August 2013 at the box office

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Even though Smurfs 2 is officially releasing in US in July, it’s first official weekend is in August, and thus explaining why it is in this article.
July 2013 has been a month filled with disappointments, and surprises, but with a blink of an eye, the whole month is about to end, and the final and quietest month of summer is about to befall us. Usually devoid of blockbusters, there are usually a few sleeper hits the month sees, and we will cover them shortly.
On the first official weekend of August, 2 Guns and Smurfs 2 will clash together.
Smurfs 2 is releasing on a dangerous spot, where there have been an onslaught of animated films entering the marketplace. The audiences have already displayed fatigue from Turbo’s performance, but it looks like studios are still trying to give it a try. Smurfs 2 is different, compared to Turbo. Smurfs performed decently in North America, earning north of $140 million, but a boatload of it’s earnings came from internationally, which is actually what persuaded Sony to continue this lucrative franchise. Known as the second film in a trilogy, this film promises more of the same, with the villain coming along with new Smurfs like creatures known as The Naughties. Reinventing the formula, which adding new additions is usually a good formula for success, it is, however, facing much tougher competition this time round. The film should at least match $100 million, but reaching the first film’s gross would be a tough uphill challenge.
2 Guns if finding a very different audience, and this show is mostly about the main stars’ fanbase. Mark Walhberg and Denzel Washington are in a very good point in their career, with Mark Wahlberg starring in Ted and Denzel Washington nabbing a Best Actor nomination for his role in Flight. However, this is a very different movie altogether, which is an R rated movie about two undercover agents attempting to thwart the other’s “plans”, find themselves laid right inside a trap, and make an unlikely alliance. This film has a interesting plot, which helped fuel the success of The Purge earlier this year. Both star’s fanbase will also rush to see this film first thing opening weekend, which will make this film slightly more frontloaded. I am currently expecting this film to open big, even possibly more than Safe House, and end off with around $100 million.

The second weekend of the month will see much more film releases, with Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters releasing on a Wednesday to have an advantage over the rest, while We’re the Millers, Planes and Elysium opening nationwide.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is coming off an okay sequel, which did not really woo most, but attracted the fanbase of Rick Riordan (or the book). It topped out with $88 million, after a rapid drop after it’s first weekend. With a three year gap, the author of the books have definitely attracted a larger fanbase, and once again they should rush out to catch this film. With the film going for the 3D conversion, and ticket price inflations, this film will undeniably have a larger opening weekend, and fall off much quicker than the first film, which puts it at around $100 million. However, if the film receives the kind of boost between the first two twilight films, this film could end up being even bigger, but only time will tell.
We’re the Millers looks funny, but disgusting. Apart from an interesting premise, the trailer has definitely proven that this film is indeed funny. Jennifer Anniston and Jason Sudeikis are starring, and both of them are recognizable star, but still not enough to attract such a large fanbase. The former is playing a stripper, while the latter is playing a drug dealer, who has to piece together a “family” in order to convincingly go through the custom with marijuana. This film should play out okay, maybe starting slightly lower before holding up well. This film should do with $75 million domestically, max.
Planes might be the loser of the weekend, but it might also have a potential to surprise. With marketing emphasizing that this is from the world of cars, while drawing several similiarities, it just seems like a rip-off of Cars. This one has an added disadvantage of having no Pixar name attached to it. However, Disney seems confident with it, even dating it’s sequel for next year. If marketing picks up rapidly over the next few weeks, this film might still have a chance to break-out, but like mentioned previously, audiences are tired of animated films as they are thrown with different ones every two weeks since late June. Thus, this film, based on my opinion, this film should hit $70 million domestically by the end of its run.
Elysium, perhaps one of the biggest surprise hits of the year, has many reasons in it’s favour. First, director Neill Blomkamp was made famous a few years ago, when he directed an original film with a cool premise which garnered him several Oscar nominations, District 9. Now, he’s back with yet another original film with an equally cool premise, and this time bringing in Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, both who have a fanbase of their own. This film’s potential has been limited by it’s R rated rating, but should at least earn $100 million domestically.

The third weekend of August sees Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Kick-Ass 2, Paranoia and Jobs releasing.
This will perhaps be a quieter weekend, with Kick Ass 2 expected to lead it easily. Kick-Ass started moderately, but suffered from too much front-loadedness, bringing it to a end domestic total of just over $48 million. This film will most likely earn around the same, due to it’s violent nature, and some cast members of the show already disapproving the use of guns and violence in the show (Jim Carrey). This film will most likely earn a slight boost from Kick-Ass, but will most likely end up around the same in the end.
Lee Daniel’s The Butler is undeniably a strong Oscar contender, but recently settled a lawsuit with Warner Bros over the use of the title of the film (luckily it managed to keep the title, but add the director’s name in front of it). With a strong cast which also consists of Oprah Winfrey, which will definitely bring in a lot of ladies, this film should start off small, but have a high multiple due to it’s word of mouth. Around $15 million on opening weekend, and like what Silver Linings Playbook did last year, this film should have a high multiple, but just not enough to bring it past $100 million.
Paranoia has a star-studded cast which consists of Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford and Liam Hemsworth, each made famous and popular after various franchises helped boost their starpower. However, the trailer seems to have revealed too much information too turn off the average moviegoer. We know that Liam (we are not using film names here) works for Gary because of his eagerness to earn money, to betray Harrison, but gets into trouble in the end after realising that he is facing much more than previously thought. Relativity Media is also unlike a major studio, and has not managed to create a hit which has grossed more than $100 million. With this, we expect this film to perform on the mid-range of their performers, and earn mid $20 to $30 million by the end of it’s run.
Jobs has the added benefit of coming at a time when Apple is wildly popular, and at least half of the world must know who Steve Jobs is. This film is really a biopic on his character, which is directed by a mostly unknown director. Also, the film right now suffers from a mixed rating (rotten actually, staying in the mid 40s), and due to lack of marketing, this film might not have the audience it needs to boost opening weekend results. However, Ashton Kutcher is visible in the cast, but has not had any films released over the past 1 year. With holds not expected to be that great either, the film should hit the low $20 million range before leaving theatres completely.

The 4th weekend of the month will see The World’s End, You’re Next and Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
The World’s End once again reunites the cast of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, which basically makes this the end of the Cornetto Trilogy. Where zombies and police elements were covered, now the film will take on a zombie invasion. However, non of the films have really been released that wide before, and thus their popularity in the US might be limited, considering the higher grosser, Hot Fuzz, managed to only nab $23 million domestically. The final outcome really depends on it’s theatrical release, if the film continues opening like the previous films in what seems like a limited amount of theatres, the film will definitely not pass $30 million, but if it opens bigger than before, perhaps in at least 2000 theatres, the gross might even go as high as $50 million. We are now sticking with the limited release, but the gross might be further tampered with another end of the world comedy released earlier this summer, This is the End.
You’re Next basically is a horror movie which has barely any marketing presented in it yet. However, Lionsgate has definitely produced a lot of horror movies, and definitely have the experience after launching The Possession and Texas Chainsaw to great numbers. This film is also having a remarkable rating on rotten tomatoes, with reviews saying that it definitely is worth the watch (91% on rotten tomatoes). Not much is known about this film, but with it’s buzz, which should provide word of mouth, the film should open moderately, albeit lower than The Possession, and ultimately hit at least $50 million domestically.
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is yet another attempt to create a Young Adult Novel to model after past hits Twilight and Hunger Games, and to a much lesser extent Percy Jackson. Based on a popular best selling series, the genre has been having a hard time this year, with Beautiful Creatures and The Host both suffering from this problem. This one, however, looks better than the other two, and might perform more on the level of Percy Jackson. However, with that film releasing just two weeks earlier, this film definitely has to tap into it’s fanbase and good reviews to really become a hit. An end gross in the range of $80 million looks likely as of now.

The final weekend of the month sees 3 new releases, with Closed Circuit, One Direction: This is Us and Getaway.
One Direction is definitely becoming more popular now, and is bringing a concert movie to the big screen, but don’t forget that concert movies have been taking a toll over the past few years. Last year’s Katy Perry: Part of Me barely brought in $25 million, which was really low, when compared to Justin Bieber’s concert movie a few years back. One Direction is certainly a popular boy band right now, but will people spend money to go to the theatres to watch this, when the internet is now far more advanced and they can easily access the music videos online now? This film will most likely earn $30 million by the end of it’s run.
Closed Circuit is yet another film which has not really started up their marketing just yet. The film stars some reputable names like Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall, but non of them really have the ability to attract viewers to the cinemas. The last weekend is usually a quiet time at the box office, usually being the transition month between summer and fall, and thus, this film should just not break out of the box office, for also being too serious for the average moviegoer. This film should earn around $12 million by the end of it’s run.
The last film, Getaway, is a little different when compared to the previous film. This film has bigger names (Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez), and Ethan Hawke has definitely starred in enough horror movie hits to be recognizable, the most recent example being The Purge. However, this film’s premise seems a little boring, with Ethan Hawke just supposed to race around town to save his wife. This film might also suffer from lack of marketing right now, and should end off with around $18 million by the end of it’s run.
Unless one or two of the films really break out, this month will either be even with last year, or fall just short. Meanwhile, here are the predictions:
Smurfs 2: $37 million-$120 million end gross
2 Guns: $42 million- $101 million end gross
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters: $37 million- $95 million end gross
Elysium: $39 million- $121 million end gross
We’re the Millers: $22 million- $63 million end gross
Planes: $23 million- $71 million end gross
Lee Daniel’s The Butler: $14 million- $54 million end gross
Paranoia: $11 million- $25 million end gross
Kick-Ass 2: $27 million- $51 million end gross
JOBS: $8 million- $19 million end gross
The World’s End: $11 million- $32 million end gross
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones: $31 million- $83 million end gross
You’re Next: $24 million- $59 million end gross
Closed Circuit: $5 million- $12 million end gross
Getaway: $7 million- $18 million end gross
One Direction: This is Us: $16 million- $30 million end gross

That’s all for this month, check back soon for The Smurfs 2 and 2 Guns box office forecast!

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