November 19th, 2014
There are no summer tentpole releases making their home market debuts this week, but that doesn't mean it is a bad week on the home market. 22 Jump Street is leading the way, while there are four other first run releases among the new releases, ranging from If I Stay to Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in terms of box office numbers. Not only that, but this week there are a trio of Hayao Miyazak releases, including his more recent film, The Wind Rises, which is coming out on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack. That film, along with the double-shot, are the Picks of the Week. However, they are not the only films worth picking up. If you like horror / comedy, give Housebound on DVD or Blu-ray a try.
August 5th, 2014
Finally! Finally we have a week where there's nothing but good news to talk about. Guardians of the Galaxy crushed high expectations breaking the August records for biggest day and biggest weekend. While Guardians dominated at the box office chart, Get On Up did okay in the counter-programming role. This helped the overall box office soar, rising 20% when compared to last weekend to $186 million. More importantly, this was 35% better that this weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 is still behind 2013 $6.26 billion to $6.62 billion, but the gap was closed a little bit at $360 million or 5.4%.
August 3rd, 2014
It was a big, big weekend at the box office with Guardians of the Galaxy pulling in an estimated $94 million. The majority of analysts thought it would break the August weekend record, but very few thought it would have one of the top five openings of the year. Additionally, the film earned some of the best reviews of the year and could become the biggest hit of the year... at least untill Mockingjay, Part 1 hits theaters in November. Get On Up did not do as well earning $14.03 million and grabbing third place along the way. This is barely more than Jersey Boys opened with in June. Its reviews should help it earn better legs and it wasn't an expensive movie to make, so the studio should be relatively happy with this start.
July 29th, 2014
There were two truly wide new releases that came out this weekend, and both of them did very well. In fact, Hercules placed second and earned as much as some people predicted Lucy would earn while placing first. Lucy topped the high end of expectations and unless its legs are really short, will easily become a surprise $100 million hit. This helped the overall box office rise 3.7% from last weekend up to $155 million, which is a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, the weekend total was still down 10% from this weekend last year, meaning the 2014 slump continues. It has gotten so bad that 2014 is now behind 2013 by 6.1% at $6.01 billion to $6.40 billion. Next weekend should finally end the slump, but it might be too late to save 2014 overall.
July 27th, 2014
This weekend’s boys versus girls box office match-up has proven to be a triumph for the girls, with Lucy enjoying a decisive win over Hercules. The Scarlett Johansson/Luc Besson sci-fi thriller will post an opening around $44 million, according to Universal’s Sunday estimate, which is almost exactly 50% more than the $29 million debut projected for Hercules. The difference in budgets between the two films is even starker with Hercules clocking in at around $100 million, and Lucy reportedly closer to $40 million.
July 25th, 2014
There are a trio of wide releases coming out this week, sort of. The first of these, if we go alphabetically is And So It Goes, but it is only opening in 1,762 theaters, which is not quite enough to be wide and likely not enough to reach the top five. Hercules and Lucy are both opening truly wide and both are earning reviews that are currently in the overall positive level. (Although it is close enough that it might change.) Lucy will very likely come out on top, while Hercules should earn second place. There's one more film of note, The Fluffy Movie, which is opening in 400 theaters and has a slim chance at making the top ten. This weekend last year saw the release of The Wolverine, which opened with $53.11 million. There's a chance the top two films won't make that much this year. In other words, 2014 is going to lose in the year-over-year comparison yet again.
July 18th, 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!
July 1st, 2014
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.