Ryan Coogler and Lee Daniels kicked things off this summer with "Fruitvale Station" and "The Butler," both flagged as early awards contenders, while popular comedian Kevin Hart weighed in with his stand-up special "Let Me Explain."
Coming this fall: two films about South African hero Nelson Mandela ("Winnie Mandela" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"), one about slavery ("12 Years a Slave"), another about the Beltway Snipers ("Blue Caprice"), the requisite Tyler Perry film ("A Madea Christmas") and several others, including David E. Talbert's "Baggage Claim" and Kasi Lemmons' "Black Nativity."
Whether this is one-year blip or sustainable depends on how many people go to see these movies.
2. Can Summit launch a major franchise even with Orson Scott Card hellbent on destroying it? Come November, Summit will release one of the year's most anticipated movies, "Ender's Game," an adaptation of one of the most popular science-fiction books of the last half-century.
Yet the distributor has encountered an unexpected hurdle: the book's author. Orson Scott Card seems determined to alienate most of the movie's potential audience. He's taken on gays, Muslims, Democrats, Turks, Russians and pretty much anyone who isn't a conservative white American.
If audiences boycott the movie because of Card's beliefs, it will ruin Summit's plans to adapt subsequent books in the franchise. So Summit has a simple message: focus on the movie and forget about Card.
That's not easy to do when he's comparing Barack Obama to Hitler.
3. Will anything beat "The Hunger Games"? No movie set to open in the final few months of this year is more of a sure thing than "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the sequel to the 2012 hit and the second adaptation of the popular book series.