2019 Blockbuster Season Preview: August

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

August 2, 2019

Hobbs & Shaw

Premise: From IMDb: “Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity.”
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Expectations: Good. The Fast and Furious films have become reliable box office draws, regularly topping $200 million. With Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson on the outs, this new film has pulled Johnson and Jason Statham into their own buddy film and the prospects, being pulled away from the original “family,” are a bit weaker. That said, I could expect it to top this number easily if it pulls those fans to the theater.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

August 9, 2019

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Premise: From IMDb: “A dog named Enzo recalls the life lessons he has learned from his race car driving owner, Denny.”
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Expectations: Uncertain. If the film’s any good and audiences want something different to check out in the hot summer months, this film could do quite well. However, the August release date suggests the studio isn’t that confident in the film and against two other major releases, it may not have a lot of hope.
Oscar Prospects: Unlikely. Ever since director Simon Curtis made an Oscar splash with his first film, My Week with Marilyn, his name has come up consistently for Oscar consideration. His second and third films (Woman in Gold and Goodbye Christopher Robin respectively), however, have failed to ignite passion in the Academy and have gone home empty-handed. The weird concept here might make it an audience pleaser, but Oscar voters won’t be part of that audience.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Premise: From IMDb: “Dora, a teenage explorer, leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold.”
Box Office Prospects: $65 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Dora as a character was once a popular mainstay of children’s television. However, it’s been four years since the show was in production and many of the show’s fans have long since grown up. While new kids might have become interested, the chances that this film manages to perform beyond expectations are limited. Then again, the closest comparison I can come up with Spy Kids did well with audiences in spite of not being an adaptation, so the chances are still there.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Kitchen

Premise: From IMDb: “The wives of New York gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s continue to operate their husbands’ rackets after they’re locked up in prison.”
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Expectations: Uncertain. While not quite in the vein of last year’s Widows, this upheaval of gender-based genre norms hopes to succeed where that atypical heist film did not. Crime films are a bit less popular with audiences these days than they were in the 1970s, so it’s probable that the film is unable to ignite with audiences, but we’ll have to see.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. Writer Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton) takes her first round in the director’s chair in this urban crime drama that has shades of Scorsese. If the film ends up being better than its August berth would suggest, it could be an Oscar player; however, signs don’t point toward that conclusion, though any of its stars (Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarty, or Tiffany Haddish) could still be taken seriously.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Premise: From IMDb: “A group of teens face their fears in order to save their lives.”
Box Office Prospects: $75 M
Expectations: Good. It’s targeting teens, which could bolster its chances if they can be bothered to go out.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

August 16, 2019

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Premise: From IMDb: “Four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city quickly learn they’ve entered the territory of the deadliest shark species in the claustrophobic labyrinth of submerged caves.”
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The first film made a scant $44 million at the box office. That doesn’t really justify a sequel, but here we are.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Angry Birds Movie 2

Premise: From IMDb: “The flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their beef to the next level.”
Box Office Prospects: $95 M
Expectations: Good. While I doubt it comes close to the first film’s $107 million, it should still do well enough for a mid-August release.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Blinded by the Light

Premise: From IMDb: “In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.”
Box Office Prospects: $55 M
Expectations: Good. If Yesterday can top $50 million on mediocre reviews, this one can top that with better reviews.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Good Boys

Premise: From IMDb: “Three sixth grade boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for their first kissing party.”
Box Office Prospects: $120 M
Expectations: Good. It’s been awhile since we had a solid R-rated comedy to spend the August doldrums with and this film looks like it could make a good amount of money.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Premise: From IMDb: “After her anxiety-ridden mother disappears, 15-year-old Bee does everything she can to track her down, discovering her troubled past in the process.”
Box Office Prospects: $35 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Cate Blanchett has been in a lot of popular films, but her presence is hardly a box office guarantee.
Oscar Prospects: Above Average. Richard Linklater has had an even relationship with the Academy. While his Before Sunrise trilogy barely broke through in the writing categories (for the latter two films anyway), his only Oscar run came with Boyhood, a gimmick film that actually worked. He hasn’t produced anything Oscar capable since (or really before), so his chances are limited, though star Cate Blanchett could certainly be in play.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

August 23, 2019

Angel Has Fallen

Premise: From IMDb: “Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat.”
Box Office Prospects: $85 M
Expectations: Good. Gerard Butler has finally found box office success. The first film made $98.9 million. The second film, however, had a steep drop-off to $62.5 million. I suspect that since the second film was set in the UK and the first was in the US that this new film should do a bit better than London Has Fallen.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Ready or Not

Premise: From IMDb: “A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.”
Box Office Prospects: $55 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The concept is inventive, which could be catnip to horror fans looking for something fresh to sink their teeth into.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.