August Movie Preview

As expected, July was a relatively lackluster month. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a big hit, but even still will fall short of some loftier expectations. At the very least, July went out with a bang, as both Lucy and Hercules led a strong weekend with solid openings. Moving into the last month of summer, we may now bear witness to something basically unheard of. August could out gross July. The crop of films looks pretty good, but August rides above all else on Guardians of the Galaxy.

August 1

Get On Up

My Thoughts: After tackling one iconic black figure already as Jackie Robinson in 42, Chadwick Boseman is at it again, this time playing James Brown. 42 found success en route to a $95 million domestic total. That seems like a very optimistic number to shoot for, as I don’t think Get on Up carries the same mainstream appeal that 42 did. Still, this will be a good choice for older and black audiences, so it should do plenty well and if the reception is good, it could have a leggy run ahead of it.

Opening Weekend: $18 million

Total Gross: $64 million

Guardians of the Galaxy

My Thoughts: Guardians of the Galaxy  will be a true test of the Marvel brand name. It doesn’t have instantly recognizable superheroes, and the cast isn’t made up of stars either (though I think Chris Pratt is on his way to stardom). That said, GOTG looks like a fun romp, and it should do a solid job of expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe and moving the overarching story forward. At the same time, it looks like a tough sell to non-comic book fans, so I’m curious to see if GOTG can connect with mainstream audiences.

Regarding the box office potential, I think the first Thor and Captain America movies are good benchmarks. Both opened around $65 million and finished in the neighborhood of $175 million. Considering this is the first time these characters are hitting the big screen, and GOTG is a bit of a hard sell, I do think $175 might be a bit on the high end. Early reviews are good and I’m hoping GOTG succeeds as much as anyone, but I’m going to keep my predictions on the conservative side.

Opening Weekend: $58 million

Total Gross: $152 million

August 8

The Hundred Foot Journey

The Hundred Foot Journey (film) poster.jpg

My Thoughts: And the award for Movie of the Month That I Can’t Find the Will to Discuss: August Edition goes to……The Hundred Foot Journey! 

Opening Weekend: $6 million

Total Gross: $20 million

Step Up All In

Step Up All In poster.jpg

My Thoughts: Gasp! What’s this? We have a tie for the Movie of the Month That I Can’t Find the Will to Discuss: August Edition award?

Opening Weekend: $9 million

Total Gross: $30 million

Into the Storm

Into the Storm 2014 film.jpg

My Thoughts: It’s usually pretty fun to see nature do its thing and wreak havoc on on buildings and landscapes and such. But something about Into the Storm just seems totally uninspired to me. I mean, the premise has been done before, but there’s just something about the trailers that have seemed utterly lifeless. There’s no character or intrigue. I think a movie like this needs to not take itself seriously and just be a fun, cheeky romp. But that’s the exact opposite vibe I get here. I don’t expect much from Into the Storm.

Opening Weekend: $17 million

Total Gross: $52 million

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TMNT2014poster.jpeg

My Thoughts: Honestly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of the hardest movies to predict. On the one hand, let’s be honest, it looks horrible. On the other hand, TMNT remains a popular brand, especially with kids, who I’m sure will turn out for this and drag along their parents for good measure. There was a fully animated version of TMNT that hit theatres in 2007 and pulled in a $54 million total. The 2014 iteration should have no trouble beating that, but I’m still iffy on its chances of breaking $100 million. Direct competition from Guardians of the Galaxy won’t help matters either.

Opening Weekend: $35 million

Total Gross: $80 million

August 15

The Giver

Official poster

My Thoughts: I don’t read much (though I’d like to), but The Giver is one of those rare books that I actually read from start to finish. No Sparknotes or anything. Did kids today still use Sparknotes? Am I dating myself there? Anyways, one of the main reasons I actually read and completed The Giver was that it’s a good book with a very interesting story. Jeff Bridges is a great casting choice to play the eponymous Giver. Aside from him and Meryl Streep (who will probably get nominated for an Oscar for her role in this because she’s Meryl Streep), the movie’s light on starpower, but it does have Taylor Swift. So that’s something. Anyway, unless the reviews are awful, I’m on board for this, but I still don’t think it will really catch on.

Opening Weekend: $15 million

Total Gross: $40 million

Sex Tape

Let's Be Cops poster.jpg

My Thoughts: After binge-watching New Girl this summer, I really like Jake Johnson, so it’s cool to see him get in a mainstream Hollywood movie that has a decent shot at being successful. The trailers are funny, but not hilarious. The concept is original and I hope the movie actually uses it well. This has been a good year for R-rated comedies and We’re The Millers found huge success as an adult comedy released this time last year. It’s extraordinarily unlikely that Let’s Be Cops reaches anywhere close to those heights, but it could be a decent-sized late summer hit.

Opening Weekend: $16 million

Total Gross: $52 million

The Expendables 3

My Thoughts: Billed as the “last ride” for this franchise, I and many others have a sneaking suspicion we’ll probably seen a fourth entry eventually. Or perhaps a gritty reboot ten years down the line. At any rate, The Expendables 3, like its predecessors before it, is mostly selling itself on the absurd number of badass actors in the movie. And…I’m fine with that. I quite enjoyed the first two and I don’t see any reason why this one will fail to deliver. The Expendables 2 did take a step back from the first in terms of box office, and especially with an unusually strong August, I expect The Expendables 3 to end up with slightly less than the second one.

Opening Weekend: $25 million

Total Gross: $70 million

August 22

When the Game Stands Tall

When the Game Stands Tall poster.jpg

My Thoughts: I almost always enjoy inspirational sports stories (except for The Blind Side; I hate that movie), even baseball ones, which is odd because I can’t watch more than ten minutes of a baseball game on TV before I can’t take anymore. But, anyway, something rubs me the wrong way about When the Game Stands Tall. Maybe it’s the silly, too-long title. Maybe it’s the premise. I’m not sure. But enough about me. I really don’t expect too much from WTGST.

Opening Weekend: $8 million

Total Gross: $26 million

If I Stay

If I Stay poster.jpg

My Thoughts: I quite like Chloe Grace Moretz and I think she’s a very talented young actress. However, I’d prefer to see her in something a bit more challenging than If I Stay, which based on the trailer looks to be a somewhat cliche, schmaltzy romantic drama. Or perhaps a dramatic romance. Either way, it doesn’t look terribly interesting, but as always with film adaptations of books, fans of the literature will come out, but I don’t think Moretz really has much pull of her own, despite her considerable talent.

Opening Weekend: $13 million

Total Gross: $40 million

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

A stylized drawing of a disembodied pair of red lips exhaling smoke, with the film title and cast written at an angle, over a background of driving rain.

My Thoughts: After finally getting around to watching the original Sin City recently, all I can say is that it was an extremely strange movie. But, I liked it. And I’m totally on board for seeing more stories featuring these characters and set in the titular Sin City. This one carries the same arresting visual flair as the first, though it might not be quite as cool this time around because we’ve seen it before. That said, if I get to see Marv fight some dudes in incredibly gory fashion, then I’ll walk away satisfied. The original Sin City opened to $29 million en route to a $74 million total. It’s been a long nine years since then and I don’t think A Dame to Kill For will match those heights, but it should do all right for itself.

Opening Weekend: $21 million

Total Gross: $55 million

August 29

As Above, So Below

As Above, So Below Poster.jpg

My Thoughts: “Hey, you know those creepy as hell catacombs below Paris? Yeah, let’s go down there! What could possibly go wrong?” So, yeah, once you get past how ill-advised the basic set-up for this movie is, there’s certainly lots of potential for it to be very creepy. And, besides, the Parisian catacombs are real, which only adds to the horror value. But, despite being real, they’re not actually haunted…probably. Anyway, this has been a pretty weak year for horror, but I’m think As Above So Below might turn that around a little.

Opening Weekend: $14 million

Total Gross: $38 million

The November Man

My Thoughts: Thanks to Goldeneye (the game more so than the movie), a huge number of people around my age will always associate Pierce Brosnan with James Bond. And vice versa. Daniel Craig has done a marvelous job as 007, but you just can’t beat the incredible nostalgia value of that classic Nintendo 64 game. Now, moving on, it’s good to see Brosnan back to playing a spy and kicking some ass. The plot pits teacher against student and throws in former Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko for good measure. The November Man should appeal to somewhat older audiences, meaning it could do solid business for itself.

Opening Weekend: $17 million

Total Gross: $58 million

August has a lot of potential, but much of it is riding on Guardians of the Galaxy. Still, there’s potential for breakout hits from a number of these other movies. Films like The Butler and The Help have done great later summer business and those same crowds could propel Get on Up past $100 million. And maybe fans of the source materials for The Giver or If I Stay will really turn out. Who knows? Time will tell. Until we meet again.

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