December 16th, 2013
It's a busy week with eight or so first-run releases. (It depends on if you count the The Sound of Music Live! as a first-run release.) However, none of them were big hits at the box office. Some of them made enough money to break even sometime on the home market, others struggled more than that, but none were breakout hits. Some of these are still worth picking up. For others, there's a reason they struggled. There are also a few TV on DVD releases this week that are worth picking up, as well as a few limited releases that are strong. All in all, it's a good week on the home market with many DVD and Blu-rays that are worth picking up, some of which I'm looking forward to reviewing... when they show up. This time of year, getting screeners on time tends to be a little harder. I think Burn Notice: Season Seven is the top selection, but I'll have to wait for the screener to make sure. On a side note, next Tuesday is Christmas eve, so there won't be a DVD and Blu-ray Release report. There's only four films worth talking about anyway, so I'm including them on this list. Of next week's films, More Than Honey on DVD or Blu-ray is the Pick of Next Week.
December 12th, 2013
Next week is a mess when it comes to new releases with two wide releases and two limited releases that are expanding wide. (There's a third limited release that might expand semi-wide.) The only film with a shot at top spot is Anchorman: The Legend Continues, but it opens on Wednesday, which means by the time the contest ends, there will be a full day's box office number released. This is why we try to avoid Wednesday openers, but in this case, we really don't have a choice. As such, Anchorman 2 is the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Anchorman: The Legend Continues.
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 The Family on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
Meanwhile, 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 The Family on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
We will also have a review for The Family shortly. (It comes out on DVD on and Blu-ray on the 17th, so hopefully the screener arrives soon.) In the meantime, we got some useful French phrases sent to us by the studio that you might find useful if you are ever find yourself in the French countryside hiding from the mob.
- On peut se tutoyer? – Unlike in English, the French have different ways of saying the word ‘you’. One you, ‘tu, is used when you know someone well and is relatively informal. The other, ‘vous’, is much more formal and is usually used when speaking to people who don’t know very well. Simply put, ‘On peut se tutoyer?’ means ‘can I refer to you informally’. When you’ve made your first French friend, this might be a useful phrase to use to cement your first relationship!
- Je Vous prèsente…/ Je te prèsente… – Loaded with your new identity and your status as a US mobster a distant memory, there will come a point where you are going to have to introduce your family by their new names. It certainly won’t be easy remembering your own new name, let alone all of your family members! Add to the equation that you are going to have to do this in fluent French and you have a potential disaster on your hands! Don’t panic. If you use this phrase (which literally means- I present to you) before naming each of your loved ones, you will be successfully conning the locals in no time.
- Je vous remercie de tout cœur - I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you really want to embrace politeness with the upmost romanticism, this is a great phrase to use (even if it is just a false pretence).
- Mon dieu! Il y a une hache dans ma tete. - Oh my god! There's an axe in my head. This will probably come in handy when you screw up again and the mob learns where you are. ... Actually this is my suggestion and one of only four French phrases I know. "Parlez-vous français?", "Je ne parle pas français.", and "Où est la bibliothèque." are far less useful in this situation.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
September 24th, 2013
The top five at the box office lived up to expectations, more or less. Prisoners were on the high end of expectations, while Battle of the Year opened on the low end. Some holdovers, like Insidious Chapter 2, sank faster than expected, while Instructions Not Included defied all logic and returned to the top five. Overall, the box office fell 16% to $87 million. This was 4% lower than last year, ending 2013's impressive winning streak. Year-to-date, 2013 is still ahead of 2013 by just over $100 million at $7.77 billion to $7.66 billion.
September 20th, 2013
There might be a close race at the box office this weekend. The buzz surrounding Prisoners is growing enough that it should earn first place, but Insidious Chapter 2 might hold on well enough to challenge the newcomer for top spot. The other new release for the week is Battle of the Year, which is opening in fewer theaters than I thought it would and with much worse reviews. It likely won't be a factor. In fact, there's a slim chance that the 3-D re-release of The Wizard of Oz will earn more this weekend than Battle of the Year will. The best new releases from this week last year was End of Watch, which only managed $13.15 million. This is close to what it cost to make, but it is low for a number one film. On the other hand, last year had much better depth than this year will have, so 2013's winning streak might come to an end.
September 17th, 2013
Both new releases topped expectations and even though a couple of the holdovers struggled a little bit, the overall box office was still fantastic. Insidious Chapter 2 broke a September record that has been held for more than a decade on its way to a $40 million opening. The Family was well back in second place, but still on the high end of expectations. Overall, the box office pulled in $103 million. This was 21% more than last week and 19% more than the same weekend last year. In fact, Insidious Chapter 2 made more than Resident Evil: Retribution and Finding Nemo 3D made combined last year. Year-to-date, 2013 has pulled in $7.66 billion compared to $7.55 billion at this point in 2012.
September 13th, 2013
This week there are two films opening in saturation level theater counts (3,000 or more theaters). However, the two have very different outlooks. Insidious Chapter 2 is expected to cruise to the top, perhaps with well over $30 million. The Family's outlook is a lot weaker and some analysts don't expect it to reach $10 million. Last year the number one film was Resident Evil: Retribution, which opened with $21.05 million, while Finding Nemo 3D was in second place with $16.69 million. There's a chance the top two films this weekend will beat those two combined, but even if that doesn't happen, last year's depth was pathetic, to put it mildly. 2013 should have an easy time coming away with a win.
September 1st, 2013
August ended, and we should be very grateful for that. Lee Daniels' The Butler was a surprise hit, while We're the Millers did better than expected. However, most other films that were expected to be solid hits failed to live up to expectations. Fortunately, August of 2012 was even worse, so 2013 regained the lead on the year-to-year comparison during the month. Looking forward, there is exactly one film that will likely become more than a midlevel hit in September: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. That film has a chance to reach $100 million in total. Most of the rest of the new releases will be lucky if they get halfway there. Fortunately, September of 2012 was even worse. Hotel Transylvania was a surprise hit, earning nearly $150 million, and there were a few others that topped $50 million, but there were also several outright bombs. If we can avoid those types of bombs, then 2013 should continue its winning streak.