This week is a mess because we are dealing with DVDs released on the 26th, the 27th, and the 30th. Additionally, we are dealing with the latest two waves of Paramount Blu-rays, so there are a lot of spotlight reviews this week. (Although when it comes to those particular Blu-rays, I have previously reviewed nearly half of them previously, and I have seen more than half of the rest, so it was easy to review.) It was so easy, in fact, I was able to get a couple reviews done in advance, which lead to a record number of spotlight reviews. There are more spotlight reviews this week than the previous four weeks combined. Needless to say, the column had to be split into two, with the second part found here. As for the best of the best, Serenity - Blu-ray easily won the DVD Pick of the Week, while Duckman - Season Three and Four is the DVD Pick of Next Week. Also worth grabbing are Event Horizon on Blu-ray, Ghost Town on either DVD or Blu-ray, Greek - Chapter Two, and The Truman Show on Blu-ray
This week is a confusing one on the home market as there are DVDs coming out on Tuesday the 16th, as usual, and on Friday the 19th, and Sunday the 21st as well. While there are a number of great releases that are spread out over three days, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is the best on any day, and worthy of the DVD Pick of the Week.
There's only one wide release next week, so it's easy to choose the target film for this week's box office prediction contest, and that film is Bangkok Dangerous. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office of Bangkok Dangerous.
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 The Little Mermaid on DVD, Deal on DVD, and Meet Bill 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 also win a copy of Deal on DVD, as well as Hot Rod on DVD.
Additionally, one other entrant will be chosen and they will win the third copy of Deal on DVD, as well as Heading South on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
Only one new releases managed to reach the top five leaving Live Free or Die Hard with a clear number one finish adding $10.26 million to its total of $22.68 million after two weeks of release.
There were no new releases to reach the top five on the sales chart this week and this left Live Free or Die Hard in first place with 716,000 units sold this week.
That raises its total sales to 2.78 million units and $47.60 million.
This week was not as busy as I was expecting. Perhaps the thought of going against Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 2-Disc Collector's Edition or on Blu-Ray was enough to scare away the competition.
However, while that is a formidable release, it is not this week's DVD Pick of the Week.
For that, we have Superbad - Unrated 2-Disc Edition or Unrated Blu-Ray Edition.
If you have a Blu-Ray player, that edition is worth the extra money, but it is not the kind of release worth upgrading for.
Another week with only one wide release coming out, but at least this is a much bigger film, as well as is the target film in our latest box office prediction contest.
To win, one must simply predict the box office opening for His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass.
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 Hot Rod 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 Who's Your Caddy? on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
Last Friday was Black Friday, one of the most important shopping days of the year.
And Monday was Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year.
So it goes without saying that releasing a DVD the day after the most important weekend of shopping ends is not a good idea.
There are still several DVDs worth checking out, and a few contenders for the DVD Pick of the Week.
However, there are a lot more sub-par releases and several that are contenders for worse movie of the year (half of which I had the task of reviewing).
But let's concentrate on the positive end.
The three best bets are Futurama - Bender's Big Score - Buy from Amazon, Namesake - Buy from Amazon, Waitress - Buy from Amazon.
If I was forced to choose just one DVD, it would be Bender's Big Score, but all three earn the title of DVD Pick of the Week.
Also of note, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Complete Series is also being released this week.
As expected, Rush Hour 3 took first place this weekend and helped the overall box office hit $155 million.
This was 12% lower than last weekend, but the summer season is wrapping up, so week-to-week drop-offs like this are to be expected.
More importantly, it was up nearly 20% from the same weekend last year.
The Bourne Ultimatum helped 2007 continue its record setting pace and helped the overall box office hit $178 million over the past weekend. That was down 4% from last weekend, but the summer is slowing down and these declines and expected. On the other hand, it was up an amazing 27% from the same weekend last year.
Another big list of movie sites, but not much in the way of top-notch entries. For a movie site to be an award winner, I expect it to have all of the usual features, extras like clips, something interactive like a game, and background sound and animation. The film that best exemplifies that criteria is Stardust - Official Site, which is the winner of the Weekly Website Award.
The Bourne Ultimatum had a huge opening weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
The trilogy-capper earned just over $70 million, enough to set a new record for August (see biggest August openers).
That's also comfortably the biggest opening of Matt Damon's career, and will leave the studio with a considerable problem in deciding whether to bring back Bourne for another installment.
What could be the last major opening this summer debuts today.
The Bourne Ultimatum opens in more than 3,600 theaters.
The summer has been an overwhelming success to date, up 8% from last year and 3% from 2004's record-setting run.
If Bourne can maintain the winning streak, and most analysts agree that it will, then a new record is almost guaranteed.
August marks the unofficial end of the lucrative summer box office season. The only question is when will it end. Studios usually hope for two summer-like weekends, and sometimes they can squeeze in three.
Other times they can only get one, or none.
Sadly, this year the August offerings are not particularly strong with only two that have a real shot at $100 million or more, and three or four others that should earn good reviews (and one of those has since been pulled from the schedule).
Most of the rest are films that probably seemed like a good idea at the time but didn't work out and those that were a mistake from day one.
Server upgrades went... less smoothly than anticipated, which delayed this column, but at least there are a huge number of sites to check out. Many of these sites are making their first appearance on the list while quite a few are making their last appearance. Unfortunately, while it's a big list, there are not many that are even close to being award worthy at the moment. 30 Days of Night - Official Site comes the closest, but I'm waiting for the missing features to be added before I make that decision.
Big list in terms of numbers, not so much in terms of quality. In fact, the best film in terms of updates this week was The Simpsons Movie - Official Site, which has already won the Weekly Website Award. Because of that, there are no new winners this week.
One of the last summer blockbusters launched its full site this week. This means two things, The Bourne Ultimatum - Official Site is the clear winner of the weekly website award. And secondly, there will likely be a slowdown in top-notch sites as we approach the dog days of summer, and the even worse days of September.
One of the slowest weeks I can remember for this list, but at least we have a top-notch site to give the Weekly Website Award to: Ratatouille - Official Site.
There are a lot of movies on this week's list, but many have just the synopsis, image gallery, and the trailer, and many don't even have that. There were very few that stood out, but at least Speed Racer - Official Site got off to a great start. Perhaps it will win the award before it hits theaters.
Among the more than two-dozen films on this week's list, there were a few that came very close to winning the Weekly Website Award. Of the three, Spider-Man 3 - Official Site was probably the closest to winning, but in the end was brought down by high expectations.
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for The Reaping, Skinwalkers, Hot Rod and more.
This week's round of new movie release information contains new release dates 300, James Bond 22 and more.