With Thanksgivings just around the corner, there are a lot of releases coming out this week.
You see, every time this year there's a media report that the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year.
However, this is not true.
Christmas Eve is actually the biggest shopping day of the year (talk about last minute gifts).
Even so, Thanksgiving is still a massively important time of the year and there's no surprise that studios are trying to get out as many gift ideas as possible just in time for the holiday rush.
With that in mind, there are several full series sets coming out this week, including DVD Pick of the Week contender Get Smart - The Complete Series - Buy Direct.
However, when it comes to the winner, there's really only one choice and that is Looney Tunes - Golden Collection - Volume Four - Buy from Amazon.
Cheaper by the Dozen 2
opened its home market run with an easily win pulling in $7.24 million during its first week of release. That's probably enough for the film to show a profit, something it just missed doing during its worldwide theatrical run.
It was a big week for DVD releases, but most of them were of the older variety and there were no recent, high-quality, box office hits in the mix. I was tempted to go with Patton - Special Edition as the DVD Pick of the Week, but in the end went with Transamerica - Buy from Amazon instead.
While Batman Begins had the best start in a long time, that wasn't enough for the video market to keep up with last year's pace.
It brought in $10.38 million in DVD rentals and $970,000 in VHS rentals for a total of $11.34 million.
Kingdom of Heaven was able to capture top spot on the home market rental numbers with $7.24 million in DVD rentals and $540,000 in VHS rentals for a combined total of $7.78 million. However, while these numbers were enough for the film to finish in first place, it was still not a great start, especially when taking into account the film's massive production budget.
Every week films get a second chance at success from the home market; or, in some cases, a first chance at success. Here is a list of wide releases, limited releases, classics and a few from the growing TV on DVD section.
This week there are four first-run releases, but not one is worthy of being the DVD Pick of the Week, so again it is the TV on DVD category comes to the rescue.
Arrested Development - The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon is the best bet this week but Veronica Mars - The Complete First Season - Buy from Amazon is also well worth picking up.
Just when the International Details column was getting back to normal we have another film dominating the international scene. Mr. and Mrs. Smith led in nearly every major / midlevel market and those it didn't were mostly owned by Revenge of the Sith. Because of that there isn't as much news to tell as usual, and with Batman Begins opening worldwide this weekend and in two weeks, War of the Worlds doing the same, this trend will last until mid-July at the earliest.
Revenge of the Sith
's drop-offs were much shallower this weekend, which helped the film reach another milestone. Overall the added $38.5 million on 10,586 screens in 105 markets, pushing its international number to $308.4 million, virtually tied with its domestic total. The film is now in the Top 40 on the all-time international charts and Top 30 on the all-time worldwide
charts. Compared to the rest of the Star Wars
films, Revenge of the Sith
is already ahead of Empire Strikes Back
and Return of the Jedi
and should top Attack of the Clones
by this time next week. It has a reasonable shot at eventually toppling A New Hope
, but unless something freaky happens The Phantom Menace
will remain the highest grossing entry in the franchise
. (Which is ironic, since it is widely regarded as the weakest film.)
Revenge of the Sith
saw massive drop-offs in nearly every market, but still managed an easy first place finish with $61.5 million on 10,586 screens, The film now has $246.2 million internationally and $501.8 million at the end of Sunday. The film's only opening this week came in South Korea where the film earned an impressive $3.8 million at 306 screens, but its biggest single markets continue to be the U.K. with $9.9 million on 485 screens, more than 7 times its nearest competitor.
Revenge of the Sith
dominated nearly every market it opened in and in most of them it was the only new film in the top ten. Because of this there's almost no international details to report and those details that are available are single market releases.
Summer finally begins tonight at midnight with the release of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, which should be the biggest movie of the year. The real question is how big will the movie be?
Kingdom of Heaven
couldn't maintain its opening weekend numbers as it plummeted 49% to $27.2 million on 6700 screens in 98 markets for a two week total of $88.9 million. Had the film earned that during its first weekend of release its future would have looked rather rosy, but as it is now it was have a real hard time making back its production budget. The film's biggest market continues to be Germany, where the film fell 46% to $3.4 million on 848 screens, it fell 40% in the U.K. to $2.9 million on 446 screens and 33% in Spain to $3.3 million on 435 screens. Kingdom of Heaven
had only one opening over the weekend, a $2.4 million debut in Japan on 492 screens and only has one more opening to go in China. The film's international run is a lot closer to Van Helsing
's than Troy
's, which should result in a $150 million to $200 million international total.
Friday the 13th proved to be an unlucky omen as the box office continued its slump. We did see a massive 17.3% increase from last weekend, but more importantly 9.5% drop-off from the same time last year, which is the 12th down weekend in a row.
As for year-to-date, 2004 has brought in $2.715 billion, off 7% from the same time last year.
Summer is officially starting ... in 6 days. That's when Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith begins. In the meantime we have to suffer through another sub-par weekend, which could result in a record-breaking slump. On the other hand, there are four films opening wide, or at least wide enough to make it into the top ten, but only two of those films have a shot at top spot.
The summer box office season got off to a decidedly ambivalent start this weekend with the nearly worldwide launch of Kingdom of Heaven; the film opened in 100 markets on 6,500 screens and pulled in a middling $53.8 million.
The obvious comparison is with fellow historical epic, Troy; that film brought in $54.7 million 6,722 screens in 47 markets in its first foray on the international scene. Kingdom of Heaven's biggest debut came in Germany where the film earned $6.4 million on 842 (including sneak peaks), while the film also did solid business in Spain ($4.9 million on 435 screens), U.K. ($4.8 million on 443), France ($4.5 million), South Korea ($4 million on 333 screens) and Italy ($3.1 million on 616).
While the film will almost assuredly repeat as international champion next weekend (there are no massive openings scheduled), the future isn't that rosy for Kingdom of Heaven. It only has two significant markets left to open in, China and Japan, and should quickly fall down the charts as more summer blockbusters hit the international markets. The film needs about $350 million worldwide to show a profit for its theatrical release, but that seems unlikely at this point. Not out of the question, just unlikely.
So much for Summer beginning during the first full weekend of May.
To say Summer started slowly is an understatement of Epic proportions.
The weekend box office was down by 3.8% on a week-to-week basis while last year saw a 7.2% increase over the same time period.
And even worse, the weekend was down 21.7% from 2004; it was also the eleventh weekend in a row that the box office saw a yearly decline, tying the old record set in 2000.
Total box office was just $87 million, the fifth weekend in a row that the box office was sub-$100 million, the longest such stretch since fall 2001.
Year-to-date, 2005's box office has hit $2.582 billion, 7% behind the same 2004 and it might not get much better next weekend.
After a long, slow Spring we're finally in the prime summer box office season. There's two conflicting forces at work this weekend, both of which are fueled by the slump the box office is in. There's a palatable sense of ennui the moviegoers have; they aren't excited about movies since there's been very little to be excited about. This will keep some of them away this weekend because they stopped paying attention to the movies and don't know what's playing. This will also mean there's a pent-up desire to see a big summertime movie and some will flock to the cinemas regardless of their interest in the particular movie. Which force wins out will have a large effect this weekend, and will impact the rest of the summer.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates. Slow week with most of the sites being merely average or too early in their development to tell if the film is an award winning site or not. So in the end I decided not to hand out the award to any site. Hopefully next week things will pick up.
May! The beginning of the lucrative Summer Box Office Season! I know what you're thinking, summer doesn't really begin till mid-June, but for the movie industry summer official begins on the Memorial Day long weekend, and just between you and me, it unofficial begins on the first full weekend of the month. So that means every weekend there's a monster release - one that has people excited since it was first announced.
This month such films include Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
and ... hold on a second, I'll think of another ... Nope. That's pretty much the only monster film being released this May. Don't get me wrong, every week there's a potential $100 million hit being released, but that's nothing compared to 2003
when 4 films released in May hit $200 million and two others made $100 million.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates, including this week's winner, Unleashed
- Official Site
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates, including this week's winner, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants - Official Site.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Here the list of this week's releases, a couple of new sites and few updates, including this week's winner The Ring 2
- Official Site
. If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail
me with the details.
This week's new batch of movie release dates sees the studios start to position themselves for blockbuster performances in Summer 2005, and do some shuffling around of less ambitious releases in 2004.
Among movies with new or moved dates: a remake of The Longest Yard,
a revival of The Pink Panther, an adaptation of TV's Bewitched, Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume 2 and many more.
After a break for the Holidays, Hollywood is back in action again, shuffling around another batch of movie release dates.
This week's shuffle includes, among others, new dates for Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen,
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,
John Grisham's Skipping Christmas,
J.M. Barrie's Neverland,
Kingdom of Heaven and Little Black Book.
If you know of any other new release information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.