2guns

The final month of summer kicks off August 2 with what is surely one of the season's most notable star pairings: 2 Guns, led by Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

Both veteran actors have enjoyed a string of hits in recent years: Washington with the Oscar-nominated Flight, Safe House, Unstoppable, and The Book of Eli; Wahlberg with The Other Guys, The Fighter, Contraband, and Ted (plus a popular supporting cameo in Date Night).

Here's how their first team-up is trending so far across the major social networks:

Twitter

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Jun13

For a second consecutive month, records have fallen.

After a benchmark month of May, June's box office lived up to the challenge with a stellar $1.245 billion estimated market gross. That's up 17.8 percent over June 2012's performance, and handily tops the previous June record (2009's $1.087 billion) by 14.5 percent.

The first two months of summer have now totaled a massive $2.387 billion, more than any other combined May and June in history. That figure is 14 percent higher than 2012's comparable period and tops the previous best summer start of $2.106 billion in 2009.

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50_shades_of_grey

It's official: the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is heading to theaters on August 1, 2014 via Focus.

The film's box office potential is immense. Author E.L. James' steamy novel about an intense sexual relationship between a billionaire and a college student has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide. A built-in audience of that size is the kind of asset that film distributors dream of tapping into. If Focus cranks out a strong film and orchestrates a marketing campaign that taps into obsessive fans of the novel, then they could end up with their biggest hit of all time. Brokeback Mountain, another sexually-charged film that had people buzzing, is currently Focus' #1 hit to date with an impressive $178.1 million global haul. 

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Sum14

Summer is halfway over for movie fans. May generated several box office records and June delivered some big hits in the middle of the month. This season has certainly proven top-heavy, though, with May's string of blockbusters overshadowing any other weeks-long time frame on the calendar. It's a hard standard to live up to.

Among enthusiasts, all of this begs the question: what's in store for *next* summer?

The answer is a mixed bag. No summer 2014 releases have debuted trailers as most are still in production. Quality is ultimately king, but built-in interest is key for the success of big-budget franchise movies. The problem is this: after a few summers with stand-out event films far in advance of their release, 2014 seems lacking.

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Conj

It's a bit unusual to look at the third weekend of July and not see a major blockbuster tentpole on the release calendar, but that's exactly the situation next month. In contrast to recent years, the weekend of July 19, 2013 will see the wide release of four new films. One of them, Turbo, opens early on July 17. The other three are Red 2, R.I.P.D., and The Conjuring. Guess which one is building the most buzz so far?

Hint: it's not the star- or effects-driven vehicles.

Director James Wan's The Conjuring has slowly been building its case over the last few months. Over the past five days, the supernatural horror has posted a strong 15,834 tweets.

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Wolverinefacebook

After the massive success of Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel, it's tempting to think that moviegoers will want a break from superheros. Fox's The Wolverine proves that's not the case. 

In a clear sign of growing interest, the official Facebook page for The Wolverine has been adding fans at a rapid pace. The sequel tacked on another 82,042 likes this past weekend, pushing its total to nearly 1.6 million. Only Despicable Me 2 managed to add more likes over the weekend. 

The popularity of the Wolverine character is clearly strong enough to overcome the lukewarm reception that 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine received.

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Pacrim2

Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim has long been the topic of discussion around the Internet. One of the biggest questions from some among that community (including our own forums) has been "when is Warner Bros. going to actually start marketing it?"

Now that Man of Steel has solidified its success with a huge opening weekend, you can bet that the studio is about to kick its Pacific Rim campaign into full gear. Wisely so, too, as spending the money to push it too hard early in the middle of a crowded summer market would have been an easy to way to over-spend on an original franchise-hopeful pic.

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