For the movie business this autumn, there’s nowhere to go but up.
After one of the worst box-office summers in 19 years — a result of rising ticket prices, distractingly popular television shows and, let’s face it, terrible movies like “The Mummy” and “The Dark Tower” — this autumn can only be an improvement. For starters, there are at least two fail-safe hits, the superhero-ensemble film “Justice League” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” We’ll also see sequels to the crowd-pleasing comedies “Daddy’s Home,” “Bad Moms” and “Pitch Perfect.” As for Oscar possibilities, two obvious candidates are “The Post,” starring Meryl Streep as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, and a new film by Paul Thomas Anderson that doesn’t yet have a title but features Daniel Day-Lewis as a high-society fashion designer. (It’s due in theaters Dec. 25.)
Throw in James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist,” about the making of one of the worst films ever, and “The Greatest Showman,” a musical starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, and the coming months ought to start looking up. Here are 19 releases that should get moviegoers back into theaters:
'MOTHER!' (Sept. 15)
Writer-director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) isn’t saying much about the plot of his lowercase-titled psychological thriller, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, right. as a woman besieged by visitors. With Michelle Pfeiffer and Javier Bardem, left.
'KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE' (Sept. 22)
In Matthew Vaughn’s follow-up to his violent-zany espionage film “Kingsman: The Secret Service” (2014), British agent Eggsy (Taron Egerton, pictured) must join forces with his American counterparts. With Colin Firth, Halle Berry and Channing Tatum.
'THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE' (Sept. 22)
Never heard of Ninjago? Ask the nearest 6-year-old to explain this massively popular toy universe of ninjas, dragons and serpents. The animated adaptation features the voices of Dave Franco, Olivia Munn and Kumail Nanjani.
'AMERICAN MADE' (Sept. 29)
A commercial airline pilot (Tom Cruise, right) begins running shady missions for the CIA. Based on a true story. Directed by Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”).
'BLADE RUNNER 2049' (Oct. 6)
The sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi-noir, “Blade Runner,” stars Ryan Gosling, pictured, as a future Los Angeles cop who uncovers a dark secret. With original star Harrison Ford. Directed by Denis Villenueve (“Arrival”).
'THE FOREIGNER' (Oct. 13)
Jackie Chan, pictured, in a break from his usual action-comedies, teams up with director Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”) in this dramatic thriller about a grieving father seeking revenge on a terrorist. With Pierce Brosnan.
'MARSHALL' (Oct. 13)
Long before becoming the first black Supreme Court justice, a young Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman, right) defends a black chauffeur against his white employer in a Connecticut court. Directed by Reginald Hudlin.
'THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE' (Oct. 27)
The film version of David Finkel’s nonfiction book about American soldiers who return from Iraq and attempt to reconnect with family and friends. Starring Miles Teller, pictured, and Haley Bennett. Directed and written by Jason Hall (“American Sniper”).
'SUBURBICON' (Oct. 27)
In a quiet American suburb, a family man (Matt Damon, left) threatened by criminals turns to violence. It’s written by the Coen brothers and directed by George Clooney. With Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac.
'THOR: RAGNAROK' (Nov. 3)
In which the Viking god Thor (Chris Hemsworth, pictured) is imprisoned on the far side of the universe while his homeland, Asgard, hurtles toward destruction. With Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett and Mark Ruffalo. Directed by Taika Waititi (“Hunt for the Wilderpeople”).
'DADDY’S HOME 2' (Nov. 10)
Having made their peace in the 2015 comedy “Daddy’s Home,” nerdy stepfather Brad (Will Ferrell, right) and uber-cool dad Dusty (Mark Wahlberg, left) must now deal with each other’s fathers, played by John Lithgow and Mel Gibson.
'JUSTICE LEAGUE' (Nov. 17)
Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman form a superhero team to save Earth from a catastrophe. Starring Ben Affleck, center, Gal Gadot, right, and Henry Cavill. Directed by Zack Snyder (“Man of Steel”).
'COCO' (Nov. 22)
Disney-Pixar’s latest animation centers on a young Mexican musician (Anthony Gonzalez) who must enter the Land of the Dead to achieve his dreams. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”) and Adrian Molina.
'THE DISASTER ARTIST' (Dec. 8)
The story behind Tommy Wiseau’s 2005 feature “The Room,” often cited as the worst film ever made. Directed by and starring James Franco, right. With Seth Rogen, Dave Franco, left, Alison Brie and Zac Efron.
'STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI' (Dec. 15)
Episode Eight in the “Star Wars” saga features the return of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Daisy Ridley as the idealistic soldier Rey. Directed by Rian Johnson (“Looper”). Carrie Fisher, who died last December, plays Princess Leia. Pictured: Adam Driver as Kylo Ren.
'PITCH PERFECT 3' (Dec. 22)
After graduation, the a cappella Barden Bellas (led by Rebel Wilson, left, and Anna Kendrick, right) reunite for an overseas USO tour. Also starring Elizabeth Banks. Trish Sie (“Step Up: All In”) directs..
'DOWNSIZING' (Dec. 22)
As a solution to overpopulation, scientists begin shrinking people down to 5 inches tall. Starring Kristen Wiig, left, Matt Damon, right, and Christoph Waltz. Directed and co-written by Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”).
'THE POST' (Dec. 22)
Meryl Streep, pictured, plays Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks plays editor Ben Bradlee, in a drama about the leaking of the Pentagon Papers. With Alison Brie and Tracy Letts. Directed by Steven Spielberg.
'THE GREATEST SHOWMAN' (Dec. 25)
Just months after the closure of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus comes this extravagant-looking musical based on the life of P.T. Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman, center. With songs by the “La La Land” team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.