July begins with some real fireworks. We all know Despicable Me 2 is going to be a worldwide hit so let’s move on to the real showstopper… Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Disney has spent an obscene amount of money to get this film made as the final studio in a long line of attempts to bring the masked man to the big screen. We’ll likely never know the real budget, but current figures place it around $250 million. Does Depp have enough international appeal to make it a worthwhile investment for the Mouse House?
On the other side of the July 4 holiday is Fox Searchlight’s The Way, Way Back from Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, hoping to take in a small piece of the holiday pie.
While I expect Despicable Me 2 to continue to make money throughout most of Summer 2013 it will be interesting to see what comes of The Lone Ranger even in its second weekend as Guillermo del Toro‘s robots vs. monsters movie Pacific Rim targets audience attention. The same weekend Adam Sandler and his crew of bumbling buffoons will hope to trick audiences into wasting their money on Grown Ups 2 and they’ll likely succeed.
The July 19 weekend is a fascinating one. Opening two days early is the Fox/Dreamworks animated movie Turbo featuring a racing snail voiced by Ryan Reynolds and two days later you get three movies that could all either score big numbers or crash and burn.
We’ll begin with James Wan‘s The Conjuring, which comes on the heels of Wan’s success with Insidious and the announcement he’ll be directing Fast & Furious 7. The film has earned an R rating from the MPAA, which has essentially deemed it “too scary” for a PG-13, so expect something along those lines to play into the film’s marketing, though being the only true horror film of the summer shouldn’t hurt its chances.
Next is Red 2 and R.I.P.D., two films that I have virtually zero interest in seeing and two films their studios don’t seem all that interested in promoting, especially the latter, which only saw a trailer released a short time ago.
My most anticipated movie of that July 19 weekend, however, is the limited release of Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Only God Forgives, which I’m excited I’ll be seeing in Cannes and am curious to see how Radius handles the release. Will they go Video On Demand with this one as their studio was designed or stick to strictly theatrical with this one? The Cannes response will likely be the decider.
The most talked about movie of the July 26 weekend will likely be the return of Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine, but I’m more excited for Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine and Ryan Coogler‘s Fruitvale Station. The latter two will be limited releases that will expand throughout the rest of the Summer, but both should be hot tickets.
Finally, July ends with the Wednesday, July 31 release of The Smurfs 2. The first film brought in $563 million in 2011 and The Smurfs 3 is already planned for 2015 so you may as well get used to the little blue guys in theaters for a while.
The final month of Summer 2013 kicks off with action as Warner Bros. hopes lightning strikes twice with the sequel 300: Rise of an Empire. Utilizing the same visual style that made Zack Snyder’s 300 a surprise hit in March of 2007, WB is hoping to turn August into the new dumping ground for B-grade fanboy blockbusters.
Continuing the question of whether August is a legit member of the summer season or a wannabe, on August 7 Fox will bring Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters to theaters hoping to actually make some money this time with the sequel to 2010’s Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief. I have my doubts.
Two days later District 9 helmer Neill Blomkamp finally returns to theaters with the Matt Damon-led Elysium and Jennifer Aniston leads the WB comedy We’re the Millers. You’ll excuse me if I don’t get too excited about either option and I can’t say Disney’s Planes does much for me either.
The question of “Is August still summer?” continues the following weekend with Kick-Ass 2 and Paranoia, though the smaller releases of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck and The To-Do List starring Aubrey Plaza are intriguing.
August 23 will likely see the latest young adult adaptation crash and burn with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, but it also has three other releases I’m looking forward to seeing in the horror film You’re Next, Kar Wai Wong‘s Grandmasters and certainly Edgar Wright‘s The World’s End as he reteams with his Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz pals Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
August and Summer 2013 comes to a close with the Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez thriller Getaway and the Weinstein’s horror film Random, which was once titled Satanic. My bet is the latter will be quietly buried, but we’ll see.
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