In the new century, we record, post and comment on every second of our lives, sharing our every emotion and opinion with the world, no matter how mundane. But for three friends who stumble upon a life-changing discovery, the chronicle of their ordinary lives is about to take an extraordinary turn.
||February 3rd, 2012 (Wide) by 20th Century Fox|
||May 15th, 2012 by Fox Home Entertainment|
||PG-13 for intense action and violence, thematic material, some language, sexual content and teen drinking.|
(Rating bulletin 2205, 1/11/2012)
||First Love, Romance, Addiction, Bullies, Revenge, Dysfunctional Family, Psychics, Found Footage|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Science Fiction|
||20th Century Fox, Davis Entertainment, Dune Entertainment|
Getting caught up on the Blu-ray sales chart after a massive overhaul of the database, which hopefully you didn't notice too much. We're splitting the two weeks into two articles, otherwise they would be just too cumbersome. We start with the week ending May 20th, which featured six new releases on the chart. Top spot went to The Grey with 375,000 units sold, but in terms of revenue, it was in second place with $7.50 million. Its opening week Blu-ray share was 51%, which even just last year would have been momentous, but now is standard for a first-run release for any action or adventure film.
After a major change on the back end of site, we have two weeks of home market numbers to get to, starting with the week ending on May 20th. New releases dominated the chart taking the top three spots and four of the top six. The Grey earned first place with 360,000 units / $6.12 million. This is a fine start given its theatrical run, but not an exceptional one.
It's not a bad week, for this time of year, with three films that are selling well, and two of those earned really good reviews. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for those screeners. Also, after those three big releases, there's a sharp drop-off in sales strength and we quickly find releases that would be overlooked most weeks. As for the best of the best, both Chronicle and The Grey are contenders for Pick of the Week, but like I said, I don't have the screeners to judge the extras. Therefore, I'm giving that title to Being John Malkovich Criterion Collection Blu-ray.
Another weekend, another win. For the sixth weekend in a row, 2012 has topped 2011 in the year-over-year, and like much of the year, it wasn't even close. The overall box office was up 66% from last weekend reaching $192 million. It was also 29% higher than the same weekend last year. All four wide releases beat expectations, sometimes by wide margins. Also, all earned more than $20 million, which is the first time that's happened on a non-holiday weekend. And two of them earned $40 million or more. Year-to-date, 2012 now has a 19% lead on 2011 at $1.19 billion to $1.00 billion. There is reason to be cautious however, as a lot of this growth is due to 2011 getting off to a disastrous start. It is still too soon to declare victory, but it is reason to at least be somewhat optimistic.
2012 has beaten 2011 every single weekend so far and we could see that streak survive at least one more weekend thanks to three wide releases: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Safe House, and The Vow, plus a re-release, Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace. That's a crowded slate and normally I would assume one or more of the films would be squeezed out at the box office, but now I'm not so sure, as even the weakest amongst them is tracking for close to $20 million. By comparison, this weekend last year three films earned more than $25 million and only one new release failed to connect with audiences. So it could be a tough race, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol has reached two milestones since last week, reaching $400 million internationally and $600 million worldwide. It added $24.31 million on 6,259 screens in 51 markets over the weekend and now has $420.83 million internationally and $626.03 million worldwide. Of its weekend haul, $20 million came from China, which was $7 million more than last week's opening.
It was Super Bowl weekend, which apparently some people care about. (Not me. Go B.C. Lions!) The crossover audience between the Super Bowl and most movies is quite high, so it is no real shock that the box office was down compared to last weekend. However, it was only down 8% to $116 million. This was 33% higher than the same weekend last year. Both Chronicle and The Woman in Black topped expectations by significant degrees, while the weakest movie the top five missed weekend predictions by less than $1 million. Year-to-date, 2012 is ahead of 2011's pace by 12% at $964 million to $850 million. Before we get too excited, by this weekend in 2010, the box office had already pulled in $1.21 billion.
The industry's healthy start to 2012 will continue this weekend thanks to two more good opening weekends. Chronicle is currently favorite to win the weekend, with Fox predicting a $22 million opening. CBS Films is pegging The Woman in Black at $21 million (a record for the fledgling studio). Both figures are predicated on historical models for SuperBowl Sunday, which can be a difficult day to predict, so the final order between the two could yet switch, although Chronicle is heavily favored to win at this point. Overall box office will be up about 35% from last year, although that reflects the very weak start to 2011. This weekend looks as though it will be about average for a SuperBowl weekend overall.
There are two important dates in February: Valentine's Day and Presidents Day. This weekend deals with neither of those, so it is probably going to be a little soft at the box office. On the other hand, all three films opening this weekend, Big Miracle, Chronicle, and The Woman in Black, have overall positive reviews and are averaging around 75% positive (That might change by the end of the evening as more reviews come in.) By comparison, this weekend last year saw the release of The Roommate and Sanctum, both of which earned terrible reviews and neither of which earned a lot at the box office. Those two films combined earned just under $25 million over the weekend, while there's a slim, slim chance The Woman in Black will make that much by itself. Even on the low end, the top two new releases should match that, while this year appears to have the advantage with depth as well. I'm almost feeling optimistic. ... I may have just cursed the box office.
2012 got off to a great start, with January earning four wins in a row in the year-over-year comparison and finishing the month with a double-digit lead over 2011's pace. This has made me very hopeful going forward. That said, there are fourteen films opening wide or being re-released wide in February, and I don't think there's a $100 million hit in the group. In fact, I don't think any will get all that close to the century mark. There are several that should be solid mid-level hits and with a little luck, half of them could reached $50 million and there are five that could reach $75 million. Last February, Just Go With It topped $100 million while Gnomeo and Juliet came within $33,000 of doing the same. We won't replicate that this year, so we have to hope for a lot more depth. If films like Safe House, Journey 2, Ghost Rider 2, The Phantom Menace: 3D and The Vow all meet expectations, then perhaps 2012 will continue its hot start.
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