Stop me if you've heard this one before: A Norse god, a pirate and a Smurf go into a local theater.
In what's become a summer tradition, movies released between now and the beginning of September are predominantly sequels or based on comic books or other popular characters.
It's all an effort to create buzz and draw moviegoers to theaters. Because box office numbers are down this year, every movie studio is trying to hedge its bets.
Smaller films have to pick just the right day or go against the blockbusters. "Jumping the Broom," the family-friendly story of two very different families coming together for a wedding, will face off against "Thor" on purpose.
"We are opening on Mother's Day weekend because our research shows us this is the kind of movie sons will want to take their mothers to see," says Tracey Edmonds, "Jumping the Broom" producer.
Those two films go head-to-head at the start of the blockbuster season. Here's a look at some of the movies coming this summer.
-"Something Borrowed" (May 6)
Director: Luke Greenfield
Cast: Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski.
The 411: A talented attorney goes from helping her friend prepare for her wedding day to sleeping with the groom.
Prediction: This wedding story has something borrowed from older movies that will leave the audience blue.
-"Thor" (May 6)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman
The 411: Thor's kicked out of Asgard and must live with humans. It's here that the Norse god finds the humanity to be a hero.
Prediction: This god of thunder should strike lightning at the box office.
-"Jumping the Broom" (May 6)
Director: Salim Akil
Cast: Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, Laz Alonso
The 411: Worlds collide when two families get together in Martha's Vineyard for a wedding.
Prediction: Perfect film for Mother's Day weekend.
-"Priest" (May 13)
Director: Scott Stewart
Cast: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Lily Collins, Maggie Q
The 411: A legendary warrior priest must save his niece after she's abducted by vampires.
Prediction: Will pale under the heavy box office shadow of "Thor."
-"Bridesmaids" (May 13)
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Jon Hamm
The 411: A woman agrees to be her best friend's maid of honor and the trip down the aisle becomes an expensive and strange adventure.
Prediction: No wedding bell blues here. It opens as an alternative to the big summer action films.
-"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (May 20)
Director: Rob Marshall
Cast: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane
The 411: Captain Jack Sparrow is forced on a journey to find the fabled Fountain of Youth.
Prediction: Jack will lead his crew to the top of the box office.
-"Kung Fu Panda 2" (May 26)
Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Cast: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan
The 411: Po's dream job is disrupted by an enemy who wants to destroy kung fu.
Most Popular Stories
- American Airlines, US Airways Complete Merger
- ACA Delay Stresses Small Businesses
- Questions Remain in Jenni Rivera's Death
- Unemployed Wait as Lawmakers Debate
- General Dynamics Plans 200 New Jobs in N.M.
- Harley Issues Motorcycle Recall
- Dell Offers Undisclosed Number of Employee Buyouts
- Saab Gets Back into the Game; U.S. Auto Sales Soar
- Auto Dealer Builds Big Solar Project
- Authorities Close to Deal with JPMorgan Chase over Madoff Response