As studios try to eek out as many dollars from their box office hits of 2012, there are plenty of new movies waiting in the wings to be the next big moneymaker. Here are the films getting our attention for the first half of 2013.

IDENTITY THIEF (February 8th)

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy star in what could be a surprise hit. Bateman plays a mild mannered businessman whose life gets complicated when his identity is stolen. He decides to go after the culprit himself. But the woman whose been ripping him off (Melissa McCarthy) is more than he bargained for. McCarthy looks hilarious in this!

 

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL  (March 8)

The story of the Wizard of Oz has stood the test of time – and interpretations. It’s Broadway interpretation, “Wicked” continues to give the story commercial success. But just as in the Broadway incarnation, the upcoming film OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL doesn’t delve into the story of Dorothy. The movie stars James Franco as Oz, and focuses on his tumultuous journey from Kansas to a magical world – and the creatures and characters he meets there. A great cast includes Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams and Zach Braff, but dramatic special effects will provide characters of their own.

THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE  (March 15)

Steve Carell and an almost unrecognizable Steve Buscemi play ‘onetime superstar’ magicians on the Las Vegas strip. (The faint aroma of Sigfried and Roy without the tigers comes to mind.) But after years of making millions, their friendship is broken, and they’re faltering against competition from a David Blaine like street magician Steve Gray, hilariously played by Jim Carrey. In order to compete and stay relevant, the duo attempts an outrageous stunt with disastrous results, and are forced to examine what made them pursue a career in magic, learning the inevitable lesson in the process.

I wouldn’t expect this to be an award winner, but I think it will be a great cure for the Cabin Fever we’ll be suffering from by March. I’ll be there!

 

SCARY MOVIE 5 (April 12th)

Two words: Lindsay Lohan. When Lohan does something, people (the entertainment media, at least,) listen. Lohan has only a brief cameo with Charlie Sheen in this farce, slapstick comedy about horror films, and already she’s reportedly furious about what she’s seen. According to TMZ, Lohan was supposed to have final approval over any jokes at her expense in the movie. As you can see in this trailer, Lohan screams in terror at a TV screen that shows a news network reporting that her own probation has been revoked. The TV was supposed to be a shot of her 2005 film Herbie: Fully Loaded but apparently humor won out. Lohan has a court date on January 14th, so by this film’s April 12th release date, we’ll know more about whether Lindsay Lohan has more films in her future.

Scary Movie 5 has a huge ensemble cast that includes stars Heather Locklear, Kate Walsh, Mike Tyson, Molly Shannon, Kendra Wilkinson,  Ashley Tisdale, Jerry O’Connell and many more.

THE HEAT (April 5th)

I love Sandra Bullock. And I love Melissa McCarthy, but this one already feels a little painful based on the trailer.

Bullock plays an FBI agent that doesn’t fit in, and gets no respect from her peers. (I know, I could have stolen that line from the description of Miss Congeniality) Melissa McCarthy plays an agent too, and the two of them just can’t seem to get along. I could have stolen that last line from about a gazillion other odd-couple cop movies. In any case, here’s the trailer. I think you’ll prefer McCarthy in “Identity Thief” in February instead.

MAY – BLOCKBUSTER SEASON BEGINS

Or should I say – blockbuster HOPEFULS. Because as you know, not everyone can be a winner in the movie game. May has five weekends in it this year, and so each one will be a battle for the box office.

IRON MAN 3 (May 3rd)

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Junior) is a complicated hero. His private world has been destroyed, and now he’s got a formidable new nemesis – the Mandarin – played by Ben Kingsley.

THE GREAT GATSBY (May 10th)

Leonardo DiCaprio holds the title role in this new big screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. A gloriously shot and styled story set in 1922, It’s a story of love and deceit among the rich. In addition to Leo, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan also star.

Writer/producer/director Baz Luhrmann knows how to tell a beautifully visual story. THAT SAID: It was initially scheduled for release at Christmas time 2012, and so the sudden release date change has some insiders wondering if the film needed major surgery, or worse yet – is a stinker.

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS  (May 17th)

The rebooted Star Trek movie franchise has found new life – this is the second installment employing the talents of Chris Pine as Captain Kirk. J.J. Abrams Directs.

Synopsis: When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

THE HANGOVER III (May 24th)

These guys haven’t learned to simply stay away from one another! In this, the third installment, there’s no wedding. no bachelor party… and so far, no trailer!

JUNE

THIS IS THE END (June 14th)

Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd and James Franco star in this comedy about the end of the world. The preview, which isn’t really a trailer just yet – is full of expletives. So CLICK HERE if you want to see it!

AFTER EARTH (June 7th)

Marvel at how much Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith has grown up as the two play opposite each other on film once again. High on special effects and suspense, the two play a pair  trying to survive a changed and dangerous earth.  M. Night Shyamalan co-wrote and directs – will it have one of his signature surprise endings?

WORLD WAR Z (June 21)

Brad Pitt is a A U.N. employee and dad who suddenly finds the world is at war – with deadly zombies – and he’s somehow the best guy to fight them. No, I’m serious. Yes, I”m going to go see it.

MAN OF STEEL (June 14th)

Once again, the franchise is starting from scratch. A new lead (Henry Cavill) tells the story of an alien on earth and how he goes on to become Superman.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (June 21st)

It’s been 12 years since Monsters Inc came out! This animated film looks at monsters Mike and Sulley (John Goodman and Billy Crystal) during their days at the University of Fear, before they got along so well.

That leads us to July, and as you probably know by now, that’s when all the heroes, enemies, sequels and box office blockbusters (so studios hope) make their debut. Keep visiting POPgoesTheWeek for the next installment of our movie previews!

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