July 27th, 2016
It’s a rather shallow week on the home market with the biggest release being Batman: The Killing Joke, which is a hot mess. More on that below. As for the best new release of the week, there are a handful of releases that were contenders for Pick of the Week, including Barbershop: The Next Cut, Deadline U.S.A., and Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXVI. In the end, I picked Sing Street on Blu-ray for that title.
July 26th, 2016
I just finished reviewing Sing Street and I thought it was a non-original idea done with exceptional execution. On the other hand, Hardcore Henry could be the exact opposite. It is a first-person action film, which is odd, to put it mildly. It earned a ton of internet buzz, but failed to find an audience in theaters. Is it just a cool idea, but a weak film? Or should more people check it out on the home market?
July 12th, 2016
It is a very slow week for the home market. The biggest release of the week is The Divergent: Series Allegiant, which is a movie most people should avoid. (Looking at its box office numbers, most people did avoid it.) As for the best releases, Belladonna Of Sadness is amazing, but the screener arrived late and I don’t like handing out that title when I haven’t had a chance to check out the full release. Fortunately, we do have a backup contender, Everybody Wants Some on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
April 18th, 2016
Wow. As expected, The Jungle Book easily won first place on the box office chart, but did so with a much, much better than anticipated result of $103.26 million during its opening weekend. This is more than the rest of the box office earned. Barbershop: The Next Cut did well as counter-programming earning $20.24 million. On the other hand, Criminal missed the top five and barely managed to avoid the Mendoza Line. The overall box office was $176 million, which was 68% more than last weekend and 47% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 has earned $3.19 billion at the box office, which is 9.2% / $270 million more than last year's pace. I didn't think 2016 had a chance to top 2015, but I'm really getting optimistic now.
April 12th, 2016
The Boss was a little better than anticipated and that helped it overtake Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice during its opening weekend. The fact that BvS couldn't get first place three weekends in a row despite the lack of top-tier competition is really bad news. It's not the only film struggling at the box office, as Hardcore Henry missed the Mendoza Line during its opening. The overall box office fell 20% from last weekend to $105 million. It was also down 20% from the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 has pulled in $2.99 billion, but its lead over 2015 has shrunk to 8.0% or $220 million. That's still a good figure, one that should grow next weekend when The Jungle Book opens.
April 10th, 2016
Critics have not been kind to The Boss, and audiences are split 50–50 between liking it and hating it, but it will still post a respectable $23.48 million opening, according to Universal’s Sunday projection. Among recent Melissa McCarthy outings, that’s a little ahead of Tammy ($21.6 million on opening weekend), and a little behind Spy! ($29.1 million). Of more immediate interest, it’s almost exactly tied with Batman v Superman at the top of the chart.
April 8th, 2016
The Boss pulled in $985,000 during its previews last night. This is below the $1.3 million earned by Tammy in 2014 and a little lower than the $1.08 million My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 opened with a few weeks ago. The all three films earned similar reviews. This isn't terrible, but it does make matching our predictions harder.
April 7th, 2016
There's some good news and some bad news with regards to the two new releases coming out this week. On the positive side, the competition is a lot weaker than it should be. On the negative side, so are the reviews. The Boss's reviews are weaker than Tammy's are. Additionally, Hardcore Henry's reviews went from more than 80% positive to less than 50% positive and it looks like it will continue to drop. It is playing in a lot more theaters than anticipated, so that's good news. This weekend last year, Furious 7 led the way with nearly $60 million. That's not much less than the top five will earn this weekend. 2016 will lose in the year-over-year comparison.
April 1st, 2016
There are two wide releases next week, but The Boss should dominate Hardcore Henry at the box office. Because of that, it is the only real choice for the target film in this week's Box Office Prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for The Boss.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprize consisting of two previously reviewed movies, maybe.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a Frankenprize consisting of two previously reviewed movies, potentially.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will also win a Frankenprize consisting of two previously reviewed movies, most likely.
The Twist for the month of April is April Fools. Two of the winners will receive two movies, the other will be the April Fool and will get a couple of exercise videos. I have reviewed more of those than I remember.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
April 1st, 2016
March was a really good month, for the most part. There were a few bombs, but the two biggest films, Zootopia and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, both beat expectations by significant margins, so overall the box office was better than expected. Unfortunately, April is a mess, which makes prognosticating really tough. Every single week has at least one film that either moved, switched from wide to limited release, or disappeared entirely. The Jungle Book appears to be the biggest film of the year, but The Huntsman: Winter's War could also be a $100 million hit. Sadly, last April was led by Furious 7, which earned more than $350 million at the box office. That's very likely more than both The Jungle Book and The Huntsman: Winter's War will make combined. Worse still, there were only four weekends in April last year, meaning the month ends by going head-to-head with The Avengers: Age of Ultron. By the time the month ends, 2016's lead over 2015 might be gone. Let's hope it is not that bad.