Disney

After a lackluster first-quarter box office, the studios aren’t pulling any punches this summer.

For families, that means a plethora of movie options all vying to become four-quadrant hits, from racing gastropods to super-powered alien orphans to giant robots battling 25-story-tall monsters.

Here’s a preview of some of the titles hitting theaters this summer that might appeal to family audiences, though not necessarily young children, so pay attention to the PG-13 ratings.

Related: Summer movie quotes quiz

May- “Iron Man 3” (PG-13)
Disney

Five years after the first “Iron Man” got the ball rolling on the Marvel cinematic universe, Robert Downey Jr. returns to kick off Phase 2.

Downey’s involvement alone is probably enough to guarantee another hit for Marvel.

Although the trailers look awfully grim, with “Lethal Weapon” scribe Shane Black at the helm, audiences can expect “Iron Man 3” to feature plenty of Tony Stark’s trademark humor to offset the explosive action.

Related: The irreplaceable Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man

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May - “The Great Gatsby” (PG-13)
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Australian director Baz Luhrmann (“Romeo + Juliet”) continues his quest to make the standard works of most middle school English curricula feel hip and modern with this 3-D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel set during the Roaring Twenties.

Purists might be put off by Luhrmann’s anachronistic flourishes, including a soundtrack featuring trendy artists like Beyoncé, Kanye West and Lana Del Rey. But some younger audiences could find an entirely new appreciation for American literature. The PG-13 rating comes from violence, sexual content and language.

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May- “Star Trek Into Darkness” (PG-13)
Zade Rosenthal

It’s rare these days for a film to maintain an air of secrecy the way this sequel to 2009’s “Star Trek” has so far managed.

Speculation has run rampant among fans of the series about who Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain really is.

With “Into Darkness” filmmaker J.J. Abrams recently announced as the director on the upcoming “Star Wars” sequel, even non-“Star Trek” fans have a good reason to check out the latest exploits of Captain Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew of the Starship Enterprise when this hits theaters on May 17.

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May - “Epic” (PG)
Blue Sky Studios

From Blue Sky Studios, the team behind “Ice Age” and “Rio,” comes this animated adventure that looks like a mix between “Fern Gully” and “The Secret World of Arrietty.”

“Epic” is based on a book by celebrated children’s author William Joyce, who also wrote the series that inspired last year’s DreamWorks hit “Rise of the Guardians,” and has a voice cast that includes Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson and Christoph Waltz.

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May - “Fast & Furious 6” (PG-13)
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Back in 2001, nobody could have predicted that “The Fast and the Furious” would spawn five sequels. With a seventh already in development and Vin Diesel talking about numbers 8 and 9, it seems like Universal is pretty confident in the continuing popularity of its high-octane franchise.

“Fast & Furious 6” picks up where “Fast Five” left off with Dom (Diesel) and his crew trying to clear their records once and for all. The rating is for intense sequences of violence, some sexuality and language.

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May - “After Earth” (PG-13)
Columbia Pictures

In this sci-fi adventure film from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense”), Will and Jaden Smith co-star as a father and son who crash-land on Earth 1,000 years after it’s been abandoned by mankind.

Shyamalan’s recent output, including 2010’s critically lambasted “The Last Airbender,” has been less than impressive. The combined star power and natural charisma of the two Smiths, however, could still draw a huge audience.

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May - “Now You See Me” (PG-13)
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This high-concept cat-and-mouse thriller from director Louis Leterrier (“Clash of the Titans”) has already received quite a bit of positive buzz for its unique premise, which follows a group of superstar magicians who use their performances to pull off elaborate bank heists only to give the money away to their audiences.

“Zombieland” alum Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson star alongside veterans like Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and the Incredible Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo.

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June - “Man of Steel” (PG-13)
Warner Bros.

If early reactions from test screenings are to be believed, “Man of Steel” could be the summer movie to beat this year.

The Christopher Nolan-produced film, which lands in theaters just in time to commemorate the character’s 75th anniversary, stars British actor Henry Cavill (“Immortals”) in what looks to be the epic Superman story fans have been waiting for.

What’s more, like “Iron Man” in 2008, “Man of Steel” is rumored to be the beginning of something much grander. According to recent comments by Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov, it will set the tone for future DC superhero movies. Whether or not that will include some kind of tie-in to the long-in-development “Justice League” movie is still unclear.

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June - “Monsters University” (rating pending)
Pixar

Pixar’s recent trend toward sequels and prequels has earned a bit of ire from fans. Notwithstanding, the latest animated feature from the Emeryville-based studio, a prequel to 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.” that takes place at a college for “scarers,” seems to be another winner. A rough cut of the film that played at this year’s CinemaCon won over audiences with its creativity and what many called a surprisingly gutsy message.

Especially for families with young kids, this will likely turn out to be one of this summer’s must-see movies.

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June - “World War Z” (PG-13)
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Very loosely adapted from one of the books responsible for the current zombie craze, “World War Z” pits Brad Pitt against a horde of mindless undead. No points for guessing who wins.

The bigger mystery is whether or not “World War Z,” which reportedly cost around $180 million, will turn out to be a total train wreck for Paramount after a long and highly publicized series of production problems.

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June - “White House Down” (rating pending)
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Sharing most of its key plot points with March’s “Olympus Has Fallen,” the latest film from Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day”) is the second movie this year that can be summed up as “‘Die Hard’ in the White House.”

This time, however, it’s Channing Tatum who must single-handedly save the president (Jamie Foxx) from a group of terrorists after the entire Secret Service is wiped out.

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July - “Despicable Me 2” (PG)
Universal

After “Despicable Me” became one of the highest-grossing films of 2010, it was only a matter of time before it got a sequel.

Not much is known about the plot for “Despicable Me 2,” but it’s lined up a pretty stellar cast of comedic actors, including Kristen Wiig and Ken Jeong, as well as Al Pacino as the main antagonist.

And, of course, Gru’s Minions will also make their triumphant return before starring in their own feature in 2014.

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July - “The Lone Ranger” (PG-13)
Disney

Reuniting Johnny Depp with his “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, “The Lone Ranger” could do for cowboys what “Pirates” did for, well, pirates.

Relative newcomer Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) takes on the role of the masked hero originally made popular in the 1930s radio show.

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July - “Pacific Rim” (PG-13)
Warner Bros.

Among movie geeks, few names carry as much weight as filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s.

With his latest offering, the Mexican director behind titles like “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy” has crafted a loving homage to Japanese kaiju movies.

Despite its lack of star power, “Pacific Rim” could easily turn out to be this summer’s sleeper hit.

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July - “Turbo” (rating pending)
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Ryan Reynolds lends his voice as the titular character in this underdog story about a garden snail who dreams of racing in the Indy 500.

Thanks to movies like “How to Train Your Dragon,” DreamWorks has established itself as a serious contender in the world of animation, and from the trailers, it looks like “Turbo” has the potential to be a fun sports movie for younger audiences.

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July - “R.I.P.D.” (PG-13)
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Along with Jeff Bridges as the requisite grumpy older partner, Reynolds also stars in “R.I.P.D.” – short for the Rest in Peace Department — as a recently deceased cop tasked with protecting the world of the living from ghosts.

As one might expect from the description, “R.I.P.D.” looks an awful lot like “Men in Black,” but that might not be such a bad thing.

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July - “The Wolverine” (rating pending
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Including his cameo in “X-Men: First Class,” “The Wolverine” will mark Hugh Jackman’s sixth time playing everyone’s favorite mutant antihero onscreen.

And with any luck, this one could be the best yet.

Based on the infamous 1982 comic run by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller that saw Logan travel to the Far East to do battle with a clan of ninjas, this one takes place after the events of “X-Men: The Last Stand.”

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July - “The Smurfs 2” (rating pending)
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The cast and creative team behind 2011’s “The Smurfs” returns in this family sequel based on the cartoon characters created by Belgian artist Peyo.

Fans of the first “Smurfs” film will know what to expect: lots and lots of smurfing around.

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August - “Disney’s Planes” (rating pending)
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Originally conceived as a straight-to-DVD spinoff from the “Cars” universe, “Disney’s Planes” stars comedian Dane Cook as Dusty Crophopper, a cropduster with dreams of someday flying in an aerial race despite a crippling fear of heights.

Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards also guest star, making this the closest thing to a “Top Gun” sequel audiences are likely to get.

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August - “Austenland” (PG-13)
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Adapted and directed by Jerusha Hess and produced by Stephenie Meyer of “Twilight” fame, both of whom graduated from BYU, this Sundance darling follows a woman (Keri Russell) on a quest to find her own Mr. Darcy at a Jane Austen-themed resort in England.

August - “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” (rating pending)
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The race to find the next “Twilight” sees another contender with this adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s young adult series.

Lily Collins stars as a seemingly normal girl who finds out she is descended from a line of half-angel warriors tasked with protecting humanity from demons.

Although its release is still a few months away, Constantin Films has already announced a prequel is in the works.

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Related: Summer movie quotes quiz