Let the box office race begin! Jump-starting the summer movie season's official start date of May 6, "Fast Five" opened huge this past weekend, grossing $83.6 million at the U.S. box office.
Marking the biggest April opening of all time, "Fast Five" was supposed to open in June, but Universal took a chance and pushed "Five" up when "Super 8" was slotted for the same release date.
"It all came together brilliantly. This is such a big deal, considering how depressed business has been," Universal President of Domestic Distribution Nikki Rocco told the Hollywood Reporter. "We made a number of strategic decisions along the way about what this movie was going to be. And then you had this brilliant marketing campaign which told people this wasn't just another sequel."
"Thor," which opens in the U.S. May 6, also made the record books, grossing $83 million internationally since premiering in 56 markets last weekend.
2011 Summer Movie Guide
'Thor' (May 6)
Who: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard; directed by Kenneth Branagh What: "Thor," the latest Marvel comic book adaptation follows the powerful but arrogant warrior Thor (Hemsworth), who is stripped of his superpowers and cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard to live on Earth. Once there, he warms up to his new environs and soon becomes the humans' defender when angry gods come calling.
'Bridesmaids' (May 13)
Who: Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey; directed by Paul Feig What: A comedy centered on two women (Wiig and Byrne) battling to plan their friend's wedding party.
'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' (May 20)
Who: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane; directed by Rob Marshall What: Capt. Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive Fountain of Youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it, too.
'The Hangover Part II' (May 27)
Who: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, ZZach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Liam Neeson; directed by Todd Phillips What: Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug travel to Bangkok for Stu's wedding. And in what manner of mayhem will they find themselves in this time?
'Kung Fu Panda 2' (May 26)
Who: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Jackie Chan, Gary Oldman, Dustin Hoffman; directed by Jennifer Yuh What: Po (Black) joins forces with a group of new kung-fu masters to take on an old enemy with a deadly new weapon.
'X-Men: First Class' (June 3)
Who: James McAvoy, January Jones, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence; directed by Matthew Vaughn What: Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr were archenemies and took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-Men.
'Super 8' (June 10)
Who: Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Joel Courtney, Ron Eldard; directed by J.J. Abrams What: In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. It's something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.
'Bad Teacher' (June 17)
Who: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel, Phyllis Smith, Lucy Punch; directed by Jake Kasdan What: A comedy centered around a foul-mouthed, junior high teacher (Diaz) who, after being dumped by her sugar daddy, begins to woo a colleague (Timberlake) — a move that pits her against a well-loved teacher (Punch).
'Green Lantern' (June 17)
Who: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong; directed by Martin Campbell What: A test pilot is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers — and membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe.
'Cars 2' (June 24)
Who: Owen Wilson, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Michael Keaton, Jason Isaacs, Bonnie Hunt; directed by John Lasseter and Brad Lewis What: Racing star Lightning McQueen (Wilson) teams up with his best friend Mater for an international adventure as they go up against the world's fastest cars.
'Larry Crowne' (July 1)
Who: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Bryan Cranston, Wilmer Valderrama; directed by Tom Hanks What: After losing his job, a middle-aged man reinvents himself by going back to college.
'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' (July 1)
Who: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Hugo Weaving, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey; directed by Michael Bay What: The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets, which could turn the tide in the Transformers' final battle.
'Horrible Bosses' (July 8)
Who: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Colin Farrell; directed by Seth Gordon What: Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.
'Zookeeper' (July 8)
Who: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson, Ken Jeong; directed by Frank Coraci What: The animals at one particular zoo decide to break their code of silence in order to help their lovable zookeeper gain the attention of one particular woman.
'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II' (July 15)
Who: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes; directed by David Yates What: The end begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione go back to Hogwarts to find and destroy Voldemorts final Horcruxes, but when Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.
'Captain America: The First Avenger' (July 22)
Who: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell; directed by Joe Johnston What: After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals.
'Friends with Benefits' (July 22)
Who: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis; directed by Will Gluck What: The relationship between two friends gets complicated when they decide to get romantic. Wait, didn't they make this already with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher?
'Cowboys and Aliens' (July 29)
Who: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde; directed by Jon Favreau What: It's 1873 and roughneck cowboys rule the Wild West. But when a spaceship arrives to take over the Earth, a small posse must band together to defeat the aliens. Oh yeah, this is gonna be goooood.
'The Smurfs' (August 5)
Who: Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Hank Azaria, with the Smurf vocal talent: Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, George Lopez, Paul Reubens; directed by Raja Gosnell What: When the evil wizard Gargamel (Azaria) chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours — in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Uh-oh!
'Conan the Barbarian' (August 19)
Who: Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan; directed by Marcus Nispel What: A remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger cult classic, the film chronicles the tale of Conan the Cimmerian and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria. He is on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village. What else?