December 15th, 2014
All-in-all, the box office matched expectations, but sadly, that is not a good thing. Exodus: Gods and Kings opened with $24.12 million, which is anemic for a film that cost $140 million to make. Top Five had a better per theater average, but was playing in less than 1,000 theaters, so it will only become a midlevel hit, at best. Overall, the box office did rise 6.8% from last weekend, but this still only amounted to $83 million. Worse still, this was 43% lower than the same weekend last year. Last year, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened with $73.65 million, which is about 2% less than the top ten earned this year. It should come as no surprise that 2014 lost in the year-over-year comparison, while it continues to lose ground in the year-to-date race as well. Currently, 2014 has pulled in a total of $9.41 billion, which is 4.8% or $470 million lower than last year's pace. There's no chance 2014 will catch up at this point. I just hope it doesn't sink any lower.
December 9th, 2014
The post-holiday weekend is rarely a great weekend and this weekend was no exception. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 fell more than 60%, while no film in the top ten fell less than 40%. The only wide release in the top ten was The Pyramid, which barely topped the Mendoza Line. Overall, the box office fell 52% from last weekend to $78 million. That's 16% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 is behind 2013 by a 4.5% or $440 million margin. It is not going to close that margin over the next four weeks, but it should still top $10 billion before the year is over.
December 7th, 2014
With no new wide releases, the weekend after Thanksgiving will see a comfortable victory at the box office for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. Now playing in its third weekend, the film will gross around $21.6 million, taking it to a total of $257.7m, virtually equal with The Lego Movie in third place for the year. Weekend performances for returning movies were down across the board coming off the holiday, with, in the top 10, only Gone Girl and Birdman down less than 40%.
December 5th, 2014
It's the weekend after Thanksgiving, one of the worst weekends of the year for a new release. This year, no film is daring to open wide, but The Pyramid is coming the closest opening in just under 600 theaters. The film would need a per theater average of more than $10,000 to reach the top five, which is nearly impossible at this stage. This means the top five this week will mostly be the same as the top five last week with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 leading the way. Likewise, this weekend last year, Frozen led the way with more than $30 million. There is very little chance Mockingjay, Part 1 will match that, so 2014 will lose yet again in the year-over-year comparison.
December 1st, 2014
November is over and there are not a lot of positive things to say about what happened during the month. There were a couple of films that matched expectations, but there were no breakout hits and a few that missed expectations by wide margins. Granted, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 will top $300 million with relative ease, but that's still nearly $100 million lower than some people were predicting. The month ends with 2014 about $300 million behind 2013's pace and there's really no chance to catch up in December. That doesn't mean there are no films that will be worth watching in December. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies should at least earn $200 million, while $300 million is not out of the question. Additionally, there are several films that at least have a shot at $100 million at the box office, but not all will get there. At least this December and last December are on par with each other. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug topped $250 million while there were three others that topped $100 million. I think we will get the same result this month. Last year there were a lot more wide releases, but many of them bombed. I think this year the lack of competition will help more films reach their potential.
November 27th, 2014
Next weekend is the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend, which is historically one of the two worst weekends of the year to release a new film. (The other is the weekend after Labor Day.) This year, there is only one wide release, The Pyramid, which I'm not 100% sure is opening truly wide. Even so, it is the only real 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 Pyramid.
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 The Hundred-Foot Journey on DVD, I think. It might be on Blu-ray. I wasn't able to confirm which format it was and it's Thanksgiving, so they are closed till Monday. I will update the contest then with the format.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a previously reviewed DVD or Blu-ray.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!