June 22nd, 2013
There was a one-two punch when it came to new releases with Safe Haven topping the DVD chart, while Jack Reacher reached top spot on Blu-ray. Safe Haven sold 558,000 units / $9.54 million on DVD and 227,000 units / $5.22 million on Blu-ray. Its opening week Blu-ray share was 29%, which is better than expected, given its target demographic. In total, the film has sold 941,000 units / $16.09 million on DVD, while its Blu-ray running tallies are 373,000 units / $8.53 million. Jack Reacher opened in second place on the DVD chart with 320,000 units / $5.46 million, but earned first place on Blu-ray with 248,000 units / $5.01 million. An opening week Blu-ray share of 44% is good, but not great. After four weeks of release, the film has sold 539,000 units / $9.26 million on DVD and 383,000 units / $7.95 million on Blu-ray. I think the studio was expecting more.
May 7th, 2013
While there are a lot of new releases listed on Amazon.com, it isn't long before you run into filler. Worse still, the top two selling movies, Jack Reacher and Save Haven, are just mediocre movies. The Great Escape is coming out on Blu-ray this week, which would normally be a reason to celebrate. However, a lot of reviewers are complaining about the poor video quality. The film needed, and deserves, a full restoration, but that didn't happen. We need to look further down the list to find a Pick of the Week contender, and we find one in 30 Rock: Season Seven.
February 25th, 2013
The Oscars proved to be too much competition for the new releases as neither Snitch nor Dark Skies were able to find much success. Indeed, it was Identity Thief that rose to top spot in its third week of release. Most films in the top five were able to at least match expectations, but the overall box office still plummeted 27% from last weekend to just $103 million. The comparison to last year was not quite as bad, but it was still down by a stunning 23%. Ouch. 2013 is now behind 2012 by a full $100 million or 6.7% at $1.41 billion to $1.51 billion.
February 21st, 2013
There are just two wide releases coming out this week, Snitch and Dark Skies. Most analysts think Snitch is the stronger of the two films, but most also think Identity Thief will return to top spot. Looking at all of the evidence, it certainly seems that way. Unless one of the new releases is a truly big surprise, it looks like we won't keep pace with last year again this weekend. 2013 needed to get off to a really fast start, because there's no film that's going to match The Hunger Games, and once we are dealing with that film in the year-over-year comparison, 2013 might be sunk for good.
February 20th, 2013
The Valentine's Day / President's Day five-day weekend wasn't as lucrative as many had hoped, at least not at the top, which is really bad news for a year that is not off to a great start. A Good Day to Die Hard won the race, but barely, with Identity Thief coming in a very close second over the weekend. Other new releases, like Safe Haven and Escape From Planet Earth did better than expected, while Beautiful Creatures crashed. The overall box office did rise by 36% to $141 million over the three-day period, but the holiday explains that growth. Compare to last year, 2013 actually failed to match last President's Day by 9.3% over the three-day period and with $168 million including Monday, missed the four-day period by 13%. Year-to-date, 2013 is behind 2012 by 6.7% at $1.28 billion to $1.37 billion. I am officially concerned.
February 17th, 2013
President's Day weekend will end with a win and a solid opening for A Good Day to Die Hard, based on studio estimates released on Sunday, but it'll be a close run thing. Safe Haven was a predictable winner on Valentine's Day but has faded fast and is projected to earn $21.4 million Friday-Sunday for third place. Second place is going to be claimed by Identity Thief with about $23.4 million over three days, during which time it has steadily caught up with Die Hard, so much so that it has a good chance of winning the day on Monday. The Bruce Willis actioner will, however, get to claim the title for the weekend with a respectable $25 million for three days and close to $40 million in total by the end of Monday.
February 14th, 2013
It's Valentine's Day today, while Monday is President's Day, so the box office has an unofficial five-day weekend. There's not much of a mystery regarding which of the four wide releases will top the chart this weekend, as nearly everyone expects A Good Day to Die Hard will come out on top. Maybe Safe Haven will earn first place tonight, but very few expect that will last after Valentine's day. Despite earning better than expected reviews, Beautiful Creatures isn't expected to compete for the top spot, or even second place. So far there are no reviews for Escape From Planet Earth and it might be stuck in fifth place. Because of a misalignment in Valentine's Day, we should do better this weekend compared to the same weekend last year, which is good news, as 2013 is in a mini-slump.
February 8th, 2013
Valentine's Day is next week, to be more specific, it is on Thursday. Going to the movies is such an iconic date, it makes sense romantic movies like Safe Haven and Beautiful Creatures are opening that day. I'm not even surprised a family film like Escape From Planet Earth is opening, because it gives families something to do. I'm a little more concerned about A Good Day to Die Hard. While it is the odd one out, it still should win the weekend box office race and 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 A Good Day to Die Hard.
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 Bonanza: Season Five 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 win a copy of Gunsmoke: Season Seven, Volume Two on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
February 1st, 2013
For the most part, January was a really good month and 2013 got off to a really good start. I'm not so sure about February, on the other hand. There's only one film that has a statistically significant shot at $100 million, A Good Day to Die Hard, but I'm a little concerned that it won't live up to expectations. The franchise has been around a long time and it is possible that the target audience has either moved on or are too young to remember when these films were huge at the box office. The film I'm most looking forward to seeing is Warm Bodies, which is earning amazing early reviews (the keyword there is "early"), but it is too high-concept to be a major hit. Last February, there were a couple of films that topped $100 million, plus a few other midlevel hits. I would like to think that would also be the case this year, but I have to be more cautious than that. The evidence points to a weak month ahead, for the most part.