Well, folks, it’s been fun.
Like all good things, Summer 2013 must come to an end. And this Summer was certainly one for the books! From Iron Man 3’s Marvel-ous start of the season (easily making it the highest grossing film of the year thus far) to Man of Steel soaring above expectations to Despicable Me 2 showing being bad can be good, this Summer has been hotter than the sun, even with the a few notable bombs (The Lone Ranger, After Earth).
With the season coming to a close, August is seeming quite like the last-ditch effort month for many movie companies to release the movie that will be Summer 2013’s last hit. Seeing that 25 films are being released this month, the competition is going to be fierce.
August 2011 saw not one but two massive hits in the forms of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Help. On the other hand, August 2012 only saw one modest hit, the franchise spin-off The Bourne Legacy.
Which will it be for this year? Time will tell. In the meantime, take a look at these films coming out this August. Considering there is quite literally something for everyone this month, at the very least, August is looking to be a great closing to the Summer.
**NOTE** Due to the fact these films will be released to VOD services as well as theaters, the movies The Canyons, Europa Report, The Lifeguard and Drinking Buddies were not included on this list. Box Office Mojo has another horror film listed called Satanic, but IMDB does not seem to have any information about the film, so it is also not included on this list.
Any films standing out for you? Is there one which you flat-out refuse to see? Feel free to sound off below.
“2 Guns” (Aug 2)
When DEA Agent Robert Trench (Denzel Washington) and NCIS Officer Marcus Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) partner up to infiltrate a drug cartel, things go sour quickly — especially when it’s revealed they’re undercover, a secret both kept from the other. Now, Trench and Stigman must begrudgingly team up to find out who set them up.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: It’s no secret that both Washington and Wahlberg are known to bring in the big bucks. Teaming them up in a high-profile action film like this could certainly be the rejuvenation factor the genre needs right now, especially with several action films bombing last month (including Warner’s own Pacific Rim). Add in the fact that both Washington and Wahlberg are hits with the ladies as well, and it could turn 2 Guns into a hit.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Obscure comic book adaptations are hard sells to the general movie-going audience. R.I.P.D. was D.O.A., Red 2 is struggling to reach the black, and Jonah Hex certainly seemed, well, hexed. Action films this year have clearly indicated that star power isn’t everything, and a recognizable brand could be the difference between hit and miss. Normally word-of-mouth would boost things significantly, but, seeing that Pacific Rim received excellent word-of-mouth, but was still a dud, a lot is riding on the stars now.
“The Spectacular Now” (Aug 2, limited)
After getting dumped by his girlfriend, young budding alcoholic Sutter (Miles Teller) tries to live in the moment, but finds himself distracted by bookworm Aimee (Shailene Woodley), who is completely different than the typical girl he dates — but could very well the girl he needs.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: The Spectacular Now was a huge hit at Sundance this year, and is already getting nearly unanimous critical praise. These things usually lead to a sweeping indie success, and certainly will help it’s expansion possibilities.
ON THE OTHER HAND: While good early buzz certainly helps, it’s never a guarantee. While it assuredly will reach a very good per-theater average upon its release, it’s always a toss-up when a film like this expands. It also doesn’t help that indies don’t have a great history in August.
“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” (Aug 7)
Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is back in action, called forth to save Camp Half-Blood when the magic barrier protecting the camp is compromised. With help from his friends Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and Annabelle (Alexandra Daddario), Percy must travel to the deadly Sea of Monsters in order to obtain the one object that can save the day: the mythical Golden Fleece.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Now that Twilight is over, the only teen fantasy film that’s managed to make a splash this year is Warm Bodies, so there’s plenty of room for a new franchise to slip in and make waves. Fans of the book should be happy seeing that this appears to be a lot better an adaptation of Rick Riordan’s popular book, and, given Sea of Monsters‘ bigger action, other movie fans should be happy as well.
ON THE OTHER HAND: The first film, The Lightning Thief, was quite maligned seeing that it was a weak adaptation at best. This sort of thing damaged The Wolverine‘s box office aspects due to X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘s reputation. Not to mention the other teen fantasy film this year, Beautiful Creatures, tanked hard, making Percy Jackson‘s aspects seem a little dim.
“We’re the Millers” (Aug 7)
When small-time pot dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) is hired to smuggle in a large shipment from Mexico, he thinks of the oddest way of pulling it off: create a fake family. Hiring two-bit stripper Rose (Jennifer Anistion), loner geek Kenny (Will Poulter), and street-savvy runaway Casey (Emma Roberts), Dave struggles to keep his fake family together while running for the border…and the Mexican drug cartel he inadvertently steals from.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: While comedies in general haven’t done so well this year, non-sequel R-rated comedies have been incredibly popular, with both The Heat and Identity Thief earning well over $100 million apiece during crowded months. We’re the Millers could very well follow suit, especially with the combination of Sudeikis and Aniston (who teamed up in 2011’s hit Horrible Bosses).
ON THE OTHER HAND: Sudeikis, while a once-popular fixture on Saturday Night Live, is not exactly a household name (unless you count his voiceover work for Applebee’s), and comedies aren’t historically big in August (The Change-Up, for example). Remember: Aniston and Sudeikis also teamed up in The Bounty Hunter.
“Elysium” (Aug 9)
The year is 2154. Earth is ruined and plagued with sickness and poverty, and the very wealthy live in a large space station hovering above the planet called Elysium. When Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster) enforces heavy anti-immigration laws, keeping anyone else from coming to Elysium, factory worker Max (Matt Damon) takes on a mission that could bring equality to all.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s last film, District 9, was huge, earning a cult following and a few Oscar nominations. Blomkamp’s Elysium returns to the same political sci-fi formula that made District 9 such a hit with, especially with the theme being incredibly relevant right now. Not to mention that it’s Damon’s return to big action, and District 9‘s Sharlto Copely is the film’s bad guy.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Even though the film is getting a lot of buzz, so did Pacific Rim. Geek buzz does not always translate to box office receipts, especially when the month is this crowded with competition.
“Planes” (Aug 9)
When cropdusting plane Dusty (Dane Cook) sets his mind to joining the aerial race competition, the sky seems to be the limit. However, Dusty is (wait for it) afraid of heights. Now, with the help of his mentor Skipper (Stacy Keach), Dusty must overcome his fears to make his dreams come true.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Disney’s brand is strong, and the advertising campaign has been emphasizing its tie-in with similarly themed Cars. The film will certainly be a huge a hit with the kiddies.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Planes is not made by Pixar, so any hope that it will maintain the same quality is dead. Considering that (a) Pixar’s brand is dwindling little by little, (b) Cars 2 failed to make the Pixar standard $200 million, and (c) it was originally intended to go straight to video, Planes is certainly going to have a hard time getting off the ground.
“I Give It A Year” (Aug 9, limited)
I Give It A Year shows the trials and tribulations of marriage when high-flier Nat (Rose Byrne) and struggling writer Josh (Rafe Spall) spontaneously get married, and their friends’ reactions to it.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Quirky indie comedies often tend to do well, especially if the film has a great cast and a relatable plot. I Give It A Year has both, with the cast including Anna Faris, Minnie Driver and Simon Baker. Oh yeah, did I mention this is the directorial debut from Borat writer Dan Mazer?
ON THE OTHER HAND: There are two other higher profile indie films coming out the same day, and the market is just too small this month for multiple indie hits.
“In A World…” (Aug 9, limited)
Motivated by her legendary father (Fred Melamed), vocal coach Carol (Lake Bell, making her writing, producing, and directing debut) looks to enter the cut-throat, male-oriented world of movie trailer voice-over work.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Indie films tend to succeed the most when they’re unique, and no other film has covered such a topic, and will certainly touch moviegoers’ hearts as well as their funny bones.
ON THE OTHER HAND: With cast featuring Bell, Demitri Martin, Nick Offerman, and Ken Marino, In A World… is not star-driven, so it’s going to rely solely on audience word of mouth to succeed, seeing that it’s already getting critics on its side.
“Lovelace” (Aug 9, limited)
Lovelace tells the true tale of Linda Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried), a woman coerced into the porn industry by her husband (Peter Sarsgaard), where she was used and abused for years.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Movies about the porn industry often obtain cult status, and, with a great cast, also featuring Wes Bentley, Hank Azaria, Chris Noth, and James Franco as Hugh Hefner, Lovelace should fare no differently, and could launch Seyfried’s career to a new level.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Seyfried’s last three headliners, Red Riding Hood, Letters to Juliet, and Gone, were all tremendous flops, so it has a long way to go to become an indie darling.
“Jobs” (Aug 16)
Jobs takes on the tale of Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) from his days of a college dropout to the head of the billion-dollar company Apple Computers.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: With the passing of Steve Jobs about two years ago, a biopic on the inventor of the iPod and iPad seems timely enough, and could certainly become a cult hit at the very least.
ON THE OTHER HAND: After debuting at Sundance this year, the critical reception was lukewarm at best, causing the film’s original April release date to be delayed until now. And, well, let’s face it: though he looks like a young Jobs, Kutcher isn’t exactly box office gold.
“Kick-Ass 2” (Aug 16)
Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) are back in action when Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) builds a faction of costumed “villains”. In response, Kick-Ass forms Justice Forever, which includes Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Doctor Gravity (Donald Faison).
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: While the first film was merely a modest success, Kick-Ass 2 is boosted by goodwill from fans, excellent home video sales, and a bigger, more recognizable cast. Even though the film is being released on a crowded weekend, it could very well rise above the rest.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Violent, obscure comic adaptation Red 2 tried this same tactic, but unfortunately it didn’t work out for it. Kick-Ass 2 is R-rated, and may bring the grosses down a little, which is sad seeing that it’s already an uphill battle for this sequel.
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (Aug 16)
After Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) takes a job as a butler in the White House, he serves under some of the greatest presidents under his 30 year tenure, including John F. Kennedy (James Marsden), Ronald Regan (Alan Rickman), Richard Nixon (John Cusack), and Dwight Eisenhower (Robin Williams).
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: The Butler has all the makings of a crowd pleasing sleeper hit in the vein of The Help — great cast, great premise, and the smell of early Oscar buzz.
ON THE OTHER HAND: August is outside of Oscar season, so, regardless of how word-of-mouth falls here, The Butler is still going against three other nationwide releases, and one of them already is a biopic. It’s a tossup.
“Paranoia” (Aug 16)
When his boss, Nicholas Wyatt (Gary Oldman), hires him to spy on his old mentor Jock Goddard (Harrison Ford) for information on a new technology, young tech wizard Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) quickly finds his life in danger as these two giants go head to head with him stuck in the middle.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Paranoia, based on Joseph Finder’s corporate espionage thriller, has a great cast and promises to be one of the year’s best thriller, giving Liam Hemsworth the opportunity to become a headliner.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Liam Hemsworth is quite popular with teenage girls. Let’s be honest: when was the last time a teenage girl wanted to see a corporate espionage film?
“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” (Aug 16, limited)
When he finds out his wife (Rooney Mara) gave birth to a daughter he’s never met, Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) breaks out of prison to reunite with them.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints was the talk of Sundance, and has been selected to compete at Cannes as well. This level of good press usually translates to great box office returns.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Simply put, just because the critics are smitten with a film doesn’t mean audiences will. With a crowded indie scene, Saints may be a bit too gritty.
“Austenland” (Aug 16, limited)
Down on her luck with modern men, partially due to her obsession with Pride and Prejudice, thirtysomething Jane (Keri Russell) takes a vacation at a Jane Austen-themed amusement park in order to find her Mr. Darcy.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Austenland is directed by Jerusha Hess, wife of Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess, so she knows how to make a quirky comedy that could land some cult success.
ON THE OTHER HAND: The film received quite a lukewarm reception at Sundance, and the trailer appears dismal and unfunny — two things a romantic comedy should not be if it’s looking to succeed.
“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” (Aug 21)
When her mom (Lena Headley) is kidnapped by a demon, Clary (Lily Collins) must team up with group called the Shadowhunters and delve into an underground world where she will learn the secrets of her heritage.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series is extremely popular, and City of Bones should have no problem attracting fans of the books, especially since talks of adapting the second book, City of Ash, are already underway.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Once again, Beautiful Creatures was another adaptation of a young adult fantasy series primed for success, but, due to an over-crowded weekend, failed to find an audience. It’s possible (if not probable) the same thing will happen here.
“The World’s End” (Aug 23)
In an effort to relive their youth, Gary King (Simon Pegg) assembles his four best friends to do an epic pub crawl that ends at the notorious The World’s End tavern. However, while on the mission, they soon realize the townsfolk are acting more peculiar than normal.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: The men who brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are back! Director Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg (who wrote the script), and Nick Frost reunite for The World‘s End, the final chapter of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. Is there anything else to be said?
ON THE OTHER HAND: Well, except for the fact that, box office-wise, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz weren’t exactly huge in the US, and it would be shocking if this managed to break that cycle.
“You’re Next” (Aug 23)
When the Davison family comes under attack during a weekend getaway, the masked attackers soon realize one of the Davisons has a lethal penchant for fighting back.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Original horror films have done quite well in 2013, and You’re Next, another micro-budgeted non-sequel horror film, is poised to make a killing.
ON THE OTHER HAND: The previews make it look a lot like June’s horror success The Purge, so audiences may reject it, even though the early reviews are positive.
“Closed Circuit” (Aug 28)
Two lawyers, Claudia (Rebecca Hall) and Martin (Eric Bana), join the defense team of an international terrorist, only to find themselves under intense scrutiny and possibly in danger upon joining.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: While the market is certainly crowded this August, Closed Circuit is only one of two dramatic thrillers coming out this month, and audiences could flock to it simply out of the novelty of it.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall aren’t exactly huge box office draws, and Focus Features’ Summer track record for wide release films is horrible.
“Getaway (2013)” (Aug 30)
After finding out his wife is abducted, former race car driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) gets behind the wheel of a car, with a teen runaway (Selena Gomez), and races against the clock while taking instructions from his wife’s kidnappers in order to get her back.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez driving in a muscle car in a race against time? It sounds like a smaller-budgeted Fast and the Furious.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez driving in a muscle car in a race against time? It sounds like a smaller-budgeted Fast and the Furious.
“One Direction: This Is Us” (Aug 30)
Teen idol boy band One Direction gets their first concert film in 3D, directed by Morgan Spurlock.
WHY IT COULD SUCCEED: Teen girls love these boys, and will probably flock to this film in droves opening weekend.
ON THE OTHER HAND: The average movie goer probably has little to no interest in This Is Us. Movie snobs will be pissed that Morgan Spurlock sold out this low. The likelihood of this sticking around longer than a week or two is very low.