PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For moviegoers, perhaps the best way to end endless winter is to skip over spring entirely and check out the splashy summer movie season to come.
After all, if the movie industry can start its cherished and profitable summer movie season in late April – which is what is happening this year for the first time ever – then we can start anticipating it in late March.
So here goes.
What follows is the sequel-heavy lineup of high-profile summer movies and their featured stars opening on theater screens everywhere between late April and the end of August, in pretty much this order (although the schedule is always – say it with me now – subject to change).
Each gets four stars, by the way. Until it opens.
Avengers: Infinity War kicks off the warm-weather cinema season by having the title characters and their allies try to save the universe in an action-adventure fantasy with a cast that includes Chris Hemsworth, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Bradley Cooper, and Scarlett Johansson.
Life of the Party is a comedy about a woman who goes back to college that stars Melissa McCarthy under the direction of her real-life husband, Ben Falcone.
The as-yet-untitled sequel to Deadpool brings Ryan Reynolds back in a comedic, comic book-inspired action-adventure fantasy follow-up as a mercenary with special skills.
The comedy Book Club, about a group of readers inspired and influenced by “Fifty Shades of Grey,” stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, and Don Johnson.
Show Dogs is a family comedy about a police dog going undercover at a dog show that stars Stanley Tucci, Will Arnett, Alan Cumming, and Shaquille O’Neal.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is –as if you didn’t know – a science fiction fantasy that focuses on Han Solo’s early pre-Rebellion adventures with Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, with Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han.
The heist comedy Ocean’s Eight is a feminine spinoff of Ocean’s Eleven, wo-manned by Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Dakota Fanning, and Helena Bonham Carter.
The animated sequel, Incredibles 2, looks back in on the family of suburban undercover superheroes who first appeared in 2004, with a voice cast once again led by Holly Hunter and Craig T. Nelson.
Tag is an ensemble comedy about a group of friends who organize an elaborate game that takes them all over the country, with a cast that includes Jeremy Renner, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Rashida Jones, Ed Helms, and Jake Johnson.
A volcano erupts in the sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the fifth franchise installment, threatening the created dinosaurs and returning leads Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
I Feel Pretty is a psychological comedy about an insecure woman, played by Amy Schumer, who wakes up after a fall with an inflated opinion of her attractiveness and competence.
The science-fiction fantasy sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp centers around a tiny superhero, with a cast that includes returnees Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas.
In the action thriller Skyscraper, Hollywood bankable Dwayne Johnson stars as a former hostage rescue team leader now working in skyscraper security.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, the set-in-a-Greek-villa sequel to the 2008 musical comedy, Mamma Mia!, welcomes back Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, and Stellan Skarsgard.
The sixth installment in the franchise of high-tech thrillers, Mission: Impossible – Fallout features Tom Cruise and his team of skilled, resourceful agents and allies racing against time to right a mission gone wrong.
The creature feature The Predator, the third sequel to the 1987 science-fiction action thriller that originally starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, features in its cast Sterling K. Brown, Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane, Edward James Olmos, and Keegan-Michael Key.
The sequel The Equalizer 2 revisits Denzel Washington’s Robert McCall, who’s a loner often willing to come out of retirement – from who knows what — to rescue those who need rescuing.
Friends get involved in espionage after one of them discovers that her ex was a spy in the action comedy, The Spy Who Dumped Me, starring Mila Kunis, Gillian Anderson, Justin Theroux, and Kate McKinnon.
Jason Statham stars in the thriller The Meg as a rescue diver who, having narrowly escaped an attack by an enormous shark, must face his fears and save people trapped in a sunken submersible.
The Happytime Murders, a mystery-comedy about homicide among the cast of puppets on a kids’ TV show, is an R-rated film noir that mixes Muppet-like puppets and people such as Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph, and Joel McHale.
Matthew McConaughey is the headliner in the docudrama White Boy Rick, the true story of a teen who became an undercover informant for the FBI who was later arrested for drug trafficking.
Replicas is a science-fiction thriller starring Keanu Reeves as a scientist obsessed with bringing back from the dead family members who died in an auto accident.
And the science fiction thriller, Kin, the story of an ex-con and his brother being pursued by a vengeful criminal, stars James Franco, Dennis Quaid, and Zoe Kravitz.