August 2017 Box Office Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

August 3, 2017

Did he get a demotion from Storm Trooper?

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Channing Tatum stars, in the Galifianakis role (right?), while Riley Keough is the girl, and Daniel Craig appears in albino makeup (at least I think it is), looking and sounding in no way like the man's most famous character (that's the joke, right?). The team is rounded out by Adam Driver, who has stood out as a character player in many good films but is perhaps best known for his role in the franchise that must not be named (I won't give them free publicity), with bit roles from the likes of Katherine Waterston, Sebastian Stan, and Katie Holmes. It sure seems a lot of people are eager to work with whoever directed this film.

From a box office perspective, I'm most interested in Tatum, the superstar who soared above the earthly plain in 2012, and who then spent more recent years taking on supporting roles in less flashy work, like Foxcatcher, The Hateful Eight, and last year's Hail, Caesar! And after starring in the director's Magic Mike and Side Effects, he's practically a Soderbergh mainstay (that would be relevant had Soderbergh this film, which, of course, he didn't. He's retired).

The title is alliterative (and two movies in the same year named Logan, really?), the marketing aims to bring back memories of Oceans's Eleven or Twelve or even Thirteen, and the film landscape will be bare enough that the film should pick up reasonable grosses even without all it has going for it.

Opening weekend: $12 million / Total gross: $35 million


7. The Hitman's Bodyguard (August 18th)
The title plays around with genre tropes as Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson team for a round of odd couple-buddy antics, one a hardened killer, the other the special agent who must reluctantly keep him alive for the good of the American legal system. Among his 175 film credits (seriously; collect them all!), Jackson has of course been half of an odd couple over and over again, like a nightmare on repeat, as he wakes in the morning, and is given a gun and assigned a new verbal sparring partner he must slowly grow to grudgingly like - from Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance to Eugene Levy in The Man to Emilio Estevez in Loaded Weapon 1 all the way back in 1993, and which coincidentally was a parody on the kind of movie Jackson would then spend 20 years and more making.

This film's advertising takes some stabs at spoofing Houston-Costner's The Bodyguard, which would have been, indeed, timely enough for Loaded Weapon days. Gary Oldman chimes in as one of his Russian villains, threatening the heroes with a presumably note-perfect accent as he prepares to collect many tiny statues for his role as Winston Churchill later this year. Elsewhere, Salma Hayek is Jackson's wife, good for a few scenes' entertainment; while co-lead Ryan Reynolds, of course, came in to 2016 a mere mortal but left as one of the biggest movie stars in the cinematic universe (see Deadpool), so it was a little odd that he picked this more conventional action crime comedy film for his next job. No matter. If The Hitman's Bodyguard receives critical and audience acclamation, it may go beyond its genre and play as a solid under-the-radar hit in the waning summer days, in the tradition of Baby Driver or Atomic Blonde. If not, it should still hit the numbers below with relative ease. Bullseye.

Opening weekend: $10 million / Total gross: $31 million

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