The last full month of the summer movie season is here. August usually can mean one of three things: the crowning achievement of a successful summer run, a bailout month for a sub-par season, or the month that can tip an average season into the black or the red. Unfortunately for the film industry, this August is entrenched firmly in the bailout category as the first two months of summer box office intake is nearly 35% shy of last year’s. The number-one summer movie to this point has been Wonder Woman. It has grossed $395.7 million dollars. Last year’s summer hit was Finding Dory that pulled in $486.3 million dollars during Summer 2016. Let’s take a look at what’s happening this summer with the August Movie Releases.
The August movies that the industry hope represent the cavalry to the rescue can be found here – over fifty different films from dramas to comedies, crime capers to documentaries, sci-fi flicks to horrors, animations to supernaturals. Check out the list to find the indies and the smaller releases that might be perfect for your individual taste. We’ll take a look at the nationwide releases here.
August Roll Out
The first Friday in August will roll out three films acr to 2004. Marvel Comics based a series on it. This film is marketed in the sci-fi genre, although it has elements of fantasy, horror, and uses an icon of American mythology as its lead character: the Western gunslinger. The always dependable Idris Elba is cast in this role, pitted against his nemesis, the Man In Black, played by the ubiquitous Matthew McConaughey. The second nationwide film this week is Kidnap starring Halle Berry as a mother who has to save her son from peril. (Sounds like a female version of the popular Mel Gibson film Ransom from years back.) Rounding out the week’s major movies is Detroit. Revolving around the serious 1967 riot in the beleaguered Michigan city, the film is receiving critical praise for its authenticity. It is the first work by director Kathryn Bigelow since her stellar Zero Dark Thirty film about the American-Iraqi war, and it stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, and Algee Smith.
August the 11th has three full-nation releases: Annabelle:Creation, a supernatural horror flick which is a sequel to 2014’s Anabelle, which itself was a spin-off of 2013’s The Conjuring. Next is Glass Castle, an adaptation of the memoir of the same name by gossip columnist Jeanette Walls. This drama is centered around a successful young woman who has been raised by dysfunctional bohemians. When her parents move to NYC to be near their daughter, her world becomes suddenly conflicted. With a stellar cast of Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts, this film is high on our recommend list. The third film this week is an animated kids’ sequel: Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature. Led again by the voice of Will Arnett as Surly Squirrel, this follows up the 2014 hit that went over $120 million at the box-office in 2014.
The third week of August has only one nationwide offering, but it has the potential to be a big one. It’s the action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard starring Samuel L. Jackson as the Hitman and Ryan Reynolds as the Bodyguard. Reynolds proved his comic-action chops in the adult-super-hero flick Deadpool, and Samuel L. is Samuel L. – he always delivers the goods. With the brilliant Gary Oldman as the master villain, this movie has the capability of injecting some life into the lackluster box-office summer that 2017 has been thus far.
Final Act in August
The final Friday of the month, August 25th , brings two more countrywide releases, both rated PG. Leap is an animated film, but it is being labeled as a dance movie as the lead character, an eleven-year old orphan named Felicie, goes to all lengths in pursuing her dream of gaining entrance to the Opera Ballet School of Paris. Elle Fanning provides lead voice talent in what promises to be an inspiring and intriguing tale. The final major release is in the faith film genre. It’s called All Saints and is based on the true story of a salesman-turned-pastor, Michael Spurlock, who works with refugees from Southeast Asia to build a new life in America. With the veteran actor John Corbett in the lead role, the film is in good hands to deliver a compelling story about country and faith.
While the movies discussed here are hitting the screens from coast to coast, be on the lookout for a slate of other fine films that may land on your favorite arthouse screen or may expand from a limited to a wider release as the summer winds down. Enjoy the August releases at your favorite Rochester theater and stay connected with us at Steven James. As story-tellers ourselves, we’ll keep you posted on all things multi-media. If you have a story that needs to be heard, contact us and we’ll make it happen!