Take out the trash, eat your broccoli - who needs moms, anyway? Nine-year-old Milo finds out just how much he needs his mom when she's nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Mars Needs Moms" showcases Milo's quest to save his mom - a wild and funny adventure that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multilevel planet and taking on the alien nation and their Supervisor. With the help of a tech-savvy, gadget-happy, '80s-speaking underground Earthman named Gribble and a rebel Martian girl called Ki, Milo just might find his way back to his mom - in more ways than one.
||March 11th, 2011 (IMAX) by Walt Disney|
March 11th, 2011 (Wide) by Walt Disney
||August 9th, 2011 by Walt Disney Home Entertainment|
||PG for sci-fi action and peril.|
(Rating bulletin 2152, 12/22/2010)
||Visual Effects, Non-Chronological, Invented Language, Unnamed Character, Alien Invasion, Rescue, Kidnap, Coming of Age, 3-D, Voiceover/Narration, IMAX: DMR, Mars|
|Source:||Based on Fiction Book/Short Story|
|Production Method:||Digital Animation|
|Creative Type:||Science Fiction|
||Walt Disney Pictures, ImageMovers|
New releases were particularly weak this past week, and none of them were able to unseat Rio on the DVD sales chart. It sold an additional 636,000 units and generated $9.53 million more dollars in sales, pushing its running tallies to 2.27 million units and $34.01 million. It is already in six place for 2011 (fifth place if you don't count Despicable Me, which was released in 2010).
Despite six new releases in the top ten on the Blu-ray sales chart this past week, Rio was able to remain on top with 261,000 units / $7.30 million over the week and 1.29 million units / $28.67 million after two.
This week's list is highly frustrating for two reasons. Firstly, while there's a pretty big list of first-run releases, many of which had some pre-release buzz, almost none of them matched expectations. Secondly, my internet access kept cutting out, so it took till 4:30 a.m. to get this done, and by the end I was swearing nearly constantly. (Even 15 minutes of the Smooth Jazz Nyan Cat wasn't enough to calm my nerves.) Moving on... There were two main contenders for Pick of the Week, Paul on Blu-ray and Stargate: Atlantis: Complete Series Megaset on Blu-ray. In the end I went with the latter, partially because the screener for the former hasn't shown up yet.
Mars Needs Moms will go down as the year's biggest flop (unless something bigger comes along later in the year) and was a major reason for the closure of the studio responsible, ImageMovers Digital. The film cost $150 million to make and made only $40 million worldwide, which is beyond disappointing. However, it doesn't necessarily mean the film itself is bad and perhaps it was unfairly overlooked at the box office. Is that the case?
It was another poor weekend at the box office and none of the new wide releases were blockbusters, but on the plus side, none were bombs either. The overall box office was down 11% from last weekend to $115 million, which was 9% lower than the same weekend last year. However, that was actually much better than 2011 has managed for most of the year. Year-to-date, 2011 is still off of 2010's pace by 20% at $2.52 billion to $2.02 billion and that likely won't change till Memorial day. Hopefully it won't be too late to turn things around by then.
The North American box office showed further glimmers of hope this weekend, with no less than five movies vying for top spot on the chart, and Limitless handily beating expectations to finish first. Its $19 million debut is the best so far for Relativity Media's fledgling distribution organization. Overall, however, box office will be down around 10% from last year, continuing a losing streak that will almost certainly extend to cover the entire first quarter.
While Battle: Los Angeles easily won the race at the box office this weekend, that was practically the only bit of good news, as it was the only film in the top five to top expectations. Overall the box office pulled in $129 million, which was 3% lower than last weekend and 12% lower than the same weekend last year. On the other hand, this is actually better than average for the year so far. Year-to-date, 2011 is just over 20% behind last year's pace at $1.85 billion to $2.33 billion.
Battle: Los Angeles posted an estimated opening of $36 million to win the weekend, and give the market another boost after Rango's solid debut last week.
With Rango itself dropping only 40% to a shade over $23 million the total weekend box office should be about 12% below last year, which is actually an improvement over recent weeks, although it continues a months-long slump.
And the weekend brought some very bad news for Disney, whose Mars Needs Moms had a catastrophic $6.8 million opening weekend, on a budget reported at $150 million.
Three films open at saturation level theater counts this weekend, and last weekend's number one film is still playing in over 3,000 theaters, so we could have a lot of depth in terms of box office strength. This time last year we had four wide releases, none of which were major hits. On the other hand, there was also Alice in Wonderland, which made more than $60 million during its sophomore stint alone. There's no film opening this weekend that can match that figure. In fact, all three films combined might not match that figure and 2011 will again lose ground against 2010.
This is going to suck. February wasn't exactly a banner month at the box office and 2011 is already roughly $400 million behind 2010's pace. To make matters worse, last March broke records starting with the release of Alice in Wonderland. There is no movie coming out this month that will come close to Alice in Wonderland's performance; in fact, the number one film this March will likely not do as well as the second best film from last March. The best case scenario has the month producing three $100 million movies, plus a number of midlevel hits, while still failing to match last year's pace by about $100 million. The worst case scenario has two of the three potential $100 million hits missing that mark, plus the midlevel hits also struggling. In that case, we could end March about $300 million further behind 2010's pace. (Hopefully things will start to turn around in April.)
IMAX released their 2010 numbers and they had a lot of reasons to celebrate, more than 500 million of them. Total worldwide revenues doubled from their previous record of $270 million in 2009 to $546 million in 2010. This is partially due to increased market penetration, especially internationally (international revenue tripled from $70 million to $212 million) but their per theater revenue also grew by an impressive 50%. Revenue for the fourth quarter was also up compared to last year, but by a tiny margin at $102 to $101 million. However, this should be considered a solid result, as last year was boosted by Avatar, and there was nothing that came close to matching its box office this year.
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