It's summer time. Long time readers know what that means for the home market. It's bad news. There are a couple of first-run releases to come out: The Call and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. The former was a solid midlevel hit earning more than $50 million on a $13 million budget. The latter bombed. Neither one is a contender for Pick of the Week. There are a couple limited releases that might rise to that level, but I think the best release is Todd & the Book of Pure Evil: The Complete Second Season on DVD. Unfortunately, the screener arrived late so I haven't had a chance to review it, and I hate handing out that honor when till after I give the screener a full review. Fortunately, there is a screener that arrived late that is worth that honor: My Neighbor Totoro on Blu-ray.
Hayao Miyazaki is one of the best animators working today, if not they best. He's created a number of masterpieces and even his weaker efforts are worth watching again and again. Recently two of his films were released on Blu-ray, Howl's Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro. The screeners arrived a little late, but I finally got to the reviews this week. Where do they fit in Hayao Miyazaki's filmography? And are they worth picking up?
It's an abridged list of DVD and Blu-ray releases report this week due to technical difficulties. The best selling new release of the week is True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray Combo Pack, which is certainly worth owning for fans. However, the best releases are the Hayao Miyazaki Double-Shot, Howl's Moving Castle on Blu-ray Combo Pack and My Neighbor Totoro on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Most prefer the former, but I prefer the latter.
Despite the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
, Walk the Line
remained in first place on the rental charts with $10.03 million over the week and $21.81 million in total.
While there are quite a few DVDs coming out tomorrow, only one matters. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- 2-Disc Special Edition
hits the home market tomorrow and not only should it quickly become the best seller of the year so far, it is the DVD Pick of the Week.
With the Oscars
just a few weeks away and our contest
well under way, there's no better time to take a closer look at some of the nominees. Today we'll look at the Best Animated Feature.
again led the list of nominees as with 8 Oscar nods. There were three films with six nominations a piece, Crash
, Good Night and Good Luck
, and Memoirs of a Geisha
, (although for that last one, they were all the less prestigious technical awards.
Company 9 remained in first place in Russia, its home market, down just 13% to $4.3 million for a running total of $14.3 million, which is well ahead of Revenge of the Sith's final box office in the market (which was just shy of $10 million).
Company 9 opened in its native market of Russia with a stunning $5.0 million over the weekend and $6.25 million including the midweek numbers, which is better than Revenge of the Sith's opening in that market.
This also means there were two films that did so well in their local markets that they managed to place in the top five overall.
Red Eye added another $3.7 million on 2,057 screens in 37 markets to its $22 million international total. The film opened in second place in both Spain with $850,000 on 215 screens and in the Netherlands with $250,000 on 59 ($300,000 including previews).
Marrying the Mafia 2 again led its native market of South Korean
with $4.81 million over the weekend and $12.78 million during its two-week run. And like last week
, this was enough for the film to secure a place in the top five overall just beating out Pride and Prejudice
Marrying the Mafia 2 is the latest local film to lead the South Korean box office as it opened with $5.555 million on 449 screens, $7.515 million including Thursday.
Not only was that easily enough for first place in its home market, but also put the film in third place on the overall international box office charts.
The 40-Year Old Virgin
topped the U.K. marked with an impressive $3.26 million on 394 screens in the U.K., but this is probably not indicative of its potential in other international markets. The film should do well in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, but will likely struggle in non-English speaking markets. (Germany may be an exception.) More...
War of the Worlds
opened in its last international market over the weekend making $3.0 million on 583 screens in China. That's about 10% more money that Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
earned, but War of the Worlds
needed nearly double the number of screens. Overall the film added $4.5 million to its $345 million international total, easily the second best of the year so far.
The Skeleton Key
opened in 10- more markets over the weekend and in now playing on 1400 screens, however, it still hasn't found the success the studio was hoping for. It did open in first place in Germany, but it still had a very soft opening with $1.6 million. It also opened in first place in Russia with $625,000 over the weekend and $780,000 since Thursday, but in Australia and New Zealand it had to settle for a distant second place with $760,000 and $110,000 respectively. The Skeleton Key
also open in Austria with $230,000 for the week, but its placing is unknown at the moment. Add in holdovers in France, ($250,000 for $2.2 million) and the U.K., ($130,000 for $4.5 million) and you have roughly $4 million for the weekend and $16.5 million so far.
Wide releases finished first and second on the Per Theater Charts this weekend, with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory leading with $14,901 average in 3,770 theaters.
The Wedding Crashers didn't open in nearly as many theaters but its $11,590 average was impressive nonetheless.
While March of the Penguins did yield the crown on the Per Theater Charts to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it is still the big story on this week's chart.
The Documentary more than doubled its theater count, again, but its average dropped just 28% to $11,478.
Despite a blockbuster opening by the competition, March of the Penguins was able to repeat on top of the Per Theater Charts with an average of $20,601.
Coming in second was said blockbuster, War of the Worlds, which earned an average of $16,602 in just shy of 4,000 theaters.
The final film in the $10,000 club was The Beat My Heart Skipped.
The French film earned $65,000 in just five theaters for a $13,073 average.
March of the Penguins
got off to an astounding start over the weekend earning $137,492 in just 4 theatres for a very impressive $34,373 per theatre average. Coming is second was Me You and Everyone We Know
with $15,413 in 5 theatres, while debuting during the opening of the IFC Center
obviously helped, this performance shows that the films itself earned much of its success so far.
Me You and Everyone We Know easily took top spot on the Per Theater Charts with $30,801 in its lone theater.
This strong start is not particularly useful in predicting the film's further success, since it was undoubtedly helped out by debuting during the opening of the new IFC Center.
Coming in second was the overall box office champ, Batman Begins, with $12,635.
The overall box office champ also took top spot on the Per Theater Charts.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith earned a surprising $50 million at the box office for an average of $14,703.
The only other film to reach the $10,000 milestone was Howl's Moving Castle, which performed admirably with $11,889; but that's not as strong a start as Hayao Miyazaki's previous film, Spirited Away.
Among the limited releases this week is the latest Anime flick from Japan finally makes its way to North America, as does the latest Bollywood film and the latest from Francois Ozon.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates, including this week's winner, Stealth
- Official Site
June's a great month for movies, even though it doesn't have a major long weekend like May (Memorial Day), or July (Independence Day).
There are a couple of films that have real potential to become monster hits, plus lots of $100 million contenders.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates, including this week's winner, Cinderella Man
- Official Site
is just coasting on holdovers now, and will be until it opens in Japan at the beginning of June. This week it added $5.1 million from 3000 screens in 55 markets to its already impressive $170.4 million international total and with soft week to week drop-offs and a good showing in Japan and it will have a $200 million future. This week the film added $643,359 in its fifth weekend in France for a $12,785,670 total in the market, $110,000 in its second weekend in Argentina, (rising to first place in the meantime) as well as other, smaller markets.
finally debut across Australia after playing in Queensland and Victoria for the past two weeks; the massive expansion allowed the film to climb to first place with $1.125 million on 267 screens. That lifted its total in the market to $3.41 million so far and the film should have strong legs. Add to that its $1.75 million opening in Spain and $590,000 in Belgium and the film managed $4.1 million over the weekend, which doubled its early total to $8.1 million.
It was a slow week at the international box office, the slowest of the year, and without much activity at the box office hit there were little in the way of details published by the studios. Therefore this week's column is much shorter than usual. Leading the best of the rest was Be Cool
with an estimated $5 million for a disappointing $12.7 million international tally. Its best single market was the U.K. where the film finished second with $2.2 million on 336 screens after an exclusive engagement last weekend. The film also did well in the Netherlands with $190,000 on 43 screens but really struggles in Germany opening in fifth place with just $930,000 on 321 screens, a result mirrored in Austria, (fifth place, $165,948.)
Million Dollar Baby
performed brilliantly this week earning $8.8 million for an international total of $60 million, placing fourth on the international box office charts. In France the film dominated the marketplace with $4.94 million on 450 screens and in Germany the film earned $760,000 in semi-limited release (120 screens) for the best per screen average in the market. On the other hand, the film flopped in Slovakia where it missed the top ten in its debut. On the holdover front, the multi-Oscar
winning front saw its weekend haul climb by 20% in Spain to $980,000 and it's still doing well in Australia, Italy and South Korea.
Million Dollar Baby
has again slipped off the radar screen, but we do know it hit $52 million internationally, which means it made $9 million during the week. The film didn't earn $1 million in any single market, but is still doing strong in South Korea, ($970,000), Spain, ($840,000), Italy, ($600,000) and Australia, ($350,000.) Best estimate has the film earning just shy of $5 million of that over the weekend and taking sixth place on the international box office charts.
After gathering in all the data the winner for the race for fifth place is Million Dollar Baby
, I think. It would need to lost more than 40% from last week's total and that's not taking into account its openings in South Korea at $1,515,672 and second place, its $110,000, third place debut in Finland, $86,000 in Russia, $50,000, second place debut in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, exact weekend totals are unknown but it is estimated at $6 million raising its international total to $43 million so far.
finished its international run with a second place $2.08 million opening in Japan on 485 screens. Its $4,296 per screen average it quite low for the market and generally means the film won't have the usual legs films in Japan have. The film performed much better in Italy where it finished first again with $3.0 million, down just 23% during its sophomore stint. Overall it took in $5.2 million to raise its international total to $181 million, but without any more openings it might struggle to hit $200 million.
beat weekend estimates by a substantial margin leading to a $5.9 million box office on 3000 screens in 34 markets. The multi-Oscar
winning movie has hit $86.2 million internationally and will cross $200 million worldwide before too long. The film dropped a spot to fifth place in South Korea with $834,660 for the week and slipped to second in Australia with $798,000. The only market the film opened it was Argentina, where it easily took top spot with $232,000.
may have dropped out of the top five, but it is still going strong with $4.5 million on 1400 screens in 35 markets for an international box office of $225.8 million so far. No new openings means the heist
film had to rely on holdovers likes its $2.5 million during its third weekend in the U.K. and $1.4 million during its fifth week of release in Japan, finishing second in both those markets.
Iznogoud: Calife a la place du calife, a movie based on a Asterix and Obelix spin off
of sorts, dominated the French box office taking in $7.1 million, more than double the second place film and more than a third of the top ten total. It is also enough to push it into the Top Five
on the international scene, dropping Finding Neverland
into sixth place. Unfortunately, like the several films made in the Asterix and Obelix series, this one is unlikely to make much of an impact outside the French speaking markets.
Meet the Fockers
open in the U.K. over the weekend with an astounding $14.8 million on 456, which is more than four times the original
's earnings there in 2000.
That figure was also more than 8 times the second place film , and more than half the market's total box office.
Add in a handful of openings in other, mostly smaller markets and the film brought in $19.2 million on 1,700 screens in 15 markets for a $58.8 million total so far.
The International Box Office Race is certainly interesting, as Ocean's Twelve recaptured the lead this weekend with $14.4 million on 4,600 screens in 58 markets and now sits at $170.4 million internationally and $292.8 million worldwide. A large chunk of that total came from Japan, where the film earned $6.8 million (including sneak peaks) on 510 screens, while ending Howl's Moving Castle's nine week reign on top.
While this was a strong performance, it was 20% lower that the original's debut in the same market.
After a massive opening last week in Spain, Alexander
took top spot on the international charts thanks to a strong opening in Italy, Brazil and Hong Kong. The film managed first place in all three markets with $3.87 million on 446 screens in Italy, $906,900 on 193 screens in Brazil and $275,244 on 30 screens in Hong Kong. Holdovers were not as kind to the Sword and Sandal
epic as it dropped nearly 50% in the U.K., Spain and France. Overall the film brought in $14.5 million on 3600 screens in 51 markets for a running tally of $88 million. And while the film will easily cross $100 million internationally, which is roughly 3 times its domestic figure, it has to be looked at as a disappointment financially.
Like last week, this week's international box office race was very close, but unlike last week, The Incredibles
were able to reclaim the crown over Ocean's Twelve
. The holidays helped the box office climb in several markets and overall the film earned $23.2 million on 6800 screens in 49 markets and now sits a week away from $300 million with $286.8 million international box office.