October 28th, 2013
Like last week, the home market is rather slow this week. There are more than 200 new releases, which is a step up from last week when there were only 161, at least according to Amazon.com. But even so, this week is arguably worse, if you only look at the top releases. The number one release is Monsters University, but number two is R.I.P.D., which bombed both in theaters and with critics. There are not even a few limited releases to help fill out the list, like we had last week. In fact, I'm pretty sure the Christmas Releases outnumber the non-Christmas releases by a sizable margin. Fortunately, there are two contenders for Pick of the Week, including Monsters University on Blu-ray Collector's Edition or 3D Combo Pack and Degrassi: Season 12. The former is the Pick of the Week, while the latter takes home the rarely awarded Puck of the Week.
September 1st, 2013
Hollywood's Summer ends this weekend with a suitably back-to-school winner in the form of One Direction: This is Us. The 3D concert movie will pick up $17 million Friday-Sunday, largely on the back of an impressive $8.9 million gross on Saturday. While that won't set it up to challenge Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus among the top grossers in this particular sub-genre, it does show the solid business model for 3D films that cater to pop fans. Performances among other films playing this weekend were more varied.
July 29th, 2013
The Wolverine did not live up to expectations, but it still dominated the weekend box office chart, earning more than double the second place film, The Conjuring. Overall, the box office fell nearly 12% when compared to last weekend hitting $172 million. This is still 28% higher than the same weekend last year, which is a great result. In total, 2013 has pulled in $6.40 billion, which is just under $20 million or 0.3% below last year's pace. This is fantastic; however, had The Wolverine performed as well as some were expecting, 2013 would have pulled into the lead over the weekend.
July 22nd, 2013
The weekend box office was mixed with two of the four wide releases matching predictions, Turbo and R.I.P.D.. There was one movie failing to reach expectations, Red 2. And finally there was one more beating nearly all predictions, The Conjuring. Fortunately, The Conjuring did so well that it made up for the weak films and helped the overall box grow to $195 million. Granted, that was within a rounding error of last weekend, but any growth is good news. There is also some bad news, as this was 16% lower than the same weekend last year, but since that was the weekend The Dark Knight Rises opened, this is actually better than expected. Year-to-date, 2013 has pulled in $6.12 billion. This is still lower than last year's pace ($6.16 billion), but it is close enough that it would only take one surprise weekend result to catch up. Earlier in the year, I thought 2013 was a lost cause. Now I'm much more optimistic.
July 21st, 2013
This is a Summer packed with big-budget proto-franchise films, which makes it a risky season for the studios. Predictably enough, we've had some success stories among them, like Man of Steel and World War Z, and some disasters (with The Lone Ranger and Pacific Rim standing out). Overall, the batting average for these films is running around 50%, which makes it a particularly dicey proposition to have two of them opening in the same weekend.
July 18th, 2013
There are four new releases coming out this week, but there is a wide range of predictions for some of these films. Turbo opened on Wednesday to mostly good reviews and some think it will earn first place over the weekend. Red 2's early reviews are weaker than anticipated, but it still has an impressive cast and could come out on top. The Conjuring is earning some of the best reviews of any wide release opening this summer. It is a horror film and those rarely open in first place in the summer, but the buzz is growing and it could be a surprise hit. Then there's R.I.P.D., which has bad buzz and no reviews. It will likely not make the top five. This weekend last year was the weekend The Dark Knight Rises opened and there's no chance 2013 will come out on top on the year-over-year comparison. In fact, the total box office this year might be lower than The Dark Knight Rises opening alone.
July 12th, 2013
Next week is a busy week with four films coming out: Turbo, The Conjuring, Red 2, and R.I.P.D. All four films should make $20 million over the weekend, more or less, (less in the case of R.I.P.D.). This makes it really hard to choose the target film. R.I.P.D. is the least likely to be a hit, so it is eliminated. Turbo is the most likely, but it opens on Wednesday, so it is eliminated. I really want The Conjuring to be a hit, because there are several actors in the movie that I like. (Lili Taylor doesn't get enough work in my opinion.) However, I think Red 2 will have the biggest opening of the weekend. As such, it is 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 Red 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 Femme Fatales: The Complete Second Season 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 Femme Fatales: The Complete Second Season on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
July 1st, 2013
For the most part, June was a really strong month at the box office with nearly every film either matching expectations, or at least coming close enough to call it a victory. Looking forward, there are a dozen films opening wide in July, more or less. One of them, The Smurfs 2, is opening on a Wednesday, so I'm going to hold off talking about that movie till the August preview. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain is opening in less than 1000 theaters, but it has a shot at reaching the top ten during its opening weekend. If we include both of them, there are twelve films, but I think it is better to stick with the ten truly wide, truly July openings. Of these, Despicable Me 2 is clearly going to be the biggest hit at the box office. It could become the second biggest hit of the year so far. It is not the only film that could be a $100 million hit. In fact, there are six films opening in July that I think have a better than 50% chance of reaching that level. There is currently only one film that I think won't at least become a midlevel hit. By comparison in 2012, there were three $100 million movies, led by The Dark Knight Rises, but the rest of the new releases struggled. There's no chance any movie opening this month will top $400 million, in fact, it is quite possible no film will get to $300 million. That said, 2013 has a lot better depth, so it might come out on top in the end.