January 19th, 2012
The Blu-ray sales chart was both busy and slow this week. On the one hand, there were five new releases that charted this week, including three in the top ten. On the other hand, only one of those new releases, Contagion, did any significant business. It was able to sell 274,000 units while generating $4.93 million in revenue, giving it an opening week Blu-ray share of 40%. That's a very good share for a drama, but its overall home market run is disappointing.
January 17th, 2012
There were five new releases to reach the top 30 on this week's DVD sales chart. This includes a new number one selling DVD, Contagion. The film sold 411,000 units during its first week of release generating $6.16 million.
January 3rd, 2012
The first Tuesday of the year is not a great time of year for new releases on the home market. It's an even worse time of year for critics, especially this year. With Christmas Day landing on the Sunday, many studios took the entire week off, so there are plenty of screeners that still haven't made it my way. (There is some good news here, as I was able to get caught up on all of the screeners that had previously arrived late.) A couple of these potential late arrivals are contenders for Pick of the Week, like Justified: Season Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray and Mildred Pierce - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack. They also have competition from Contagion - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray, but in the end I gave that honor to The Guard - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray.
September 26th, 2011
It was a very good weekend at the box office, compared to the average for this time of year. None of the four wide releases were real bombs, although a couple opened soft, they were within the range of expectations. Also, The Lion King held on even better than expected leading the way for the second weekend in a row. This helped the film grow just over 16% from last weekend to $117 million. More importantly, the overall box office was close to 17% higher than this weekend last year. Not only did The Lion King top Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps's opening, so did Moneyball and Dolphin Tale. Year-to-date, 2011 is still behind 2010 by 4% at $7.85 billion to $8.14 billion, but a few more wins like this and that gap will start to close.
September 19th, 2011
There were three new wide releases this past weekend, but it was a re-release, The Lion King, that dominated at the box office. This success is really good news, because all three new wide releases, Drive, I Don't Know How She Does It, and Straw Dogs, missed expectations. The overall movie industry generated just over $101 million this weekend, compared to $82 million last weekend, which is a 24% increase. This weekend last year, the overall box office was just under $101 million, so yes, 2011 squeezed out a win this week, even if it was by less than 1%. Year-to-date, 2011 has earned $7.70 billion, compared to $8.01 billion it earned last year. We are going to need to see some big wins over the coming weeks if 2011 is going to have a shot at closing that gap by the end of December.
September 15th, 2011
It could be an interesting week at the box office, with three films opening wide, Drive, I Don't Know How She Does It, and Straw Dogs, plus a fourth film being re-released wide, The Lion King. There's a lot of uncertainty in the box office predictions for the weekend and I've seen various predictions that have Drive winning the weekend, Contagion repeating on top, and some say The Lion King's 3D conversion will boost it to number one. Unfortunately, while there's a wide range of opinion regarding what film will top the box office chart, there are very few people who think this weekend will be as strong as last year when The Town opened with nearly $24 million and Easy A earned close to $18 million. It's unlikely the top two films will earn that much this year and we don't have the same depth either.
September 9th, 2011
Next week is another busy week with four wide releases. Unfortunately, none of them look like massive hits, which makes it harder to predict which film will come out on top and how much it will make. Fortunately, we have three prizes this week, so no matter how far off your prediction is, you still have a chance of winning. As for the target film, at this point, it appears I Don't Know How She Does It will open in the most theaters, but I think Drive will open the fastest, so it is the target film in this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Drive.
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 Madea's Big Happy Family on DVD.
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 Meet the Browns: Season One on DVD.
Finally, one additional entrant will be chosen and they will win a copy of Laugh to Keep From Crying: The Play on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
September 1st, 2011
After a strong start, August ended on a really low note, and that's bad news for September, as it means the positive momentum we had is gone. Looking at the upcoming month, there are 18 films opening wide over five weekends (including one re-release) but only four or five of them have a real shot at being midlevel hits, and it is unlikely that all of them will get there. Worse still, there are no films opening this month that look like they will match The Town, which made more than $90 million last September. In fact, the selection of releases is so weak that the film I'm most looking forward to is a limited release that has already come out on Video on Demand, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. (It has seventeen reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and still not a negative one among them.)