On planet Baab, admired astronaut Scorch Supernova is a national hero to the blue alien population. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls off astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy, by-the-rules brother, Gary, head of mission control at BASA. When BASA's no-nonsence chief Lena informs the brothers of a SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet, Scorch rejects Gary's warnings and bounds off for yet another exciting mission. But when Scorch finds himself caught in a fiendish trap set by the evil Shanker, it's up to scrawny, risk-averse Gary to do the real rescuing. As the interplanetary stakes rise to new heights, Gary is left to save his brother, his planet, his beloved wife Kira and their adventure-hungry son Kip.
||February 15th, 2013 (Wide) by Weinstein Co.|
||June 3rd, 2013 by Anchor Bay Home Entertainment|
||PG for action and some mild crude humor.|
(Rating bulletin 2256, 1/26/2013)
||Friendly Alien on Earth, Rescue, Sibling Rivalry, Escape, Conspiracy Theory, 3-D|
|Production Method:||Digital Animation|
|Creative Type:||Kids Fiction|
||Weinstein Company, CRF Productions, Rainmaker Entertainment|
New releases grabbed the top six spots on the DVD sales chart this week, but mainly due to a lack of competition, as there were no monster hits. These new releases were led by Identity Thief with 362,000 units / $6.25 million. It performed surprisingly well in theaters, so this result is pure gravy.
The top five of the Blu-ray sales chart this week were nearly all new releases, including the first place Blu-ray, A Good Day Die Hard. This film sold 316,000 units and generated $5.86 million for an opening week Blu-ray share of 58%. That's an excellent Blu-ray share, but the film missed expectations pretty much everywhere else. Meanwhile, the Legacy Box Set placed eighth with 17,000 units / $667,000.
It's a typical summer week on the home market with a good mix of first run releases and some summer TV shows coming out on DVD and Blu-ray. There are certainly some releases that are worth picking up, but nothing that will set sell records. Overall, it is solid, but unspectacular. There were a few contenders for Pick of the Week. Breaking Bad: Season Five on DVD or Blu-ray, but it is a split-season release and I'm not happy with the price-per-minute. By comparons, The Newsroom: Season One, which comes out next week, is nearly twice as long but only 25% more money. Brooklyn Castle is another contender; however, while its DVD is certainly worth picking up, I'm not sure it will have wide enough appeal. In the end, I went with Warm Bodies. It may seem like a strange choice, but it is still one of the best wide releases of the year and the DVD and the Blu-ray are loaded with extras.
There are two wide releases opening this week, but their relative box office potentials could hardly be more different. Oz the Great and Powerful is opening in nearly 4,000 theaters and could make more than the rest of the box office combined. Dead Man Down, on the other hand, is opening in barely more than 2,000 theaters and on the low end of expectations, might not make the top five. The main competition for Oz is The Lorax, which opened last year with just over $70 million, while it made close to $40 million this weekend last year. If Oz fails to match that lower number, then the box office is in world of trouble. Let's be honest, the box office is already in a world of trouble, but if Oz bombs, then it is as good as dead.
There are four wide releases this week, but only one of them, Jack the Giant Slayer, has a real shot at first place. I think 21 and Over and The Last Exorcism Part II should be in a close race for second place, but not everyone agrees. As for Phantom, most think it won't even reach the top ten. As for this weekend last year, The Lorax led the way with just over $70 million. There's no real chance any film will earn that much this weekend. In fact, there's a small chance Jack the Giant Slayer won't match Project X's opening of $21 million. It's going to be a bad weekend at the box office.
The Oscars proved to be too much competition for the new releases as neither Snitch nor Dark Skies were able to find much success. Indeed, it was Identity Thief that rose to top spot in its third week of release. Most films in the top five were able to at least match expectations, but the overall box office still plummeted 27% from last weekend to just $103 million. The comparison to last year was not quite as bad, but it was still down by a stunning 23%. Ouch. 2013 is now behind 2012 by a full $100 million or 6.7% at $1.41 billion to $1.51 billion.
There are just two wide releases coming out this week, Snitch and Dark Skies. Most analysts think Snitch is the stronger of the two films, but most also think Identity Thief will return to top spot. Looking at all of the evidence, it certainly seems that way. Unless one of the new releases is a truly big surprise, it looks like we won't keep pace with last year again this weekend. 2013 needed to get off to a really fast start, because there's no film that's going to match The Hunger Games, and once we are dealing with that film in the year-over-year comparison, 2013 might be sunk for good.
The Valentine's Day / President's Day five-day weekend wasn't as lucrative as many had hoped, at least not at the top, which is really bad news for a year that is not off to a great start. A Good Day to Die Hard won the race, but barely, with Identity Thief coming in a very close second over the weekend. Other new releases, like Safe Haven and Escape From Planet Earth did better than expected, while Beautiful Creatures crashed. The overall box office did rise by 36% to $141 million over the three-day period, but the holiday explains that growth. Compare to last year, 2013 actually failed to match last President's Day by 9.3% over the three-day period and with $168 million including Monday, missed the four-day period by 13%. Year-to-date, 2013 is behind 2012 by 6.7% at $1.28 billion to $1.37 billion. I am officially concerned.
It's Valentine's Day today, while Monday is President's Day, so the box office has an unofficial five-day weekend. There's not much of a mystery regarding which of the four wide releases will top the chart this weekend, as nearly everyone expects A Good Day to Die Hard will come out on top. Maybe Safe Haven will earn first place tonight, but very few expect that will last after Valentine's day. Despite earning better than expected reviews, Beautiful Creatures isn't expected to compete for the top spot, or even second place. So far there are no reviews for Escape From Planet Earth and it might be stuck in fifth place. Because of a misalignment in Valentine's Day, we should do better this weekend compared to the same weekend last year, which is good news, as 2013 is in a mini-slump.
For the most part, January was a really good month and 2013 got off to a really good start. I'm not so sure about February, on the other hand. There's only one film that has a statistically significant shot at $100 million, A Good Day to Die Hard, but I'm a little concerned that it won't live up to expectations. The franchise has been around a long time and it is possible that the target audience has either moved on or are too young to remember when these films were huge at the box office. The film I'm most looking forward to seeing is Warm Bodies, which is earning amazing early reviews (the keyword there is "early"), but it is too high-concept to be a major hit. Last February, there were a couple of films that topped $100 million, plus a few other midlevel hits. I would like to think that would also be the case this year, but I have to be more cautious than that. The evidence points to a weak month ahead, for the most part.
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