(CBS News) Summer 2013 was a record-breaker at the box office—movie analysts say summer movie sales across the U.S. totaled $4.7 billion, over a 10 percent increase from last summer. Movie attendance jumped nearly 7 percent, leaving industry insiders hopeful that the streak will continue into the fall.
A large portion of the slated 2013 fall releases are based on true stories and the season is long on big-name directors, according to The Huffington Post entertainment editor Michael Hogan, who advises cinephiles look out for upcoming films by Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, and British director Steve McQueen.
“Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney is set to be released Oct. 4 and critics are “saying it’s her best performance ever. ... It’s really Sandra Bullock’s movie with an assist by George Clooney,” Hogan said Monday on “CBS This Morning.” The Alfonso Cuaron-directed film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and tells the story of two astronauts trapped in space.
“All is Lost,” directed by J.C. Chandor and starring Robert Redford as the only cast member, will be released Oct. 18. In it, Redford plays an unnamed man stranded at sea in the Indian Ocean and there is no dialogue.
“Rush,” out in late September, is an action-packed drama, according to Hogan. The Ron Howard-directed film is about the amazing rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the summer of 1976.
One film in the fall lineup already generating Oscar buzz is Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” to be released October 18. It’s based on a true story about a free-born black man who was sold into slavery in the deep South. The lead actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance is generating Oscar-worthy praise and Hogan said the film is “definitely a frontrunner to get nominated” for a Best Picture Academy Award and possibly a Supporting Actor nomination for Michael Fassbender.
Fassbender also stars in Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor,” which boasts a script written by Cormac McCarthy, author of “The Road.” The cast includes heavyweights like Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Penelope Cruz and Hogan says the film will likely help Fassbender raise his profile. “The Counselor,” to be released Oct. 25, is about an attorney, played by Fassbender, on the wrong side of the law.
Other films to look out for this season include “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks, taking on the role of a real-life captain whose ship - the Maersk Alabama - was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009 and “Enough Said,” starring the late James Gandolfini in a lighter, “nice guy” role that breaks from Gandolfini’s typecast in his final film project. And “Last Vegas,” starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline, is a good choice for the moviegoer seeking a lighter option. The film will be released Nov. 1 and centers around a late-in-life bachelor party in Las Vegas.