August 2009 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
August 7, 2009
11. Post Grad (August 21st)
Alexis Bledel goes the Amanda Bynes route with this light post-college comedy (and indeed, Bynes was originally set to star). While it's nice to see the very likable Bledel finally get a lead role, there's about zero to no chance of this film pulling off an escape from the lower box office tiers, especially in the dog days of summer. If Beth Cooper couldn't do it...
Opening weekend: $8 million / Total gross: $19 million
12. A Perfect Getaway (August 7th)
Writer-director David Twohy has made some intriguing films (The Arrival comes to mind), so this thriller, set in Hawaii, may well be worth a look-see. The cast is vaguely interesting - Timothy Olyphant, Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, and newly-anoited superstar Chris Hemsworth. None of them are particular draws right now, but if the studio plays up some good trailers, maybe the film won't be completely lost in the August shuffle. Maybe.
Opening weekend: $7 million / Total gross: $18 million
13. Ponyo (August 14)
Gee, we've reached #13, which means August is the busiest month in some time. But this one is special - the latest film by Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki (Japan is where traditional animation took refuge after its domestic defeat by CGI). While the film's reviews are no doubt going to be impeccable, Miyazaki films don't really light the box office on fire. Ponyo is scheduled for a wide release right now, but just like the Black Eyed Peas, I gotta feeling that this film won't open much wider than Miyazaki's last two - Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. Too bad. And while Ponyo may have some legs, I suspect a certain CGI monstrosity is going to come out on top again come Oscar time.
Opening weekend: $2 million / Total gross: $8 million
14. Taking Woodstock (August 28th)
Oscar-loving director Ang Lee is back with another Oscary film. But this one was mostly panned at Cannes, so it looks like Focus Features is just throwing it out into the pre awards, late August arena and seeing if it'll stick. I don't know that there is much interest in this '60s flashback (the '80s are more the rage now), but the film does look kind of intriguing. Considering the heavy dose of somewhat-name actors who pop up here, I'd like to replace the current, very colorful poster with one of those '70s-style ones that advertised disaster movies with pictures of all the stars at the bottom.
15. Paper Heart (August 7th)
This one's a limited release, but it's got some unique indie pedigree - it's a mockumentary starring Michael Cera and under-the-radar comedienne Charlyne Yi. It's hard to say how the film will turn out critically (pretty well, probably), but it might prove useful as another test of Cera's box office prowess - and I'm always up for those. Introducing the potentially talented Yi into the stratosphere could be a plus, too.