by Michael Siebenaler
(NOTE: all release dates subject to change)
Chappie presents a special robot that learns like a human through behavior and events, with Hugh Jackman starring as an expert not entirely trusting robotics in our future.
Also on March 6, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, with returning characters and a new one played by Richard Gere. Professional rivals face off in the comedy Unfinished Business, starring Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco and Sienna Miller.
The live action Cinderella stars Cate Blanchett as the stepmother and rising star Lily James while the naval action-drama In the Hearts of the Sea sets sail the same weekend with Ron Howard at the directing helm.
Set in a futuristic Chicago, The Divergent Series: Insurgent builds on the initiating Divergent action-adventure fantasy on March 20, which will be followed by Allegiant Part 1 in 2016 and Part 2 in 2017. Sean Penn stars in his first action film called Gunman.
A Little Chaos stars Kate Winslet in a historical drama about the landscape-gardener who created the grand gardens at Versailles, with Alan Rickman co-starring and directing. Also this weekend, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts star as a middle-aged couple who find revitalization and life reflection through a special younger couple in While We’re Young, along with the animated sci-fi comedy Home and comedy Get Hard starring seasoned comedian Will Ferrell and rising star Kevin Hart.
April Fool’s Day will feature the Christian music documentary Hillsong: Let Hope Rise instead of pranks, then the highly anticipated racing action-thriller Furious 7 will open on April 3 with a familiar cast, with Kurt Russell and Jason Statham playing the new enemy.
On April 10, the latest Nicolas Sparks movie adaptation, The Longest Ride, will release along with the action fantasy The Moon and the Sun, starring Pierce Brosnan and William Hurt.
Child 44, based on the first novel in author Tom Rob Smith’s best-selling trilogy, stars Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Noomi Rapace and will release on April 17, along with the sci-fi epic Ex Machina.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 stars a returning Kevin James in the comedy sequel along with another sci-fi vehicle titled Self/Less and Liam Neeson’s latest action thriller Run All Night, where an experienced assassin protects his family from his boss.
In the drama romance The Age of Adaline, Blake Lively stars as a beautiful woman who miraculously stops aging at 29 and finally finds true love eight decades later. Harrison Ford, Kathy Baker and Ellen Burstyn also star. Theatergoers can Rock the Kasbah in the comedy starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson and Zooey Deschanel or see the Russell Crowe headliner/war drama The Water Diviner.
On May 1, the theaters will get very crowded with Avengers: Age of Ultron, the second superhero installment to the first, which is second at the all-time box office only to Avatar. If you get a sell-out, then try the aptly titled period drama Far From the Madding Crowd, based on the Thomas Hardy novel about an independent woman who attracts three varied suitors.
On May 8, Don’t Mess With Texas stars the formidable female duo of Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara in a comic showcase, while audiences will definitely get some box office dichotomy when Pitch Perfect 2 debuts on the same May 15 weekend as Mad Max: Fury Road.
Right before Memorial Day weekend, audiences get the futuristic drama Tomorrowland on May 22 with George Clooney, newcomer Britt Robertson, and Hugh Laurie starring, plus the action comedy Spy where Jason Statham shows analyst Melissa McCarthy the secret agent world.