October 12th, 2010
New releases walked away with the top two spots on this week's DVD sales chart, as well as four of the top six, and six of the top 30. Leading the way was Iron Man 2 with 2.82 million units generating $64.53 million in revenue during its opening week of release. This is weaker than its predecessor opened with, but the film compensated with stronger Blu-ray sales.
October 11th, 2010
A strange week for the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report, as there are only five featured reviews for releases coming out this week. However, there are also eight featured reviews for releases that arrived late, plus another eight or so that came out this week where the screener is late. (There's a couple where I don't know if they will or will not arrive.) The Pick of the Week is one such release, How to Train Your Dragon on Blu-ray / DVD Combo, but be warned, that movie isn't released to the home market till Friday.
October 6th, 2010
Forgetting Sarah Marshall was no more than a midlevel hit when it was released during the spring of 2008. Granted, it earned excellent reviews and managed better legs than most movies do, but it still finished its run being no more than a midlevel hit. So making a spin-off seems like a risky thing to do. It mostly lived up to its predecessor at the box office, mostly, but will it be able to live up to its high quality level?
September 27th, 2010
Like many retail businesses, the home market does most of its sales in the last quarter of the year. And while technically the fourth quarter doesn't begin until October, like any good business, the movie industry tries to extend its prime business season as long as possible, which explains why Iron Man 2 is coming out this week instead of next. Unfortunately, that screener is late and I won't be able to review it. (In fact, its one of those weeks where it seems more screeners are late than arrived on time.) There were plenty of other DVDs / Blu-rays that came out this week, but the presence of Iron Man 2 did scare away a lot of prime competition, so much so that I'm awarding it the Pick of the Week, specifically the Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy Combo Pack edition.
July 11th, 2010
In an age of day-and-date global releases, Shrek Forever After is taking the slow route. This week it opened in a number of major markets, which propelled it into second place with $42.57 million on 4,484 screens in 25 markets for a total of $137.12 million internationally and $369.40 million worldwide.
In the U.K. it opened with $13.56 million on 539 screens, which was easily enough for first place.
However, its predecessor made $33.45 million during its opening three years ago. Ouch. In France it made $10.77 million on 842 screens, down from $13.05 million. South Korea produced $6.37 million on 627 screens, including midweek numbers, down from $10.74 million. Finally, in Germany it made $5.11 million on 767 screens, down from $7.84 million. The film is still a major hit and will have no trouble earning a profit; however, it is still the weakest in the franchise when you look at ticket sales.
July 4th, 2010
Knight and Day started its international run in second place with $12.42 million on 2241 screens in 12 markets. It opened in first place in Russia with $3.33 million on 949 screens, while it also took top spot in South Korea with $3.04 million on 565 screens over the weekend and $3.76 million in total. Next up for the film is the U.K. this weekend, while it has major market openings right till October when it debuts in Japan.
June 26th, 2010
The A-Team climbed to second place with $13.97 million on 4929 screens in 48 markets for a total of $34.74 million. New openings this past weekend include France, where it made $3.05 million on 621 screens. On the one hand, that was enough for first place. On the other hand, that's not a particularly strong start, especially for a summer blockbuster. It was only half has much as Prince of Persia opened with, for instance. In Italy it had a similar result with a first place, $1.11 million opening on 354 screens. That said, if it can earn half of what Prince of Persia does, then The A-Team will end its run with more than $100 million internationally and close to $200 million worldwide. As long as it is a hit on the home market, that will be enough to show a profit eventually, particularly if you take into account increased DVD sales for the TV series it is based on.
June 21st, 2010
It has been 15 years since Pixar essentially created the digital animation market.
In that time, it has proven to be the most consistent studio both in terms of quality and box office success.
That was reinforced this weekend, as Toy Story 3 easily won the box office race, setting a few records along the way.
Overall, the box office brought in $199 million, which was the best weekend of 2010 since the first weekend of the year (when Avatar was still dominating the chart). Box office was up nearly 32% from last weekend, and more importantly, up just over 32% from last year. 2010 has now earned an impressive $4.95 billion, which is is 4% higher than last year's pace. However, a lot of this is due to the inflated 3D ticket prices and attendance is still down more than 2% from last year.
June 14th, 2010
It turns out that the battle of the 80s superstars was a one-sided affair, as The Karate Kid easily took the top spot. Overall, the box office brought in $151 million over the weekend, which was 18% higher than last weekend and nearly 10% higher than the same weekend last year. It will take a few more weekends like this before the exuberance from earlier in the year returns, but this is a welcome result. Year-to-date, 2010 has now made $4.68 billion compared to last year's running tally of $4.53 billion, but its lead is due to much higher ticket prices. Attendance is down by 3%.
June 10th, 2010
It's The A-Team vs. The Karate Kid in a battle of 1980s cultural icons. Analysts seem to be evenly split on which of these will spawn the box office champion this weekend, but most expect both of them to at least be mid-level hits. Almost all of them expect them to both top last year's two new releases, probably combined. They might even do well enough to help 2010 end its slump.
June 8th, 2010
Well, that was bad. After the worst Memorial Day long weekend in nearly two decades (at least in terms of tickets sold) we had another weekend full of disappointing new releases. The overall box office was $129 million, which was down 15% from last weekend. Since it is a post-holiday weekend, this drop-off is not surprising. However, it was also down 22% from the same weekend last year, which is the third weekend in a row where we've seen double-digit declines year-over-year. Year-to-date, 2010 is still ahead of 2009, but the lead has shrunk to less than 4% at $4.47 billion to $4.31 billion.
June 3rd, 2010
With May over and not a single wide release beating expectations, the beginning of June can be looked upon with joy or trepidation. On the one hand, maybe we can put May behind us and move on. On the other hand, perhaps the slump will just continue and make matters worse. It is unlikely that any of the new releases will keep up with last year's champion, The Hangover. But perhaps the combined efforts of all four new releases will top the combined efforts of the three wide releases from last year.
While there is no likely breakout hit like we had last year, four films have a legitimate shot at top spot.
June 1st, 2010
So far this summer the disappointments are outnumbering the pleasant surprises by a disturbing margin. Granted, we've only just finished May, but none of the May wide releases met expectations. None. Iron Man 2 was still a massive hit, but no film since then has come close to matching its box office prowess and we are coming close to hitting the panic button at the box office. Worse still, June of 2009 was better than expected with two massive hits that came out of nowhere. Plus, there was the release of the Revenge of the Fallen, which for much of the year looked like it would be the biggest hit of 2009. So, do we have any films likely to do as well as Revenge this June? Maybe. And hopefully we will have more depth, because outside those three films, the rest of June 2009 struggled.