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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Numbers News Articles - July, 2014
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Per Theater Chart: Boyhood has Extended Childhood

July 23, 2014

Boyhood poster

The biggest film on the per theater chart this weekend was Boyhood, for the second weekend in a row. It expanded from 5 to 34 theaters, but its average fell just 56% to $34,418. That's fantastic. It has already earned a measure of mainstream success, while it has its eyes on Chef for best limited release for the summer. Second place went to There's No Place Like Utopia with $30,710 in one theater. This is a great start, but there are still no reviews, so I think it will have short legs. A Five Star Life and Mood Indigo were relatively close with averages of $15,996 and $13,256 respectively. The only wide release to reach the $10,000 club was The Purge: Anarchy, which earned an average of $10,626. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Monkeys Still in Business

July 22, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

As expected, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes remained on top of the box office chart with a healthy lead over The Purge: Anarchy. Unfortunately, the other two wide releases, Planes: Fire and Rescue and Sex Tape were anything but healthy and that led to a weakening box office. It fell less than 1% from last weekend to $149 million. This was 24% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 is now 5.6% or $340 million behind last year's pace at $5.79 billion to $6.13 billion. I think with summer wrapping up, it is close to the time to panic. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for July 22nd, 2014

July 22, 2014

I think it is fair to say it is a mixed week on the home market. There are four wide releases coming out this week, but all but one struggled at the box office. Worse still, looking down the list of new releases and you quickly run into filler. Fortunately, there are a few films that are contenders for Pick of the Week, including Blue Ruin and Next Goal Wins. However, the winner is Ginger Snaps, which is coming out on a Special Edition Blu-ray. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Shogun

July 22, 2014

Shogun is a TV mini-series that first aired way back in 1980. I saw the theatrical cut on VHS, and remember loving the show. However, that was about 25 years ago and my tastes might have changed and / or the film might not have aged gracefully. Is it as good as I remember it? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Featured DVD Review: Antboy

July 21, 2014

Antboy is a Danish kids movie that came out on limited release earlier in the year. Live action kids movies rarely do well in theaters and this is double so for a limited release. This film wasn't an exception. That said, does it deserve to find an wider audience on the home market? Or was its troubles on the home market warranted? More...

Weekend Estimates: New Releases No Match for Apes

July 20, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

Only one new release really fired at the box office this weekend, and even that film, The Purge: Anarchy couldnít topple Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from top spot on the chart. Apes will be down 50% from last weekend, to $36 million, and its cume is hovering around $140 million so far. It seems destined to be another film that ends up around $200 million this Summer. Anarchy will open with about $28.4 million, according to Universal, for a theater average of almost exactly $10,000. Thatís stellar business for a film costing $9 million to make, although it is off a bit from the $34 million open enjoyed by last yearís surprise hit. A third installment seems inevitable (and a direct-to-video Part 4 is a good bet).

The weekendís other two wide releases were well behind the pace. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Rio 2

July 20, 2014

I previously reviewed Rio and thought it was... a movie. It is so middle of the road that I couldn't get passionate about the film, either positively or negatively. That said, it made a ton of money, especially internationally, so it should come as no surprise that Rio 2 was made. Does it improve upon its predecessor? Does it get worse? Or is it yet another movie that just exists? More...

Limited Releases: I Wish I Were Watching a Limited Release

July 18, 2014

Wish I Was Here poster

It is a really bad weekend for limited releases. There are a dozen films on this week's list, but the best-reviewed release is Alive Inside, which is earning 64% positive reviews. On the other hand, the film with the loudest buzz is Wish I Was Here, which is opening in 68 theaters. More...

Contest: In the Sky with Diamonds

July 18, 2014

Next weekend there are two to four wide releases. Lucy and Hercules are opening wide. I'm not sure about And So It Goes and The Fluffy Movie is only opening in 400 theaters, more or less. Of these four films, Lucy has the best buzz and should earn first place with relative ease. As such, it is the clear choice for the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Lucy.

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of Unforgettable: Season Two on DVD, plus a previously reviewed TV on DVD release. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win two a previously reviewed TV on DVD releases. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Weekend Predictions: Anarchy on Top?

July 17, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

There are a trio of wide releases coming out this week looking to dethrone Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The Purge: Anarchy is the most likely film to come out on top, but the original didn't win over many moviegoers. It opened big, but collapsed very quickly after that. Planes didn't perform much better with moviegoers, but there hasn't been an animated family film released wide since How to Train Your Dragon 2, so Planes: Fire and Rescue could benefit from the lack of competition. Sex Tape is the only non-sequel opening wide this week and that could help it do well. Or the fact that it is not based on a previous movie could hurt it. There is one last film that might reach the top ten, Persecuted, which is opening in 700 theaters. It would only need a per theater average of just over $4,000 to reach the top ten, which is doable. This year, we should have four films that earn more than $20 million. Last year there were only three. However, last year, The Conjuring earned more than $40 million, a milestone no film this year will reach, while seven films earned more than $10 million. This year there will be only four films earning more than $10 million. Again, it looks like 2014 is going to get crushed at the box office. More...

International Box Office: Transformers Climbs into First Place

July 16, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

Transformers: Age of Extinction remained in first place with $100.3 million in 50 markets for totals of $543.5 million internationally and $752.3 million worldwide. This makes is the biggest worldwide hit of the year so far. Granted, half of the film's international total came from China where it has made $279.75 million so far, including $56.36 million this past week, and the studio gets a very small share of the box office revenue from that market. As for new markets, the film debuted in first place in the U.K. with $20.11 million on 533 screens, including previews. This is the biggest opening of the year in that market so far. The film also did well in Mexico with $8.26 million on 3,131 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $15.84 million. More...

Contest: I'll Give You a Clue (Or Three): Winning Announcement

July 15, 2014

The winners of our I'll Give You a Clue (Or Three) contest were determined and they are... More...

Per Theater Chart: Coming of Age

July 15, 2014

Boyhood poster

After a weekend with no films in the $10,000 club, this weekend we had the second best per theater average for the year. Boyhood earned nearly $400,000 in just five theaters for an average of $77,524. This is the second best per theater average for the year; only The Grand Budapest Hotel opened with a better average. The overall box office leader, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, was next with an average of $18,304 in nearly 4,000 theaters. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Break of Dawn

July 14, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

As expected, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes earned first place and it finished on the high end of reasonable expectations. Unfortunately, it crushed the competition earning more than four times more than the second place film, Transformers: Age of Extinction. It made almost as much as the rest of the box office combined made, so the overall box office was still soft for this time of year at just $149 million. Granted, this is 13% higher than last weekend, but more troublesome, it was 23% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 is now more than $200 million lower than 2013's pace at $5.57 billion to $5.78 billion. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for July 15th, 2014

July 14, 2014

There is actually a $100 million hit on this week's list of new releases, which puts it miles ahead of most of recent weeks. Unfortunately, that new release is Rio 2, which isn't terrible, but it certainly isn't Pick of the Week material either. Worse still, there is practically no depth this week and almost none of the new DVDs / Blu-rays are Pick of the Week contenders. Fortunately, "Weird Al" Yankovic comes to the rescue with Mandatory Fun, which is a CD, which I normally don't talk about. As far as DVDs and Blu-rays are concerned, Orphan Black: Season 2 on Blu-ray is clearly the best. More...

Contest: Total Anarchy

July 14, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy poster

As I mentioned previously, this week's contest was delayed due to legal reasons, the details of which I don't know. I also mentioned that the contest would be based on The Purge: Anarchy, not because I think it will finish in first place, but because we have prizes for that movie. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for The Purge: Anarchy. However, while there is only one wide release, there are three prizes to give away.

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a The Purge: Anarchy prize pack consisting of The Purge: Anarchy promo T-shirt and a The Purge: Anarchy promo flashlight. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a Frankenprize, to make up for the contest starting late. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Under the Skin

July 14, 2014

Under the Skin stars Scarlett Johansson, which gave the film a lot more star power than most limited releases have. On the other hand, the premise was a little out there, so much so that it really never had a shot at expanding significantly. It managed $2.5 million, which is great, especially considering so far this year only three limited releases have topped $10 million (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Chef, and very recently Belle). Does the film work as an art house film? Will it please more mainstream audiences? More...

Weekend Estimates: Apes Dawns with $73 Million

July 13, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

In the midst of a disappointing Summer for Hollywood, the arrival of an unabashed success is welcome news indeed, and thatís what we have this weekend, with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes delivering an excellent $73 million opening weekend, well ahead of early industry expectations. The success of the film is most likely down to two factors: first, its reviews have been excellent, and, second, its storyline is sufficiently interesting to draw in people who arenít excited by the thought of yet another super hero/monster movie. After the success of Maleficent and the failure of Edge of Tomorrow, films that strive to be a bit different are now scoring 2 out of 3 this Summer; films that are the product of formulas and marketing departments havenít produced a single out-and-out hit. If the studios could get the message in the that, we really would see the dawn of something. More...

Featured Blu-ray review: Revenge of the Nerds

July 13, 2014

Revenge of the Nerds came out in theaters 30 years ago and hit Blu-ray in February or May. Amazon seems to have been confused on this issue. The screener arrived late, possibly by a few months, but I finally got to the review this weekend. Was it worth the wait? The reviews were strong when it came out, but has it aged well? And is the Blu-ray worth checking out? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season

July 11, 2014

For the past couple of seasons of True Blood, there have been troubling signs. The show was clearly off its peak in terms of quality and this was adversely affecting its ratings as well. It was still a good show, but no longer a great show. Season Six saw the show earn its weakest ratings since season one, which was before it was discovered by most people. Is this also a sign that these troubling signs finally broke and True Blood is now just a shadow of what it once was? More...

Limited Releases: Boy Oh Boy

July 11, 2014

Boyhood poster

There are more than a dozen limited releases coming out this week, including a few earning good buzz and / or good reviews. Closed Curtain, Land Ho!, Underwater Dreams all have a shot at finding an audience in limited release. However, leading this pack is Boyhood, the latest from Richard Linklater. If only one movie is a hit this weekend, it will most likely be Boyhood. More...

Legal Delay

July 10, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy poster

In what might be a first for me, a story will be delayed for legal reasons. We are still waiting on the details for this week's prizes (the person I talked to mentioned lawyers, so I assume they just need to make sure none of the details are out of place) so the launch of the contest might be delayed a day or two. If you don't care what the prizes are and just want to enter, you can send your prediction for the opening weekend for The Purge: Anarchy, as well as your address and phone number to contests@the-numbers.com. The full contest and rules will be online A.S.A.P. More...

Weekend Predictions: Apes Look to Climb to the Top

July 10, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the only new wide release of the week and since last week's new releases underperformed, it will dominate the box office this weekend. In fact, it will dominate the box office, even if it barely managed to live up to its predecessor. Transformers: Age of Extinction will be well back with less than $20 million, while Tammy might not reach $10 million. By comparison, this weekend last year, there were two films that earned more than $40 million (Despicable Me 2 and Grown Ups 2) and a total of six films earned $10 million or more. 2014 is going to get crushed in the year-over-year comparison. More...

International Box Office: Transformers in Their Prime

July 9, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

Transformers: Age of Extinction remained in first place with $95.8 million in 37 markets over the weekend for totals of $400.9 million internationally and $576.3 million worldwide. Its best market remains China, where it added $120.61 million for the full week giving it a total of $222.74 million after two. These numbers are important for two reasons. Firstly, revised totals in China put the film's opening there ahead of its debut in North America. Stunning. Secondly, the film is already ahead of Avatar's final figure in that market. Granted, it's barely above Avatar's pace, as that film pulled in $221.9 million after ten days of release, but that is still great news. It held up better than most films do in South Korea earning $8.05 million on 1,096 screens over the weekend for a total of $34.62 million. In Russia, the film added $7.04 million on 2,171 screens over the weekend for a total of $35.38 million after two. The last major market was Australia, where it pulled in $4.54 million on 623 screens over the weekend for a two-week total of $17.32 million. More...

Contest: Fracking Prizes: Winning Announcement

July 8, 2014

The winners of our Fracking Prizes contest were determined and they are... More...

Per Theater Chart: Blacking Out

July 8, 2014

Code Black poster

There were no films in the $10,000 club on the per theater chart this weekend. The film that came the closest was Transformers: Age of Extinction, which earned an average of $8,753 in more than 4,000 theaters. The best limited release was Code Black, which earned $7,978 in one theater. The best new release was Tammy with an average of $6,227 in more than 3,000 theaters. Finally, the best new limited release was Life Itself, which managed an average of $5,713 in 23 theaters. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Dinobots Dominate Subdued Box Office

July 7, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

As expected, Transformers: Age of Extinction won the race to the top of the box office chart and did so with ease. However, that film, and practically every film in the top five, failed to live up to expectations. Tammy still took second place with ease, but it was the only other film to earn more than $10 million over the Independence Day long weekend. Overall, the box office pulled in $132 million over the weekend, which is 27% less than last weekend. Compared to the same weekend last year, the box office was 42% lower this year. Ouch. To put this into perspective, even if you take out Despicable Me 2 from last year's box office, 2014 would have still failed to match 2013's weekend numbers. Year-to-date, 2014 is now $130 million or 2.4% below 2013's pace at $5.35 billion to $5.48 billion. It is still too early to panic, but if things don't turn around soon, the panic button will be pushed. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for July 8th, 2014

July 6, 2014

It is a terrible week on the home market. I could just leave that as my opening sentence on this column all summer long and the vast majority of the time it would fit perfectly. This week, the biggest new release is Raid 2, a foreign-language action film. The second biggest release is Jodorowsky's Dune, a documentary about a movie that was never made. Neither release will sell a ton of units. However, both earned great reviews and both are contenders for Pick of the Week. The third and final contender is Le Week-End, which is earning reviews that are just as good, but the film appears to be selling far fewer units on the home market. While all three releases are worth picking up, Jodorowsky's Dune on Blu-ray Combo Pack is the best this week and it is the winner of the Pick of the Week. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Stage Fright

July 6, 2014

Stage Fright is a horror musical. When you look up a list of horror musicals, you find films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Little Shop of Horrors. Those are comedies that use horror tropes to tell a story. The list of actual horror musicals is tiny. Is there something in musicals that makes them incompatible with horrors? If so, how does Stage Fright figure this out? Is it actually a horror movie? Or is it as scary as The Rocky Horror Picture Show? More...

Weekend Estimates: Transformers Top Modest July 4 Weekend

July 6, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

After opening around the $100 million mark last weekend, Transformers: Age of Extinction was always the odds-on favorite to win this weekend, and even a 64% fall will be enough to keep it top with a projected $36.4 million for the FridayĖSunday period. Thatís well ahead of Tammy, which will post a respectable $21.2 million for the three-day weekend and almost $33 million in total by the end of Sunday. Thatís plenty for a film that cost $20 million to make. More...

Limited Releases: The Good Life

July 4, 2014

Life Itself poster

It is a busy week with several releases spread over three days. Unfortunately, most movies opening this week are earning weak reviews and many of them have almost no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. The lack of buzz and the weak critical response will likely prove fatal. Fortunately, there is an exception as Life Itself is earning amazing reviews. A Hard Day's Night is also worth checking out, as it is getting a 50th anniversary. More...

Contest: I'll Give You a Clue (Or Three)

July 4, 2014

Next weekend there is only one wide release, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which means it is the only choice for the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. However, while there is only one wide release, there are three prizes to give away.

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of No Clue on DVD. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a copy of No Clue on DVD. Finally, one additional entry will be chosen, regardless of the accuracy of their prediction, and that person will win the final copy of No Clue on DVD. So if you are really bad at predicting box office numbers, this is the contest to enter. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Weekend Predictions: Dinobots look to Chomp Down on New Releases

July 3, 2014

Tammy poster

There are three wide releases and a wide expansion this week all hoping to take advantage if the Independence Day long weekend. (There was to be one more wide expansion, but Begin Again is expanding to less than 200 theaters.) Tammy is the biggest of these wide releases and it is the latest Melissa McCarthy vehicle and might be a surprise $100 million hit. Deliver Us From Evil and Earth to Echo were in a close battle for third place on Wednesday, but I think their futures will be quite different. Finally, America: Imagine a World Without Her is expanding to over 1,000 theaters. This isn't enough to compete with the new releases, but it could compete for a spot in the top ten. While there are a lot of new releases, Transformers: Age of Extinction will win the race for top spot in the box office chart, unless something surprising happens. The only thing more surprising than Age of Extinction getting knocked out of top spot would be if the overall box office was stronger that the same weekend last year when Despicable Me 2 opened with more than $80 million during the three-day weekend. More...

International Box Office: Beginning of a New Age

July 2, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

Transformers: Age of Extinction earned top spot on the international chart with $201.3 million on 10,015 screens in 37 markets. This includes a record $99.81 million opening in China, which is basically a rounding error away from its North American debut. It also broke the record in Russia with $21.23 million on 2,171 screens. Its opening in South Korea was nearly identical with $15.88 million on 1,597 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $21.98 million. The final major market of the weekend was Australia, where it pulled in $8.30 million on 623 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $9.56 million. The film likely cost about $300 million to make and advertise, so it still needs work to break even, but this is an amazing start. More...

Contest: LEGO My Prize: Winning Announcement

July 1, 2014

The winner of our LEGO My Prize contest was determined and it is... More...

Per Theater Chart: Beginning on Top

July 1, 2014

Begin Again poster

Despite there being a $100 million hit on the box office this weekend, Begin Again still led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $26,813 in five theaters. This bodes well for its expansion on Wednesday. The overall number one film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, was next with an average of $23,633 in more than 4,000 theaters. Snowpiercer was the third film to earn a per theater average over $20,000 with an average of $20,266 in eight theaters. America: Imagine a World Without Her was next with an average of $12,869 million in three theaters. Yves Saint Laurent was a surprise entry in the $10,000 club with an average of $12,104 in two theaters. It managed this despite earning weak reviews and opening on the Wednesday. The final film in the $10,000 club was Code Black, which climbed into the $10,000 club during its second weekend of release with $10,953 in two theaters. It is rare for a documentary to do this well, and it is even rarer for a film to see its per theater average grow. More...

2014 Preview: July

July 1, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

Overall, June was not good. Most films matched expectations, or came close enough that there weren't major disappointments. However, it looks like How to Train Your Dragon 2 will miss expectations by more than $100 million. This was such a massive amount that 2014 lost its lead over 2013 and not even Transformers: Age of Extinction's $100 million opening was able to turn things around. Looking forward to July, there's not a lot of good news. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes might be the only film coming out during July that will reach the $100 million milestone, but on the high end, it might reach the $200 million mark. There are a few others that have a shot, but are not favored to reach the century mark. On the other hand, there are more films that may or may not open / expand wide and even if they do, they will likely have no real impact at the box office. By comparison, last July, Despicable Me 2 was the top draw and finished with more than $350 million. There were also four other films that surpassed $100 million at the box office. It seems practically impossible for 2014 to match those numbers and will likely finish the month behind last year's pace. Overall, 2014 isn't doing poorly, but the summer has been much weaker than the spring was, so we've gone from potential record breaking year to merely average.

More...