August 5th, 2009
This was arguably the best week for new releases since summer began with eight reaching the top 30, including two new releases that finished first and second. Number one was Watchmen with 1.23 million units sold generating $25.60 million in sales.
July 30th, 2009
There were not a lot of new releases to chart this week, and only one of them made it into the top five. However, that one film was A Haunting in Connecticut, which earned first place earning $8.76 million on 439,000 units sold.
July 23rd, 2009
Sales picked up this week with the release of Knowing and a few other new releases that topped the sales chart this week. Knowing led the way with respectable sales of 773,000 units and $12.51 million in consumer spending at retail.
July 15th, 2009
While 12 Rounds may have led all new releases to capture top spot on this week's sales chart, its performance is not one that will be fondly remembered. It sold just 209,000 units and generated $3.13 million in consumer spending at retail.
July 15th, 2009
Gran Torino returned to the top of the rental chart with more than 50% more rentals than the second place release, 12 Rounds, which opened a tiny, tiny fraction ahead of Confessions of a Shopaholic.
July 7th, 2009
It was a relatively slow week for new releases, but we still had a new number one DVD on top of the sales chart this week. That DVD was Confessions of a Shopaholic with 554,000 units and $9.51 million in consumer spending at retail.
July 7th, 2009
There was a surprise on top of the rental chart as two new releases battled it out for first place. Surprisingly, The Code won the fight with roughly 16% more rentals than second place Confessions of a Shopaholic opened with.
June 30th, 2009
Gran Torino was able to top all new releases to earn first place on this week's DVD sales chart.
It was able to do this with sales of 1.44 million units and $19.40 million for the week, which represents just a 45% drop-off for the week, and 4.05 million units and $62.33 million in total, which is in the top five for the year.
June 30th, 2009
Like it did on the sales chart, Gran Torino was able to top all new releases on the rental chart repeating in first place.
June 24th, 2009
The summer slump on the sales chart was not evident this week, even though there were not that many new releases to deal with. The number one film was Gran Torino, which sold an amazingly strong 2.61 million units for $42.94 million in consumer spending at retail during its opening week.
It just missed the top ten for 2009, and it will undoubtedly climb the chart over the coming weeks.
June 24th, 2009
Gran Torino led all new releases and the rest of the DVDs on the rental chart with nearly two-and-a-half times the revenue of second place rental, He's Just Not That Into You.
June 8th, 2009
It's another slow week for DVD releases, and that really won't change until late in the Summer when TV on DVD ramps up in time for the fall schedule.
There's not much in terms of must-have releases, with Gran Torino topping that short list, but I'm not sure if the Blu-ray is worth the price over the DVD.
Also, I'm not sure it's worthy of the DVD Pick of the Week.
On a side note, the Canadian release for Corner Gas - Season Six is also coming out this week, and it is the winner of the rarely-presented DVD Puck of the Week.
May 10th, 2009
We've entered the summer schedule and this year there will be a small change. Instead of dealing with just the films that have reached $1 million or more on the international chart, we will be dealing with just the films that have reached $2 million or more. The reason for this change is simple; with the rise of many midlevel markets, reaching $1 million is just not that big of a feat anymore. The best of the rest of this week's selection was Hannah Montana the Movie, which placed a healthy second with $6.95 million on 1300 screens in 13 markets for a very early total of $8.96 million. This includes second place openings in the U.K. with $3.03 million on 415 screens in the U.K., which was as expected, and $1.44 million on 346 screens over the weekend in Italy and $1.64 million in total, which was better than expected. Also, it is about a week away from topping $1 million in Poland after earning $124,000 on 105 screens over the weekend giving it $932,000 after three. Combined with the nearly $75 million the movie has earned domestically, and this film is very, very close to showing a profit before the lucrative home market.
May 3rd, 2009
OSS 117: Rio Ne Repond Plus slipped a spot to sixth with $4.74 million on 642 screens in 3 markets for a total of $15.15 million. Almost all of this came from France, where it repeated on top with $4.03 million on 602 screens over the weekend for a total of $12.83 million after two.
April 26th, 2009
Japan was a major player on the international charts this past weekend, placing three films in the top 30, and helping a couple others as well. Detective Conan: The Raven Chaser placed first in its native market, and sixth internationally, with $6.00 million on 341 screens. More...
April 19th, 2009
Knowing was able to sneak into third place, despite earlier reports to the contrary. Over the past weekend it earned $13.35 million on 2943 screens in 24 markets for a total of $47.80 million. The film opened in a number of smaller markets, but most of the growth came from two major markets: Germany and Spain. In the former it made $1.47 million on 440 screens, while in the latter it made a more impressive $2.35 million on 330 screens over the weekend for a total of $3.11 million. As far as holdovers are concerned, the film held steady in France down just 16% to $3.06 million on 348 screens, but that was for the full week. After two weeks the film now has $6.72 million in that market.
April 12th, 2009
Marley & Me fell to sixth place, but it is nearing $100 million internationally. This past weekend it added $5.97 million on 2860 screens in 33 markets for a total of $83.34 million. The film opened in second place in Italy with $2.00 million on 348 screens, which is on par with expectations. Meanwhile, it added $1.23 million on 464 screens in the U.K. for a total of $18.41 million after four weeks while it made $1.01 million on 439 screens in Japan for a total of $5.17 million after two. It is still aiming at $100 million internationally, but it could be close.
April 1st, 2009
Slumdog Millionaire returned to first place on the international chart with $9.59 million on 3123 screens in 52 markets for a total of $170.31 million internationally and $309.86 million worldwide. The film opened in first place in China with $2.93 million on just over 400 screens, which is the best opening for a non-American foreign film for the past decade. It also showed no signs of declining in Germany, where it added $2.37 million on 270 screens during its second weekend, which was nearly identical to its opening, and it now has a total of $5.54 million.
March 25th, 2009
Coco opened in France and a couple other, smaller markets taking first place on the international chart with $12.71 million on 902 screens in 3 markets. This includes a first place opening in its native market, where it earned $11.20 million on 871 screens.
March 18th, 2009
Marley & Me jumped to the top of the international box office pulling in $14.14 million on 2559 screens in 29 markets for a total of $49.01 million. Its best market was the U.K. where it opened in first place with $6.15 million on 467 screens, while it placed second in Russia $1.58 million on 517 screens over the weekend for a total of $2.04 million. As far as holdovers go, the film managed $2.04 million on 550 screens over the weekend for a total of $5.72 million after two. Meanwhile in France, it earned $1.29 million on 354 screens over the weekend for a total of $4.11 million, also after two. The film opens in Spain this weekend, Japan next weekend, and Italy the weekend after that.
March 11th, 2009
Watchmen opened in top spot on the international charts, but with a weaker than expected figure. Much weaker in some markets. The film did top the charts in the U.K. with $4.52 million on 419 screens and in Australia with $2.29 million on 226, which is a great start for this time of year, but not a monster opening some were predicting. It placed first in Italy, but with a soft opening of $1.48 million on 344 screens, and the same was true in South Korea ($1.44 million on 397) and in Mexico ($722,000 on 417). The film had to settle for second place in Russia with $2.60 million on 554 screens and in France with $2.49 million on 517. Third was the best the movie could do in Germany ($2.03 million on 367 screens) and in Spain ($1.94 million on 426). Overall it did finish in first place with $26.63 million on 5,149 screens in 44 markets, but with only a couple of major markets left to open in, and the likelihood of massive drop-offs, this film will likely not match its domestic total, and might not top $100 million internationally. This is bad news for a movie that some have suggested cost $200 million to make, but that likely includes worldwide P&A, as well as the production budget. If it can make $300 million worldwide, then it will show a profit during its initial push on the home market. If it can make $200 million worldwide, then it will show a profit, eventually.
March 4th, 2009
Slumdog Millionaire nearly doubled its weekend haul thanks to its Oscar wins, and a bit of expansion. For instance, the film opened in second place in Poland with $536,000 on 60 screens over the weekend for a total of $662,000. In the U.K. it rose from third into first place with $2.38 million on 447 screens over the weekend for a total of $36.74 million. Over in Spain it added $2.21 million on 250 screens, which was also enough for first place, while it has now made $6.00 million after three weeks of release. Overall the film made $16.94 million on 2,915 screens in 37 markets for a total of $99.71 million and will have reached the $100 million mark on Monday.
February 2nd, 2009
Taken took on the competition and won with $24.72 million over the weekend, which was the second best Super Bowl weekend debut behind Miley Cyrus's stunning opening of Best of Both Worlds. This is much better than expected, as the male-oriented rescue / revenge story faced stiff competition from Super Bowl 43, which turned out to be a much better game than anticipated. More...
January 29th, 2009
It could be tough this weekend for 2009 to maintain pace with 2008 for a few reasons.
First of all, this time last year was the first weekend of February, and this time it is still the last weekend of January.
Secondly, it is Super Bowl weekend, and the two widest releases are aiming at a male audience.
Thirdly, this time last year Miley Cyrus proved she was a box office powerhouse, and there's no equivalent this year.
That said, while the top of the chart might not be that strong, there is a lot more depth this year.
A lot more.
In fact, there is a slim chance that the sixth place film will make $10 million or more at the box office this weekend, and it is unlikely that any of the new releases will truly bomb, unlike last year.
(Also, the Super Bowl is a lot less interesting this year compared to last.)
January 26th, 2009
New releases missed expectations, but enough of the holdovers excelled that that overall box office was still strong. Granted, it was down 17% from last weekend, but given the post-holiday slump, this is not bad. Also, $160 million is 14% more than the same weekend last year and it keeps 2009 well ahead of 2008 $861 million to $707 million, or 22%.
January 23rd, 2009
2009 looks to continue its winning streak with two wide releases and a lot of high-powered holdovers. It is unlikely that any of them will live up to last week's number one film, but the overall effort should live up to last year's overall box office and maintain 2009's winning streak.
January 20th, 2009
One film on Thursday's prediction column missed expectations; just one. This explains while, despite the fact that the number one film this year was well behind the number one film last year, the overall box office saw amazing growth to $193 million over three days, and $231 million over four. This was ahead of last year's Martin Luther King Jr. day long weekend by 25% and 24% respectively. Year-to-date, 2009 had brought in $668 million, which represents a 24% increase over last year's pace of $539 million.
January 18th, 2009
2009 is only two weekends old, and has already produced two excellent weekends at the box office.
After three movies opened around $20 million last weekend, no less than four new movies will be close, or exceed that goal over the three-day part of the MLK weekend, and one of those has come from nowhere to top $30 million and record the second-biggest opening weekend in January (see chart
That movie is Paul Blart: Mall Cop
, a poorly-reviewed comedy starring Kevin James
, which opened with $33.8 million Friday-Sunday, according to Sony's estimate, and is set to reach $40 million with Monday's numbers included.
Sony puts the success down, at least in part, to James's extensive promotional efforts around the country.
Maybe hard work does pay off, even in the movie business.
January 15th, 2009
A busy week with four films opening wide, all of which have widely different target demographics. Hotel for Dogs is going for families, My Bloody Valentine is going for hardcore horror fans, Paul Blart: Mall Cop is going for fans of SitCom comedy, while Notorious is going for fans of rap. Add in a couple of holdovers, and it's a crowded marketplace. It is unlikely that any of these films will top last year's number one film, Cloverfield, but perhaps combined they will keep pace with last year's box office.
January 13th, 2009
It is very rare for a film to repeat as champion on the per theater chart, but that's exactly what Defiance did this past weekend, as it earned an average of $34,092 in two theaters. The Wrestler climbed into second place with an average of $14,140 in 60 theaters, which suggests serious room to expand, especially if it continues its winning ways during Awards Season. Made in U.S.A. was the best of the new releases, as it pulled in $11,125 in one theater, while Revolutionary Road was right behind with an average of $10,558 in 135. Finally, Gran Torino earned an average of $10,500 during its first week of wide release.
January 12th, 2009
Just like this weekend last year, the number one film was a limited release expanding wide. However, while that movie, and indeed practically every new release was a pleasant surprise, the holdovers fell faster than expected to leave the box office down 4.4% from last week at $146 million. That is still a whopping 13% more than the same weekend last year, and that gives 2009 an early 25% lead over 2008. The key word is "early." It is far too soon to tell if 2009 is going to finish ahead of 2008, while any expectations that it can maintain this pace are completely unreasonable.
January 11th, 2009
Gran Torino made an impressive start in wide release over the weekend, picking up $29 million, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
That will give Clint Eastwood his biggest weekend in terms of absolute dollars as either an actor or director.
Arguably, this is a record that goes back to 1995's Casper, which opened with $22.1 million, but if we ignore Eastwood's cameo in that movie then Space Cowboys' $18.1 million opening in 2000 takes the prize.
However, adjusted for inflation, Eastwood's biggest weekend may remain Every Which Way But Loose, which opened with $10.3 million over a five day weekend in 1978.
That's equivalent to $41.8 million in 2009 dollars, but the numbers reported at the time include Wednesday and Thursday numbers. (We'll be checking our archives this week to see if we can find more information on Every Which Way...'s opening.
January 8th, 2009
2009 hopes to build on last week's success and has three new releases and a wide expansion with which to do so. Bride Wars seems to be the odds on favorite to win, but don't count out Gran Torino. Also, both films have a shot at topping last year's number one film, The Bucket List.
January 6th, 2009
Despite earning mixed reviews, Defiance topped the per theater chart with a massive average of $61,757 in two theaters, and that's over the weekend. In total the film made more than $200,000 in 2 theaters over five days. Gran Torino's per theater average grew by 26% to $34,957 in 84 theaters. At this point, it would be fair to say it has earned some measure of mainstream success, and it expands wide this weekend. Revolutionary Road saw its theater count grow from 3 to 38, while it still managed a per theater average of $25,946. The Wrestler also saw growth with an average of $24,323, and it should expand over the coming weeks. I'm not sure it will expand wide, but it should do reasonably well. Che continues its Oscar qualifying run earning an average of $17,742 in 2 theaters. Last Chance Harvey saw small growth to $17,034 in 6 theaters, but I'm not sure how far it will expand. Waltz with Bashir was the final film in the $10,000 club with an average of $10,713 in five theaters.
January 1st, 2009
Happy New Year!
If it's January 1, it must be time to take a look at this month's releases, and analyze how 2009 at the box office will compare to 2008.
2009 is looking to get off to a fast start, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. For one thing, 2008 stumbled down the stretch, which means the box office is relatively soft at the moment. Also, 2008 got off to a great start, which means it will be harder for 2009 to keep pace early on. (On a side note, if the box office is sluggish as expected, it could set the tone for the box office coverage and bad news tends to beget more bad news.) While there are a few films that are aiming for $50 million or more, none have the advance buzz that Cloverfield had, and it is unlikely that any will match its box office.
December 30th, 2008
Revolutionary Road was nothing short of fantastic on the per theater chart earning a stunning $190,000 in just three theaters for an average of $63,304. Gran Torino saw both is theater count and per theater average grow earning more than $2 million in 84 theaters for a stunning average of $27,652; the film might not earn as many awards as some were expecting, but its box office potential is as high as ever. The Wrestler slipped to third place during is sophomore stint with an average of $21,529 in 18 theaters, but it too should earn some measure of mainstream success. Che continued its Oscar qualifying run with $35,000 in 2 theaters for an average of $17,252. Last Chance Harvey opened with nearly $100,000 in six theaters for an average of $16,210, which would have been very impressive though most of the year, but we've hit such a winning streak recently that is feels merely average. The overall box office leader, Marley & Me earned an average of $10,448, while Waltz with Bashir barely managed to enter the $10,000 club with an average of $10,004 in five theaters.
December 23rd, 2008
The Wrestler had one of the best opening per theater averages this year, pulling in just over $200,000 in 4 theaters for an average of $50,679; this impressive beginning is even more impressive once one realizes it was a Wednesday opener, which undoubtedly cut its weekend average. Gran Torino tripled its theater count but its per theater average held well at $24,643 during its second weekend of release. Likewise, Doubt saw a significant increase in its theater count while earning an average of $17,460 over the weekend. The Reader remained in 8 theaters with an average of $11,599, and it will be interesting to see how well it expands at this point, but momentum is not on its side.
December 17th, 2008
Gran Torino opened on top of the Per Theater Chart with an outstanding average of $45,287 in six theaters. Wide expansion seems inevitable at this point. Likewise, Doubts debut of just over $500,000 in 15 theaters gave it an average $33,815 making expansion almost assured. Che - The Argentine was close behind with $30,535 in two theaters. The Reader opened with an average of $21,006 in 8 theaters, which most weeks would be enough to score top spot; however, given the competition, without continued success during Awards Season, it could struggle to expand. There were only two holdovers in the $10,000 club with Frost/Nixon earning an average of $16,061 and Slumdog Millionaire earning $12,873. The final $10,000 film was Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, which opened with $10,985. However, both My Name Is Bruce and Wendy and Lucy came relatively close with averages of $9,119 and $9,109 respectively.
December 14th, 2008
The Day the Earth Stood Still topped the weekend chart with $31 million, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
That's a strong start, helped in particular by $3.8 million on 123 IMAX screens, and gives Fox a nice lead-in to the holidays, with no competitive film coming out until Christmas Day.
However, weak reviews and tepid word of mouth will not help it, and a $100 million run is far from assured at this stage.
Four Christmases had an impressive week-to-week drop of just 20% to earn an estimated $13 million and finish second.
Its success probably dampened the opening weekend for Nothing Like the Holidays, which pulled in $3.5 million from 1,671 theaters.
December 14th, 2008
One of the busier week's in a while when it comes to new releases, and there's a mix of wide releases and smaller Oscar hopefuls. It's the former category that has the best sites, with the widest release of the week, The Day the Earth Stood Still, having the best Official Site. On a side note, we also have a previous winner of the Weekly Website Award, Delgo - Official Site, and since the format of this column has changed since then, that will be the last time that happens.
December 12th, 2008
Another week, another group of Awards Season hopefuls are being given a limited release. This week we have four films that have already earned nominations, plus a couple others that might later on. Of these, none are guaranteed to walk away winners, but I would be surprised if all of them were shut out.
December 12th, 2008
The latest set of Awards Season nominations were handed out today as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their nominations. There was not much in the way of surprises, and it is hard to look at one film and say it was the big winner, but Frost/Nixon and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button come the closest.
December 1st, 2008
We end the year with a winning streak, one that will hopefully continue right through the New Year holiday. It seems nearly every film released this month is either an Oscar contender or a potential $100 million hit. Sometimes both. If all six films with box office potentials of $100 million or more reach that milestone, and Bolt and Four Christmases have the legs to make it there as well, we could set the record for most $100 million released in a single year. (It is currently at 29 films set in 2003.)
May 20th, 2008
This week another number of upcoming movies, new stars and directors have been added to our archive!
May 15th, 2008
This week's round of new casting information contains updates for Gran Torino, Trumbo, Twilight, and more!