SIDE EFFECTS is a thriller about Emily and Martin, a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily's psychiatrist - intended to treat anxiety - has unexpected side effects.
||February 8th, 2013 (Wide) by Open Road|
||May 21st, 2013 by Universal Home Entertainment|
||R for sexuality, nudity, violence and language.|
(Rating bulletin 2254, 1/9/2013)
||Pharmaceuticals, Therapists / Therapy, Life on the Outside, Anxiety and Phobias|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Science Fiction|
||Endgame Entertainment, di Bonaventura Pictures|
There were a number of new releases to reach the top of the DVD sales chart. They earned the top four spots and seven of the top eight spots. On the downside, it was absolutely a case of quantity over quality. Parker earned first place on the DVD chart, but with just 170,000 units / $2.62 million. It only managed second place on Blu-ray with 72,000 units / $1.50 million for an opening week Blu-ray share of just under 30%, which is bad for an action film. Speaking of action films, The Last Stand opened in second place on DVD with 154,000 units / $2.17 million, but earned first place on Blu-ray with 110,000 units / $1.64 million. Its opening week Blu-ray share was 42%, which is more in line with the average for that genre.
It's an abridged list of DVD and Blu-ray releases report this week due to technical difficulties. The best selling new release of the week is True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray Combo Pack, which is certainly worth owning for fans. However, the best releases are the Hayao Miyazaki Double-Shot, Howl's Moving Castle on Blu-ray Combo Pack and My Neighbor Totoro on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Most prefer the former, but I prefer the latter.
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.
It was a great week at the box office, all things considered, with Identity Thief crushing expectations and all of the holdovers matching theirs. Only Side Effects struggled at the box office. This helped the overall box office climb 18% from last week to $104 million. This was 47% lower than the same weekend last year; however, this weekend last year was Valentine's weekend, which is one of the biggest non-holiday weekends of the year, so the comparison isn't fair. As I predicted last week, the lead 2013 had built up has evaporated and it is now 1.2% lower than 2012 at $1.05 billion to $1.06 billion. Since Valentine's Day is this Thursday, we should make up the difference quickly.
Universal has a winner on its hands this weekend, as Identity Thief is set to make a very impressive $36.5 million or so, according to their Sunday tracking, and that in spite of the big storm in the Northeast (reportedly causing a 10% at the box office) and mediocre reviews. The performance is perhaps helped by the surfeit of Oscar-hopefuls and action movies in theaters recently, and is clearly also a feather in the cap for stars Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. The weekend's other opener, Side Effects is set for a more modest $10 million, which isn't exactly DOA, but is at best on life support. Perhaps good word of mouth will help it hang on in theaters for a while.
There are two wide releases this week, Identity Thief and Side Effects. One of these films is earning amazing reviews and one of them is the overwhelming favorite to win the box office race. Identity Thief looks like it is going to finish in first place and it's only real competition is from last year. Last year the box office was led by a one-two punch of The Vow and Safe House, both of which earned more than $40 million. No movie is going to do that this year, so 2013 is going to lose big this week.
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.
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