There were eight new releases to reach the top 30 on this week's sales chart, including two that were able to chart despite not coming out until Sunday. This includes The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which sold 3.16 million units in just two days, generating $74.41 million in the process.
Not a big week in terms of total releases, but there are plenty of top-notch choices from every category. The best wide release on this week's list is The Princess and the Frog, which is a contender for Pick of the Week. It's not the only contender for that title. In fact, there are contenders in nearly every category, including limited releases (Bandslam on DVD), Foreign Language films (Broken Embraces on Blu-ray), TV on DVD (Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray), and even Canadian (High Life on DVD). While all are worthy of adding to your DVD / Blu-ray collection, I'm going with The Princess and the Frog on Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack as the Pick of the Week.
It's Complicated saw its weekend haul climb 16%, but it still fell out of the top five.
It added $10.37 million over the weekend on 2,665 screens in 32 markets for a total of $50.92 million after a month of release.
The film opened in third place in Germany with $2.40 million on 552 screens over the weekend and $2.74 million in total.
Meanwhile in the U.K. it added $1.84 million on 431 screens over the weekend for a total of $8.72 million after three weeks of release.
With debuts in Japan, South Korea, and Italy still ahead of it, it could reach $100 million internationally to go with its $100 million domestic total.
Great news at the box office, as the number one film topped expectations by a significant margin.
In fact, the top three films all did much better than expected.
On the down side, the rest of the films we talked about on Thursday struggled and this hurt the overall box office.
The total take was up 16.9% from last weekend at $140 million, but this was 5.8% lower than the same weekend last year.
Year to date, 2009 has pulled in $8.91 billion, which is 7.0% higher than last year's pace, and by this time next week 2009 will be only the seventh year to cross $9 billion in total ticket sales.
Just the one truly wide release this week, but we also have a semi-wide release that could sneak its way into the top ten, as well as a limited release that is expanding.
That wide release, 2012, is a disaster flick, which might be the best word to describe the overall box office, at least compared to last year.
Very few people think 2012 will top the $67.5 million opening of Quantum of Solace, which debuted this weekend last year.
In fact, if it misses that mark by a mere $10 million, I think a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised, while if it is short by $20 million or more, not too many people will be shocked.
Additionally, the holdovers are going to get crushed in this comparison as well, so there is almost no chance that 2009 will come out ahead.
It's a matter of minimizing the damage.
It was a mixed weekend at the box office as the overall ticket sales reached $120 million. This was 32% higher than last weekend; however, Halloween had a lot to do with that. More importantly, it was 16% lower than the same weekend last year. Even so, 2009 remains solidly ahead of 2008 by a 7.3% margin. In fact, its total of $8.72 billion is not only well ahead of last year's pace of $8.13 billion, it is almost as much as 2005 in total, and is already the eighth best yearly total ever.
Disney's A Christmas Carol got off to a disappointing start over the weekend, according to studio estimates.
While a $31 million debut is nothing to sniff at, it's well below expectations and might leave the movie outside the top 50 November weekends (see list).
This might be a case of opening a Christmas movie too soon, and Disney will be looking for long legs through Thanksgiving and into the Holiday Season proper, so all is not lost yet, but the next couple of weeks will be key.
The holiday season unofficial starts this weekend with the first Christmas release of the year.
Disney's A Christmas Carol is clearly the favorite to top the chart, but it is the only big release coming out this week, and it is unlikely to match last year's winner, Madagascar 2.
This means 2009 will have a tough time keeping up with last year's pace.
October was not a month to remember, as only two films really beat expectations. (Although Paranormal Activity was the most unexpected hit during the October, it actually opened in September, so one could argue it's not really an 'October hit'.) This month we have a massive collection of potential blockbusters, some potential Oscar contenders, as well as a few unfortunate films that might be squeezed out by the competition. Compared to last November, we might have the same number of $100 million hits, assuming all movies match expectations (fat chance); we have a limited release from this month become the Awards Season darling and reach that milestone (monstrously unlikely); and we count The Princess and the Frog as a November releases (intellectually dishonest). That said, if three or four legitimate November releases reach that milestone, then 2009 will be on pace to tie or break the record for most $100 million released in one calendar year. But overall, 2009 will likely see its lead over 2008 shrink during the next 30 days.