Summer movie season began in earnest Friday with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the only new major-studio movie opening in theaters. Savor this relatively quiet moment, because the coming weeks will be crowded with two, three, four and even five nationwide releases.
The summer’s overall lineup is more varied than you might expect. Superheroes abound, of course, but some come with a twist: Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” appear to be offering laughs as well as action.
There also are musical movies (“Jersey Boys,” the James Brown biopic “Get on Up”), food movies (“Chef,” “The Hundred-Foot Journey”) and even two Westerns – one a comedy from Seth MacFarlane, the other a drama starring Natalie Portman. Action fare ranges from “The Expendables 3” to the Scarlett Johansson vehicle “Lucy.” And almost one year to the day after the premiere of his Oscar-winning “Blue Jasmine,” Woody Allen returns with a new film, “Magic in the Moonlight.”
If nothing in the next few months strikes your fancy, you may not be looking hard enough. Here are 40 of this summer’s biggest movies:
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2: Andrew Garfield returns as the web-slinger, this time battling Electro (Jamie Foxx). Dane DeHaan, of “Kill Your Darlings,” plays Spidey’s frenemy Harry Osborn; Emma Stone returns as Gwen Stacy.
CHEF: A prominent Los Angeles chef (writer-director Jon Favreau) quits his job and hits the road in a food truck. With Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr.
LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN: An animated musical based on books by Roger Stanton Baum, the great-grandson of “Oz” creator L. Frank Baum. Featuring the voices of Lea Michele as Dorothy, Dan Aykroyd as the Scarecrow, Jim Belushi as the Cowardly Lion and Kelsey Grammer as the Tin Man.
NEIGHBORS: Two new parents (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) clash with a houseful of rowdy frat brothers. Zac Efron plays the Big Man on Campus. Directed by Nicholas Stoller (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”).
GODZILLA: The nuclear-spawned monster that punished postwar Japan is coming to America (again). With Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen.
MILLION DOLLAR ARM: A sports agent (Jon Hamm) searches India for baseball’s next great pitcher. With Suraj Sharma (“Life of Pi”) and Madhur Mittal (“Slumdog Millionaire”).
BLENDED: Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (“The Wedding Singer,” “50 First Dates”) play singles with children who reluctantly spend a vacation together.
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST: The mutant super heroes will battle foes, travel through time and acquire hip, vintage outfits. Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence and Patrick Stewart return. With Peter Dinklage.
A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST: Seth MacFarlane is the writer, director, producer and star of this comedy Western about a cowardly sheep farmer. With Charlize Theron and Neil Patrick Harris.
MALEFICENT: The untold story of Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” villain. Angelina Jolie takes the title role; Elle Fanning plays Princess Aurora.
EDGE OF TOMORROW: Tom Cruise stars as a soldier trapped in a time loop of war. With Emily Blunt. Directed by Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”).
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS: Two teenagers (Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort) fall in love at a cancer support group. Based on John Green’s bestselling novel.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2: In the animated sequel to the 2010 hit, Jay Baruchel returns as Hiccup, the teenage Viking. Djimon Hounsou plays a new villain, Drago.
22 JUMP STREET: Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back as youthful undercover cops, now pretending to be college age. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (“The Lego Movie”).
JERSEY BOYS: A big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Several actors reprise their stage roles. Clint Eastwood directs.
THINK LIKE A MAN TOO: The main cast and crew of the 2012 rom-com “Think Like a Man” return for the sequel. It’s set in Las Vegas. With Michael Ealy, Megan Good and Kevin Hart.
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION: Mark Wahlberg, replacing post-fame franchise star Shia LaBeouf, plays a single father who joins the Autobot war against the Decepticons. Michael Bay directs.
DELIVER US FROM EVIL: A horror film based on the real-life cases of New York City cop Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana). Edgar Ramirez plays his partner, a priest.
EARTH TO ECHO: Three boys and a girl discover an extraterrestrial stranded on Earth. The young cast includes Teo Halm, Brian “Astro” Bradley and Ella Wahlestedt.
TAMMY: Melissa McCarthy, cowriting with husband Ben Falcone (making his directorial debut), plays a dissatisfied 30-something who takes a road trip with her profane grandmother (Susan Sarandon).
AND SO IT GOES: A cantankerous Realtor (Michael Douglas) is suddenly saddled with his 9-year-old granddaughter (Sterling Jerins). Directed by Rob Reiner.
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES: Motion-capture master Andy Serkis returns as Caesar, who has been building his simian army. Directed by Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”).
THE FLUFFY MOVIE: A documentary about the stand-up comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, whose nickname is a euphemism for his weight.
JUPITER ASCENDING: A hard-luck case named Jupiter (Mila Kunis) discovers she holds the key to the cosmos. With Channing Tatum. Written and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski (“Cloud Atlas”).
THE PURGE: ANARCHY: A sequel to last year’s horror-film hit about a dystopian America that goes a little too soft on crime. With Frank Grillo and Carmen Ejogo (“Sparkle”), but no Ethan Hawke.
HERCULES: Mere months after “The Legend of Hercules” flopped, Dwayne Johnson will play the strong man. Directed by Brett Ratner (“Rush Hour”).
MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT: Woody Allen’s latest follows an English sleuth through the Côte d’Azur of the 1920s. With Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Hamish Linklater and Marcia Gay Harden.
SEX TAPE: Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz play spouses whose private video becomes a public embarrassment. Jake Kasdan (“Bad Teacher”) directs.
GET ON UP: Chadwick Boseman, of “42,” plays the iconic soul man James Brown. With Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jill Scott. Tate Taylor (“The Help”) directs.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Marvel’s cheeky-looking new superheroes include Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Groot (Vin Diesel).
THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY: Two feuding chefs (Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal) learn to break bread together. Directed by Lasse Hallström (“The Cider House Rules”).
INTO THE STORM: A small town tries to survive an onslaught of tornadoes. Directed by Stephen Quale (“Final Destination 5”).
LUCY: Writer-director Luc Besson (“La Femme Nikita,” “The Professional”) finds his latest female action hero in Scarlett Johansson. She plays a woman who turns the tables on her captors.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: What began as a parody of four different comic books in the 1980s became a successful media and merchandising franchise through the 1990s. Time for a reboot. With Megan Fox.
THE EXPENDABLES 3: Ye olde action heroes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and the gang return for “one last ride.” With youngbloods Kellan Lutz and Ronda Rousey. Mel Gibson plays the villain.
THE GIVER: An adaptation of the Newberry-winning children’s book about a boy (Brenton Thwaites) living in a conformist world. With Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Jeff Bridges and Taylor Swift.
FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR: Comics author Miller and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez follow up their 2005 “Sin City.” Mickey Rourke and Jessica Alba return and are joined by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eva Green.
JANE GOT A GUN: A Western, with Natalie Portman as a good woman married to a bad man. Directed by Gavin O’Connor (“Warrior”).
THE LOFT: A shared apartment serves as a secret playground for five married men. Then a dead body shows up. With Karl Urban (“Star Trek”) and James Marsden (“Straw Dogs”).
ONE CHANCE: The story of Paul Potts, the amateur opera singer who won the television contest “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2007. With James Corden and Alexandra Roach.