Is there really ever a downtime in the movie business? It doesn’t seem like it anymore. The summer blockbuster season – which usually kicked off the first week of May – is inching back into March.
Big films are finding an audience in the down months of January and February, and even early September.
Still, the end of the year is traditionally when the studios like to trot out their Oscar-hopeful titles, alongside big budget action fare, family comedies and lighthearted kids’ films.
And this year, Santa is bringing all the good fanboys and girls both a Star Wars flick (The Last Jedi) and two superhero adventures (Justice League and Thor: Ragnarok, which is in theatres now).
Here are the 20 biggest movies headed to theatres between now and the end of the year:
Justice League – Nov. 17
DC’s biggest heroes team up to save the world from the villainous Steppenwolf. Featuring Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the Flash (Ezra Miller), the story picks up after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) assemble a team of heroes to save Earth. You can rest assured before the end credits roll Superman (Henry Cavill) will swoop in to help save the day. Zack Snyder directs with a little help from Joss Whedon.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Nov. 17
Frances McDormand stars as a woman who, desperate for a break in the unsolved case of her daughter’s rape and murder, erects three billboards criticizing the police chief’s (Woody Harrelson) lack of progress in the investigation. The film, from writer-director Martin McDonagh, won the coveted People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. “If she hadn’t said, ‘Yes,’ we would’ve been screwed,” joked McDonagh, who wrote the role specifically for McDormand. Sam Rockwell and Peter Dinklage also star.
Wonder – Nov. 17
Based on the bestselling novel, Wonder tells the inspiring story of August Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), who, afflicted by facial differences, becomes an unlikely hero to his Grade Five classmates. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson also star.
Roman J. Israel, Esq. – Nov. 22
The latest from Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) finds Denzel Washington as an idealistic lawyer whose morals are threatened after his boss dies and he finds himself working for a money-hungry attorney (played by Colin Farrell). In an interview with the Sun, Washington says the script for Roman (which was written especially for him) was one of only a few in his career that he immediately said yes to. “I love Roman,” Washington says.
Coco – Nov. 22
You know it’s a good year when you get two Disney-Pixar films in a 12-month span. Following the surprisingly moving Cars 3, the latest entry from the animation powerhouse follows Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) as he dreams of becoming an accomplished musician, despite his family’s disapproval.
Last Flag Flying – Nov. 24 (limited), Dec. 1 (wide)
Richard Linklater (the Before trilogy) directs this story of three old army buddies (Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne) who reunite to bury the son of Carell’s character after he is killed in the Iraq War.
The Disaster Artist – Dec. 1
James Franco and his brother Dave team up to tell the story of the worst film ever made – Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. During an interview at TIFF, Dave told the Sun that the film is a real-life La La Land. Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, Zoey Deutch, Hannibal Buress, and Lizzy Caplan also star.
Darkest Hour – Dec. 8 (limited), Dec. 15 (wide)
Gary Oldman underwent a physical transformation like no other to play “iconic” British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for Joe Wright’s biopic. The film thrusts audiences into the early days of the Second World War when Britain seemed on the brink of invasion.
Call Me by Your Name – Dec. 15
The buzzed about drama that revolves around a relationship between a 20-something academic (Armie Hammer) and the 17-year-old son of his mentor (Timothee Chalamet, who also appears in the critically acclaimed Lady Bird) won praise for its portrayal of forbidden love at TIFF.
The Shape of Water – Dec. 8
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has enjoyed a love affair with screen monsters since his 1993 debut Cronos. The director returned to his adopted hometown of Toronto to film his horror romance that follows a janitor (Sally Hawkins) who finds love with a strange creature in a secretive government lab. We’ve seen it, and it’s one of the most moving experiences you’ll have at the theatre this year. “It’s a movie in love with love and in love with cinema,” del Toro said in an interview with the AP. Michael Shannon and Octavia Spencer co-star.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi – Dec. 15
The highly anticipated sequel to 2015’s The Force Awakens picks up with Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker on that remote cliff. “Rey has a certain expectation as to what she might be getting from Luke,” Ridley told fans at Star Wars Celebration earlier this year. “But it’s difficult when you meet your heroes because it might not be what you expect.”
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – Dec. 20
Twenty-two years after the original that starred Robin Williams, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan play high schoolers who are sucked into a video game. “We wanted to make a movie that encapsulates what the holiday spirit really means — the spirit of wonderment and discovering who you are,” Johnson says.
Bright – Dec. 22
Will Smith plays a human LAPD officer, who fights the supernatural alongside his Orc partner played by Joel Edgerton in this Netflix original film. The special-effects heavy feature reportedly cost $90 million with director David Ayer (Suicide Squad) praising the streaming giant saying, “They let you be a filmmaker.”
Pitch Perfect 3 – Dec. 22
The Barden Bellas are back again, but they find that life after college isn’t exactly a hit song in this supposed final instalment in the Pitch Perfect trilogy. “It’s totally like summer camp,” Anna Kendrick told EW of getting back on set with the other actresses (including Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, and Hailee Steinfeld).
Father Figures – Dec. 22
The original title for this Owen Wilson-Ed Helms road trip comedy was Bastards, so kudos to whoever decided to give it a rebranding. Wilson and Helms play brothers who go on a hunt for dad after their eccentric mom – who raised the boys to believe their father died young – tells them she was lying.
Downsizing – Dec. 22
Imagine a world where you could shrink your problems away? That’s the premise of writer-director Alexander Payne’s latest in which size-shrinking technology allows humans to live a life of leisure. Or so the brochure says. Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Hong Chau and Christoph Waltz star.
All the Money in the World – Dec. 22
This star-studded film, which recounts the kidnapping of billionaire J. Paul Getty’s grandson in Italy, was being positioned as an awards contender. But in the wake of sexual assault allegations against its star Kevin Spacey – who played Getty in what was rumoured to be an Oscar-worthy performance – director Ridley Scott has decided to recast the part with Christopher Plummer stepping into the role.
I, Tonya – Dec. 22
Margot Robbie is a master of physical transformation. This time, the Aussie actress steps into the skates of Tonya Harding in this biopic of one of the most harrowing moments in sports history – the attack on Olympic medal hopeful Nancy Kerrigan.
The Greatest Showman – Dec. 25
Hugh Jackman tells the story of P.T. Barnum, the circus impresario who went from being unemployed to dreaming up the famous traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else,” Jackman says in a clip from the film’s trailer. Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zac Efron and Zendaya co-star in the biopic which includes original music from “La La Land” and “Dear Evan Hanson” duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
Molly’s Game – Dec. 25
Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut features Jessica Chastain in the true story of Molly Bloom, who ran one of the world’s most exclusive underground poker games for a decade before finding herself the target of an FBI investigation. “It feels like we’ve been to war together, and we’re closer from it,” Chastain tells EW of starring in the film with Idris Elba (who plays Molly’s lawyer).