A look at some of the biggest movie releases coming this year

Sam Mendes’ 1917 was the movie that dominated at the BAFTAs and as expected, it took home multiple Oscars at the 2020 Academy Awards too.

This is an interesting time of year for film buffs. On the one hand, most of the media attention surrounds the big screen successes of the last year and the film awards. But at the same time, the floodgates are about to open on a whole new list of titles set to appear in cinemas across the country and the world.

So while the rest are picking over the bones of last year, let’s take a look ahead. If you are looking to pick an Oscars winner for next year, you could even back your prediction with a wager - betting on the Oscars is not so different to placing a bet on a sports event, and you can even do so at traditional bookmakers. 

The new decade is kicking off with some highly anticipated new titles – including a few in some of the best-loved and most successful franchises in movie history. Which ones are going on your list for a Saturday night cinema date? Here’s one for every month between now and September. 

Birds of Prey (release date 07 Feb)

Harley Quinn has become one of the most arresting antiheroes in the Marvel universe, and has captured the imaginations of angst-ridden teens, comic book artists and plain old movie-goers everywhere. Here, she finally gets the top-billing she deserves. Margot Robbie reprises the role that first shot her to international superstardom in 2016’s Murder Squad. While it might not be attracting the hype of The Joker from last year, don‘t be surprised to see Birds of Prey do just as well at the box office, and indeed at next year’s awards. 

Mulan (release date 27 March)

With the possible exception of Dumbo (about which the less said the better), Disney has a solid record when it comes to live action versions of their animated classics. The producers have taken the politically safe route when it comes to casting, after accusations of whitewashing in previous movies, placing the talented Liu Yifei in the title role. Jason Scott Lee and Jet Li are among the other big names. Yifel has courted controversy in recent months leading to some boycott threats, but that’s only likely to add to the film’s hype.  

No Time to Die (release date 08 April)

Any new Bond film arrives with an air of anticipation. However, this 25th instalment in the 007 story is arguably the most hyped since 1995’s GoldenEye reintroduced the secret agent after a six year absence. This time, though, it is for very different reasons. Where GoldenEye signalled a new beginning, No Time to Die is very much the end of an era, as Daniel Craig takes up the tuxedo and the Walther PPK one last time. There have been more than a few mis-steps during production, but if reaction to the trailers is anything to go by, Bond fans young and old are going to be lapping up this latest adventure. There is every possibility that the film could match or even eclipse the $680 million that Spectre grossed at the box office in 2015. 

Fast and Furious 9 (release date 29 May)

Compared to Bond, the Fast Saga, as it is now officially known, is a relative newcomer, with just eight movies so far over an 18 year run. This ninth instalment stars Vin Diesel, of course, as the retired street racer who is forced to face up to new adversaries to protect his family. The stellar cast also includes John Cena, Dame Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron and Michelle Rodriguez. In addition, there’s a welcome return from Lucas Black and Jason Tobin, whom we last saw in Tokyo Drift.  You know what you’re going to get with this movie, and there’s already a Furious 10 in the pipeline for 2021. 

Top Gun: Maverick (release date 26 June)

Hollywood producers have learned an important lesson about how to get the best out of Tom Cruise. Cast him in roles where he’s already familiar to audiences and watch the money roll in. Try something new and brace yourself for a box office flop. It’s 34 years since we last saw Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, but Cruise slips back behind the Aviator shades as if he’s never been gone. With Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller and Ed Harris among the supporting cast, this is set to be the big story of the summer.

Minions: Rise of the Gru (release date 03 July)

As the school term draws towards a close, so the kids will be heading in their droves to catch this latest instalment in the Minions saga. The first film grossed an incredible $823 million worldwide, and turned the bizarre-looking creatures into the biggest craze of the last decade. Parents might wonder if it is a triumph of style over substance, but surely nothing will stop this adventure from being a similarly immense rollercoaster of a cash cow for Universal. If you’ve got kids or grandchildren, get it pencilled onto the summer calendar now! 

Bill and Ted Face the Music (release date 21 Aug)

In case further evidence was needed that the 1980s are truly back, Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves will be reunited 30 years after their Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey. Devotees of the 1980s classics will be simultaneously elated to see the boys together again and filled with trepidation as to whether the magic will still be there after all these years. We are desperately hoping they will still be most excellent, but it really could go either way. 

Venom 2 (release date 30 Sept)

Venom was one of the surprise hits of 2018. It was released to a flurry of indifferent (to put it mildly) reviews, but the movie-going public saw something in this Spider Man spinoff that the critics missed, and the movie ultimately grossed $850 million worldwide. It meant that Sony Pictures were all set with the new franchise it had been desperate for, and in this sequel, Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson and Michelle Williams are all back in their familiar roles.  

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