There were plenty of new releases spread throughout the top 30 on this week's sales chart. Leading the way was Couples Retreat with 1.36 million units sold, generating $21.79 million in opening week sales.
New releases were able to take four of the top five spots on this week's sales chart. This includes Zombieland, which took the top spot with 975,000 units and $16.15 million in opening week consumer spending at retail.
Michael Jackson's This Is It was pushed into second place with a solid weekly total of 562,000 units, to lift its total to 2.08 million units and $33.22 million. Love Happens opened in third place with a mere 236,000 units for a total of $4.72 million during its opening week. Amelia also struggled with debut sales of just 205,000 units ($3.69 million). The direct-to-DVD release Planet Hulk opened in fifth place with 153,000 units / $2.32 million, which is strong for this type of release.
Four new releases reached the top 30 on this week's sales chart; however, they finished in the four top spots.
Leading the way was Michael Jackson's This Is It with 1.51 million units sold and $24.22 million in consumer spending at retail.
It's a soft week at the top, as the biggest release of the week is Michael Jackson's This Is It. There are a few other wide releases hitting the home market as well, but all the rest were box office disappointments of varying degrees. This Is It is a good movie and the DVD / Blu-ray are worth picking up, but they are not Pick of the Week material. For that we have to look to a smaller Canadian film, Pontypool, which earned excellent reviews while the DVD gets a rarely-awarded Puck of the Week.
There were two movies that cracked the $100 million level on this week's international chart, including the new number one film, The Twilight Saga - New Moon, which opened with $124.22 million on 6,578 screens in 24 markets over the weekend for a total opening of $136.01 million.
Its best opening came in the U.K. where it pulled in $19.38 million on 497 screens, while it also cracked $10 million in a number of major markets, some of which reached the mark if you include midweek numbers.
In France, it made $17 million on 751 screens, which was the ninth best American release in that market.
In Spain, the film made $15.16 million on 634 screens, which includes the third best Wednesday opening in that market.
Australia and Italy had nearly identical openings with the former pulling in $14.85 million on 530 screens and the latter earning $14.34 million.
Brazil was also impressive with $11.22 million on 411 screens.
2012 crushed the competition with $166.19 million on 12,943 screens in 76 markets and $231.43 million worldwide over its debut weekend.
This is the fifth best international opening of all time, and is massively better than expected.
The film's biggest market was Russia where it pulled in $16.31 million on 840 screens, while it topped $10 million in Germany ($12.53 million on 756 screens) and the U.K. ($10.83 million on 480 screens).
Other major markets included Spain ($8.56 million on 606 screens), South Korea ($8.26 million on 855 screens over the weekend and $10.04 million in total), Italy ($7.64 million on 532), Australia ($5.67 million on 405), Brazil ($5.29 million on 550) and Mexico ($5.03 million on 780).
Great news at the box office, as the number one film topped expectations by a significant margin.
In fact, the top three films all did much better than expected.
On the down side, the rest of the films we talked about on Thursday struggled and this hurt the overall box office.
The total take was up 16.9% from last weekend at $140 million, but this was 5.8% lower than the same weekend last year.
Year to date, 2009 has pulled in $8.91 billion, which is 7.0% higher than last year's pace, and by this time next week 2009 will be only the seventh year to cross $9 billion in total ticket sales.
Just the one truly wide release this week, but we also have a semi-wide release that could sneak its way into the top ten, as well as a limited release that is expanding.
That wide release, 2012, is a disaster flick, which might be the best word to describe the overall box office, at least compared to last year.
Very few people think 2012 will top the $67.5 million opening of Quantum of Solace, which debuted this weekend last year.
In fact, if it misses that mark by a mere $10 million, I think a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised, while if it is short by $20 million or more, not too many people will be shocked.
Additionally, the holdovers are going to get crushed in this comparison as well, so there is almost no chance that 2009 will come out ahead.
It's a matter of minimizing the damage.
This Is It saw its weekend haul fall 42% internationally, but it still stood on top with $29.50 million on 8,623 screens in 76 markets for a total of $129.23 million internationally and $186.24 million worldwide.
The film reached $100 million internationally early in the weekend and could reach $200 million worldwide, perhaps before this weekend.
The film held on well in Japan to remain in first place with $3.93 million on 322 screens for a total of $23.52 million.
It also remained in first place in Australia with $1.74 million on 292 screens over the weekend for a total of $6.80 million.
On the other hand, it was down 72% in the U.K. and fell to second place with $2.27 million on 486 screens over the weekend for a total of $13.61 million, also after two.
It was a mixed weekend at the box office as the overall ticket sales reached $120 million. This was 32% higher than last weekend; however, Halloween had a lot to do with that. More importantly, it was 16% lower than the same weekend last year. Even so, 2009 remains solidly ahead of 2008 by a 7.3% margin. In fact, its total of $8.72 billion is not only well ahead of last year's pace of $8.13 billion, it is almost as much as 2005 in total, and is already the eighth best yearly total ever.
Disney's A Christmas Carol got off to a disappointing start over the weekend, according to studio estimates.
While a $31 million debut is nothing to sniff at, it's well below expectations and might leave the movie outside the top 50 November weekends (see list).
This might be a case of opening a Christmas movie too soon, and Disney will be looking for long legs through Thanksgiving and into the Holiday Season proper, so all is not lost yet, but the next couple of weeks will be key.
The winners of our Predict It contest were determined and they are...
The holiday season unofficial starts this weekend with the first Christmas release of the year.
Disney's A Christmas Carol is clearly the favorite to top the chart, but it is the only big release coming out this week, and it is unlikely to match last year's winner, Madagascar 2.
This means 2009 will have a tough time keeping up with last year's pace.
There was a new number on film on the international chart this past weekend, as This Is It took top spot with $51.07 million on 8910 screens in 74 markets over the weekend for a total of $68.93 million. Individual markets were led by the U.K. where it pulled in first place with $7.96 million on 498 screens, while it also led in Germany with $6.3 million on 930 screens, France with $5.8 million on 484, Japan with $5.75 million on 321, and Australia with $3.35 million on 293. In all of these markets the film did better than it did here, given the relative sizes involved, but it was still below expectations after all of the talk about record-breaking pre-orders for tickets. Other major markets include Italy where it opened in third place with $2.16 million on 478 screens over the weekend and $3.19 million in total, while it earned second in Spain with $2.04 million on 377 screens over the weekend and $2.72 million in total. In Russia it only managed fourth place with $873,000 on 231 screens while it only managed sixth place with $325,000 on 210 screens over the weekend and $422,000 in total.
It was a tough weekend at the box office, then again, that's always the case when Halloween lands on a weekend. Halloween in one of the worst days at the box office; it's almost as bad as Christmas Eve. And at least with Christmas Eve, you have Christmas Day to look forward to. The overall box office was down 21.8% from last weekend to just $91 million; however, that was 3.5% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 remains well head of 2008 at $8.56 billion to $7.95 billion.
Michael Jackson's This Is It topped the box office chart in the United States this weekend, but with a relatively disappointing $21.3 million Friday to Sunday, according to Sony's estimates.
While that's good for a concert/documentary film, it's some way behind the $31.1 million opening three-day weekend of the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert released in 2008.
In fact, This Is It's five day total of $32.5 million only just beats out the Disney concert pic.
This Is It got off to a record-breaking start, kind of, while the rest of the top five will be filled with holdovers over Halloween weekend. This weekend last year Halloween was on a Friday, while this year it is on Saturday, neither of which help the box office one bit. But it won't take too much for the number one film this year to top the number one film from last year, and the rest of the box office should follow suit.
This Is It gets off to an early start tonight for its scheduled two-week run. Will the concert film / behind-the-scenes documentary perform as well as some are expecting, or is this a movie that is just for the hardcore Michael Jackson fans?
There's only one wide release next week, Michael Jackson's This Is It, and it could be a record-breaking film. Or it could bomb. I really have no clue. The only thing I know for sure is that it is the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office of Michael Jackson's This Is It.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of Mitch Fatel is Magical on DVD and The Backyardigans - Robot Repairman on DVD.
Meanwhile, 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 copy of Mitch Fatel is Magical on DVD and The Backyardigans - Robot Repairman on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
September ended with a thud, but at least there's good news. September has finally ended. Last month more movies missed expectations that topped them, which has put a cooling effect on the overall box office and that could hurt the business going into this month. October should still be stronger than last month, and since October of last year wasn't particularly great, 2009 should at least maintain its lead over 2008 going into the holiday season, even if it isn't as strong every single week.