While there were several new releases on the sales chart, including a new number one, sales were soft as a whole.
The new number one film, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, only sold 581,000 units and generated $11.03 million in opening week sales.
As it is usually true at this time of year, there are very few major releases hitting the home market this week.
Most of the films on this week's list that opened wide were critics and / or box office disappointments, but at least there are a number of smaller films to pick up the slack. This includes Big Fan, which features what should be a star making performance by Patton Oswald, but the DVD isn't exactly loaded with extras. That's not an issue with Moon, as both the DVD and the Blu-ray are loaded with extras. The best release of the week is arguably The Hurt Locker and both its DVD and Blu-ray are Pick of the Week material. However, it is likely that it will be joined by Transformers - Season 2 - Volume 2, once the screener arrives.
Labor Day long weekend is over and, as we already knew, the summer of 2009 set records.
Over the summer months, the box office earned $4.31 billion, which was well ahead of 2007's previous record of $4.16 billion.
Granted, as mentioned before, this summer not only had two years of inflation, but also one additional weekend.
Even so, there's a lot to cheer about.
This past weekend, the industry pulled in $99 million over three days and $125 million over four.
This is a huge amount compared to same weekend last year; however, because summer lasted one week longer, this weekend last year was the weekend after the Labor Day long weekend, so the comparison falls apart.
Year-to-date, 2009 has earned $7.41 billion, which is 7.8% more than at the same point in 2008.
The lead in terms of raw dollars is more than $500 million, and it would take a massive collapse for this lead to evaporate.
Hopefully that will not happen, but given the performance of the three new releases this week, it is not impossible.
It's the final weekend of summer 2009, and already we've broken the record for the season.
The previous record was set in 2007 when the total summer box office was $4.16 billion.
In comparison, at the end of last weekend, 2009 had earned $4.17 billion and there's one more weekend to go.
Granted, 2009 is a rare year where the summer had 18 weekends instead of 17, and 2009 also has two years worth of inflation to help, but this is still worth celebrating.
Looking at the final weekend of the summer, we should end the season on a high note as this time last year was, well, terrible.
It would be nearly medically impossible for the summer to end weaker than last year, but there is a chance none of the three wide releases will come out on top, which would be a bit of a disappointing end.
The winners of our Early Trick of Treating contest were determined and they are...
It was a great weekend at the box office as all but one film in the top five films met or exceeded expectations, some by large margins. This helped the box office pull in a very healthy total of $125 million over the weekend, which was just 1.7% lower than last week. More importantly, it was a stunning 28% higher than the same weekend last year. Wow. Granted, this weekend last year was Labor Day weekend, which is a terrible time at the box office, but this is still a fantastic result. Year-to-date, 2009 has pulled in $7.24 billion, which is 7.4% higher than last year's pace.
There are two horror sequels opening at saturation-level theater counts this week, both of which could open with near identical numbers over the next three days.
This close race should add interest to the weekend box office, while 2009 should have little trouble maintaining its lead over last year, which had four wide releases, none of which topped $10 million.
It's the final weekend in August and in many respects the final weekend of summer. Looking at potential number one films, we have two horror sequels both opening in an estimated 3,000 theaters.
That makes picking which one will be the target for in this week's Box Office Prediction Contest a bit of a toss-up. We're going with Halloween 2 since Halloween made more than any of the Final Destination films, so it should open first. Maybe. It might be tricky this week. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office of Halloween 2.
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 The Soloist on Blu-ray.
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 The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons on 2-Disc DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
Full financial estimates for this film, including domestic and international box office, video sales, video rentals, TV and ancillary revenue
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