But now September is upon us, and judging from the utter lack of high-performing - or even appealing - films, we're going to to call it right now: September 2014 will draw the lowest numbers of the year, and could establish itself as one of the worst Septembers in the past 15 years. Don't believe us? Check out this list:
No major releases this month - Sorry, but The Identical - slated for release one-third that of a standard Hollywood blockbuster - seems to have zero buzz going behind it. For us to not recommend anything for a week is a first, and should demonstrate just how big this sort of news is. You're better off checking out something you missed from the Summer that might still be playing.
The Drop (September 12)
Plot: Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living - no matter the cost.
Director: Michaël R. Roskam
Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Matthias Schoenaerts, James Frecheville
Why We're Interested:
'Interest' might be too big of a word here, as it looks like a modern version of Goodfellas. Another story about corruption in a New York borough is like asking for another grain of sand from The Arabian Desert. But the cast is interesting, and Drop represents the last film Actor James Gandolfini shot before his passing in 2013. Whether these stories make the movie better - as well as drawn in moviegoers in anything more than a trickle - is anyone's guess.
Watch the Trailer for The Drop:
No Good Deed
Director: Sam Miller
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Idris Elba, Leslie Bibb
Why We're Interested:
Again, 'interested' is not quite the word we'd use. Sure the cast is good, but is there enough tension in the home-invasion story to keep us awake?
Watch the Trailer for No Good Deed
A Walk Among the Tombstones (September 19)
Director: Scott Frank
Starring: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour, Mark Consuelos
Why We're Interested: We really liked Neeson's airplane thriller Non-Stop, and the trailers look decent. We hope this one is a winner, but it seems ubnlikely given the fact that Neeson movies hardly ever perform above $100m.
Watch the Trailer for A Walk Among the Tombstones
The Maze Runner
Director: Wes Ball
Starring: Thomas Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Dylan O'Brien
Why We're Interested: Given the performance of YA novels in 2014, we're not at all sure about Maze Runner. The trailers are good but not stunning, and the cast is mostly made up of young actors with a couple of veteran character actors thrown in. This could be the hit of the month, or it could be another The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
Watch the Trailer for The Maze Runner:
The Equalizer (September 26)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz
Why We're Interested: Finally! A film we're actually looking forward to seeing! Sadly, the more we look at this reboot of 1980's spy drama, the more we realize it really shouldn't be titled The Equalizer. Sure the character of Robert McCall is still there, but his backstory as a former CIA operative pursued by the KGB and his former employers is completely different. The trailers look good, but with the greatness of the television show now a shadow, is this really The Equalizer, or should it be re-titled "Well This Really Isn't The Equalizer, But Who Cares?"
Watch the Trailer for The Equalizer:
Let the Misery Begin!
With the first week of September essentially offering nothing new, we think the 2001 record of $56.7 million might be possible. We know some of you are clamoring for Tusk, but it's highly unlikely that the dark comedy will resonate with anyone other than superfans of Director Kevin Smith. And while we think the Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All is By My Side looks good, it was supposed to be released in 2013 and has somehow been pushed back until now. That leaves five major releases with major questions hovering around each of them.
Will The Equalizer and Maze Runner be enough to draw out potential moviegoers? It's hard to imagine so, given the many unknowns each has behind them. With most interested people having already seen Guardians and Turtles, we could either see a decent month or a slaughterhouse.
For now, be sure to add these to your Movies To-Do List:
• September 5th - No major releases this week
• September 12th - The Drop, No Good Deed
• September 19th - Maze Runner, A Walk Among the Tombstones
• September 26th - The Equalizer
Which films are you looking forward to this month? Comment below and join the conversation!
Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.