Box office figures for 2013 narrowly exceeded those in the previous year. This was largely due to some of the big budget movie franchises – like Iron Man – and sequels, such as Despicable Me 2.
As a result, it is probably of little surprise that many of the most talked about films for the remainder of 2014 will be familiar to cinema goers in one form or another. There are a number of hotly anticipated upcoming movies that you shouldn’t miss at your local Cineworld when they go on general release later this year. And you guessed it – many will be sequels and franchises.
Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction
Even without Shia LaBeouf in the lead role, the latest Transformers movie looks set to be a true summer blockbuster. Director Michael Bay is in charge of the project once more and has cast Kelsey Grammer as his choice of villain. So far, the franchise has grossed over $2.5 billion globally and the fourth edition looks like it will only extend the warring robots’ hold on the public’s imagination.
Release date: July 10, 2014 (UK)
There have been some pretty terrible Godzilla movies made by Hollywood that pale by comparison to the Japanese original. However, the 2014 version retells the story from a modern perspective that is likely to appeal to a new generation. Aaron Johnson, best known for Kick-Ass, and Bryan (Heisenberg) Cranston are in lead roles, dealing with the monstrous menace.
Release date: May 5, 2014 (UK)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
In another Marvel comic book sequel, Andrew Garfield returns to the big screen as the eponymous arachnid-hero. This time the web spinner faces new challenges as he continues his adventures. Spider-Man does battle with the Rhino, played by Paul Giamatti, and Electro, portrayed by Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx.
Release date: April 18, 2014 (UK)
Edge of Tomorrow
In The Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise is a soldier clad in a robotic exo-skeleton, fighting in a war against alien invaders, who is cursed to fight and die in the same battle over and over again. Emily Blunt co-stars in this adaptation of the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill.
Release date: May 30, 2014 (UK)
The Expendables 3
Another sequel that has been looked forward to by many, this film sees the team attempting to save the life of the President of the United States. With a similar ensemble cast to the previous two movies, Mel Gibson is added to the number of big-name actors who have been attracted to the franchise. Gibson plays Conrad Stonebanks, the man who co-founded the team but who now wants to destroy it.
Release date: August 15, 2014 (UK)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
The Hunger Games, which enjoyed huge success in 2012 and 2013, returns in the winter of 2014. Writers Danny Strong and Peter Craig have produced a sequel which is being shot in two instalments. Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role as Katniss Everdeen and fans of the original will be pleased by the return of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, too.
Release date: November 21, 2014 (UK)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
In this follow-up to the excellent Rise of the Planet of the Apes, intelligent chimp Caesar leads an ape uprising against the humans. Expect incredible motion-capture work, stunning CGI and stellar performances.
Release date: July 17, 2014 (UK)
The Hobbit: There And Back Again
Peter Jackson’s box office love affair with JRR Tolkien continues in December when the latest hobbit movie will be released. Martin Freeman returns in the title role and he is joined on screen by his Sherlock co-star, Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the Necromancer. Sir Ian McKellen also appears, portraying the wizard Gandalf once more.
Release date: December 12, 2014 (UK)
Guardians of the Galaxy
The riskiest and most obscure project from Marvel Studios to date, Guardians of the Galaxy features a whole host of largely unknown heroes and villains. However, the first trailer looks like writer-director has nailed the tone of the action-comedy, so we’re more excited than ever.
Release date: August 1, 2014 (UK)
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Another Marvel comic book franchise that makes the list, this is the latest X-Men movie and it appears to be a return to form with many of the original characters returning to the screen. Ian McKellen and Jennifer Lawrence both star which means that 2014 is likely to be quite a year for them. With Bryan Singer back in charge of the X-Men project, this film is probably as anticipated as any since the original.
Release date: May 22, 2014