While summer movies are all about which movie will be the biggest blockbuster, fall movies are a different beast.
Many of the upcoming films will be marketing events, attracting flocks of costumed fans to shopping malls and cineplexes. You can bet your local theaters are already planning how they’ll draw in customers — and that ought to provide weeks of stories.
Bookstores often put on promotions tied to films with literary roots, so be sure to see what they’re up to, as well.
This fall’s films are split between heartwarming holiday fare, big budget spectacles, comedies and most importantly, all of the possible Oscar contenders. There are so many that we’re going to look at them in three parts.
If you’re asked by your editor to cover the big movies coming to town, here are the films to watch for — and ideas for stories you can do about them.
Sequels And Series
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the biggest movie of this fall is going to be: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It opens Dec. 18. Expect plenty of Star Wars events, and there will be plenty of pre-movie hype.
Mockingjay: Part 2, is the final installment of The Hunger Games. It comes out on Nov. 20 and should have fans lining up to see Jennifer Lawrence’s last turn as Katniss Everdeen.
Daniel Craig reprises his role as 007 in Spectre, the latest James Bond film on Nov. 6. This film will have incredible international appeal, meaning there will be financial angles to watch in many global markets.
Regal Cinemas is rolling out its Spectre promotion: a $100 ticket that allows unlimited viewings once a day for the duration of the movie’s run.
Rocky Balboa returns to the big screen, but not as the headliner, in Creed (Nov. 25). Sylvester Stallone isn’t in the boxing ring this time, but instead training Apollo’s son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan).
Anyone working in the Philadelphia area will be well aware of this movie. How does Philly plan to capitalize on Rocky’s return?
Overshadowed, but still with a fan base, is the second Maze Runner film, The Scorch Trials, starring Dylan O’Brien. It opens on Friday.
These one-off films kick off with Matt Damon in The Martian on Oct. 2. He plays a man stranded on the red planet after as storm struggling to stay alive. (We recently wrote about NASA’s cooperation.)
Crimson Peak (Dec. 16) comes from the mind of Guillermo del Toro, and is a dark and twisted tale about a haunted Gothic mansion.
Pan (Oct. 9) is another retelling of the Peter Pan tale, but this one focuses on Peter’s arrival in Neverland, with some steampunk looking special effects. It could be a early fall hit.
Victor Frankenstein (Nov. 25), also takes a look at a classic tale from a different perspective, with James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe starring as the titular Dr. Frankenstein and his loyal assistant Igor.
Going head-to-head for Christmas Day releases are two big films that are pretty dark.
The Hateful Eight is Quentin Tarantino’s newest ensemble drama, and involves a group of strangers brought together during a storm (doesn’t look like things go well).
The Revenant is the newest from director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman), and its a tale of vengeance starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
That should get you started on stories about big fall films. We’ll be back next with a look at lighter and family oriented movies, followed by the serious Oscar contenders.