September 21st, 2010
While there were plenty of new releases on this week's sales chart, it was a case of quantity over quality, as none of them really made an impact on the chart. Leading the way was Killers with a mere 325,000 units sold for opening week sales of $5.15 million.
September 13th, 2010
TV on DVD season continues, which is great news for fans who want to relive last season, or missed many episodes of their favorite shows. It's bad news for these people's wallets, as they are quite expensive compared to first run releases. (Although TV on DVD releases tend to be inexpensive entertainment on a per-minute basis.) It's worse news for critics, as trying to review several full season releases in one week is tough to pull off. That's not to say there were no first run releases, but the ones that did come out were second-tier, or lower, leaving them out of competition for Pick of the Week. I'm going with The Big Bang Theory: Season Three for Pick of the Week, with both DVD and Blu-ray worth picking up, but the High Definition release is arguably the better deal.
September 10th, 2010
Unlike this weekend, there are four wide releases opening next weekend, and none of them look like they are sure hits. In fact, I'm not even sure which, if any, will top the box office charts. This makes choosing the target film for this week's box office prediction contest a little harder. In the end, we went with Easy A, because at the moment it looks like it will be the widest release, if not the biggest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Easy A.
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 Killers on Blu-ray.
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 Escape from New York on Blu-ray
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
September 9th, 2010
Lionsgate is a distributor that usually works with smaller films, at least smaller compared to the average Hollywood film. Killers is one of their early attempts at breaking into the big blockbuster market as it cost $75 million to make. However, while it cost big bucks to make, it stumbled at the box office opening in third place and finishing with just shy of $50 million. Now that it has come out on Blu-ray / DVD, does it deserve to find a more receptive audience on the home market?
September 6th, 2010
It's TV on DVD season, as five of the top six best-selling new releases for the week are in that category, while the sixth is an exercise DVD. Of the many, many TV on DVD releases coming out this week, there are plenty that are worth picking up, but not many that are worth of Pick of the Week Honors. The top pick in my mind is Stardust, which is making its Blu-ray debut this week. However, Solitary Man might also be added to that list if / when the DVD / Blu-ray screeners arrive.
August 8th, 2010
Over the past weekend, Toy Story 3 fell to second place on the international chart with $38.69 million on 7806 screens in 42 markets. However, it rose to second place for 2010 on the international chart with $436.65 million overtaking Shrek Forever After. The only 2010 release that has made more internationally is Alice in Wonderland. Worldwide it now has $826.41 million and it has very likely already surpassed Finding Nemo to become Pixar's biggest hit. The film's only major release of the week came in Germany over the weekend, where it made $4.03 million on 740 screens, bringing the total to $4.35 million. While this is a good result, its not great, and prior to this the film had been doing great. It also remained in the top spot in the U.K. over the weekend, with $12.81 million on 564 screens, for a two week total of $62.82 million. It has likely overtaken Alice in Wonderland to become the biggest hit of 2010 released in that market. As for the film's future, it has yet to open in South Korea and Scandinavia. If it does well in those markets, $1 billion worldwide is still within reach.
July 11th, 2010
In an age of day-and-date global releases, Shrek Forever After is taking the slow route. This week it opened in a number of major markets, which propelled it into second place with $42.57 million on 4,484 screens in 25 markets for a total of $137.12 million internationally and $369.40 million worldwide.
In the U.K. it opened with $13.56 million on 539 screens, which was easily enough for first place.
However, its predecessor made $33.45 million during its opening three years ago. Ouch. In France it made $10.77 million on 842 screens, down from $13.05 million. South Korea produced $6.37 million on 627 screens, including midweek numbers, down from $10.74 million. Finally, in Germany it made $5.11 million on 767 screens, down from $7.84 million. The film is still a major hit and will have no trouble earning a profit; however, it is still the weakest in the franchise when you look at ticket sales.
July 4th, 2010
Knight and Day started its international run in second place with $12.42 million on 2241 screens in 12 markets. It opened in first place in Russia with $3.33 million on 949 screens, while it also took top spot in South Korea with $3.04 million on 565 screens over the weekend and $3.76 million in total. Next up for the film is the U.K. this weekend, while it has major market openings right till October when it debuts in Japan.
June 26th, 2010
The A-Team climbed to second place with $13.97 million on 4929 screens in 48 markets for a total of $34.74 million. New openings this past weekend include France, where it made $3.05 million on 621 screens. On the one hand, that was enough for first place. On the other hand, that's not a particularly strong start, especially for a summer blockbuster. It was only half has much as Prince of Persia opened with, for instance. In Italy it had a similar result with a first place, $1.11 million opening on 354 screens. That said, if it can earn half of what Prince of Persia does, then The A-Team will end its run with more than $100 million internationally and close to $200 million worldwide. As long as it is a hit on the home market, that will be enough to show a profit eventually, particularly if you take into account increased DVD sales for the TV series it is based on.
June 20th, 2010
For the third weekend in a row, Robin Hood remained in fourth place. This time it pulled in $7.19 million on 5742 screens in 54 markets for a total of $183.71 million internationally and $283.17 million worldwide. This week it opened in China and India, two countries that rarely release box office numbers in a timely fashion.
June 14th, 2010
It turns out that the battle of the 80s superstars was a one-sided affair, as The Karate Kid easily took the top spot. Overall, the box office brought in $151 million over the weekend, which was 18% higher than last weekend and nearly 10% higher than the same weekend last year. It will take a few more weekends like this before the exuberance from earlier in the year returns, but this is a welcome result. Year-to-date, 2010 has now made $4.68 billion compared to last year's running tally of $4.53 billion, but its lead is due to much higher ticket prices. Attendance is down by 3%.
June 10th, 2010
It's The A-Team vs. The Karate Kid in a battle of 1980s cultural icons. Analysts seem to be evenly split on which of these will spawn the box office champion this weekend, but most expect both of them to at least be mid-level hits. Almost all of them expect them to both top last year's two new releases, probably combined. They might even do well enough to help 2010 end its slump.
June 8th, 2010
Well, that was bad. After the worst Memorial Day long weekend in nearly two decades (at least in terms of tickets sold) we had another weekend full of disappointing new releases. The overall box office was $129 million, which was down 15% from last weekend. Since it is a post-holiday weekend, this drop-off is not surprising. However, it was also down 22% from the same weekend last year, which is the third weekend in a row where we've seen double-digit declines year-over-year. Year-to-date, 2010 is still ahead of 2009, but the lead has shrunk to less than 4% at $4.47 billion to $4.31 billion.
June 3rd, 2010
With May over and not a single wide release beating expectations, the beginning of June can be looked upon with joy or trepidation. On the one hand, maybe we can put May behind us and move on. On the other hand, perhaps the slump will just continue and make matters worse. It is unlikely that any of the new releases will keep up with last year's champion, The Hangover. But perhaps the combined efforts of all four new releases will top the combined efforts of the three wide releases from last year.
While there is no likely breakout hit like we had last year, four films have a legitimate shot at top spot.
June 1st, 2010
So far this summer the disappointments are outnumbering the pleasant surprises by a disturbing margin. Granted, we've only just finished May, but none of the May wide releases met expectations. None. Iron Man 2 was still a massive hit, but no film since then has come close to matching its box office prowess and we are coming close to hitting the panic button at the box office. Worse still, June of 2009 was better than expected with two massive hits that came out of nowhere. Plus, there was the release of the Revenge of the Fallen, which for much of the year looked like it would be the biggest hit of 2009. So, do we have any films likely to do as well as Revenge this June? Maybe. And hopefully we will have more depth, because outside those three films, the rest of June 2009 struggled.