The new year starts off like most on the home market, rather weak. There are few first run releases coming out this week, most of which are terrible. We do have one top-notch release though, Duckman - Season Three and Four, which is clearly the DVD Pick of the Week.
There was a strong contingent of new releases this week, but it was a holdover that took top spot. Ghost Rider fell nearly 25%, but its weekly haul of $6.67 million was still enough to remain in first place while its two week total hit $15.53 million.
It's another slow week for DVDs, but this is good news in a sense as it gives me more time to do spotlight reviews -- seven of them in total.
(Of course, four of these were mini-spotlight reviews as they were almost a package release.)
When it comes to the best of the best there was really only one that stands out, Bridge to Terabithia - Buy from Amazon, but there are several others that are worth picking up.
Killer of Sheep saw its per theater average grow to $15,864 this weekend, which was enough to claim top spot just ahead of Black Book's average of $12,502.
Namesake proved that Kal Penn could lead a drama better than he does most of his comedies.
Over the weekend, the film pulled in nearly a quarter of a million dollars in just 6 theaters for an average of $41,425.
That was well ahead of the overall box office leader, 300 and its still fantastic $22,844.
The last film in the $10,000 club was a holdover, as Into Great Silence fell just 3.4% to $11,566 despite doubling its theater count to two.
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for The Wendell Baker Story, Made of Honor, Star Trek XI and more.
March, a month without a holiday. In fact, It's the only month without any holidays to help boost the box office and this prevents studios from releasing big blockbusters. However, it is not the weakest month either and there are a few midlevel hits coming out over the next four weeks and even a couple that could top $100 million
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for Miss Potter, DOA: Dead or Alive, Lions for Lambs and more.
's return to the international charts was a successful one as it just missed the top five with $6.37 million on 2192 screens in 40 markets. However, its international tally of $32.57 is still a terrible result given the film's production budget, which has been estimated to be north of $100 million. The film has one strong opening this weekend as it earned second place in the U.K. with $3.69 million on 489 screens. On the other hand, the film flopped in France missing the top ten with $762,000 on 347 screens and that was for the full week. It did little better in South Korea with $872,000 on 150 screens over the weekend and $969,000 in total while scoring $218,000 on 54 screens over the weekend in Belgium and $271,000 in total.
just missed the top five this past weekend and showed that Oscar nods
still meant something at the box office, at least internationally. The film added $5.16 million on 1467 screens for a total of $61.31 million so far. It was aided by a first place, $1.23 million opening on 256 screens in Russia, but that is one of the film's last significant openings.
For the second weekend in a row Apocalypto
earned sixth place on the international charts, this time pulling in 7.03 million on 2308 screens for a total of $47.42 million. Its best market of the weekend was Mexico where it had an easy first place finish with $2.43 million on 502 screens over the weekend and $2.66 million including previews. It was also strong during its second weekend in Spain as it was down 40% to $1.17 million on 284 screens for a total of $3.64 million.
slipped out of the top five this week, but still has plenty of reason to celebrate as the film hit $100 million on the international scene. Over the weekend it added $8.16 million on 3104 screens in 45 markets to its running tally of $102.54 million. This includes Mexico where the film opened with a respectable third place earning $711,000 on 230 screens while it took fourth place in Argentina with $153,000 on 40.
The last weekend of the year normally brings with it several Oscar contenders, and this year it was no different. With the sheer number of high profile Oscar hopefuls, there's no surprise that so many were able to top $10,000 on the per theater.
Leading the way was Pan's Labyrinth with more than $500,000 in just 17 theaters for an average of $33,449.
Children of Men was just behind with an average of $31,313 during its first full weekend of release.
Notes on a Scandal was well back but still performed very well with more than $400,000 in 22 theaters for an average of $18,840.
Letters from Iwo Jima slipped a mere 1.31% to $17,586 and is shaping up to be a bigger hit than its companion film, Flags of Our Fathers.
Dreamgirls expanded into a semi-wide release and earned more than $14 million in 852 theaters for an average of $16,549; this is better than Chicago ever did, but that film showed better legs.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer did well with an average of $12,360; it expands into more than 250 theaters this Friday, but that could be as far as it goes if it shows any sign of weakness at the box office.
The final film to top $10,000 was Venus, which dipped less than 4% to $11,443.
It is the beginning of a new year. A time to start fresh. So why do most of the new releases smell so stale? It's the January dumping ground, home to films that looked promising on paper but just didn't pan out.
That doesn't mean there are no films that could be worth checking out.
Out of the twelve new films opening wide this month (that's opening, not expanding), Smokin' Aces looks great and so does ... no, that's about it.
Almost all of the new releases are likely to struggle at the box office and with critics alike.
And to make matters worse, six of these new releases are going wide on the same weekend.
This is complete madness and guarantees that at least two films that would otherwise succeed are going to fail.
On the other hand, there are nearly a dozen films that have previously opened and are expanding wide (Children of Men and Pan's Labyrinth, for example), or are being re-released to grab some last minute Oscar buzz,
(The Queen and The Last King of Scotland, among others).
This makes for an incredibly busy month, but not one that will likely produce many hits.
Two additional notes...
Firstly, Letters from Iwo Jima is expanding throughout the month but likely won't go wide until February.
Secondly, The Dead Girl has a planned expansion on the 19th, but after struggling in limited release since opening last weekend, this seems unlikely.
Another abridged list with just the sites for movies opening this week, and two others. While there is less than a dozen films on this week list, the first one, Arthur and the Invisibles
- Official Site
, is worthy of the Weekly Website Award.
Another busy week for new releases with eight films coming out, more than half that were obviously made for Oscar glory. While it is unlikely that any will be the big winner on Oscar night, I could see four of the films at least earning some nominations.
led the way when the Golden Globe
nominations were announced today with seven nominations while The Departed
was close behind with six.
Good week for websites with a number of candidates for the top spot. In the end I went with Ghost Rider
- Official Site
, but there's a few others here that will undoubtedly win in the coming weeks.