In terms of raw numbers, this isn't as busy a week as last, but there are a lot more releases worthy of discussing, including several that I rate highly.
The short-lived series Grosse Pointe - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon gets its wide release after being an Amazon exclusive since November.
Half Nelson - Buy from Amazon comes up just in time for Oscar buzz to reach its peak.
Meanwhile, ... So Goes the Nation - Buy from Amazon should get the political junkies all worked up.
However, the clear winner of the DVD Pick of the Week is The Departed - 2-Disc Special Edition.
My only concern is the likelihood of a super special edition coming out after it wins several Oscars.
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.
The Longest Yard
opened in second place in Australia with $2.5 million. On the other hand, the film could only manage $750,000 on 260 screens in Mexico, not surprising since Adam Sandler
has never been a big draw internationally, especially outside English speaking markets.
It was a slightly busier weekend as several studios were brave enough, or foolhardy enough to try and sandwich their film between the worldwide release of Revenge of the Sith
and Batman Begins
, which debuts in just 10 days. With War of the Worlds
' worldwide release just two weeks after that, there's very little room for smaller films to survive.
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.
After the Sunset
stole top spot from The Incredibles
on both the DVD and VHS rental charts, (the latter film did triumph on the sale charts.) The film, which only made $28.3 million during its entire domestic run, made $6.00 million in DVD rentals and $900,000 in VHS rentals.
Million Dollar Baby
performed brilliantly this week earning $8.8 million for an international total of $60 million, placing fourth on the international box office charts. In France the film dominated the marketplace with $4.94 million on 450 screens and in Germany the film earned $760,000 in semi-limited release (120 screens) for the best per screen average in the market. On the other hand, the film flopped in Slovakia where it missed the top ten in its debut. On the holdover front, the multi-Oscar
winning front saw its weekend haul climb by 20% in Spain to $980,000 and it's still doing well in Australia, Italy and South Korea.
Despite three new films in the top five, The Incredibles
continue their domination of the home market topping the DVD rentals with $6.97 million and $1.33 million in VHS sales. On the sales side it remains number one this week and in fact is the number one for sales for the year.
As expected, The Incredibles
topped the home market this week taking first place in DVD and VHS rentals, ($8.16 million and $1.48 million respectively) as well as DVD and VHS Sales. As mentioned last week
, The Incredibles
sold 5 million DVDs on its first day of release alone, however, no figure has been released for its weekly sales total.
topped both the DVD rental charts, ($8.39 million) and the VHS rental charts ($1.61 million) for $10.00 million total rentals for its first week of release. Granted, it was a slow week for releases as no other new release made it in the top twenty on combined rentals.
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 and a few from the growing TV on DVD section including this week's winner, which I'll get to in a second. It was a strange week for DVD releases with only one recent wide release coming out this week, a few limited releases but it mostly TV on DVD. There were only a few releases that aroused my enthusiasm. Arguably the best release of the week is Xena - Warrior Princess
- Season Six - Buy from Amazon
- The Complete Second Season - Buy from Amazon
is the release I'm more likely to pick up.
may have dropped out of the top five, but it is still going strong with $4.5 million on 1400 screens in 35 markets for an international box office of $225.8 million so far. No new openings means the heist
film had to rely on holdovers likes its $2.5 million during its third weekend in the U.K. and $1.4 million during its fifth week of release in Japan, finishing second in both those markets.
Iznogoud: Calife a la place du calife, a movie based on a Asterix and Obelix spin off
of sorts, dominated the French box office taking in $7.1 million, more than double the second place film and more than a third of the top ten total. It is also enough to push it into the Top Five
on the international scene, dropping Finding Neverland
into sixth place. Unfortunately, like the several films made in the Asterix and Obelix series, this one is unlikely to make much of an impact outside the French speaking markets.
A higher than expected opening in Spain and a lower than expected decline in the U.K. allowed Meet the Fockers
to retain top spot on the international charts. The film opened first in a handful of markets, including a $4.7 million opening in Spain on 356 screens, $377,000 in Denmark, $352,000 in Taiwan and $275,000 in Israel. Its most prolific market continues to be the U.K. where the film brought in $8.5 million during its second weekend there; that's a 42% drop-off, which is a little high for the market, but not as high as expected given its huge start last weekend. That one market represented more than half of its weekend total of $16.3 million on 1700 screens in 28 markets for a running tally of $82.9 million.
Meet the Fockers
open in the U.K. over the weekend with an astounding $14.8 million on 456, which is more than four times the original
's earnings there in 2000.
That figure was also more than 8 times the second place film , and more than half the market's total box office.
Add in a handful of openings in other, mostly smaller markets and the film brought in $19.2 million on 1,700 screens in 15 markets for a $58.8 million total so far.
The International Box Office Race is certainly interesting, as Ocean's Twelve recaptured the lead this weekend with $14.4 million on 4,600 screens in 58 markets and now sits at $170.4 million internationally and $292.8 million worldwide. A large chunk of that total came from Japan, where the film earned $6.8 million (including sneak peaks) on 510 screens, while ending Howl's Moving Castle's nine week reign on top.
While this was a strong performance, it was 20% lower that the original's debut in the same market.
After a massive opening last week in Spain, Alexander
took top spot on the international charts thanks to a strong opening in Italy, Brazil and Hong Kong. The film managed first place in all three markets with $3.87 million on 446 screens in Italy, $906,900 on 193 screens in Brazil and $275,244 on 30 screens in Hong Kong. Holdovers were not as kind to the Sword and Sandal
epic as it dropped nearly 50% in the U.K., Spain and France. Overall the film brought in $14.5 million on 3600 screens in 51 markets for a running tally of $88 million. And while the film will easily cross $100 million internationally, which is roughly 3 times its domestic figure, it has to be looked at as a disappointment financially.
The race for first in the international marketplace continued to be close with three films within a couple million of each other. Leading the way was Ocean's Twelve
with $17.5 million on 5200 screens in 54 markets; the film's international total now sits at $137 million, slightly more than half of what Ocean's Eleven
finished with. The heist
film did open well in several markets, which mostly balances out severe drop-offs due to the post-holiday. For instance, the film opened well in South Korea with $2.1 million on 150 screens and debuted in first place in Argentina, ($500,000), Portugal, (with $720,000) and in the Philippines, ($370,000.)
Despite a 45% drop in its weekend haul, Shark Tale
was able easily able to earn it third first place finish on the international charts. Still early in its run, the film took home $16.2 million in 4,368 theatres in 24 markets pushing its total to $80.3 million internationally. Without any openings the film relied on strong holdovers like in the U.K. where it drop 39%, in France it was off 32% and 35% in Germany.
Thanks to mostly unopposed openings several more markets, Shark Tale
was able to repeat as the international box office champ this week. Not only that, but its $29.6 million more than doubled its international tally prior to the start of the weekend as the film now sits at $56.2 million. The best opening of the weekend, and most likely of its international run, was in the U.K. where the film managed to take in $9.1 million, ($13.6 million if you include last week's previews.) In France the result was strong with $4.2 million but in the face of local competition, it could only manage $3.4 million in Germany.
Unlike the summer, the fall has seen plenty of films hold up well in the face of new competition. This was the saving grace at the box office this week as neither new film made much of an impact. Even so, the overall box office dropped 9.3% from last week and a disturbing 14% from last year. Year to date 2004 is still maintaining its 4% lead over 2003, which is inline with ticket price increases.
Two films open wide this weekend, one has really wooden acting and the other stars marionettes. OK, that was a cheap joke. After a very strong start, October is starting to show signs of weakness and will probably see another small drop at the box office.
For the first time in a month we saw a movie repeat on the top of the charts. Not only that, but Shark Tale held up better than expected. Even so, the overall weekend box was down 5.1% from last weekend, but down just 0.9% from last year.
A trio of new films open wide this week, but none look likely to de-thrown Shark Tale
as the weekend champ. Overall there should be a small drop at the box office, whether the drop will be large enough to push the weekend box office below 2003 level is up in the air.
It's amazing what the turning of a page on a calendar can do for the movie industry. After a dismal September, October got off to a near record start. It goes without saying that the weekend box office was up significantly from last week, 58.9% to be more exact and the yearly comparison was also very impressive at 20.9% increase. However, the yearly comparison is a bit misleading as Shark Tale is probably the biggest movie to open this month, so the box office may have already peaked for the month. We'll have to wait till next week to see if this is a sign of newfound strength or just an aberration.
October is generally a transition month. Not the dumping ground that September is, but without a major holiday, it's not as prosperous as November. Also, the month is usually good to horror movies for the obvious reason. One last note, the movie industry as a whole is in a bit of a slump right now, of the 11 films that opened wide in September, only 2 will beat expectations by any reasonable degree. This has caused me to downgrade some of my predictions, especially for earlier in the month.
Well, September is over so the industry can breathe a collective sigh of relief. And it couldn't end a moment too soon. How bad was September? Total box office for September was $423 million, the worst month in two years. And the majority of that box office came from holdovers released in previous months like Hero
, which earned nearly $30 million during the month of September. Fortunately, the first weekend in October sees the release of what should be the first $100 million movie since The Village
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 Shark Tale
- Official Site
. If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail
me with the details.
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 the winner for the week, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Official Site
, which won also for CountOlaf.com
. If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail
me with the details.
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 the winner for the week, Two Brothers
- Official Site
. If you know of any new movie websites not on this list feel free to e-mail me with the details.