The Summer Blockbusters of 2022 has a unique sense of excitement to go along with it since the tragic Coronavirus is in the rear-view of most of the world. Many of these films have been pushed back for as long as 2.5 years (we’re looking at you, Tom Cruise), and now that they are finally here, people are giddy to pay for tickets and get back to the cinematic experience.
Naturally, the number crunchers and listicle makers here at Geek Vibes Nation wanted to put together a Top 10 list of summer blockbusters for 2022. However, one big issue — Warner Bros. and DC Comics wanted the summer to start in March.
That’s not summer, so it doesn’t count. It’ll probably make the best films on the 2022 Top 10 list, but that’s in December.
Speaking of which, Robert Eggers’ triumphant take on the Norse legend of Amleth (which, in turn, inspired Macbeth) doesn’t count either. An April release is not summer, but it was damn good enough to be one. Anywho, those two began the precipitous domino effect of other tentpole releases coming before Memorial Day (again, looking down at Tom Cruise.)
So, this Top 10 list will be made on movies for the summer, which means The Batman receives a holy and honorable mention because Warner Bros. peed their pants out of impatience–we were given a Spring movie. Now that we have that clear, the parameters for this list are:
- Bang-to-Hype ratio
- Anticipated box office
- Who’s on the Marquee
By the time you read this, you may have seen two or three, so your opinions may vary. Nonetheless, when this year began, these were the much-ballyhooed films of 2022 that we couldn’t wait to critique, all of us couldn’t wait to see, and movie theaters couldn’t wait to monetize.
These are the Top 10 Summer Blockbusters of 2022 (except The Batman)
10. Men (May 20)
Three things before you start with the “I’ve never heard of this?!” section of this list:
- Summer horror
- Alex friggin’ Garland
He is the guy who brought us two of the most original and mesmerizing movies this century with Ex Machina and Annihilation. He’s one of those rare people who make you pay attention because they are involved (see: Robert Eggers, Denis Villeneuve, Greta Gerwig, and Barry Jenkins as examples).
The movie has a simple enough overview: “A young woman goes on a solo vacation to the English countryside following the death of her ex-husband.” But that’s like saying Midsommar was a “coming of age film between friends as they enjoy the Swedish countryside and break bread with the locals.” This movie looks eerie as hell, jacked up, and should be so good.
9. Three Thousand Years of Longing (Aug 31)
Likewise, here are three more reasons for this film. I dare you to say this doesn’t interest you after this austere list:
- Tilda Swinton
- Idris Elba
- George effin’ Miller
(George is a little grittier, so he gets the expletive.) This is a high indie film, which means it’s not getting the advance marketing dollars many of the 2022 summer blockbusters benefit from, but that list is ample reasons to pay attention.
There is not even a trailer yet, but this is already getting critical buzz. The official film bio is: “A lonely scholar (Swinton), on a trip to Istanbul, discovers a Djinn (Elba, see his cute ears) who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom.”
You cannot be considered a cinephile and not be interested in that troika making a film. It should be interesting.
8. Minions: The Rise of Gru (July 1)
Just because this may not be your jam doesn’t mean this next edition of the Illumination prize Despicable franchise doesn’t belong on this Top 10 List. Gru (Steve Carell) and his banana-colored oddballs are back to put laughter in your belly–and it’ll happen as the sixth film in this collection hits theaters at the beginning of July.
These movies are the kind of feel-good flicks we can’t have enough of in our lives, namely right about now. Comic relief, complete amusement, and stupid scatological hijinks (please, you don’t laugh at farts) are bound to make us laugh out loud–again.
7. Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8)
Like Thor, Ragnarok did before it, Disney is playing to its Gen-X and -Y fans with GnR’s “Sweet Child of Mine.” Interested! Additionally, Taika Waititi already says this is “the craziest film” he has ever made. Now, you have a recipe for ticket sales.
Another ensemble cast should be the last time we see Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy, so there’s something fond about this farewell. Then, we get Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) squeeze Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) with a righteous return imbued with the powers of Asgard. It will be hard for this movie to disappoint. Plan on this film hauling a dump truck of cash and marketing while unloading another one full of fan service in a theater near you.
6. Lightyear (June 17)
There is no movie Disney isn’t willing to exploit to make more money. First, reboots. Then, live-action remakes. And now, a prequel that is almost 30 years in the making. And who is better than Buzz Lightyear for something like this? (Well, maybe Woody.) Pixar was determined to make a realistic and younger version, so they called their sister company, Marvel, and asked for Chris Evans’ phone number.
Few film franchises are more successful than Toy Story in creating lifelong memories, toys, and allegiance. Adults and children are giddy for this movie because of the surefire memories it’ll kindle. Pixar will blast this off to number one for a couple of weeks. Like Disney’s formula, you should plan on a Song of the Year nominee here somewhere. (No, “Starman” by David Bowie doesn’t count. Although it’s greatness.)
5. Jurassic World: Dominion (June 10)
Just when you thought this franchise had bought the farm, here comes what should be the last bale of hay. It’s a complete reunion on-screen, dating back to Steven Spielberg‘s first film with these dinosaurs in 1993. We have seen sequels, games, countless merchandise, but most of all, childhood memories that will never fade. This movie, much like James Cameron’s Avatar, changed cinema technology and what was possible at the movies.
Seeing these dinosaurs wreak havoc in Suburbia will get your butt in a theater, then on PPV, to buy the DVD, and…well, it’s a straightforward process that will make at least $1 billion. The actors you love. The score you adore. And all that CGI magic from the Jurassic era. June can’t get here fast enough.
4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6)
This already got here. You have read reviews, Easter Eggs lists, and what everyone else thinks on social media. The key takeaway is that Marvel Studios did it again despite any opinion. We came. They showed. This kicked ass. It’s that simple.
Phase 4 may be lackluster in the eyes of some comic fans, but Kevin Feige can still put on a clinic about universe–or multiverse–building. Did you see that post-credit scene?! Doctor Strange will be back another summer, and we’ll all be there for that too.
3. Top Gun: Maverick (May 27)
In what very well may become an homage to Tom Cruise by Tom Cruise for Tom Cruise, we quickly have one of the most anticipated 2022 summer blockbusters. Half of the moviegoers are old enough to remember the 1986 Top Gun captivated the country — yes, that volleyball scene too. The other half are young but inquisitive enough to wonder why the hell Dad is blaring Kenny Loggins in the truck.
This sequel has been circled on the calendar at least four separate times, but it won’t matter. People will come to the theater in droves to see this film. Just hearing the initial piano strums of Harold Faltermeyer’s iconic theme is enough to make you buy a bomber jacket and aviator shades. (And, many of us already have our tickets.)
2. Elvis (June 24)
And now, we come to the Oscar nominee section of the show. I’d bet a pair of blue suede shoes that this doesn’t end up at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards in 2023. Why? Well, let’s offer three more reasons here:
- Elvis Presley
- Baz Luhrmann is doing another musical
- And Tom “Near GOATed Status” Hanks
This is a record-breaking guaranteed soundtrack with what must be the most extensive collection of Boomers to ever see a movie together since possibly, the Vietnam War. Baz hasn’t approached a director’s chair in nine years since he destroyed F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby. (And no, who cares that Leo was in it.) But he did it–he found an Elvis in former Nick and Disney Teen TV star Austin Butler (yes, that’s his voice), who appears to crush this role of a lifetime, even though he announced this movie back in 2014.
He secured a bonafide living legend in Tom Hanks to play a musical icon, Colonel Tom Parker, who discovered the King. This movie will weave the tapestry through the three decades of Elvis’ most prolific years, who tragically died at 42 in 1977. And believe this film will put his fame into perspective. Think of anyone who can stop traffic and multiply that by, oh, a million. That was Elvis. He was the Beatles, with a swish of his hips and a curl of his lips.
This will be awesome. And then, he will leave the building.
1. NOPE (July 22)
Despite the boondoggle of what Elvis will bring to theaters, no movie is more discussed than Jordan Peele‘s latest NOPE. No one, except maybe his closest friends, knew when he was creating hilarious skits on Comedy Central that Peele was capable of mesmerizing a country. Yet, that is what he has done, conjuring a near Hitchcock spell with him to make you guess what his movies are without knowing a thing.
From Get Out to Us to CBS’s resurrection of Twilight Zone, his name creates global trends on social media because people have no idea what he is up to next. An enigma of sorts, Jordan Peele masters what it takes to lead the nations like a suspenseful Pied Piper to the theater–also like Hitchcock. This odd trailer and the sheer silence about the film forces the inevitable — ticket sales and headlines.
It won’t be the most profitable among 2022 summer blockbusters. It may not even be the most powerful. But, NOPE will be the most discussed movie of the summer if, for any other reason, people at work Slacking each other over, “What did we just see?”
Much like Hitchcock did, also.
Since he saw ‘Dune’ in the $1 movie theater as a kid, this guy has been a lover of geek culture. It wasn’t until he became a professional copywriter, ghostwriter, and speechwriter that he began to write about it (a lot).
From the gravitas of the Sith, the genius of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or the gluttony of today’s comic fan, SPW digs intelligent debate about entertainment. He’s also addicted to listicles, storytelling, useless trivia, and the Oxford comma. And, he prefers his puns intended.