Not May or November or June or December, August Is The Month That Brings The Most To The Table
The months of the year have been pretty well defined by hollywood. September and January are throwaway months where the studios dump movies to die. October is the month of the Oscar hopeful, big star driven dramas. November is when Christmas movies come out. December gives the big budget oscar hopefuls that will make a ton of money so even if they don’t win an award it really doesn’t matter, and the action flicks that were not deemed “summer” worthy. March is where THE spring movie drops. February and April serve as a bridge between seasons and are filled with inexpensive (relatively) movies some of which will hit it big. May, June, July… everyone knows what May, June and July are. And that leaves us with August. What’s August? August is all of the above.
That’s what makes August so great. Everything can work in August and everything can fail, and the predicting is seemingly impossible. Why? While the rest of the months are reasonably defined August exists in multiple movie worlds. August is at once the last month of the summer movie season and is often the difference for hollywood having good summer or a great summer (or a bad summer) AND August is a dead zone where back to school and back to football (and the Olympics this year) all work against the box office.
Here are my 4 favorite things about August
Testosterone, Testosterone, Testosterone
Apparently the only way to combat the unpredictability of August is to go after the one group that hollywood feels like than can count on, dudes. And what is it that dudes want? They want stuff that blows up, guys who carry big guns (and often have big guns) and comedies that are raunchy and/or stupid (in a good way). Just look at the biggest hits of recent August’s:
- Tropic Thunder
- Pineapple Express
- The Expendables
- The Bourne Ultimatum
- The 40 Year Old Virgin
All decidedly dude movies. This summer will be no different. Here are some of the big hollywood releases we have to look forward to over the coming weeks:
- Total Recall
- The Bourne Legacy
- The Candidate
- The Expendables 2
- Premium Rush
How awesome is that. My wife, who happens to love action movies as much or more than I do, is beside herself with excitement.
Mom’s Last Chance To Get Out Of The House
As every parent knows, getting out to see a movie once summer is over and the kids are back in school (and therefore have to get up in the morning) becomes trickier. It seems like, as summer is wrapping up, that fact dawns on a lot of parents and hollywood obliges them their bigger budget dramas and “date night” fare. Here, I’ll show you what I mean:
- 2011 – The Help
- 2010 – Eat, Pray, Love
- 2009 – The Time Traveler’s Wife
- 2008 – Vicky Christina Barcelona
Heck, Meryl Streep, who’s Hope Springs certainly fits the bill this year, brought us Julie and Julia in August too.
These movies my not be my cup of tea, but as a stay at home parent I appreciate that August is a month when hollywood focuses on giving us a reason to get out of the house. Besides, they don’t just do grown-up movies focussed on women. Unforgivien, Inglorious Bastards and The Debt were all August movies.
Where Did That Come From?!
No month has more out of nowhere blockbusters as August. Check out these names:
- District 9
- The Sixth Sense
- The Others
- Bring It On (trust me, know one expected it to launch a franchise)
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes
There wasn’t a soul alive who expected any of those movies to do what they did. Even when it is semi expected, like with some of the big action movies I listed earlier, it is usually not the one you thought it might be, which bring me to my favorite thing…
Every August has them, and while some you can see coming a thousand miles away (I’m looking at you Pluto Nash) but what makes the August bomb great is that they can almost seem contagious and sometimes they will take the whole month down. Look at 2011:
- The Change-Up
- Glee: The 3D Concert Movie
- Conan the Barbarian
- Fright Night
- Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
That is every major hollywood release from last August with the exception of The Help and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Bomb, bomb, bomb. Week after week. At one time or another everyone of those movies was on multiple “Sleeper Hit Of The Summer” prediction lists. The sad thing is Fright Night is pretty good. But when August movies bomb, they BOMB. Failure may be the rule when it comes to movies, but bombing actually isn’t, except in August. Here is the trailer for the biggest bomb of them all:
Maybe it is because it is my birthday month. Nope, I’m turning 46 and I haven’t cared about a birthday in 20+ years, it is the movies. The bombs, the unexpected hits, the weird movies that hollywood doesn’t seem to know what to do with (like Scott Pilgrim), the dramas, the action, no month of the year can claim the range of movies and stories that August can. That is what makes it my favorite month of the year.
But hey, what do I know, I’m fat. Her’s is the Total Recall trailer that has me so excited about this August: