Unofficially, the summer movie season kicks off on May 7, when [movie id=”390378″]”Iron Man 2″[/movie] comes blasting into theaters, and it really doesn’t let up from there, with big-budget, even-bigger-explosion blockbusters unspooling week after week until the end of August (and quite possibly beyond). Somewhat more officially, however, the summer-movie soundtrack season got under way last week, with the release of AC/DC: Iron Man 2, the hit-packed package from Australia’s greatest purveyors of rock that sold more than 76,000 copies to debut at #4 on the Billboard albums chart.
So clearly, like the movies they are made to support, there’s plenty of money to be made in summer soundtracks, which is why studios climb all over themselves to release them year after year. And while there’s still a long ways to go in the season, the schedule is already shaping up quite nicely. There’s still quite a few big-ticket ’tracks that remain shrouded in secrecy (“The A-Team,” “Knight and Day,” “Salt,” etc.), but here’s what we know about some of the season’s most surefire successes.
Shrek Forever After: Music From the Motion Picture: The soundtrack hits stores (or, rather, Walmarts, in an exclusive deal) on May 18, three days before the film opens in theaters. Like previous “Shrek” soundtracks, this one features a mix of new tracks — from Weezer, who cover the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer,” much like Smash Mouth on the first “Shrek,” the Scissor Sisters and Mike Simpson (he’s one half of the Dust Brothers, in case you weren’t aware) — and time-tested favorites, like Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and the Beastie Boys’ “Sure Shot.” Oh, and Antonio Banderas performs a song too.
MacGruber: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Due on the same day as the “Shrek” soundtrack, this one rounds up the usual collection of cheese-tastic AM-radio smashes (from Michael Bolton, Gerry Rafferty, Toto and Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and couples them with tracks from the Black Keys, Wolfmother and the Hives. Much like the film, we can only assume that someone thought this would be a good idea.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Soundtrack: Due on May 25 (three days before the Jake Gyllenhaal swords-and-sandals epic swings into theaters), this soundtrack features music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, plus a brand-new Alanis Morissette ballad called “I Remain” thrown in for good measure.
Get Him to the Greek Soundtrack: The film follows the (mis)adventures of fictional, ultra-horny rocker Aldous Snow (first seen in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”), so, fittingly, the soundtrack — due June 1, three days before the film hits theaters — features a whole lot of cheeky tunes, some reportedly written by Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker. The first single, a little tune called “Bangers and Beans and Mash,” can already be heard online, and fans can re-record versions of the song themselves.
Jonah Hex Soundtrack: Little is known about the film — the trailer just premiered for the film that opens June 18 — and even less is known about the soundtrack. Mastodon were hired to do the score, and according to what guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds told New York magazine, the whole thing was a bit of a catastrophe. We’re intrigued, mostly because we love a good train wreck, especially one backed by the doomy strains of the mighty Mastodon.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack : As we first reported, the summer’s most-anticipated ’track is due June 8, but already, speculation is running rampant about just who will appear on it. Will Muse make it three-for-three? Will Adam Lambert score a spot? Or will music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas opt to go the more indie route, like she did with the soundtrack to “New Moon”? With a platinum-plus pedigree behind it, all eyes (and ears) will certainly be on the “Eclipse” album to continue the trend.
Step Up 3-D Soundtrack: It’s dancing! In 3-D! While not much is known about the soundtrack, it’s due June 20 — the movie hits in August — and our source promises it’ll be packed with some of the biggest names in hip-hop, R&B and dance.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Soundtrack: Beck! Metric! Broken Social Scene! Michael Cera Doing Whatever It Is He Does! The competition for the year’s most indie-riffic soundtrack begins and ends with the Edgar Wright-helmed “Pilgrim,” which might not burn up the charts, but will certainly land a spot in our very geeky hearts.
Make way for Tony Stark! Look out for Carrie Bradshaw! Here come Edward and Bella! The 2010 summer movie season has begun, and with it the return of familiar faces and the emergence of new ones. All week long during Summer Movie Preview Week, MTV News will be bringing you exclusive interviews, clips and photos for the most anticipated films of the coming months. Get ready to gorge on inside looks at “Eclipse,” “Iron Man 2,” “Predators,” “The Other Guys,” “Beastly,” “Robin Hood” and more.
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.