August 2010 Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

August 6, 2010

Have I introduced you to Penelope Cruz yet? And have you seen Vicky Cristina Barcelona?

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3. Step Up 3D (August 6th)

Welcome to another explosion of urban aerodynamical acrobatics, and a film whose existence was as unstoppable as it is amusing. And what does Step Up 3D bring to the table? Another pair of mismatched newcomers joined together by the Dance, another entertaining hip-hop soundtrack ("Club Can't Handle Me" sure is catchy!), a horde of flashy visuals, and a few supporting players who'll look familiar to fans of this franchise (and to me). Oh, and there's the 3D, of course, in a film that could actually benefit from it - not just on the screen, but at the ticket booth, where Step Up 3D will have a real chance at giving that Ferrell-Wahlberg tag-team a whupping on opening weekend. Do I applaud all this? Tough call. But from that all-important commercial point of view, boy, is this one ever a home run. And it looks like it could be fun.

Opening weekend: $25 million / Total gross: $64 million


4. The Expendables (August 13th)

"One last hurrah" is an understatement. Indeed, if you're looking for fanboy dream projects, nothing this month is going to top this one, a Freddy Vs. Jason for fans of 1980s action extravaganzas, a film that unites and reunites - if selectively - some of the biggest names in the game, then and now: Sylvester Stallone (in his biggest non-sequel role since the mid 1990s), Jason Statham (as the masterfully-named "Lee Christmas"), and Jet Li (as the inevitably-named "Yin Yang"), along with the somewhat more opaque Dolph Lundgren and Eric Roberts, newly-minted uber-character actor Mickey Rourke, and choice, trailer-spoiled cameos by you-know-who and you-know-who-else. The buzz has been growing, and the release date and premise seem determined to position The Expendables as this year's version of Inglourious Basterds, if a bit more stoic and solemn-faced. In general, fanboy movies have shocked at the box office over and over again, but I dunno about this one. Yes, Stallone's been creeping back into the mainstream with his Rocky and Rambo revivals, but Statham and Li basically have the same audience, and the rest of the cast might prove somewhat of a puzzler to general audiences. Aside from that, The Expendables will surely implode on its second weekend. Or its second day.

Opening weekend: $35 million / Total gross: $62 million

5. Going the Distance (August 27th)

It can be said that the trailer for Going the Distance does not exactly inspire long and meaningful conversations. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and it's hard to deny that the film looks like a conventional if likeable enough romantic comedy, with the Drew Barrymore - Justin Long teaming seemingly a winning one, and the release date (August 27) quietly reassuring, if unexciting. But in between this, Eat Pray Love, and The Switch, connoisseurs of romantic comedy certainly have enough to keep them busy. And has Kristen Schaal been in every single movie this summer, or what? (not a complaint, just an observation).

Opening weekend: $17 million / Total gross: $48 million

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