March 31st, 2014
The home market isn't terrible this week and there are a couple of releases on top that could sell well. However, it is not a very deep week and even the second page of the new releases over on Amazon.com has some releases I would call filler. Anchorman: The Legend Continues on 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack is the best-selling new release of the week and it is arguably the best as well. The Pirate Fairy on Blu-ray Combo Pack is the second best-selling new release of the week and also a contender for Pick of the Week. Meanwhile, I'm really looking forward to seeing Knights of Badassdom but the Blu-ray Combo Pack is still on its way.
March 30th, 2014
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy came out in theaters nearly a decade ago. It earned good reviews and did well at the box office managing nearly $90 million worldwide on a $25 million budget. However, it became a classic on the home market and many think it is among Will Ferrell's best movies. Rumors of a sequel persisted for quite a while before Anchorman: The Legend Continues finally came out. It earned better reviews and nearly doubled the first film's numbers at the worldwide box office. Is this because the quality is also better? Or did it unduly benefit from nearly ten years of demand?
February 27th, 2014
It looks like The LEGO Movie will finally relinquish top spot. Non-Stop should lead the way atop the box office charts, but there are some who think Son of God will be a surprise hit. There certainly is precedent for that prediction. While it is the last weekend in February this year, the same weekend last year was the first weekend of March. Fortunately for 2014, the first weekend of March of 2013 was a bit of a disaster as Jack the Giant Killer opened with just $27 million compared to a nearly $200 million production budget. Worse still, no other movie topped $10 million over the weekend. I don't know if Non-Stop will top Jack the Giant Killer, but overall 2014 should come out ahead of 2013.
January 14th, 2014
As expected, Lone Survivor won the race to first place on the box office this past weekend. However, it crushed predictions to an astounding degree. It wasn't enough. The overall box office was down to $140 million. Granted, that was less than 1% lower than last weekend and just over 1% lower than the same weekend last year, but it is still frustrating. Besides the number one film, there's not a lot of positive news to report. Year-to-date, 2014 is a little behind 2013 at $413 million to $436 million. Granted, it is far too soon to talk about end of year results, but you obviously would want a fast start rather than a slow start.
January 10th, 2014
The winners of our Not So Family Friendly Prizes contest were determined and they are...
January 7th, 2014
The box office wasn't as boisterous as anticipated and this is partially due to the seasonal storm that hit the east coast. This is also partially due to weaker than expected numbers for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which only managed second place in its debut. This allowed Frozen to return to top spot on the chart, even though it was a little weaker than expected. The overall box office fell 27% from last weekend down to $141 million. Compared to last year, the box office was down 4%, which isn't a good result, but it is also not terrible. Had The Marked Ones merely matched expectations, it would have been a virtual tie.
January 2nd, 2014
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the only wide release opening on the first weekend of the year. The long running franchise will have to battle a weaker release date, franchise fatigue, and several holdovers that are still going strong. It still has a good shot at first place, as does Frozen. Frozen could win the weekend, with the help of families going out to the movies one last time before school starts again. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug probably won't extend its winning streak, but it should still be pull in quite a bit of money over the weekend. Last year the year started with Texas Chainsaw 3D earning more than $20 million. Django Unchained also topped $20 million over the weekend, albeit by the tiniest margin. We might have two $20 million films this weekend as well, with as many as five additional films earning more than $10 million. If 2014 doesn't win in the year-over-year comparison, it should at least be close.
January 1st, 2014
As it has the past couple of weeks, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug topped the international chart earning $99.7 million on 15,782 screens in 61 markets for totals of $424.8 million internationally and $615.1 million worldwide. The film opened in Australia on Boxing Day, but due to the holidays earning first place with a total opening of $12.9 million on 629 screens; however, this was a little behind An Unexpected Journey's debut there. On the other hand, the film set the record for biggest total opening in Poland with $5.6 million on 425 screens.
December 30th, 2013
Some studios are still closed and won't open till this time next week, so we won't have all of the final numbers for the past two weeks till then. We do have some final numbers, as well as some studio estimates that we can look at now. As for the upcoming week, it will look a lot like last week in terms of stories. We won't have a per theater chart, we might have an international top ten, while prediction, contest, and limited releases will be mostly normal. We might even have a review this weekend. (That's assuming some of the late screeners finally arrive, because at the moment I have nothing to review.)
December 27th, 2013
It's the final weekend of the year and there are a lot of films fighting for spots in the top five, including five films that opened on Christmas Day. Unfortunately for those films, it looks like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will remain in first place for the third weekend in a row. The Wolf of Wall Street will likely be the biggest of the five new releases, but it is unlikely that it will have a shot at first place; it might only finish fifth. The other new releases are even weaker. Last year there were only three new releases for the final weekend of the year, but none of them bombed, so 2013 might end on a low note. 2013 should still win in the year-over-year comparison, but losing on the final weekend of the year is a bad sign for 2014's debut.
December 27th, 2013
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was the biggest draw on the international chart last weekend adding $97.4 million on 16,840 screens in 56 markets for totals of $278.4 million internationally and $406.0 million worldwide after just two weeks of release. This includes a first place debut in Russia where it made $16.36 million on 2,125 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $19.11 million. This is more or less the same as the first film opened with. (An Unexpected Journey didn't open on Wednesday, but made $17.89 million on 2,128 screens during its three-day opening weekend.)
December 19th, 2013
This week there are two wide releases, Anchorman: The Legend Continues and Walking with Dinosaurs, as well as two limited releases expanding wide, American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks. All four films will have to deal with last weekend's champion, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as well as Frozen, which should do well thanks to the holidays. This weekend last year was pretty bad for a December weekend. Jack Reacher opened with $15.21 million, which put it a distant second place to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The Desolation of Smaug won't make as much as An Unexpected Journey did last year, but Anchorman has a shot at first place and so the combined strength should help the box office grow in the year-over-year comparison.
December 12th, 2013
Next week is a mess when it comes to new releases with two wide releases and two limited releases that are expanding wide. (There's a third limited release that might expand semi-wide.) The only film with a shot at top spot is Anchorman: The Legend Continues, but it opens on Wednesday, which means by the time the contest ends, there will be a full day's box office number released. This is why we try to avoid Wednesday openers, but in this case, we really don't have a choice. As such, Anchorman 2 is 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 Anchorman: The Legend Continues.
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 The Family on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of The Family on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
We will also have a review for The Family shortly. (It comes out on DVD on and Blu-ray on the 17th, so hopefully the screener arrives soon.) In the meantime, we got some useful French phrases sent to us by the studio that you might find useful if you are ever find yourself in the French countryside hiding from the mob.
- On peut se tutoyer? – Unlike in English, the French have different ways of saying the word ‘you’. One you, ‘tu, is used when you know someone well and is relatively informal. The other, ‘vous’, is much more formal and is usually used when speaking to people who don’t know very well. Simply put, ‘On peut se tutoyer?’ means ‘can I refer to you informally’. When you’ve made your first French friend, this might be a useful phrase to use to cement your first relationship!
- Je Vous prèsente…/ Je te prèsente… – Loaded with your new identity and your status as a US mobster a distant memory, there will come a point where you are going to have to introduce your family by their new names. It certainly won’t be easy remembering your own new name, let alone all of your family members! Add to the equation that you are going to have to do this in fluent French and you have a potential disaster on your hands! Don’t panic. If you use this phrase (which literally means- I present to you) before naming each of your loved ones, you will be successfully conning the locals in no time.
- Je vous remercie de tout cœur - I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you really want to embrace politeness with the upmost romanticism, this is a great phrase to use (even if it is just a false pretence).
- Mon dieu! Il y a une hache dans ma tete. - Oh my god! There's an axe in my head. This will probably come in handy when you screw up again and the mob learns where you are. ... Actually this is my suggestion and one of only four French phrases I know. "Parlez-vous français?", "Je ne parle pas français.", and "Où est la bibliothèque." are far less useful in this situation.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
December 1st, 2013
We had some good news and some bad news in November. The bad news is the overall weakness at the box office continued and 2013 lost its lead over 2012. Strong runs by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen did help it bounce back in the end, but 2013 is still going to have a tough time topping 2012. Looking forward to December, we find about a dozen wide releases, sort of. There are several films that are opening in limited release that are expected to expand wide by the end of the month, but I'm not sure that will be the case for all of them. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug should be the easy winner this month and if it is a little lucky, it might even top its predecessor at the box office. There is a huge amount of hype surrounding Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and it could double the first film's box office numbers. On the other hand, those two films might be the only two December wide releases to reach $100 million. There are a few that have the potential to get to the century mark, if they are big players during Awards Season. Obviously some of the films coming out this month will win awards, but there's already a lot of competition in theaters before the month begins. There were three $100 million movies last December, led by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, so while it could be close, it looks like December will lose in the year-over-year comparison. This is really bad news, as 2013 can't afford to go out on a losing streak if it wants to top 2012.