August 30th, 2010
New releases this week were dominated by The Last Song, which outsold the second place film on this week's sales chart by a two-to-one margin. It won the week with 761,000 units and $13.69 million in revenue.
August 16th, 2010
The dog days of summer continue on the home market, but it is the calm before the storm. In this case the storm is a flood of TV on DVD releases, which we are starting to see show up in earnest. This is both good news and bad news. On the one hand, there are plenty of top notch releases coming out over the next few weeks. On the other hand, reviewing a full-season TV on DVD release takes a long time, which means my schedule will be packed for the next month or so. At least I get screeners for free, while consumers will see their wallet under assault week after week. The best selling release of the week is Dexter: Season Four, which is also the easy choice for Pick of the Week. I'm not sure if the DVD or the Blu-ray is the better deal, but regardless which format you choose, it is worth picking up.
May 16th, 2010
For the fourth weekend in a row, Alice in Wonderland remained in second place, this time adding $13.28 million on 3843 screens in 54 markets for a total of $630.30 million internationally and $961.15 million worldwide. Since last week it has crossed the $600 million milestone on the international scene, making it just the 13th film to do so. It is now the seventh highest grossing film of all time. The film's per screen average has declined enough that it will likely shed screens and markets rather quickly. That said, if the worst thing you can say about a movie's box office run is, "It might not make it to $1 billion!" then the film is a massive success.
May 10th, 2010
Iron Man 2 started off the summer in style with the biggest opening weekend of the year and the fifth biggest of all time. This helped the overall box office hit $174 million, which was 76% higher than last weekend. More importantly, it was 20% higher than the same weekend last year. This is extra important, because last year we were already a week into summer and we couldn't afford any weakness at the box office if 2010 was to maintain its lead over 2009. It was able to do so. In fact, it increased its lead slightly to 6.5% at $3.66 billion to $3.44 billion.
May 3rd, 2010
The new releases were a little weaker than anticipated, while the holdovers could only compensate so much. The overall box office was $102 million, which was 2% higher than last weekend. That's the good news. The bad news is that it was down 36% from the same weekend last year. Of course, this weekend last year was the first weekend of May, so the comparison is fundamentally unfair and 2010 still has a 6.4% lead over 2009 at $3.46 billion to $3.25 billion. I expect it to increase its lead next weekend.
May 2nd, 2010
A Nightmare on Elm Street continued what is now practically a tradition of impressive performances for franchise reboots by opening with $32.2 million this weekend, according to Warner Bros.' Sunday estimate.
That's the second-best opening performance for a movie in the franchise, behind only the franchise-crossover Freddy vs. Jason.
It also helped shake up the market a little after a few sluggish weeks.
April 29th, 2010
It's the final weekend of April, which is normally a very bad time to release a big hit. But it appears that one of this year's two wide releases may make it. A Nightmare on Elm Street should be able to open faster than the two films did last week, but comparing it to last year is a bit more confusing. Last year, the last weekend in April of saw the release of Obsessed, which earned close to $30 million. A Nightmare on Elm Street should match that figure. However, the same weekend last year was actually the first weekend of May, which saw the release of Wolverine. There's a chance that overall box office combined won't match that film's opening.
April 1st, 2010
March was a mixed month, with only three films surpassing expectations.
On the other hand, Alice in Wonderland will beat expectations by more than $200 million, so it alone makes up for a lot of the disappointing films.
On a more troubling note, the final big release, How to Train Your Dragon didn't get off to as fast a start as I would have liked, which could affect the box office going forward. Last year April got off to a fast start and that should happen this month as well. It better, as the quality of films quickly declines as the prospect of May blockbusters begins to loom large on the horizon.