The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir has always known how to sing in harmony, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill, stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old.
Shaking things up even more is the arrival of G.G.'s rebellious grandson, Randy. Randy has an ear for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose's beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia, and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more friction between G.G. and Vi Rose. If these two strong-willed women can put aside their differences for the good of the people in their town, they--and their choir--may make the most joyful noise of all.
||January 13th, 2012 (Wide) by Warner Bros.|
||May 1st, 2012 by Warner Home Video|
||PG-13 for some language including a sexual reference.|
(Rating bulletin 2193, 10/12/2011)
||Underdog, Interracial Romance, Romance, Death of a Spouse, Musicians, Gospel Music, African-American|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
||Alcon Entertainment, Farrell Paura Productions, O.N.C. Entertainment|
There was a weird mix of new releases and ancient holdovers on the top of the DVD sales chart this week. (Maybe "ancient" is overstating things.) Leading the way was The Vow with an impressive opening week sales of 810,000 units / $13.76 million. Given its domestic box office numbers, this is a great start and it is likely already profitable.
We are in the slowest time of year on the home market, and it is really showing on the Blu-ray sales chart. There were only three new releases to place on the Blu-ray sales chart this week, and only one of them earned a respectable opening week Blu-ray share. Haywire opened in first place with 185,000 units / $3.69 million giving it a Blu-ray share of 49%. That's a solid percentage for a film that struggled to find an audience in theaters.
New releases dominated the top of the DVD sales chart this week. This includes two films that could make a claim for first place: Joyful Noise and New Year's Eve. Joyful Noise led the way in terms of units at 399,000 units to 390,000 units, but New Year's Eve led the way in terms of raw dollars at $7.02 million to $6.38 million. Given their respective production budgets, this is a good start on the home market.
It's yet another very slow week on the home market. In fact, all of May is very slow on the home market, although this is not surprising for this time of year. I'm not even going to attempt to pad out the list this week. Is there anything in contention for Pick of the Week? Fortunately, the answer to that is yes. Unfortunately, the screener is late. Normally I really don't like awarding Pick of the Week to a film when the screener is late, but in this case, Haywire is head and shoulders above the rest, so unless the Blu-ray has less than zero special features, it's the best out there.
2012 has gone three for three in the year-over-year comparison. This weekend we have a couple films do a little better than expected and a couple films struggle a little bit, but the overall box office was up 1% from last weekend to $134 million. More importantly, the box office was up 30% from last year. Not only did we have better strength on top with Underworld: Awakening earning $25 million, but we also had much stronger depth. This bodes well going into next week and hopefully January will complete the sweep when compared to last year. Year-to-Date, 2012 now has a 15% lead over 2011 at $748 million to $653 million. It is still far too early to declare victory, but every dollar earned now puts us one dollar closer to matching last year's total.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day long weekend was mostly filled with good news, with all three films doing at least respectable business, while we had a couple holdovers which beat expectations. Contraband was surprisingly strong earning top spot with relative ease. And while it couldn't match The Green Hornet's debut from last year, the overall box office was very solid at $132 million over three days and $163 million over four. The three-day total was 5% lower than last weekend, but 1.5% higher than last year. The four-day total was 2.6% higher than last year. It's obviously way too early to judge 2012's box office run, but at the moment it is 14% higher than last year's pace at $483 million to $423 million.
With Beauty and the Beast disappointing slightly over the 3-day MLK frame, Contraband will take first place by a fairly comfortable margin, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. The action movie is set to pick up about $24.1 million, per Universal, while Disney pegs Beast's Friday-Sunday total at $18.5 million. Joyful Noise will bring in a solid, if slightly disappointing, $11.3 million for Warner Bros..
This weekend is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is not one of the biggest long weekends at the box office. (It is just too close to Christmas / New Year's to really help boost the box office significantly.) There are three films opening wide, Beauty and the Beast 3D, Contraband, and Joyful Noise, plus another film, The Iron Lady, which is expanding enough that it could reach the top ten. I don't think any of them will match last year's winner, The Green Hornet, which pulled in $33.53 million during its opening weekend. However, one can hope all three wide releases reach their potential and 2012 will come out ahead of 2011.
2011 ended, and really that's the only good news we got from the entire month of December. That's not snark either. Of the eleven films opening or expanding wide that month, six will definitely miss expectations by significant margins and with the other five it is too soon to tell, (it depends on how well they hold up during the New Year's Day long weekend). Only Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol can be considered a pleasant surprise, and even then it might not match original expectations. Looking forward, the only really good piece of news for this January is that last January was a pretty bad as well. Only two films, The Green Hornet and No Strings Attached, beat expectations by significant margins, while The Dilemma bombed hard enough to nearly wipe out those gains. This time around, the biggest hit will likely be Beauty and the Beast's 3D re-release, but even then, I doubt it will do as well as The Lion King's 3D re-release. There's a good chance the year will start off on a sour note, just like 2011 ended.
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