We continue our survey of the current schedule for Hollywood releases this year. We’ve already looked at January - June; now we’ll see what the rest of the year has in store.
The holiday weekend brings two big bets on July 3: Despicable Me 2 will try to cement its place as the studio’s only animated franchise, while The Lone Ranger will pray that Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and director Gore Verbinski can justify its $200M+ (without marketing) investment. July 12 is Adam Sandler’s bid to reconstruct his suddenly-plummeting career with Grown Ups 2, which faces off against Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim, a movie whose trailer makes it look like it’s trying to cram every sci-fi cliche into a single film. On July 19, things calm down considerably, with the horror action movie R.I.P.D, starring husband-to-the-stars Ryan Reynolds, opening against the low-budget The Counjuring from the director of Sinister, and the animated Turbo, about a garden snail (voice of… Ryan Reynolds!) who wants to win the Indy 500. No, really. The month ends with one more big gun, as July 26 belongs to Hugh Jackman (without song) as The Wolverine.
The schedule begins to thin out in August. August 2 is a battle of sequels: 300: Rise of an Empire, which is actually more of a spin-off (everyone died in the first one), Red 2, which adds Anthony Hopkins to its oldster mix, and The Smurfs 2, which, well, speaks for itself. August 9 is more intriguing, featuring Elysium, Neill Blomkamp’s first film since District 9, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. It squares off against the animated Planes and the comedy We're the Millers with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. 2 Guns aims to be the last big action movie of the season on August 16, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, and from the director of Wahlberg’s Contraband. It faces Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, a sequel to a movie that wasn’t all that successful in the first place, and the comedy The To-Do List, notable as Aubrey Plaza’s first starring vehicle. We enter the dregs of summer on August 23, which gives us the YA adventure Mortal Instruments with Lily Collins and horror movie You're Next. There’s a surprising amount of product slated for the usually low-grossing Labor Day weekend of August 30, including thrillers Closed Circuit with Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall, and Getaway with Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez, chillers Insidious 2 and Satanic, and a One Direction Concert Movie that–wait, that’s not one of the horror movies?
September 6 brings Riddick, a sequel to an only moderately-successful movie ($58M at the boxoffice) made in 2004. On September 13, urban drama Battle of the Year dukes it out with I, Frankenstein, while the first 3D reissue of the month, The Little Mermaid, counterprograms. A-list product returns on September 20 with the opening of Ron Howard’s race-car drama Rush as well as the season’s second Hugh Jackman action movie Prisoners, along with the 3D reissue of Attack of the Clones. The month ends on September 27 with the sequel Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and action movie Runner Runner, the latter featuring Ben Affleck starring but not directing, and also the Stallone/Schwarzenegger steroid-fest The Tomb.
Now we conclude with October - December. Once we start heading this far down the calender, however, postponements and reschedulings will be increasingly common, and there are any number of major titles that haven’t yet even been assigned a date, among them what could be the year’s 500-pound gorilla of Oscar candidates, the adaptation of Pulitzer- and Tony-Award winner August: Osage County from those awards-savvy folks at The Weinstein Company, which features a cast that includes such minor names as Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper and Sam Shepard. That’s not to mention the movies we don’t even know about yet, to be discovered at Sundance, Cannes and other film festivals, among other sources.
That being said, October is slated to begin with the Vince Vaughn/Chris Pratt comedy The Delivery Man on October 4, where it will face the thriller Paranoia with Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford, the sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and the 3D reissue of Revenge of the Sith. October 11 has two potentially major openings: Paul Greenglass’s piracy drama Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks, and Spike Lee’s remake of the (ultraviolent) classic Oldboy, with Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Olsen. Also opening that day is the thriller Haunt. On October 18, the recently-rescheduled remake of Carrie finally makes its appearance, against Luc Besson’s Malavita, with a surprisingly starry cast that includes Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones, both contending with YA fantasy The Seventh Son. (A footnote to the day is that at least for now, Julianne Moore will be competing with herself, as a star of both Carrie and Seventh Son.) The month ends with the return of recent-perennial franchise Paranormal Activity 5 on October 25, which properly enough has The World's End, from cult-movie gods Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, as its competition.
November wastes no time, leaping into franchise-hopeful season November 1 with Ender's Game, based on the bestselling novel, along with the animated Mr. Peabody & Sherman. November 8, at the moment, belongs solely to Thor: The Dark World. November 15 is currently scheduled to have only a sequel to The Best Man. On November 22, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire takes over the old pre-Thanksgiving Twilight slot, and the animated Frozen is scheduled for Wednesday, November 27.
Nothing is currently scheduled for December 6, a notoriously low-moviegoing weekend. December 13 brings two very diverse franchises: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. Wednesday December 18 belongs to George Clooney’s exceedingly classy caper movie Monuments Men, with a fantastic cast that includes Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin, along with Clooney himself. December 20 is a crowded holiday bonanza, including Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Saving Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks, the animated Walking with Dinosaurs, and Last Vegas, with Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. The movie year ends on Christmas Day with some huge budgets: the rebooted franchise Jack Ryan starring Chris Pine in what were Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford’s footsteps, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig, and–maybe?–the very, very postponed 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves.