Disney's Elsa is poised to perform an encore. Photo / AP

Walt Disney's Frozen sequel and the finale to its Star Wars trilogy will dominate the rest of the year. The industry will be looking to these major franchise releases to boost box office sales, which are lagging last year by more than 6 per cent.

The Terminator returns after the last effort to revive it flopped. The star-filled adaptation of Cats, whose trailer earlier this year polarised fans, is widely anticipated for curiosity's sake, as much as any nostalgia for the long-running musical.

Some big releases will also likely be in contention for Hollywood's top honours. Warner Bros' Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, is an origin story of the comic character as a loner rejected by society.


The R-rated tale is being glorified for Phoenix's performance and criticised for revelling in the violence of a disaffected, straight, white man who is bullied.

Netflix, again, is demonstrating how the the rise of streaming has rocked the industry. The service's biggest bet is the US$159 million gangster flick The Irishman, which unites Robert de Niro, Martin Scorsese, and Al Pacino for the first time. Its other big contender is Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, featuring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in a tale of divorce.

A remake of Little Women is stacked with some of Hollywood's hottest young actors, including Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet. Renee Zellweger received one of the longest ovations in Toronto for her role in Judy, a biopic focusing on Judy Garland's final concerts.

Reviewers have been hard on previews of The Goldfinch but the Pulitzer Prize-winning tale is bound to give cinematographer Roger Deakins a run at his second Academy Award. He will also likely be in contention for Sam Mendes' 1917, starring Colin Firth.