January 12th, 2016
It is a busy week for first run releases with four of them on this week's list. Of these, The Martian is the biggest and the best. It would have been the Pick of the Week except for two things. One, the screener is late. Two, David Bowie passed away over the weekend. He died after an 18-month battle with cancer and just two days after his last album came out. This is the the most poignant Rock'n'Roll death since Freddie Mercury and it seems fitting to give Blackstar the title of Pick of the Week.
November 10th, 2015
As expected, Spectre remained in first pulling in $117.8 million in 73 markets for totals of $223.1 million internationally and $293.1 million worldwide. This is almost as much as it cost to make, so if it can double this figure, it should be able to break even eventually. The film's biggest market was the U.K. where it added $19.99 million on 696 screens over the weekend for a total of $98.82 million. It has already overtaken Jurassic World for the biggest hit of the year in the U.K. and should have no trouble rocketing into the top five on the all-time chart there. The film's biggest opening was in Germany, where it pulled in $18.06 million on 1,460 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $20.26 million. This is about 15% lower than Skyfall's opening in that market. Likewise, the film wasn't as strong during its debut in Russia earning $6.29 million on 2,112 screens, compared to $8.27 million on 1,254 screens for Skyfall. At this pace, Spectre will definitely fail to match Skyfall, but anything close to $800 million will be enough to break even, perhaps before it reaches the home market. It all depends on how much its global advertising campaign cost.
November 5th, 2015
Spectre opened in first place with $80.4 million during its seven-day opening weekend. That doesn't seem like a huge amount, especially considering some of the opening weekends we've seen on the international stage this year. However, there is a mitigating factor. It was only playing in six markets. This includes the U.K., where the film broke records with $62.82 million in 651 theaters. This is equivalent to a $300 million opening week here, which would be the record for a seven-day box office here. We shouldn't get too ahead of ourselves, as Bond films have a natural affinity for that market. It does mean Spectre has a real shot at a $100 million opening weekend here.
November 2nd, 2015
Most people expected the box office to be really weak this past weekend, but I don't think anyone anticipated this. How bad was this past weekend? All three new releases missed the Mendoza line* and there were no new releases in the top five. The overall box office was just $75 million, which was the lowest for the year and the fourth worst weekend in the past decade. This represents a 28% drop-off from last week and a 21% drop-off from the same weekend last year. 2015's overall lead over 2014 shrunk from 5.2% to 4.7%. The overall lead fell by $40 million at $8.69 billion to $8.31 billion. This is reason to panic, or it would be if Spectre wasn't opening on Friday. The film is breaking records in the U.K. and should be an explosive hit here. Hopefully it will do well enough that we can pretend the past two weeks never happened.
October 30th, 2015
Two of the three wide releases had Thursday previews, with Burnt having the bigger of the two films' launches. Bigger is a relative term. It only managed $250,000 during its previews, which is bad news. Its bad news for the studio, as this doesn't bode well for its box office chances. It is also bad new for me, because this is so low it is hard to find other films to compare it with. It is about 10% lower than The Green Inferno, which is about as close a match as I could find, but those two films share almost none of their respective audiences. The Intern is a closer match as far as audiences are concerned. That film earned $650,000 during its previews on its way to a $24.90 million opening weekend. Burnt has worse reviews, so it likely won't have the same internal multiplier. Even so, it should make between $7 million and $9 million, which is a little higher than predicted, but not enough to keep the studio happy.
October 28th, 2015
The Martian returned to first place with $30.0 million in 73 markets for totals of $218.8 million internationally and $385.0 million worldwide. The film's only major market opening was in France where it earned second place with $6.81 million on 560 screens. It also remained in first place in South Korea with $3.99 million on 731 screens over the weekend for a three-week total of $28.43 million. I don't know if it has broken even yet, but it is very close to getting there.
October 26th, 2015
Most of the new releases were not expected to do well at the box office. ... Almost no one saw this coming. We had some near-record bombs this weekend and even the best of the new releases were terrible. This left The Martian in first place; in fact, the top three spots and four of the top five were held by holdovers. The best new release, The Last Witch Hunter, barely cracked the $10 million mark. The overall box office fell 14% from last weekend to $105 million. This was also 9.5% lower than the same weekend last year. Midweek numbers were better this year than last year, so the year-over-year actually improved and 2015 now has a 5.2% lead over 2014 at $8.60 billion to $8.18 billion.
October 25th, 2015
Dismal is about the politest word that can be applied to the box office performance of new releases this weekend. None of the five films new in wide release managed to make the top three on the chart, and two of them didn’t even crack the top ten. That leaves The Martian and Goosebumps to battle it out for first place, and a fourth-week decline of just 25% for The Martian looks virtually certain to give it the win. Fox projects it will make $15.9 million for a total by the end of the weekend of $166 million or so. Its performance to date falls neatly between that of Interstellar and Gravity, which puts the sci-fi adventure on course for a final domestic box office of $230 million (see full comps here).
October 24th, 2015
Where to start? There are so many new releases to talk about and none of them did well. Some did so poorly that talking about them seems mean. So, let’s start by saying that Friday’s box office chart was led by The Martian, while Goosebumps has a shot at repeating on top of the chart, with each film earning about $14 million to $15 million. Meanwhile, Bridge of Spies should earn third place over the weekend with between $11 million and $12 million.
October 23rd, 2015
There were four films that had midnight shows last night, but none of them did particularly well. In fact, had their combined total been earned by one movie, it still wouldn't be much to celebrate about. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension led the way with $600,000 in 1,000 theaters. This is substantially lower than the $800,000 Crimson Peak earned just last week, and that film wasn't a big hit at the box office during its opening weekend. Additionally, Crimson Peak's reviews are a lot better The Ghost Dimension's reviews are. Add in the sequel effect and we could be in for a really bad opening weekend.
October 22nd, 2015
The box office prediction contests for the past few weeks have had a horror / "horror" theme. That is to say, two people won horror movies and the third won movies that were so bad it is scary they exist. There are four new releases this weekend and they all epitomize the latter. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension has a review embargo, which is never a good sign, while the other three wide releases are all earning less than 20% positive reviews. Does that mean there's nothing worth seeing this week? Nope. Fortunately, Steve Jobs is expanding wide and should earn first place at the box office. It is the only film on this week's list with a shot at $20 million. This weekend last year, Ouija nearly reached $20 million and five other films earned $10 million. I don't think we will match that this year. It could be close and any gain or loss in the year-over-year comparison should be in single digits, so there's no reason to be overly concerned.
October 16th, 2015
Next weekend is a bit of a mess when it comes to the wide releases. Steve Jobs is expected to win, but it is currently in limited release and we don't like using these films as the target film. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was expected to come in second place, but Paramount Pictures' plan for an early VOD release has caused some theater owners to not book the film. This leaves Jem and the Holograms and The Last Witch Hunter as the possible choices for the target film in this week's box office prediction contest. As such, The Last Witch Hunter is the only choice for the target film for this week's Box Office Prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for The Last Witch Hunter.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprize consisting of two previously reviewed DVDs or Blu-rays.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a Frankenprize consisting of two previously reviewed DVDs or Blu-rays.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will also win a Frankenprize consisting of two previously reviewed DVDs or Blu-rays.
There is a difference this time. Two people will earn Frankenprizes consisting of two horror movies. The other winner will earn a Frankprize consisting of two "horror" movies, that is to say movies so bad that it will fill you with horror. We are going to do this again next week, and maybe even during Christmas, with two presents and a lump of coal. We might do this regularly for as long as I have bad movies to give away.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
October 1st, 2015
September ended on a record note with the debut of Hotel Transylvania 2. Additionally, there was great depth and 2015's lead over 2014 grew to nearly $500 million. How do things look going forward? The month starts out with The Martian, which should have no trouble becoming the biggest hit of the month and might even top $200 million. On the other hand, no other film is expected to get to $100 million. There's only one or two that will even come close. Fortunately, last October was very similar with one $100 million hit, Gone Girl, while two other films came close, Annabelle and Fury. It looks like it will be up to the depth films from both years to determine which year comes out on top.