Russell Baze has a rough life: he works a dead-end blue collar job at the local steel mill by day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night. When Russell’s brother Rodney returns home from serving time in Iraq, he gets lured into one of the most ruthless crime rings in the Northeast and mysteriously disappears. The police fail to crack the case, so—with nothing left to lose—Russell takes matters into his own hands, putting his life on the line to seek justice for his brother.
||December 4th, 2013 (Limited) by Relativity|
December 6th, 2013 (Expands Wide) by Relativity
||March 11th, 2014 by Fox Home Entertainment|
||R for strong violence, language and drug content.|
(Rating bulletin 2292, 10/2/2013)
||Life on the Outside, Poverty, Boxing, Organized Crime, Missing Person, Revenge, Unbelieving Police, Interracial Romance, Terminal Illness, Returning Soldiers, Bare Knuckle Fighting, Life in a Small Town, Underground / Illegal Fighting, Throwing a Fight / Match|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
||Relativity Media, Red Granite Pictures|
If you look over at Amazon.com, the best-selling new release of the week is The Book Thief. This film made just over $20 million at the box office, which is amazing for a limited release. However, it is still a limited release on top of the new releases. That tells you how slow this week is on the home market. Fortunately, last Friday The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack and I'm including it on this week's list as well. There are a number of other releases that are worth picking up, including The Patience Stone on DVD, In Fear on DVD, and Inside Llewyn Davis on Blu-ray. However, while there is some competition, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Blu-ray Combo Pack is the Pick of the Week.
Out of the Furnace came out the weekend after Thanksgiving, which is a dead zone at the box office. Despite being in the heart of the winter holidays (Thanksgiving through New Year's Day) the weekend after Thanksgiving is often times among the worst weekend of the year for wide releases. That was certainly the case in 2013 and Out of the Furnace was part of the problem. Is it as bad as its box office numbers would indicate? Or did it fail to find an audience in part because of the release date?
It's a good news / bad news weekend at the box office. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug earned first place with ease earning the fourth biggest December opening weekend of all time. On the other hand, it was a little weaker than expected opening on the low end of predictions. Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas also underperformed by a significant degree, which didn't help the overall box office. The overall box office rose 59% to $147 million, which seems like a huge amount, till you realize last weekend was the weekend after Thanksgiving, which is historically one of the worst weekends of the year. If there wasn't a massive jump at the box office, it would have been fatal for the month. This was also higher than the same weekend last year, albeit by a smaller margin of 6%. Year-to-date, 2013 is still ahead of 2012, but by less than 0.5% at $9.90 million to $9.85 million.
The winners of our Out of the Fire contest were determined and they are...
There are four noteworthy releases this week, although a couple of them are opening in limited release and expanding wide over the next couple of weeks. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug expected to be the biggest hit of the month, but not as big as An Unexpected Journey. Meanwhile Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas should be solid as counter-programming and better legs than most Tyler Perry. This weekend last year, An Unexpected Journey opened with $84.62 million. Most expect The Desolation of Smaug to miss that figure, perhaps by more than $10 million. However, the second best film last year was Rise of the Guardians, which only made $7.14 million. 2013 likely won't be as strong at the top, but it will certainly have better depth.
As expected, the box office was really soft this weekend with Frozen rising to the top with over $30 million. It was the only film that earned more than that amount, while The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the only other film with significantly more than $5 million. Out of the Furnace was the only new release and while it barely topped $5 million, it still managed third place. The overall box office fell from 56% to just $92 million. As bad as that result is, it is still 15% higher than the same weekend last year. 2013 remains above 2012, albeit by a tiny margin of 0.3% at $9.75 billion to $9.72 billion. It wouldn't take much for 2013 to again lose its lead, so there's a lot to be interested in in the final few weeks of the year.
The weekend after the Thanksgiving long weekend is nearly always a dead zone for new releases, and that is certainly the case this year. Out of the Furnace is the only wide release this week, but its reviews plummeted compared to the early buzz. It should still reach the top five, but only because it would have to make less than $4 million to earn sixth place or worse. On the positive side, Frozen and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire should finish one-two each earning $30 million or more. By comparison, this weekend last year, the two biggest film earned barely more than $10 million. 2013 will easily win the year-over-year comparison.
We had some good news and some bad news in November. The bad news is the overall weakness at the box office continued and 2013 lost its lead over 2012. Strong runs by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen did help it bounce back in the end, but 2013 is still going to have a tough time topping 2012. Looking forward to December, we find about a dozen wide releases, sort of. There are several films that are opening in limited release that are expected to expand wide by the end of the month, but I'm not sure that will be the case for all of them. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug should be the easy winner this month and if it is a little lucky, it might even top its predecessor at the box office. There is a huge amount of hype surrounding Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and it could double the first film's box office numbers. On the other hand, those two films might be the only two December wide releases to reach $100 million. There are a few that have the potential to get to the century mark, if they are big players during Awards Season. Obviously some of the films coming out this month will win awards, but there's already a lot of competition in theaters before the month begins. There were three $100 million movies last December, led by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, so while it could be close, it looks like December will lose in the year-over-year comparison. This is really bad news, as 2013 can't afford to go out on a losing streak if it wants to top 2012.
Next weekend is the weekend after Thanksgiving day, and like it is nearly every year, it's a really weak week for new releases. In fact, there's only one film that might open wide, Out of the Furnace, and I'm not 100% sure it will. Additionally, it is opening on the Wednesday, while we only look at the Friday through Sunday numbers. Regardless, we need a target film for our box office prediction contest and this is the only choice. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Out of the Furnace.
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 Rise of the Guardians Holiday Edition with Marching Elf 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 win a copy of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness - Good Croc, Bad Croc on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
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