Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can't help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene, a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard.
After a heist intended to pay off Standard's protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defense for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals. But when he realizes that the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash in his trunk-that they're coming straight for Irene and her son-Driver is forced to shift gears and go on offense.
||September 16th, 2011 (Wide) by FilmDistrict|
||January 31st, 2012 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
||R for strong brutal bloody violence, language and some nudity.|
(Rating bulletin 2175, 6/8/2011)
||Car Chase, Revenge, Heist, Stuntman, Movie Business, One Last Job, Life on the Outside, Organized Crime, Unnamed Character|
|Source:||Based on Fiction Book/Short Story|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
||Bold Films, OddLot Entertainment, Marc Platt Productions, Motel Movies|
New releases took the top three spots on this week's Blu-ray sales chart, although the number one Blu-ray wasn't a new film. Lady and the Tramp came out in theaters more than 50 years ago, but it made its Blu-ray debut selling 949,000 units and generating $23.72 million.
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.
Yesterday was one of the biggest days during Awards Season as The Oscar nominations were announced in the morning. It was a two horse race for top spot as far as the big winners are concerned. Hugo earned the most nominations with eleven, while The Artist was right behind with ten. However, one could argue The Artist is the bigger winner, as more of its nominations were in the more prestigious categories.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their nominations and the Awards Season picture started to look a whole lot clearer. The Artist led the way with six nominations, while The Descendents and The Help were right behind with five apiece.
As it does every year, Independent Spirit Award nominations kick off the unofficial start of Awards Season. This year there were two films that topped the list of nominations: The Artist and Take Shelter. Both of those films earned five nominations, but they weren't the only films to be singled out.
It was a very good weekend at the box office, compared to the average for this time of year. None of the four wide releases were real bombs, although a couple opened soft, they were within the range of expectations. Also, The Lion King held on even better than expected leading the way for the second weekend in a row. This helped the film grow just over 16% from last weekend to $117 million. More importantly, the overall box office was close to 17% higher than this weekend last year. Not only did The Lion King top Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps's opening, so did Moneyball and Dolphin Tale. Year-to-date, 2011 is still behind 2010 by 4% at $7.85 billion to $8.14 billion, but a few more wins like this and that gap will start to close.
The winners of our Pare Down the Competition contest were determined and they are...
There were three new wide releases this past weekend, but it was a re-release, The Lion King, that dominated at the box office. This success is really good news, because all three new wide releases, Drive, I Don't Know How She Does It, and Straw Dogs, missed expectations. The overall movie industry generated just over $101 million this weekend, compared to $82 million last weekend, which is a 24% increase. This weekend last year, the overall box office was just under $101 million, so yes, 2011 squeezed out a win this week, even if it was by less than 1%. Year-to-date, 2011 has earned $7.70 billion, compared to $8.01 billion it earned last year. We are going to need to see some big wins over the coming weeks if 2011 is going to have a shot at closing that gap by the end of December.
It could be an interesting week at the box office, with three films opening wide, Drive, I Don't Know How She Does It, and Straw Dogs, plus a fourth film being re-released wide, The Lion King. There's a lot of uncertainty in the box office predictions for the weekend and I've seen various predictions that have Drive winning the weekend, Contagion repeating on top, and some say The Lion King's 3D conversion will boost it to number one. Unfortunately, while there's a wide range of opinion regarding what film will top the box office chart, there are very few people who think this weekend will be as strong as last year when The Town opened with nearly $24 million and Easy A earned close to $18 million. It's unlikely the top two films will earn that much this year and we don't have the same depth either.
Next week is another busy week with four wide releases. Unfortunately, none of them look like massive hits, which makes it harder to predict which film will come out on top and how much it will make. Fortunately, we have three prizes this week, so no matter how far off your prediction is, you still have a chance of winning. As for the target film, at this point, it appears I Don't Know How She Does It will open in the most theaters, but I think Drive will open the fastest, so it is the 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 Drive.
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 Madea's Big Happy Family on DVD.
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 Meet the Browns: Season One on DVD.
Finally, one additional entrant will be chosen and they will win a copy of Laugh to Keep From Crying: The Play on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
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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