It's Thanksgiving long weekend next weekend, which could make our weekly box office prediction contest a little more complicated for a couple reasons. First of all, our target film, Tangled, opens on Wednesday, but we are only interested in the Friday to Sunday number. Secondly, Thanksgiving is just a confusing weekend much of the time. You would think family films would do huge business, but a lot of the time, families are too busy eating to see a movie. Fortunately, we do have a really big prize to entice people to enter. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Tangled.
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 Avatar: Extended Collector's Edtion on Blu-ray.
Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of a different "Humans fighting on an alien world" movie, Predators on Blu-ray.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
New releases again failed to make much of an impact on this week's sale chart with only three placing in the top 30. However, one of those, Sex and the City 2, did take top spot with 989,000 units and $16.81 million during its opening week. This is weaker than its predecessor opened with, but in line with expectations, more or less.
New releases failed to make much of an impact on this week's DVD sales chart with only one placing in the top five and only two or three others in the top 30. This left How to Train Your Dragon on top with an easy win at 1.42 million units for the week. This gives it totals of 3.29 million / $70.40 million in consumer spending at retail, which makes it the third-best-selling DVD for any 2010 theatrical release and the eighth-best-selling DVD of the year.
Back when Predator came out in 1987, it starred Arnold Schwarzenegger before he became a massive box office draw. He did have a lot of fans and his movies were mostly hits, but he wasn't a $100 million star yet. Predator was at the time his biggest hit, and has since developed a huge following, spawning video games, comic books, even a franchise crossover. Trying to reboot the franchise 20 years after the original... well, I was excited. However, in the end, Predators made less at the box office in terms of raw dollars despite the 23 years of inflation backing it up. So what went wrong? Was it just a bad movie, or do we have to look for other reasons.
There's a bit of a lull in activity on the home market this week, at least in terms of big sellers. The best selling release is Predators and while I recommend picking up the Blu-ray, the movie barely made $50 million at the box office, so I have realistic expectations regarding its sales potential. Meanwhile, the Pick of the Week is a classic from 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show - 35th Anniversary Blu-ray.
Over the past weekend, Toy Story 3 fell to second place on the international chart with $38.69 million on 7806 screens in 42 markets. However, it rose to second place for 2010 on the international chart with $436.65 million overtaking Shrek Forever After. The only 2010 release that has made more internationally is Alice in Wonderland. Worldwide it now has $826.41 million and it has very likely already surpassed Finding Nemo to become Pixar's biggest hit. The film's only major release of the week came in Germany over the weekend, where it made $4.03 million on 740 screens, bringing the total to $4.35 million. While this is a good result, its not great, and prior to this the film had been doing great. It also remained in the top spot in the U.K. over the weekend, with $12.81 million on 564 screens, for a two week total of $62.82 million. It has likely overtaken Alice in Wonderland to become the biggest hit of 2010 released in that market. As for the film's future, it has yet to open in South Korea and Scandinavia. If it does well in those markets, $1 billion worldwide is still within reach.
After opening in a few markets last weekend, Inception got its international run off in earnest last weekend and climbed into second place with $56.78 million on 5,177 screens in 36 markets for a still early total of $87.86 million.
It opened in a number of major markets and debuted in first place in most of them.
The biggest was Japan with $7.86 million on 525 screens over the weekend and $8.94 million in total.
France was also a lucrative market for the film with $8.01 million on 626 screens, while in South Korea it made $6.01 million on 583 screens over the weekend and $7.89 million in total.
Russia added $7.08 million on 895 screens to its weekend haul, while Australia produced $6.67 million on 413.
The film only managed seventh in Mexico with just $467,000 on 152 screens, but this was a low screen count.
In the U.K. the film was down just 29% to $6.47 million on 456 screens over the weekend for a total of $22.01 after two.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse slipped to second place with $43.82 million on 9,527 screens in 61 markets for a total of $295.66 million internationally and $560.45 million worldwide.
This includes a first place debut in Germany with $9.76 million on 767 screens over the weekend and $12.30 million in total.
On the other hand, the film was down a stunning 75% in the U.K. to $5.19 million over the weekend and $33.84 million after two.
The amazing growth the franchise saw from installment one to two is gone, but this is still a fantastically profitable movie.
Neither of the two new releases were able to match expectations, while the holdovers were not able to compensate. This left the overall box office down 7% to $178 million for the weekend. That was still 11% higher than last year, lifting 2010's lead over 2009 to $6.22 billion to $5.97 billion.
Attendance is still down by 2%, but revenue is higher by 4% thanks to the increased price for 3D tickets.
Shrek Forever After remained in second place with a hearty $56.42 million on 6,987 screens in 41 markets for a total of $209.55 million internationally and $443.33 worldwide.
There was some excellent news this week, as the film opened in first place in Brazil with $6.86 million on 658 screens, which is an all-time record in that market for an animated film.
Meanwhile in Spain it opened with $4.12 million on 748 screens over the weekend and $4.97 million in total, but Shrek the Third made more than $7.5 million during its opening three years ago. Finally, it opened atop Poland with $2.73 million on 235 screens. Poland isn't normally considered a major market, but when it comes to animated films, it usually is. As far as holdovers go, it held on extremely well in South Korea, down just 20% to $4.66 million on 566 screens over the weekend for a total of $12.81 million after two.
On the other hand, it was down nearly 50% in the U.K. To $6.88 million on 537 screens over the weekend and $25.81 million after two.
It was a great weekend at the box office with four of the top five films beating expectations. The helped the overall box office climb to $192 million, which was an increase of 2% from last weekend and considering last weekend was a holiday, this is impressive. (Granted, July 4th did land on a Sunday, which undoubtedly hurt the industry's three-day weekend haul, but I'm still impressed.) Additionally, the weekend saw 34% growth from the same weekend last year, which is beyond impressive. Year-to-date, 2010 now has a 4.9% lead over 2009, $5.94 billion to $5.66 billion.
The long wait for an out and out hit is over for Universal this weekend, thanks to a great opening weekend for Despicable Me.
The kids comedy had been getting good reviews, and benefited from a great marketing campaign, but was going head-to-head with Toy Story 3, and had to fight for every screen (2D and 3D) that it played on.
So the studio will be delighted with its estimated $60.1 million opening.
With good word-of-mouth, the film can set its sights on $200 million, and strong video revenues to come.
With a production budget of $69 million, the studio will be reaping big profits on this one.
It's a post-holiday weekend and that usually means a serious drop-off at the box office. Add in two films with serious Fanboy, and Fangirl, issues, and this is twice as true this weekend. However, we do have two films that are earning strong reviews and this could help mitigate the losses. Also, this time last year wasn't particularly strong either, so we won't need a $40 million debut to keep 2010 close to 2009's pace. Although that would certainly help and it is not out of the question.
The summer has really started to get depressing, not just disappointing. It's getting to the point where a film merely matching expectations is enough to celebrate, while beating expectations is practically unheard of. Speaking of which, of the ten wide releases that opened in June only four matched expectations. Granted, that's better than May, but still disappointing. Going forwards, what is likely the biggest hit of July actually opens on the last day of June. Given how front-loaded The Twilight Saga: Eclipse could be, this could have a serious effect when we compare this year's box office to last July.