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New in Theaters August 25: Leap!, Birth of the Dragon, All Saints

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By Chris Kavan - 08/24/17 at 06:42 AM CT

As summer continues to wind down to its inevitable end, August looks to go out with a whimper. There has already been several weeks of declining numbers, and though films like Annabelle: Creation and The Hitman's Bodyguard have performed well, the overall box office has essentially been in a free fall, with many of lowest-grossing weekends of 2017 coming in August. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that trend is going to turn around. This week brings us an animated fell-good story aimed directly at a young, female crowd, a biopic about Bruce Lee and (in more limited numbers) an inspirational, faith-based film. None are likely to make much headway at the box office and I'm guessing this is going to join the ranks (if not top) as one of the lowest-grossing weekends of the year, once again.

LEAP! This film gets the benefit of the doubt simply because it's animated and animated films tend to do well enough simply because they draw in families. Even with school back on, Leap! is likely to still do decent business. However, it is squarely going after a primarily female audience and, thus, has shut out a big portion of a likely crowd. Leap! is another one of those inspirational films that you can do anything if you really want too! Even becoming a prestigious ballerina without any training! Thus, orphan Felicie (Elle Fanning) finds herself in Paris, at said prestigious ballerina academy where she pretends to be someone else in order to train at the Grand Opera in hopes of becoming the star of the show. Dane DeHaan, Carly Rae Jepsen, Maddie Ziegler and Kate McKinnon provide some of the other voices. Outlooks are not rosy for the prospects of this doing well - it has already made $58.1 million around the globe, it's probably going to be lucky to add 1/10th of that stateside.

BIRTH OF THE DRAGON Bruce Lee may set a record for most biopics after death. In any case, Birth of the Dragon is set in 1960s San Francisco where Lee (Philip Ng) was an up-and-coming martial artist, and new Hollywood darling. But in order to prove himself, he agrees to a controversial showdown with kung fu master Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia). Billy Magnussen, Simon Yin, Terry Chen, Ron Yuan and Lillian Lim round out the cast. At least they keep things mostly Asian, as they should for a biopic. Still, I'm not expecting this to have great wide appeal and will probably be happy just breaking in to the top five. This is the kind of film that will draw a dedicated, but minor, crowd and while I'm sure it has plenty of action, and probably some heart, it's not going to have any kind of major impact over the weekend.

ALL SAINTS Another film that is going to appeal to a niche audience is All Saints. Based on the true story of businessman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), the film follows the newly-ordained man as he is on his first assignment - to shut down a small church in order to free up the land, only for him to become attached to a group of Southeast Asian refugees, which will, in turn, change lives forever. I'm not a big fan of these movies, which are often too heavy on the message and light on everything else. Being released in only 800 theaters, it's not likely to register much on the radar and I suspect it will be quickly out of theaters and is likely not going to have much influence at the box office.

Despite its average opening, The Hitman's Bodyguard is still the front runner to top the box office once again - and also likely to top it on the slowest weekend of the year. I'll be back Sunday with the details.


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