Movie Maniac

Fall movie preview: From ‘American Assassin’ to ‘American Made’

Ryan Gosling stars in “Blade Runner 2049.”
Ryan Gosling stars in “Blade Runner 2049.” Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Well, Hollywood made it through the gauntlet that was the summer box office – just barely. Ticket revenue was down at least 12 percent, and ticket sales were at their lowest point for the season in 10 years. Ouch!

Sure things tanked (the upteenth “Transformers,” the upteenth “Pirates of the Caribbean”) while nostalgia fizzled (“Baywatch,” “CHiPS”).

And then – gasp! – audiences were drawn to fresh material (“Baby Driver,” “Girls Trip”) that saved the summer. And sure, there were some other bright spots, too (“Wonder Woman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming”).

But mostly, we’re all just thankful it’s over. While Hollywood licks its wounds, we’ll just welcome a whole new crop of movies of the more serious and awards-worthy variety before we get back the glitz of holiday fare.

Here are some highlights of what’s coming to theaters this fall (release dates are subject to change):

Friday, Sept. 8

“It” – Stephen King’s horror tale follows a group of bullied kids who band together to fight a monster named Pennywise that takes the shape of a clown and begins hunting children. The trailers with the new Pennywise look absolutely terrifying. And I don’t do clowns, so uh, no thanks. And I a directed a zombie movie!

“Home Again” – Reese Witherspoon returns to romantic comedy as a newly divorced mom in Los Angeles whose life changes radically after she allows three young men to move in with her and her young daughters. What did she think would happen?

Sept. 15

“Mother!” – Adventurous director Darren Aronofsky returns to a horror-ish vibe with this cryptic-looking story about a couple (Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) whose peaceful existence gets disrupted when weird uninvited guests (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) arrive at their home.

“American Assassin” – This is being set up in the first of a potential series of movies, following a young man who becomes a counterterrorism agent after his girlfriend is killed. Starring Dylan O’Brien, Taylor Kitsch and Michael Keaton.

Sept. 22

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” – The sequel to the surprise hit finds the British spy organization’s headquarters destroyed, so it must merge with U.S. allies to stop a common enemy. Taron Edgerton returns and is joined by Channing Tatum and Halle Berry.

“The LEGO Ninjago Movie” – More LEGO adventures, more box office glory.

“Battle of the Sexes” – The true story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell).

Sept. 29

“American Made” – Tom Cruise stars as real-life Barry Seal, a hustler and pilot who is recruited by the CIA in the 1980s to run one of the biggest covert operations in U.S. history.

“Flatliners” – Ellen Page and Diego Luna take over for Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon in this remake of the 1990 original about medical students that perform experiments to trigger near-death experiences on each other. Date night has a completely different meaning for them.

Oct. 6

“Blade Runner 2049” – Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”) directs this sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 original, with Ryan Gosling starring as a young police officer who discovers a long-buried secret that leads him on a quest to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for 30 years. (Spoiler alert: he gets found.)

Oct. 13

“The Snowman” – This looks like it’s in the vein of “Seven,” about a detective (Michael Fassbender) who investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman, and suspects it’s the work of a serial killer. Good detective work, buddy.

“Marshall” – Biopic about a young Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman), the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.

Oct. 20

“The Mountain Between Us” – Kate Winslet and Idris Elba star as two strangers who must work together to survive on a snow-covered mountain after their plane crashes. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.

Oct. 27

“Jigsaw” – A reboot of the “Saw” horror franchise. Because reboots have gone so well lately.

“Suburbicon” – George Clooney directs this tale about a peaceful, idyllic suburban community that finds its quiet life shattered. Starring Matt Damon, Oscar Isaac and Julianne Moore.

Nov. 3

“Thor: Ragnarok” – The next installment in the Marvel Comics Universe finds the mighty Thor imprisoned and forced in a lethal gladiatorial battle against the Hulk. As Thor says, they know each other “from work.”

Rod Pocowatchit: 316-268-6638, @rawd