A second-rate cage fighter on the mixed martial arts circuit, Luke Wright lives a numbing life of routine beatings and chump change...until the day he blows a rigged fight. Wanting to make an example of him, the Russian Mafia murders his family and banishes him from his life forever, leaving Luke to wander the streets of New York destitute, haunted by guilt, and tormented by the knowledge that he will always be watched, and anyone he develops a relationship with will also be killed.
But when he witnesses a frightened twelve-year-old Chinese girl, Mei, being pursued by the same gangsters who killed his wife, Luke impulsively jumps to action...and straight into the heart of a deadly high-stakes war. Mei, he discovers, is no ordinary girl, but an orphaned math prodigy forced to work for the Triads as a "counter." He discovers she holds in her memory a priceless numerical code that the Triads, the Russian mob and a corrupt faction of the NYPD will kill for.
Realizing he's the only person Mei can trust, Luke tears a swath through the city's brutal underworld to save an innocent girl's life...and perhaps even redeem his own.
||April 27th, 2012 (Wide) by Lionsgate|
||September 4th, 2012 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment|
||R for strong violence throughout, and for language.|
(Rating bulletin 2177, 6/22/2011)
||Revenge, Death of a Son or Daughter, Death of a Spouse, Mixed Martial Arts, Martial Arts, Corrupt Cops, Kidnap, Organized Crime, Child Prodigy|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
||Lionsgate, IM Global, Automatik, Lawrence Bender, 87Eleven Inc., Trigger Street Productions|
It was a bad week for new releases, at least in terms of quality. How bad? The Hunger Games was able to return to first place on the DVD sales chart. It sold an additional 256,000 units / $5.11 million over the week for a total of 5.38 million units / $93.21 million. It has now sold more units than any other DVD in 2012, but it is still a little behind Breaking Dawn, Part 1 in terms of revenue.
None of the new releases were able to unseat Battleship on top of the Blu-ray Sales Chart this week, as it sold 145,000 units / $3.63 million for the week giving it totals of 729,000 units / $15.30 million after two. This is better than it is performing on DVD, but that's not saying a lot.
This week is again loaded with TV on DVD releases, including several in the top best sellers according to Amazon.com. The best TV on DVD release in terms of comedy is 2 Broke Girls: Season One on DVD or Blu-ray, while Person of Interest: Season One on DVD or Blu-ray is the best TV on DVD release as far as the dramas are concerned. Both are contenders for Pick of the Week, but neither quite gets there. The Five-Year Engagement on Blu-ray Combo Pack comes a little close, but in the end I went with Headhunters on DVD or Blu-ray. Just keep an eye on the price of the Blu-ray.
Expectations for The Avengers were high, record-breakingly high among some people. However, as high as they were, reality was higher. Records were not just broken, but destroyed beyond recognition. The overall box office was in the top five combined biggest weekends with $258 million, which was 134% higher than last weekend. 134%. It was 55% higher than the same weekend last year. Like I've said before, this kind of year-over-year change usually only happens when there is a misalignment in holidays. The victory erases all of the losses from April, and then some, giving 2012 a $500 million lead over 2011 at $3.58 billion to $3.08 billion. This is an amazing start for the summer and with with roughly 25 million people seeing movies this weekend, upcoming films got a ton of free publicity and added hype.
If someone were to describe the box office this weekend in just one word, that one word would be, "Yuck". Only one of the four wide releases matched expectations, and that was the film that was expected to do the worst. Think Like a Man easily repeated on top of the chart, despite falling nearly 50%. The overall box office fell 18% from last weekend to $110 million, which was 30% lower than the same weekend last year. Declines like this usually only happen due to a misalignment in holidays. Year-to-date, 2012 is still ahead of 2011, but the lead has shrunk to 14% at $3.29 billion to $2.88 billion. Fortunately, The Avengers is on track to break records, so 2012 should get back to its winning ways very soon.
This weekend's four new wide releases were no match for Think Like a Man, according to studio estimates released on Sunday, with the comedy's 46% weekend-to-weekend drop-off and $18 million gross still putting it almost $7 million ahead of the next-best finisher. That movie, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, also comes from the Sony stable, although it is projected to be very narrowly at the head of a pack of movies that will earn around $11 million, and could actually end up anywhere between second and fifth when the final numbers come in on Monday. The other movies in the hunt for the (not very) coveted runners-up position include new release The Five-Year Engagement and two returning films: The Lucky One and The Hunger Games (which will end the weekend with over $370 million).
The four films opening wide this week will be looking to pull in as much money as possible over the next seven days before The Avengers opens and makes everything currently in theaters irrelevant. Five-Year Engagement is the only new film that is expected to compete for top spot, but even its box office chances have taken a hit from the beginning of the month. The other three films, The Raven and The Pirates! Band of Misfits could be in a close battle for a spot in the top five, while Safe looks like it is going to sink. This weekend last year was an abnormally strong weekend for April. In fact, Fast Five's opening of $86.20 million was strong for for a summer release. There's no chance anything coming out this weekend will match that figure.
There's good news / bad news going forward into April. First the good news, aside from one week where we saw a minor dip, March was fantastic. There were a number of films beating expectations and the overall the month was even stronger than predicted. As of this weekend, the box office is now 20% higher than the same pace last year. The bad news? That winning streak will certainly come to an end in April. Last year, there was one film that reached $200 million, Fast Five, plus two others that reached $100 million, Hop and Rio. Granted, due to the shifting calendar, Hop is actually being compared to the last weekend in March, so this April only needs one $200 million hit and a $150 million hit to keep pace. But even so, there's almost no chance that will happen. In fact, there's a chance that we might not have one film topping $100 million this year. Only three films have a real shot at this milestone: American Reunion, Five-Year Engagement, and Titanic 3D. And quite frankly, only the first one has a 50/50 chance of getting there. We will likely see 2012 shed some of its lead over 2011, but it should still end the month with a solid year-over-year lead.
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