Why ‘OCEAN’S 8’ is going to be a smashing Summer success story


Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, and Awkwafina in OCEAN’S 8. Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

When director Steven Soderbergh’s OCEAN’S ELEVEN remake debuted back in 2001, it ran away with a world-wide steal of $450.7 million. On a $85 million investment, that’s not too shabby a take Warner Brothers rounded up. It spurned two other high-grossing, high-profile films – OCEAN’S TWELVE and OCEAN’S THIRTEEN – which, granted varied in critical acclaim, but were nonetheless an indicator of a goldmine of franchise potential. As long as you give audiences cool stars and a clever, concise plot, they’ll always want to see a heist movie.

Eleven years after OCEAN’S THIRTEEN was released, we’re finally seeing a gender-swapped spin-off take the floor. And, judging by the new trailer, we predict that director Gary Ross’ OCEAN’S 8 is going to wipe the floor with the rest of the competing films out this Summer. Take a look:

It’s everything our hopes and dreams are made of, no?!

Ross and company have made such shrewd choices when it comes down to every element of this one, but a few decisions in particular.

Clever call #1: Casting dynamic sensational personalities like Rihanna and Awkwafina (celebs with dedicated fan-bases) alongside the skilled talents of actresses everyone loves (like Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling) and an Oscar winner (Anne Hathaway) whose likability is still, for some insanely dumb reason, open for public debate (she’s likable, you guys! Now put a lid on it.) There’s already been mutiple memes to come out of the teaser alone. I can’t imagine whats to come that will keep this film in conversation.

Clever call#2-1000: Releasing this on June 8, just as the Summer box office is getting into full swing, seems like a coup for the studio. Not only will it be dodging other big studio tent poles, like AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, DEADPOOL 2 and HAN SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (which probably wouldn’t serve to necessarily split its audience, but possibly could), it’s out of the way of other female-driven films, like Paramount’s BOOK CLUB (May 18), Warner’s LIFE OF THE PARTY (May 11) and Universal’s MAMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN! (July 20).

The SEX AND THE CITY movie found success on a similar;ly scheduled date (about a week prior) back in 2008, raking in $415 million world-wide and giving a necessary jolt to “Girl’s Nights Out” everywhere. It heralded the return of the “female event movie” – and most likely, OCEAN’S 8 could serve to do the same.

Again, for the cheap seats in the back: OCEAN’S 8 is out on June 8.

About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.