Hollywood blockbusters will come and go, but 2016 will be remembered as the year that Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his Oscar, and the year that muscle movie Mad Max: Fury Road received 10 Oscar nominations.

The dust has settled but not for long; 2017 has its noteworthy releases any cinephile should look forward to. From action flicks to animated features to sequels/prequels of DC/Marvel movie franchises, here’s the line-up for the first half of 2017.

January

Kungfu Yoga
Expected release date: Jan 26, 2017

This is an Indiana Jones-ish movie starring Jackie Chan instead of Harrison Ford. The action star plays the part of a Chinese archaeology professor who teams up with a hot Indian colleague (Amyra Dastur) to locate lost Magadha treasure. In a Tibetan ice cave, they find the remains of the royal army which had vanished together with the treasure, but are ambushed by the descendant of a rebel army leader played by Bollywood star Sonu Sood. After a series of comedic double-crosses spanning Dubai and India, Jackie Chan finally discovers the key to unlocking the treasure.

February

Fifty Shades Darker
Expected release date: February 9, 2017

Credit: bttm.co.uk

Credit: bttm.co.uk

Two years have passed since the release of this erotic romantic drama everyone swore they wouldn’t watch but secretly did. Daunted by the sadomasochistic tastes and dark secrets of the tormented Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) has broken off their relationship to start a new career with Seattle Independent Publishing House. But do they still want each other back? Of course. When Christian proposes a new arrangement, they rekindle their searing sexual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.

The Lego Batman Movie
Expected release date: February 9, 2017

Fans are already saying that this could be the best Batman movie ever made. The Dark Knight returns in black and yellow, and voiced by comedian Will Arnett (remember The Lego Movie, 2014?). This time, the brooding, heavy-metal rapping machine has to deal with “raising” the orphan (Michael Cera) he adopted and cooperating with a new police commissioner (Mariah Carey) to save Gotham City from The Joker (Zach Galifianakis). Will Batman heed his butler Alfred’s (Ralph Fiennes) words and be happy about making friends?

John Wick 2: Chapter Two
Expected release date: February 16, 2017

Keanu Reeves as John Wick. (Photo credit: Lionsgate Films via mensfitness.com)

Keanu Reeves as John Wick. (Photo credit: Lionsgate Films via mensfitness.com)

Our favourite poker-faced action hero Keanu Reeves reprises his role as legendary hitman John Wick, who is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John Wick travels to Rome, where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.

March

Logan
Expected release date: March 2, 2017

Hugh Jackman's last performance as the legendary Wolverine. (Poster credit: Fox Movies)

Hugh Jackman’s last performance as the legendary Wolverine. (Poster credit: Fox Movies)

Said to be Hugh Jackman’s last performance as the X-Men’s most enigmatic character, audiences are expecting to unravel the most visceral part of Wolverine’s life story. Directed by James Mangold, who also helmed The Wolverine (2013), fans should watch this with an open mind as fan favourite Bryan Singer isn’t part of this production. Watch the Logan trailer here.

Kong: Skull Island
Expected release date: March 9, 2017

Photo credit: cinemablend.com

Photo credit: cinemablend.com

Legendary and Warner Bros’ latest monster flick has a powerful cast to match its titular beast of epic proportions. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Riley, Kong: Skull Island promises to be an insight into the never before told story of How Kong Became King.

Beauty and The Beast
Expected release date: March 16, 2017

Dan Stevens as Beast and Emma Watson as Belle in this live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. (Photo credit: Disney via digitalspy.com)

Dan Stevens as Beast and Emma Watson as Belle in this live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. (Photo credit: Disney via digitalspy.com)

It’s Belle’s turn to get her story retold, after Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. If you were enchanted by Disney’s classic Beauty and The Beast (1991), you might want to find out if the moving furniture, singing teapot, hospitable candelebra and bossy clock are as adorable in live-action as they are in cartoon form.

Ghost in the Shell
Expected release date: March 30, 2017

Scarlett Johansson is the Major in the live adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. (Photo credit: screenrant.com)

Scarlett Johansson is the Major in the live adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. (Photo credit: Paramount Pictures International via screenrant.com)

Many fans of the original Japanese manga and anime movie (1995) wet themselves when press stills revealed last year that Scarlett Johansson would play the leading role in this live-action film. The cyborg hybrid known as the Major is tasked with leading an elite team devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists.

April

The Fate of the Furious 
Expected release date: April 13, 2017

The question on everybody’s lips after Fast & Furious 7 was, would the franchise still continue after Paul Walker’s demise? Yes, and Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood, Charlize Theron, and Helen Mirren will be in it. Set against the backdrop of the shores of Cuba, the streets of New York City and the icy plains of the arctic Barents Sea, the elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Expected release date: April 27, 2017

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, and Kurt Russell continue to kick cosmic butt to the tune of Awesome Mixtape #2, as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage even as they find allies among old foes and fan-favourite classic comic characters.

May

King: Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Expected release date: May 11, 2017

The young Arthur runs the back streets of Londonium with his crew, unaware of his royal lineage until he pulls Excalibur from the stone. Instantly confronted by the sword’s magic influence, Arthur must decide how to wield his power. Throwing in his lot with the Resistance and a mysterious girl called Guinevere, he learns to face down his demons and defeat the tyrant Vortigern – his uncle and the man who murdered his parents and stole his crown.

Baywatch
Expected release date: May 11, 2017

If only all lifeguards were like Ilfenesh Hadera and Alexandra Daddario in Baywatch. (Photo credit: Paramount Pictures International via ComingSoon.net)

If only all lifeguards were like Ilfenesh Hadera and Alexandra Daddario in Baywatch. (Photo credit: Paramount Pictures International via ComingSoon.net)

Do you really need to read the synopsis to figure out what this movie is about? OK fine, here you go. Dwayne Johnson plays devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon as he butts head with a brash new recruit (Zac Efron), who has been hired to revamp the Baywatch brand name. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot, which unravels amid lots of cleavage-flashing and thigh-throbbing action. Watch the trailer here.

Pirates of the Caribbean’s Dead Men Tell No Tales
Expected release date: May 25, 2017

Poster credit: Disney

Poster credit: Disney

Our beloved Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp, who else?) is pursued by deadly ghost sailors led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), who seems bent on killing every pirate at sea – especially Jack. Watch the trailer here.

June 

Wonder Woman
Expected release date: June 1, 2017

Gal Gadot as the inimitable Wonder Woman. (Photo credit: Warner Bros via Huffingtonpost.com)

Gal Gadot as the inimitable Wonder Woman. (Photo credit: Warner Bros via Huffingtonpost.com)

The hotly anticipated standalone movie on Wonder Woman is a first for this DC character. Raised on the mythical island of Themyscira and trained by Amazonian warriors, a young woman is forced to leave her home and travel when the world at large is threatened. Known as Diana Prince to mere civilians, she fulfils a destiny long-ago bestowed on her by the gods.

The Mummy
Expected release date: June 8, 2017

Tom Cruise headlines this new cinematic version of the undying legend of The Mummy. Thought to be safely entombed deep beneath the desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) who died a wrongful death is awakened in modern-day London, bringing with her an unmatched malevolence which has fomented over millennia and terrors which defy human comprehension.

Despicable Me 3
Expected release date: June 15, 2017

Gru and Balthazar Bratt. (Picture credit: Illumination Entertainment)

Gru and Balthazar Bratt. (Picture credit: Illumination Entertainment)

The shoulder-padded, offbeat villain Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker of South Park) will join Gru, Lucy, their three adopted girls and the minions in another madcap instalment of the Despicable Me franchise. Wait, there’s more: Gru’s long-lost twin, Drew, will emerge, with Steve Carell voicing both roles. With all that sibling rivalry that’s going to happen, Drew might as well be Gru’s new foe.

Transformers: The Last Knight
Expected release date: June 22, 2017

Image credit: Paramount Pictures International

Image credit: Paramount Pictures International

Optimus Prime’s home planet Cybertron is dead and he finds out that he was responsible for killing it. He tries to bring the planet back to life, but in order to so requires an artefact which can only be found on Earth.

*Expected release dates may change at the distributor’s discretion, and are for Singapore theatres.