No longer do audiences have to wait until after Memorial Day to get their blockbuster fix at the cinema. In early May of 2012, "The Avengers" arrived to save the planet. That same month in 2013 ushered the return of Iron Man for a third installment.
Those looking to get a similar dose of superhero fun in 2014 can rest easy in the knowledge that spring welcomes the return of Captain America in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4) , Peter Parker in "The Spider-Man 2" (May 2) and everyone's favorite mutants in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (May 23).
Too comic book heavy for your taste? Fear not. Jason Bateman ups the comedy ante with "Bad Words" (Mar. 21), Russell Crowe has a close encounter of the liquid kind in "Noah" (Mar. 28), artificial intelligence arrives in Johnny Depp's "Transcendence" ( Apr. 17), Seth Rogan and Zac Efron fight for laughs in "Neighbors" (May 9) and Angelina Jolie reinterprets classic fairy tale evil in "Maleficent" (May 30).
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
"Divergent" - Based on the popular young adult series of books by Veronica Roth, "Divergent" is set in a dystopian Chicago where people are divided into groups based on their personalities and virtues. Tris (Shailene Woodley) discovers she's Divergent, doesn't fit in and must fight to survive. Kate Winslet, Theo James and Ashley Judd also star.
"Muppets Most Wanted" - Felt superstars Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Fozzie the Bear return in this follow-up to 2012's "The Muppets." This time around the gang must solve a dastardly crime pulled off by a frog who looks suspiciously like Kermit. Along for the ride are real-life actors Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and "Modern Family's" Ty Burrell.
"Bad Words" - Directed by and starring "Arrested Development's" Jason Bateman, "Bad Words" follows Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old a high school drop-out who enters a child's spelling bee through a loophole in the rules. To win, he must battle outraged parents, uptight officials and zealous 8th graders.
"Noah" - Russell Crowe revisits the Biblical tale of Noah, a simple man who is given a divine mission to save creation from the coming flood triggered by human sin. Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins are also onboard.
"Sabotage" - Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the leader of an elite DEA task force. Schwarzenegger's team executes a major drug bust only to abscond with the contraband themselves. The team believes they are safe until one by one they are methodically assassinated by an unknown entity who wants the loot.
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" - Set two years after the events of "The Avengers," Marvel reunites actor Chris Evan with his red, white and blue uniform when a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative comes under attack. Along with Scarlett Johansson's return as Black Widow, "Winter Soldier" introduces a new character from the Marvel Universe, the Falcon. Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Robert Redford and Dominic Cooper co-star.
"Draft Day" - "Ghostbusters" director Ivan Reitman helms this football movie starring Kevin Costner as the general manager of Browns and his efforts to secure the NFL's number one draft pick. Jennifer Garner also stars.
"Rio 2" - Dazzling birds Blu, Jewel and their 3 kids return for some jungle adventures in "Rio 2." In this animated sequel the family must try to fit in when they are unceremoniously transported from the titular South American city to the wilds of the Amazon. Voice artists include Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg and Jamie Foxx.
"St. Vincent de Van Nuys" - After his parents divorce, a young boy finds a mentor in his eccentric war veteran neighbor (Bill Murray).The comedy also star Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Naomi Watts and Terrence Howard.
"Transcendence" - Johnny Depp stars as a terminally ill research scientist who attempts to create true artificial intelligence. After downloading his mind his power grows exponentially. But will he use his new found form for good or evil? Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara and Cillian Murphy co-star in this sci-fi drama produced by Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight").
"Bears" - Disney's latest nature documentary chronicles a year in the life of a family of bears living along the coastal mountains of Alaska.
"A Haunted House 2" - Marlon Wayans returns with yet another parody movie in which he moves into the haunted house of a single mom (Jaime Pressly). Cedric the Entertainer cameos.
"Brick Mansions" - One of Paul Walker's final films, "Brick Mansions" follows an undercover cop in Detroit who must bring down a crime lord that has gained access to a neutron bomb.
"The Other Woman" - After finding out her boyfriend is married, Cameron Diaz inadvertently befriends his wife (Leslie Mann). The pair meet Kate Upton, also a victim of the serial cheater, and the trio then set out to enact revenge. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Taylor Kinney also star.
"Walk of Shame" - In this fish-out-water comedy, Elizabeth Banks finds herself stranded in downtown Los Angeles after a one-night stand with no phone, wallet or ID. Worse, in eight hours she has an interview for her dream job.
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" - Andrew Garfield returns as everyone's favorite web-slinger. In this follow-up to 2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man," Peter Parker faces a triple threat of villains: Electro (Jamie Foxx), The Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan).
"Chef"- With a failed restaurant behind him in Los Angeles, a chef returns to his hometown of Miami with plans to start operating a food truck. Written, directed and starring John Favreau ("Iron Man"), this comedy also stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara and Dustin Hoffman.
"Legend of Oz: Dorothy's Return" - Lea Michele ("Glee") is the voice of Dorothy in this animated family movie based on some of the later "Oz" books. Dorothy returns to the magical land only to find that Oz once again is under threat from malevolent forces. Also starring Dan Akroyd, Kelsey Grammer and John Belushi as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, respectively.
"Neighbors" - Rose Byrne and Seth Rogan play parents of a newborn baby whose idyllic existence is shattered when a fraternity house is established in the neighboring house. Zac Efron plays the alpha frat boy who the couple must battle to regain their suburban peace.
"Godzilla" - The lizard with a very bad attitude is given the reboot treatment once again. Along for the bumpy ride are Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe and Juliette Binoche.
"Million Dollar Arm" - John Hamm plays a sports agent who, in his search for the next big baseball star, travels to India and Australia to recruit cricket players in this drama based on a true story.
"Blended" - Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reunite to bring their romantic chemistry once again to the big screen. This time around they play play parents who go on a bad blind date ahead of finding themselves and their children sharing a family resort vacation together.
"X-Men: Days of Future Past" - This mega-gathering of mutants unites the entire "X-Men" universe (both past and present) when Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) must travel between time periods in order to bring order once again to the world. Along for the action are Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, Ellen Page and James McAvoy.
"A Million Ways to Die in the West" - As cowardly farmer begins to fall for a mysterious woman who arrives in town. Unfortunately for the farmer, her gun-slinging husband isn't far behind her. Seth MacFarlane wrote, directed and stars in this old west-set farce featuring Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Sarah Silverman and Neil Patrick Harris.
"Maleficent" - Angelina Jolie stars as the evil witch in this reinterpretation of the classic tale of "Sleeping Beauty." This time, the story is told from the point of view of the titular character and her attempts to rid the world of Princess Aurora's (Elle Fanning) human beauty.