It's another busy week with a ton of top-notch releases.
Not so much from the first run releases, as United 93 - Collector's Edition is the only wide release on the list while Kinky Boots - Buy from Amazon is the best of the limited releases.
Nope, to find the best of the best you have to look at the Special Editions and TV on DVD categories.
For the former we have three contenders, Brazil - Criterion Collection - 3-Disc Box Set, Gojira / Godzilla - King of the Monsters - 2-Disc Set , and The Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection - Buy from Amazon.
While from the latter we have Lost - The Complete Second Season - Extended Experience and Supernatural - The Complete First Season.
Trying to limit those five picks to one was impossible, so I'm going with Brazil - Criterion Collection - 3-Disc Box Set and Lost - The Complete Second Season - Extended Experience, although I'm fairly convinced all seven of the above DVDs will find a way into my DVD collection eventually.
shared the top of the charts with The Pink Panther
. 16 Blocks
led on the rental charts $6.85 million to $6.55 million, but the two films finished in opposite order on the sales charts.
It was another incredibly busy week with three new films occupying the top three spots and four of them in the top five. Leading the way on the rental charts was Underworld: Evolution
with $8.68 million in DVD rentals.
It's like the week of the Western
with that genre making appearances in nearly every category, Special Edition, Box Sets, TV on DVD. But while there are certainly some that were in the running for DVD Pick of the Week, (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
- 2-Disc Collector's Edition
, for instance), it was a limited release that is the DVD Pick of the Week. And that film is Sarah Silverman - Jesus is Magic
- Buy from Amazon
, but I fully admit my pro-Sarah Silverman
bias has something to do with this decision.
A pair of openings in major markets helped Eight Below
climb a spot to sixth with $5.05 million on 2129 screens in 24 markets for a total of $24.26 million so far. The film opened in France but could only manage sixth place with $1.85 million on 473 screens while in Spain it opened in first place, but only managed $981,000 on 224 screens. In the meantime, the film dipped just 4% during its second weekend in Australia adding $769,000 on 258 screens to its total of $2.29 million there.
added a few more markets but still fell out of the top five down 54% to $4.37 million on 2868 screens in 27 markets for a two week total of $17.77 million. Its best market was Spain where the film was down just 43% to $875,000 on 382 screens over the weekend and $3.49 million in total. It had a hard time in family friendly Mexico where it was down 59% to $702,000 on 501 screens over the weekend and $3.60 million in total while in Italy it plummeted an unheard of 84% to just $216,000 on 343 screen for a two-week total of $2.75 million.
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.
Several films made they international debut this past weekend with even more returning to the charts, but because of the power of Ice Age: The Meltdown
, none of them were able to reach the top five, but a few came close. Leading that list is Jean-Philippe; the French
film debuted in third place in its native home with $3.34 million on 550 screens. It also opened in two other French-speaking markets but was much weaker earning seventh in Switzerland with $62,000 on 12 screens over the weekend and $68,000 in total while in Belgium it managed just ninth with $131,000 on 29 screens over the weekend and $144,000 in total. Add it up and the film pulled in $3.53 million on 591 screens in 3 markets during its first weekend of release.
With Ice Age: The Meltdown
dominating the international box office, the rest of the charts were weaker than usual with several films in the top 30 this week that would not have charted last week. Failure to Launch
had its best weekend haul on the international scene taking in $4.17 million on 1300 screens in 14 markets for a running tally of $13.61 million. Much of that came from the film's opening in two major markets, the U.K. and Italy. In the former is finished second with $1.88 million on 352 screens while in the latter it managed just fourth with $686,000 on 220 screens. It's best market in total is Germany, despite the fact that it fell out of the top five there; so far the film has pulled in $4.10 million after three weeks there, including $841,000 on 354 screens this weekend.
Two openings in two major markets helped Hostel
climb into sixth place with $4.03 million on 1120 screens in 27 markets for a running tally of $15.42 million. Its best opening was in the U.K. where it debuted in second place with $2.12 million on 304 screens while it struggled in Spain with just $1.01 million on 250. The film has already earned enough to show a profit even after taking into account P&A budget, exhibitor's share, etc. and should be able to double its current international total before its run is over.
The only opening of note for Syriana
over the weekend was Turkey where the film placed third with $211,000 on 62 screens. Without a major opening, the film fell 35% to $3.68 million on 1992 screens in 43 markets and now has $27.35 million, which is still a disappointing total.
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.
A fourth place, $1.63 million debut on 250 screens in France helped Memoirs Of A Geisha
leap up the charts this weekend. Overall the film finished in sixth place on the international charts with $3.98 million on 1723 screens in 47 markets for an international total of $88.34 million. The film placed higher during its opening in Finland with $79,000 on 12 screen over the weekend and $95,000 in total while it had to settle for ninth place in Belgium with $200,000 on 29 screens.
Despite Madea's Family Reunion beating expectations by a substantial margin, the overall box office was still lower for the weekend, hitting just $120 million.
That's down by 7.1% from last week, and nearly 2% from the same weekend last year.
This means all the gains earned in January were erased in February.
Not only was there a surprise winner over the weekend, but every film in the top five beat expectations (although, some by smaller margins than others).
This helped push the overall 3-day weekend to $129 million, which is 7.2% higher than last week but 2.5% lower than last year.
Add in Monday and the total box office was $157 million, which was less than $1 million below last year's figure.
Good news: every film in the top five either beat expectations, or at least came within a rounding error of matching them.
Bad news: the top two films combined didn't earn as much as Hitch opened with last year.
Good news: the overall box office saw gains, climbing to $121 million, 13.9% higher from last weekend and 0.3% higher than last year.
Bad news: this does mean that ticket sales were slightly lower compared to last year, but with the Winter Olympics starting, that is to be expected.
Four films open wide this weekend and all four pose serious questions to box office analysts. Can the winning streak by horror films continue? Will The Pink Panther or Harrison Ford make comebacks? Is 2-D Animation really dead? How much of an effect will the Olympics have? Will my nagging cough ever go away? By Monday we will know the answers to most of these questions, but my predictions are yes, no, no, yes, not a whole lot and I really hope so.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. It was the busiest week in more than a month, but there weren't many big launches or massive updates, so it is the slow-growing V For Vendetta
- Official Site
that earns the Weekly Website Award.
Looking at the new crop of movies coming out this month, one has to wonder if January's dumping ground wasn't extended a month.
Of the roughly dozen movies on this list, none look like they have what it takes to be a major hit, although there should be a few midlevel ones.
There are also a couple of interesting stories to keep track of.
For instance, will Firewall be Harrison Ford's triumphant return to the top of the box office charts?
Will Night Watch earn a wide release?
Just how bad will The Pink Panther be?
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. The winner this week was Curious George
- Official Site
, which was extremely well done, although it is aimed at a very young audience.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. It's busier on this week's list than it has in a while, but there was only one site that was in contention to win the award, Underworld: Evolution
- Official Site
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Not the busiest of weeks, but there were a few contenders for the Weekly Website Award with The Pink Panther
- Official Site
taking the prize.
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, however, it was a slow week for updates and I've decided not to award any site with the Weekly Website Award.