This week we have the last of the major summer blockbusters hitting the home market, and not only did Despicable Me earn $250 million domestically and more than $500 million worldwide, it also earned amazing reviews. This makes it an obvious contender for Pick of the Week. Unfortunately, the screener is late, and I hate to award that honor to a release when this is the case. As far as its competition is concerned, there are two main releases vying for that title: The Quintessential Guy Maddin! on DVD and The Town on Blu-ray. Despite my well-documented pro-Canada bias, I'm giving it to the latter.
The Summer is traditionally the weakest time of the year for DVD releases and this is not surprising as the target audience is too busy checking out the latest theatrical releases to be bothered with the home market.
First-run releases are also weak because the delay from theater to home means we are not getting prime offerings here.
TV on DVD releases are likewise weak because it is too late to take advantage of season finales and too soon to take advantage of season premieres.
So, to find the best offering, one has to look to limited releases like Grbavica - Buy from Amazon, or TV movies like Masters of Horror - The Screwfly Solution.
But the DVD Pick of the Week goes to a classic, The Hustler - Two-Disc Collector's Edition
There was another new releases to top the rental charts this week as Casino Royale earned $9.20 million during its opening weekend on the home market. This is not particularly strong compared to the film's theatrical run, but it was more dominant on the sales chart.
Not much worth talking about this week.
However, that's because one of the biggest hits of last year is coming out, and studios don't want to go head-to-head with such a behemoth.
The behemoth in question is Casino Royale - Buy from Amazon.
But while this release is keeping the overall traffic a bit light, there's more than one DVD that's worth picking up, including the aforementioned Bond blockbuster.
But the best of the best is Without a Trace - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon.
And if you want to see season 3 come out on DVD anytime soon, buy this DVD A.S.A.P.
There were a few surprises on the charts this week, including the number one film.
But overall things played out almost exactly as expected, leading to a total of $146 million at the box office.
This was 15% higher than last weekend but 19% lower than the same weekend last year.
However, that was the weekend when Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opened and no-one was expecting this year to be able to keep pace.
There were four new releases opening in varying degrees of wideness this past weekend, but none of them could live up to lowered expectations.
This left the overall box office at $127 million, which was down about 2% from last weekend while up less than 1% from the same weekend last year.
That's not a large enough increase to keep up with ticket price inflation, but any good news is still welcome at this point.
There was a clear winner amongst this week's batch of websites as Stranger than Fiction
- Official Site
took home the Weekly Website Award.
With Borat beating all expectations last weekend, all eyes are on it this weekend. Can it maintain this amazing pace? Will it be able to keep its momentum as it expands? Will it suffer a major drop-off? What about the competition? Can they handle the pressure?
Note: Article updated 11/18/2006 with correct budget for Harsh Times
It's that time of the month again, a time to look forward, but it is also a time to look back.
October was a stronger month than expected and, while there are a lot of reasons for that, I think one must pay particular attention to the play of Taylor Pyatt.
The departure of Anson Carter to free agency over the summer was troublesome and many felt finding a right winger for the Sedin twins was a key in maintaining or even improving upon last year's numbers.
Without good chemistry, Daniel and Henrik might have taken a step back this year.
However, with a team leading 6 goals, Taylor Pyatt is more than proving he can play with the speedy Swedes. ...
Oh right, movies.
It was a pretty good month for movies as well.
November sees the beginning of the most important time of year for the movie industry.
Not only do the holidays start with Thanksgiving, but this is also the time of year that award season really heats up.
This means there is an excellent mix of blockbusters, especially family films, and critically acclaimed films hoping that first impressions are lasting impressions.
It also means there are several limited releases that could expand wide later in their run; these include Fur, Bobby, For Your Consideration and others.
There was a good selection of sites this week in terms of updates, but unlike last week there were fewer contenders for the Weekly Website Award. That's not to say Let's Go to Prison
- Official Site
didn't deserve to win, it just had a lot less competition than it would have had if it launched last week.
Good week for websites, but most were smaller updates or new sites with just a few features. Two sites, Happy Feet
- Official Site
and The Prestige
- Official Site
, stood out above the crowd, but both will need a few more update to take home the Weekly Website Award.
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for Emilio Estevez' Bobby, Frank Miller's 300 and more.
It's a much busier week this week including several sites that I found through e-mails. Thanks for the tips. (On a side note, if you sent me an e-mail regarding a movie site and I forgot it, please send it again. It was a big list this week and I'm almost positive one or two sites slipped between the cracks.) Unfortunately, while there are plenty of sites on this week's list, there's not a lot of top notch ones. The movie on this list that made me the most excited was The Simpsons Movie
, and that one doesn't even have an official movie site, just the teaser trailer