The most anticipated film sequels in the works

Eager fans are gearing up for the Star Wars, Thor and Fifty Shades sequels

Luke skywalker star wars the force awakens

Hollywood has suffered a series of box-office disappointments in 2017, but the release of several major movie sequels later this year may yet give revenues a boost - with more following in 2018.

Here are five of the most hotly anticipated film follow-ups hitting cinema screens over the next 12 months.

Thor: Ragnarok

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“So much has happened since I last saw you,” says mighty Marvel warrior Thor in the trailer for the upcoming film.

The action picks up with the Norse superhero in big trouble, locked up in a distant galaxy miles from his trusty hammer.

Although Thor (again played by Chris Hemsworth) could probably do with a rest, he is urgently needed in Asgard, where the “Ragnarok” - in norse mythology, the death of the gods and the end of the world - is about to take place.

Gizmodo reports a positive response following an early screening last week, with this third instalment of the Thor franchise described as “hilarious”, “quirky” and “fun”.

The UK release date is 27 October.

Star Wars VIII

Disney scored a major success with last year's addition to the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which grossed more than $1bn (£760m) at the global box office The studio will be hoping to repeat that feat with Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

The latest film will see the return of Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron, battling First Order baddies Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren and General Hux. The burning question for fans is, how will Luke Skywalker factor in the plot?

Out 15 December.

Pitch Perfect 3

The final instalment in the feel-good musical trilogy reunites stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow and Hailee Steinfeld.

After winning the World Acapella Championships, the Barden Bellas have gone their separate ways and are struggling to find jobs. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas tour, the geeky group jump at the chance to make music together, along with some questionable decisions, one last time.

Out 22 December.

Fifty Shades Freed

The erotic fun and games continue in the final instalment of the Fifty Shades trilogy, based on E.L. James’ bestselling novels.

The trailer shows Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) getting married and heading off on their private jet for a characteristically kinky honeymoon in Europe. But things take a sinister turn when Anastasia's old boss begins stalking her.

Out 9 February 2018.

Deadpool 2

The original, R-rated Deadpool film was the biggest earner yet in the X-Men franchise, with audiences going wild for Ryan Reynolds’s damaged superhero the Merc. The sequel began shooting this June, and Josh Brolin joins the cast as time-travelling cyborg Cable.

Out June 2018.

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