Writer/director Boaz Yakin’s Max opened theatrically in late June and from the early box office results it should have been gone from theatres by mid-July. And yet here we are in August and the film continues to reach audiences by word of mouth.
There was some early buzz a couple of weeks ago that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment would be releasing Max as DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs editions at the end of September, but the definitive word arrived this past week that the street will instead be Oct. 27.
Ticket sales have grown and grown to where they now stand at $40.8 million. For the record, the ARR works out to 123 days for that Oct. 27 release date.
This is one of those feel-good films that you would normally see as an MOW on the Hallmark Movie Channel, but in the hands of filmmaker Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans, Uptown Girls, Safe, etc.) Max rises to full theatrical status and it packs one hell of an emotional punch.
Max is a military dog working with Marines in Afghanistan. His handler and best friend is Kyle, who we get to know ever so briefly before Max is injured while alerting his patrol about hidden explosives. Kyle is killed and Max is returned stateside, but his future looks dim.
Cutting between this early action are the comings and goings of Kyle’s family — his father Ray (Thomas Haden Church), his mom Pam (Lauren Graham) and his insolent little brother Justin (Josh Wiggins). Justin has a gigantic chip on his shoulder and is completely unmotivated.
That’s your set-up: Tragic death of Kyle, moody younger brother and an injured and emotionally devastated animal. Max looks as if he will have to be put down as he doesn’t seem to be able to cope with the loss of Kyle (the church services are guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye, so have the Kleenex at hand). But just as all seems lost he bonds with Justin and the healing process — for both of them — begins.
There’s a backstory that comes into play, which gives Max and Justin a chance to be heroes, but the real impact of Yakin’s film comes from the interaction between the four-legged It’s a beauty.Marine and his new friend.
Bonus features include a pair of production featurettes — “Working with Max” and “Hero Dogs: A Journey.”
In other release news this week … Maisie goes solo. Released in May of 2012 as a five-film collection, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced this past week that Ann Sothern’s first five films in the Maisie Ravier comedy film series — Maisie (1939), Congo Maisie (1940), Gold Rush Maisie (1940), Maisie was a Lady (1941) and Ringside Maisie (1941) — will be available as single-DVD releases on Aug. 18.