Barrow newsman Adam Carlson canít wait to escape the northern tip of Alaska for a bigger market. But just when the story of his career breaks, the world comes chasing it too. With an oil tycoon, heads of state and hungry journalists descending upon the frigid outpost to get their moment in the midnight sun, the one person who occupies Adam the most is Rachel Kramer. Not only is she an outspoken environmentalist, she also happens to be his ex-girlfriend.
With time running out, Rachel, Adam and Nathan, an 11-year-old native Alaskan boy who learns to connect with his people and his culture, must rally an unlikely coalition of locals, oil companies and Russian and American military to set aside their differences and unite for a purpose they all believe in: freeing the whales in record time. As the Alaskans frantically try to dig miles of holes on one side of the ice and a Soviet icebreaker pushes inland on the other, they must perform the virtually impossible to bridge a four-mile gap. And if they miraculously succeed, the trapped whales will be freed to the safety of open sea to begin their 5,000-mile annual migration.
||February 3rd, 2012 (Wide) by Universal|
||June 19th, 2012 by Universal Home Entertainment|
||PG for Language.|
(Rating bulletin 2180, 7/13/2011)
||Political, Environment, News, TV Industry, Rescue, Animal Lead|
|Source:||Based on Real Life Events|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
||Universal Pictures, Anonymous Content, Working Title Films|
None of the new releases were able to overtake Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows for top spot on the DVD sales chart. It repeated in first place with 497,000 units / $7.44 million for the week giving it totals of 1.75 million units / $26.14 million after two. It is already the fifth best selling DVD released in 2012.
There are a trio of wide releases coming out on the home market this weekend; however, two of them were box office bombs, while the only one that did reasonably well at the box office was absolutely eviscerated by critics. Project X will likely be the best selling new release of the week, but that's not a good sign, as it made just over $50 million in theaters. Additionally, according to Amazon.com, the top ten best selling new releases include a trio of catalogue titles making their Blu-ray debut. We are not talking about classics that are finally making the leap to high definition. We are talking about films like Newsies, which earned less than $3 million during its original theatrical run. As for potential Pick of the Week winners, there were a few contenders. Jeff, Who Lives At Home is an excellent film, but the DVD and the Blu-ray have absolutely no extras. Wilfred: Season One could be a winner, but I didn't get a chance to see the show when it first aired, and the DVD / Blu-ray is late. The screener is also late for Louie: Season Two, but at least I've seen season one and the DVD or Blu-ray is the best bet for Pick of the Week.
Another weekend, another win. For the sixth weekend in a row, 2012 has topped 2011 in the year-over-year, and like much of the year, it wasn't even close. The overall box office was up 66% from last weekend reaching $192 million. It was also 29% higher than the same weekend last year. All four wide releases beat expectations, sometimes by wide margins. Also, all earned more than $20 million, which is the first time that's happened on a non-holiday weekend. And two of them earned $40 million or more. Year-to-date, 2012 now has a 19% lead on 2011 at $1.19 billion to $1.00 billion. There is reason to be cautious however, as a lot of this growth is due to 2011 getting off to a disastrous start. It is still too soon to declare victory, but it is reason to at least be somewhat optimistic.
It was Super Bowl weekend, which apparently some people care about. (Not me. Go B.C. Lions!) The crossover audience between the Super Bowl and most movies is quite high, so it is no real shock that the box office was down compared to last weekend. However, it was only down 8% to $116 million. This was 33% higher than the same weekend last year. Both Chronicle and The Woman in Black topped expectations by significant degrees, while the weakest movie the top five missed weekend predictions by less than $1 million. Year-to-date, 2012 is ahead of 2011's pace by 12% at $964 million to $850 million. Before we get too excited, by this weekend in 2010, the box office had already pulled in $1.21 billion.
The industry's healthy start to 2012 will continue this weekend thanks to two more good opening weekends. Chronicle is currently favorite to win the weekend, with Fox predicting a $22 million opening. CBS Films is pegging The Woman in Black at $21 million (a record for the fledgling studio). Both figures are predicated on historical models for SuperBowl Sunday, which can be a difficult day to predict, so the final order between the two could yet switch, although Chronicle is heavily favored to win at this point. Overall box office will be up about 35% from last year, although that reflects the very weak start to 2011. This weekend looks as though it will be about average for a SuperBowl weekend overall.
There are two important dates in February: Valentine's Day and Presidents Day. This weekend deals with neither of those, so it is probably going to be a little soft at the box office. On the other hand, all three films opening this weekend, Big Miracle, Chronicle, and The Woman in Black, have overall positive reviews and are averaging around 75% positive (That might change by the end of the evening as more reviews come in.) By comparison, this weekend last year saw the release of The Roommate and Sanctum, both of which earned terrible reviews and neither of which earned a lot at the box office. Those two films combined earned just under $25 million over the weekend, while there's a slim, slim chance The Woman in Black will make that much by itself. Even on the low end, the top two new releases should match that, while this year appears to have the advantage with depth as well. I'm almost feeling optimistic. ... I may have just cursed the box office.
2012 got off to a great start, with January earning four wins in a row in the year-over-year comparison and finishing the month with a double-digit lead over 2011's pace. This has made me very hopeful going forward. That said, there are fourteen films opening wide or being re-released wide in February, and I don't think there's a $100 million hit in the group. In fact, I don't think any will get all that close to the century mark. There are several that should be solid mid-level hits and with a little luck, half of them could reached $50 million and there are five that could reach $75 million. Last February, Just Go With It topped $100 million while Gnomeo and Juliet came within $33,000 of doing the same. We won't replicate that this year, so we have to hope for a lot more depth. If films like Safe House, Journey 2, Ghost Rider 2, The Phantom Menace: 3D and The Vow all meet expectations, then perhaps 2012 will continue its hot start.
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