In this family comedy, Mr. Popper, is a driven businessman who is clueless when it comes to the important things in life - until he inherits six penguins. Popper's penguins turn his swank New York apartment into a snowy winter wonderland - and the rest of his life upside-down. Filmed on a refrigerated soundstage with real Emperor Penguins, Mr. Popper's Penguins is a contemporary adaptation of the classic book.
||June 17th, 2011 (Wide) by 20th Century Fox, released as Mr. Popper's Penguins|
||December 6th, 2011 by Fox Home Entertainment, released as Mr. Popper's Penguins|
||PG for mild rude humor and some language.|
(Rating bulletin 2170, 5/4/2011)
||Mid-Life Crisis, Corporate Life, Inheritance, Dysfunctional Family, Animal Lead, Family Movie|
|Source:||Based on Fiction Book/Short Story|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Kids Fiction|
||20th Century Fox, Davis Entertainment, Dune Entertainment|
The Hangover II was the first of three new releases on top of this week's Blu-ray sales chart, selling 951,000 units while generating $16.89 million. Its opening week Blu-ray share was 42%, which was good for a comedy.
New releases took four or five of the top five spots on the DVD sales chart this week. (The Smurfs is a bit of a complicated case, but more on that in a second.) First place went to The Help with 1.75 million units sold generating $29.78 million in revenue.
Mr. Popper's Penguins was a mid-summer family film about penguins. Penguins immediately bring to mind visions of snow. So the timing of the theatrical release is a bit puzzling, but the home market release is perfectly timed. It was a moderate hit in theaters, but will it do better on the home market?
I hate this time for year, because of the holidays. Due to the five-day Thanksgiving long weekend and the Christmas shipping rush, screeners are even more likely to arrive late. Most of the prime releases I'm supposed to review are still on route. It makes it hard to keep up to date on reviews, plus it makes it really hard to figure out what the Pick of the Week should be. The Help is in contention, but I want to see the Blu-ray first. In the end, I went with the The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Extended Trilogy Box Set on Blu-ray.
For the third weekend in a row, The Smurfs earned first place on the international chart. This time they pulled in $26.82 million on 9,023 screens in 48 markets for a total of $258.27 million internationally and $384.22 million worldwide. It was a pretty slow weekend in terms of new releases (it earned $739,000 on 137 screens in Denmark) but that changes next weekend with an opening in Japan, while Australia and Italy are also just around the corner. Even if the film had no markets left to open in, it would still get to $300 million internationally and $400 million worldwide, but even with these three major markets, it probably won't hit any other major milestones.
After just 12 days of release, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 raced into second place for the year on the international chart with $564.36 million, putting it just ahead of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. This includes its weekend haul of $119.54 million, which was earned on 16,529 screens in 60 markets, while its worldwide total reached $837.90 million, putting it into third place for the year, just behind Dark of the Moon. It is still miles away from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which is nearing $800 million internationally. I'm not saying the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 won't get there, but I'm also unwilling to bet money it will.
It's Independence Day long weekend, which is generally one of the busiest weekend of the year. School kids are all out of school for summer, adults have Monday off, and it is the perfect time to celebrate by going to an air conditioned movie theater. Unfortunately, while there's a lot of hype surrounding the megawide release of the week, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the reality might not live up to the hype. It's already off to a slow start compared to last year's number one film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and since 2011 is still $400 million behind 2010, we can't afford a major loss this weekend.
Despite what critics thought of the film, Cars 2 proved popular with moviegoers while Bad Teacher was also a hit in its counter-programing role. Their combined effort helped the overall box office grow 15% from last weekend to $176 million. That's 7% higher than the same weekend last year, which gives 2011 a much-needed win. The year is still $400 million behind last year's pace at $4.90 billion to $5.30 billion, but even little victories are important. Remember, 2010 was ahead of of 2009 by $300 million at the beginning of October, but just three months later, that lead had completely evaporated. Hopefully the reverse can happen this time around and 2011 can squeeze out a victory. However, for that to happen, it needs to slowly chip away and close the deficit.
While the summer blockbuster season starts the first weekend in May, for many school kids the summer is only just about to get into full gear. Cars 2 is arguably the most anticipated kids movie of the summer, possibly of the year. However, there are some signs it might not live up to past Pixar releases with a few predicting it might actually become the studio's first miss at the box office. This is bad news, as 2011 has started to fall further behind 2010's pace after a few bright weeks in late spring and early summer. This weekend last year wasn't particularly strong when it comes to new releases with Toy Story 3 repeating in top spot with just under $60 million, so there was an opportunity for the box office to recover some ground. Unfortunately, the number one film this year might not match that figure and there's not as much depth either.
The overall box office box office this past weekend was as expected, more or less. A few of the films did a little bit better, a few missed expectations, but not by a lot. This helped the box office grow by 11% from last weekend to $153 million. Unfortunately, this weekend last year saw the release of Toy Story 3, which made $110 million by itself, so year-over-year there was a 23% drop-off. Year-to-date, 2011 is behind 2010 by 8% at $4.65 billion to $5.03 billion, but perhaps we can close that gap a little bit this coming weekend.
After a strong start to the summer, which actually began in late April, we could hit a real roadblock this weekend. The only film earning any kind of buzz is Green Lantern, and not all of that buzz is good. Additionally, this weekend last year was dominated by Toy Story 3, which opened with $110 million. There is a chance the top five films won't make that much this year.
After a strong May in which most weekends saw growth year-over-year, there is finally some real optimism at the box office. Will that continue this month? It might be tough, as last June was actually pretty good, all things considered. It was certainly busier. This time around there are only seven wide releases, but the lack of competition should help each individual film reach its full potential, and there's a chance five of the seven films will earn more than $100 million at the box office. If less than three of them reach the century mark, it would be a huge shock. On the other hand, there's nothing opening this month that will compare to Toy Story 3, which earned more than $400 million last year. The only one that has a real shot to come close is Transformers: Dark of the Moon. However, since that film opens on a Wednesday the 29th of June and the Friday is the 1st of July, it is more of a July release and we will preview it at the beginning of next month.
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