The films you mustn’t miss this year
DESPITE any number of competing attractions – the glorious summer, the World Cup, the continuing rise of Netflix and other streaming services – the UK cinema box-office last year enjoyed its best year since 1971.
It was reported in the middle of last month that total cinema admissions in 2018 were on course to reach the 176 million mark.
The endless arguments over Brexit may have played a part, too. In an interview with Screen Daily, the online home of Screen International, Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, which represents the interests of more than 90% of UK cinema operators, spoke of “the feelgood factor and the need to get away from watching the country tear itself apart on the nightly news”.
Tom Linay, head of film at UK cinema advertising agency DCM, told Screen Daily that musicals, and films with a strong music component, were currently having a “golden period ... People get swept up in that genre more than any other type of film and, as a result, they’re huge”.
And for the year just begun? There is a compelling slate of films to look out for, from Frozen 2, the Disney sequel to the 2013 original, which grossed $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office, to Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson in Marvel’s first femaleled superhero film.
Nearly four years after his most recent film, The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino returns with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, in which Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt play an actor and his stunt double in Los Angeles in 1969. The backdrop includes the notorious mass murder of actress Sharon Tate and four other people.
Tom Hooper, who scored major box-office successes with The King’s Speech and Les Miserables, will return towards the end of the year with a big-screen adaptation of the musical Cats, with a cast that includes James Corden, Dame Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Sir Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift.
Star Wars: Episode IX, directed by JJ Abrams, will surely be one of the biggest films of the year; Avengers: Endgame is already stirring excited speculation among fans of the franchise; and Pixar is bringing out the fourth instalment of Toy Story – 24 years after first introducing us to Woody and Buzz.
And, talking of family movies, two of the year’s most anticipated releases spring from ever-popular Disney animations: Tim Burton’s take on Dumbo, featuring Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Colin Farrell and Danny DeVito alongside a computergenerated elephant; and Jon Favreau’s The Lion King stars Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Beyonce.
Here we look at some of the most intriguing films over the next 12 months.
This is definitely a year when the blockbusters are queuing up to smash the box office. Main picture: Toy Story 4; left, from top: Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, live-action Dumbo, complete with CGI elephant, megasequel Frozen 2; right: Brie Larson leading the way in superhero flick, Captain Marvel