September 8th, 2010
Eight new releases reached the top 30 on this week's sales chart, including five TV on DVD releases. Leading the way was Lost: Season Six, which sold 339,000 units during its opening week and earned $12.88 million in consumer spending at retail.
August 24th, 2010
There are not a lot of prime releases on this week's list.
One release, or, to be more specific, the many releases of one TV show, Lost dominate.
Unfortunately, the screeners for that show won't be sent till today, so I wasn't able to get a review complete in time for this week's preview article.
Outside the four Lost releases, there's little that really grabs your attention, and while going down the list of best-sellers, it doesn't take long before you start running into second-tier and even third-tier releases.
Lost: The Complete Collection is likely the best release on this week's list, but I'm going to wait until I get a chance to check out the screener before awarding it the Pick of the Week.
August 21st, 2010
The Back-Up Plan is just the second film from CBS Films, a new spin-off studio under the Viacom umbrella. Their first film was Extraordinary Measures, which didn't win over many critics and utterly bombed at the box office. The Back-Up Plan found a bigger audience, but it still struggled to sell tickets, and its reviews were even worse. Granted, it is a romantic comedy and these films tend to follow a formula, which is something critics normally punish. However, within the genre, I tend to be quite forgiving, some might say too forgiving. As long as the two leads have chemistry and there is enough charm to fulfill the promise of romance, plus enough humor to supply the comedy, I rate these films as worth checking out. But can this film meet these criteria?
June 6th, 2010
Sex and the City 2 started its international run in second place with $23.98 million on 2739 screens in 18 markets for a total opening of $27.11 million. The film's biggest opening came in the U.K., where it made $8.93 million on 530 screens, 24% more than the original's opening. It had the biggest opening of the year in Germany with $5.90 million on 736 screens over the weekend for a total of $7.72 million. This was 23% higher than the original managed. On the other hand, it only saw 4% growth in Italy, with $2.4 million on 499 screens. This is not enough to keep pace with inflation. However, it is still better than it managed here.
May 30th, 2010
Iron Man 2 is starting to see sharp declines in its theater count, but it still hit a major milestone during the past weekend. It added $13.90 million on 8739 screens in 55 markets for a total of $269.30 million internationally, which is just ahead of the total earned by Iron Man. Additionally, the film reached the half billion dollar mark with total ticket sales of $520.32 million worldwide. By the time it opened in Japan on the 11th, it will have surpassed its predecessor on the worldwide stage, while it has likely already broken even at this point.
May 23rd, 2010
Iron Man 2 slipped to second place with $30.47 million on 10,223 screens in 57 markets for a total of $245.75 million internationally and $456.95 million worldwide. While this is impressive, its per theater average has become very weak and the competition is heating up. Look for sharp declines in the film's screen count over the next few weeks. That said, the original Iron Man earned a total of $264 million internationally and it is likely that the sequel has already topped that figure. It has also likely topped $500 million worldwide, while $600 million globally is a safe bet, so there's no reason for the studio to worry about shedding screens at this point. The film's biggest individual market so far is still the U.K. where it has made $25.80 million, including $2.30 million on 491 screens this past weekend. South Korea is right behind with $2.11 million on 600 screens over the weekend and $25.27 million after two.
May 16th, 2010
For the fourth weekend in a row, Alice in Wonderland remained in second place, this time adding $13.28 million on 3843 screens in 54 markets for a total of $630.30 million internationally and $961.15 million worldwide. Since last week it has crossed the $600 million milestone on the international scene, making it just the 13th film to do so. It is now the seventh highest grossing film of all time. The film's per screen average has declined enough that it will likely shed screens and markets rather quickly. That said, if the worst thing you can say about a movie's box office run is, "It might not make it to $1 billion!" then the film is a massive success.
May 10th, 2010
Iron Man 2 started off the summer in style with the biggest opening weekend of the year and the fifth biggest of all time. This helped the overall box office hit $174 million, which was 76% higher than last weekend. More importantly, it was 20% higher than the same weekend last year. This is extra important, because last year we were already a week into summer and we couldn't afford any weakness at the box office if 2010 was to maintain its lead over 2009. It was able to do so. In fact, it increased its lead slightly to 6.5% at $3.66 billion to $3.44 billion.
May 6th, 2010
Summer has finally begun. It feels a week late because May 1st fell on a Saturday. However, the wait could be worth it, as a number of analysts are expecting a record-breaking performance by Iron Man 2 over the weekend. The movie has no competition at the box office. There's not even competition when compared to last year, as practically everyone thinks it will open with much more than Star Trek. For that matter, most think it will easily top Iron Man's opening weekend and perhaps even break records.
May 3rd, 2010
The new releases were a little weaker than anticipated, while the holdovers could only compensate so much. The overall box office was $102 million, which was 2% higher than last weekend. That's the good news. The bad news is that it was down 36% from the same weekend last year. Of course, this weekend last year was the first weekend of May, so the comparison is fundamentally unfair and 2010 still has a 6.4% lead over 2009 at $3.46 billion to $3.25 billion. I expect it to increase its lead next weekend.
May 2nd, 2010
A Nightmare on Elm Street continued what is now practically a tradition of impressive performances for franchise reboots by opening with $32.2 million this weekend, according to Warner Bros.' Sunday estimate.
That's the second-best opening performance for a movie in the franchise, behind only the franchise-crossover Freddy vs. Jason.
It also helped shake up the market a little after a few sluggish weeks.
April 29th, 2010
It's the final weekend of April, which is normally a very bad time to release a big hit. But it appears that one of this year's two wide releases may make it. A Nightmare on Elm Street should be able to open faster than the two films did last week, but comparing it to last year is a bit more confusing. Last year, the last weekend in April of saw the release of Obsessed, which earned close to $30 million. A Nightmare on Elm Street should match that figure. However, the same weekend last year was actually the first weekend of May, which saw the release of Wolverine. There's a chance that overall box office combined won't match that film's opening.
April 27th, 2010
It was not a particularly strong week at the box office, but that should surprise few people. Four of the top five films reached expectations or at least came within a rounding error of doing so. The overall box office brought in $100 million. This is 17% lower than last weekend and 12% lower than the same weekend last year. That said, 2010 still has a large lead over 2009 at $3.32 billion to $3.06 billion.
April 25th, 2010
In another sign of the dominance of 3D at the box office right now, How to Train Your Dragon enjoyed another strong performance and returned to the top of the box office chart this weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
With a drop of just 23% from last weekend, Dragon now stands at $178 million, and it's likely to grow that number considerably between now and the release of Shrek Forever After on May 21.
The Back-up Plan, meanwhile, posted a somewhat disappointing $12.25 million.
That's considerably better than CBS Films' previous release, Extraordinary Measures, but decidedly middle-of-the-pack compared to Jennfier Lopez' other opening weekends.
April 22nd, 2010
While there are three wide releases coming out this week, including one debuting on Thursday, most box office analysts think that it will be a holdover, How to Train Your Dragon, that will take top spot. This is partially due to that film's strong holds so far, but also partially due to weakness in the three new releases. Expect a sizable drop-off from last weekend, but more importantly, a large drop-off from the same weekend last year.
April 1st, 2010
March was a mixed month, with only three films surpassing expectations.
On the other hand, Alice in Wonderland will beat expectations by more than $200 million, so it alone makes up for a lot of the disappointing films.
On a more troubling note, the final big release, How to Train Your Dragon didn't get off to as fast a start as I would have liked, which could affect the box office going forward. Last year April got off to a fast start and that should happen this month as well. It better, as the quality of films quickly declines as the prospect of May blockbusters begins to loom large on the horizon.