On Twitter: @JamesEppler
I'll be thankful for Lubbock's 52 first-run movie screens this summer. Between Premiere Cinemas (which opened in November), Cinemark's Movies 16 and Tinseltown USA, and the Stars and Stripes Drive-in, there should be plenty of room for the biggest releases and maybe a few indies that would otherwise get lost in the mix.
It's just a matter of whether studios will be brave enough to release small movies outside of the big markets like New York and LA.
Regardless, the "blockbuster" summer movies on the way in May look pretty promising for the most part.
Here's the rundown:
"Iron Man 3"
It's already taken in more money overseas than "The Avengers" did last year in its opening weekend. I expect an improvement over "Iron Man 2," if for no other reason than Shane Black ("Lethal Weapon," "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang") wrote and directed it.
It opens in limited release, but I'm hoping Lubbock can snag this at some point. It's the true story of a contract killer who eventually got busted after murdering 100 men. It stars Michael Shannon (so great in "Boardwalk Empire"), who will be seen in June in "Man of Steel."
"Tyler Perry Presents Peeples"
Craig Robinson ("The Office") is about to propose to his girlfriend (Kerry Washington), but first he has to meet and impress her parents. How original.
"The Great Gatsby"
This was supposed to be out at Christmas, but got moved back. That's not a good sign. But the trailers look fantastic, and I'm a fan of any Baz Luhrman movie that isn't called "Australia." It does look like a much more fun translation of Fitzgerald's classic novel than Robert Redford's dry toast version.
"Star Trek Into Darkness"
This is the movie I'm most excited to see this summer. The nine minutes we saw before "The Hobbit" in December were better than the three hour movie that followed. And with the addition of Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock") as the villain (Kahn?), this looks to be really exciting stuff.
"Fast and Furious 6"
The fifth was best movie in this series since the original. But I can't say I'm anxious for more. I feel like I've seen it all.
This animated adventure has failed to impress me in the trailers or make me at all hopeful it lives up to its title.
"The Hangover Part III"
At least it won't be a copy of the second movie, which was a copy of the first. But enough, already.
In Will Smith's continuing mission to make his kids into stars, he came up with the story for this sci-fi about a father and son and hired a screenwriter (Gary Whitta) to write it. Smith then hired M. Night Shyamalan to direct it, but the director also wrote a few drafts of Whitta's script and then went to a couple other screenwriters for their input. So much here sounds ominous.
"Now You See Me"
Here's a cool idea for a movie: a band of magicians robs banks in the middle of their shows and they give the money to the audience watching. Sure, why not?