Summer movie preview: From blockbusters to indies

"Iron Man 3," and Greta Gerwig in "Frances Ha."
Marvel Studios/IFC Films

(CBS News) "The Avengers" was last summer's biggest movie, taking in more than $600 million at U.S. box offices alone. So what will be THIS summer's blockbuster hit? Bill Whitaker previews the contenders:

Hollywood is playing by the numbers this summer. From "Red 2," to "The Hangover Part 3," to "Fast and Furious 6," the multiplex will be filled with sequels and remakes, and some high-stakes gambles costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times, says the movie studios are all "pushing greater amounts of money to the middle of the table and placing their bets.

"This is a gamblers' business, and they've found that when one of these hits, it goes through the roof."

Starting with this weekend's blockbuster, "Iron Man 3.".

Turan -- our guide to what Hollywood has to offer this summer movie season -- says the latest film starring Robert Downey Jr. as the Marvel Comics superhero is a darker kind of Iron Man. "This is more serious, but really well done," he said.

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Superman gets a reboot, again, in "Man of Steel" -- 75 years after he first appeared in the comics.

Hugh Jackman ("who was just miserable in 'Les Miserables'") is back with his enormous fingernails as "The Wolverine."

"[He's] played The Wolverine so often he's got it nailed," Turan said. "This is one of those Marvel characters that people enjoy watching, and I'm looking forward to it."

There's the sleight-of-hand caper "Now You See Me," about a group of illusionists with something up their sleeve.

Buddy films abound this summer: Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in "2 Guns"; Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson search for a job at Google in "The Internship"; and Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy play an odd couple of un-cool cops in "The Heat."

And those not-so-scary buddies from "Monsters Inc." are back in the prequel, "Monsters University" -- one of several animated offerings this summer.

Johnny Depp is Tonto to Armie Hammer's "The Lone Ranger," in the remake of the classic TV western. The film reportedly cost some $225 million to make.

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The young crew of the Enterprise is back. "Star Trek Into Darkness" boldly goes where 11 other "Star Trek" films have gone before.

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It's monsters versus robots in "Pacific Rim," from director Guillermo Del Toro ( the Oscar-winning "Pan's Labyrinth").

"He's really one of the great, epic filmmakers working today," said Turan. "Anything Guillermo del Toro puts his hand to is well worth seeing.

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It's the haves of the future versus the have-nots in "Elysium," with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.

New "Elysium" trailer: Matt Damon takes on the upper class

And the Z is for zombies in "World War Z," starring Brad Pitt.

Watch: New "World War Z" trailer debuts

"This Is the End" plays the apocalypse for laughs, with Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill and friends.

Greta Gerwig stars as a twenty-something struggling to define herself in Noah Baumbach's "Frances Ha." IFC Films

If it seems like summer in Hollywood is all about science fiction and superheroes and lots of action, well, there's some truth to that.

But look a little closer. There are some diamonds in among that rough stuff.

"Frances Ha," from director Noah Baumbach, is the story of a young woman (played by Greta Gerwig) trying to find her place in life.

"There's something about this film that is magical," said Turan. "It's just a real treat to watch."

N.Y. Film Festival: Noah Baumbach's whimsical "Frances Ha"

"Fruitvale Station" is based on the true story of Oscar Grant, who was shot in the back by a transit cop at an Oakland train station. It won the top prize at Sundance, for first-time director Ryan Coogler.

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Also ripped from the headlines: Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," about celebrity-crazed teenagers who steal from the homes of the stars with whom they're obsessed.

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Stars take a backseat in the documentary "Twenty Feet From Stardom," which puts the spotlight on the backup singers.

Turan says it's "fun from beginning to end. It's just a completely irresistible film."

From director Joss Whedon we get Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," made for next to nothing. He shot it in his backyard with some actor friends in modern dress.

"Avengers" director Joss Whedon: Yes, he's a geek

Finally, F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" makes it to the screen for the sixth time.

"It's a great story, but it has defeated the best efforts of moviemakers for decades," said Turan. "You know, we'll cross our fingers that this one works better."

This one's in 3-D, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Toby Maguire.

"The Great Gatsby" gets glamorous New York premiere
Watch the new "Great Gatsby" trailer here
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When told that he can't repeat the past, Jay Gatsby replies, "Why of course you can, of course you can."

Of course you can repeat the past -- Hollywood does it all the time!

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