents can't stand that tall when Cher starts to sing "Fernando" in the trailer. That's dirty pool, Universal.
Opens: July 20th
Horror has had one hell of a year in 2018, with big ticket hits and indie darlings getting some serious play in the first half of the year. And it looks like Blumhouse is looking to make sure that the rest of the year lives up to this promising start, as their next film, Unfriended: Dark Web, is ready to resurrect a familiar evil for some summer fun. Only this time, it looks like things are about to go deeper down the rabbit hole, as the infamous darker corners of the internet are being haunted, drawing in new and unsuspecting victims into the game of their lives.
Opens: July 20th
When it comes to franchise longevity, Mission: Impossible - Fallout is a good indicator of just how well Tom Cruise's flagship series has aged. With over 20 years of action and intrigue under its belt, this latest caper is the first to actually see the same crew, same villain and same writer/director involved. And yet, it still looks as fresh as Brian De Palma's initial entry into the series in 1996. While we're not sure what the formula to this film's youthful approach is, Henry Cavill's anger-stache just might be the ticket.
Opens: July 27th
If you stuck animation, subversive comedy and some select DC Comics heroes into a blender, it'd probably be something the stars of Teen Titans Go! To The Movies might drink with reckless abandon. The successful Cartoon Network animated series leaps to the big screen, with a healthy dose of metahumor, some Will Arnett antics as a version of Slade who's uber-sensitive when you mention Deadpool, and Nicholas Cage as Superman. Yes, you read that right, IT FINALLY HAPPENED!
Opens: July 27th