New releases again dominated the rental charts as there were able to capture the top three spots, in fact, all three of these new releases were able to score more than last week's top film was able to. Leading the way was Night at the Museum with $11.56 million; this quite low compared to its theatrical box office of just over $250 million, but the younger target demographic explains this.
It's a busy week for DVD releases, but the signal to noise ratio is a little high, and that made it harder to find the DVDs that were truly worthy of attention.
(And even then, I went off track a couple of times.)
As for the DVD Pick of the Week, there is really only one choice for me, The Queen - Buy from Amazon.
However, I'm also giving that honor to Burning Annie - Buy from Amazon, which would have won a few weeks ago if I had got the right information on the quality of the DVD.
Martin Luther King Jr. long weekend saw a new film take top spot while several films in the top five outperformed expectations.
However, overall the box office was 3% lower from last weekend at $128 million and just 2% higher than the same weekend last year.
That's likely not enough to keep up with ticket price inflation.
Obviously it is too early to panic, or even make predictions, but this is not the start the industry was hoping for.
There were a couple of pleasant surprises this week, including a generally stronger than expected performance by the holdovers. Better than expected still resulted in an 18% drop-off from last weekend to $133 million, but that's 3.5% better than 2006's start.
Big list as I try to catch up after the holidays. I think I caught all the updates. Not only are there a lot of sites on this week's list, several of them are potential award winners with the best of the best being Smokin' Aces
- Official Site
The first weekend of the year is not known for producing many hits. In fact, perhaps only the first weekend after Labor Day is worse.
This year is no exception: the three wide releases are not earning strong reviews, only one new film is able to crack 2,000 theaters, and none of them have a real shot at first place.
It is the beginning of a new year. A time to start fresh. So why do most of the new releases smell so stale? It's the January dumping ground, home to films that looked promising on paper but just didn't pan out.
That doesn't mean there are no films that could be worth checking out.
Out of the twelve new films opening wide this month (that's opening, not expanding), Smokin' Aces looks great and so does ... no, that's about it.
Almost all of the new releases are likely to struggle at the box office and with critics alike.
And to make matters worse, six of these new releases are going wide on the same weekend.
This is complete madness and guarantees that at least two films that would otherwise succeed are going to fail.
On the other hand, there are nearly a dozen films that have previously opened and are expanding wide (Children of Men and Pan's Labyrinth, for example), or are being re-released to grab some last minute Oscar buzz,
(The Queen and The Last King of Scotland, among others).
This makes for an incredibly busy month, but not one that will likely produce many hits.
Two additional notes...
Firstly, Letters from Iwo Jima is expanding throughout the month but likely won't go wide until February.
Secondly, The Dead Girl has a planned expansion on the 19th, but after struggling in limited release since opening last weekend, this seems unlikely.
Slow week for websites with only one real contender for the weekly website award, (not counting those sites that have already won). Fortunately, that site, Flushed Away
- Official Site
, truly deserved to win.
High quantity on sites this week, but many of them were for new releases, most of which haven't had any updates in a while. Those that did have updates were generally quite small, but one site stood above them all, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
- Official Site
, which is easily the winner of the Weekly Website Award.