In the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State. The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt, 42, owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth, 26, and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks.
Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer, Frederick Aiken, a 28-year-old Union war-hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait and hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son, John. As the nation turns against her, Surratt is forced to rely on Aiken to uncover the truth and save her life.
||April 15th, 2011 (Wide) by Roadside Attractions|
||August 16th, 2011 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment|
||PG-13 for some violent content.|
(Rating bulletin 2142, 10/13/2010)
||Costume Drama, Courtroom Drama, Conspiracy Theory, War, Hitmen, Political|
|Source:||Based on Real Life Events|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
||The American Film Co, Wildwood Enterprises|
Despite only managing fourth place on the DVD sales chart this week, Priest opened on top of the Blu-ray sales chart with 187,000 units / $4.24 million. Its opening Blu-ray ratio was 49% and this is great news for upcoming summer blockbusters, as it suggests they could break 50%.
There were six new releases to chart this week, but none were able to push Rio out of top spot. The film sold an additional 361,000 units lifting its running tally to 2.58 million units / $38.67 million after three weeks of release.
It's a deceptively busy week, as there are several significant releases hitting the home market on Tuesday. However, most of these are wide releases that flopped, to one degree or another. In fact, one of the best selling releases of the week is Jane Eyre, an early success story in limited release. When a limited release could conceivably lead the way in sales... well, that's a sure sign of weakness in the overall market. As for the best release of the week, that would have to go to The Big Lebowski Limited Edition Blu-ray Digibook. The latest season of Dexter would come close, but while the show is great, the releases are not Pick of the Week material.
L'Amour Fou was the only film to top the $10,000 mark on the per theater chart, earning first place with an average of $18,625 in two theaters. The number two film on the overall box office chart, Bridesmaids, did at least come relatively close with an average of $8,995.
Evil Bong 3D earned $19,315 in its lone theater to lead the way on the per theater chart, and clearly I've slipped into an alternate dimension. Actually, I'm very happy with this film's success, as it's distributed by Full Moon Features, the same company that released Puppetmaster and countless other low-budget films I've been a fan of. Second place went to The Double Hour with $14,990, which is less than 1% lower than its opening weekend. Madea's Big Happy Family was the only wide release to reach the $10,000 mark, and it was close at $10,957. There is one confusing release, Incendies, which earned over $60,000 in 13 theaters, if you include Canada. However, if you just look at its U.S. opening, it earned $50,679 in 3 theaters for an average of $16,893, which is much more impressive.
The Double Hour earned top spot on the per theater chart with an average of $15,123 in two theaters. The only other film to crack the $10,000 mark was the overall box office leader, Rio, with an average of $10,250.
At the 19th attempt, 2011 finally has a legitimate winning weekend at the box office, thanks to a better-than-expected opening for Rio (and, to be fair, a weak comparison weekend last year). With a $40 million estimated debut, Rio lays claim to having the best opening of the year so far, and the fifth-best April weekend of all time (nudging out Hop debut two weeks ago). While that's undoubtedly good news, the rest of the chart is something of a mixed bag.
It's another big week for limited releases with a couple that are opening in far more theaters than most limited releases can dream of, plus they are opening with a lot stronger buzz. ... Or to be much more accurate, much louder buzz, as the two biggest releases are not exactly earning top notch reviews. The Conspirator is benefiting from an incredible pedigree, which includes Robert Redford as the director. Meanwhile, Atlas Shrugged: Part I is based on a book by Ayn Rand, who has a committed fan base. Personally, the film I'm most interested in seeing is Daydream Nation, which opens in Canada this weekend and in the United States next month.
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