2017 Summer Movie Preview: From Superhero Blockbusters to Hot Oscar Hopefuls

The beancounters are predicting a big-ass sag in the box-office this summer. Audiences have had it, right? They won't line up to throw their money away on the fifth iteration of Transformers (this one's called The Last Knight, out June 21st) or Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Men Tell No Tales, May 26th), or Pixar's third Cars movie (June 16th)? Not so fast. The demise of blockbuster retreads and ripoffs must still be filed under fake news; the revolt against franchise fatigue may be as slow in coming as Trump impeachment proceedings. Lousy movies wouldn't be spawning sequels if the public wasn't paying for them. And now studios have a large overseas market clamoring for same old/same old. But all is not lost ... not completely. Even in this season of the walking braindead, we've have ferreted out 21 choice surprises in live-wire escapism and real-deal Oscar heat. Here are the blockbusters and big-name, big-budget movies you need to be paying attention to this summer.