After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray Owens moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy.
With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell, Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow. Cortezí path: straight through Summerton Junction, where the whole of the U.S. law enforcement, including Agent John Bannister will have their final opportunity to intercept him before the violent fugitive slips across the border forever.
At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately rallies his team and takes the matter into his own hands, setting the stage for a classic showdown.
||January 18th, 2013 (Wide) by Lionsgate|
||May 21st, 2013 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment|
||R for strong bloody violence throughout, and language.|
(Rating bulletin 2251, 12/5/2012)
||Digital Cinematography, Hostage, Kidnap, Car Chase, Corrupt Cops, Life in a Small Town, Hispanic, Organized Crime, Prison Break, Intertitle|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
||Lionsgate, di Bonaventura Pictures|
There were very few new releases to chart this week, and only one of them managed a place in the top ten on the Blu-ray sales chart. The Last Stand remained in first place with 73,000 units / $1.82 million for the week and 183,000 units / $3.47 million after two.
There were a number of new releases to reach the top of the DVD sales chart. They earned the top four spots and seven of the top eight spots. On the downside, it was absolutely a case of quantity over quality. Parker earned first place on the DVD chart, but with just 170,000 units / $2.62 million. It only managed second place on Blu-ray with 72,000 units / $1.50 million for an opening week Blu-ray share of just under 30%, which is bad for an action film. Speaking of action films, The Last Stand opened in second place on DVD with 154,000 units / $2.17 million, but earned first place on Blu-ray with 110,000 units / $1.64 million. Its opening week Blu-ray share was 42%, which is more in line with the average for that genre.
It's an abridged list of DVD and Blu-ray releases report this week due to technical difficulties. The best selling new release of the week is True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray Combo Pack, which is certainly worth owning for fans. However, the best releases are the Hayao Miyazaki Double-Shot, Howl's Moving Castle on Blu-ray Combo Pack and My Neighbor Totoro on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Most prefer the former, but I prefer the latter.
The Last Stand was important for two reasons. Firstly, it was the first starring role for Arnold Schwarzenegger in a decade, while it was also the English-language debut for Kim Jee-woon. Unfortunately, while I wanted the film to do well, it made less in total that I predicted it would make during its opening weekend. Is it really that bad? Or should moviegoers who skipped it the first time check it out on the home market?
January ended, and we should all be glad it did. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters did beat modest expectations, but most of the rest failed that test with Movie 43 crashing worse than even my low expectations. The overall box office fell 20% from last weekend to $112 million. This was 11% less than the same weekend last year; fortunately, this was the first miss of 2013 and the year still has a lead of 10% over 2012 at $797 million to $721 million.
Mama easily won the box office race over the Martin Luther King, Jr. long weekend, with Zero Dark Thirty earning a solid second place. Unfortunately, the other two new releases, Broken City and The Last Stand, were weak and weaker. The overall box office was on par with last week, down less than 1% to $139 million, over the three-day weekend. This was 6% higher than the same weekend last year, over the same period. Adding on Monday, and the total weekend was $165 million, or about 1% higher than last year. It is still way too early to pay real attention to the year-to-date stats, but 2013 is ahead of 2012 by a 7.0% margin at $658 million to $615 million.
For all the Oscar hype, moviegoers are voting with their feet this MLK weekend for a more straightforward entertainment bang for their buck. Mama is set to win the weekend by a large margin, with Universal estimating a $28.1 million three-day weekend and about $33 million over four days. With the film playing in a relatively modest 2,647 theaters, that translates into a per theater average of $10,625, comfortably ahead of any other wide release. Jessica Chastain has dual reasons to celebrate, with Zero Dark Thirty set to finish second for the weekend with $17.6 million. Fellow Oscar-hopeful Silver Linings Playbook will be third with about $11.35 million over three days in its first weekend in wide release.
There are a trio of new releases opening on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, but it looks like Zero Dark Thirty has a good chance to remain in first place. Mama is earning pretty good buzz, even if its reviews are only mixed. The Last Stand is the widest release of the week and the reviews are positive, but the buzz is mixed, to be kind. Finally, there's Broken City, which has the quietest buzz and the weakest reviews. Last year, Underworld: Awakening opened with just over $25 million and there's almost no chance that will happen again this year. Then again, we might have better depth.
December ended on a positive note with 2012 topping 2011 with a week to spare. Hopefully this will translate into strong box office numbers going forward. There are several January releases that actually look very interesting, but you always have to ask, if the films are as good as they look, why are they opening in January? The biggest hit on this list will likely not be a January release, but a limited release from December that is expanding wide in January. Zero Dark Thirty opened in limited release the Wednesday before Christmas and right away it got off to an incredible start. If it can turn some of its Awards Season nominations into wins, which seems very likely at this point, it should be the biggest hit of January. If it can earn some major Oscars, then it might crack $100 million. Unfortunately, no other film on this release list is likely to come close to the $100 million mark. Last January was unseasonably strong with three films opening with $20 million or more and four films finishing with $50 million or more. It is possible that none of the new releases will reach those relatively weak standards.
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