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With The Dark Knight still going strong, August shows plenty of promise in the final month to a great box office summer.

2008 Summer Movie Preview: August

July was red hot with fewer releases than June, but all high profile, especially the record-breaking The Dark Knight, which is likely to reach the 500 million dollar mark, putting it second on the all-time list behind Titanic. Journey to the Center of the Earth and Mamma Mia! have good staying power while moderate hits Step Brothers and Hellboy II: The Golden Army outperformed Space Chimps, X-Files: I Want to Believe, Kit Kittredge, and Meet Dave at the box office. August shows plenty of promise as the final month to a great box office summer begins.

NOTE: All dates subject to change.

AUGUST 1

America the Beautiful – Documentary on pressures and society’s ideals surrounding appearance and cosmetic surgery follows Gerren Taylor’s ascension to supermodel fame. Julianne Moore, Anthony Kiedis, Jessica Simpson, and Paris Hilton also make appearances. (New York release)

Midnight Meat Train – A budding photographer encounters a serial killer, played by Vinnie Jones. Based on Clive Barker’s short story. (Limited release)

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – Adventurous couple Rick O‘Connell (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn (newly cast Maria Bello) take off to the Far East on a new adventure, which also stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh.

Swing Vote – Comedy where Kevin Costner makes a big difference in the presidential election where Dennis Hopper and Kelsey Grammer play the candidates. Stanley Tucci, Nathan Lane, Paula Patton, and young newcomer Madeline Carroll also star.

AUGUST 6

Bottle Shock – Based on a true story set in 1976, Bill Pullman plays a man struggling to make ends meet so his dream of the best chardonnay wine can come true. Alan Rickman, Freddy Rodriguez, Dennis Farina, Eliza Dushku, and Bradley Whitford also star. (Limited release)

Pineapple Express – This action comedy has drug themes, crime elements, and murder as screenwriter/star Seth Rogen stars with James Franco, Gary Cole, Rosie Perez, Danny R. McBride, and James Remar. Judd Aptow co-wrote the story and produced.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 – The girls return in this book adaptation as the original television star cast of America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, and Alexis Bledel have grown in popularity and talent.

AUGUST 8

Beer For My Horses – Toby Keith and Rodney Carrington star and co-write this action comedy about two rural deputies. Ted Nugent, Claire Forlani, Tom Skerritt, and Willie Nelson co-star. (Limited release)

Elegy – Penelope Cruz as an object of desire? Most audiences could agree with that premise in this romance drama written by Nicholas Meyer and starring Sir Ben Kingsley as a college professor. Based on Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning short novel The Dying Animal. (Limited release)

Hell Ride – Larry Bishop, Michael Madsen, and Eric Balfour (a.k.a. Pistolero, the Gent and Comanche) star this crime thriller directed and written by Bishop. Vinnie Jones, Dennis Hopper, David Carradine, and Cassandra Hepburn. (Limited release)

AUGUST 13

Tropic Thunder – Action comedy where a group of actors are stranded as they film a war movie. Ben Stiller (who also directs), Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte, and Bill Hader star in the ensemble comedy cast.

AUGUST 15

Fly Me to the Moon 3D – The first animated movie created for 3D features three houseflies who experience the Apollo 13 mission to the moon.

A Girl Cut in Two – French filmmaker Claude Chabrol creates a thriller with a young girl torn between two men, an older author, played by Francois Berleand (The Transporter) and a mysterious young man. Inspired by the sensational Gilded Age murder of Madison Square Garden architect Stanford White. (Limited release)

Henry Poole is Here – Luke Wilson stars in this life-changing comedy/drama directed by Mark Pellington. Radha Mitchell, George Lopez, and Cheryl Hines also star. (Limited release)

Mirrors – Kiefer Sutherland plays a former law enforcement officer troubled by mysterious new events. Paula Patton and Amy Smart also star.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Expanded storyline from the previous George Lucas epic leads into this animated springboard for an upcoming television series that premieres on Cartoon Network, then TNT.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Woody Allen switches his film settings from Britain to Spain in his latest film, which centers on two women played by Rebacca Hall and Scarlett Johansson who vacation in Barcelona meeting characters played by Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. Patricia Clarkson and Kevin Dunn also star.

AUGUST 20

The Rocker – Rainn Wilson plays a drummer who gets a second chance at redemption, fortune and fame. Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Saturday Night Live comedians Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen also star in this promising comedy.

AUGUST 22

Death Race – Director Paul W.S. Anderson remakes this futuristic prison car racing thriller with stars Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Tyrese Gibson, and Ian McShane.

Hamlet 2 – Dark comedy where a school group tackles the Bard’s classic. Andy Fleming directs and writes the film starring Amy Poehler, Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener, David Arquette, and Elisabeth Shue. (Limited release)

The House Bunny – Anna Faris plays a Playboy Bunny who encounters a college sorority in this comedy co-starring Colin Hanks, Katharine McPhee, Rumer Willis, Christopher McDonald, and Beverly D'Angelo.

The Longshots – Fred Durst (a.k.a. Limp Bizkit) directs Ice Cube in this PG-rated family comedy about Jasmine Plummer (Keke Palmer, Akeelah and the Bee), who made Pop Warner football history.

Momma’s Man – Director/writer Azazel Jacobs’ comedy/drama stars Matt Boren as a family man who stays at his parents' place on a business trip, which then triggers his detachment from life’s responsibilities. (Limited release)

AUGUST 27

Traitor – Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce face off in this international spy thriller written and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff. Steve Martin (yes, the comedian) wrote the story.

AUGUST 29

Babylon A.D. – Vin Diesel returns to the big screen in this mercenary action epic from French director Mathieu Passivity (Assassins, Gothika) featuring Michelle Yeoh, Lambert Wilson, Vincent Cassel, and Gerard Depardieu.

College – This R-rated comedy centers on three high school seniors visiting campuses… probably the direct opposite of Disney’s College Road Trip.

Disaster Movie – Another spoof comedy attacks another Hollywood movie genre while lampooning recent summer releases. Carmen Electra and Kim Kardashian make an appearance.

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