The Biggest Movies To Watch In 2020 (And Beyond)
2019 was a record-breaking year for movies. For nearly a decade, James Cameron's sci-fi adventure Avatar remained at the top of the all-time box office chart, unchallenged by even the biggest recent Star Wars, Marvel, and Jurassic World movies. But finally, Avatar slipped into second place when Avengers Endgame claimed the title as the biggest movie of all-time.
With a worldwide box office gross of $2.29 billion, Endgame ensured Disney's hugely successful year in 2019. But the studio's fortunes didn't stop there--from Captain Marvel and Toy Story 4 to The Lion King and Frozen II, no other studio could come close. Nevertheless, there were successful and hugely acclaimed movies elsewhere. DC's Joker became the biggest R-rated movie of all time, while films as varied as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Us, Parasite, Uncut Gems, and Midsommar proved that ambitious and original movies still have a place amongst the blockbusters and franchise movies.
Heading into 2020, it looked as though this year would be every bit as exciting. While the first superhero out of the gate--DC's Birds of Prey--was a box office disappointment, movies such as Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, and The Eternals looked liked to be major hits. Bond was set to return in No Time To Die, Top Gun was getting a long-awaited sequel, and new films in long-running franchises such as Ghostbusters and Fast & Furious were all ready to be part of a busy summer release schedule.
But of course, a lot has changed since the start of the year. The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has caused major disruption across Hollywood, with movies getting postponed and delayed on what feels like a daily basis. As a result, many of the films that were scheduled for the next few months won't appear until later in 2020, while some won't arrive until 2021. In addition, you can expect to see some skip theaters altogether and head straight to streaming.
Many of the delayed movies have now got a confirmed rescheduled release date, and there were several films that were set for release towards the end of the year that might still arrive on their initials dates. So here's our all the upcoming movies set for release in 2020 and beyond...
The Croods: A New Age
Release date: November 25
The prehistoric animated comedy The Croods was released back in 2013, while the spin-off show Dawn of the Croods hit Netflix in 2015. The movie sequel finally arrives later this year. Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, and Catherine Keener reprise their roles from the first film, with Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) joining the cast. The first film grossed more than $587 million worldwide and was nominated for an Oscar, and with creators Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders back for the sequel, there’s even to expect it will be just as popular.
The Midnight Sky
Release date: December 2
George Clooney’s last movie as director, the satire Suburbicon, was panned by critics, but hopefully, his next film will be a return to form. It's a post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama made for Netflix, based on Lily Brooks-Dalton's acclaimed novel, in which a scientist attempts to stop a space mission from returning to earth after the outbreak of a mysterious global catastrophe that has silenced the world’s airwaves. Clooney takes the lead role, and the cast also includes Felicity Jones, Kyle Chandler, David Oyelowo, and Demián Bichir.
Release date: December 4
David Fincher (Seven, The Social Network) has been involved with Netflix for years, having made shows such as House of Cards, Mindhunter, and Love, Death + Robots. The black-and-white period drama Mank is his first movie for the streaming giant. It's set in Hollywood in the 1930s and focuses on the real-life figure Herman J. Mankiewicz, the co-writer of the classic movie Citizen Kane, and charts both his own struggles and those with Kane director Orson Welles. Mank stars Gary Oldman as Mankiewicz, and the cast also includes Amanda Seyfried, Charles Dance, Tom Burke, and Lily Collins. A new Fincher movie is always an exciting prospect, making Mank an absolute must-see this December.
Coming 2 America
Release date: December 18
While sequels to Eddie Murphy's '80s 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop were made a long time ago, it's taken over 30 years to get a follow up to his 1988 favorite Coming To America. But with any luck, Coming 2 America will be worth the wait. Murphy returns as Akeem Joffer, the prince of Zamunda, who is about to be crowned king of his nation. But when he discovers that he has an American son that he was unaware of, he heads back to the US to meet his now-adult offspring. The movie also reunites Arsenio Hall as Akeem's best friend Semmi and James Earl Jones as his father, with comedian Jermaine Fowler playing Akeem's son Lavelle. It's helmed by Craig Brewer, who also directed Murphy in last year's acclaimed Netflix movie Dolemite is the Name. It'll hit Amazon Prime in December.
Wonder Woman 1984
Release date: December 25
The first Wonder Woman movie was funny, exciting, and at the time, a very welcome relief from darker DC Universe releases such as Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The sequel looks set to be even better, with Gal Gadot back as Diana Prince and Patty Jenkins directing once more. As the title suggests, this movie takes Wonder Woman to the mid-'80s where she and back-from-the-dead Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) will face two iconic DC villains--Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig).
Release date: December 25
Soul is Pixar's second movie of 2020, and will debut on Disney+ on Christmas Day. It focuses on a jazz musician named Joe who, after an accident, finds that his body and soul have been separated. His soul is transported to a spectral training center where souls are developed before being placed into newborn babies, and he must find a way to return to Earth and be reunited with his own body. It's definitely got a weird plot, but from Up to Coco, some of Pixar's best movies have had stories that seem very strange on paper. Soul's voice cast includes Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, while writer/director Pete Docter has made a string of classic for the studio, including Monsters Inc, Up, and Inside Out.
Release date: December 30
Monster Hunter is the latest video game adaptation and collaboration between director Paul WS Anderson and star Milla Jovovich, following no fewer than six Resident Evil movies. It follows a group of human soldiers, led by Jovovich, who are transported to an alien world populated by monsters. Thai martial arts star Tony Jaa plays a monster-hunting warrior they team up with, and the movie also stars Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman and rapper-turned-actor T.I. Harris.
Release date: January 15, 2021
The long-running video game series Mortal Kombat is getting a new movie reboot, and it arrives in January. The film will feature a number of characters familiar to fans of the game, including Liu Kang, Mileena, Jax, Sub-Zero, and Raiden, and will reportedly deliver R-rated fighting, as opposed to the PG-13 violence of the two previous '90s movies. Hopefully, it retains some of the silliness of those films, though. It's produced by Aquaman director James Wan and directed by Australian commercials director Simon McQuaid.
Release date: January 22, 2021
This sci-fi thriller has had something of a troubled history--it started shooting back in 2017 ahead of a 2019 release, but extensive delays and reshoots has meant that it's taken nearly four years to reach the screen. It features Spider-Man star Tom Holland as a survivor in a dangerous futuristic world where people can hear each other's thoughts, and the cast also features Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, and Demián Bichir. While the credited director is Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow), Don't Breathe director Fede Álvarez helmed the reshoots. Let's face it, delayed movies with multiple directors don't always turn out that well, but Patrick Ness's original novel was highly acclaimed, so let's hope it was worth the wait.
Release date: February 19, 2021
Guillermo Del Toro's next directorial effort, Nightmare Alley, isn't expected until 2021.As a producer, though, his name continues to be attached to a variety of films. Hot on the heels of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, we have Antlers. It's a spooky tale of a young boy and something scary that lives in the woods that's been picking off the locals. Antlers stars Keri Russell (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) and Jesse Plemons (El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story), and is directed by Scott Cooper.
The King's Man
Release date: February 26, 2021
The King's Man might be the third movie in the Kingsman series, but it's actually a prequel set decades before the first two films. It explores the origins of the franchise's secretive spy organization and stars Harris Dickinson as a young agent who is recruited to take part in a series of dangerous adventures. The film has an impressive cast list that also includes Repl Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Daniel Bruhl, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and like the previous films, it's directed by Matthew Vaughn, so expect a similar mix of intrigue, comedy, and outlandish action.
Release date: March 5, 2021
With 2016's female-led Ghostbusters reboot disappointing at the box office, the latest movie in the supernatural comedy series is a sequel to the original '80s movies. The film takes the action from New York to rural Oklahoma, where the grandkids of one of the original team encounter something weird happening in their town and discover their link to the those first ghostbusting legends. The new cast includes Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), and there will be appearances from many of the original cast, including Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver. The first trailer gives off strong Stranger Things vibe, and director Jason Reitman will hopefully deliver some of the magic that his dad Ivan brought to the classic first movie.
The Many Saints of Newark
Release date: March 12 2021
It's been 13 years since the final episode of the groundbreaking gangster drama The Sopranos, but this highly-anticipated prequel movie is on the way. The Many Saints of Newark is co-written by creator David Chase and directed by series veteran Alan Taylor. It's set in the 1960s during the Newark race riots and focuses on Giovanni "Johnny Boy" Soprano, played by Jon Bernthal. The cast also includes Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, and Ray Liotta, plus Michael Gandolfini, who will play the young version of Tony Soprano, the role made famous by his late father James.
Release date: March 19, 2021
Spider-Man might be staying with the MCU for the time being, but that doesn't mean that Sony's universe of characters from Spidey comics is waiting for him to join them. Morbius follows the hugely successful Venom and focuses on the "living vampire" of the title. Jared Leto takes on the lead role as scientist Michael Morbius, who is given vampiric superpowers after an experiment to cure a blood disease goes wrong. The original Morbius comics had a dark horror edge, and while there's no word yet if Morbius will have a PG-13 or an R rating, director Daniel Espinosa previously showed his genre skills with the sci-fi horror Life.
No Time To Die
Release date: April 2, 2021
No Time To Die is the 25th movie in the long-running James Bond series. Daniel Craig returns as the iconic British super spy for the fifth (and probably final) time, and now he's facing off against a mysterious villain named Safin, played by Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek. There are a few characters returning from previous films, including Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) and iconic criminal mastermind Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) from 2015's Spectre, and director Cary Joji Fukunaga has proved himself to be a stylish and exciting filmmaker with shows and movies such as Maniac, True Detective Season 1, and Beasts of No Nation. The Bond series might be nearly 60 years old, but it seems it's not ready to die quite yet.
A Quiet Place: Part II
Release date: April 23, 2021
With A Quiet Place, The Office and Jack Ryan star John Krasinski proved that he wasn't just a talented actor--he also had serious chops as a filmmaker too. The movie was a tense, terrifying, and moving experience that transcended its gimmicky setup (make a sound and a monster will get you), and grossed more than $340 million worldwide. Krasinski also directs the sequel, which stars Emily Blunt once more, alongside Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou. Krasinski previously hinted that the sequel will expand the setting of the movie, stating, "[It] isn't just a character to remake or a group of characters or a story. It's actually a world, which is a whole different, very unique experience."
Last Night in Soho
Release date: April 23, 2021
The zombie comedy classic Shaun of the Dead proved that director Edgar Wright is a huge horror fan, and with Last Night in Soho, he'll get the chance to show if he can make scary as well as funny. It's a ‘60s-set London-based psychological horror that reportedly takes influence from British classics such as Don't Look Now and Peeping Tom.The movie stars Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit), Anya Taylor-Joy (The WItch), and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) alongside veteran British stars Diana Rigg and Terence Stamp. It was set to be released in September, but has since been pushed back to April next year.
Release date: May 7, 2021
She might have reached an unpleasant end in Avengers: Endgame, but Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff is back to headline her own movie. Black Widow is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War and sees Natasha return to Russia to sort out "unfinished business" involving the Red Room, the training program that produced Black Widow agents. Florence Pugh (Midsommar) plays Yelena Belova, another Black Widow, David Harbour is retired Soviet superhero Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz plays Melina Vostokoff, a former agent also known as Iron Maiden in Marvel's comic books. The first trailer doesn't give too much away plot-wise, but it looks like an exciting mix of Bourne-style action and more traditional MCU thrills.
Godzilla vs Kong
Release date: May 21, 2021
Last year's Godzilla: King of the Monsters might not have been as big a hit as 2014's Godzilla, but a third appearance from the iconic movie monster is due later this year. As the title suggests, this one will see Big G face off against the legendary giant ape King Kong for what promises to be an earth-shaking slugfest. Godzilla vs. Kong is directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest, Death Note) and stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Brian Tyree Henry.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
Release date: May 21, 2021
The Saw series is one of the most successful horror franchises of all time, and the ninth movie is on the way. The awkwardly-titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw stars Chris Rock as a cop who gets pulled into a strange murder case, which seems to have links to the activities of the notorious (and very dead) trap-setting maniac Jigsaw. The movie also stars Samuel L. Jackson, and it's directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who previously helmed Saw 2, 3, and 4. Despite the title and weird, arty poster, the recent first trailer suggests that it'll be gory business as usual.
Fast & Furious 9
Release date: May 28, 2021
2019's Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw gave Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham their own movie, but next April, we return to the main series. All the old gang are back (minus Dwayne and Jason), so that's Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, and Ludacris. Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron will also reprise their roles from The Fate of the Furious (as Deckard Shaw's mom Magdalene and evil cyberterrorist Cipher respectively), and John Cena is among the new additions to the cast. This will be Justin Lin's fifth time helming an entry in the series, and by now fans will know what exactly what to expect. So buckle up for more insane, impossible car action and multiple uses of the word "family."
Release date: June 18, 2021
The release of Pixar's next movie, the musical fantasy Soul, might have been delayed to November this year, but that hasn't stopped the studio from announcing its subsequent film. Luca arrives in June 2021, and will be set on the Italian Riviera. We don't have many details about it so far, but Pixar has released the first image, while director Enrico Casarosa (Incredibles 2, Up) has described it as "deeply personal films [and] a celebration of friendship."
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Release date: June 25 2021
The follow-up to 2018's Spider-Man spin-off Venom sees Tom Hardy reprise his role as reporter Eddie Brock, who is host to the titular alien symbiote, while Woody Harrelson will play the character of Cletus Kasady, who has been possessed by the equally dangerous Carnage. The first movie wasn't exactly a critical hit, but it made a lot of money at the box office, so don't expect this one to change up the ridiculous formula. Andy Sirkis directs, taking over Ruben Fleischer.
Top Gun: Maverick
Release date: July 2, 2021
Top Gun was the most successful movie of 1986 and now stands as one of the decade's most-loved films. So it's surprising it's taken over 30 years for the sequel to arrive, but with Tom Cruise as big of a star now as he's ever been, there's no reason to think Top Gun: Maverick won't match the original's success. Cruise is back as hotshot fighter pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and the cast also includes Westworld's Ed Harris as a tough admiral, Miles Teller (Whiplash) as the son of the Maverick's late pal Goose, and Val Kilmer, who will reprise his role as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky. Time to get back into the Danger Zone.
Minions: The Rise of Gru
Release date: July 2, 2021
The 2015 Despicable Me spin-off Minions proved to be even more successful than any of the main films, so inevitably a sequel is on the way. Minions: The Rise of Gru is set in the '70s and focuses on Steve Carell's Gru, who is a young boy dreaming of becoming a feared supervillain. In order to prove his villainy, he steals a valuable stone from the evil group Vicious 6 and finds himself on the run. Luckily, those iconic yellow Minions are on hand to help him out. The voice cast is almost certainly the most eclectic of the year--it includes Taraji P. Henson, Julie Andrews, Danny Trejo, and Jean-Claude Van Damme--and the huge the popularity of the Minions should make this another smash.
The Forever Purge
Release date: July 9, 2021
In just seven years, the Purge series has produced four movies and two seasons of a spin-off TV show, and a fifth film is on the way. Creator James DeMonaco previously stated that this would be the last one, but given 2018's prequel The First Purge was the most successful one so far, it's hard to believe producers Blumhouse will stop here. But either way, The Forever Purge will pick up where 2016's Election Year left off, with director Everardo Gout (Luke Cage, Banshee) making his feature debut.
Release date: July 30, 2021
While many big movies have been turned into theme park rides over the years, the opposite is sometimes true as well. Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride became a hugely popular five-film franchise, and the studio will be hoping for the same for Jungle Cruise. The river boat attraction has been turned into a big-budget adventure comedy starring Dwayne Johnson as a riverboat captain who specialises in cruises down a dangerous jungle river in the 1930s. Emily Blunt plays an adventurer in search of a mystical tree with healing properties and hires the reluctant Johnson to take her on the dangerous mission downriver to find it. Expect lots of laughs and Indiana Jones-influenced action.
Release date: August 7, 2021
As well as directing the hit movies Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele has kept busy by writing and producing a slate of other genre TV shows and movies. He's co-written this new version of the terrifying '90s horror classic Candyman, which is based on the story by Clive Barker. It's described as a "spiritual sequel," and while there has been a bit of confusion about who will play the vengeful ghostly former slave of the title, it has been reported that it will in fact be original star Tony Todd. The cast also includes Aquaman's Yahya Abdul Mateen II, and it's directed by rising director Nia DaCosta (Little Woods, Top Boy).
Release date: October 15, 2021
The huge success of 2018's Halloween reboot/sequel proved there's still life in the long-running slasher series. Director David Gordon Green has shot the next two movies back-to-back, and the first will be with us in October. Original star Jamie Lee Curtis is back to fight her masked nemesis Michael Myers on the streets of Haddonfield once more, and series co-creator John Carpenter will provide another iconic score. The third movie, the almost-certainly inaccurately titled Halloween Ends, is due in 2021.
Release date: October 21, 2021
Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel is getting an epic new movie adaptation from Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve. Dune was previously adapted by David Lynch in the '80s and as a TV mini-series in the early 2000s, but both versions were very flawed, and Villeneuve's undeniable vision as a sci-fi filmmaker--plus the amazing cast he's assembled--promises great things from this saga of warring galactic families and giant spice-worms. Timothy Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides, with Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Harkonen, Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, and Dave Bautista as "Beast" Rabban.
Release date: October 22, 2021
The decades-old GI Joe toy line produced two moderately successful live-action movies in 2009 and 2013, and the franchise is set to reboot this year. Snake Eyes will focus on the popular character of the title, the enigmatic, highly-skilled commando who will be played by Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians, The Gentlemen). The cast also includes Samara Weaving as Scarlett and Idonisiean martial arts star Iko Uwais as Hard Master, and it's directed by Robert Schwentke, who previously helmed both movies in the Divergent series. Expect lots of action.
Release date: November 5, 2021
While Black Widow kicks off Marvel Phase 4, that's still a film about a familiar and popular character. The Eternals presents an all-new cast and a team who are not nearly as well known as The Avengers. But that was equally true for Guardians of the Galaxy, and it didn't long for Star-Lord and his crew to become household names and expect this film to deliver the usual Marvel magic on a spectcaular cosmic scale. The Eternals stars Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, and Salma Hayek as part of an immortal alien race who must protect mankind from the evil Deviants.
West Side Story
Release date: December 10, 2021
West Side Story is one of most famous and best-loved musicals of all-time, so it takes a director of Steven Spielberg's stature to tackle a new version. Reportedly, this new movie is closer to the 1957 Broadway original than the first movie version, which was made in 1961. It's a reworking of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and focuses on the romance between Tony and Maria, two teenagers in '50s New York who are affiliated with rival street gangs. Baby Driver's Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler take on the lead roles, while Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her role of Anita in the first screen version, will also appear. Amazingly, this is Spielberg's first musical, but it's a good bet that he knows what he's doing.
Zack Snyder's Justice League
Release date: 2021
Despite the persistence of many fans, it looked unlikely that we'd ever see Zack Snyder's original vision for the troubled DC movie Justice League. Snyder was famously replaced during the making of the film by Joss Whedon following a family tragedy, and the end result was not exactly warmly received by fans or critics. But in 2021, the Snyder cut of Justice League will premiere on HBO Max. Admittedly, this won't be what we would've seen in 2017 had Snyder stayed on board--it was revealed at last month's DC FanDome that the new version will be four hours long and divided into four parts. But for those who felt that the legendary superhero team were ill-served by what was originally released, anticipation is sky-high.
The Woman in the Window
Release date: 2021
This delayed adaptation of Daniel Mallory's best-selling novel has had a few behind-the-scenes problems, including reshoots after reported negative test screenings and controversy about Mallory himself, and it's now set to hit Netflix at some point. It's got an A-list cast (Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Julianne Moore), a high-profile director (Atonement's Joe Wright), and the book was the first debut novel in more than a decade to enter the New York Times' Best Seller List at No.1. It's a Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who starts to investigate the disappearance of a friend.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Release date: 2021
That much-loved undersea hero SpongeBob Squarepants is set to make his return in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. It's the first SpongeBob movie in five years, and focuses on SpongeBob and Patrick's quest to find Gary the Snail, who has gone missing. All the regular voice cast are back, including Tom Kenny as SpongeBob, Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick, Rodger Bumpass as Squidward, and Clancy Brown as Eugene H. Krabs. Oh, and Keanu Reeves is in there too, playing a sage made of sage called Sage. The movie will now skip theaters and hit CBS All-Access in early 2021.
The French Dispatch
Release date: TBD
Wes Anderson's idiosyncratic and stylish comedies have won him a dedicated fanbase, and his latest movie looks every bit as stylish and funny as the likes of The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel. The title of the film refers to an American magazine operating out of a French city during the mid-20th century. Bill Murray plays the owner, and the cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson, Léa Seydoux, and many, many more. Check out the trailer here.
Shawn Levy is a producer and writer on Stranger Things, as well as the director of the successful Night at the Museum movies. His latest film is Free Guy, a sci-fi comedy set within a fictional open world game titled Free City, which is based on Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite. Ryan Reynolds plays a non-player character who becomes aware of his reality and sets about trying to become a hero character before the game is shut down. The cast also includes Killing Eve star Jodie Comer and the ubiquitous Taika Waititi, and there will be cameos from YouTube personalities such as Seán William McLoughlin, Tyler Blevins, and Imane Anys.
Death On The Nile
Release date: TBD
Kenneth Branagh can currently be seen as the main villain in Christoper Nolan's Tenet, but next month he will return to a more heroic role--Agatha Christie's iconic detective Hercule Poirot. Death on the Nile follows 2018's Murder on the Orient Express, and is directed by Branagh once more. Like its predecessor, this one has a star-studded cast that includes Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, and Sophie Okonedo. The first movie made more than $350 million at the worldwide box office, and despite the obviously unpredictable nature of film releases right now, this could become one of the fall's big hits.