The entire Muppets gang goes on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic “Number Two” Badguy.
||March 21st, 2014 (Wide) by Walt Disney|
||August 12th, 2014 by Buena Vista Home Entertainment|
||PG for some mild action.|
(Rating bulletin 2293, 10/9/2013)
||Gratuitous Cameos, Doppelganger, Heist, Falsely Accused, Mistaken Identity, Puppets in a Live Action World, Breaking the Fourth Wall, Intertitle, Prison Break, Prologue, Backstage, Animal Lead, Talking Animals, Interspecies Romance, Character's Journey Shown on Map, Interpol, C.I.A., Talent Contest, Police Procedural, Scene in End Credits, Invented Language|
|Source:||Based on TV|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Kids Fiction|
It's a slow and shallow week on the home market. Not only are there no prime releases, we quickly run into filler as we look down the list of best selling new releases on Amazon.com. The biggest release of the week is Muppets Most Wanted, which is one of nine reviews on this week's list. It is also the best release of the week and the best choice for Pick of the Week. Next week should be more interesting, as TV on DVD season begins.
The Muppets was the first Muppet movie in more than a decade, but it was a big hit with critics and did very well in theaters for a live action family film. A sequel was inevitable, but as the opening song of Muppets Most Wanted, the sequel is rarely as good as the original. Is this the case here? Is it one of the rare exceptions? If not, is it still good enough to check out?
So the first weekend of April was amazing. Not only did Game of Thrones set a series record for ratings (and the best for HBO since The Sopranos) but Captain America: The Winter Soldier set the April opening weekend of all time. Its opening was on the high end of expectations, which is great news, and this strength helped the overall box office grow by 19% from last weekend to $167 million. This is also 24% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 now has $2.55 billion, which is 7% more than 2013's running tally of $2.38 billion.
It is the first weekend in April, which means one thing... Game of Thrones returns! Also, Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens domestically. The film already opened internationally and was a much bigger hit than its predecessor was in the markets it debuted in, which bodes well for its opening here. On the other hand, it scared away all other films and there's no competition opening in wide release and it could take a real bite out of the holdovers. That said, this weekend last year, the biggest hit of the weekend was Evil Dead, which only made $25.78 million and The Winter Soldier could earn four times that over the weekend.
March is over and it ended on a bit of a down note. Noah topped expectations, but not every film managed to do the same. For instance, Sabotage barely avoided the Mendoza Line. Overall the box office was down less than $1 million, or 0.7%, when compared to last weekend. Compared to last year, the box office was down 5%, which isn't great, but given how strong 2014 has been, it is hardly a reason to panic. In fact, year-to-date, 2014 has a 6% lead over 2013 at $2.35 billion to $2.22 billion.
The final weekend in March is a busy one with two wide releases, possibly two wide expansions, and a semi-wide release that could reach the top ten. Noah is the wider of the two wide releases and should have little trouble earning first place over the weekend. On the other hand, there is a chance Sabotage won't reach the top five. Both Bad Words and The Grand Budapest Hotel are expanding wide, or widish. The Grand Budapest Hotel should pop into the top five, but not everyone thinks Bad Words will reach the top ten. Finally, Cesar Chavez is opening in more than 600 theaters and there is a chance it will reach the top ten. This weekend last year was led by G.I. Joe: Retaliation with just over $40 million. Noah could get there, but even if it does, I don't think the other films will hold their end of the bargain and 2014 will finally lose in the year-over-year comparison.
This weekend, there were two new wide releases at the box office. One was a big hit and the other struggled. Also, one was a hit with critics and one was not. Sadly, the critical miss was a box office hit with Divergent earning more than $50 million while Muppets Most Wanted failed to reach $20 million. Overall, the total box office this weekend was $141 million, which is 24% more than last weekend. It is also more than the same weekend last year, but by less than 2%. Year-to-date, 2014 is 8% ahead of 2013 at $2.16 billion to $2.01 billion.
Another week, another pair of wide releases. That's becoming a common thing to say. It is also a good thing to say, because too many movies tend to hurt all films involved and it is much better to have one big release and the counter-programing film. This week the big release is Divergent, which the studio is hoping will be the start of a new franchise. The box office tracking for the film looks good, even if the reviews do not. The counter-programing this week is Muppets Most Wanted, which is also opening with a saturation level theater count and it looks to do as well as The Muppets did. Last year there was also a strong one-two punch with The Croods topping Olympus has Fallen $43.64 million to $30.37 million. I'm not sure that Muppets Most Wanted will hold up its end of the bargain, but Divergent is poised for an opening of at least $50 million. It looks likes 2014 will again win over 2013.
2014 continued its strong run in February with The Lego Movie beating even the high end expectations and will become the first film released in 2014 to reach $200 million. March doesn't look as strong, as no film is on track to hit $200 million, but there are five films that have a chance at $100 million. Granted, not all of them will get there; in fact, there's a chance only one of them will get there. Divergent is the film I think has the best shot at the century club, but it could be joined by Mr. Peabody and Sherman, for instance, which is earning surprisingly strong reviews. Noah is a big-budget Bible epic and the studio has to be hoping for at least $100 million, but the buzz is quite negative and there have been reports of troubles behind-the-scenes. Last March was led by Oz The Great and Powerful, which pulled in more than $200 million domestically. I don't think any film opening this March will match that figure. In addition, The Croods and G.I. Joe: Retaliation also hit the $100 million milestone, while Olympus Has Fallen came very close. Granted, there were also some big bombs last March, like The Host, but even so, I think 2014 will lose ground in the year-over-year comparison.
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