DESPICABLE ME 2: A sequel to the popular animated film of a few years ago with Steve Carell returning as the bushy-browed, flat-headed, evil genius with a soft side. Al Pacino lends his voice to this outing. July 3.
THE LONE RANGER: Notice how previews for this movie avoid using Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” ... that was the music of the Lone Ranger back in the days of Clayton Moore. Now, Armand Hammer plays the Masked Man, and a paint-faced Johnny Depp plays his Native American kemosabe Tonto. This is by the same folks who turned the Disney ride Pirates of the Caribbean into a monster movie franchise so the Lone Ranger may ride again and again ... July 3.
GROWN UPS 2: They’re back: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, etc. Sandler’s character returns to his old hometown and old friends along with numerous unexpected troubles in this comedy sequel. July 12.
THE WOLVERINE: Hugh Jackman returns as the feral X-Man, again in a solo outing. “The Wolverine” is based loosely on the Chris Claremont-Frank Miller graphic novel that secured Wolverine’s popularity three decades ago with comic book readers. In this story, Wolverine goes to Japan where he faces enemies and changes. Note: Jackman is already signed and playing Wolverine again in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” slated to open next year. July 26.
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE: Tough making a sequel when the original movie left all of the main characters dead by its conclusion. Here, General Themistocles battles the invading ruler Xerxes. “300” was an unexpected hit ... can the sequel be a hit with none of the past stars? Aug. 2.
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS: “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” was an enjoyable movie about a teen who discovers he is the son of Greek god Poseidon, but its box office suggested that the only way to learn what happened next would be to read Rick Riordan’s series of novels. Not so fast, here comes the sequel in fewer than a handful of months from now. Here, Percy must find the mythical Golden Fleece. Aug. 7.
KICK-ASS 2: Another movie sequel based on a comic book. The first movie was a surprise hit, solid box office, even better critical reviews. Here, the costumed, high-schooler who decided to become a superhero joins with a group of other regular people inspired to dress up and fight crime, all while dealing a revenge plot from arch-nemesis the Red Mist. Aug. 16.
LOOK FOR ANOTHER SUMMER MOVIES GUIDE LATER THIS WEEK IN THE TIMES