June 21st, 2010
We have reached the slowest time of the year on the home market. The biggest first-run release coming out this week is Green Zone, which was a box office disappointment. The second biggest first-run release is She's Out of My League, which was also a box office disappointment, as was Remember Me. Worst still, there are very few limited releases, TV on DVD releases, or classics to make up the difference. However, many releases are worth picking up for certain target demographics, although very few that will likely sell a lot of units. For instance, Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 1: Collector's Edition is a must have if you don't own the series on DVD yet, but there's not enough new material to make the upgrade. Cinematic Titanic: Danger on Tiki Island continues the tradition started with MST3K, but either you love you show or you're simply not interested in the DVD. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs makes its 3D Blu-ray debut, but the number of people who have made the leap to 3D is so small that it can't really be pick of the week material. To find the Pick of the Week, I'm instead going with two films that couldn't be more dissimilar if it were a contest. Death Race 2000 and The Last Station. Both are worth owning, but in both cases the Blu-ray release is not the obvious better deal.
February 16th, 2010
One of the weakest weeks on the home market for a long while, with only one wide release of note. Granted, Law Abiding Citizen's performance at the box office was much better than expected, but it still only managed to become a midlevel hit. The best of the best is Good Hair, which would be a clear Pick of the Week if the DVD had all the extras they mentioned on the audio commentary track. Alas, there's just the audio commentary track.
February 12th, 2010
Not too long ago I reviewed The Bourne Trilogy's Blu-ray / DVD Flipper Disc releases. At least I reviewed the first two films in the trilogy. The screener for the final film, The Bourne Ultimatum, arrived late, but finally I can update the original review.
January 19th, 2010
The flood of home debuts for September releases continues this week and unfortunately there are not a lot of TV on DVD releases or limited releases to take up the slack at the top.
There are a few releases that are of interest though, including The Invention of Lying on Blu-ray and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging on DVD.
The former probably has more mainstream appeal, but the latter is the better film, and with plenty of extras on the DVD, it is the Pick of the Week.
January 18th, 2010
This week The Bourne Trilogy is being released on Blu-ray / DVD combo discs, which is a new idea that Universal is testing.
Or to be more specific, it's a new take on an old idea, as they were supporters of the HD-DVD / DVD flipper discs.
Because all three of these movies have been released on the home market several times already (DVDs, HD-DVDs, Blu-rays) there's little reason to go into great detail about each more.
Odds are you know the basic plots of the three movies and have formed an opinion of the trilogy's quality by now.
Because of this, this review is as much about the technology as the movies, because the real question is whether or not Blu-ray / DVD combo discs are worth buying.
February 25th, 2008
The Oscars have all been awarded and No Country for Old Men was the big winner at the Oscars, taking home four major awards.
(It was shut out of the technical nominations.)
The second biggest winner of the night was The Bourne Ultimatum with three awards, all technical.
January 27th, 2008
The Screen Actors Guild nominations handed out the hardware tonight and there were five winners amongst the six theatrical awards.
January 22nd, 2008
The Oscar nominations were announced today and there is no shortage of contenders.
In fact, with no real juggernaut to deal with, the competition is more up in the air that most years.
January 7th, 2008
For most of the year, it was hard to find a single rental to earn $10 million during the week. This week we have four such films. This includes the 'new release' of Rush Hour 3, which actually came out on Sunday and appeared on last week's list as well. This week it pulled in $11.85 million in rentals for a total of $18.20 million so far.
December 31st, 2007
There were plenty of new releases to chart this week, but most did not live up to expectations. This includes the number one film, The Simpsons Movie, which sold 2.76 million units during its first week for total sales of $48.14 million.
December 31st, 2007
There were 12 new releases to chart this week, including 6 in the top ten alone; however, The Bourne Ultimatum remained in first place with $12.76 million in rentals for the week and $28.20 million in total.
December 24th, 2007
New releases earned the top three spots on the sales chart this week, including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which sold 5.26 million units for a total of $108.48 million in opening week revenue.
December 24th, 2007
New releases lead the way on the rental chart but it was The Bourne Ultimatum that came out in first place with $15.44 million in rentals, which is one of the best opening weeks this year.
December 23rd, 2007
The Screen Actors Guild nominations were announced this week, but again there were no clear front runners for the six theatrical categories.
December 11th, 2007
There's a deceptively weak selection of releases this week. Sure, we have DVDs from Harry Potter, Lost, High School Musical, and The Bourne Identity.
However, outside of those four franchises, there are no releases in the top ten at Amazon.
In fact, you have to get to 17th place on Amazon's charts to find a new release that isn't related to the big four.
That said, all four are worth picking up, for different audiences, and three of the four are contenders for DVD Pick of the Week.
It took a bit to narrow it down to one selection, but that is Harry Potter Years 1-5 Limited Edition Gift Set - Blu-Ray.
Not only is this release worth getting in High Definition, it is worth upgrading to Blu-Ray for.
(Although I still suggest waiting a little while longer for the first 2.0 Players to come out.)
Also, I got to give out the rare DVD Puck of the Week to The Rocket - Buy from Amazon.
December 3rd, 2007
Lions for Lambs climbed a spot to sixth place with $4.34 million on 2453 screens in 53 markets for a total of $25.97 million, while only managing $1 million or more in one market this past weekend, ($1.40 million on 390 screens during its sixth place debut in France). It opens in Italy later this month and Japan in the spring of '08, but there's almost no chance the film will show a profit at this point. Normally one movie losing money isn't a big issue because the studio can rely on one or two monster hits to pay for their misses, (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix made enough money to pay for the entire budgets of half-a-dozen misses for Warner Bros. this year, and that's before the home market). However, United Artists is a newly relauched studio and they don't have a war chest built up from past victories. Stumbling out of the gate like this hurts.
November 25th, 2007
Elizabeth: The Golden Age nearly reached the top five with $5.79 million on 1579 screens in 12 markets for a total of $21.80 million. This includes a first place, $1.89 million opening on 470 screens in Russia, while the film added $933,000 on 394 screens in the U.K. for a total of $8.40 million so far.
November 18th, 2007
Stardust fell out of the top five, but still added $5.80 million on 2327 screens in 48 markets lifting its running tally to $83.50 million. Its best market remained the U.K. where it climbed a spot to second place with $2.66 million on 459 screens for a total of $23.59 million. The film has no major openings left, but $100 million internationally is still within reach.
November 11th, 2007
Surf's Up grew by 77% in France adding $3.44 million on 628 screens over the weekend for a total of $7.36 million in total. This growth was due to the Toussaint holiday while it was enough to lift the film's weekend box office to $5.84 million on 1996 screens in 32 markets for a total of $72.34 million. The film has yet to open in Scandinavia as well as Japan and should hit $100 million internationally before it is done, which is significantly more than the $58.87 million it earned domestically, but not enough to show a profit just yet.
November 4th, 2007
The Orphanage may have fallen out of the top five internationally, but it remained the top draw in Spain with $4.11 million on 373 screens over the weekend for a three-week total of $20.78 million. This is more than Ratatouille has earned in that market after three months of release and equivalent to $200 to $300 million here. It won't make $200 to $300 million here, in fact, it might not make $20 million here. It all depends on how well it does with critics and award committees.
October 28th, 2007
Superbad climbed into sixth place with $4.26 million on 1836 screens in 27 markets for a total of $31.79 million. Most of that growth came from Spain where the film debuted in second place with $2.24 million on 350 screens while it also opened in Brazil with $511,000 on 192 screens. The film doesn't have many major markets left to open in, but it has already earned more than most comparable films do during their entire run.
October 21st, 2007
Bhool Bhulaiyaa became the latest in a long line of Indian films to strike it rich on the international box office as it scored sixth place with $4.59 million on 756 screens in 17 markets. The supernatural comedy even scored a top ten finish in Britain with $600,000 on 45 screens topping a few major Hollywood releases that week.
October 10th, 2007
Ratatouille climbed to the top on the international charts thanks to a first place opening in Germany, which is one of its last major markets. The film pulled in $11.71 million on 853 screens, which is almost four times what Cars made during its opening and more than twice what The Incredibles debuted with. It isn't as strong as Finding Nemo but that's such a high standard that no one will be disappointed that it didn't make it there. Overall the film added $19.33 million on 3265 screens in 30 markets for a total of $245.83 million, including $63.92 million in France.
October 3rd, 2007
The summer blockbuster season may have ended a month ago, but The Bourne Ultimatum is still ruling the international box office. This week the film added $9.61 million on 2875 screens in 47 markets for a total of $162.78 million so far. The film had no major, or even midlevel openings this past weekend, but it still managed an estimated $1.5 million in France for a total of $12.6 million after three weeks there. Even if the film had no more markets left to debut in, it could still cross $200 million internationally, and with openings in Italy and Japan still ahead, the goal is to earn more than the first two installments in the franchise combined.
September 26th, 2007
This week, three of the top five films were not in the top five last week, but despite all of the changes, The Bourne Ultimatum still earned an easy win. Over the weekend the spy thriller added $14.16 million on 3902 screens in 49 markets for a total of $145.59 million. The film had very few openings this past weekend, but did come out in first place in Portugal with $364,000 on 56 screens. The film was able to remain in first place in a number of markets, including France at $2.60 million on 510 screens for a total $7.53 million and Germany at $1.68 million on 717 screens for a total of $11.09 million. The film does have a few more markets to open in, (including Italy and Japan), and given its strong holds, it should hit $200 million before long and should earn more than the previous two installments of the franchise combined.
September 19th, 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum was able to capture top spot, again, while crossing $100 million internationally. Over the weekend the film added $20.84 million on 4124 screens in 45 markets for a total of $125.06 million, which puts it ahead of The Bourne Supremacy on that chart making it the undisputed champion of the franchise. The film finally ended Ratatouille's dominance of France with a reported $4.4 million on 462 screens while it top neighboring Belgium with $861,000 on 58 screens, including previews. The film also opened in first place in South Korea topping a list of five new releases in the top ten; it managed this with $2.89 million on 403 screens over the weekend and $3.47 million in total. In addition, the film is still in first place in Germany with $2.50 million on 702 screens for a two-week total of $8.47 million.
September 12th, 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum regained top spot as it became the fist film from the Bourne franchise to cross $300 million worldwide while it is about a week from being the highest grossing film internationally as well. Over the weekend the film added $15.79 million on 3341 screens in 38 markets for a total of $98.24 million internationally and $308.53 million worldwide. It was aided by two openings in major markets as it scored first place in both Germany, ($4.65 million on 703 screens), and Mexico, ($1.43 million on 385 screens). Meanwhile, the film is still doing swift business in holdovers like Australia with $3.25 million on 402 screens over the weekend and $10.08 million in total and the U.K. with $2.21 million on 457 screens over the weekend and $40.63 million in total. The Bourne Ultimatum opens in France and South Korea this week while it doesn't hit Italy and Japan till November and by then it could have $200 million internationally.
September 11th, 2007
The weekend after Labor Day is often the worst weekend of the year. Let's hope that's true this year as the overall box office was down to just $80 million, which was a drop-off of 32% from last weekend. On the other hand, it was up $10 million from the same weekend last year, which is a great sign for 2007's chances at breaking more records.
September 6th, 2007
The weekend after Labor Day. There are few times in the year where the box office is weaker. Strangely, this year we have not one, but two films coming out that are earning overall positive reviews and both have a shot at the top spot.
September 6th, 2007
It was the end of summer and that's the best time for Shrek the Third to make its debut in Italy. Summers in Italy are for outdoor activities, so much so that many theaters close down for the season, which makes it a good plan to hold off opening blockbusters there till the fall. The film dominated that market earning $8.02 million on 705 screens over the weekend and $10.67 million overall. The film also opened in three of the four Scandinavian markets earning a combined $4.06 million on 347 screens, including previews / midweek numbers. Overall the film added $17.87 million on 1849 screens in 23 markets for a total of $436.45 million.
September 4th, 2007
The summer ended on a strong note, including a record-breaking opening by Halloween. Overall the box office earning $118 million over the 3-day weekend, which was up 8% from last weekend and 16% from the same weekend last year. Over 4 days, the box office total was $149 million, up 15% from last year. With records broken for total box office, number of $300 million movies, number of $200 million movies, and more, this is a summer most movie executives will deeply miss.
August 30th, 2007
The Labor Day long weekend is the final weekend of the summer, but it is not the strongest. In fact, it is widely considered the weakest long weekend of the year and the three films opening this weekend are unlikely to change that perception.
August 29th, 2007
The top five on this week's international charts was the same as last week, only in a slightly different order. For instance, The Bourne Ultimatum was able to climb into top spot with $15.17 million on 2059 screens in 24 markets for a total of $52.55 million so far. The film had a number of openings, including Russia where it opening in first place with $2.57 million on 453 screens and New Zealand where it top the box office with $666,000 on 60 screens. However, it had to settle for second place in Brazil with $976,000 on 196 screens, but that was still the best per screen average in the top ten there. The film's biggest market overall was the U.K. where it remained in first place with $5.77 million on 456 screens for a two-week total of $27.86 million, which is more than either of the previous
films made in that market. In fact, The Bourne Ultimatum is on track to top the $33.94 million the first two films made in total in the U.K.
August 27th, 2007
Holdovers went one-two-three on the box office chart this week, which is not a completely uncommon event.
However, with six wide or wide-ish releases, you would think at least one could finish in the top three.
The collapse of the new releases helped keep the overall box office down to $108 million, which was 17% lower than last weekend.
However, that is still 4% higher than the same weekend last year and keeps summer 2007 on a record-setting pace.
In fact, it has hit $4 billion for the first time ever, so there's plenty of reasons to celebrate.
August 26th, 2007
Three holdovers took the top three spots on the box office chart this weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
Top of the pack was Superbad, which dropped a very respectable 45% in its second weekend in release, to earn approximately $18 million.
Second was The Bourne Ultimatum, which fell only 38% in its fourth weekend to earn $12.4 million.
That was a rounding error ahead of Rush Hour 3, which took an estimated $12.25 million.
August 24th, 2007
As the summer ends, there is a rush to dump failed projects on the market.
This weekend there are five films opening up in various degrees of wide release from a few hundred to a couple of thousand.
However, while there's a lot of competition, Superbad has the inside track to repeat on top.
August 22nd, 2007
The Simpsons Movie topped the charts for the fourth weekend in a row, the first film do win four weeks in a row on the international chart this summer. However, it was very, very close with $22.30 million on 3128 screens in 49 market for a total of $267.62 million internationally while its worldwide total is now $432.89 million. The film opened in first place in Russia with $3.66 million on 545 screens while in Brazil it took in $2.73 million on 442 screens. Its final significant opening of the weekend came in the Netherlands where it also took first place with $844,000 on 190 screens including the biggest opening day for an animated film at just under $222,000. The film is already $100 million ahead of its domestic pace on the international scene and should hit $300 million before long, while worldwide it could be headed to $500 million.
August 20th, 2007
Summer abruptly ends during August, sometimes before the month even really begins.
Even in the best years, you only get Summer-like openings during the first two weeks.
However, this year we got a third Summer weekend, as Superbad opened with more than Evan Almighty's debut figure in late June.
Granted, the overall box office dropped to $130 million, which was 15% decline from last weekend.
However, that's still a softer decline than expected, an 18% improvement from last year, and enough to say it is still summertime.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
August 19th, 2007
D-War slipped to sixth place overall, but remained in first place in South Korea with $10.19 million on 623 screens over the weekend and $37.81 million in total.
August 16th, 2007
This weekend we will have the weakest number one film since at least June 22nd when Evan Almighty opened, and mostly likely since before the summer started.
But there are still some interesting stories to follow and possibly the last $100 million film to open until November.
August 13th, 2007
As expected, Rush Hour 3 took first place this weekend and helped the overall box office hit $155 million.
This was 12% lower than last weekend, but the summer season is wrapping up, so week-to-week drop-offs like this are to be expected.
More importantly, it was up nearly 20% from the same weekend last year.
August 9th, 2007
I think it is safe to say that this weekend is the unofficial end of summer. After the release of Rush Hour 3, there's not a single film that has a serious shot at $100 million till October... maybe November. However, while everyone expects Rush Hour 3 to open in first place, I have my doubts as to how big that opening will be.
August 7th, 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum was the only film to top $10,000 on the per theater chart this week, earning an impressive $18,930, which was close to double its nearest competition.
But, while there was only one member of the $10,000 club, a few films came very close, including Becoming Jane with $9,721, which is even more impressive with a theater count of 100.
It is also more than enough to guarantee expansion.
August 7th, 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum helped 2007 continue its record setting pace and helped the overall box office hit $178 million over the past weekend. That was down 4% from last weekend, but the summer is slowing down and these declines and expected. On the other hand, it was up an amazing 27% from the same weekend last year.
August 5th, 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum had a huge opening weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
The trilogy-capper earned just over $70 million, enough to set a new record for August (see biggest August openers).
That's also comfortably the biggest opening of Matt Damon's career, and will leave the studio with a considerable problem in deciding whether to bring back Bourne for another installment.
August 5th, 2007
Another big list of movie sites, but not much in the way of top-notch entries. For a movie site to be an award winner, I expect it to have all of the usual features, extras like clips, something interactive like a game, and background sound and animation. The film that best exemplifies that criteria is Stardust - Official Site, which is the winner of the Weekly Website Award.
August 2nd, 2007
What could be the last major opening this summer debuts today.
The Bourne Ultimatum opens in more than 3,600 theaters.
The summer has been an overwhelming success to date, up 8% from last year and 3% from 2004's record-setting run.
If Bourne can maintain the winning streak, and most analysts agree that it will, then a new record is almost guaranteed.
August 1st, 2007
August marks the unofficial end of the lucrative summer box office season. The only question is when will it end. Studios usually hope for two summer-like weekends, and sometimes they can squeeze in three.
Other times they can only get one, or none.
Sadly, this year the August offerings are not particularly strong with only two that have a real shot at $100 million or more, and three or four others that should earn good reviews (and one of those has since been pulled from the schedule).
Most of the rest are films that probably seemed like a good idea at the time but didn't work out and those that were a mistake from day one.
July 29th, 2007
Server upgrades went... less smoothly than anticipated, which delayed this column, but at least there are a huge number of sites to check out. Many of these sites are making their first appearance on the list while quite a few are making their last appearance. Unfortunately, while it's a big list, there are not many that are even close to being award worthy at the moment. 30 Days of Night - Official Site comes the closest, but I'm waiting for the missing features to be added before I make that decision.
July 27th, 2007
The latest in a long line of trilogies opens next weekend, as The Bourne Ultimatum debuts on Friday.
It is the target film of our latest box office prediction contest.
To win, one must simply predict the box office opening for The Bourne Ultimatum.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of Hard Boiled - 2-Disc Collector's Edition.
Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of Last Hurrah for Chivalry.
In addition, both winners will receive a poster from Becoming Jane.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
July 21st, 2007
Big list in terms of numbers, not so much in terms of quality. In fact, the best film in terms of updates this week was The Simpsons Movie - Official Site, which has already won the Weekly Website Award. Because of that, there are no new winners this week.
July 14th, 2007
One of the last summer blockbusters launched its full site this week. This means two things, The Bourne Ultimatum - Official Site is the clear winner of the weekly website award. And secondly, there will likely be a slowdown in top-notch sites as we approach the dog days of summer, and the even worse days of September.
June 30th, 2007
One of the slowest weeks I can remember for this list, but at least we have a top-notch site to give the Weekly Website Award to: Ratatouille - Official Site.
April 29th, 2007
It's a slow week in terms of the cream-of-the-crop sites. There are a few that look like they could be award-worthy once they have a few more updates, but for the most part this week we have a collection that is rather average. There was one stand-out site, Evan Almighty - Official Site, and it was the only choice for the Weekly Website Award.