Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 03-11-13

Scene from “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” with Adrianne Palicki

Scene from “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” with Adrianne Palicki

“Man of Steel” – In theaters June 14th

“Man of Steel” – In theaters June 14th

Still from the upcoming comedy “Scary Movie 5”

Still from the upcoming comedy “Scary Movie 5”

Franchise films: Spring’s only a few weeks away, but it certainly feels like summer at the boxoffice.

Last weekend’s $80 million kick off by Walt Disney Pictures and Roth Films’ 3D fantasy adventure “Oz The Great & Powerful” put Hollywood back in great spirits after some early winter boxoffice bumps.

“Oz’s” success, which reflected its through-the-roof tracking scores, should boost moviegoing in the coming months as audiences view trailers for what’s on deck and find more films they’d like to see.

The steady parade of high profile franchise films opening over the next four months should keep the multiplexes humming. Here’s a quick look at over a dozen upcoming releases that should benefit from starting out with heightened awareness because they’re following in the footsteps of earlier hits.

March should go out like a lion when Paramount Pictures, MGM and Hasbro’s PG-13 rated 3D sci-fi action adventure “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” invades theatres Mar. 29. Directed by Jon Chu (“Step Up 3D”), it stars Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson.

“Retaliation’s” already tracking in double-digit overall first choice scores. It’s a huge first choice with under-25 men and is tracking next best with men over 25.

The Story: The G.I. Joes have been framed for crimes that get them terminated by Presidential order. The team’s surviving members retaliate against the villainous Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) and the world leaders under his influence.

Franchise facts: The original film, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” opened Aug. 7, 2009 via Paramount to $54.7 million and went on to gross $150.2 million in domestic theatres.

Also arriving Mar. 29 is Lionsgate and The Tyler Perry Company’s PG-13 rated drama “Tyler Perry’s Temptation.” It’s written and directed by Tyler Perry (“Madea’s Witness Protection”). Starring are Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Vanessa Williams, Brandy Norwood and Kim Kardashian. It’s tracking best with 25-plus women and next best with women under-25.

The Story: Infidelity leads to complicated life changes for Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), a married marriage counselor, after she gets into an obsessive relationship with a client.

Franchise facts: Tyler Perry’s films aren’t episodes connected by storyline, but moviegoers have high awareness of Tyler Perry as a filmmaking brand. His previous 12 films have grossed about $636 million in domestic theatres. The last one, “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection Program,” opened June 29, 2012 to $25.4 million and went on to do $65.7 million domestically.

Universal Pictures’ 3D re-release of Amblin Entertainment’s 1993 PG-13 rated sci-fi adventure classic “Jurassic Park” hits theatres Apr. 5. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum.

The Story: An island theme park featuring living dinosaurs – now in 3D!

Franchise facts: The three “Jurassic” episodes grossed over $737 million in domestic theatres. The last one, “Jurassic Park III,” opened July 18, 2001 to $50.8 million and wound up with $181.2 million domestically.

Apr. 12 will bring different scares with The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films’ comedy “Scary Movie 5.” Directed by Malcolm Lee (“Soul Men”), it stars Simon Rex, Ashley Tisdale and Charlie Sheen.

The Story: A happily married couple observes bizarre activity after bringing home their newborn baby. When they realize their family’s being stalked by a nefarious demon, they must figure out how to get rid of it before it’s too late.

Franchise facts: The previous four “Scary” episodes grossed over $429 million domestically. The last one, “Scary 4,” opened Apr. 14, 2006 to $40.2 million and ended up doing $71.3 million in domestic theatres.

Pre-summer begins May 3 with Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures’ 3D sci-fi action adventure “Iron Man 3,” released through Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”), it stars Robert Downey, Jr., Guy Pearce and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Story: Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Tony Stark faces The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. With Stark’s back to the wall, he finally learns if the man makes the suit or the suit makes the man.

Franchise facts: The franchise’s first two episodes grossed nearly $631 million in domestic theatres. The last one, “Iron Man 2,” opened May 7, 2010 to $128.1 million and went on to gross $312.4 million domestically.

Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions and Bad Robot’s 3D sci-fi action adventure “Star Trek Into Darkness” blasts off May 17. Directed by J.J. Abrams (“Super 8”), it stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana.

The Story: After a shocking terrorist act from within their own organization, the Enterprise’s crew is called back to Earth. Defying regulations and with a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads his crew on a manhunt to capture an unstoppable destructive force and bring to justice those who are responsible.

Franchise facts: Since the series began in 1979 its 11 episodes have grossed just over $1 billion in domestic theatres. The last one, the series reboot “Star Trek,” which Abrams also directed, opened May 8, 2009 to $75.2 million and wound up doing $257.7 million domestically.

Moviegoers will wake up May 24 to “The Hangover Part III” from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Directed by Todd Phillips (“The Hangover Part II”), the comedy stars Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms.

The Story: This time around there’s no wedding or bachelor party to celebrate. Nonetheless, the Wolfpack still manages to run into plenty of trouble.

Franchise facts: The series’ first two episodes grossed nearly $532 million in domestic theatres. The last one, “Part II,” opened May 26, 2011 to $85.9 million and ended up doing $254.5 million domestically.

Also speeding into theatres May 24 is Universal Pictures and Original Film’s action crime thriller “Fast & Furious 6.” Directed by Justin Lin (“Fast Five”), it reunites Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson.

The Story: After tracking a global organization of lethal mercenary drivers Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) realizes the only way to stop them is to outmatch them at street level. And that means getting Dom (Vin Diesel) to re-assemble his elite team in London.

Franchise facts: The franchise’s first five episodes grossed over $699 million in domestic theatres. The last one, “Fast Five,” opened Apr. 29, 2011 to $86.2 million and ended up doing $209.8 million domestically.

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ 3D fantasy action adventure “Man of Steel” soars into theatres June 14. Directed by Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”), it stars Henry Cavill as Clark Kent and Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Russell Crowe as Jor-El.

The Story: Clark Kent learns as a young boy that he has extraordinary powers and isn’t from Earth. Later, he sets out to discover his origins and find out what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he’s to save the world from annihilation.

Franchise facts: Since the “Superman” franchise took off in 1978 its five episodes have grossed more than $518 million in domestic theatres. The last one, “Superman Returns,” opened June 28, 2006 to $52.5 million and grossed $200.1 million domestically.

Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures’ 3D animated comedy adventure “Monsters University” graduates in movie theatres June 21. Directed by Dan Scanlon (“Tracy”), it stars the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi.

The Story: Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) are inseparable friends now, but that wasn’t always so. In fact, when these two mismatched monsters first met, they couldn’t stand each other. This new episode shows how Mike and Sulley became the best of friends.

Franchise facts: The first episode, “Monsters, Inc.,” opened Nov 2, 2001 to $62.6 million and ended up grossing $289.3 million domestically.

Family audiences will have another familiar 3D animated comedy in theatres July 3 with Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s “Despicable Me 2.” Directed by Pierre Coffin (“Despicable Me”) & Chris Renaud (“The Lorax”), it stars the voices of Steve Carell, Al Pacino and Kristen Wiig.

The Story: Gru (Steve Carell), Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and the girls are back for more “Despicable” fun along with lots of new characters.

Franchise facts: The original “Despicable Me” opened July 9, 2010 to $56.4 million and went on to gross $251.5 million domestically.

Columbia Pictures and Happy Madison Productions’ comedy “Grown Ups 2” hits theatres July 12. Directed by Dennis Dugan (“Grown Ups”), it stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Chris Rock.

The Story: Lenny (Adam Sandler) has relocated with his family to the small town where he and his friends all grew up. This time around, however, it’s the grown ups who are learning lessons from their kids.

Franchise facts: The first “Grown Ups” opened June 25, 2010 to $40.5 million and did $162 million domestically.

Marvel Enterprises and 20th Century Fox’s 3D action adventure fantasy “The Wolverine,” opening July 26, is a spin-off from their blockbuster “X-Men” franchise. Directed by James Mangold (“Knight and Day”), it stars Hugh Jackman as the mutant Logan and Wolverine. It’s the first time Wolverine’s in a movie whose title doesn’t include the “X-Men” branding.

The Story: The setting is modern day Japan where Wolverine faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. For the first time, Wolverine’s vulnerable and pushed to his physical and emotional limits while confronting lethal samurai steel as well as the inner struggle against his own immortality.

Franchise facts: The five “X-Men” episodes since 2000 have grossed nearly $933 million domestically. The last one, “X-Men: First Class,” opened June 3, 2011 to $55.1 million and went on to gross $146.4 million in domestic theatres.

Bottom line: More than a dozen good reasons to go to the movies from now through late July!