November 25th, 2008
Strange week. There are a dozen spotlight reviews on the list this week, but only one is for a DVD coming out this week. Ten are for DVDs that arrived late, and one spotlight review is actually early. As for this week's releases, there are not that many that seem like must-haves and none rise to the level of a DVD Pick of the Week. If I were to choose the best release found below, it's WALL-E, which came out last week. But even then I would chose the Blu-ray I reviewed last week over the DVD. Despite the lack of a top tier release, there were still more than enough that it was necessary to split the list into two parts. Part two can be found here.
January 21st, 2008
Just as it did on the sales chart, 3:10 to Yuma was the best on the rental charts. It was part of a group of six new releases to chart, and pulled in $10.76 million during its first week of release.
January 14th, 2008
Not a single DVD sold a million units or more this week, but there were three new releases to reach the top five on this week's sales chart.
This includes Resident Evil: Extinction, which sold 856,000 units to place first with opening week revenue of $16.03 million.
January 14th, 2008
New releases were few and far between on the rental chart this week, but War did top the charts with $11.78 million.
January 7th, 2008
Since most new releases were released on Sunday, it comes as no real surprise that The Simpsons Movie remained in first place on this week's DVD sales chart.
This time around, the film sold 1.05 million units for a two-week total of 3.81 million units while it generated $16.84 million in revenue for a total of $64.98 million.
This is a very good start, but lower than expected after its phenomenal theatrical debut.
January 7th, 2008
For most of the year, it was hard to find a single rental to earn $10 million during the week. This week we have four such films. This includes the 'new release' of Rush Hour 3, which actually came out on Sunday and appeared on last week's list as well. This week it pulled in $11.85 million in rentals for a total of $18.20 million so far.
December 31st, 2007
There were 12 new releases to chart this week, including 6 in the top ten alone; however, The Bourne Ultimatum remained in first place with $12.76 million in rentals for the week and $28.20 million in total.
December 23rd, 2007
The Screen Actors Guild nominations were announced this week, but again there were no clear front runners for the six theatrical categories.
December 18th, 2007
Another deceptively weak week for DVDs.
Sure, there appear to be plenty to choose from, but it feels like half the top 20 are Blade Runner releases.
In fact, one of the two DVD Picks of the Week are for that movie.
For those who are big fans of Blade Runner, grab the Four-Disc Collector's Edition - DVD, or 5-Disc Collector's Edition - Blu-Ray or 5-Disc Collector's Edition - HD-DVD if you can.
(Given the choice between those last two, pick 5-Disc Collector's Edition - Blu-Ray.)
For those who are huge fans of Blade Runner, and I mean stupid level fans of the movie, grab 5-Disc Ultimate Edition - DVD, 5-Disc Ultimate Edition - Blu-Ray, or 5-Disc Ultimate Edition - HD-DVD.
But good luck, I pre-ordered mine months ago and there are reports they are sold out in many places. The second DVD Pick of the Week goes to The Simpsons Movie - Blu-Ray.
The light extras are disappointing, but that transfer is immaculate.
December 9th, 2007
Bee Movie returned to the charts in sixth place with $6.71 million on 1288 screens in 11 markets for an early international total of $19.43 million after a month of release. This includes a pair of first place debuts in Spain and Mexico. In the former it earned $2.81 million on 421 screens while in the latter is earned $2.60 million on 389 screens. While Spain is the larger marker, I thought the family friendly nature of Mexico would give it the edge. Even so, there are great openings for the film.
December 3rd, 2007
Lions for Lambs climbed a spot to sixth place with $4.34 million on 2453 screens in 53 markets for a total of $25.97 million, while only managing $1 million or more in one market this past weekend, ($1.40 million on 390 screens during its sixth place debut in France). It opens in Italy later this month and Japan in the spring of '08, but there's almost no chance the film will show a profit at this point. Normally one movie losing money isn't a big issue because the studio can rely on one or two monster hits to pay for their misses, (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix made enough money to pay for the entire budgets of half-a-dozen misses for Warner Bros. this year, and that's before the home market). However, United Artists is a newly relauched studio and they don't have a war chest built up from past victories. Stumbling out of the gate like this hurts.
November 11th, 2007
Surf's Up grew by 77% in France adding $3.44 million on 628 screens over the weekend for a total of $7.36 million in total. This growth was due to the Toussaint holiday while it was enough to lift the film's weekend box office to $5.84 million on 1996 screens in 32 markets for a total of $72.34 million. The film has yet to open in Scandinavia as well as Japan and should hit $100 million internationally before it is done, which is significantly more than the $58.87 million it earned domestically, but not enough to show a profit just yet.
November 4th, 2007
The Orphanage may have fallen out of the top five internationally, but it remained the top draw in Spain with $4.11 million on 373 screens over the weekend for a three-week total of $20.78 million. This is more than Ratatouille has earned in that market after three months of release and equivalent to $200 to $300 million here. It won't make $200 to $300 million here, in fact, it might not make $20 million here. It all depends on how well it does with critics and award committees.
October 28th, 2007
Superbad climbed into sixth place with $4.26 million on 1836 screens in 27 markets for a total of $31.79 million. Most of that growth came from Spain where the film debuted in second place with $2.24 million on 350 screens while it also opened in Brazil with $511,000 on 192 screens. The film doesn't have many major markets left to open in, but it has already earned more than most comparable films do during their entire run.
October 17th, 2007
Ratatouille remained in top spot with $21.07 million on 3721 screens in 39 markets for a total of $271.85 million. This includes a dominating first place, $9.08 million opening on 503 screens in the U.K. This was nearly twice as much as Cars debuted with in that market, but only half as much as The Incredibles. Meanwhile in Germany, the film was down 45% to $6.46 million for the weekend and $20.40 million in total. This is already more than Cars made in total in that market and is about a week away from also topping The Incredibles final figure of $24.22 million. Its best market is still France where it has made $64.76 million, just a hair below the $64.78 million Finding Nemo made in that market meaning Ratatouille has already become the all-time highest grossing Pixar movie in France.
October 14th, 2007
The Heartbreak Kid missed the top five by less than $20,000 over the weekend earning $5.74 million on 819 screens in 4 markets during its opening weekend on the international charts. This includes openings in to major markets including the U.K. where it opened in first place with $2.52 million on 409 screens, but this was still a disappointing debut, much like it was domestically. Conversely, the film opened in second place in Russia with $2.31 million on 360 screens, but this is a much better performance compared to the overall box office size of the marketplace.
October 8th, 2007
September was predictable almost to the point of boredom.
However, October got off to a rather shocking, near record-breaking start.
Granted, these weren't records that studios want to break, with the overall box office fell 7% from last weekend to just $84 million. Worse yet, that was 24% lower than the same weekend last year.
October 4th, 2007
September may be over, but the box office isn't exactly heating up.
There are three wide releases this week (or two, depending on your definition of wide), but only one has a shot at any real box office success.
And even that is rather subdued given the film's pedigree.
I don't expect things to be significantly different next weekend, or the weekend after that.
In fact, the next true hit doesn't come till November.
October 1st, 2007
Well, that was predictable. Nearly every film finished the weekend within $1 million of Thursday's predictions, and the one that missed the mark by the biggest margin was still off by just $3 million.
On the one hand, I'm happy our predictions were accurate.
On the other hand, it makes it difficult to find something interesting to add.
September 29th, 2007
Another slow week, but at least we have a clear contender for the Weekly Website Award. That site is The Kingdom - Official Site, which combines all the usual features with a good mix of extras as well as enough sound and animation to keep surfers interested.
September 27th, 2007
September ends with little fanfare, but there are a couple of films that should be battling for first place.
So while no movie really has a shot at superstardom, the race for first should at least be fun to watch.
That said, the overall box office appears weak and will likely not keep pace with last year, making it two weekends in the row of year-to-year declines.
Hardly reason to panic after the strong winning streak, but something to watch.
September 13th, 2007
The September slump continues as none of the three wide releases look all that promising. The best of the bunch, The Brave One, is earning only average reviews, and we could have not a single film topping 50% positive.
September 1st, 2007
After a record-breaking summer, we come to the worst month of the year. There are a few films that look promising, but for the most part the month is filled with projects that should probably never been given the greenlight to begin with. September is a dumping ground for failed projects, and like most similar times of the year, it is crowded with 20 movies that at least have a shot at opening or expanding wide over a period of just four weeks. Five new releases a week is far too many, even if they were all high quality at least half will fail just due to the competition.
August 18th, 2007
Busy week with more than 30 sites featured on the list. However, none really stand our as award-worthy; in fact, most only stand because of a lack of style. Hopefully as the fall season progresses and we near the holidays, we will get bigger and better sites launching.
July 29th, 2007
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.
February 11th, 2007
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for Indiana Jones 4, The Mummy 3, Hellboy 2 and more.
January 13th, 2007
A slow week, but that's not surprising. The movie industry is seasonal with peaks and valleys throughout the year. With movie websites, there tends to be the same peaks and valleys, just a few months earlier. (The same is true for DVDs, just a few months later.) While there are a few sites on this week's list that show promise, there are none that are really award-worthy.