January 17th, 2011
It's a very slow week on the home market with Takers being the biggest first-run release. Admittedly, it did perform better than expected at the box office, but was still only a midlevel hit. The best bet in terms of new releases is Buried, which is coming out on a Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, but without a DVD only option. However, while that movie is amazing, there are not enough extras to be considered pick of the week material. For that honor we have to go to Futurama: Volume Five, even though it didn't come out this week, or even this year. However, the screener arrived really late, and it is the best release on this week's list.
January 16th, 2011
Buried is a low-budget suspense film that opened in limited release late last year. Expectations were not very high, because this is not the kind of film that generally does well in limited release. However, it earned excellent reviews and did quite well during its opening weekend, pulling in $100,000 in just 11 theaters. Unfortunately, it wasn't able to carry that momentum forward as it expanded and it stalled out at just over $1 million. Now that it is coming out on a Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, will it be able to perform better?
November 9th, 2010
There were a few limited releases to reach the $10,000 mark on the per theater chart this past weekend. 127 Hours lead the way with an impressive average of $66,213 in four theaters. Fair*Game was well back with $14,154, but it opened in 46 theaters, so this is a much better indicator of its chances to expand. The overall box office leader, MegaMind, was the only other film in the $10,000 club with an average of $11,668, but the second place film, Due Date, came very close with an average of $9,743.
October 1st, 2010
September is nearly over and the Fall box office season is about to begin in earnest.
September wasn't too bad this year, with more films matching or exceeding expectations than missing them, and we managed to keep pace with last year, more or less.
Can October do the same? Well, last year there was only one $100 million hit, Couples Retreat (not counting Paranormal Activity, which opened in September). We might not see any film hit $100 million this time around.
In fact, we might not even see any that come all that close.
On the other hand, there were also five wide releases that clearly bombed last year, and on that end, 2010 looks a lot better.
Not every film that opens over the next five weekends will be a mid-level hit or better, but most should get there.
September 28th, 2010
There were three films that topped $10,000 on the per theater chart, including one that topped $30,000. That film was Waiting for Superman, which pulled in an average of $34,758 in four theaters. However, its prospects for a wide expansion are limited, since it is a documentary. Second place went to You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger with and average of $26,684 in six theaters, but it likely has a better chance at significant expansion. The final $10,000 film was Enter the Void with an average of $14,550 in three theaters.
September 26th, 2010
Twenty-three years after the opening of the original, Wall Street 2 marked the successful return of Gordon Gecko this weekend with a good (though hardly blockbusting) $19 million opening.
Intervening years of inflation and radical changes in theatrical distribution make a comparison between the openings of the two movies virtually meaningless, but it is noteworthy that the first Wall Street was more a of cultural icon than a box office hit.
It earned $43,848,100 - very respectable for the time, but less than, for example, Outrageous Fortune, Dragnet or La Bamba, which were all also released in 1987.
Wall Street 2 looks headed for similar respectability.
Whether it'll catch the national mood in the same way is more doubtful.
September 24th, 2010
It's the last weekend of September, which means Awards Season could start any weekend now. (In fact, it might have started last weekend with the release of Never Let Me Go.) There are a few films that look like they might have been made to be Awards Season contenders, but of those only Waiting for Superman has a real chance. On the other hand, Buried will likely be the biggest box office hit, mainly because it is already scheduled for a wide expansion in a couple weeks.
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