June 22nd, 2013
There were a quartet of new releases this week, but it was a matter of quantity over quality and Django Unchained remained on top of the DVD and Blu-ray carts. The Gangster Squad settled for second place with 314,000 units / $5.04 million on DVD and 149,000 units / $3.52 million It's opening week Blu-ray share was 32%, which is solid for a drama, but nothing too impressive. Its running totals are 532,000 units / $8.31 million on DVD and 236,000 units / $5.69 million on Blu-ray.
April 23rd, 2013
This time of year tends to be really bad on the home market. By this late in spring, there are only a few late winter releases still finding their way on the home market. Last weekend it was Django Unchained and next weekend it will be Silver Linings Playbook. This week, there are no such releases. The best selling release according to Amazon.com is Jurassic Park, which makes its home market 3D debut. (It is still in the top ten at the box office, so that might be helping the sales.) I hope to get a screener to review but so far it is late, so I'm not sure if the 3D upgrade is worth the triple-dip. As far as Pick of the Week Contenders, there are not many. The Impossible is probably the best bet, but I'm still waiting for the screener. The week is so bad, that I took the time to review Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Three on Blu-ray a week in advance, just so I would have something to choose as Pick of the Week this week. It is expensive, but there are several classic episodes that aired this season and there is a ton of new extras on the six-disc set.
January 22nd, 2013
Mama easily won the box office race over the Martin Luther King, Jr. long weekend, with Zero Dark Thirty earning a solid second place. Unfortunately, the other two new releases, Broken City and The Last Stand, were weak and weaker. The overall box office was on par with last week, down less than 1% to $139 million, over the three-day weekend. This was 6% higher than the same weekend last year, over the same period. Adding on Monday, and the total weekend was $165 million, or about 1% higher than last year. It is still way too early to pay real attention to the year-to-date stats, but 2013 is ahead of 2012 by a 7.0% margin at $658 million to $615 million.
January 14th, 2013
Oscar nominations didn't produce a big box office bounce over the weekend, but Zero Dark Thirty still managed an easy win, despite missing my admittedly high expectations. The only film in the top five to be a pleasant surprise was A Haunted House, although "pleasant" is not a word most critics were using to describe it. The box office pulled in $141 million overall, which was 4.7% lower than last weekend. More importantly though, it was 6.3% higher than the same weekend last year, which means if A Haunted House bombed like I thought it would, 2013 would have lost in the year-over-year comparison. Fortunately, we had a second win in as many weeks and 2013 is off to an early 22% lead, at $441 million to $362 million.
January 13th, 2013
As expected, Zero Dark Thirty will ride its Oscar nominations to a win at the box office this weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. But the overall Oscar effect seems quite small. In fact, A Haunted House, which it's safe to say won't be on any Oscar lists this time next year, will have the highest per theater average in the top 10, and came in a very creditable second place with $18.8 million from just 2,160 theaters. Gangster Squad, which has some Oscar-style pedigree, but suffered from a delay for reshoots following the Aurora tragedy, will come in third with a slightly disappointing $16.7 million from 3,103 venues.
January 11th, 2013
With the Oscar nominations announced yesterday, most movie aficionados are focusing on that. This is great news for Zero Dark Thirty, which picked up five Oscars yesterday and should lead the box office this week. There are other films opening wide this week. This includes Gangster Squad, which should do acceptable business, even though its reviews are weak. Finally there's A Haunted House, which is an early contender for worst movie of the year. Last year, Contraband opened with just over $24 million and I think Zero Dark Thirty will top that. Overall, 2013 looks pretty good in comparison.
January 4th, 2013
There are three films opening or expanding wide next Friday, so there at first appears to be some choice for the target film in our weekly box office prediction contest. However, while Zero Dark Thirty should be the biggest hit of the week, it is expanding wide and we prefer new releases. On the other end of the scale, A Haunted House could be the biggest bomb of the month. This leaves Gangster Squad as the clear choice for for 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 Gangster Squad.
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 Nickelodeon: Let's Learn: 1, 2, 3 on DVD.
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 Nickelodeon: Let's Learn: 1, 2, 3 on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
January 1st, 2013
December ended on a positive note with 2012 topping 2011 with a week to spare. Hopefully this will translate into strong box office numbers going forward. There are several January releases that actually look very interesting, but you always have to ask, if the films are as good as they look, why are they opening in January? The biggest hit on this list will likely not be a January release, but a limited release from December that is expanding wide in January. Zero Dark Thirty opened in limited release the Wednesday before Christmas and right away it got off to an incredible start. If it can turn some of its Awards Season nominations into wins, which seems very likely at this point, it should be the biggest hit of January. If it can earn some major Oscars, then it might crack $100 million. Unfortunately, no other film on this release list is likely to come close to the $100 million mark. Last January was unseasonably strong with three films opening with $20 million or more and four films finishing with $50 million or more. It is possible that none of the new releases will reach those relatively weak standards.