Lisa, a lifelong athlete, is devastated when she is cut from her team. While struggling to adjust to a life without sports, she starts dating Matty, a narcissistic major league pitcher. Before the relationship becomes too serious, she meets George, an honest businessman who has been wrongly accused of a financial crime. While everything around them seems to be falling apart, they discover what it means to have something wonderful happen.
Like last week, four new releases reached the top 30 on this week's sales chart and all four landed in the top five. It was a close race for top spot with Yogi Bear leading The Tourist 685,000 units to 609,000 units. In terms of dollars it was even closer at $10.27 million to $9.99 million.
It's a deceptively slow week when it comes to DVD and Blu-ray releases. Have I mentioned how much I love the word, "deceptively"? It is worse than meaningless and actually reduces the amount of information given in any sentence it appears in. In this case, the first sentence could mean the week appears to be slow, but it is actually quite busy. Or it could mean the week appears busy, but is quite slow. Unfortunately, it's the latter. There are four first run releases coming out on the home market, which is more than most weeks, but all four missed expectations to one degree or another. Additionally, there's only one new release that I'm seriously considering for Pick of the Week, The Venture Bros.: Season Four on Blu-ray. In fact, there are a couple Blu-ray catalog titles that are more interesting than any of the first run releases. Leading the way there is Stand By Me, which is not only a great movie, but the Blu-ray isn't shovelware and includes Blu-ray exclusive extras like a Picture-in-Picture track. So which release is the Pick of the Week? I can't decide, so let's call it a tie.
It was a good news, really bad news weekend. Let's start with the good news. The overall box office for the year reached $10 billion for only the second time in history. Bad news, the box office this past weekend was so bad that 2010 lost its lead over 2009. It did rise from last weekend by 8% to $145 million, but that's 47% lower than the same weekend last year. Granted, Christmas Eve landing on a Friday did have a lot to do with that, but this is still a terrible result. Year-to-date, 2010 has now earned $10.33 billion, which is about $50 million behind last year's pace. It won't get better next weekend, so 2010 won't be setting the record.
The weekend numbers were mixed with only one film performing really well and a few more pulling in middling numbers for this time of year. Overall the box office was up 47% from last weekend adding $135 million to its running tally, meaning it crossed the $10 billion mark over the weekend. The good news is this was a weekend faster than that milestone was reached last year and the second highest in history. The bad news is that it was down 2% from last year, while the year-to-date race now has 2010 up by just 1.2% at $10.07 billion to $9.94 billion. There is a chance that by this time next week, 2010 will have surrendered its lead.
The weekend before Christmas brought little cheer to the movie industry, with Tron: Legacy posting a fairly ordinary $43.6 million opening, and the weekend's two other wide openers and one wide expansion missing the mark.
Since Avatar was released this weekend last year, the year-on-year comparisons look bad for the industry as a whole, and 2010 looks certain to lag 2009 in tickets sold, and possibly in total revenue.
Early in the year, after the fantastic success of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, it looked like 2010 would see more tickets sold than 2009, and it could crush the total box office record.
That seems like a long, long time ago.
Memorial Day was a disaster and, despite a few bright spots here and there, the box office has never regained its early shine.
Now the question is not whether 2010 will see more tickets sold; it won't.
The question is whether or not 2010's total box office can remain above 2009's pace.
If Tron: Legacy is a monster hit, it could go along way to helping save a win for 2010.
It's going to need to be a monster hit to keep pace with last year and the only shred of good news I can think of for 2010 is that Avatar was a relatively slow starter, when compared to its eventual run.
It's the end of the year and there are certainly some question marks that will be answered over the next 31 days. Are there any monster hits left for 2010? Will 2010 manage to stay ahead of 2009? Will it actually start winning again at the box office? Unfortunately, the answer to all three of those questions might be no. First of all, of the November wide releases, only two will really match expectations, with a couple of others coming close. So December starts on the weak side. Additionally, last December saw the release of Avatar, the biggest box office hit of all time. There's no film coming out this month that will match that movie. In fact, there's a chance no movie coming out this month will match last December's second place film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. This means that even though 2010 had a $300 million lead over 2009 just a few weeks ago, by the end of the year, 2010 might fail to break last year's record.
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