February 11th, 2014
It's a strange week on the home market. If you look at the top ten selling new releases on Amazon.com, there are a couple of first run releases, a catalog title, TV on DVD release, and some limited releases. That's basically every category there is. The biggest release is Ender's Game, a film that failed to find an audience in theaters. It barely earned overall positive reviews and it isn't a contender for Pick of the Week. Some of the other best-selling releases are contenders, like The Jungle Book: Blu-ray Diamond Edition or Sherlock: Season Three on DVD or Blu-ray. There are also a few of the smaller releases that were in consideration, including Doctor Who: Story 33: The Moonbase and G.B.F. on DVD. But in the end, I went with Wadjda on Blu-ray Combo Pack for Pick of the Week. One last note, Dry Spell is coming out on Video on Demand. It's a good chance to support ultra-low-budget filmmaking and the reviews I've read have been positive.
February 9th, 2014
Austenland is a romantic comedy that opened in limited release last summer. That's not the right genre for a limited release, but it opened at about the $10,000 mark on the per theater chart and lasted long enough to hit $2 million at the box office. That's a better than expected run. Is the movie also better than expected? Or does it fall prey to the usual romcom clichés?
October 29th, 2013
For the second weekend in a row, 12 Years a Slave remained in top spot on the per theater chart. Despite expanding to 123 theaters, the film's average remained potent at $17,352. The Square was right behind with $16,359 in its lone theater. The only other film in the $10,000 club was Capital, which earned an average of $11,200 in two theaters.
September 18th, 2013
It was a busy week in terms of limited releases, not only with number of new releases, but the success of most of these releases. Mother of George was the top film with $22,456 in one theater. Final: The Rapture earned an average of $15,942 in two theaters, which is an impressive opening for a film with no reviews. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Wadjda opened in three theaters, earning an average of $13,751. This film has some Oscar buzz going for it, so it might last in theaters longer than most similar releases. Blue Caprice also has some Oscar buzz and its opening of $13,400 in one theater might help it thrive as well. The overall box office leader, Insidious Chapter 2, opened in fifth place on the per theater chart with an average of $13,208. GMO OMG earned $13,000 in its lone theater, but its reviews are only mixed, so it likely won't last long. Salinger fell 48% to $11,252, while still playing in four theaters. It is likely it won't be able to expand significantly given this decline.
August 21st, 2013
remained in first place on the per theater chart, again with $30,602. The film has made $2 million so far this year and it seems likely it will last long enough to get to $100 million in total, eventually. You Will Be My Son
was next with $15,301 in one theater. Surprisingly Austenland
made the $10,000 club. Given its reviews
and its genre
, earning its per theater average of $10,166 in four theaters is surprisingly high. Blue Jasmine
rounded out the $10,000 club with $10,005. It is already playing in 229 theaters and it will expand more.
August 18th, 2013
If it can move Summer forward to the first week in May, perhaps Hollywood can also move Awards Season forward to mid-August. That's certainly the feeling one gets from looking at the varying fortunes of this weekend's openers. Summer standards Paranoia and Kick-Ass 2 have both fallen by the wayside (with a dismal $3.5 million opening in the first case and a disappointing $13.6 million debut in the latter). Jobs, which was made with awards in mind, has misfired with a $6.7 million start. But one film has risen above the rest on the basis of a compelling story and some high-class acting. Lee Daniels' The Butler will top the chart this weekend with around $25 million, according to Weinstein Co.'s Sunday estimate. That's the first film from the distributor to top the chart since Inglourious Basterds did this weekend in 2009. That film also had Oscar aspirations, and The Butler might well follow a similar course in Awards Season: some impressive nominations but ultimately not top honors.
August 16th, 2013
There are not a lot of limited release this week and only two of them are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Cutie and the Boxer is earning the best reviews, but it is a documentary, so its potential to expand is limited. Ain't Them Bodies Saints' reviews are not as good, but good enough to suggest it will find an audience in theaters.