Studios used to spending August releasing movies from slightly out in left field, free from the pressure of early summer blockbusters, are finding this year more stressful than usual, the New York Times reports. A soft four weeks has put releases such as Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds under pressure to perform well, but the disappointing performance of recent releases like Funny People and Bruno has Hollywood worried.
If Basterds bombs, the Weinstein brothers are likely to lack resources to fund an Oscar push for upcoming musical Nine. Sony Pictures, without a $100 million picture since May's Angels & Demons, has high hopes for comedic Julia Child biopic Julie & Julia, but director Nora Ephron hasn't had a hit since 1998. Paramount, meanwhile, is riding high on the success of Star Trek and Transformers, but could be embarrassed if GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra flops next weekend as predicted.