2020 Blockbuster Season Preview: July

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

July 1, 2020

Unhinged

Premise: From IMDb: “Unhinged is a psychological thriller that takes something we’ve all experienced – road rage – to an unpredictable and terrifying conclusion.”
Box Office Prospects: $20 M
Expectations: Uncertain. It’s uncertain just how many theaters will open, whether all of them will be at 50% capacity, and whether audiences will really want to go to the theater at present. This will be the theme for all of the potential releases from July well into next year, depending entirely upon whether a vaccine is developed and widely available or not. That said, this concept isn’t terribly exciting for most people and while it might be interesting to see how audiences respond to Russell Crowe as a villain, I suspect it will be unsuccessful.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

July 3, 2020

The Outpost (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “A small team of U.S. soldiers battle against hundreds of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.”
Box Office Prospects: $0.5 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Released day-and-date, this Rod Lurie-directed film was intended for release on a different July date, but whether or not it succeeds depends on how many streaming viewers take away from its theatrical haul.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Truth (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “A stormy reunion between a daughter and her actress mother, Catherine, against the backdrop of Catherine’s latest role in a sci-fi picture as a mother who never grows old.”
Box Office Prospects: $0.5 M
Expectations: Uncertain. It’s the kind of film that used to do decently on the arthouse circuit, but that circuit has been hit hard by the pandemic, so it’s uncertain that it can do much in the way of business.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

July 17, 2020

Tenet

Premise: From IMDb: “An action epic revolving around international espionage, time travel, and evolution.”
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The best Christopher Nolan’s blockbusters have done is the $535 million that he pulled in for The Dark Night. Since then, his weakest blockbuster was Interstellar at $188 million. Nolan wants Tenet to be the film that brings audiences back to the theater, but so far, the prospects of a box office reinaissance are pretty dim. Even my $150 million tally is optimistic considering how hard it will be for theaters to cram in audiences to achieve such numbers.
Oscar Prospects: Excellent. Christopher Nolan’s films, even if they aren’t Best Picture contenders, make strong runs at technical awards and this one will certainly be in contention there.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Painted Bird (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “A young Jewish boy somewhere in Eastern Europe seeks refuge during World War II where he encounters many different characters.”
Box Office Prospects: $0.5 M
Expectations: Uncertain. While it was an Oscar contender, it ultimately didn’t go anywhere and the film isn’t likely to draw audiences to the arthouse in a pandemic.
Oscar Prospects: Likely None. The film was already in contention for Foreign Language Film this year, I doubt it can make it beyond that failured consideration.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

July 24, 2020

Mulan

Premise: From IMDb: “A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. A live-action feature film based on Disney’s ‘Mulan.'”
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Disney has had tremendous success with its live-action remakes of its animated properties. Even though few of those would likely top the original films if adjusted for inflation, there’s a good possibility that Mulan could be one that does. As the ’90s Disney renaissance began to fade, this 1998 release pulled in a light $120 million at the box office. The only thing that will hurt Mulan this year is the uncertainy surrounding mid-pandemic box office. Like Tenet, this predictions is rather generous and a lower result would not be surprising.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. While Disney has been at the forefront of design in their live-action adaptations, a lot of those films haven’t succeeded nearly as well as one would have hoped. This one has chances in Production Design and Costume Design, but nowhere else.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

July 31, 2020

The Informer

Premise: From IMDb: “An ex-convict working undercover intentionally gets himself incarcerated again in order to infiltrate the mob at a maximum security prison.”
Box Office Prospects: $10 M
Expectations: Weak. This film has been bounced around the release calendar like the spheres in a ball pit. It’s very surprising that the studio didn’t decide to take a write-down and push this to a streaming release. Whatever the reason, it has no competition (right now), but it’s not the kind of counter-programming that typically does well at the box office anyway.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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