In 1975, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws more or less invented the summer blockbuster, captivating audiences and ushering in a seasonal moviegoing experience that’s only gotten bigger with time, give or take a pandemic.
As the summer of 2021 approaches, the idea of blockbuster season will be redefined once more. Climbing vaccination rates and theaters reopening their doors means that we can start watching movies together again—just in time for a summer tentpole season. But with this rebirth come difficult choices about how to spend your money, and when you’ll feel safe venturing out of your home to do it.
V.F. has curated which theatrical releases seem most worth venturing back out to see—one for each week of the summer, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Mark your calendars, and get ready to be welcomed back at the movies.
Friday, May 28
A Quiet Place Part II
There’s nothing to get you reacquainted with the theater experience quite like a movie about staying quiet. More than a year after its scheduled release, this sequel to A Quiet Place is finally hitting the multiplex. Real-life couple John Krasinski (who also writes and directs) and Emily Blunt reunite for a follow-up to 2018’s apocalyptic thriller about navigating a world of silence; Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck) and Noah Jupe (Honey Boy) reprise their roles as the family’s enterprising children. Plus, Cillian Murphy and Djimon Honsou join the cast as two new figures in the movie’s intimate landscape.
Other releases: Cruella (in theaters and on Disney+)
Friday, June 4
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The ever-expanding Conjuring universe gets back to basics with The Devil Made Me Do It, out simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. It’s the third installment in the franchise’s original conceit, which centers on Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, reprising their roles after 2013’s The Conjuring and 2016’s The Conjuring 2. Director James Wan departed the Conjuring universe in 2018, leaving Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorna) to create this new nightmare.