November 26th, 2012
It's not a good week on the home market, but for different reasons than last week. There are five first-run releases coming out this week, which is actually very busy. However, it is a bad week, because I'm supposed to receive screeners for for four of those five films, but so far none of have arrived. At least with Men in Black 3, there's a few more days before it is officially late, as it doesn't come out till Friday. Men in Black 3 also made more at the box office than the rest of the first run releases made combined, so there will likely be a huge gap between the first and second best selling new-release of the week. As for the best releases for the week, ParaNorman is the only real contender for Pick of the Week. The Blu-ray Combo Pack is worth owning, but if you've made the leap to 3D, then the 3D Combo Pack is worth the extra money.
September 4th, 2012
There's good news and bad news for the Labor Day long weekend. Overall, the box office was a little stronger than predicted with The Possession having the second best Labor Day long weekend opening of all time. (Only Halloween had a stronger opening.) This helped the overall box office rise 7.0% from last weekend to $104 million. However, despite this performance, the overall weekend was softer than last year down 2.5% over the three-day portion of the weekend and 3.3% over the four-day portion of the weekend. Year-to-date, 2012 still maintains a lead of 2011 at $7.61 billion to $7.34 billion. The lead is down to 3.6% in terms of revenue and just 2.4% in terms of tickets sold. We might see a further drop in attendance, which would be a huge collapse after an incredibly strong spring and early summer.
August 27th, 2012
Ugh. That's really all I have to say. None of the new releases were able to make an impact at the box office; in fact, none of them even reached the top five. There was a new entrant in the top five, as The Dark Knight Rises rose to fifth place. That's how bad the box office was over the weekend. A film that's more than a month old returned to the top five. The best new release was Premium Rush, which only managed eighth place. Overall, the box office plummeted by 30% to just $97 million. Amazingly, this was still higher than the same weekend last year, albeit by just 4.6%. Year-to-date, 2012 maintains its lead over 2011. It is ahead of last year's pace by 4.2% at $7.43 billion to $7.13 billion.
August 26th, 2012
The Summer box office season will come to an abrupt halt this weekend as returning films dominate the chart thanks to some decidedly lackluster openings. The top holdover, The Expendables 2, will win by default with a decent second weekend of $13.5 million, according to Lionsgate's Sunday morning estimate. That's down a fairly respectable 53% from its debut figure. The standout performer among returning films is political documentary 2016: Obama's America, which is projected to earn $6.2 million from 1,091 theaters -- the best per theater average in the top 10. That film will end up in 8th place, though, after an impressive 4th place on Friday, suggesting that it has a fairly narrow, if enthusiastic, fan base.
August 23rd, 2012
Last weekend there were seven films to earning more than $10 million. This weekend, it looks like none of the new releases will reach that mark, while there's a slim chance none of the holdovers will stay above that level either. Granted, it would take an epic collapse by The Expendables 2 to fail to top $10 million, but it is possible. Of the new releases, Premium Rush is the only one with a shot at $10 million. It has good reviews, but they probably won't be enough. I thought Hit and Run would be a disaster with critics, but its reviews are actually above 50% positive. On the other hand, its Wednesday opening was a disaster. Finally there's The Apparition. It is opening in less than 1000 theaters and was not screened for critics. Enough said. Last year was also terrible, so there a chance 2012 will squeak out a win.
August 16th, 2012
Next week there are two wide releases, Premium Rush and Hit and Run. (The Apparition is set to open in only 800 theaters.) While the latter is opening in more theaters, I think the former will be the bigger hit. It has more buzz, a better cast, and a more experienced studio backing it up. As such, it 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 Premium Rush.
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 Dora the Explorer: Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure 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 Dora the Explorer: Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure on DVD.
Finally, one other entrant will be chosen regardless of what they predicted, and they will win the last copy of Dora the Explorer: Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure on DVD too.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
August 1st, 2012
July was another bad month with five of the seven films missing expectations. Only one matched expectations, or came close enough to call it a victory, while another film is too close to call. 2012 is still ahead of 2011, but that margin did shrink last month, despite the performance of The Dark Knight Rises, which earned $300 million during the month. Looking ahead to August, there are fourteen films opening wide, maybe fifteen, making it the busiest month in a long time. Of those releases, five or six have a shot at $100 million, while none will get much beyond that point. Maybe The Bourne Legacy will be a surprise hit and match the average of its predecessors, but most analysts wouldn't be willing to bet money on that. By comparison, last August only had two films that topped $100 million, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Help. I don't think any film opening this August will match those two films, but we have much better depth this time around. Hopefully we will be able to extend our lead this month, unlike the last two months.