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MARTIN GROVE'S HOLLYWOOD REPORT -- SUMMER SIZZLE -- 8/24/15


 
WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS - ZAC EFFRON

WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS - ZAC EFFRON

WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS

WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS

WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS - EMILY RATAJKOWSKI

WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS - EMILY RATAJKOWSKI

Summer sizzle: This summer turned out to be the summer Hollywood was hoping for last year.

Looking ahead, next summer should bring a boxoffice heat wave driven by a dream season of high profile pictures. Moviegoers who like familiar fare and, especially, new episodes of comic bookfranchises, will be spending a lot of time at the multiplexes.

Meanwhile, as this summer winds down, Hollywood must be a lot happier than a year ago when too many summer releases weren't igniting at the boxoffice.

Last weekendsaw this summer's boxoffice momentum continueas Universal and Legendary Pictures' R rated urban music drama "Straight Outta Compton"held on to first place with $26.8 million. Its cume after two weeks is $111.5 million.

Paramount, Skydance Productions and Bad Robot's PG-13 rated action thriller "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation"took second place again with $11.7 million. Its cume after four weeks is $157.8 million.

This weekend brings Warner Bros., Studio Canal and Working Title Films' R rated romantic music drama "We Are Your Friends"from first-time feature director Max Joseph, opening at about 2,250 theatres. Starring are: Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski and Jon Bernthal. It should play best to under-25 males and females.

          The Weinstein Company's R rated action thriller "No Escape"is going into some 3,000 theatres. Directed by John Erick Dowdle ("Quarantine"), it stars Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Bell. Male action fans are most likely to say yes to "No."

          TriStar Pictures' PG rated faith based drama "War Room" is arriving at about 1,100 theatres. Directed by Alex Kendrick ("Courageous"), it stars Priscilla C. Shirer, T.C. Stallings and Karen Abercrombie. It should play best to adult men and women.

          That will pretty much wrap up this summer, so let's fast forward to next summer for a quick preview of a few of the highest profile titles to watch for then.

          MAY: The summer of 2016 will kick off May 6 with – as has been the case since 2007 –a comic book driven high profile sci-fi action adventure from Marvel Entertainment. This time around it's Marvel and Disney's 3D "Captain America: Civil War," directed by Anthony Russo &Joe Russo, the directors of"Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

          "Soldier" opened Apr. 4, 2014 to $95 million and went on to gross $259.8 million.

          The new episode's cast includes such stars as Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle and Paul Rudd.

          "War's" storyline involves an Avengers split where Tony Stark and Steve Rogers gotheir separate ways over a Superhero Registration Act.

          Friday, May 13 will be perfect timing for Paramount and Platinum Dunes' reboot of the classic horror franchise "Friday the 13th,"in which Jason Voorhees and his machete return to haunt Crystal Lake.

          Directed by David Bruckner ("V/H/S"), its producers are Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. "Friday" was originally set to open Friday, Nov. 13, 2015.

          The last "Friday" episode opened Feb. 13, 2009 to $40.6 million and did $65 million domestically.

          May 20 is landing day for Columbia and Sony Pictures Imageworks' 3D animated comedy "Angry Birds."Directed by first time feature directors Clay Kaytis & Fergal Reilly, its voice talents include Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph.

          "Birds" isn't a comic book property or part of a film franchise, but it's still a high profile feature thanks to its origins as a popular and highly addictive Rovio mobile game.

          May 27 will see two high profile titles wind up what should be a merry month of May at the boxoffice.

          20th Century Fox and Marvel's "X-Men: Apocalypse" is directed by Bryan Singer ("X-Men: Days of Future Past"). Its all-star cast includes: Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman and James McAvoy.

          The new episode's storyline is set 10 years after Wolverine has time traveledback to prevent a bleak future. Now the X-Men team up with Cyclops, Storm and Jean to prevent an apocalypse by an ancient enemy.

          The 3D family action adventure "Alice Through the Looking Glass" from Disney will be good counter-programming to the male targeted "Apocalypse." Directed by James Bobin ("Muppets Most Wanted"), "Glass" stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham-Carter.

          In this sequel to "Alice in Wonderland," Alice (Wasikowska) discovers she can enter an alternate universe by stepping through a mirror.

          The first episode in the "Alice" franchise opened Mar. 5, 3010 to $116.1 million and ended up grossing $334.2 million domestically.

          JUNE:June 3 is opening day for Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies' action adventure "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2."      Directed by Dave Green ("Earth to Echo"), it stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett and Stephen Amell.In this episode, the Turtles return to save the city.

          The last "Turtles" episode opened Aug. 8, 2014 to $65.6 million and wound up with $191.2 million domestically.

          June 17 will bring one of the summer's most likely blockbusters in Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' 3D animatedcomedy adventure "Finding Dory."

          Directed by Andrew Stanton ("Finding Nemo") &first time feature director Angus MacLane, its voice talents include Ellen DeGeneres (Dory), Albert Brooks and Diane Keaton.

          This sequel to "Nemo" reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish with her loved ones, revealing the true meaning of family along the way.

          "Nemo" opened May 30, 2003 to $70.3 million. Its domestic cume, including reissues, is $380.8 million.

          June 24 will bring the sequel to another classic blockbuster – 20th Century Fox's 3D sci-fi action adventure "Independence Day: Resurgence."Directed by Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day"), it stars Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum.

          The original "Day" opened July 3, 1996 to $50.2 million and did $306.2 million domestically.

          JULY: July 1 ushers in the July Fourth holiday weekend with another familiar name –the 3D action adventure "Tarzan" from Warner Bros., Dark Horse Entertainment, Jerry Weintraub Productions and Village Roadshow Pictures.

          Directed by David Yates (four "Harry Potter" episodes), it stars Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan, Margot Robbie and Samuel L. Jackson.

          In this new take on the vintage character, Tarzan is invited to return to Africa as a trade emissary from London, where after years he's accustomed to living a gentrified life as Lord Greystoke. What he and his wife, Jane (Robbie), don't know is that he's a pawn in a deadly game of greed and revenge orchestrated by the villainous Capt. Rom (Christoph Waltz).

          The last (and quite different) big-screen "Tarzan" opened June 16, 1999 via Disney to $34.2 million and wound up with $171.1 million domestically.

          July 8 brings the blast off of another legendary blockbuster – Paramount, Bad Robot and Skydance Productions' sci-fi action adventure "Star Trek Beyond."

          Directed by Justin Lin ("Fast and Furious 6"), it stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and Simon Pegg.

          The last "Trek" episode, "Star Trek Into Darkness," opened May 16, 2013 to $70.2 million. It went on to gross $228.8 million domestically.

          July 15 is the next stop on Hollywood's reboot railroad with Columbia's 3D sci-fi action adventure "Ghostbusters."Directed by Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids," "Spy"), it stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the new female Ghostbusters team as well as Chris Hemsworth and Bill Murray with a cameo appearance by Dan Aykroyd.

          The original "Ghostbusters" opened June 8 1984 to $13.6 million at 1,339 theatres, which was big money and a wide release at the time. Its domestic cume, including reissues, is $242.2 million.

          Two more familiar brands will surface July 22. 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios' 3D animated family comedy adventure "Ice Age: Collision Course" is directed by Mike Thurmeier("Ice Age Continental Drift") & first time feature director Galen T. Chu. Its voice talents include Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Chris Wedge.

          This is the franchise's fifth episode and it picks up where the last one left off – on the island where the crew wound up in "Ice Age: Continental Drift.""Drift" opened July 13, 2012 to $46.6 million and went on to do $161.3 million domestically.

          Also arriving July 22 is the 3D fantasy action adventure "King Arthur" from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures. Directed by Guy Ritchie ("The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," "Sherlock Holmes"), it stars Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Djimon Hounsou.

          This new take on the legendary character introduces a young Arthur (Hunnam) running about London's back alleyways with his pals, completely unaware of his future life until he grasps the sword Excalibur and is instantly challenged by its power.

          The last (and quite different) take on "King Arthur" opened July 7, 2004 via Disney to $15.2 million and did $51.9 million domestically.

          July will wrap up with the as yet untitled action adventure sequel in Universal's Jason Bourne franchise. The franchise's roots go back to Robert Ludlum's first Bourne series novel "The Bourne Supremacy,"published by Random House in February,1986.

          Directed by Paul Greengrass ("The Bourne Supremacy," "The Bourne Ultimatum"), the new episode stars Matt Damon (returning as Bourne), Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones And Alicia Vikander. No title or plot details are availableyet.

          The franchise's last episode, "The Bourne Legacy," opened Aug. 10, 2012 to $38.1 million and grossed $113.2 million domestically.

          AUGUST: August will get off to a comic book driven start Aug. 5 with the 3D sci-fi action adventure "Suicide Squad" from Warner Bros., Atlas Entertainment, DC Entertainment and Dune Entertainment.

          Directed by David Ayer ("Fury"), it stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney and Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne.

          Unlike other comic book based films, "Squad" revolves around super villains rather than superheroes. In its storyline,A.R.G.U.S., a secret government agency run by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), assembles a team of super villainsknown as the Suicide Squad. In return for taking on some highly dangerous assignments, they are offered reduced prison sentences.

          Bottom line:Sight unseen, next summer looks like it should sizzle at the boxoffice.