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Summer movies: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is only the beginning

There’s little doubt “Avengers: Endgame” will be the biggest movie of the summer.

It probably will be the most massive thing to hit theaters for quite some time, assuming Disney doesn’t figure out a way to release “Star Wars: Episode X — Avengers vs. Titanic.”

But that doesn’t mean the summer movie season is over before it begins.

Here’s a look at some of what’s coming to theaters — from live-action remakes of beloved animation to a “Fast & Furious” spinoff to, yes, more superheroes — during the hottest months of the year.

Musical tributes

Rocketman” (May 31), the story of Reginald Dwight’s transformation into pop superstar Elton John, looks to be more flashy musical than biopic, with Taron Egerton (the “Kingsman” movies) portraying the singer and performing some of his most iconic songs.

Following a mysterious global blackout, a struggling British singer-songwriter (Himesh Patel) discovers he’s the only one on the planet who remembers the Beatles and becomes an international sensation by singing “their” hits in “Yesterday” (June 28), from “Love Actually” writer Richard Curtis and “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle.

And in 1987, the music of Bruce Springsteen helps a British teen of Pakistani descent (Viveik Kalra) confront his working-class roots and deal with the intolerance in his hometown in “Blinded by the Light” (Aug. 14).

Comedies

A recently unemployed journalist (Seth Rogen) reconnects with his childhood crush, who’s now the secretary of state (Charlize Theron), in the romantic comedy “Long Shot” (Friday). Rogen also produced the raunchy sixth-grade comedy “Good Boys” (Aug. 16), in which an invitation to a kissing party leads to a series of woefully misguided decisions by a 12-year-old (Jacob Tremblay) and his friends.

Two high school seniors (Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever) realize they’ve spent too much time studying and try to cram four years of partying into a single night before they graduate in “Booksmart” (May 24).

An aggressive cop (Dave Bautista) relies on an Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) to help him chase a killer in “Stuber” (July 12).

After reluctantly moving to a retirement community, a new resident (Diane Keaton) forms a competitive cheerleading squad in “Poms” (May 10).

And scam artists (Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson) team up in “The Hustle” (May 10), a loose remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”

Scares

What would horror movies be without some truly baffling decisions? A group of teenagers decide to party in the basement of a stranger (Octavia Spencer) after they convince her to buy them booze in “Ma” (May 31), and Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) stash a haunted doll in their house in “Annabelle Comes Home” (June 28).

In other creepy doll news, Katie Holmes stars in “Brahms: The Boy II” (July 26).

A mysterious nine-day festival held every 90 years in a remote Swedish village takes a disturbing turn — almost as though there were no warning signs earlier in this sentence — in “Midsommar” (July 3), from “Hereditary” writer-director Ari Aster.

A boy crash-lands on Earth — not unlike a young Kal-El — but takes a hard turn away from helping others in the superhero-horror mashup “Brightburn” (May 24), produced by “Guardians of the Galaxy” mastermind James Gunn.

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro developed “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” (Aug. 9), based on the series of books, about a tormented girl who writes stories that come to life.

A massive hurricane traps a woman (Kaya Scodelario) and her father (Barry Pepper) in the crawlspace of their Florida home, where they have to contend with rising floodwaters and the alligators within, in “Crawl” (July 12).

And terror comes from a more realistic place when a married couple (Michael Ealy, Meagan Good) is harassed by their home’s former owner (Dennis Quaid) in “The Intruder” (Friday).

Action sequels

Who’s the black private detective that’s a sex machine to all the chicks? In this case, it’s three generations of Shaft. For the third incarnation of “Shaft” (June 14), Jessie T. Usher assumes the mantle, alongside his predecessors, Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree.

Just when you thought the titles in the “Fast and Furious” franchise couldn’t get more cumbersome comes “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” (Aug. 2), which sends lawman Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and former fugitive Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) after a genetically enhanced terrorist (Idris Elba).

“Thor: Ragnarok” co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson don the dark suits in “Men In Black: International” (June 14).

The world’s foremost dog-loving super-assassin (Keanu Reeves) is back, with plenty of professional killers trying to collect the $14 million bounty on his head, in “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum” (May 17).

The giant green lizard squares off against Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed King Ghidorah in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (May 31).

And, after Olympus and London fell, Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) tries to keep Air Force One from suffering the same fate in “Angel Has Fallen” (Aug. 23). Given the past-tense nature of the title, it’s safe to say he isn’t successful.

Families

Disney is continuing its all-out assault on the box office this summer as Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and the gang hit the road in “Toy Story 4” (June 21). Simba (voiced by Donald Glover) tries to reclaim Pride Rock in this retelling of “The Lion King” (July 19), featuring Beyonce Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. Will Smith steps into the pointy-toed shoes of Genie in “Aladdin” (May 24). And a young criminal mastermind captures a fairy in an attempt to use its powers to save his family in “Artemis Fowl” (Aug. 9).

Elsewhere, Duke (Eric Stonestreet) and Max — who sounds a little different now that Louis C.K. isn’t welcome within 10 miles of a children’s movie and has been replaced by Patton Oswalt — leave the city for a trip to a farm in “The Secret Life of Pets 2” (June 7).

Dora (Isabela Moner) confronts two life-changing events, high school and the disappearance of her parents (Eva Longoria, Michael Pena), in “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” (July 31), a live-action adventure based on the Nickelodeon cartoon.

A group of misfit toys discover perfection is overrated in “UglyDolls” (May 3), the animated musical inspired by the plush collectibles featuring the voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Blake Shelton and Pitbull.

Ryan Reynolds voices the titular supersleuth in the live-action/animation hybrid “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” (May 10), the battle between birds and pigs rages on in “The Angry Birds Movie 2” (Aug. 14) and Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad) watches over his owner’s granddaughter during the course of several lifetimes in the sequel “A Dog’s Journey” (May 17).

Comic books

Peter Parker (Tom Holland) takes a much-needed European vacation in “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (July 2), which brings Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) into the fold and introduces Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

The Avengers isn’t the only superhero franchise coming to an end this summer as “Dark Phoenix” (June 7), which follows Jean Grey’s (Sophie Turner) descent into powerful madness, is set to conclude the X-Men series as we know it.

The New Mutants” (scheduled for Aug. 2), an X-Men-related tale with horror elements that focuses on young powered people being held in a secret facility, has been pushed back several times over the past year and still may never end up getting a proper release.

And with their mobster husbands in prison, three housewives (Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss) go to work for the Irish mafia in “The Kitchen” (Aug. 9).

Brad Pitt

With high-profile movies including “12 Years a Slave,” “Moonlight” and “Vice” under his belt, Brad Pitt has spent more time producing than acting lately. He’s back in a big way this summer, though, as the stunt double for a TV star (Leonardo DiCaprio) during the height of the Manson Family murders in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (July 26) and as an astronaut at the edge of the solar system in “Ad Astra” (May 24).

Acclaimed filmmakers

A Seattle mother (Cate Blanchett) disappears in “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” (Aug. 16), based on the best-selling book, directed by Richard Linklater. And writer-director Jim Jarmusch tackles the zombie genre with “The Dead Don’t Die” (June 14), starring possibly the cast of the year in Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi and Danny Glover, along with Iggy Pop, Selena Gomez, RZA and Tom Waits.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

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