Two ex-lovers, Martin and Claudia, find their loyalties tested and their lives at risk when they are joined together on the defense team in a terrorism trial.
||August 28th, 2013 (Wide) by Focus Features|
||January 7th, 2014 by Universal Home Entertainment|
||R for language and brief violence.|
(Rating bulletin 2259, 2/13/2013)
||Terrorism, Courtroom Drama, Lawyers, Government Corruption, Investigative Journalist, Infidelity, Secret Agent, Undercover, Surprise Twist, Voiceover/Narration, Epilogue|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
||Focus Features, Working Title Films|
It is a relatively slow week this week. That's not to say there are no releases worth picking up, in fact, there's a close race for Pick of the Week. It's just none of the releases were monster hits at the theaters. This includes a couple of documentaries, The Act of Killing and Inequality for All, as well as a couple of TV on DVD releases, Archer: Season Four and Being Human: Complete Third Season. However, in the end, I went with We Are What We Are on DVD or Blu-ray for Pick of the Week. Meanwhile, Being Human: Complete Third Season on DVD or Blu-ray earns Puck of the Week, for the best Canadian release.
We have good news and bad news. Riddick only managed to reach the low end of expectations, while the overall box office was down nearly $40 million, or 32%, from last week. On the positive side, Instructions Not Included finished on the high end of expectations, while the overall box office was $85 million, which was 26% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2013 has earned $7.54 billion, or 1.2% higher than last year's pace.
The Labor Day long weekend is over and pre-weekend predictions were spot on, at least when it came to the top-two films. One Direction: This is Us opened in first place on Friday, but by Sunday had fallen to fifth place, allowing Lee Daniels' The Butler to remain on top, if you go by the four-day weekend. There were a few surprises this weekend, including Instructions Not Included. I hoped it would do well, but I never imaged it would do this well. Overall the weekend was strong at $125 million over the three-day weekend, which was 14% more than last weekend. Over four days, the total box office was $160 million. This was 21% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2013 holds a 0.9% lead over 2012 at 7.44 billion to $7.37 billion.
Hollywood's Summer ends this weekend with a suitably back-to-school winner in the form of One Direction: This is Us. The 3D concert movie will pick up $17 million Friday-Sunday, largely on the back of an impressive $8.9 million gross on Saturday. While that won't set it up to challenge Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus among the top grossers in this particular sub-genre, it does show the solid business model for 3D films that cater to pop fans. Performances among other films playing this weekend were more varied.
It's the Labor Day long weekend, which is widely regarded as the weakest long weekend of the year. This year there are two wide releases, One Direction: This is Us and Getaway, looking to grab the final box office dollars before Summer officially ends. (One could argue it unofficially ended weeks ago.) One Direction should have no trouble finding an audience among young girls, but there's a chance the more mature audience Lee Daniels' The Butler has been attracting will be large enough to withstand that push. Getaway, on the other hand, is just hoping to get one positive review before the weekend starts. There was a third film that was supposed to open wide this week, Closed Circuit, but it is now opening in 800 or so theaters, so it won't be a factor. Last year, there were two wide releases, both of which topped $10 million during the three-day weekend. The new releases this year won't match that, but there's better depth this time around.
July was hit and miss at the box office, mostly miss. In fact, only two films really topped expectations, Despicable Me 2 and The Conjuring. That said, 2013 has nearly closed the gap with 2012 and it won't take much to pull ahead. Looking forward to August, we find that it is a very busy month with 16 or so films opening wide over five weeks. Of course, the closer you get to September, the more likely these films will struggle to find an audience, and more often than not, there are simply too many films opening wide to suspect they will all find an audience. On the high end, 2 Guns could be the biggest hit of the month with just over $100 million. The Smurfs 2 and Elysium could pull in $100 million. All three of those films are opening in the first two weeks of the month. After that, most of the new releases will be lucky if they reach $50 million during their theatrical runs. By comparison, last August was not as busy with 14 wide releases. Of those, only one film, The Bourne Legacy, topped $100 million, although a couple came reasonably close. Hopefully we will have more $100 million hits this time around and 2013 will be able to complete the comeback.
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