Summer movie season is kicking off, with Hollywood hoping for another record-breaking season at the box office.
This summer probably won't beat last year's box office, however. The lineup is missing a Pixar film and other big earning franchises of recent years such as "Avengers/Iron Man" and "Batman," says Cowen analyst Doug Creutz. There are also fewer "tentpole" films—movies with a budget of $100 million or more.
But worry not, moviegoers. There will still be a plenty of options, thanks to a greater variety of films in the lineup.
"Last year, there really wasn't a ton of way in counter-programming," Creutz says. "There's a better balance this year between tentpoles and non-tentpole films."
Here are the top 12 films of the summer from Creutz, who compiles a forecast every year, in order of release date.
—By Jaewon Kang, special to CNBC.