April 15th, 2014
It is a busy week on the home market with five films that either opened at least semi-wide or expanded semi-wide. However, unlike last week, there's no monster hit like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug leading the way. In fact, most of the semi-wide or wide releases on this week's list were critical and box office disappointments. Only Philomena did well with critics. Fortunately, it did well enough that it is a contender for Pick of the Week without even considering the extras on the DVD or Blu-ray. There are a few other new releases that are noteworthy, but most of them are catalog Blu-ray releases. These include Touch of Evil on Blu-ray and Double Indemnity on Blu-ray. In the end, I went with Touch of Evil, but I literally had to roll a dice to decide.
December 10th, 2013
As expected, the box office was really soft this weekend with Frozen rising to the top with over $30 million. It was the only film that earned more than that amount, while The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the only other film with significantly more than $5 million. Out of the Furnace was the only new release and while it barely topped $5 million, it still managed third place. The overall box office fell from 56% to just $92 million. As bad as that result is, it is still 15% higher than the same weekend last year. 2013 remains above 2012, albeit by a tiny margin of 0.3% at $9.75 billion to $9.72 billion. It wouldn't take much for 2013 to again lose its lead, so there's a lot to be interested in in the final few weeks of the year.
December 3rd, 2013
Thanksgiving long weekend set records with both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen breaking records for biggest Thanksgiving weekend and biggest Thanksgiving opening respectively. There was also good news for Thor: The Dark World over the weekend, as it topped predictions, and even while the rest of the new releases struggled, to be polite, it was a really impressive weekend. Over the three-day portion of the weekend, the box office pulled in a total of $208 million, which was 8% lower than last weekend. This is actually a very good decline, as the midweek holiday releases took some of the demand for the weekend. This was 82% higher than the same weekend last year, but this is misleading, because this weekend last year was the weekend after Thanksgiving day. 2013 was stronger than last Thanksgiving, but by 0.0456% over the three-day portion. Over fives days, the box office earned $293 million, which was almost exactly 1% more than last Thanksgiving. 2013 has regained the lead over 2012, albeit by a tiny margin at $9.62 billion to $9.61 billion. Hopefully it can maintain this lead from now till January.
November 27th, 2013
Thanksgiving long weekend won't be remembered for the quality of the films opening wide. In fact, of the three new releases on this week's list, only one of them is truly opening wide. Homefront is debuting in 2,500 theaters, while Black Nativity is only opening in 1,500. Oldboy is only opening in 600 theaters, but it still has a reasonable shot at the top ten. If it weren't for the wide expansion of Frozen and hopefully a strong hold by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the weekend would be a write-off. As it is, 2013 should crush 2012... mostly because there is a misalignment and this weekend last year was the weekend after Thanksgiving. The post holiday slump meant the top five was only able to bring in a little under $75 million. I'm not saying Catching Fire will top that number, at least not over three days, but it should clear at least that much over the next five days.
November 22nd, 2013
There are three wide releases next week, Black Nativity, Homefront, and Oldboy. Unfortunately none of them are expected to be even midlevel hits. Fortunately, there's one other option, Frozen. Frozen opened in one theater on Friday the 22nd before expanding wide on Wednesday the 27th. Normally we don't like to use films that have already opened, but it is still the best choice for 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 Frozen.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), regardless if they go over or not, will win a copy of Impractical Jokers: Season One on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
November 1st, 2013
October ended on a winning note, but it was the only time the entire month that 2013 topped 2012 in the year-over-year comparison. This is quite shocking, as Gravity crushed expectations with more than $200 million and counting. Even with that surprise monster hit, the month still couldn't keep pace with last year. Compared to October, November looks a lot better with three films that could be monster hits: Frozen, Thor: The Dark World, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. On the other hand, those are the only three movies with a 50/50 chance or better to top $100 million compared, while there were seven films that reached that milestone last November. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire should make more than last year's number one film, Skyfall, but the depth last year could prove too much to deal with. 2013 might dip below last year's pace sometime during the month, but hopefully it won't stay there too long.