September 27th, 2016
It is a pretty good week on the home market with a few releases worth picking up. The biggest of these is Central Intelligence, but while it is worth picking up, it isn’t a contender for Pick of the Week. There are some smaller releases that were up for that title, including The Shallows, An American Werewolf in London and The Innocents. However, in the end, I went with Captain America: Civil War. The Blu-ray screener arrived late, and I held off on naming it Pick of the Week when it came out for that very reason.
September 12th, 2016
This week, the biggest hit of the year so far, Captain America: Civil War, comes out. It is also one of the best and the Blu-ray is a contender for Pick of the Week. Unfortunately, the screener is late and I don’t like awarding Pick of the Week to a release where I’m still waiting on the Blu-ray. The rest of the contenders are smaller films, including The Bloodstained Butterfly, which arrived late. Part of me wants to give the title to The Transformers: The Movie, but while I plan to buy the Blu-ray, I understand that Nostalgia has a lot to with that. ... Oh what the hell, doing it. The Transformers: The Movie is the Pick of the Week.
July 12th, 2016
As expected, The Secret Life of Pets earned first place on the weekend box office chart. However, almost no one was expecting it to dominate the way that it did with $104.35 million. There are some calling this film the best opening for a non-franchise animation film, but let’s face the facts... Universal started work on two or three sequels as soon as Friday’s Estimates came in. Meanwhile, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates has a good opening in the role of counter-programming with $16.63 million. Overall, the box office pulled in $217 million, which was 14% more than last weekend. More importantly, it is 1.3% more than the same weekend last year. Granted, this is lower than ticket price inflation, but since most people assumed the weekend would suffer a serious decline, this should be seen as a major victory. Year-to-date, 2016’s lead over 2015 grew a tiny bit hitting 2.4% at $6.00 billion to $5.86 billion.
June 28th, 2016
As predicted, Finding Dory repeated as the box office champion and came very close to matching our prediction with $72.96 million over the weekend. This is well above Independence Day: Resurgence's opening of $41.04 million. The Shallows was great as a low-budget horror film. The other two films... let's not talk about them. Overall, the box office fell 19% from last weekend to $188 million; however, this is to be expected, given how big Finding Dory opened. The weekend box office was even better than the same weekend last year, albeit by only 2.3%, which is not enough to keep up with inflation. Likewise, the year-over-year comparison is not great either. 2016 still leads 2015, but only by $5.38 billion to $5.31 billion, which is a lead of just 1.2%. Hopefully this weekend's win is a sign of things turning around, but I'm not so sure of that.
June 23rd, 2016
This is the last weekend in June and there are three wide releases hoping to challenge Finding Dory for top spot. I don’t think any of them will come close. Independence Day: Resurgence is the only new release with a shot at first place and it should come out on top on Friday. It better win on Friday, or the month will end on a soft note. The Shallows and Free State of Jones will be fighting for fourth place. The Shallows cost less than $20 million, so a fourth place finish wouldn’t be a bad start. On the other hand, Free State of Jones cost $65 million to make, so a fourth place finish would be a disaster. Also opening this week is The Neon Demon. It isn’t opening wide, but it is opening wide enough to compete for a slot in the top ten. This weekend last year, there were two wide releases that earned less than $50 million combined. On the other hand, the top two films, Jurassic World and Inside Out both earned more than $50 million. Can the top four this year out-earn the top four last year? I think they can. We might get an actual win in the year-over-year comparison.
June 21st, 2016
Finding Dory not only earned first place on the weekend box office chart, but it also earned first place on the theater average chart with $31,373 per theater. Homeless Billionaire was next with $19,771 in its lone theater. Tickled earned an average of $10,949 in two theaters. Meanwhile, Central Intelligence was right behind with an average of $10,130.
June 21st, 2016
In our prediction column, I said I wanted the top two films to earn a combined total of $150 million to $170 million. Finding Dory's and Central Intelligence's combined opening weekend was $170.60 million. The overall box office was 53% higher than last weekend at $233 million. However, this was still 6.3% lower than the same weekend last year. Finding Dory did do better than either Jurassic World or Inside Out individually, but couldn't compete with their combined totals. 2016 is still ahead of 2015, but its lead was cut by a third at $150 million or 3.1%. That said, 2016 hit $5 billion a week faster than 2015 did and its lead of $5.06 billion to $4.91 billion is still substantial.
June 19th, 2016
Finding Dory is rewriting the record books this weekend, posting the biggest weekend ever for an animated film. Disney is projecting a total of $136.18 million in its first three days, which will easily break the record of $121.6 million set by Shrek the Third back in 2007. The previous top mark for a Pixar movie was Toy Story 3’s $110.3 million. With an A CinemaScore (for the 17th time straight for Pixar, per Disney), and 95% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the film should enjoy Pixar’s traditional good legs. In the Summer, that has meant a ratio between opening and final box office of somewhere between 3 and 4, which points towards a final box office somewhere between $400 million and $520 million for the fish pic. By way of comparison Finding Nemo earned $518 million, adjusted for inflation.
June 17th, 2016
Finding Dory. Finding Dory started its box office run by setting a Pixar record with $9.2 million at preview shows. This beats the old record of $4.0 million held by Toy Story 3. However, that film came out six years ago and midnight showings were not industry standard back then so it is hard to judge. On the other hand, the film also set the record for an animated film, which was previously set last year by Minions at $6.2 million. Finding Dory is also the biggest midnight hit for a family film so far this year, topping The Jungle Book, which earned $4.2 million. At this pace, a $100 million opening seems very likely and a record-breaking opening, for an animated film, is still the goal.
June 16th, 2016
This weekend should be the best weekend in June, led by Finding Dory. Finding Dory should easily be the biggest hit of the month, one of the biggest hits of the year, and the fastest opening film in Pixar's history. On the other hand, Central Intelligence is just hoping for a solid second place opening in its role as counter-programming. If it hits $30 million, then the studio will be very happy. This weekend last year, Jurassic World led the way with $106.59 million, while Inside Out opened in second place with $90.44 million. 2016 is going to lose more ground to 2015. I just hope they keep it close. I will be happy if Finding Dory and Central Intelligence earned a combined $150 million to $170 million.
June 9th, 2016
Next week, there are two wide releases debuting in theaters: Finding Dory and Central Intelligence. I think Central Intelligence is going to be a hit earning more than $100 million domestically and could spawn a sequel as a result. On the other hand, Finding Dory could earn more than $100 million opening weekend and it is the only real choice for the target film in this week's Box Office Prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Finding Dory.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprize of previously reviewed DVD and / or Blu-rays. I grabbed a few more boxes from storage, so we can do winner's choice again. The choices are, two movies, one TV on DVD release, three single-disc kids DVDs, or two items from the mystery box.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a Frankenprize, as described above.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will win the final Frankenprize.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
June 1st, 2016
May was great, as long as you don't compare it to last May. Captain America: Civil War was a monster hit and is closing in on $400 million, while both X-Men: Apocalypse and The Angry Birds Movie will earn over $100 million. Looking ahead, every week in June, there is one movie that should top $100 million; however, only Finding Dory is expected to make more than $200 million. In fact, that film is expected to make close to $400 million domestically and over $1 billion worldwide. Last June, there were two monster hits, Inside Out and Jurassic World, plus one $100 million hit, Spy. I don't see how 2016 will top that. Even if every film with a shot at $100 million gets to that milestone, 2016 still might not top last year's pace. Fortunately, 2016 does have a large lead and that could be enough to keep 2016 ahead of 2015's pace in the year-over-year competition. It could be really close at the end of the month, on the other hand.