March 20th, 2013
New releases took four of the top five spots on the Blu-ray sales chart for the week of February 3rd, 2013. Hotel Transylvania led the way with 633,000 units / $14.54 million. Its opening week Blu-ray share was 37%, which is very healthy for a kids movie.
March 20th, 2013
New releases dominated the DVD sales chart for the week of February 3rd with three in the top five and five in the top ten. This includes Hotel Transylvania, which opened in first place with 1.08 million units / $19.52 million and it is already in second place for the year.
January 28th, 2013
There are quite a few films that opened wide in theaters on this week's list, but most of them bombed at the box office. Hotel Transylvania is the only exception, but while it is a good kids movie, it isn't Pick of the Week material. The best release of the week, in my opinion, is Seven Psychopaths on either DVD or Blu-ray.
September 17th, 2012
2012 started off so well that I keep thinking the box office will return to those glory days, or at the very least it will stop sucking. That didn't happen this weekend. Granted, the box office grew 28% from last weekend to $86 million. However, this is 15% lower than the same weekend last year and it is still one of the worst weekends of all time. Year-to-date, 2012 still leads 2011, but that lead has shrunk to just 3.0% at $7.80 billion to $7.58 billion. If things don't turn around very soon, 2012 will lose its lead in terms of tickets sold (currently just 1.8%) and its overall lead shortly after that. Since fewer people are watching movies in theaters, it means fewer people are seeing trailers, posters, etc. for upcoming films. Fewer people seeing trailers for upcoming films does often times result in fewer people seeing these upcoming movies. We need a true blockbuster to break out of this cycle.
September 10th, 2012
Yuck. The overall box office this past weekend was not only the worst of the year so far, but it was the worst we've seen in more than a decade. Not only did the box office have a decade of inflation, but also a decade of population growth, which makes this result even more depressing. The Possession was the only bright spot in the top ten. Both The Words and The Cold Light of Day missed the Mendoza Line during their opening weekend. Overall, the box office plummeted 35% to just $67 million. Compared to last year, the box office fell by 17%. It's a disaster. 2012 is still ahead of 2011 by 3.3% at $7.70 billion to $7.45 billion. Things will have to get better next weekend, so hopefully we will never have to think about this weekend again.
September 9th, 2012
One statistic suffices to sum up this weekend at the box office: based on estimates received so far, the weekend ranks as the 5th-worst weekend for total box office receipts since January, 2000 (see full chart here). While that position will improve when we get complete numbers on Monday, there's a good chance this will end up as the worst weekend since 2001, even though ticket prices have risen substantially since then. The two marks that industry watchers should look out for are the $67.5 million weekend of September 5, 2003 and the $67.9 million weekend of September 5, 2008. Unsurprisingly, the top film at the box office this weekend is the same as last weekend: The Possession is set for about $9.5 million in its second outing. The Words is the top opener, with about $5 million in 2,801 theaters -- certainly a disappointment, although CBS Films is hoping for good legs thanks to its adult-skewing demographic.
September 6th, 2012
The weekend after the Labor Day long weekend is often the worst weekend of the entire year at the box office. This certainly seems to be the case this year. There are two wide releases, or to be more accurate, one wide release, The Words, and one semi-wide release, The Cold Light of Day. Neither film is expected to top $10 million. The last time the number one film over the weekend earned less than $10,000,000 was way back in 2008 with the release of Bangkok Dangerous, which opened in the weekend after Labor Day. There is a slim chance The Words will earn less than Bangkok Dangerous did. This weekend last year wasn't actually pretty good with Contagion dominating the chart. There's almost no chance any film opening this weekend will match the $22.40 million that film earned. The top three films combined probably won't match that figure. 2012 will start the autumn with a pretty big fall.
September 1st, 2012
August is over and let's just be glad we never have to talk about that month again. It is too early to tell how a couple of the wide releases from the month will do, but of the other fourteen we have solid numbers for, none of them were a pleasant surprise. There were a few that were mildly disappointing, but likely still profitable. There were also a few that were "What were they thinking?" level of box office bomb. This September, there about a dozen films opening wide, depending on your definition of wide. (Plus, For A Good Time, Call might expand wide on the 14th, while The Master is opening in limited release on the 14th, but might expand wide before the end of the month. "Might" is the key here. I don't think either will get it done.) None of the dozen films are likely to get to $100 million. In fact, there's a good chance no film opening this month will get to $75 million in total. The biggest film of the month could be Finding Nemo, which is getting a 3D Re-release. As long as the movie going public hasn't tired of 3D re-releases, it should be a hit, but there are signs that the trend might be ending soon. There are a few others that should become midlevel hits, but most will struggle to find an audience. Last September was not terrible with one $100 million film and a few other midlevel hits. For 2012 to come out ahead, it will have to rely on depth, and I'm more than a little worried in that regard.
August 31st, 2012
This weekend is the Labor Day long weekend, which means next week is the first week of the year that it is acceptable to mention Halloween. To celebrate, we have two Halloween DVDs for prizes. As for a target film, there is only one film opening truly wide next weekend, The Words, while The Cold Light of Day is opening in less than 2000 theaters. This makes The Words the clear choice for 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 The Words.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of SpongeBob SquarePants: Ghouls Fools on DVD.
Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of Dora the Explorer: Dora's Halloween Parade on . (That's the French-Language bi-lingual edition.)
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!