January 3, 2013

2013: THE MOVIE YEAR TO COME (July-Sept)


We continue our survey of the current schedule for Hollywood releases this year.  We’ve already looked at January-March and April-June; today we’ll see what late summer and early fall have in store.  (October-December is here.)

The holiday weekend brings two big bets on July 3:  DESPICABLE ME 2 (Universal) will try to cement its place as the studio’s only animated franchise, while THE LONE RANGER (Disney) will pray that Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and director Gore Verbanski can justify its $200M+ (without marketing) investment.  July 12 is Adam Sandler’s bid to reconstruct his suddenly-plummeting career with GROWN UPS 2 (Sony), which faces off against Guillermo Del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM (Warners), 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 (Universal), starring husband-to-the-stars Ryan Reynolds, opening against the low-budget THE CONJURING (Warners) from the director of Sinister, and the animated TURBO (20th), 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 (20th).

The schedule begins to thin out in August.  August 2 is a battle of sequels:  300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (Warners), which is actually more of a spin-off (everyone died in the first one), RED 2 (Summit/Lionsgate), which adds Anthony Hopkins to its oldster mix, and THE SMURFS 2 (Sony), which, well, speaks for itself.  August 9 is more intriguing, featuring ELYSIUM (Sony), Neil Blomkamp’s first film since District 19, starring  Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.  It squares off against the animated PLANES (Disney) and the comedy WE’RE THE MILLERS (Warners) with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis.  2 GUNS (Universal) 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 (20th), a sequel to a movie that wasn’t all that successful in the first place, and the comedy THE TO-DO LIST (CBS), 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 (Sony) with Lily Collins and horror movie YOU’RE NEXT (Lionsgate).  There’s a surprising amount of product slated for the usually low-grossing Labor Day weekend of August 30, including thrillers CLOSED CIRCUIT (Focus/Universal) with Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall, and GETAWAY (Warners) with Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez, chillers INSIDIOUS 2 (FilmDistrict) and SATANIC (Weinstein), and a ONE DIRECTION CONCERT MOVIE (Sony) that–wait, that’s not one of the horror movies?

September 6 brings RIDDICK (Universal), a sequel to an only moderately-successful movie ($58M at the boxoffice) made in 2004.  On September 13, urban drama BATTLE OF THE YEAR (Screen Gems/Sony) dukes it out with I, FRANKENSTEIN (Lionsgate), while the first 3D reissue of the month, THE LITTLE MERMAID (Disney), counterprograms.  A-list product returns on September 20 with the opening of Ron Howard’s race-car drama RUSH (Universal) as well as the season’s second Hugh Jackman action movie PRISONERS (Warners), along with the 3D reissue of ATTACK OF THE CLONES (20th).  The month ends on September 27 with the sequel CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 (Sony) and action movie RUNNER RUNNER (20th), the latter featuring Ben Affleck starring but not directing, and also the Stallone/Schwarzenegger steroid-fest THE TOMB (Summit/Lionsgate).

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."