The winners of our Dinner and a Movie contest were determined and they are...
It was another incredibly busy week with three new films occupying the top three spots and four of them in the top five. Leading the way on the rental charts was Underworld: Evolution
with $8.68 million in DVD rentals.
The final weekend before the start of World Cup saw Volver
become the latest best of the rest finishing sixth with $4.46 million on 863 screens in 5 markets for a total of $27.25 million. The film was again led by its performance in France where it grew for the second week in a row up 14% to $3.02 million on 404 screens for a total of $9.09 million while in Italy it grew by 28% to $1.44 million on 268 screens for a total of $5.61 million after three weeks. In both of those markets the film is on pace to top such worldwide blockbusters as Mission: Impossible 3
, something nobody would have predicted before the start of the summer. Even more impressively, it is about a week away from France becoming the film's most lucrative market topping the $11.94 million it made in its native Spain
It turns out Date Movie
was a good excuse to stay at home this week as in pulled in $8.09 million in DVD rentals, easily putting it into first place.
There were a lot of special editions for older movies releases this week, some that deserved it, others that didn't. Overall it seemed to be a rather weak week, both in terms of quantity and quality, which is good in some ways and computer issues left me with less time than I have hoped for. There were a few releases worthy of the DVD Pick of the Week, mostly in the TV on DVD category, and it was one such release, The Kids In The Hall - The Complete Season 4
, that won that honor,
added a few more markets but still fell out of the top five down 54% to $4.37 million on 2868 screens in 27 markets for a two week total of $17.77 million. Its best market was Spain where the film was down just 43% to $875,000 on 382 screens over the weekend and $3.49 million in total. It had a hard time in family friendly Mexico where it was down 59% to $702,000 on 501 screens over the weekend and $3.60 million in total while in Italy it plummeted an unheard of 84% to just $216,000 on 343 screen for a two-week total of $2.75 million.
With Ice Age: The Meltdown
dominating the international box office, the rest of the charts were weaker than usual with several films in the top 30 this week that would not have charted last week. Failure to Launch
had its best weekend haul on the international scene taking in $4.17 million on 1300 screens in 14 markets for a running tally of $13.61 million. Much of that came from the film's opening in two major markets, the U.K. and Italy. In the former is finished second with $1.88 million on 352 screens while in the latter it managed just fourth with $686,000 on 220 screens. It's best market in total is Germany, despite the fact that it fell out of the top five there; so far the film has pulled in $4.10 million after three weeks there, including $841,000 on 354 screens this weekend.
Two openings in two major markets helped Hostel
climb into sixth place with $4.03 million on 1120 screens in 27 markets for a running tally of $15.42 million. Its best opening was in the U.K. where it debuted in second place with $2.12 million on 304 screens while it struggled in Spain with just $1.01 million on 250. The film has already earned enough to show a profit even after taking into account P&A budget, exhibitor's share, etc. and should be able to double its current international total before its run is over.
The only opening of note for Syriana
over the weekend was Turkey where the film placed third with $211,000 on 62 screens. Without a major opening, the film fell 35% to $3.68 million on 1992 screens in 43 markets and now has $27.35 million, which is still a disappointing total.
A number one opening in France, as well as a slew of smaller debuts, pushed Underworld: Evolution
into sixth place on the international charts with $4.98 million on 1473 screens in 20 markets for a running tally of $36.12 million after nearly two months in release. In France the film earned $1.84 million on 346 screens while it managed the same feat in a trio of Asian markets: Taiwan with $600,000 on 75 screens, Malaysia with $310,000 on 45, and Hong Kong with $290,000 on 25. Interestingly, the original
was banned in Malaysia.
A fourth place, $1.63 million debut on 250 screens in France helped Memoirs Of A Geisha
leap up the charts this weekend. Overall the film finished in sixth place on the international charts with $3.98 million on 1723 screens in 47 markets for an international total of $88.34 million. The film placed higher during its opening in Finland with $79,000 on 12 screen over the weekend and $95,000 in total while it had to settle for ninth place in Belgium with $200,000 on 29 screens.
On the weekend before the Oscars are announced, Brokeback Mountain
climbed a couple of spots to sixth with $4.44 million on 1368 screens in 30 markets for an international total of $53.89 million. New openings include Belgium where the filmed debuted in second place with $312,000 on a mere 27 screens for the best per screen average in the market. It wasn't as potent in Poland where it had to settle for fourth place with $194,000 on 40 screens over the weekend and $217,000 in total. The film also benefited from soft in the U.K. where it slipped just 5% to $442,000 on 245 screens for a very impressive total of $15.83 million so far. It was even better during its second weekend in Holland where it rose 1% to $210,000 for the weekend and $562,000 in total.
Despite Madea's Family Reunion beating expectations by a substantial margin, the overall box office was still lower for the weekend, hitting just $120 million.
That's down by 7.1% from last week, and nearly 2% from the same weekend last year.
This means all the gains earned in January were erased in February.
opened in several major markets more than doubling its screen count, and that helped it climb to sixth place over the weekend. Its best market was Italy where the film came in third place with $1.05 million on 243 screens over the weekend and $1.14 million in total while it also managed a third place finish during a very close race in Spain with $919,000 on 250 screens. Its other major market debut was the U.K., but there it had to settle for fifth with $959,000 on 351 screens. Overall the film made $5.17 million on 1699 screens in 18 markets for an international total of just $11.68 million so far.
Three films open in some form of wide release this weekend. The widest of which only managed to secure 2319 theatres, and that was for a film
that wasn't fully expected to earn a wide release at all. But it should be Madea's Family Reunion
and its urban
appeal that should lead the way this weekend.
The Russian Vampire movie, Nochnoy dozor, a.k.a. Night Watch, opened in first place on the Per Theatre Charts with nearly $87,000 in 3 theatres over the weekend for an per theatre average of $28,995.
Not only was there a surprise winner over the weekend, but every film in the top five beat expectations (although, some by smaller margins than others).
This helped push the overall 3-day weekend to $129 million, which is 7.2% higher than last week but 2.5% lower than last year.
Add in Monday and the total box office was $157 million, which was less than $1 million below last year's figure.
As always, the long weekend has caused a delay in both the Weekend Wrap-up and the Per Theatre Charts columns. In the meantime, here are the studio estimates for the 3-day and 4-day weekends.
There's a two way race for top spot on the box office charts this Presidents Day long-weekend.
None of the three wide releases is likely to come close to last year's top opener.
But the overall box office should remain close to last year's pace.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. It's another busy week as the winter slump starts to subside. As for the best site on this week's list, it came down to the interactive feature of Freedomland
- Official Site
and the atmosphere of Night Watch
- Official Site
. After looking over the sites a few times, I still can't decided which one should get the award, so I'm giving it to both.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. It was the busiest week in more than a month, but there weren't many big launches or massive updates, so it is the slow-growing V For Vendetta
- Official Site
that earns the Weekly Website Award.
Looking at the new crop of movies coming out this month, one has to wonder if January's dumping ground wasn't extended a month.
Of the roughly dozen movies on this list, none look like they have what it takes to be a major hit, although there should be a few midlevel ones.
There are also a couple of interesting stories to keep track of.
For instance, will Firewall be Harrison Ford's triumphant return to the top of the box office charts?
Will Night Watch earn a wide release?
Just how bad will The Pink Panther be?