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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Numbers News Articles - April, 2014
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DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 15th, 2014

April 15, 2014

It is a busy week on the home market with five films that either opened at least semi-wide or expanded semi-wide. However, unlike last week, there's no monster hit like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug leading the way. In fact, most of the semi-wide or wide releases on this week's list were critical and box office disappointments. Only Philomena did well with critics. Fortunately, it did well enough that it is a contender for Pick of the Week without even considering the extras on the DVD or Blu-ray. There are a few other new releases that are noteworthy, but most of them are catalog Blu-ray releases. These include Touch of Evil on Blu-ray and Double Indemnity on Blu-ray. In the end, I went with Touch of Evil, but I literally had to roll a dice to decide. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Winter Solider Continues Solid Spring

April 14, 2014

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

As expected, Captain America: The Winter Soldier took the top spot on the weekend box office chart, but it was a little closer than expected, as the film's sophomore stint was on the low side of predictions. Rio 2 did very well opening with a nearly identical result as its predecessor. Oculus opened well, for a film that cost $5 million to make. It likely won't have good legs, because films of that genre rarely do, but it should break even regardless. Only Draft Day was disappointing. Overall, the box office was able to pull in $140 million over the weekend. This was down 16% from last weekend, but this is still 20% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 has now pulled in $2.73 billion, which is nearly 8% and $200 million more than last year's pace. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Cowgirls N Angels: Dakota's Summer

April 14, 2014

Cowgirls 'N Angels 2: Dakota's Summer, or Dakota's Summer, as is it sometimes simply known as, is the second film in the Cowgirls 'N Angels franchise. Although I'm not sure I would call it a true sequel, as there are almost no characters from the first movie in this one. Is the film worth checking out? Is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Featured DVD Review: Wrong Cops

April 14, 2014

Wrong Cops is the latest film from Quentin Dupieux, the director who brought us Rubber, a film about a serial killer tire. I really liked that movie, but I will admit the target audience might be low. Is this movie just as good? Is it more accessible to moviegoers? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Ride Along

April 13, 2014

Ride Along is the second film I'm reviewing this weekend that earned bad reviews that already has a sequel in the works. I'm not surprised it is getting a sequel. After all, it did earn nearly $135 million on just a $25 million production budget, but a big box office doesn't mean high quality. Were the critics right to lambast this film? Or were moviegoers right to check it out in theaters? And if so, is the Blu-ray Combo Pack worth picking up? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Nut Job

April 13, 2014

The Nut Job opened earlier this year and was a surprise hit more than doubling its production budget domestically. It did so well that a sequel is already in the works. Is this a good movie? Is it merely good enough for a kids movie? Or did it thrive because there wasn't a lot of competition when it opened? More...

Featured DVD Review: Flowers in the Attic

April 13, 2014

Flowers in the Attic started out as a book in 1979 and was first turned into a movie in 1987. This movie earned poor reviews, but did okay business at the box office, mainly because of the controversial nature of the book. Earlier this year, the film was released as a TV movie on Lifetime and brought in more than 6 million viewers to the channel, something none of their original movies from 2013 were able to accomplish. On the other hand, Lifetime's original movies don't exactly have a great reputation and there is already one bad movie based on the book, so my expectations are not exactly high. Is this film a good surprise? Or should I have lowered my expectations more? More...

Weekend Estimates: Winter Soldier Beats Out Rio

April 13, 2014

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

When Friday's numbers came in, the consensus was that Rio 2 would take the weekend, but relatively weak Saturday numbers for the debutant, and strength through the weekend for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, means that the final weekend estimates on Sunday morning point towards a win for Marvel's superheroes. Captain America is projected to earn $41.4 million over three days for a domestic total around $159 million after two weekends. That's well ahead of the original's $117 million at this stage in its release, and the film's worldwide box office will better the first film's final global total by the end of the weekend too. Rio 2, meanwhile, will have an opening weekend almost identical to Rio, which is a slight disappointment, but hardly a disaster. More...

Featured Movie Review: Dry Spell

April 11, 2014

Dry Spell is an ultra-low budget film from the same filmmaker that brought us Raymond Did It. This film cost a mere $22,000 to make. It could have cost ten times that and still be considered low budget. So one has to have lowered expectations when it comes to the technical presentation. But on the other hand, if the writing is good, the film should still be entertaining, regardless of the production budget. Is that the case? More...

Limited Releases: Looking for the Perfect Limited Release

April 11, 2014

Perfect Sisters poster

This weekend is almost as busy for limited releases as last week, and on the plus side, there are a handful of films that are worth checking out. Only Lovers Left Alive and Joe are both earning great reviews. On the other hand, Only Lovers Left Alive is probably too "Art House" to thrive, while Joe is opening too wide and on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are also limited. Dancing in Jaffa is earning perfect reviews, but documentaries rarely have breakout success. Finally, Disco Singh could be a surprise hit, as it could be on track to break records in its native India. More...

Contest: Power Through the Competition

April 10, 2014

It's a busy week at the box office next week including Bears, A Haunted House, Heaven is for Real, and Transcendence. Only Transcendence has a real shot at first place at the box office. As such, it is the only real 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 Transcendence. 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 Power Rangers: Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit on DVD. Meanwhile, 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 Power Rangers: Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Weekend Predictions: Can Rio 2 Fly to the Top?

April 10, 2014

Rio 2 poster

While Captain America: The Winter Soldier is expected to win the race for first place on the box office chart this weekend, some think it will be rather close with Rio 2 giving it a fight. Draft Day and Oculus will also be in a close race for third place with both films earning in the low teens. Overall, the box office looks a lot stronger than it did last year. Both The Winter Soldier and Rio 2 will crush 42's opening, while Draft Day and Oculus will be close to Scary Movie 5's debut. More...

International Box Office: Winter of Content

April 9, 2014

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

Captain America: The Winter Soldier remained in first place on the international chart with $109.8 million in 50 markets for a two week total of $209.4 million internationally and $304.4 million worldwide. The Winter Soldier is already ahead of the first Captain America internationally, and by this time next week, it will have $500 million worldwide, about 30% more than its predecessor's final figure. This week, the film opened in first place in a trio of major markets, led by China where it earned $36.23 million, which is just over $20 million more than the first film finished with in that market. Russia was next with an opening of $7.79 million on 1,685, or $1 million lower than the first film's final tally there. Finally there was Australia, where the film opened with $5.91 million, which is about 20% more than its predecessor opened with. As far as holdovers go, the film added $4.64 million in the U.K. for a total of $18.31 million there, which is already ahead of the first film's total. More...

Contest: It's Raining Prizes: Winning Announcement

April 9, 2014

Birds of Paradise poster

The winners of our Winter is Coming contest were determined and they are... More...

Per Theater Chart: Under Over Everyone Else

April 8, 2014

Under the Skin poster

Under the Skin opened surprisingly well with a per theater average of $33,289 in four theaters. This is the second best opening per theater average for any film released in 2014, well back of The Grand Budapest Hotel's record-breaking debut. The only other film in the $10,000 club was the overall box office leader, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which earned an average of $24,130 in nearly 4,000 theaters. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Winter Soldier Produces a Lot of Heat

April 7, 2014

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

So the first weekend of April was amazing. Not only did Game of Thrones set a series record for ratings (and the best for HBO since The Sopranos) but Captain America: The Winter Soldier set the April opening weekend of all time. Its opening was on the high end of expectations, which is great news, and this strength helped the overall box office grow by 19% from last weekend to $167 million. This is also 24% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 now has $2.55 billion, which is 7% more than 2013's running tally of $2.38 billion. More...

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

April 6, 2014

It is a busy week on the home market with five wide releases / films that expanded wide among the new releases. This includes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is dominating the chart with four of the top six new releases. Of those four releases, the 3D Combo Pack is the best deal. August: Osage County earned a couple of Oscar nominations, which should help it sell well, but the Blu-ray Combo Pack isn't quite Pick of the Week material. There are some other releases that are definitely worth picking up, for smaller target audiences. I Am Divine on DVD should please fans of the character, but I'm not sure there's enough of them out there to give it Pick of the Week. Finally, Sofia the First: The Floating Palace on DVD is a must have for young girls, and quite a few young boys, but the appeal isn't wide enough justify being a Pick of the Week. In the end, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on 3D Combo Pack is the safest choice. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Here's Lucy: The Complete Series

April 6, 2014

I previously reviewed several seasons from The Lucy Show, which ended for business rather than ratings reasons. Here's Lucy is a very similar show in tone, if not in terms of characters. It too lasted six seasons before ending its run. (This time ratings did play a significant part in that happening.) All six seasons have been released on DVD in the past, but a couple weeks ago, a full series Megaset was also released. Is the show worth picking up for fans of the Lucille Ball? Is the box set worth the asking price? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Nurse 3D

April 6, 2014

Nurse 3D was shot in 2011 but didn't get a release until earlier this year when it debuted in limited theaters, as well as Video on Demand. That's not a good sign. It did open with strong buzz, especially from genre sites. So will it please horror fans? Or was there a legitimate reason it took so long to come out? More...

Weekend Estimates: Captain America Sets New April Record

April 6, 2014

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

The evolution of the Avengers universe is working out very well for Disney. In November, Thor enjoyed a bump from $65 million to $85 million on opening weekend (and an almost $200 million boost in final worldwide box office). Now, Captain American: Winter Soldier is topping the first movie in its sub-franchise by $30 million or so on opening weekend, with a projected total of $96.2 million, compared to $65 million last time around. With excellent reviews, and a better global launch, we could be looking at another $600 million in the bank before this one is finished. Into the bargain, the film will easily be the record weekend in April, comfortably ahead of the $86 million earned by Fast Five back in 2011. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

April 5, 2014

The Paranormal Activity has run for five years. The first film cost just $15,000 to make ($450,000 after post-production) and earned more than $100 million domestically and nearly $200 million worldwide. Obviously the studio started rushing out sequels. Unfortunately, some of the later sequels failed to win over critics and it "struggled" at the box office. (It made $86 million worldwide on a $5 million production budget.) The latest film in the franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, is a spin-off of the original story and the first Paranormal Activity not released around Halloween. In fact, it was released in January, which is normally a dumping ground for films. On the other hand, there have been quite a few horror films to do relatively well early in the year in the past few years. Was this one of those successes? Or was it really dumped into theaters because the studio had no faith in the film? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Power Rangers: Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit

April 4, 2014

The last time I reviewed Power Rangers, it was the second volume of the Megaforce series. I wasn't expecting a lot, because most incarnations in this franchise are pretty weak. However, it was a pleasant surprise. Will The Great Dragon Spirit be as good as the previous installment? Or was it only good because my expectations were so low? More...

Limited Releases: Afflicting Limited Releases on the Public

April 4, 2014

Alan Partridge poster

It is a busy week, not only in terms of quantity, but also quality. There are seven films earning 80% positive reviews or higher (at least when I checked last). Some of these, like Afflicted, probably won't find an audience in theaters, because it is just the wrong genre. Others, like The Unknown Known and Watermark, might do well for the genre, but won't find any real measure of mainstream success. On the other hand, Under the Skin and Alan Partridge might find audiences in theaters. More...

Contest: Out of Storage

April 3, 2014

Next weekend there are three wide releases, but only Rio 2 is expected to make a lot of noise at the box office. (Personally, I'm more interested in seeing Oculus.) It might not earn first place, because Captain America: The Winter Soldier could repeat as box office champion. However, it is the only real 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 Rio 2. 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 Flowers in the Attic on DVD. Meanwhile, 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 Flowers in the Attic on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Captain America Freeze Out the Competition?

April 3, 2014

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

It is the first weekend in April, which means one thing... Game of Thrones returns! Also, Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens domestically. The film already opened internationally and was a much bigger hit than its predecessor was in the markets it debuted in, which bodes well for its opening here. On the other hand, it scared away all other films and there's no competition opening in wide release and it could take a real bite out of the holdovers. That said, this weekend last year, the biggest hit of the weekend was Evil Dead, which only made $25.78 million and The Winter Soldier could earn four times that over the weekend. More...

International Box Office: Winter of Content

April 3, 2014

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

Captain America: The Winter Soldier started its international run a week earlier than its domestic run and it started out really well. It earned first place with $75.2 million in 32 markets. This includes a number of major markets, led by the U.K. with $10.05 million on 535 screens. By comparison, the first Captain America made $14.75 million in the U.K., in total, including a $4.90 million start. It also cracked $10 million in South Korea with $8.89 million on 1,268 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $10.99 million. The first film made $3.81 million in South Korea in total. The Winter Soldier also opened in Mexico, earning $8.60 million on 2,681, which was a little bit above its predecessor opening. It is too soon to tell if it will reach $20 million, like The First Avenger did. The first film made $10.28 million in France in total, while this film opened with $6.06 million on 664 screens. In Germany, the film only managed $3.66 million on 626 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.99 million, compared to $4.81 million the original made in total. It had a near identical opening in Italy with $3.60 million on 648 screens over the weekend, for a total opening of $4.06 million. This is close to half of the $8.60 million the first film made in total in that market. On the other hand, the film had to settle for second place in Spain with $2.93 million in 709 screens, which is just a little bit more than the $2.54 million the original opened with. As you can tell, The Winter Soldier topped The First Avenger's opening in every major market. It topped its predecessor's total in one major market. This is an amazing start and with several major markets left ahead of it, an international total of $300 million is a reasonable goal. More...

Contest: It's Raining Prizes: Winning Announcement

April 2, 2014

The winners of our It's Raining Prizes contest were determined and they are... More...

Analysis: March Bankability and the Top Dramatic Actors

April 1, 2014

In the March update to our Bankability Index, our list of industry influencers increases to 14 people and we examine the top actors and actresses in dramatic roles in movies.

Overall, March's chart reflects the relatively modest start to the year at the box office. Samuel L. Jackson moves back into second place in the overall chart thanks to his appearance in RoboCop, Hans Zimmer was helped by his composing for Winter's Tale and Son of God (and will be further helped in April's chart through his involvement in Divergent–does the man ever sleep?). Leonardo DiCaprio continues to benefit from his producing roles in The Wolf of Wall Street, Out of the Furnace and Runner Runner. Finally, Frozen helps John Lasseter solidify his 11th place in the chart.

This month's new entry is Morgan Freeman, who got a very handy boost from his voice role in The LEGO Movie, and was also helped by some work we did on our archive of credits. That combination takes him to 14th on the Worldwide Chart, up 3 places from February.

All this activity has kept us pretty busy, but it's our new Bankability feature that really kept us burning the midnight oil this month: The Bankability Index Casting and Hiring Guides... More...

Per Theater Chart: Mistakes Paid Dividends, while Raid Rules

April 1, 2014

Mistaken for Strangers poster

It was a close race, but The Raid 2 took top spot on the per theater chart with an average of $23,613 in seven theaters. Finding Vivian Maier was right behind with an average of $21,200 in three theaters. The overall number one film, Noah, was the only other film in the $10,000 club, earning an average of $12,257. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Noah Sails to the Top, but Box Office Sinks

April 1, 2014

Noah poster

March is over and it ended on a bit of a down note. Noah topped expectations, but not every film managed to do the same. For instance, Sabotage barely avoided the Mendoza Line. Overall the box office was down less than $1 million, or 0.7%, when compared to last weekend. Compared to last year, the box office was down 5%, which isn't great, but given how strong 2014 has been, it is hardly a reason to panic. In fact, year-to-date, 2014 has a 6% lead over 2013 at $2.35 billion to $2.22 billion. More...

2014 Preview: April

April 1, 2014

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

March was stronger than expected when compared to 2013 with four films earning $100 million or more, led by Divergent. (Not all of them have gotten there yet, but they are certain to reach that milestone before they are done their box office runs.) It wasn't a blow-out victory, on the other hand, as a few weekends the ticket sales were lower in 2014 than they were during the same weekend in 2013. April looks really strong with Captain America: The Winter Soldier leading the way. This film should top $200 million over the weekend, while it isn't the only film that should crack the century mark, as Rio 2 is also on track for $100 million. This is great news, as no film last April reached $100 million. Granted, 42 came close and Oblivion wasn't far behind, but The Winter Soldier should earn more than those two films earned combined giving 2014 a comfortable lead over 2013 over the full month. More...