Tired of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, itinerant journalist Paul Kemp travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local San Juan newspaper run by the downtrodden editor Lotterman. Adopting the rum-soaked lifestyle of the late '50s version of Hemingway's "The Lost Generation," Paul soon becomes entangled with a very attractive American woman, Chenault and her fiancée Sanderson, a businessman involved in shady property development deals. It is within this world that Kemp ultimately discovers his true voice as a writer and integrity as a man.
||October 28th, 2011 (Wide) by FilmDistrict|
||February 14th, 2012 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
||R for language, brief drug use and sexuality.|
(Rating bulletin 2116, 4/14/2010)
||Puerto Rico, News, Writing and Writers, White Collar Crime, Addiction, Relationships Gone Wrong|
|Source:||Based on Fiction Book/Short Story|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Historical Fiction|
||Infinitum Nihil, GK Films|
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 and Lady and the Tramp switched places on the Blu-ray sales chart. The former rose to first place during its first full week on the home market selling 455,000 units / $10.46 million giving it an early total of 1.24 million units / $28.58 million.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 remained on top of the DVD sales chart, although it fell to 1.45 million units / $26.03 million for the week giving it a total of 3.80 million units / $68.77 million after two. By comparison, Eclipse actually grew during its first full week of release and had sold 5.38 million units at this point in its run.
It's a really slow week at the box office with only one first run release, The Rum Diary, and it bombed in theaters. Paranormal Activity 3 is coming out on DVD this week, but it came out on Blu-ray a few weeks ago, so it is not much of a factor in terms of sales this week. In fact, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 will likely lead the sales charts, despite coming out on Saturday. As for the best of the new releases, Take Shelter on DVD or Blu-ray is probably the best, but I'm still waiting for the screener to confirm that.
November began like most of 2011 has gone, on a losing note. We are running out of time to turn things around and this weekend it wasn't even close. Neither Tower Heist nor A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas put up much of a fight at the box office and, if it weren't for Puss in Boots's incredible hold, the numbers would have been nothing short of tragic. Granted, the box office rose by 9% from last weekend to $114 million, but that was 24% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2011 is behind 2010 by 4% at $8.66 billion to $9.02 billion and, at this point, I'd settle for that situation not getting any worse from now till the New Year.
It was a rare winning weekend at the box office, although it came too late to salvage the month, which was a bloody affair and 2011 fell tens of millions of dollars further behind last year's pace. The lone bright spot over the weekend was Puss in Boots, which easily led the way. However, even here there was darkness, as it failed to live up to the low end of expectations. The overall box office was a macabre $105 million, or 14% lower than last weekend. We did get a jolt with the box office creeping up 11% from last year. However, while double-digit growth would normally send chills up your spine, not having to deal with Halloween on the weekend itself explains much of that success. Year-to-date, 2011 remains lifeless down 4% from last year at $8.52 billion compared to $8.86 billion and unless some dark magic can revive the box office, and soon, we will have the second year in a row of year-over-year declines and 2011 could see the lowest ticket sales in about a decade and a half. That's truly scary.
Although it's perhaps an exaggeration to call it the start of the Holiday Season, Puss in Boots' debut this weekend was intended to give Dreamworks Animation a head start on what will be a very competitive season, and it looks as though it can be called a moderate success. The Shrek spin-off will earn an estimated $34 million this weekend, which should put it on track to earn comfortably over $100 million during its run in domestic theaters. While that's a very respectable performance for October, it pales in comparison to other films in the franchise. Even Shrek Forever After more than doubled that number, and the original Shrek posted over $42 million in 2001. So it's far from certain that this will be the start of a long-lived offshot for the franchise.
Puss in Boots was pushed up a week and will likely dominate the pre-Halloween weekend with last weekend's winner, Paranormal Activity 3, coming in a distant second. There are a couple of other new wide releases, In Time and The Rum Diary, but neither are generating a lot of buzz. There is some good news, as this weekend last year was a real disappointment and there's a chance both Puss in Boots and Paranormal Activity 3 will earn more than last year's number one film, Saw VII. Hopefully October can end on a high note, because it's been a bad month so far.
There is a little bit of good news going into October, as September did help close the year-to-date deficit, even if it was by a small amount. Unfortunately, we really needed a better result to be optimistic about our chances of closing that gap entirely by the end of the year. Even worse, this month represents the last chance 2011 has to catch up to 2010. I know there are two additional months left in the year, but October of 2010 was a soft month with four of the five weekends showing year-over-year declines. If October 2011 is even weaker, the odds of making up the $300 million deficit will be all but gone. It becomes even more troubling that there are no movies opening in October that are guaranteed to be monster hits. So, while October of 2010 was weak compared to October of 2009, it looks like it will be stronger than October of 2011. Hopefully I'm just being pessimistic. There are a couple films that have a shot at $100 million and I will be surprised if none of them at least come close to that milestone, but the slate of films is weaker than I would like.
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