August 15th, 2013
We are entering the beginning of TV on DVD season on the home market. As the fall schedule ramps up, more and more TV on DVD releases will come out. This week we have Once Upon A Time: The Complete Second Season on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as Girls: The Complete Second Season, also on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack. Both are worth checking out, but I'm waiting for the screeners for both, so I don't want to award either the Pick of the Week. Instead, I'm giving that honor to The Muppet Movie: The Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray. Meanwhile, What Maisie Knew on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack is a close second.
June 25th, 2013
You can tell it's summertime, because the two wide releases topped the per theater chart this weekend. Monsters University earned first place on both the overall chart and the per theater average chart with an average of $20,587. World War Z placed second with $18,412. Unfinished Song earned an average of $12,864 in two theaters. The only holdover in the $10,000 club was 20 Feet from Stardom, which earned an average of $10,744 in six theaters.
May 6th, 2013
There was some good news and some bad news over the weekend. The good new was Iron Man 3, which lived up to our lofty expectations and became the second biggest opening weekend of all time. This one film earned more than the entire box office earned last weekend, leading to an 136% increase week-over-week to $217 million. The bad news is The Avengers, which did even better when it opened this weekend last year. Year-over-year, 2013 suffered a 16% decline. Meanwhile, year-to-date, 2013 is now behind 2012's pace by 11% at $3.13 billion to $3.52 billion.
May 2nd, 2013
Summer finally begins. 2013 has been a really bad year so far and after four months, it is 12% or $384 million behind last year's pace. On the one hand, the summer blockbuster season should boost 2013's overall numbers right out of the gate. A lot of people, myself included, think Iron Man 3 will have the second-best opening weekend of all time. On the other hand, the film with the biggest opening weekend of all time was The Avengers, which opened this weekend last year. We can't even look for a counter-programming film or holdovers to help 2013 over the top, as there are no counter-programming films and none of the holdovers are likely to reach $10 million over the weekend. Look for yet another loss in the year-over-year comparison.
April 30th, 2013
My enthusiasm for this column is nearly zero because of Iron Man 3. Final international box office numbers are not in, but studio estimates are not only amazing, but they are record-breaking. This will overshadow anything I have to talk about today. At least Pain and Gain had a better than expected opening. On the other hand, The Big Wedding failed to make an impact. Sadly, there was more bad news than good news and the overall box office fell 16% to $92 million. This was 17% lower than the same weekend last year, while the year-to-date numbers got just a little bit weaker. At the moment, 2013 is 12% behind 2012's pace at $2.89 billion to $3.27 billion. Worse still, the year-over-year comparisons are about to run into The Avengers, so unless Iron Man 3 is record-breaking, the year-over-year comparison is going to get worse before it gets better.
April 28th, 2013
With the Summer movie season effectively starting with the first weekend of May these days, the last weekend of April is the last chance for lesser-budgeted movies to grab some of the spotlight. This year, the movie that can hold its head up highest, at least for a few days, is Pain & Gain, which is projected to open in first place with a respectable $20 million, just $6 million less than its reported production budget. Another film that will post an excellent start is Mud, which will most likely just miss out on the top 10, but will pull in about $2.2 million from just 363 theaters for Roadside Attractions, and end with a theater average of $6,000 -- basically the same as Pain & Gain. Both films will be wiped out by Iron Man 3 when it opens on Thursday. The Summer's first behemoth has already picked up $195.3 million internationally.
April 25th, 2013
It is the final weekend before the Summer blockbuster season, which means the new releases this weekend are not prime releases. Pain and Gain at least has a shot at first place. Most think The Big Wedding won't crack $10 million during the weekend. The only good news is that last year was also a bad week at the box office. The biggest new release was The Pirates! Band of Misfits, which had to settle for second place with just $11.14 million, while Think Like a Man remained in first place with $17.60 million. I think 2013's one-two-punch will top 2012's one-two punch. However, last year had better depth and 2013 will again lose in the year-over-year comparison.
April 19th, 2013
Pain and Gain is very likely going to be the big hit next week, although The Big Wedding isn't necessarily out of contention and should have better legs. But, since we care only about the opening weekend, Pain and Gain is the obvious choice for the target movie for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Pain and Gain .
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 Boss: Season Two on Blu-ray.
Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of Counting Cars: Season One on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
April 1st, 2013
March is over and while it is a little too soon to tell where a few films will end their box office runs, it is clear Oz The Great and Powerful won the month. Some films beat expectations to become midlevel hits, like The Call, but it wasn't a great month at the box office, especially compared to last year. This month, there are only seven wide releases spread over four weeks. Only one of those films, Oblivion, has a shot at being anything more than a midlevel hit. None of the other six releases look like they will come close to $100 million, but none of them look like obvious bombs either. (Although I do have my worries when it comes to Scary Movie 5.) Last April was even weaker with no film earning $100 million, although Think Like a Man did come relatively close. We might actually see growth on the year-over-year comparison. We'd better, because 2013 is behind 2012's pace by a huge margin at the moment and things will get worse when May arrives.