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The box office is lit this year: 12 films we’re hyped about in 2019

2018 turned out to be an impressive and groundbreaking year in film.

By the looks of the films that are set to be released this year, 2019 is shaping up to be no different and another stellar year jammed packed with superhero films, new installments of our beloved franchises, new releases from the hottest and most in-demand directors, as well as indie films lead by some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Peep the list of the most anticipated films for 2019 and mark your calendars!


Directed by: Jordan Peele

Release date: March 15, 2019

People are so hyped to see Jordan Peele’s latest film that when the official trailer for his creepy and spine-tingling new film Us was released Xmas day, the trailer brought the holiday to a momentary standstill.

The ominous pair of gold scissors that are of front and center in the film’s poster has been inscribed in the mind of horror film enthusiasts and admirers’ of the Get Out director.

The new horror film follows the story of Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke), who take their children to Adelaide’s childhood beach house in Northern California for the summer. Adelaide, however, becomes increasingly paranoid about her family’s well-being as she is haunted by past trauma.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Release date: March 22, 2019

Based on the novel of the same name, Cate Blanchett will star as an anxiety-ridden mother who suddenly goes missing prior to a family trip to Antarctica, prompting her teen daughter to figure out what happened.

The film will be helmed by Oscar-winning director and Texas native, Richard Linklater (Boyhood). It features strong supporting cast, including the likes of Judy Greer, Kristen Wiig, Billy Crudup and Laurence Fishburne.

The Lion King

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Release date: July 19, 2019

If the reception of a teaser trailer that was released on Thanksgiving Day, is any indication of how hyped people are to see a film, the live-action reboot of the Disney classic, The Lion King is bound to be a major box-office success.

Within only 24 hours, the teaser received close to 225 million views

The voice cast list offers an impressive list of stars. Beyoncé will voice Nala, Donald Glover will voice Simba, Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofo will voice the film’s villain Scar, and of course, James Earl Jones will use his god-like voice again in reprising his role as Mufasa.

Toy Story 4

Directed by: Josh Cooley

Release date: June 21

Just after we got over the trauma of seeing our beloved characters disintegrate in the incinerator scene and heartstring-tugging ending in Toy Story 3, Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Rex and the rest of the gang will return to screens next summer to embark on another adventure.

Little is known around the plot of the new installment. Since Andy is now at college, I am speculating the toy ensemble will reside with Bonnie who was featured in the third film.

Pixar did announce that Keanu Reeves and Patricia Arquette will be playing characters, though the animation group has not announced their roles yet.

Captain Marvel

Directed by: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

Release date: March 8

Oscar-winner Brie Larson has joined forces with the Marvel Universe. Larson filmed her scenes for the hugely anticipated Avengers: Endgame that also hits theaters this year on April 26.

Her solo venture is set during the 1990s which sees Larson play air force pilot Carol Danvers who possessed mysterious superpowers.

Very little is known about the film and Larson has been required to remain extremely tight-lipped about the project. We do know that Jude Law will play the antagonist Yon-Rogg.

Rocket Man

Directed by: Dexter Fletcher

Release date: May 17

2019 will be marked by another major music biopic; a forthcoming film about the life of Sir Elton John.

Taron Egerton (Kingsman) plays the British pop star alongside newly Golden Globe winner, Richard Madden (Bodyguard) who will play the singer’s manager and partner John Reid. The film follows the early years of the chart-topping singer’s career and his rise to fame.

The film is produced by The Rocket Man himself, and his partner David Furnish, through their company Rocket Pictures. Billy Eliot writer Lee Hall has written the screenplay, while Dexter Fletcher, who also helmed Bohemian Rhapsody will direct the film.


Directed by: Todd Phillips

Release date: October 4

There are a lot of superhero movies out there, but Joker is the first supervillain movie where the antagonist’s story is front and center.

Director Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) offers another interpretation of the Batman supervillain with Joaquin Phoenix taking a turn of the iconic role.

I’m sure Phoenix knows he has big shoes to fill after the late Heath Ledger earned an Oscar for his riveting performance in The Dark Knight. Hollywood heavyweight, Robert De Niro will also star in the DC film.

Men in Black

Directed by:  F. Gary Gray

Release date: June 14

The Men in Black franchise has produced with a spinoff movie that shifts focus away from Will Smith’s Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones’s Agent K to a new generation of suit-sporting enforcers.

The spinoff stars Tessa Thompson as Agent M and Chris Hemsworth as Agent H who team up to solve a mystery that spans across the globe, blasting aliens all along the way.

Liam Neeson plays the head of the U.K. branch of M.I.B., while Emma Thompson stars as the head of the U.S. branch.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Heyday Films

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Release date: July 26

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film will be a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood in 1969 against the terrifying backdrop of the Manson murders that shook the nation.

The film centers on a former Western star and his longtime stunt double, who struggles to find success in the increasingly changing landscape of Hollywood. The cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden, and Al Pacino. Braze.

If that didn’t stir enough excitement, there are strong rumors circulating that the film could be a starting point for a spin-off TV series, after Tarantino has reportedly gotten hold of the rights to a mostly-forgotten TV Western called Lancer.

Little Women

Di Novi Pictures

Directed by: Greta Gerwig

Release date: December 25

After the sweeping success of her film Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig will reteam with actors Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, in the latest interpretation of the literary classic, Little Women.

The film features the queen of cinema, Meryl Streep, with the rest of the March sisters to be played by actress and activist Emma Watson, Florence Pugh (The Little Drummer Girls), and Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects).

The Irishman


Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Release date: TBA

When a project has the names Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel attached, it’s hard to believe that movie studios didn’t embrace the film that reunites the biggest names in Hollywood.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, De Niro and Scorsese were having trouble getting traditional financing from a studio before Netflix stepped up with the funds — a $140 million budget to be exact.

The mob drama that follows the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa is set to a limited theatrical release.

Gloria Bell

Directed by Sebastián Lelio

Release date: March 8

The Academy Award-winning director (A Fantastic Woman, Disobedience) remakes his 2013 Chilean drama without leaving behind its poignant coming-of-age narrative.

Julianne Moore stars as Gloria; a free-spirited divorcée who spends her days at a straight-laced office job and her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around Los Angeles.

After meeting Arnold (John Turturro) on a night out, she finds herself thrust into an unexpected new romance, filled with both the joys of budding love and the complications of dating, identity, and family.

The film is one of the few highly anticipated movies to be released next year by the NYC-based indie production company, A24.

Can streaming services fully replace movie theaters? An investigation

On cold winter nights around this time of year, many of us find ourselves closing out our nights cozied up in bed on our devices, watching newly released films and binge-watching seasons of our favorite TV shows.

It is no secret that Netflix, Amazon, Hulu have been monumental successes and the creation of a Disney and Apple streaming service next year, could render streaming services to reach new heights.

On top of that, with films like Roma (Netflix) and Beautiful Boy (Amazon) garnering critical acclaim from critics and receiving Golden Globe nods, these achievements signal that the movie theater is not the only distribution site that enables people to be informed about the major contenders of the award season.

Plus, with 45 million people have signed into their Netflix accounts to watch Bird Box since the film’s release last week, the wide reception of the film is indicative of how streaming services, with the aid of social media, can be a site to produce cult classics, just as much as the movie theater has historically done.

In light of these developments, it is not surprising that a study published by Ampere Analysis last Monday found that global revenues from subscription streaming video services will overtake the total worldwide box office next year.

In fact, global subscription revenue is expected to top $46 billion whilst the worldwide theatrical revenue is set to reach just under $40 billion. These findings are by no means shocking, especially given that revenue from subscription VOD services in the United States surpassed domestic box office revenue last year.

On what accounts for this consumer trend, the study pointed to the high cost of movie ticket prices. According to the study, the average price of a cinema ticket in most markets is higher than monthly subscriptions to an SVOD service.

When viewed in conjunction with the low-cost of VOD monthly subscriptions, it makes sense that people are opting to stay indoors to watch flicks on their devices. In surveying 15 national film markets, Ampere found that the more expensive tickets are, the lower the cinema attendance, and vice versa.

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The study found that in 9 out of 15 markets, including in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Japan, the average price of a cinema ticket is higher than a one-month subscription to an SVOD service, with while domestic box office remained largely stagnant.

In short, streaming service, led by Netflix and Amazon Prime, have boomed across Western Europe. The study also found that in China, the world’s second-largest theatrical market, the SVOD business boomed and will surpass box office revenue in 2019.

France, widely known as a country of composed of devout cinephiles, however, seemed to be attuned to the trends of the film market by setting movie ticket prices set at $8. Interestingly, the study also found that consumers of VOD streaming services were largely avid cinema-goers.

In other words, since prices for movie tickets are so high and people want to see a large number of films, the findings suggest that movie enthusiasts are opting to watch movies via streaming services due to its cost-effectiveness in seeing a large number of films.

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Toby Holleran, a senior analyst at Ampere, explained,

“The key for cinema is to understand that while SVOD subscribers are more avid cinema-goers, this may not always be the case. Therefore, the shared experience of watching a film on the big screen must remain an enticing — and realistically priced — one.”

Nevertheless, these findings do not mark the death of the movie theater. Many of us will still choose to go to our local cinema to see certain films on the big screen — the success of the superhero movies and big blockbuster franchises are a testament to this.

There is also a consumer demographic that is uphold a more traditional approach to spectatorship. And when you think about it, movie-going is a pretty special experience.

You are in a dark room with a bunch of strangers and are all coming to this space for the same reason — to be told a story and be transported to a different world.

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While Ampere Analysis’ findings are significant, let’s not forget that this year also was a record-breaking year at the box office.

Though sometimes we opt for the convenience of watching films and TV on our devices, or chose this mode of viewership to save money, there are still times that we do want to venture out to the theater, whether it is a local art-house cinema or a multiplex, because going to see “the pictures” is a national pastime.