For people who love watching movies, 2014 was an exceptional year. Just look at this murderer’s row of instant classics: Guardians of the Galaxy, Boyhood, Selma, Under the Skin, The Babadook, The Grand Budapest Hotel. How could you not look back at last year with pure joy? Well, you could if you work in the movie business, that’s how. The numbers don’t lie—the year's overall box office intake, $10.3 billion, was down 5.2% from 2013. (Yes, earnings of over $10 million are considered disappointing in Hollywood.)
Those same insiders, though, aren’t gloomily signaling a cinematic apocalypse—they’re currently standing by with champagne bottles on ice, ready to pop an ocean’s worth of bubbly come December 31, 2015. Why? Because this new year is ridiculously stacked with no-brainer tentpole smashes. Maybe you’ve heard of a little movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or a nondescript sequel titled Avengers: Age of Ultron. Your mother, bless her smut-loving heart, will probably break out in a cold sweat if you mention Fifty Shades of Grey. And, of course, anyone with a pulse should perk up at the sight of Chris Pratt going all SAMCRO with velociraptors in that Jurassic World trailer.
Yes, it's about to rain dollar bills at every multiplex in sight. Next week, we'll show love to all of this year’s must-see independent films, but for now, it's all about the star power. These are The 30 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015 (listed chronologically), which, a year from now, should make $10 million sound like chump change.