It's another really slow week for DVD / Blu-ray releases with a total of one first run release of note. There are a few other smaller releases, as well as catalog titles, etc., The biggest release of the week is also arguably the best, Unstoppable on Blu-ray. And while the release date is bizarre, Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol on Blu-ray is also worth picking up. Also of note is Despicable Me, which came out a couple months ago, but the Blu-ray Combo Pack just arrived last week.
The German soccer
film, Deutschland. Ein Sommermarchen, remained in first place in Germany and sixth overall this weekend. It managed this feat by falling just 25% to $5.41 million on 671 screens for a two-week total of $14.67 million.
Film, Deutschland. Ein Sommermarchen, which could translate into English as Germany, A Summer March, but I wouldn't bet money on it. ... Moving on, The film took top spot in its native market with $7.19 million on 584 screens and that was enough for sixth place overall.
Indigenes, a.k.a. Days of Glory, opened in first place in its native France
with $5.53 million on 460 screens while it managed ninth in Switzerland with $76,000 despite opening on only 8 screens. The film opened on Wednesday in Belgium before expanding to other European market in the coming weeks.
Ye Yan, a.k.a., The Banquet opened in third place in South Korea with $1.04 million on 183 screens over the weekend and $1.24 million in total. That helped the Chinese
film place sixth overall with $5.52 million on 734 screens in 6 markets lifting its international total to $15.94 million, which is just above its production budget.
No new openings left Garfield's A Tail of Two Kitties
down 40% to $5.87 million on 3779 screens in 32 markets for a total of $90.08 million. It was reported that the film broke a record for an animated
film in China with $6.7 million putting it ahead of The Lion King
, which is a strange thing to report since the movie isn't animated
. Sure, it has a CG lead
, but that's not the same. As for the film's prospects for the future, hitting $100 million internationally is academic at this point and with several openings to go, including previews in Australia this weekend, the film could finish with close to the $125 million earned by the original
A first place opening in the U.K. helped You, Me & Dupree shoot up the charts nearly reaching the top five. While it did have to settle for sixth place, its $4.32 million on 914 screens in 8 markets was enough to push its still early international total to $13.01 million. Over in the U.K., the film picked up $3.10 million on 409 screens and that was more than double its nearest competitor. The film opened in Iceland over the weekend earning second place to Garfield's A Tail of Two Kitties with $42,000 in three theatres.
The final weekend before the start of World Cup saw Volver
become the latest best of the rest finishing sixth with $4.46 million on 863 screens in 5 markets for a total of $27.25 million. The film was again led by its performance in France where it grew for the second week in a row up 14% to $3.02 million on 404 screens for a total of $9.09 million while in Italy it grew by 28% to $1.44 million on 268 screens for a total of $5.61 million after three weeks. In both of those markets the film is on pace to top such worldwide blockbusters as Mission: Impossible 3
, something nobody would have predicted before the start of the summer. Even more impressively, it is about a week away from France becoming the film's most lucrative market topping the $11.94 million it made in its native Spain
It was another busy week for releases with five of them charting, including three finishing first through third on. Leading the way on the rental charts was The Family Stone
with $8.00 million over the week.
At first glance, there's not a lot coming out this week that seems award worthy. There are a few releases that I'm looking forward to, most notably Red Dwarf - Series 8
and The Red Green Show - 1997 Season
, but while I'll be picking them up, I can't recommend them enough to give either of them the DVD Pick of the Week. Nope, that honor goes to The Tennessee Williams
Film Collection - Buy from Amazon
The latest Asterix & Obelix movie, Asterix and the Vikings, opened in second place in native France
with $3.64 million on 606 screens. The film also made $167,000 during its second weekend in Belgium for a $454,000 two week total. These films are very popular in France and other parts of Europe, but have never made the transition here.
Several films made they international debut this past weekend with even more returning to the charts, but because of the power of Ice Age: The Meltdown
, none of them were able to reach the top five, but a few came close. Leading that list is Jean-Philippe; the French
film debuted in third place in its native home with $3.34 million on 550 screens. It also opened in two other French-speaking markets but was much weaker earning seventh in Switzerland with $62,000 on 12 screens over the weekend and $68,000 in total while in Belgium it managed just ninth with $131,000 on 29 screens over the weekend and $144,000 in total. Add it up and the film pulled in $3.53 million on 591 screens in 3 markets during its first weekend of release.
Fun with Dick and Jane
fell to sixth place with $6.45 million on 2487 screens in 43 markets for an running international total of $53.27 million so far, which is less than half of what it earned domestically. The film opened in Singapore with $450,000 from 30 screens and managed to repeat in first place in Italy with $1.33 million on 314 screens over the weekend and a $3.96 million total after two weeks. Meanwhile in the U.K. the film fell from first to third, but it still earned $1.59 million on 374 screens for a three-week total of $9.34 million.
For the second weekend a row a critically panned film was able to beat expectations while topping the box office chart.
While most of the rest of the top five missed expectations, it was still a good weekend at the box office.
Granted, at $105 million, the overall box office was down 16.6% from last week, but that can be explained by the Super Bowl weekend.
However, it was up 2.7% from last year, which is much more important.
's latest Hong Kong
production, Fearless, (a.k.a. Huo Yuan Jia) started its international run in sixth place with $7.35 million on 596 screens in 6 markets. The film finished first in four Asian markets including China with $1.39 million, Taiwan with $630,000, Singapore with $605,000 and Malaysia with $590,000. Paradoxically, the film's best market was its home market of Hong Kong, where it had to settle for a close second place with $2.03 million on just 48 screens over the full week. So far there is still no North American release date, but with this start, that should change soon.
Practically every film in the top five was able to beat, or at least meet expectations, and that helped the month end on a strong note.
Overall the weekend box office take was $126 million, up 5.1% from last weekend and more importantly, up 2.2% from last year.
So far 2006 has brought in $662 million, which 1.4% ahead of last year's pace.
Three more films open wide this weekend, but only one of them will crack the 2,000 theater mark.
This means that, while January will likely end on a soft note, there could be an interesting race or two in the top five.
On a side note, this column was unfortunately delayed because I am really, really sick.
How sick am I?
Too sick to come up with a punch line for that joke.
But I am starting to like the taste of NyQuil, if you can imagine.
Nearly every film in the top five beat expectations over the weekend, which helped soften the post-holiday drop-off to just 3.9%, and push the overall box office to $121 million. The weekend was up a massive 23.2% over the same weekend last year.
Year-to-date, 2006 has overtaken 2005 by 2%, which is even more impressive when you remember that 2005 got off to a strong start.
However, as history shows us, it is far too soon to tell how well this year will go.
Just the one real wide release this weekend, but there are three other films either opening or expanding into what some might consider a wide release. Only the one film has any shot at the number one spot, and two might not even make the top ten.
It was a very close race over the Martin Luther King long weekend, with the top three separated by just over $1 million over the 3-day weekend.
However, the overall box office was still down 1.7% from last weekend and 9.0% from last year.
Year-to-date, 2006 is still off to a strong start, but it's too early for those numbers to mean much.
It's another busy weekend with four wide releases, but unlike last week, none are earning terrible reviews. Of course, none of these films are being championed by the critics and none look like they will be runaway hits at the box office either. Still, it should be a close contest for top spot with several interesting races along the way.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. I can't say that it was a particularly busy week, but at least we had a site that was well deserving of recognition in Nanny McPhee
- Official Site