During our “Year in Review” YouTube livestream, Dan asked me what I thought was the highlight film of the year. A pretty easy question, but I sat in silence unable to think of one great film from 2021. We tossed a few highlights back and forth from Luca, Pig, Minari, Soul, Nomadland, No Time to Die, and several others that were solid, but great? We couldn’t name one in a year where we recorded over 50 podcast episodes? Apologies old blue eyes, but it was not a very good year.
After two arguably disappointing Marvel films with Shang-Chi, and The Eternals, Disney stopped sweating when Spider-Man: No Way Home over performed. I won’t even mention the Disney+ debacle with Black Widow, which now owns the title for lowest box office performance of all 27 Marvel films after they decided to push it out on their streaming service at the same time as the box office release. Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to become the fifth all-time domestic money maker if it passes Avengers: Infinity War over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Although we both believe it is not the best Spider-Man film and probably not even in the top three, we seem to be in the minority.
As movie lovers we are pleased to put 2021 in the rearview mirror, but with on-going challenges stemming from the COVID, will 2022 be any better? Just one month into the new year, we haven’t exactly seen box office enthusiasm. With Spider-Man: No Way Home taking in over 1.5 billion worldwide as of this writing, the rest of the month isn’t packed with blockbusters. Scream 5 is the only big name movie this month.
Let’s not judge 2022 on it’s beginning, but rather look at the year ahead. We have a new The Batman on the way with Robert Pattinson taking over as the millionaire crime fighter. The conclusion of the Fantastic Beasts trilogy brings The Secrets of Dumbledore which leads into the Harry Potter 8 film series. Tom Cruise will finally get to show off Top Gun: Maverick and Mission Impossible 7; both delayed from 2021.
John Wick 4 is set to hit theaters in May and Keanu Reeves’ first three Wick movies are fan favorites. Jurassic World: Dominion will likely be a summer blockbuster bringing together our favorite characters from the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World films. Disney has more Marvel on the way with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder featuring the return of Natalie Portman, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever slated for a November release. It will be interesting to see how they handle the untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman?
The DC Universe kicks off 2022 starting in summer with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Black Adam. November takes a page from Marvel’s MultiVerse book with The Flash featuring the long anticipated return of Michael Keaton as Batman. The Flash will also see Ben Affleck don the Dark Knight cowl in his return as Batman. That is not a typo; we have three Batmen coming this year. How can DC miss with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?
That is just the beginning as we get the return of Michael Myers in Halloween Ends, but what will be the fate of the franchise? Avatar 2 is finally set to arrive in December. Disney has put the breaks on Avatar 4 & 5 while it waits to see how audiences react to the return of the biggest movie of all time with Avatar 2 and 3. If you have been on the Disney Animal Kingdom ride Flight of Passage, it’s likely these two will do pretty well. Disney has a handful of animation turned live action features coming including Pinocchio and Bambi. Pixar will have a few offerings in 2022 with Turning Red and Lightyear.
It seems there’s something for everyone in 2022, but will box office mania return to pre-pandemic levels? What films are you looking forward to seeing on the big screen? Have you already made your return to theaters? It looks like the days of streaming only releases are gone, so it’s box office or bust. Or for physical media enthusiasts like me, you can wait for the Blu-ray!