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Friday, October 31, 2014

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2012 - Holiday Gift Guide - Part I

2012-11-23

This weekend is Thanksgiving and as always that means Black Friday and Cyber Monday plus 48 hours of shopping in-between. Unlike most years, I'm only halfway done with my Christmas shopping. So what recent, and not so recent releases are prime candidates for the perfect gift this year? Over the next month, we will go over several dozen possibilities with our annual Holiday Gift Guide, which is divided into into four sections. This week we start with Major Movie Releases. These are first run releases, franchise box sets, etc. However, before we get into the individual titles, we will start with an update on...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for October 23rd, 2012

2012-10-23

There are not a lot of major releases on this week's list. The biggest box office hit was Magic Mike, which did cross $100 million, but I'm not sure its target audience is going to support it on DVD and especially not on Blu-ray Combo Pack. According to Amazon.com, Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings is the best selling new release, and the DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and 3D Combo Pack are selling very well. However, while that film is absolutely worth picking up, the Pick of the Week goes to The Invisible War on DVD. It could be an Oscar winner next year.

DVD Releases for March 11, 2008

2008-03-11

A rather slow week for new releases, which is good because three DVDs arrived late last week and I was able to get caught up on spotlight reviews. (Actually, I'm not completely caught up as at least one failed to show up in time for this week.) As for the DVD Pick of the Week, the obvious choice would seem to be No Country for Old Men, but the lackluster DVD just screams double-dip and in the end I went with Stargate - Ark of Truth - Buy from Amazon instead.

Oscar Nominations Sidestep Box Office Giants

2005-01-25

The Oscar Nominations were announced this morning and at first glance it appears that most of the nominations went to films with smaller budgets and box office results. Box office hits were nearly shut out of the major nominations.

DVD Releases for December 14, 2004

2004-12-13

Every week films get a second chance at success from the home market; or, in some cases, a first chance at success. Here is a list of wide releases, limited releases and a few from the growing TV on DVD section, including the winners of the DVD Pick of the Week, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - Platinum Series Special Extended Edition and Star Trek: The Original Series - The Complete Third Season - Buy from Amazon.

Dwarves Tower Above All

2004-11-10

It's a rare feat for a non-Hollywood film to top the international charts, but that's just what the German spoof, Seven Dwarfs, did this week. Playing in just three markets the film took in $10.6 million on under 1,000 screens. In its home market of Germany the film eased just 19% to $9.2 million; the result was not quite as good in Austria where it dropped a respectable 30% to $915,000, but it was in Switzerland where it shined - increasing 4% to $500,000. Overall the film has now made $29.0 million so far but the real test comes with increased competition from holiday fare and the ability to find an audience in non-German speaking markets.

Sharks 4 - Dwarves 7

2004-11-03

Holidays throughout Europe, and a $1.5 million, first place finish in Russia helped Shark Tale remain in top spot for the fourth straight week, although it was a much closer contest this week. Highlights include $4.3 million in the U.K., off just 24% compared to its sophomore weekend, $4.0 million in France, which was up 47% from last weekend for a $15.5 million in 4,300 theatres in 27 markets weekend. Its international running total topped $100 million, the 13th film to do so this year, and now sits at $109.6 million.

Sharks Sink but Still Stay on Top

2004-10-27

Despite a 45% drop in its weekend haul, Shark Tale was able easily able to earn it third first place finish on the international charts. Still early in its run, the film took home $16.2 million in 4,368 theatres in 24 markets pushing its total to $80.3 million internationally. Without any openings the film relied on strong holdovers like in the U.K. where it drop 39%, in France it was off 32% and 35% in Germany.

Sharks do a Double-Take

2004-10-20

Thanks to mostly unopposed openings several more markets, Shark Tale was able to repeat as the international box office champ this week. Not only that, but its $29.6 million more than doubled its international tally prior to the start of the weekend as the film now sits at $56.2 million. The best opening of the weekend, and most likely of its international run, was in the U.K. where the film managed to take in $9.1 million, ($13.6 million if you include last week's previews.) In France the result was strong with $4.2 million but in the face of local competition, it could only manage $3.4 million in Germany.

Shark Attack

2004-10-13

With openings in nearly a dozen new markets, Shark Tale was able to take top spot on the international charts with $9.4 million in 16 markets, pushing its early total to $19.2 million internationally and over $100 million worldwide. Highlights include $4.4 million in the U.K., (including previews) and $2.05 million in Mexico. How happy the studio is with these results depends on their expectations. Compared to the average film, Shark Tale is a massive hit. But compared to Dreamworks previous digitally animated film, Shrek 2, it is a large drop.

Collateral Climbs to the Top

2004-10-06

Collateral finished first on the international charts breaking The Village's five week run on top. Although, with a weekly take of only $9.4 million in 28 markets, it has as much to do with the weakness of the competition as it does with the strength of the film itself. The largest chunk of that box office came from France, where the film earned $3.8 million.

Village's Population Grows

2004-09-29

For the fifth week in a row The Village finished in first place with $14.0 million on 4000 screens in 38 markets. The biggest opening of the week was $5.2 million in Spain, but suffered another collapse in Mexico dropping 55% during its second weekend there. Its international total hit $100 million over the weekend, the fifth Disney film to do so this year, and the 17th overall.

Spider Swings into Italy but Can't Top Village

2004-09-21

The Village once again top took spot on the international scene, but by a very narrow margin. Still being plagued by sharp drop-offs, the film earned $11.2 million on 3,500 screens in 34 markets. So far the film has taken it $117 million internationally, higher than its $113 million it earned domestically. Although, it is much lower than M. Night Shyamalan's previous movie Signs.

Village's Population Grows

2004-09-14

The Village again was the weekend champ in the international box office with $15.3 million on nearly 3,500 screens in 31 markets. Highlights for the weekend include and impressive debut in Germany at $5.5 million and a less spectacular $3.1 million in Japan. The film also suffered a 55% drop-off in its second weekend in Australia while it held up much better in Brazil. So far the film has earned $63.2 million internationally and is well on its way to matching its $112 million domestic total.

Stuck in Neutral

2004-09-08

The weekend on the international scene was very much the same as last weekend, just a little bit slower. The Village was again the champ, thanks to seven openings in mostly mid-ranged markets. A $2.2 million debut in Australia was the top money earner as the film took in $9 million in 23 markets. It's international total is now $45 million and should be headed to $100 million before it is done.

Arthur, King of the International Box Office

2004-08-24

A trio of new openings pushed King Arthur into first place this week with $13 million in 33 markets. The film now sits at $88 million internationally, and should break $100 million by next weekend. Worldwide it looks headed for $200 million.

Robot Takes Gold

2004-08-17

It's a little early to say what effect the 2004 Summer Olympics will have on the box office, but the early indication is that Eurocup 2004 had a larger effect. I, Robot hit its first international milestone topping the $100 million mark and now sits at $107.7 million. It accomplished this feat by taking in $18.8 million on more than 5,300 screens in 34 markets over the weekend. With Japan and Italy still ahead, $300 million worldwide is almost guaranteed while $200 million internationally is not out of the question.

Robot Tops Very Light Competition

2004-08-10

With the summer juggernauts mostly wrapping up their runs, and very little in the way of new competition, I, Robot easily finished first on the international box office charts. Its weekend earnings of $31.3 million on more than 6,000 screens in 29 markets was nearly triple what the nearest competitor could take in. The film opened number one in the U.K. (8.7 million), Germany ($5.3 million) and Russia ($2.4 million) as well as strong holdovers in France ($2.6 million) and other nations. The film has already earned $71.2 million internationally, and should top its domestic numbers within a few weeks.

I, Number One

2004-08-03

I, Robot first major expansion into the international markets proved very profitable for 20th Century Fox. Big openings Europe, $5 million in France and $4.7 million in Spain; Asia, $2.5 million in South Korea, $1.8 million in Taiwan; and in $1.9 million in Mexico help it earn $20.5 million over the weekend. Still early in its run, the Sci-Fi action film has earned $29.6 million in just 17 markets so far.

The Village Has a Thrilling Start

2004-08-02

This weekend was another lesson in how hype can overcome bad reviews. It was also another lesson in how good reviews plus poor marketing results in a disappointing box office. Overall, the box office was again relatively flat from last weekend with just a 2.11% increase. It was up by 7.95% from last year; however, this weekend last year was the first weekend in August, so the 2003 to 2004 comparisons are not an accurate indicator. Year-to-date, 2004 continues to outpace 2003 by 6%, $5.63 billion to $5.33 billion.

Will There be a Surprise Twist at the Box Office?

2004-07-30

We have an absolutely overloaded weekend when in comes to new releases. Four of them are opening, and at least one, and probably more, will be squeezed out.

Spider-Man Stuck on Top

2004-07-27

Despite a severe, nearly 50% drop at the box office, Spider-man 2 remained on top with $31.6 million, including a record $1.6 million in India, the biggest opening for a Hollywood film in that market. However, the news isn't all good as big drop-offs continue to plague the Marvel web-slinger, 56% in France, 50% in the U.K. and 59% in Spain. But it is still earning immense figures thanks to record-breaking openings and should cross $600 million worldwide early in the mid-week and $300 million internationally during next weekend.

Bourne Becomes Supreme

2004-07-26

The weekend results were much better than expected, at least overall. Both new films took in more than expected, while all but one the holdovers beat our prediction. Even so, the week-to-week change was again very flat with a miniscule 0.37% drop from last weekend, but was 3.57% smaller than the same weekend last year.

Supreme Odds

2004-07-23

Just two wide releases this week, but unfortunately they share a lot of the same target audience. This could result in ticket splitting making both films suffer at the box office. But it is more likely that one film will simply crush the other. With the sheer contrast between their critical reception, one of them certainly deserves to crush the other.

Gracing the Per Theatre Charts

2004-07-21

Only two films topped $10,000 per theatre this weekend, and they were at opposite ends of the release spectrum. Coming in first was Maria Full of Grace with a weekend take of $139,066 in just 7 theatres for an average of $19,867. Next was the overall box office champ, I, Robot with a $15,257 average in 3,420 theatres.

Spider-Man Two ... Hundred Million

2004-07-20

Another 11 openings, mostly in European markets, helped Spider-man 2 swing to new heights this week on the international charts. This week it earned $62.3 million on roughly 9,400 screens in 61 markets, which pushed it international total to $200.1 million and in just 19 days. Highlights include $15.7 million in the U.K., $11.6 million in France and $7.7 million in Spain. The news was less impressive in Northern Europe where a heat wave hurt the industry as a whole; specifically, this lead to smaller than expected openings in Belgium and Holland and a steep drop in Germany. Worldwide the film has topped $500 million, just the fifth film to do so this year, and the 35th all-time. With Italy the only remaining major opening left, and it doesn't open there till mid-September, the weekly numbers have most likely peaked. However, it should still quickly climb the charts.

Bullseye

2004-07-19

The number one movie this week was right on target with moviegoers, beating almost all predictions, but it may have come at the expense of others films. This kept the box office relatively flat both from last week (up 3.13%) and last year (up 1.95%). Year-to-date still has 2004 up by 6% over 2003, $5.16 billion to $4.86 billion.

Eyeing Top Place

2004-07-16

Just two wide releases this week, but together they make almost the perfect duo, the potential blockbuster and the counter-programming smaller film. Hopefully, this will result in both films maximizing their box office. However, with neither film likely to win many awards their maximized profits are unlikely to be particularly impressive.

Movie Websites Launches for July 9 - July 15

2004-07-15

During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates including the winner for the week, Garden State - Official Site . If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail me with the details.

Movie Websites Launches for July 2 - July 8

2004-07-08

During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates including the winner for the week, The Bourne Supremacy - Official Site. If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail me with the details.

2004 Summer Preview - Part 4: July

2004-06-30

June couldn't maintain the momentum built up at the end of May with only a few films able to match expectations. And that makes July's prospects a little less bright. Without the free advertising monster hits bring in, the industry as a whole tends to suffer. July only has one sure-fire hit, and I've already talked about it in another preview. However, there are a few others that should hit the $100 million club and maybe even one or two that will make it to $200 million.

Movie Websites Launches for June 4 - June 10

2004-06-10

During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates including the winner for the week, Garfield - Official Site. If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail me with the details.

Movie Websites Launches for May 7 - May 13

2004-05-13

During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates including the winner for the week, The Chronicles of Riddick - Official Site . If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail me with the details.

Movie Websites Launches for Aril 16 - April 22

2004-04-23

During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates including the winner for the week, Van Helsing - Official Site. If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail me with the details.

Movie Websites Launches for February 27 - March 4

2004-03-04

During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates including the winner for the week, The Prince & Me - Official Site . If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail me with the details.

Movie Websites Launches for December 12 - December 18

2003-12-18

During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here is a list of highlights, (including this week's winner Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - Official Site plus one last look at websites for films opening this week. If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail me with the details.

Movie Websites Launches for December 5 - December 11

2003-12-11

During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here's a list of highlights, (including this week's winner Big Fish - Official Site ) plus one last look at websites for films opening this week. If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail me with the details.


Big Fish
Current Content: The movie opened yesterday in limited release and the website added most of its content during the past week. The site has the usual features, including very extensive behind the scenes information, and several extras. Most notably is the Script to Screen, which shows how one scene looked at different stages and has commentary from the producers and the actress. There are also four Tall Tales illustrations, but all but one are marked coming soon. Along with the illustrated tall tales are audience submitted tall tales that you can vote on, (when they are all on site.) The only problem with the site is the really bad looping on the background music. But that is not enough to stop it from winning the embellished Weekly Website Award.


The Butterfly Effect
Current Content: Cast and crew bios were added to the site.


Chasing Liberty
Current Content: The flash site went live this week, and while the format is not bad there's a lack of content. Important sections like, 'About the Film' are marked coming soon, so it's hard to tell if this will be a good site or not. It does have a bit of sound and animation and enough marked coming soon to make you want to come back.


The Chronicles of Riddick
Current Content: Just an in-depth introduction.


Club Dread
Current Content: Typical Fox Searchlight placeholder site with the synopsis, cast and crew and a note saying, 'Website coming soon.'


Cold Mountain
Current Content: The flash site launched this week, but before I get into that … How can Renée Zellweger, who was born and raised in Texas, have such a bas southern accent? Nicole Kidman was raised in Australia and Jude Law is British, so their bad accents are understandable. But Renée Zellweger? Anyway, back to the site. The first thing I noticed was the music; different sections have different background music, which is an excellent addition. The usual features are there, with a couple of extras marked coming soon (Clips, Book and Soundtrack.) Not a lot of content, but miles ahead of most Miramax sites.


Girl With a Pearl Earring
Current Content: This site is, in a word, subdued. Which is probably for the best. The main difference from when the site first launched is the number of reviews posted on the site.


Honey
Current Content: Every week for nine months I looked at this site, and now that it was released I won't be checking it out anymore. And I miss it already. Anyhow, while I'm on the subject there was a huge addition to the media section. Four TV spots, four clips, and twenty-four interviews clips! Ok, they're short clips, but that's still a lot.


I, Robot
Current Content: None, just a redirected to the Fox movie pages.


Japanese Story
Current Content: Definitely a modest site that hits all the major areas, but has little in the way of extras. There's some animation, but no sound outside the trailer.


Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Current Content: A section on Weapons and Warfare was added. It is mostly text with an image gallery. As I was checking to make sure the link was right, two new features were added: A photo gallery of the premiere and Digital Horses, which is about bringing the huge battle sequences to the big screen.


Love Don't Cost a Thing
Current Content: The film opens tomorrow and the Story section of the site is still marked coming soon.


Man on Fire
Current Content: None, just a redirected to the Fox movie pages.


Miracle
Current Content: So far just the synopsis and trailer are on this placeholder site.


The Passions of the Christ
Current Content: The flash site launched this week and while it has most of the usual features, it has little in the way of flash. (There are some minor animations but no sound.) The synopsis is also marked coming soon, but lets face it, if you don't know the plot you are not in the movie's target audience.


Peter Pan
Current Content: The bios were added to the site, but the clips are still marked coming soon. In many cases clips from the movie are not added to the site till after the movie opens in theatres.


Something's Gotta Give
Current Content: The film opens this week, but there were no changes in the site since it was reviewed last.


The Statement
Current Content: I've got a bone to pick with this site, under the History section the site states that Adolf Hitler said, "one can either be a German or a Christian, but not both." That was actually a quote from Martin Bormann, Hitler's private secretary. This site as all the usual features, synopsis, cast and crew bios, trailer, image gallery, etc. And a few extras like the aforementioned History section, and a section where the five main actors briefly speak about their characters. Before you go to the site, be warned than the long synopsis gives away many key details of the plot and should probably be avoided unless you've already seen the movie or read the novel it is based on.


Stuck on You
Current Content: Two for the Road was added to the site. Each part deals with one aspect of the twins life and has an accompanying video segment.


Torque
Current Content: The flash site was added. But despite the change in format the content is mostly the same. E-cards and some downloadables were added, but the game is still marked coming soon.


Way Off Broadway
Current Content: Another film opening tomorrow, it has a simple site without sound or animation (outside the trailer that is.) It does hit all the main points a film site should.


Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
Current Content: The trailer was added to the placeholder site, and there's a new poll on the Tad Hamilton fan site, which isn't as fun to mess with. Not that I messed with the first poll. That would be unethical for a journalist to do.


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