Comic-Con 2014

The 13 Most Anticipated Movies of 2013

We look at the movies that are sure to break the box office in this coming New Year, including 'Man of Steel' and 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'.
2012 was a nearly perfect year in cinema. Every month saw a new, interesting movie that captivated audiences, and brought plenty of money streaming into the box office. It was a year where top ten lists meant little to nothing, because there were at least twenty other films on any given list not accounted for. Will 2013 prove to be such a heavyweight? Or will it suffer in the shadow of its predecessor? Right now, there are 109 planned major releases that could be included on any best of 2013 list. We're whittling those down to the 13 most anticipated movies in the coming year, according to both our community here at Movieweb as well as past box office records. If anything can be said about 2013, its that some great movies are coming our way over the course of the next twelve months. The following list is in order by release date.

Identity Thief - Febraury 8th


The Heat - April 5th




2011 had Bridesmaids. 2012 had Ted. 2013's biggest comedy is sure to be one of these two movies, both starring breakout comedian Melissa McCarthy, who returns to cash in on the big screen promises she made two years ago. Arriving in February, Identity Thief stars Jason Bateman as the woefully bereft Sandy. He learns that his identity has been stolen by an very obnoxious, and incredulous woman, and he must travel cross-country to confront and retrieve the unsuspecting criminal himself, because the matter is out of state jurisdiction. What ensues is a horribly uncomfortable road trip of errors that involves a lot of sweat and violence. The film is directed by Seth Gordon, who gave us the fan favorite documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, and 2011's third highest grossing comedy Horrible Bosses. Melissa McCarthy then returns two months later in April for the buddy cop comedy The Heat, directed by Bridesmaids' Paul Feig. The comedian stars opposite Sandra Bullock in what at first appears to a second sequel to Miss Congeniality. But then you watch the trailer and realize that this has the potential to be the funniest movie of the year. There are some big laughs to be had in this timeless tale of two mismatched partners forced to work a case together. The combined talents of Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, and Paul Feig make this comedy the one to beat at the box office in 2013.


Oblivion - April 19th


After Earth - June 7th




Because it's a sci-fi epic starring Tom Cruise, you can expect some of his religious beliefs to seep into the storyline. But that shouldn't keep audiences away from this massive space adventure, which brings the genre up to speed after a long absence at the box office. The film is written and directed by Joseph Kosinski, whose Tron: Legacy (the 12th biggest film of 2010) stands as one of the best-looking films of the past decade. Here, he is working with original material, and will be able to prove himself out from Disney's shadow. The presence of Tom Cruise should help give it an extra push at the box office. The story revolves around a drone repairman assigned to clean up earth. The discovery of a crashed spaceship and its lone female pilot sends our hero on a quest that will unravel the mysteries of mankind and the fate of the human race as we know it. M. Night Shyamalan will be working with similar material in After Earth, which also boasts the presence of a megastar in Will Smith. But, judging from M. Night Shyamalan's recent failures at the box office, and from watching the two trailers side by side, we believe Oblivion will be crowned the champ when it comes to these dueling space operas.


Iron Man 3 - May 3rd


Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios are set to launch its Marvel Phase II multi-movie platform with the sequel Iron Man 3 this summer. Marvel's The Avengers was the number one box office draw all across the world in 2012, so it stands to reason that this follow-up to the Tony Stark storyline is going to be nearly as lucrative. It probably won't pull in the record numbers that Marvel's massive superhero ensemble did, but it's a safe bet that it will be the first or second top grossing movie of 2013. Robert Downey Jr. returns for his fourth time as the billionaire turned Avenger, in what is being described as a more personal story. Downey's Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang collaborator Shane Black is writing and directing a story that finds Tony losing everything at the hands of evil villain The Mandarin (franchise newcomer Ben Kingsley). Will he be able to rise up and save the world yet again? Probably. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Favreau are returning as Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan, respectively.


The Fast and the Furious 6 - May 24th


Fast and the Furious 6 Photo
As Hollywood continues to overlook the massive Latino movie-going populace, one thing is for certain, they are sure to make this sixth sequel a giant hit at the box office. Their presence at the theater has helped push this once fledgling series to new heights, making it one of the most lucrative active franchises still going in this decade. And it shows no signs of stopping. After a disappointing third turn with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, director Justin Lin reunited the original 2001 The Fast and the Furious cast for an all-new adventure that has set up a serialized storyline that will be continued here, in The Fast and the Furious 6. The plot is being kept under wraps, but we know that Michelle Rodriguez's Letty will return from the grave, and that Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs will be working with Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto and Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner as opposed to against them. If anything, this sequel promises to have two of the biggest car chases ever seen on screen, both in this franchise and the history of action cinema as we know it. If Justin Lin and his team can keep the momentum going, they are sure to pull off one of the biggest crowd pleasers of the year.


Man of Steel - June 14th


Even with Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3 poised to hit screens this year, Man of Steel stands as the biggest superhero movie of 2013. Superman is the most iconic character to ever grace the pages of a comic book, and there is no equal. There is a lot riding on Zack Snyder's reboot. Namely, the fate of Justice League and the DC Comics theatrical universe. This reimagining of the Clark Kent mythos is flying in to fill a void left by Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, and those are some pretty heavy shoes to fill. People are hoping for the best, and the recent trailer did not disappoint. In 2013, we are getting a different kind of Superman. One that isn't immediately accepted by our modern world. This is a 'Jesus Our Savior' story wrapped up in the dark, graphic novel world of Frank Miller. Man of Steel is an origin story that looks at Kal-El's struggles with his alien identity, and its one that will pit him against Zod. Will it be everything we're hoping for in a Superman movie? Fingers crossed!


This Is the End - June 14th


The World's End - October 25th


The Mayan Apocalypse came and went without much fanfare. Was it the biggest disappointment of 2012? Or was the Mayan calendar slightly offset by the slowing of our Earth's core, and the slight time drift that occurs as the years roll on? Hollywood is betting on the latter, as doomsday scenarios continue to be quite popular in 2013. Both titles are similar, both movies have an amazing cast, and the storylines are run parallel to each other. As one is American, and the other is British, we can look at these two films as companion pieces, and they will make a great double feature in the very near future. This Is the End comes first, arriving this summer with an all-star cast that includes nearly every big name currently working in comedy. It certainly gives Movie 43 a run for its money (proving that the ensemble line-ups from the late 70s are back in fashion). Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson headline as themselves, the sole survivors of an earth-ending disaster. The World's End arrives five months later, in October. It serves as the final chapter in Edgar Wright, and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's Three Flavors Cornetto series (The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy). They are not playing themselves, but the storyline is quite similar. Here, we have a group of childhood friends who reunite for an epic bar crawl, only to discover that they're mankind's final hope on the eve of global destruction. Both movies promise to deliver a good time, and its safe to say they won't be competing against each other, but rather working together as one epic filmgoing experience.


The Lone Ranger - July 3rd


It took a minute for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, and star Johnny Depp to get this revamp of the classic Western off the ground. The budget ballooned out of control, and it made us all wonder, "Why?" And then we saw the first trailer and understood. This is going to be one grand, epic adventure filled with sweeping vistas, plenty of action, and the greatest train chase sequence ever committed to celluloid. At this time, its tough to tell if werewolves (or, rather, skin walkers) still play a part in the storyline. Either way, the team that brought us Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl are promising one of the best film experiences of the summer. Its been thirty-three years since The Lone Ranger last made his mark on the big screen with The Legend of the Lone Ranger, so we will be getting a traditional origin story here, told in a non-traditional way. Johnny Depp's Tonto will serve as the hero of the movie, with Armie Hammer's Lone Ranger serving as his sidekick. The pair must battle corruption as they form their first bonds of friendship in what will surely be a three film (at the least) franchise.


Pacific Rim - July 12th


Kaiju monsters fighting giant robots? That's all you had to say! Guillermo del Toro is directing? It can't get any better! Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, and Ron Perlman are headlining the cast? This has officially become the fan boy's wet dream of 2013! Guillermo has yet to become a household name, but this gargantuan fable might just do the trick. The plot follows a global army of Jaegers, intense metal machines created to battle a legion of mysterious monsters from the far reaches of space intent on destroying the earth. When the Jaeger team is on the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes, a washed up former pilot and an untested trainee, who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind's last hope against the mounting apocalypse! Pacific Rim continues 2013's trend of doomsday prophesies as played out on the big screen. The movie mashes up the best moments from the Godzilla series and the Transformers franchise to create something that is sure to blow the lid of this summer. Hopefully it can live up to its spectacular premise.


The Wolverine - July 26th


The Wolverine Photo
20th Century Fox is following up its franchise hit X-Men: First Class with the Marvel Mutant stand-alone adventure The Wolverine. Not to be considered a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this latest superhero epic follows Logan (Hugh Jackman) to Japan, in one of the character's most iconic comic book stories. Directed by James Mangold, this mutant outing promises to focus mostly on Wolverine and his samuaria training, and won't be the bloated mess that X-Men Origins: Wolverine suffered for. As it stands, The Wolverine might be the best Marvel mutant movie to hit the big screen yet!


Elysium - August 9th


Elysium Photo
You may see some trends immerging in 2013 in terms of cinema. Sci-fi epics are going to be huge, as are apocalyptic comedies. Neill Blomkamp, who made his directorial debut with the beloved District 9, returns with his follow-up film Elysium, one of the most anticipated releases coming in the next twelve months, and a guaranteed space epic. The year is 2159. Two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard line government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn't stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds. Will this movie be as good as District 9? Or are we getting a sophomore slump? Either way, sci-fi fans will be lining up to check this out in August, surely the biggest movie to arrive that month.


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - November 22nd


the Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Hunger Games proved to be a huge phenomenon when it arrived in theaters this past March. It was number three at the box office, coming in only behind The Dark Knight Rises (at number two) and Marvel's The Avengers (at number one). With Twilight and Batman out of the way, only Tony Stark Stands in Katniss Everdeen's path to box office glory. The story begins with Katniss Everdeen returning home safe after having won the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning only means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a Victor's Tour of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever. Katniss Everdeen has the potential to reign as the biggest box draw in this new year.


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - December 13th


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Some people were disappointed by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Some even went as far as to call it the The Phantom Menace of the The Lord of the Rings franchise. But despite the critical backlash, and a waning disinterest from fans, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug still stands as one of 2013's most anticipated blockbusters. It will have to overcome the fact that its the second act of a trilogy (second acts are usually the most boring), and the fact that director Peter Jackson has added plenty of unnecessary footage to make it work as a trilogy outing. The story picks up immediately after the last film. Having successfully crossing over (and under) the Misty Mountains, Thorin and Company must seek aid from a powerful stranger before taking on the dangers of Mirkwood Forest, without their Wizard. If they reach the human settlement of Laketown it will be time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. Its likely that this second film won't open as big as the first, but it is surely necessary in leading up to what will be an epic finale with The Hobbit: There and Back Again, arriving in July 2014.


Anchorman: The Legend Continues - December 20th


2013 will conclude with the sequel to end all sequels. Anchorman: The Legend Continues reunites the Channel 4 news team of Ron (Will Ferrell), Brick (Steve Carell), Champ (David Koechner) and Brian (Paul Rudd) as they are faced with a burgeoning 24 hour news cycle and the encroachment of cable television. Brick is even getting a love interest in the form of Kristen Wiig, and Christina Applegate is returning as well. It's the long-awaited follow-up fans have been clamoring for, for years. Will it live up to expectations? We sure hope it does. Christmas of 2013 depends on it!


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Star Trek Into Darkness arrives in theaters this May

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21 & Over arrives in theaters this March

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Monsters University arrives in theaters this June

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Pain & Gain arrives in theaters this April

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Comments (44)

  1. ejk1

    @balanorange I do disagree with a sentence in your assessment of Desolation of Smaug. In it, you said that the second act of a trilogy is usually the most boring. I find that to be usually the opposite. TDK, Spider-Man 2, Godfather 2, The Two Towers, and Empire Strikes Back are good examples of films that many believe improved on its predecessor. In these cases, the third film is usually the clear weak point, with Return of the King being the only exception.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  2. Mr.K

    I'm looking forward to The Hobbit 2, OZ The Great and Powerful, Hansel and Gretel, Pain and Gain, The Croods, The Evil Dead, Carrie, Turbo, A Good Day To Die Hard, G.I. Joe Retaliation (Only in 2D!), Stoker, This Is The End, Jurassic Park 3D, The Seventh Son, Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Saving Mr.Banks, Pacific Rim, Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, Kick Ass 2, Sin City: A Dame To Kill and Elysium.

    As for others, I'll have to wait and see but Identity Theft, Paranormal Activity 5, Scary Movie 5, A Haunted House, 21 and Over, Planes, The Smurfs 2, Grown Ups 2 and The Hangover 3 as anticipated movies of 2013? What were they smoking in there?

    2 years agoby @mr-kFlag

  3. ejk1

    None of those comedies seem appealing at all. As far as the top list, with the exception of the first two films mentioned (Identity Theft, The Heat), the rest really hit the mark in terms of what the mass population is anticipating. While some people may have different films on their list, when if one put together a compiled list of what the most anticipated films are for the year, it's hard imagining the films @balanorange listed won't be there.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  4. T. King (Red Camera Man)

    CAN'T WAIT FOR: "The Hobbit 2," "Man Of Steel," "Pacific Rim," "Star Trek 2," "The Great Gatsby," "Oz: The Great And Powerful," "Iron Man 3," "Thor 2," and "The Hunger Games 2."
    WAIT & SEE: "The Lone Ranger," "Gangster Squad," "Oblivion," "After Earth," "The Wolverine," "Elysium," "Jack The Giant Slayer," and "Monsters University."
    MEH: Everything else, and "The Hangover 3" being the #1 most anticipated sequel to see in 2013? PLEASE.

    2 years agoby @redcameramanFlag

  5. Sean

    I'm looking forward to Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Lone Ranger, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World, and Oz: The Great and Powerful in all 2013. It's going to be a pretty awesome year for movies!

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  6. StephieBaybee

    Well wot a load of bull....im looking foward to iron man 3, the hobbit 2 man of steel and the evil dead, thats about it, seems like a sh*t year for films, gives me time to build up on my blu ray collection with classic movies though :) lol x

    2 years agoby @steph-xFlag

  7. Swans

    This list should be renamed to 'movies anticipated by fanboys'

    2 years agoby @swansFlag

  8. ROFLitschristian

    Catching Fire, Evil Dead, Kick-Ass 2, Desolation of Smaug, Great Gatsby, Oblivion, Monsters U, Hansel & Gretel, Star Trek, Texas Chainsaw 3D. Hopefully all of these films meet expectations!

    2 years agoby @ROFLitschristianFlag

  9. ROFLitschristian

    Out of all the sequels coming out, Hangover Part III is the most anticipated?! What bullsh*t.

    2 years agoby @ROFLitschristianFlag

  10. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    For the record, there are a good number here that don't deserve my money

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  11. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @thedude-abides I think they should puste genre in the title

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  12. aoshi

    "Man of Steel is an origin story that looks at Jor-El's struggles with his alien identity, and its one that will pit him against Zod."

    By Jor-El I assume you guys meant Kal-El?

    2 years agoby @aoshiFlag

  13. thedude-abides

    And there are 81 titles here, not 13 :P

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  14. thedude-abides

    Only God Forgives? Monuments Men? Foxcatcher? Abscam? The Malick 3? 12 Years a Slave? The Butler? Gravity? Labor Day? The Wolf of Wall Street?

    Eh. I'll stick with my list.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

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