January 23rd, 2017
It’s not a particularly good week for top-notch releases. There are only three contenders for Pick of the Week, one of which doesn’t come out till next week. I was able to review Pinocchio a week early. The others are a classic from the 1970s, The Man Who Fell To Earth on Blu-ray Combo Pack, and an import from South Korea, The Handmaiden on DVD. Even though The Handmaiden is only coming out on DVD, it is still the best and is this week’s Pick of the Week.
September 7th, 2016
The Labor Day long weekend wasn’t even close with Don’t Breathe earning more over three days than any other film earned over four. There were a couple of other major stories as Suicide Squad hit $300 million on Monday and Bad Moms hit $100 million on Saturday. Given the production budgets of those two films, the latter has a lot more reasons to celebrate. As for the new releases, the studios will just be hoping no one remembers them in a few weeks. The Light Between Oceans missed the top five, while Morgan missed the top ten. The overall box office fell 16% to $99 million over the three-day weekend and $127 million including Monday. This is 8.9% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016’s lead over 2015 grew to $500 million at $7.98 billion to $7.48 billion. That’s a lead of 6.7%. It would take a real collapse for 2016 to lose at this rate.
September 4th, 2016
Don’t Breathe is pulling off an easy win at the box office this weekend, and will become in the process the first horror film to win two straight weekends since Ouija did so, with some help from Halloween, in 2014. With an estimated 3-day $15.7 million, Don’t Breathe is ahead of Suicide Squad, which will stay in the top two for a fifth straight weekend with $10 million or so. Its total stands at $297 million as of Sunday, and will pass $300 million tomorrow. The relative success of those two films prompts a question… where are the new releases?
September 2nd, 2016
This will be the shortest Thursday Night Previews column I’ve ever written, as no numbers were released. That’s a really bad sign for The Light Between Oceans and especially Morgan. Horror / thrillers tend to do well in previews, certainly better than dramas do. Assuming the numbers are not just really late because of the holiday, which is a safe assumption, then the weekend box office could be tragic. I’ll keep an eye out for numbers and I’ll update this story if any show up.
September 1st, 2016
Summer officially ends this week with Labor Day long weekend. For a lot of families, this is the last long weekend before school starts. (For other families, school has already started.) There are two films opening wide-ish this weekend. I thought Morgan would open in 2,500 theaters, but it is only opening in 2,020. That will hurt its box office chances. The Light Between Oceans is only opening in 1,500 theaters, which might prevent it from reaching the top five over the weekend. Don’t Breathe will likely remain in first place over the weekend, but I think Morgan will be closer than most people expected it to be. This weekend last year there was not a single film to earn more than $10 million over the three-day weekend. I think Don’t Breathe will top that, while Morgan will be relatively close. This should give 2016 the advantage in the year-over-year competition.
September 1st, 2016
August continued to pad 2016’s lead over 2015 in the year-over-year comparison. It managed this feat almost entirely due to Suicide Squad, which is on pace to hit $300 million. The next best film was Sausage Party, which might make $100 million, if it gets a push over the top. September won’t be as strong as that. This is no surprise, as the month is one of the biggest dumping grounds on the calendar. That said, studios have been working to make the end of the month a lot more productive and there are a few potential hits. The biggest of these is The Magnificent Seven, which is expected to crack $100 million, maybe even $150 million. Meanwhile, Sully and Storks both have a limited chance at $100 million. Last September, the biggest release of the month was Hotel Transylvania 2 with pulled in $169.70 million. I don’t think The Magnificent Seven will match that, so we might need a surprise $100 million hit for 2016 to come out on top.
August 25th, 2016
Next weekend is Labor Day, which is historically one of the worst long weekends at the box office. There are two wide releases debuting, Morgan and The Light Between Oceans. While the latter will likely have better legs, Morgan should start faster and because of that, it is the target film in this week's Box Office Prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Morgan.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprize consisting of a previously reviewed full-season TV on DVD release, two previously reviewed movies, or three single-disc kids DVDs.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a Frankenprize consisting of a previously reviewed full-season TV on DVD release, two previously reviewed movies, or three single-disc kids DVDs.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will win the final Frankenprize, as described above.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
Note: It is a long weekend, but we only use the three-day, Friday through Sunday box office for this contest.