The biggest movies with something to prove in 2019
Avengers 4 has just about everything to prove, and thats not hyperbole. First and foremost, it has to provide a satisfying conclusion to one of the most jarring cinematic cliffhangers of all time. Effectively undoing the snap in a way that will please hundreds of millions of fans is no small undertaking, after all. The film also has studio pressure to outperform Avengers: Infinity War, the culmination of a decades worth of storytelling and the proud owner of a $2 billion haul at the box office. Who knows what Marvel will do to get more butts in seats than they did for Infinity War, but whats for certain is that the marketing team for Avengers 4 has a mountain of expectations to climb.
And, of course, this movie is going to pave the way for the rest of the MCU moving forward. In that sense, Disney has tens of billions of dollars riding on its success. Will Kevin Feiges massive, property-spanning vision pan out according to plan? Can Disney outdo its previous box office behemoth? Will Avengers 4 be a satisfying finale to Infinity War?
Captain Marvel is Marvels big shot at showing it can match DCs Wonder Woman. If the studio fails, itll be tough for the studio to come back from theyre planning to make this character the center of the MCU, after all.
Thats an awful lot of responsibility for a hero whos never been mentioned by name in the franchise thus far, and although theyve certainly got star power in the title role Brie Larson took home an Oscar for her work in Room not that long ago it isnt unreasonable to argue that Captain Marvel is, in its own way, just as big a gamble as Avengers 4. Marvels made billions at the box office with gambles that occasionally seemed outlandish at the time, but this picture is a cornerstone of the post-Infinity WarMCU, and its bearing more weight than most of the studios releases. Weve learned not to bet against the company that made movie stars out of a foul-mouthed raccoon and a tree-shaped alien, but still if Captain Marvel tumbles, it could have a major ripple effect on everything that follows.
Toy Story 4
Toy Story 4 might just be the biggest risk Pixar has ever taken. The formerly sequel-averse studio has expanded a number of its hits into franchises, but going beyond a trilogy and with the series that started filmgoers love affair with Pixar in the first place has a lot of potential downside. Unless this long-gestating fourth installment can somehow bring back the old crew in a way that makes sense and is justified beyond all doubt, Toy Story 4 will be seen as a cash grab from a studio that made its sterling reputation by conditioning its audience to expect much more. No one wants Pixar to dip back into the well solely to make money off Woodys and Buzz Lightyears iconic mugs. The Toy Story trilogy has defined many peoples childhoods and many adulthoods as well. Grown men wept in theaters because of Toy Story 3. No one wants that sort of cinematic magic to be retroactively undone by a corporate quest for bigger bucks.
Star Wars: Episode 9
Disney tapped a box office bonanza when it bought Lucasfilm from Star Wars creator George Lucas, but it also shouldered the weight of some of the heaviest expectations any franchise has ever faced. For the most part, things have gone pretty well The Force Awakens started a new trilogy in style, and the first anthology effort, Rogue One, proved these movies could work just as well on a smaller scale by delving into unexplored corners of the canon.
It would be disingenuous to ignore the ups and downs the studios also faced along the way, however. The Last Jedi was a critical hit that brought in an impressive sum, but it was also infamously divisive among fans; just a few months later, the anthology outing Solo: A Star Wars Story emerged from a troubled production to lukewarm reviews and disappointing ticket sales.
All of which is to say that with the still publicly untitled Episode IX, the franchise and director J.J. Abrams, returning after taking a one-chapter hiatus following The Force Awakens faces a ton of responsibility. Not only will the pundits be waiting to see whether this chapter can reunite the fanbase, it also has to tie up the Skywalker saga and pave the way for the next trilogy to follow. If it stumbles, the future of this once unstoppable series will no doubt be called into question.
The New Mutants
The New Mutants has a couple of things to prove, including the studios assurances that itll eventually come out. Its suffered repeated delays and various troubling rumors and if or when it does arrive, everyone will be trying to spot the seams while deciding whether the end result lives up to whats being billed as a superhero horror film.
Weve already seen the genre prove it can pull off comedy, thanks to Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy, but weve yet to see a superhero movie go full-on horror. Rumor has it that New Mutants is eyeballing R-rated territory, and if this ends up being the case, itll be a crucial test for just how far filmmakers are able to push the limits of moves about our favorite costumed crimefighters. Even if it forgoes an R rating, that just makes its job of delivering effective horror even harder. Can this be another X-Menspinoff to nail a new genre hybrid concept, or is this destined to be nothing more than millions of dollars being funneled down the drain?
The Terminator movies havent been doing well for quite some time. The series reputation has been in decline with every movie after Terminator 2, and it hit a new nadir with Terminator: Genisys. Fans of the classic movies have decried these not-so-hot sequels quite vocally, though the recent outings woeful box office hauls probably spoke even louder to the studio execs in charge. Between critical discontent and disappointing financial figures, the Terminator franchise hangs in the balance. Can the creative team currently at the reins make it work, or is the series destined to remain an icon of the 80s?
Thats the question dangling over the upcoming Terminator outing, which has been saddled with the responsibility of saving the franchise from itself. Thats not an easy cross to bear especially when you consider the torturously tangled timeline thats been woven around this saga over the last few sequels and/or reboot attempts. Hopefully the trailers and the movie itself, when it eventually comes out represent a solid rebound and provide us with an action blockbuster that saves its franchise from extinction.