MS One is an experimental prison in space where the 500 most dangerous criminals on planet Earth are kept in an artificial sleep. Leading a humanitarian mission, the daughter of the US president, Emilie Warnock arrives on board the station, just as an unprecedentedly violent mutiny breaks out. Emilie and the crew of MS One are taken hostage by the inmates. President Warnock decides to send Agent Snow to MS One with the sole mission of saving Emilie and nobody else...
||April 13th, 2012 (Wide) by Open Road|
||July 17th, 2012 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
||PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and language including some sexual references.|
(Rating bulletin 2209, 2/8/2012)
||Space Program, Prison Break, Rescue, Prison, Wrongfully Convicted|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Science Fiction|
||Luc Bessan, Film District, EuropaCorp, Canal Plus|
There were quite a few new releases to reach the Blu-ray sales chart this week, including three in the top five. However, the top two spots were held by holdovers: Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Batman Begins sold 313,000 units / $3.11 million for the week for approximate total sales of 1.8 million units / $23 million. The Dark Knight sold 280,000 units and generating just under $6.00 million for the week and has now sold 7.3 million units sold and generated $116 million in total revenue. It is very likely the best-selling Blu-ray of all time overtaking Avatar, although Avatar did generate more total revenue. (Unfortunately, it started on Blu-ray while the market was small enough that there's uncertainty with early numbers.)
New releases dominated the DVD sales chart taking three of the top five spots and six of the top eleven. This includes a new number one film, The Three Stooges, which sold 378,000 units while generating $7.55 million in opening week revenue. This is a good start compared to its theatrical run, but not a great start. Additionally, it didn't have a strong theatrical run, so this is more damning it with faint praise.
It's broken record time. As is usual for this time of year, it is a slow week on the home market. There are two first run releases coming out, Lockout and The Three Stooges, but neither film was a box office hit. On the other hand, there are a number of catalogue titles (Singin' In the Rain); limited releases (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen); and TV on DVD releases (Sanctuary: The Complete Fourth Season). All three of those releases are contenders for Pick of the Week, but in the end I went with Leverage: Season Four.
Every single film in the top five either matched or exceeded expectations, Think Like a Man more than doubled its predictions, but it still wasn't enough to match last year's total. Granted, there was still reason to celebrate, as the box office soared 18% when compared to last week reaching $135 million over the weekend, while the box office fell short of last year's total by less than 0.5%, so it is hardly a reason to panic. Additionally, 2012 is still ahead of 2011 by a massive 17% margin at $3.14 billion to $2.69 billion. Next weekend will be a disaster, but the weekend after that is the start of summer, and analysts are bullish on the overall box office chances.
The overall box office went about as well as expected over the weekend; however, that's not particularly good news, as expectations were low to begin with. The Hunger Games remained on top of the box office for the fourth time, making it the first film since Avatar to accomplish that feat. However, there wasn't a lot of celebrate over the weekend, as the box office fell 8% from last weekend to $114 million. More importantly, this was 12% lower than the same weekend last year, making this the worst year-over-year decline of 2012. That said, 2012 still has a massive lead on 2011 up $2.98 billion to $2.50 billion and if the summer is as good as the first part of the year was, that lead will be even greater by the time the Fall rolls around.
The Hunger Games will enjoy a fourth straight weekend at the top of the box office chart, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. With a $21.5 million weekend, the film moves to about $337 million in total, by far the biggest hit of 2012 so far. The Three Stooges and The Cabin in the Woods will both post decent openings, with $17.1 million and $14.85 million respectively, but neither has broken out of their core demographics enough for a win.
After a fantastic three-month run in which 2012 only lost once in the year-over-year comparison and built a 20% lead over 2011, it looks like the box office is returning normal. This weekend there are three films opening wide: The Cabin in the Woods, Lockout, and The Three Stooges. However, despite the number of new releases, there are many who think The Hunger Games will remain on top for the fourth weekend in a row. This would be terrible news for everyone, with the possible exception of Lionsgate, which is the distributor for both The Hunger Games and The Cabin in the Woods, as it is a sign of profound weakness at the box office. How weak is the box office? There is a chance that all three films combined won't open with as much as last year's number one film, Rio, opened with. And there's a chance none of the new wide releases will open with as much as the second place film, Scream 4, opened with. There's little hope 2012 will walk away with a win this time around.
There's good news / bad news going forward into April. First the good news, aside from one week where we saw a minor dip, March was fantastic. There were a number of films beating expectations and the overall the month was even stronger than predicted. As of this weekend, the box office is now 20% higher than the same pace last year. The bad news? That winning streak will certainly come to an end in April. Last year, there was one film that reached $200 million, Fast Five, plus two others that reached $100 million, Hop and Rio. Granted, due to the shifting calendar, Hop is actually being compared to the last weekend in March, so this April only needs one $200 million hit and a $150 million hit to keep pace. But even so, there's almost no chance that will happen. In fact, there's a chance that we might not have one film topping $100 million this year. Only three films have a real shot at this milestone: American Reunion, Five-Year Engagement, and Titanic 3D. And quite frankly, only the first one has a 50/50 chance of getting there. We will likely see 2012 shed some of its lead over 2011, but it should still end the month with a solid year-over-year lead.
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