TV on DVD is at its peak for the year, just in time for the new season to start. However, because last season was cut short by the writers' strike, and so many studios are not taking that into account in the pricing, there are fewer releases at are contenders for DVD Pick of the Week. But we do have a worthy recipient of the award, Fist of Legend - Buy from Amazon, the latest release from Dragon Dynasty. Also, while the week was slow on top, it was busy overall, so much so that we had to split the week's list into two parts again. Part I can be found here.
It's the first of December. (At least it was when I was writing this intro the first time. I was only going to do a dozen or so releases, but the list ballooned well out of control.) This week kicks off our second annual Holiday Gift Guide with a look at some high definition releases, because nothing says holidays like a format war.
It was a slow, slow week for new releases at not one was able to crack the top ten on the rental chart. This left Apocalypto with the easy win grabbing $4.86 million for the week and $10.88 after two.
It's the first busy week of the month, and it won't get this busy again for the rest of summer. There is literally a hundred releases mentioned on this week's list, roughly half of which are coming out to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Wayne. However, while there were plenty of those releases coming out, it was another classic movie to win the DVD Pick of the Week. That classic film is The Third Man - Criterion Collection - 2-Disc Edition - Buy from Amazon.
The Oscars have all been handed out, but that's not the end of our coverage. Tune in tomorrow for more thoughts as well as next week when we look at the Oscar bounce. And later on we'll announce the winners of our contest,
nominations were handed out today and for the most part they've followed the script written by previous awards committees fairly closely.
There were plenty of new releases
this week, but all but two missed the top 10. However, those two DVDs finished one-two on the charts. Crank
topped The Illusionist
$6.09 million to $5.59 million.
A slow week for new releases
helped Little Miss Sunshine
climb from third to first on the rental charts. Over the week the film earned $5.46 million for a three-week total of $20.95 million.
None of half-a-dozen new releases
were able to make a big splash on rental charts, but that doesn't mean there wasn't anything interesting to report. Every film in the top five was within $540,000 on each other with The Devil Wears Prada
claiming top spot with $6.87 million.
There were nearly a dozen new releases
to chart this week, but it was a holdover that took top spot in an extremely close race. The Devil Wears Prada
beat out Little Miss Sunshine
at $8.88 million to $8.80 million.
The Devil Wears Prada
was the best of a new bunch
winning out in a very, very close race with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
at $10.74 million to $10.67 million.
There were a boatload of new releases
to chart this week led by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
with $12.93 million, which was just a hair lower than Superman Returns
's open week rentals from a week ago. This week that film placed second with a still impressive $10.71 million.
led the way when the Golden Globe
nominations were announced today with seven nominations while The Departed
was close behind with six.
The first week of the month is often the busiest, and that's the case here.
However, while there are a lot of big releases, there's not much in the way of quality to be found.
The best of the recent releases is Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest, but that was weak compared to the original (although a fun ride nonetheless).
In order to find the DVD Pick of the week one must travel deeper... into the list of box sets (The Premiere Frank Capra Collection - Buy from Amazon), special editions (Black Christmas - Special Edition - Buy from Amazon), and TV on DVD (Dungeons & Dragons - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon).
Of those three, I'm giving the honor to The Premiere Frank Capra Collection - Buy from Amazon, but all three could end up in my DVD collection before long.
The German soccer
film, Deutschland. Ein Sommermarchen, remained in first place in Germany and sixth overall this weekend. It managed this feat by falling just 25% to $5.41 million on 671 screens for a two-week total of $14.67 million.
Film, Deutschland. Ein Sommermarchen, which could translate into English as Germany, A Summer March, but I wouldn't bet money on it. ... Moving on, The film took top spot in its native market with $7.19 million on 584 screens and that was enough for sixth place overall.
Indigenes, a.k.a. Days of Glory, opened in first place in its native France
with $5.53 million on 460 screens while it managed ninth in Switzerland with $76,000 despite opening on only 8 screens. The film opened on Wednesday in Belgium before expanding to other European market in the coming weeks.
film, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
, was the surprise winner at the international box office, taking in $10.79 million on 1,600 screens in 6 markets for a total of $31.62 million.
Its best market remained Germany where it was down just 32% to $6.72 million on 773 screens; that was half the total box office in Germany, more than four times its nearest competition
, and enough to lift its running tally in the market to $20.22 million.
The film also managed to top $1 million during its second weekend in Russia (first place with $1.59 million on 310 screens for a $6.43 million total), and in its debut in Italy (third place with $1.05 million on 335).
The film opens in France next weekend, in Spain at the end of November and in the U.K. at the beginning of December.
One must assume the studio is happy with its run so far.
However, with a production budget of 50 million Euros (about $65 million American), it is the most expensive German film ever and will need a strong run in several non-German speaking markets to show a profit.
A record-breaking opening in Italy pushed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
into first place for the tenth time in 11 weeks. The film easily finished first with $9.49 million on 877 screens over the weekend and $12.13 million in total, which was more than six times what its nearest competition
earned. That was the majority of the film's $18.39 million weekend haul, a haul that was earned on 4361 screens in 42 markets and that pushed its international total to $613.26 million. This made Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
just the sixth film to cross the $600 million mark internationally and by the end of the weekend put it ahead of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
for fifth place on the all-time chart.
For the first time in 10 weeks we have a new winner atop the international box office with Cars finally overtaking Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest to win the prize.
The Pixar powerhouse spent its first weekend on top of the international charts with $8.00 million on 3,704 screens in 31 markets for a total of $184.24 million.
Its biggest market was Germany where it topped the charts with $3.05 million on 814 screens; this was more than three times what its nearest competitor earned, but less than a quarter of what Finding Nemo opened with back in 2003.
The film only has two other openings of note, Greece and Turkey, and they both happen this weekend.
Last weekend I assumed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
's time on top of the international charts was over. It had no new openings, the competition was getting tighter and it just seemed like its time was done. However, when the numbers came in the film easily won the weekend race as it was the only film able to top $10 million over the weekend. The Pirate
pic pulled in $11.99 million on 5378 screens in 43 markets for an international total of $581.55 million while its worldwide was $994.43 million as of Sunday. The film should become only the third film to reach $1 billion worldwide
and could do so as early as Thursday. After that there are a few milestones the film will be aiming for like $600 million internationally, which it should have no trouble doing especially with the film opening in Italy on the 15th.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
earned yet another record this weekend by topping the international charts for the eighth straight weekend surpassing the old record of seven set by Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
. This weekend the swashbuckler took in $18.61 million on 6579 screens in 49 markets lifting its international total to $556.07 million and its worldwide haul to $963.61 million. Looking at the all-time charts, the film is now eighth place and should top Jurassic Park
by this time next week while worldwide it is in fourth place all-time
and should have no trouble tracking down Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
during the weekend. This weekend the film managed to set a record in Greece opening with $2.6 million while it took in $100,000 in Lebanon for the highest opening of the year in that market. Next week the film will likely fall out of top spot but should continue to perform well as it wraps up its International run in Italy on the 15th of September.
As summer slowly winds down, there was the predictable decline from last weekend's box office. In total, ticket sales managed $102 million, down 7.9%, but more importantly up 4.6% from the same weekend last year.
Year-to-date, 2006 is still ahead of 2005, but the lead has shrunk to 5% and we will need a strong fall season to maintain overall ticket sales growth.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
is starting to shed screens and that was part of the reason it fell 43% this weekend, however, it still earned more than the next two films combined while crossing the $500 million milestone. Over the weekend it added $24.82 million on 7014 screens in 51 markets to its international total of $521.46 million while its worldwide total hit $922.72 million. This is the seventh week in a row that the film has topped the international charts tying the previous record set by Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
back in 2003. On the all-time international charts, the film is now in 12th place all-time, just a few million behind Finding Nemo
and is now fifth place Worldwide
. Where does it go from here? It has yet to open in Italy and by the time it does it could reach $1 billion in total ticket sales, but odds are Return of the King
's second place is safe.
The weekend box office was surprisingly subdued given the amount of hype the number one film was generating. Overall the box office made $110 million, which was down 14.9% from last week and 3.5% from last year. The week-to-week decline is to be expected at this time of year, but the year-to-year drop-off is more troubling. Even so, 2006 is still maintaining a 6% lead over last year's pace and that's well above ticket price inflation.
It is another insanely busy week with 1,250 DVDs coming out, at least according to Amazon.
However, like last week, the majority of those are episodes of Charlie Rose.
(I really wish the studio released them as full season sets and not flood the market with individual titles that most people will skip over without a second thought.)
Three releases immediately jump out as the best of the best, Apocalypse Now - The Complete Dossier, Masters of Horror - Dario Argento - Jenifer, and The Simpsons - The Complete Eighth Season - Collectable Maggie Head Edition.
I could have spent hours trying to determine which of those was the best, but instead I will just award all three the title of DVD Pick of the Week.
For the fifth week in a row, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
dominated the international box office earning nearly five times what its nearest competition took in. Over the weekend it brought in $57.32 million on 8208 screens in 50 markets for a total of $392.22 million internationally and $771.92 million worldwide, (at the end of the weekend). A large chunk of this weekend's haul come from new openings, including a phenomenal $17.8 million on 700 screens in France. Other debuts include Hong Kong, ($1.6 million on 35 screens), and South Africa, ($670,000). The film is already the highest grossing movie of the year worldwide, and with strong holds and openings in Spain and Italy still to go, it could top The Da Vinci Code
's international total as well, a total that currently sits at $530.38 million.
It's August, but the weekend box office didn't miss a beat.
In fact the overall box office climbed 6.3% to $140 million. That was up 21.6% from the same weekend last year, lifting 2006's lead over 2005 to 6%.
There were only two new release
to reach the top five this week but they finished 1-2 with The Benchwarmers
leading the way with $9.98 million in DVD rentals.
It's the first weekend in August and studios are hoping the dog days of summer can be pushed back at least one more week.
This shouldn't be a problem as the odds-on favorite to win the weekend race is tracking better and better by the day, while we also have one of the best reviewed wide releases of the year hitting theatres tomorrow.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest may have lost its box office crown domestically, but it is still rules the international markets. This week it earned $55.34 million while playing on 7,610 screens in 44 markets, lifting its totals to $301.90 million internationally and $660.39 million worldwide.
After the weekend it was sitting in 40th place on the international charts and 26th worldwide. The film opened in first place in Germany with an outstanding $17.34 million on 1,330 screens while Curse of the Black Pearl re-entered the charts in fifth place with just over $500,000.
The film also had million dollar openings in Austria at $2.8 million on 105 screens, Belgium at $2.06 million on 127, and Switzerland at $1.57 million on 101.
Meanwhile, the film was down a jaw-dropping 64% in its second weekend in Japan, earning a still impressive $6.11 million on 764 screens for a total of $32.44 million after just two weeks.
The reason for this steep, nearly vertical drop-off is simple, the Japanese hate cliffhanger endings in movies. They like movies that are individual units and if they feel the film is just a two-hour setup to the next installment, it will suffer at the box office.
First of all, I don't think there's enough geography humor in entertainment reporting, so I'm glad to help correct that with my headline.
As for the box office, there were a few surprises this week, split evenly between the good and the bad.
This did help push the overall box office down to $131 million over the weekend and that's down 13.2% from last weekend.
But more importantly that was still 6.1% higher than the same weekend last year.
Year-to-date 2006 has extended its lead to 5%, well above ticket price inflation meaning for the first time since 2002 we could see growth in that area.
We should have a new film atop the box office charts this week with Miami Vice the odds-on favorite to finish first.
However, there are some questions regarding how well it, and the other two wide releases, will do.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
added another 10 markets to its international run as it again top the charts with $60.10 million on 6079 screens for a total of $214.10 million internationally. The film became the fifth film of the year to earn $200 million internationally and the third to cross $500 million worldwide. Among the host of number one openings this week were Japan at $16.65 million on 761 screens and Mexico with $5.67 million on 791 screens. Other impressive debuts include Brazil, ($3.1 million), Argentina ($1.3 million), Poland ($1.17 million), and Chile ($1.1 million). Its biggest market overall continues to be the U.K. where it added $7.19 million on 520 screens to its running tally of $58.48 million while it has topped $20 million on both Australia, ($21.68), and Russia, ($20.51). The film opens in Germany, France, and Spain in consecutive weekends before closing its international run with its Italian debut in September.
Every single new release missed expectations, some by huge margins, and this pushed the overall box office down 5.6% to $150 million. That figure was still 7.2% higher than the same weekend last year.
Year-to-date, 2006 has earned a total of $5.27 billion and that is up 5% from 2005's but 2% below 2004's record setting run.
For the first time in a few weeks there's a real race for top spot on the box office charts, with a tight contest between Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Lady in the Water.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
opened in another 17 markets over the weekend taking first place in all of them while adding $58 million on 3,336 screens. This gave it a two-week international total of $125 million and helped it become the seventh film this year to top $100 million internationally. The film's best opening of the week was in Russia where it captured 85% of the market while scoring a record-breaking $9.24 million on 552 screens over the weekend and $10.87 million in total. It also broke records in a trio of smaller markets: Singapore with $1.8 million on 65 screens, Malaysia with $1.1 million on 70 and in the Ukraine with $1 million on 125. Other multi-million dollar openings were Sweden, ($3.49 million on 127), Denmark, ($2.58 million on 85), and Netherlands, ($2.22 million on 132). Holdovers remained strong led by the U.K. at $11.14 million on 514 screens for a total of $49.23 million, but that was down 47% from its opening. On the other hand, the film was down just 32% in South Korea to $3.84 million on 396 screens over the weekend and $13.55 million in total and 37% in Australia to $5.31 million on 490 screens for a two-week total of $17.32 million.
Changing Times led the way on the per theatre charts this weekend.
The French film scored $31,702 in its lone theatre.
Second place went to Heading South, which saw its per theatre average decline by just 22% to $16,798.
Both Gabrielle and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest were very close behind with $15,338 and $15,085 respectively while no other film made it into the $10,000 club.
The news was mostly good over the weekend with practically every film in the top five beating expectations, and the only one that didn't, Pirates of the Caribbean, missing by a rounding error.
However, the overall box office was still down a huge 27% from last weekend to $159 million.
More significantly, it was down 4% from the same weekend last year breaking 2006's eight-week winning streak.
Even so, strong midweek numbers allowed 2006 to stretch its lead over 2005 to a very healthy 6%.
There are a lot of questions about this weekend's box office; which film will finish in first place is not one of them. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will repeat as overall box office champion, but there is a question of how far it will fall during its second weekend of release. Also, the two new wide releases are tracking with nearly identical numbers and that should set up a real race for second place.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
started its international run with day-and-date releases in seven markets and on 1552 screens earning an astounding $46.64 million. Over half of that total came from the U.K. where it debuted in first place with $21.21 million on 514 screens over the weekend and $25.41 million in total. That was the film's only 8-figure opening, but it also did well in Australia with $8.33 million on 489 screens and New Zealand with $1.17 million on 95 screens. The film set a record for top opening for a Hollywood film in South Korea with $8.4 million on 450 screens while topping the market in Taiwan with $1.9 million on 18, Thailand with $1.4 million on 110, and an estimated $100,000 in Uruguay. In most markets the film earned double what its predecessor
made. However, if one were to look for a downside, you'd quickly notice that the film didn't break nearly as many records internationally as it did domestically. It was a top ten all-time opening in many markets, but not the colossal it was here.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest continued its record-breaking ways on the per theater charts, earning an average of $32,817, which is the highest average ever for Saturation Level release (defined as 3,000 or more theatres).
Second place went to A Scanner Darkly; the intellectually challenging Science Fiction film started its run with nearly $400,000 in just 17 theatres for an average of $23,040. This is more than enough to ensure expansion, but probably not enough to earn much mainstream success.
The same can be said for the third place film, Heading South, and indeed last week's winner, Strangers With Candy.
The latter film saw significant expansion this week, going from just 2 theaters to 21, and its per theater average held up remarkably at $10,660.
We finally had a blockbuster live up to, and exceed its expectations. And with the record-destroying run of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest the total box office exploded to nearly $220 million, which was up 42% from last year and more than 46% from the same weekend last year. This total is the largest ever for a weekend breaking the previous record of $188 million, which was earned in June of 2004 when Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban opened. And overall, 2006's lead over 2005 grew from 3% to 5%, easily more than ticket price inflation.
Failure to Launch
wasn't the only new DVD release to chart this week, but it was far and away the best. The film took first place with $10.42 million, which was nearly double its nearest competition.
Pirates of the Caribbean has sailed to a spectacular opening day of $54.5 million, according to The Numbers' estimate.
If that number holds up (never a certainty with early estimates), then Pirates will have comfortably set a new record for a single day at the box office, beating the $50,013,859 earned by Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith when it opened in May last year.
Even assuming a big drop-off in box office over the weekend, Pirates looks certain to break the all-time weekend record.
That figure currently stands at $114,844,116, earned by Spider-Man back in 2002.
To give an idea of how massive Dead Man's Chest opening day was: if it continues at this pace, it would earn over $150 million over the weekend (based on a comparison with Spider-man).
That seems very unlikely, but we're truly in uncharted territory here, m'laddies, arrrrr.
After the busiest week in more than a month, we have the slowest. While there are several good sites on this week's list, they are either a bit below the award-worthy level, or they are all award winners. So the Weekly Website Award is taking a vacation this week.
The latest "Sure Thing" openings tomorrow.
But this Summer seven previous "Sure Things" have already come out and only one or two have actually lived up to expectations.
Both The Da Vinci Code and X-Men: The Last Stand managed to do so, more or less, but with The Da Vinci Code my expectations were somewhat lower than the industry average and its final box office is still looked at as a disappointment by many.
Will Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest break this trend, or will it be the latest victim in a summer of over-hyped misses?
With what could be the biggest hit of the year opening in just a few days, how many times are we going to say that before we actually have the biggest hit of the year? Anyhoo, with Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
opening in just a few days, it is the latest film to be featured in our box office prediction contest. The rules are simple, the person who comes closest to predicting the opening 3-day weekend (Friday to Sunday), without going over
, will win a copy of the original movie
on a Special Edition - 3-Disc Gift Set
. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
Neither of June's potential monster hits lived up to expectations, and that's a trend that everyone hopes doesn't continue into July. There is only one real monster hit in the making this month, and it opens right away. But while the rest of the month is decidedly weaker, there are still several other movies that should earn more than $100 million.
It seems a lot of people are starting their holidays early, but not this column as it's the busiest it's been in more than a month. Including in this list are a few newly released teaser trailers and a handful of flash sites, most of which are worth checking out. But the best of the best is the Running With Scissors
- Official Site
Just an average week with You, Me and Dupree
- Official Site
taking the prize for the best of the week.
There were a few major updates for a few major movie sites this week, and it was one such site that walked away with the Weekly Website Award - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Official Site
It was not a great week when it comes to new websites with most of the really interesting updates coming in the form of new trailers. However, it was one of those sites, Casino Royale
- Official Site
, that was awarded the Weekly Website Award. I just hope when the site goes live in two weeks by Fanboy enthusiasm is rewarded.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. It was the busiest week in more than a month, but there weren't many big launches or massive updates, so it is the slow-growing V For Vendetta
- Official Site
that earns the Weekly Website Award.
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. We've hit another slow patch for movie websites, which is not unexpected since the most of the new site on this list are for films that open months from now so there's hardly any content, or open during the dead zone that is January. I would say the best of the rest would be King Kong
- Official Site
, but it is not strong enough to win the Weekly Website Award.
Every week films get a second chance at success from the home market; or, in some cases, a first chance at success. Here is a list of wide releases, limited releases and a few from the growing TV on DVD section.
It was a special edition that caught my eye this week, A League of Their Own
- (Buy from Amazon
) and it is my DVD pick of the week.
The New Year makes for an interesting time to look at how last year's blockbusters have affected our All Time Top Box Office Stars list.
As usual, there are some familiar names doing well, and some surprise new entries.