February 23rd, 2011
Due to a mixture of weak holdovers and depth in the new releases, we had seven DVDs debut in the top 30 sales chart this week. This includes a new number one, For Colored Girls, which sold 517,000 units and generated $8.41 million in consumer spending at retail.
February 22nd, 2011
It's a pretty good week on the home market, all things considered, with two $100 million first-run releases on this week's list. On the other hand, there doesn't feel like a whole lot of depth and there are about as many featured reviews as other releases, if you count late reviews and ones where I'm still waiting on the screeners. One of these late reviews, Megamind could be the Pick of the Week, but I'm giving the Blu-ray one last chance to arrive before its release on Friday.
February 18th, 2011
When Paranormal Activity came out in 2009 and earned nearly $200 million worldwide on a production budget of just $15,000, you knew there would be a sequel. The fact that Paranormal Activity 2 came out the next year was a bit of a surprise, but does the short turnaround mean the sequel is an inferior product?
February 8th, 2011
Wow. It's a bad week for DVD / Blu-ray releases. While there are a number of first run releases, none of them exactly shout Pick of the Week. The best bet as far as first run releases goes is Paranormal Activity 2, but the screener hasn't arrived yet. Same goes for Thelma & Louise, which is making its Blu-ray debut this week. So in the end I went with Doctor Who: Story 63: The Mutants as the pick of the week. Great story, powerful message, and lots of extras.
November 17th, 2010
Unstoppable opened in first place on the international box office over the weekend. (It has likely already fallen to Harry Potter on the daily chart, which opened on Wednesday.) Its opening weekend haul was $18.72 million on 4137 screens in 39 markets giving it a total opening of $19.31 million. It earned first place in Spain with $1.56 million on 336 screens, but was not as potent in South Korea or Germany earning third place with $1.33 million on 323 screens and $1.20 million on 504 respectively. It only managed fourth place in France, with $2.63 million on 430 screens, while it barely squeezed into the top five in Italy with $755,000 on 251.
November 10th, 2010
Unlike its domestic debut, Due Date was able to open in first place internationally with $21.69 million on 3572 screens in 32 markets. It was tops in Germany with $3.90 million on 519 screens, while it also led the way in the U.K. with $3.78 million on 449 screens. On the other hand, it had to settle for second place in Russia, but with $3.88 million on 543 screens, it was still a huge success there. In comparison, the cumulative opening weekend was nearly identical to The Hangover, which bodes well for the film's chances internationally, even if it likely won't have the same long legs.
November 4th, 2010
November could start on a high note with three wide releases poised to open one-two-three. If all three films only manage to reach just the midpoint of expectations, then the month will start with a big win year-over-year, as last year three of the four new releases struggled. If they reach the high end of expectations, then the top three films this week will earn more than the top ten films did last year. Even low end expectations has this year's likely number one film, MegaMind, topping last year's number one film, A Christmas Carol. The only bad news is the lack of depth, as none of the holdovers are poised to do much business. They are either pump and dumps, or have been in theaters so long that they are no longer a real factor.
November 3rd, 2010
Thanks in part to holidays in France, Despicable Me was able to return to top spot with $21.65 million on 4511 screens in 44 markets for a total of $234.58 million internationally and $482.46 million worldwide. By this time next week, it will have more internationally than domestically and a total of more than half-a-billion worldwide. Its top market was France, where school holidays helped it more than double its take at $6.17 million on 657 screens, but that's for the 5-day weekend. Overall it has made $19.80 million in that market. It opened in second place in Japan with $2.93 million on 225 screens over the weekend and $3.12 million in total. It was flat in the U.K. adding another $4.15 million on 532 screens for a three week total of $24.21 million.
November 2nd, 2010
As expected, Halloween hurt the overall box office, which plummeted 27% from last weekend to just $95 million from Friday to Sunday. However, the top film on the chart did do better than expected on Sunday, while the overall box office was 5% higher than the same weekend last year when Halloween fell on a Saturday. Year-to-date, 2010 still has a 3% lead over 2009 with a running tally of $8.78 billion, while there's very little time left to blow that lead. On the other hand, ticket sales are down 2%, so there's little hope to catch up in that regard.
October 31st, 2010
With an estimated 92% of box office receipts coming from 3D shows, Saw 3D became the highest-grossing horror franchise in history this weekend, overtaking Friday the 13th.
Its $22.4 million opening is still down from the peak for the franchise, which topped $30 million on four occasions, but is up significantly from the disappointing $14.1 million debut of Saw VI last year.
(See full franchise history here.)
Paranormal Activity 2, meanwhile had a steep drop to $16.5 million in its second weekend, although 59% isn't terrible for the genre, and the low-budget sequel has racked up over $65 million in just 10 days.
October 28th, 2010
The winners of our Why Be Normal? contest were determined and they are...
October 28th, 2010
Halloween falls on Sunday this year, and is generally a bad day at the box office, which will likely result in a massive drop-off for most films this weekend. However, there is one horror film opening wide, plus another that opened last weekend that could benefit. The overall effect will still likely be negative, but this time last year, Halloween fell on a Saturday, which is a lot worse for business. So 2010 could still come out on top in the year-over-year comparison, even if it is a close race.
October 27th, 2010
Mirroring its domestic debut, Paranormal Activity 2 opened in first place internationally with $22.32 million on 2752 screens in 21 markets. The film opened in first place in the U.K. with $5.92 million on 389 screens, while it also topped the charts in Australia with $2.68 million on 185 screens and in Mexico with $1.86 million in 452. On the other hand, it had to settle for second place in South Korea with $1.05 million on 218 screens over the weekend and $1.18 million in total. While in Italy it could do no better than fourth place with $1.55 million on 250.
October 26th, 2010
Paranormal Activity 2 opened in $2.4 million on 151 IMAX screens domestically giving it an average of $16,000 per IMAX screen. That's not that much better than its overall per theater average. It managed $120,000 on just 5 IMAX screens in France, its first international market, which is a much better result. Meanwhile, it was announced that Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole has earned $7 million on IMAX screens worldwide, including $5.3 million domestically.
October 26th, 2010
There was only one film that reached the $10,000 mark on the per theater chart, and it was the overall box office leader, Paranormal Activity 2. That film opened with an average of $12,649 in just over 3200 theaters.
October 25th, 2010
I'm not willing to say the slump is over after just one weekend, but we did finally see some real positive signs over the weekend. Not only did the number one film top expectations, but no film in the top five really flopped. In fact, only one film in the top ten fell more than 33.6%. Overall the box office was down 2% from last week earning $129 million; however, it was up by 12% over the same weekend last year, which is far more important. A double-digit increase in the year-over-year comparison was pretty commonplace earlier in the year, so hopefully this is a portent of things to come, and not just a momentary blip. Year-to-date 2010 has now earned $8.65 billion giving it a 3.4% lead over 2009's running tally of $8.37 billion.
October 21st, 2010
For much of the year, 2010 has been a banner year at the box office. We've already broken records for the most $300 million movies in the calendar year, 2010 is the first year where two films released during the same year, have reached $1 billion worldwide. We are currently nearly $300 million ahead of last year's pace. However, recently things have not been quite as rosy and we've seen declines on a year-over-year basis five of the past six weeks. Will that change this weekend? There are some positive signs. For instance, this time last year there were three or four wide releases. (It depends on your definition of "Wide".) All four failed to reach initial expectations, dramatically in some cases. This leaves a real opportunity for 2010 to expand its lead. There is only one movie opening wide, plus another expanding wide, but perhaps the lack of competition will be good for the two films.
October 15th, 2010
Paranormal Activity 2, the sequel to the most profitable movie of all time, based on a percentage of production budget, opens next week. It will likely be the number one movie at the box office, and it is definitely 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 Paranormal Activity 2.
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 My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? 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 also win a copy of My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? on DVD.
Finally, a third person will be chosen from all eligible entries and that person will win the final copy of My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday, October 22 to be eligible, so don't delay!
October 1st, 2010
September is nearly over and the Fall box office season is about to begin in earnest.
September wasn't too bad this year, with more films matching or exceeding expectations than missing them, and we managed to keep pace with last year, more or less.
Can October do the same? Well, last year there was only one $100 million hit, Couples Retreat (not counting Paranormal Activity, which opened in September). We might not see any film hit $100 million this time around.
In fact, we might not even see any that come all that close.
On the other hand, there were also five wide releases that clearly bombed last year, and on that end, 2010 looks a lot better.
Not every film that opens over the next five weekends will be a mid-level hit or better, but most should get there.