Wow. Another week without a single first-run release that struck me as worth picking up. This really is the slowest time of the year for DVD releases. That said, there were a number of other releases that caught my attention, including a couple of TV on DVD releases and a couple of classics from Criterion. The latter include Vampyr - Buy from Amazon and High and Low - Buy from Amazon while the former include Robot Chicken - Star Wars - Buy from Amazon and Spaced - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon. It would be virtually impossible for me to narrow it down to one selection, but Vampyr - Buy from Amazon is the better Criterion release and Spaced - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon is the better TV on DVD release. As with last week, there were so many spotlight reviews that this week's list had to be split into two. Part Two can be found here.
The latest Asterix & Obelix movie, Asterix and the Vikings, opened in second place in native France
with $3.64 million on 606 screens. The film also made $167,000 during its second weekend in Belgium for a $454,000 two week total. These films are very popular in France and other parts of Europe, but have never made the transition here.
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.
The 40-Year Old Virgin
remained it top spot on both the rental and the sales charts showing its domestic run was no fluke. The film have the best week-to-week drop-off in the top ten as it slipped just 16% to $8.60 million over the week and $18.97 million during its two week run.
fell out of the top five with $6.81 million on 3697 screens in 32 markets for a $66.03 million running tally. The film had no major openings while holdovers varied from strong in France, (down just 29% to $3.03 million on 910 screens for the weekend and $7.75 million in total) to very poor in Italy, (down 59% to $658,000 on 367 for a $6.39 million total). The film has yet to open in several major markets including the U.K., Japan, and Germany and when it does it should have no trouble topping its domestic total since it is already more than halfway there.
For those looking for last minute gifts (and you can't get much more last minute than this), there are many, many former wide releases coming out this week.
Unfortunately, only one such film earned even reasonable reviews, and that was Serenity - Buy from Amazon, which is our DVD Pick of the Week.
Also earning that honor is Party of Five - The Complete Second Season.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire took a bit of a tumble at the international box office this weekend, but that is understandable since it only had one new opening and the competition was much steeper this weekend. Overall the film added $53.13 million on nearly 11,000 screens in 58 markets for a running tally of $415 million internationally and $659 million worldwide.
Both of those figures represent the second best for the year, and the film is now in 17th place internationally and 23rd worldwide all-time.
In the film's only opening, it did break industry records, earning $837,000 on 37 screens in Israel, including previews.
Other big takes include $11 million on 950 screens during its second weekend in France for a $32.9 million total in the market.
It dropped just 13% during its sophomore stint in South Korea, which is a nearly unheard of drop-off; the film made $4.5 million on 486 screens over the weekend and $12.9 million overall.
The U.K. is still the film's best market with just shy of $70 million so far, including $3.5m on 1,050 screens this weekend.
For the third week in a row, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire expanded on the international scene, and that allowed its overall box office to remain nearly flat with $92.6 million on more than 11,600 screens in 57 markets.
Its total has now reached $330.6 million, putting it fourth for the year, just behind Madagascar, and just outside the top thirty all-time, while its worldwide total of $560 million is third for the year and 30th all-time.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire added nearly two dozen more markets this weekend, including several major ones, and that allowed its international haul to grow to $96.8 million on 9,488 screens in 42 markets for a two-week total of $208.9 million.
New openings this weekend included a record-setting debut in both Italy, with $9.9 million on 869 screens, and in Belgium, with $2.8 million on 177.
The film had the second-best opening in several markets, including Spain at $8 million on 527 screens, Brazil with $3.9 million on 550, the Netherlands with $2.7 million on 252, and Greece with $1.5 million on 84.
While it didn't set records, it also had very impressive debuts in both Japan, where it made $14.2 million on 856 screens, and in Argentina, with $1.1 million on 156.
It should be noted that in Japan the film was on par with other entries in the franchise, and that should lead to a $100 million box office in that market.
Speaking of $100 million markets, the film is on track to reach that milestone in the U.K. after dropping just 38% during its second weekend there, adding $15.9 million on 536 screens for running tally of $51.3 million.
Holdovers were less kind in Mexico, where it was down 47% to $3.7 million for the weekend and $13.7 million in total, and in Germany, where it fell 53% to $10.3 million on 1,248 screens for a $34.9 million running total.
So far the film has nearly $410 million worldwide, which puts it just shy of the Top 50 All-Time, but with several more markets coming this week (including a trio of major ones in France, Australia and South Korea), the film should have no trouble making it there by this time next week.
In a result that surprised no one, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire topped the international charts with a fantastic $85.5 million on 4,268 screens in just 16 markets, which was more than the rest of the top 30 combined.
This isn't quite as big an opening as Prisoner of Azkaban's $87.2 million, but that film opened in more markets and on more screens, giving Goblet of Fire a significant advantage when it comes to long-term potential.
The film was first in every one of its markets, and even set records in many of them, including the U.K., where it earned $25.6 million on 535 screens for the best 3-day weekend ever.
In Germany, it made $21.68 million on 1,243 screens, breaking the record for biggest 4-day weekend, while in Denmark its opening was $2.85 million on 97 screens for the best 3-day weekend.
It just missed setting records in Taiwan, where it earned $3.5 million on 184 screens, the second biggest opening there behind just Kung Fu Hustle, and it had the third best opening in Mexico with $6.8 million on 654 screens.
Other key markets included China, at $3.4 million on 349 screens, Austria, with $2.5 million on 173, Norway, with $2.38 million on 109, Sweden, also with $2.38 million on 168, and Thailand, with $2 million on 218.
Next week Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will open in several more major markets including Japan, Italy, and Spain, while it should have million dollar openings in Brazil, Argentina, and others.
The Corpse Bride
missed the top five by the narrowest of narrow margins losing out to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
$5.50 million to $5.45 million. The film earned its $5.45 million on 2586 screens in 28 markets pushing its total to $53.4 million total at the international box office. In South Korea the film fell 43% to $753,000 on 114 screens, which is better than average for the market. And the film is also doing well in Italy adding $764,000 on 268 screens to its $2.67 million running tally there, $700,000 in France for a $8 million box office, and $462,000 in Japan for a $7.0 million box office.
started its international run with day-and-date debuts in 9 markets earning $5.54 million on 900 screens, just missing the top five in the process. Its best market was kid-friendly Mexico with $3.1 million on 600 screens, which is about on par with its opening domestically. On the other hand, the film broke records in Malaysia with $477,000 on 40 screens. Other results include a first place debuts in Russia with $1.1 million on 197 screens and in Taiwan with $463,000 on 18 screens, (including previews).
With The Legend of Zorro
earning a nearly worldwide release this past weekend, and the imminent release of another juggernaut
, there was little room for other releases this weekend on the international scene.
Oliver Twist opened in two major markets over the weekend, placing second in both France with $2.4 million on 547 screens and Italy with $1.3 million on 301 screens.
Other markets include $360,000 in the U.K. for a $3.6 million total there and $140,000 in Poland for $1.1 million. Add it up and you have $4.2 million for the weekend and $9.6 million in total.
The Brothers Grimm
dropped just 35% during its second weekend in France adding $2.1 million to its $5.7 million total there. In Germany, the film performed a nearly the same level falling 36% to $950,000 over the weekend and $2.9 million during its run. Overall the film made $4 million for a $27.8 million runny tally and that places it fourth on this week's charts. While the film struggled domestically, it is doing quite a bit better on the international scene, and could show a profit sometime during its home market run.
Company 9 remained in first place in Russia, its home market, down just 13% to $4.3 million for a running total of $14.3 million, which is well ahead of Revenge of the Sith's final box office in the market (which was just shy of $10 million).
The weekend didn't go exactly as planned as the top two films finished in the opposite order to expectations, but the overall result was the same.
The box office was up for the week by 16.4% and was up by an astounding 38.9% from last year.
Since Labor Day, 2005 is up 15.6% over the same period last year with $332.7 million. Year-to-date, 2005 has brought in $6.36 billion in ticket sales, which is still behind 2004 but the gap has closed to 6.5%.
September is usually an extremely weak month at the box office, but so far we've seen better than expected results and have had significant growth from last year. That trend will likely continue this weekend as there are two films that could top $20 million over the weekend.
The box office this weekend can best be described as mixed. No film beat expectations by a really significant margin and most of the new films struggled, pushing the overall box office down 2.2% from last week.
On the other hand, the box office was up 7.9% from last year, which is the more important number at this point. Year-to-date 2005 has brought in $6.239 billion in ticket sales, which is 7% behind the same time period of 2004, but the gap is closing and with a strong final quarter 2005 may avoid a drop-off.
It's another busy weekend at the box office with three films opening wide (although one of those film is getting a sub-2,000 theatre opening).
Assuming the box office can maintain most of the momentum created since Labor Day weekend, we should see another strong year-to-year growth and that's much needed good news.
The fall box office season got off to a fast start over the weekend thanks almost entirely to one movie. The surprisingly fast start of the box office champ helped the overall box office climb by 8.7% from last year. (Although it was down by 7.3% from last weekend, but that's better than one would expect from a post-holiday weekend.) Continuing the yearly comparison, 2005 is still behind 2004, but the margin was narrowed to 7.2% with $6.129 billion so far.
The fall box office season begins today with what is historically one of the worst weekends of the year.
There's not much in the way of quality releases this week, but with only two widely different films going wide, at least they won't be stealing moviegoers away from each other.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates, including this week's winner, Tideland
- Official Site
September is the prime dumping ground for movie studios, where the films that just didn't work get ditched to die an undignified death. So why are there no less than five movies opening wide that look like they should be reasonably good? Either the studios are trying to counteract the poor reputation September has, or I have really bad taste in movies.
This month is very difficult to predict for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fluidity of the release schedule with several films on the bubble for wide releases.
In fact, there are almost as many films that may or may not open wide in September than there are films with a solid release schedule.
Predicting what a film will earn without knowing if it will open wide is tricky because you have to figure out how much it would earn if it opens wide, how much it will earn if it goes the limited route, and what are the odds it will open wide versus a limited release.
This resulting weighted average is lower than a similar prediction for a movie that is known to be opening wide, which makes the month look even worse that it otherwise would.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates, including this week's winner, Broken Flowers
- Official Site
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates, including this week's winner, Murderball
- Official Site