March 30th, 2011
Only four new releases reached the top 30 on this week's sales chart; however, all four landed on the top of the chart. Leading the was way The Fighter with 880,000 units and $13.20 million during its first week on the home market.
Barbie: A Fairy Secret was fairly close behind with 630,000 / $7.86 million. Hereafter was a ways back with 309,000 units / $4.32 million. The final new release to chart was The Switch in fourth place, which was very close behind, especially in terms of dollars, at 288,000 units / $4.32 million. Megamind fell from second to fifth with 267,000 units / $4.00 million for the week and 2.31 million units / $32.66 million after four.
March 14th, 2011
Another exhaustingly slow week. It seems like forever since there was a week with two or more top-tier releases. There is one film that was a hit both at the box office and with critics, The Fighter, while most of the rest failed to succeed in both areas and during a normal week many would have not even been worth mentioning. That said, The Fighter would have been a contender for Pick of the Week even if the competition was stronger than average and the DVD or the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack is worth grabbing.
February 3rd, 2011
Tangled opened in first place in the U.K. and that helped it climb back into first place internationally this weekend. In the U.K., it earned $8.11 million on 445 screens, which is roughly equivalent to its opening here. It's a little complicated comparing the two, as it opened on a Wednesday domestically, and it also opened on a major holiday. It was a better opening than Despicable Me, and that film earned just over $30 million in the U.K. along and almost $300 million internationally. Overall Tangled added $17.34 million on 4,534 screens in 37 markets for totals of $256.54 million internationally and $446.12 million worldwide. At this pace, $500 million worldwide is practically a lock.
January 26th, 2011
Thanks to a combination of solid openings and better than expected holds, The Green Hornet was able to climb into top spot with $18.53 million on 4706 screens in 43 markets for a total of $37.55 million after just two weeks of release. In Australia, the film earned first place with $2.99 million on just 289 screens for a very impressive per screen average. It was also the biggest hit in Mexico with $2.55 million on 439 screens. On the other hand, it struggled in Japan opening in third place with $1.80 million on 459 screens. With a per screen average of well under $5000, it will likely disappear quite quickly in that market. On the up side, the film held well in most major markets down just 30% in France to $1.37 million on 495 screens over the weekend for a total of $3.66 million after two. In Germany it was down just 35% to $2.69 million on 612 screens over the weekend for a total of $7.81 million, also after two. While it was down 37% in the U.K. to $1.90 million on 431 screens over the weekend for a two-week total of $6.11 million. With openings in South Korea, Italy, Russia, and Brazil ahead, it could top $100 million internationally and $200 million worldwide. That would be more than enough to be considered a success.
January 25th, 2011
The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, thus ending months of speculation. Along with a (very) few surprises, the list of nominees is mostly a case of Deja Vu. Leading the way, as it has so often this year, was The King's Speech, with 12 nominations, including six in seven of the most prestigious categories (Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and the four acting categories). But it was far from the only multi-nominated film on the list.
November 2nd, 2010
As expected, Halloween hurt the overall box office, which plummeted 27% from last weekend to just $95 million from Friday to Sunday. However, the top film on the chart did do better than expected on Sunday, while the overall box office was 5% higher than the same weekend last year when Halloween fell on a Saturday. Year-to-date, 2010 still has a 3% lead over 2009 with a running tally of $8.78 billion, while there's very little time left to blow that lead. On the other hand, ticket sales are down 2%, so there's little hope to catch up in that regard.
October 28th, 2010
Halloween falls on Sunday this year, and is generally a bad day at the box office, which will likely result in a massive drop-off for most films this weekend. However, there is one horror film opening wide, plus another that opened last weekend that could benefit. The overall effect will still likely be negative, but this time last year, Halloween fell on a Saturday, which is a lot worse for business. So 2010 could still come out on top in the year-over-year comparison, even if it is a close race.
October 25th, 2010
I'm not willing to say the slump is over after just one weekend, but we did finally see some real positive signs over the weekend. Not only did the number one film top expectations, but no film in the top five really flopped. In fact, only one film in the top ten fell more than 33.6%. Overall the box office was down 2% from last week earning $129 million; however, it was up by 12% over the same weekend last year, which is far more important. A double-digit increase in the year-over-year comparison was pretty commonplace earlier in the year, so hopefully this is a portent of things to come, and not just a momentary blip. Year-to-date 2010 has now earned $8.65 billion giving it a 3.4% lead over 2009's running tally of $8.37 billion.
October 24th, 2010
Paramount enjoyed a second consecutive weekend at the top of the chart and another impressive opening, according to their estimates released on Sunday morning.
Paranormal Activity 2 showed that last year's hit wasn't a one-off by posting a $41.5 million opening, comfortably more than the first movie managed on any single weekend and the 5th-best weekend ever in October (see complete chart).
October 21st, 2010
For much of the year, 2010 has been a banner year at the box office. We've already broken records for the most $300 million movies in the calendar year, 2010 is the first year where two films released during the same year, have reached $1 billion worldwide. We are currently nearly $300 million ahead of last year's pace. However, recently things have not been quite as rosy and we've seen declines on a year-over-year basis five of the past six weeks. Will that change this weekend? There are some positive signs. For instance, this time last year there were three or four wide releases. (It depends on your definition of "Wide".) All four failed to reach initial expectations, dramatically in some cases. This leaves a real opportunity for 2010 to expand its lead. There is only one movie opening wide, plus another expanding wide, but perhaps the lack of competition will be good for the two films.
October 19th, 2010
Clint Eastwood's latest film, Hereafter, topped the per theater chart over the weekend with an impressive average of $36,720 in six theaters. It expands wide on Friday, so this fast start was important. The overall box office leader, Jackass 3D, was well back in second place with an average of $16,343, but that's amazing for this type of movie and this time of year. Vision managed $11,406 in its lone theater, while Carlos opened with an average of $10,003 in two theaters, which is literally one ticket away from missing the $10,000 mark.
October 17th, 2010
Jackass 3D is set to record the biggest October weekend ever, according to Paramount's Sunday estimate.
With $50 million over the weekend, the movie will also set a new mark for a factually-based movie, beating the record held by its predecessor in the series, Jackass: Number Two.
Although the debate on 3D's long-term future continues, this is a movie that seems to be perfectly suited to the medium.
Expect to see talk of Jackass 4D very soon.
We don't even dare to speculate what the 4th D will entail.
October 15th, 2010
It looks like we are getting closer and closer to Awards Season with two Oscar potential films coming out this week. At least there are two films that look like they were made to win Oscars. I'm not sure either has what it takes. Other limited releases include two films opening in several hundred theaters, both of which could struggle. There should be at least a couple to find some measure of mainstream success, but I'm unwilling to bet which films those will be.
October 1st, 2010
September is nearly over and the Fall box office season is about to begin in earnest.
September wasn't too bad this year, with more films matching or exceeding expectations than missing them, and we managed to keep pace with last year, more or less.
Can October do the same? Well, last year there was only one $100 million hit, Couples Retreat (not counting Paranormal Activity, which opened in September). We might not see any film hit $100 million this time around.
In fact, we might not even see any that come all that close.
On the other hand, there were also five wide releases that clearly bombed last year, and on that end, 2010 looks a lot better.
Not every film that opens over the next five weekends will be a mid-level hit or better, but most should get there.
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