January 6th, 2012
It's the first contest of the year, or possibly third, depending on how you look at things. It is definitely the first contest to start in 2012, but not the first involving a new release from 2012. Although, to be technically accurate, the target film isn't a new release, but a re-release. Beauty and the Beast is being re-released on 3-D next week and it should be the biggest hit of the weekend and it 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 Beauty and the Beast 3D.
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 Dirty Girl: Soundtrack on CD.
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 Glee: The Concert Movie on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
January 3rd, 2012
The first Tuesday of the year is not a great time of year for new releases on the home market. It's an even worse time of year for critics, especially this year. With Christmas Day landing on the Sunday, many studios took the entire week off, so there are plenty of screeners that still haven't made it my way. (There is some good news here, as I was able to get caught up on all of the screeners that had previously arrived late.) A couple of these potential late arrivals are contenders for Pick of the Week, like Justified: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray and Mildred Pierce - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack. They also have competition from Contagion - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray, but in the end I gave that honor to The Guard - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray.
December 30th, 2011
Glee has morphed from TV show to cultural phenomenon. Not only is the show a hit with fans and award voters alike, but it has sold countless DVD, Blu-rays, CD and concert tickets. Yes, there's a concert tour put on by the cast of Glee. Given the franchise's success, a 3D concert film seemed like it would be a sure hit. It wasn't. Is it a film that was only for the most hardcore fans? Will it work better on the home market? Or should fans stick to the show?
December 20th, 2011
Christmas is less than a week away and there are a few releases that would make great last minute gifts. There are also very few releases overall so expect a short list this week. These great last minute gift ideas include Midnight in Paris on DVD or Blu-ray, Dolphin Tale in 3D Combo Pack and Futurama: Volume Six on DVD or Blu-ray. However, for Pick of the Week, I'm going with Warrior on Blu-ray Combo Pack. It's a great movie and there are plenty of extras on the DVD and the Blu-ray includes a Picture-in-Picture track.
August 22nd, 2011
Yuck. That's really all that needs to be said about the weekend box office. Outside of The Help, there are practically no positive stories to report. All four wide releases that opened this week missed expectations, some by significant margins, which led to a 20% collapse from last weekend. There was also a decline from last year, albeit by just 3%, which is actually an improvement on 2011's average. Year-to-date, 2011 is behind 2010 by just over 4% at $7.13 billion to $7.43 billion. There's little hope things will turn around next weekend.
August 16th, 2011
While three of the four wide releases that opened this week missed expectations, the one that beat expectations did so by enough that we can still say the box office was a success pulling in $155 million. That was off by 7% when compared to last weekend, but more importantly it was 8% higher than the same weekend last year. The year-over-year winning streak has hit five weeks, while 2010's lead over 2011 has shrunk to just a hair over $300 million at $7.23 billion to $6.93 billion. Should 2011 continue its recent winning ways, the total box office should reach $10 billion for the year and perhaps show a little growth over 2010 in the end.
August 11th, 2011
Four wide releases open this week, but unless one of them is a surprise hit, I think it's safe to say that summer unofficially ends this weekend. That's not to say the films opening this weekend are all destined to bomb and most should at least become solid midlevel hits, but odds are Rise of the Planet of the Apes will retain top spot on the chart. Unfortunately, this weekend last year we did have a surprise hit and there's almost no chance any film this year will match The Expendables' opening and that could mean 2011's winning streak will come to an end. On the other hand, there's a lot more depth this time around and since the four wide releases share very little crossover appeal, they might all reach their potential and that might be enough to eek out a win.
August 1st, 2011
It's that time of year again, the time where we try to guess when Summer ends. According to the real world, Summer ends on the 22nd of September, but in the movie business, summer ends suddenly one weekend in August, and it's never really predictable which weekend that will be. There is some reason to be optimistic, as July ended on a relatively strong note. Both films that were predicted to be monster hits, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, were monster hits. And for every potential $100 million hit that missed expectations, there was another film that topped them. If this momentum can carry forward, then perhaps summer can be extended for for one or two more weeks. August of 2010 was a good end to the Summer with two $100 million movies and a few mid-level hits. I'm not sure if 2011 will be able to replicate that performance, but Summer could end on a high note.