Successful publisher Will Atenton quits a job in New York City to relocate his wife, Libby, and two girls to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children. And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived. When Will investigates the tragedy, his only lead comes from Ann Paterson, a neighbor who was close to the family that died. As Will and Ann piece together the disturbing puzzle, they discover that the story of the last man to leave Will's dream house will be just as horrifying to the one who came next.
||September 30th, 2011 (Wide) by Universal|
||January 31st, 2012 by Universal Home Entertainment|
||PG-13 for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language.|
(Rating bulletin 2180, 7/13/2011)
||Revenge, Relationships Gone Wrong, Hitmen, Epilogue, Hauntings, Death of a Spouse, Death of a Son or Daughter, Surprise Twist, Faulty Memory, Mental Illness|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
||Morgan Creek, Bobker/Kruger Films|
While there were a lot of new releases on this week's DVD sales chart, it was clearly a case of quantity over quality as even the best selling release was merely mediocre. Treasure Buddies was top dog with sales of 381,000 units / $6.47 million during its opening week. This is roughly in line with the previous installment, but below average for the franchise.
New releases dominated the Blu-ray sales chart with as many as four in the top five. (Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a bit of an odd case, but more on that in a second.) Drive led the way with 420,000 units / $8.39 million giving it an opening week Blu-ray share of 57%. This is a great opening compared to the film's theatrical run.
It's kind of an unusual week on the home market with five first run releases coming out on DVD and Blu-ray. However, all five films missed expectations in one degree or another. Some were outright bombs by anyone's definition, while others were expected to struggle to find a large audience, just not by as much as they did. That is not to say they were all bad movies. In fact one of them, Drive, has done quite well during Awards Season and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is a contender for Pick of the Week. Its main competition is To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition, which is also coming out on a Blu-ray Combo Pack. It's a coin toss, but I'm going with the latter over the former.
October started out with mixed results and it seems for every bit of good news there was equal and opposite bad news. Real Steel topped expectations, but Ides of March did not. The overall box office slipped by 4% from last weekend to $95 million, but it was higher than the same weekend last year. Growth was under 2%, meaning ticket sales were weaker. Year-to-date, 2011 is still behind 2010, but the gap was narrowed to 3% at $8.11 billion to $8.39 billion. There's still a chance we can catch up, but we are running out of time and can't afford any missteps.
It was a good news / bad news weekend and the box office. First the bad news. Only one of the four new wide releases made any real impact and this led to a 16% drop-off from last weekend to just $99 million. The good news is that's still 4% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2011 is still behind 2010 by 3% at $7.99 billion to $8.27 billion, but at least there's a little hope left that we can turn things around, if October beats expectations.
It's another busy week with three wide releases, plus another opening in just over 1,000 theaters, which is barely semi-wide. The widest release is What's Your Number?, but romantic comedies rarely have breakout success. The best-reviewed is 50/50, but its subject matter might make it hard to sell to audiences. Meanwhile, Dream House had an effective trailer, but there are still no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Courageous should grab a spot in the top ten, but it is not a sure bet. Unfortunately for the year-on-year comparison, none of the new releases look as strong as The Social Network, which opened this weekend last year. In fact, there's a slim chance all four of this year's wide release combined won't match The Social Network's $22.45 million. On the other hand, three of the four could crack $10 million, plus there are three holdovers that could do the same. Depth could be the key to victory in the year-over-year comparison.
After a strong start, August ended on a really low note, and that's bad news for September, as it means the positive momentum we had is gone. Looking at the upcoming month, there are 18 films opening wide over five weekends (including one re-release) but only four or five of them have a real shot at being midlevel hits, and it is unlikely that all of them will get there. Worse still, there are no films opening this month that look like they will match The Town, which made more than $90 million last September. In fact, the selection of releases is so weak that the film I'm most looking forward to is a limited release that has already come out on Video on Demand, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. (It has seventeen reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and still not a negative one among them.)
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