Get ready for a summer of sci-fi

If you’re a genre fan, you don’t just look forward to the summer for the warmer weather, you also look forward to spending hot days in an air conditioned movie theater, checking out the latest blockbusters.

Where summer used to actually be a dead zone for when a movie was in second run, much like re-runs on television, today of course it’s the hottest season to release a big movie, and this upcoming season is no exception.

The first summer film that superhero fans everywhere are salivating for is The Avengers, opening on May 4. Where Joss Whedon couldn’t get his previous feature scripts off the ground before he moved on to television with Buffy, he’s now blowing up on the silver screen big time with The Avengers, as well as Cabin in the Woods, which opens April 13.

The same day Dictator hits the theaters we also get Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows on May 11. As we’ve reported on TG, the film looks good, but the music in the trailer’s all wrong, and it looks like they’re playing the classic show for more of a goof than expected.

Burton will definitely deliver something that looks great production wise, and Johnny Depp already comes across as the right choice to play vampire Barnabas Collins, but if the movie camps it up too much, there’s a real danger it could collapse like soufflé.

On May 18 comes the next big budget cliffhanger in movies, Battleship. It cost Universal $200 million, and not many people were that excited to see the Milton Bradley game sort of be turned into a movie, especially considering it looks more like Transformers than anything else.

No reviews are in yet, but if it turns out like John Carter, there could be big trouble for Universal, who turned down much more interesting projects to make this and more Fast and Furious movies.

On Memorial Day comes Men in Black 3, and it remains to be seen if anyone still cares about this franchise.

As the Hollywood Reporter writes, “It has been a decade since Men in Black II was in theaters, and box-office observers will be watching to see if the lengthy hiatus hurts. It also has been nearly four years since [Will] Smith has appeared onscreen, so MiB 3 will be a fresh test of his genuine star status.”

Another gamble this summer is Snow White and the Huntsman on June 1, the second Snow White film this year after Mirror Mirror proved not so fair after all.

One film genre fans are absolutely dying to see is Prometheus on June 8, where Ridley Scott will be revisiting the world of Alien again, although Ridley Scott and company are trying to downplay the prequel aspect of it and leave audiences surprised on opening day.

On June 22, we’ll also see if Disney/Pixar can bounce back from the disaster of John Carter with their latest animated epic, Brave, which the Reporter also mentions is “the first title in Pixar history to be built around a female heroine.”

June 22 we have Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which won’t be the only Lincoln movie out this year, but it will definitely be much different than Steven Spielberg’s biopic of the legendary president, starring Daniel Day Lewis in the lead.

It also remains to be seen if audiences will be there in droves for the reboot of Spider-Man, which comes out July 3 in 3D.

Spidey’s definitely got big competition this summer with The Dark Knight Rises, which has to be the most awaited movie of the summer, if not the year, and we’ll finally see if the third Batman will complete the Christian Bale / Chris Nolan trilogy in fine style. This is the one I’m most anxious about, and here’s hoping it delivers and has us all in the thralls of geek nirvana.

Rounding out the summer we also have The Bourne Legacy, which is Bourne again with Jeremy Renner in the lead, and Total Recall. Both are going head to head on August 3.

With a healthy helping of hype, millions of people tuned in to see the Total Recall trailer, the L.A. Times reports it got 10.8 million views in two days on the web, but it remains to be seen if that will translate into ticket sales, or if the remake of the Ah-Nold classic’s gonna deliver.

So that’s pretty much the summer in genre flicks. It will certainly be interesting to see how the blockbuster will fare now that movie attendance is coming back strong with the Hunger Games, and it will go through the roof with Batman too. We’re not only looking forward to the great cinematic fun to come, but it will also be interesting to see who will make big money, who’ll crap out at the table, and who will be a surprise with audiences and at the box office.