School is almost out of session and a summer full of blockbuster films is about to begin.While anticipation levels are not always indicative of box office success, it certainly does help decide which movies get the most media attention. It is important to note that this list of potential summer hits is not all-inclusive.Excluded films from this list include, but are not limited to, “A Million Ways to Die in the West”, “22 Jump Street”, “How to Train Your Dragon 2”, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Expendables 3” and “The Giver.”“The Amazing Spiderman 2” – May 2Spiderman faces multiple villains including Electro, the Rhino, and a suspicious and bratty Harry Osborne. Ultimately, this movie is a launching pad for Sony’s own attempt at a franchised comic book movie universe that will include an upcoming Sinister 6 spin-off.“X-men Days of Future Past” – May 23Wolverine goes back in time to help save both mutants and humans from destruction. Audiences will finally get to see Magneto, played by Ian McKellan and Professor X, played by Patrick Stewart, work together instead of against each other. This also means the previously assumed separate X-men franchises will be merged into one mega franchise with a whole slew of new characters.“Maleficent” – May 30Live action fairytale films are surprisingly popular in Hollywood right now. It’s no surprise Disney is keeping up with the trend by releasing a twist to the original “Sleeping Beauty.” The legendary villain, Maleficent, played by Angelina Jolie shares what happened before the original story line. Maleficent may not be as evil as we expect her to be. Also Lana del Rey does a rendition of “Once Upon a Dream” that will send chills down your spine.“The Fault in Our Stars” – June 6Two cancer patients, Hazel and Augustus, meet when Hazel’s mother forces her daughter to go to a support group. The two, like most teen chick-flicks, fall in love. If it remains true to its source material, John Green’s bestselling novel, the movie is sure to put you in tears. The success of this film is so highly anticipated, Green’s novel, “Paper Towns”, is already in the works for its own film.“Transformers: Age of Extinction” – June 27Finally! Shia LeBeaof is gone and an older but far superior actor, Mark Wahlberg, is the new head of the franchise. Wahlberg’s character, Cade Yeager, and his daughter are unlucky enough to unearth a secret that attracts unwanted attention from Decepticons, Autobots and bitter government officials. Marketing suggests this movie will be the best Transformer’s film yet.“Jupiter Ascending” – July 18Mila Kunis’s character, Jupiter Jones, leads an average life only to discover she is the next heir to an incredible throne and inheritance. On paper, this looks like a generic sci-fi film. In trailers however, the movie looks much flashier and original.“Guardians of the Galaxy” – August 1A group of intergalactic criminals, lead by Chris Pratt’s, Peter Quill, become a ragtag team of unlikely heroes. Although this is mostly a standalone film to test the draw of Marvel audiences to movies without well-known titular superheroes, it does take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the last major Marvel flick to come out before “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” It is important to note that this movie appears more light-hearted and humorous than previous Marvel films. After a handful of dark Marvel Phase Two films, this is probably the best direction for the movie to go, especially since one of the lead characters is a talking raccoon.“Lucy” – August 8When I first saw the trailer before “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, I squealed because I thought a Black Widow movie had somehow escaped my notice. Alas, this is not another Marvel film, but a film that would have been more interesting if the explanations given in the trailer were not so convoluted. Scarlett Johansson plays a woman who begins to develop 100 percent brain capacity after a drug deal gone wrong.“If I Stay” – August 22A life and death situation forces Juilliard hopeful, Mia Hall, to finally decide whether or not she wants to pursue her musical career or a different life with her boyfriend Adam. This book has been sitting on my book shelf for awhile now. After I sobbed through half of the emotional first trailer, the book skyrocketed to the top of my “to read” list.
Michaela MorelandContributing Writer