Beloved by children of all ages around the world, Elmo is an international icon. Few people know his creator, Kevin Clash, who dreamed of working with his idol, master puppeteer Jim Henson. Displaying his creativity and talent at a young age, Kevin ultimately found a home on Sesame Street. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, BEING ELMO includes rare archival footage, interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O'Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop.
It wasn't a busy week on the home market with only a few first run releases of note. Both War Horse on Four-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack and We Bought a Zoo on Blu-ray Combo Pack are worth picking, but not Pick of the Week material. For that we have to look to Chinatown on Blu-ray. It is shovelware, but it is such a great movie that I'm willing to overlook this.
Martha Marcy May Marlene was one of five films to top $10,000 on the per theater chart leading the way with $34,413. Combining the film's opening with its reviews and it suggests serious potential for expansion. Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey opened with $22,963 in its lone theater, which is surprisingly strong. The overall box office leader, Paranormal Activity 3, was next with $15,829. Last week's winner on the per theater chart, The Skin I Live In, remained strong with an average of $11,771 in 21 theaters. Further expansion is likely, as it is earning some measure of mainstream success, but its bizarre subject matter will prevent it from truly escaping the art house circuit. Margin Call was a surprise entrant in the $10,000 club, as it was playing in 56 theaters, which is a lot for a limited release. Its opening weekend average of $10,034 and excellent reviews suggests some potential to expand, while reaching $1 million should happen sometime during the upcoming weekend.
After a poor September and slow start to October, Paranormal Activity 3 put some life back in to the movie industry this weekend with a huge $54 million opening weekend, according to Paramount's Sunday estimate. That's comfortably a record for the franchise and will almost certainly top Jackass 3D to become the biggest October's biggest weekend too. With no other horror flick coming out between now and Halloween, it should be set for a comfortable $100 million or so at the box office (on a budget of $5 million).
This week more than a dozen limited releases are being released, which is far too many. This level of competition means even films with great reviews, high name recognition among the cast, and strong advance buzz could struggle to find an audience. There are a number of films that have at least two of those three key ingredients, including Martha Marcy May Marlene and Oranges and Sunshine. Hopefully these two, and a few others, will find a receptive audience in limited release.
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