September 27th, 2016
It is a pretty good week on the home market with a few releases worth picking up. The biggest of these is Central Intelligence, but while it is worth picking up, it isn’t a contender for Pick of the Week. There are some smaller releases that were up for that title, including The Shallows, An American Werewolf in London and The Innocents. However, in the end, I went with Captain America: Civil War. The Blu-ray screener arrived late, and I held off on naming it Pick of the Week when it came out for that very reason.
August 19th, 2016
War Dogs got off to a surprisingly strong start with $1.9 million during its midnight previews last night. This is about 20% more than Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates made a few weeks ago. The two films are great comparisons, but we don’t have a lot of other films to work with. This is good news for the film and makes it likely that it will beat predictions by a small margin.
July 16th, 2016
Ghostbusters topped the box office chart on Friday with $17.2 million. This is the best opening day for the director, Paul Feig, topping his previous champ, The Heat by 25%. If this film has the same internal multiplier as The Heat, then it will earn $49 million over the weekend. This seems a little high, but not out of the question. Ghostbusters’ reviews are better than The Heat’s reviews were, although both films earned B+ from CinemaScore surveys. On the other hand, Ghostbusters is a remake, so that tends to make the movie more front-loaded. Look for an opening weekend of $45 million. This is right on the edge between financial success and failure. The film will need help internationally in order to break even, but it is way too soon to know if that will happen.
July 14th, 2016
This weekend is rather sparse when it comes to wide releases. Ghostbusters opens this weekend and its buzz and reviews are better than expected and it could be a huge hit. On the other hand, The Secret Life of Pets opened with more than $100 million last weekend and unless it falls more than 50% this weekend, it will remain in first place. That doesn’t feel likely at this point. On the other hand, The Infiltrator opened on Wednesday, but in less than 2,000 theaters. Its reviews are barely in the overall positive range, so it likely won’t be a major factor over the weekend. This weekend last year, Ant-Man opened in first place, pushing Minions into second place. Meanwhile, Trainwreck was a solid midlevel hit. I just don’t see 2016 being able to top that depth.
July 12th, 2016
As expected, The Secret Life of Pets earned first place on the weekend box office chart. However, almost no one was expecting it to dominate the way that it did with $104.35 million. There are some calling this film the best opening for a non-franchise animation film, but let’s face the facts... Universal started work on two or three sequels as soon as Friday’s Estimates came in. Meanwhile, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates has a good opening in the role of counter-programming with $16.63 million. Overall, the box office pulled in $217 million, which was 14% more than last weekend. More importantly, it is 1.3% more than the same weekend last year. Granted, this is lower than ticket price inflation, but since most people assumed the weekend would suffer a serious decline, this should be seen as a major victory. Year-to-date, 2016’s lead over 2015 grew a tiny bit hitting 2.4% at $6.00 billion to $5.86 billion.
July 10th, 2016
The Secret Life of Pets is storming to a massive opening weekend at the box office, with Universal projecting a $103.2 million debut for the Illumination Entertainment animated film. That’s just shy of the $115.7 million made by Minions this weekend last year, and the best opening ever by a non-sequel or spin-off animated film. This performance is particularly significant for Illumination, because it’s their first blockbuster from outside the Despicable Me universe.
July 8th, 2016
The Secret Life of Pets earned $5.3 million during its previews last night. This is not as much as the $6.24 million Minions made last year. It is higher than the $4.7 million Despicable Me 2 earned. (Despicable Me opened before previews were standard and only pulled in $590,000.) Its reviews have slipped to 76% positive, but that’s still good enough to suggest good legs. $80 million is more likely now than it was yesterday, but direct competition could prevent that from happening.
July 7th, 2016
It should be a good weekend at the box office, at least for The Secret Life of Pets. The film is earning great reviews and should become the biggest hit of the month. There is one downside: the competition. There are a lot of options for families among the films currently in theaters, plus another movie from a long-running franchise opening soon. Also opening this week is Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, which is an R-rated comedy hoping to survive in the counter-programming role. It could become a midlevel hit, or it could fail to open in the top five. This weekend last year, Minions opened with $115.72 million. The Secret Life of Pets is not going to top that. 2016 has better depth, but likely not by enough to win in the year-over-year comparison.
July 1st, 2016
The Secret Life of Pets will have no trouble beating Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates at the box office next weekend. It will earn more during its opening weekend than Mike and Dave will earn in total. Because of this, it is the obvious choice for 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 The Secret Life of Pets.
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 Joseph and Mary on DVD, as well as one other previously reviewed DVD or Blu-ray.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a Frankenprize, consisting of two previously reviewed DVDs or Blu-rays.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will also win a Frankenprize, consisting of two previously reviewed DVDs or Blu-rays.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
July 1st, 2016
It's July 1st, which is Canada Day. To celebrate, I wanted to give a gift to my American readers down south, so here's a bunch of "u"s. U, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u, u. Now you can spell words like "colour" and "neighbour" correctly. As for the July preview... June wasn't a good month, despite Finding Dory being on pace to become the biggest hit of the year so far. Most other films failed to match expectations and as a result, 2016's lead over 2015 has nearly evaporated. In fact, ticket sales are below last year's pace. So how does July look in comparison? Well, last July, there were five films that earned more than $100 million, led by Minions, which earned more than $300 million. This July, there are five films that should earn more than $100 million, led by The Secret Life of Pets, which should earned around $250 million. I don't think July 2016 will live up to July 2015, but it should be close. Maybe if one of the expected midlevel hits is a surprise $100 million hit, or if two more of the $100 million hits crack $200 million, then the month will look great. Or one of the expected $100 million hits could flop and 2016 will actually fall behind 2015, even without taking into account ticket price inflation.