Ten years ago, true crime writer Ellison Oswald made his reputation with a best-selling account of a notorious murder. Now, desperate ot replicate the critical and financial success of his first book, he moves his loyal wife, over-anxious son and artistic daughter into a home where a suburban family was brutally executed and a child disappeared, hoping to find inspiration in the crime scene.
Instead he discovers a mysterious box containing Super 8 footage of the murders - plus several more equally gruesome homicides. As he watches the carnage unfold on film, Ellison realizes he has stumbled onto evidence of a decades-long killing spree. But rather than going to the local authorities, he keeps the movies to himself, hoping to publish another acclaimed book based on the crimes.
As Ellison starts to piece together the mind-bending truth about the crimes and the murderer, unseen intruders and inexplicable goings-on disrupt his once peaceful household. Slowly, he begins to realize that his ambition has placed him and his family in the path of an ancient and bloodthirsty adversary who has marked them as his next victims.
||October 12th, 2012 (Wide) by Lionsgate|
||February 19th, 2013 by Summit Home Video|
||R for disturbing violent images and some terror.|
(Rating bulletin 2210, 2/15/2012)
||Found Footage, Possessed, Writing and Writers, Demons, Prologue, Surprise Twist, Scary Kids, Comeback, Dysfunctional Family, Anxiety and Phobias|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
||Blumhouse, Automatik, Summit Entertainment, Alliance Films, IM Global|
Argo was one of six new releases to chart on this week's DVD sales chart. It pulled in first place with 564,000 units / $8.44 million. This is not a huge amount given its box office and critical success, but it did relatively better on Blu-ray.
There were two new releases that had a legitimate claim on top spot on the Blu-ray sales chart for the week of February 24th, 2013. Argo sold the most units at 378,000 generating $8.68 million earning a opening week Blu-ray of 40%. On the other hand, Game of Thrones: Season Two generated the most revenue at $10.08 million, from 336,000 units sold. Its opening week Blu-ray share was 58%, which is fantastic, even compared to first run releases and not just TV on DVD releases.
This week's list is a little shorter than usual, because of technical difficulties. I've been getting an average of one Blue Screen of Death per day for just over a week. It seems to happen most often when I open too many tabs in Firefox. Worse still, two of the sites that seem to set off the BSOD are YouTube and Rotten Tomatoes. Fortunately I've narrowed the problem down to a driver conflict for either my video or perhaps a Windows system driver. Or it could be bad RAM. Or it could be a bad power supply. Or perhaps a virus or other malware. So when I said I had it narrowed down the problem, I was lying. I don't have time to take the computer to get it fixed, not until the Oscars are over, but I promise to get caught up by the weekend. It is quite a good week for new releases with a number of contenders for Pick of the Week. The two main contender are Argo on Blu-ray Combo Pack and Game of Thrones: Season Two on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack. While Argo is cleaning up during Awards Season, I've given Game of Thrones the edge here.
Sinister is a horror film that opened early in October. Its early reviews were incredible, but by the time it opened its Tomatometer Score fell to just over the overall positive level. This suggests the studio was able to show the film to genre critics, who were more likely to give the film a positive review, before the overall community saw it. I don't begrudge them for doing this. After all, it makes total sense for the studio to want the early good reviews and the genre critics are the ones mostly likely to jump at the chance to review a horror film. And in the end, it still earned good reviews. But does this mean it will be seen as a classic by fans of the genre and only okay by others? And is an okay horror film still worth picking up for casual fans of the genre.
As everyone was expecting, Paranormal Activity 4 led the way on the box office chart this past weekend; however, it did so with much weaker than expected numbers. The other new release, Alex Cross, also missed expectations. On the other hand, the holdovers held on a lot better than expected. The overall box office was still weaker than last weekend, but only by 0.9%. We can call that a tie. Compared to last year, the overall box office rose by 6%. That's not a huge amount, but considering this weekend last year saw Paranormal Activity 3 break the record for biggest October opening, a victory by any margin is worth celebrating. Year-to-date, 2012 is maintaining its lead over 2011. 2012 currently has a 3.9% advantage over 2011's pace at $8.59 billion to $8.26 billion. Since 2011 didn't have a strong winter run, 2012 should be able to maintain, if not expand, its lead.
After just two weeks of release, Taken 2 has already earned more internationally than the original did in total. Over the weekend, the sequel pulled in $45.09 million on 6,889 screens in 63 markets for a two-week total of $134.76 million, while its worldwide total rose to $220.89 million. The film had to settle for second place in Germany with $3.55 million on 437 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.88 million. It only managed fourth place in Italy with $1.26 million on 265. Its best market of the weekend was the U.K. with $6.01 million on 510 screens over the weekend for a total of $23.29 million after two. The film has very few markets left to open in, but it has already made enough to cover its production budget and likely a good chunk of its P&A budget. It will reach profitability before it reaches the home market.
It was another good week at the box office with just about every film in the top ten at least doing as well as expected. Granted, none of the new releases were monster hits, but the depth was very good with five films topping $10 million over the weekend. Taken 2 remained in first place, so it should come as no surprise that the box office was lower than last weekend; however, it only fell 8.6% to $130 million. This is 48% more than the same weekend last year, which is a huge boost. Year-to-date, 2012 expanded its lead to 3.8% at $8.42 billion to $8.11 billion. Just a few weeks ago, it looked like 2012 would fall below 2011's pace in the end, but now things are looking a lot more optimistic.
There could be as many as five new releases to reach the top ten this week. It is also very possible that Taken 2 will remain in first place on the weekend chart, so while there's a high quantity of new releases, the quality isn't there. Argo likely has the best shot at becoming the new number one film, but some think Sinister will benefit from the close proximity to Halloween and steal a victory. On the other hand the buzz for Here Comes the Boom just hasn't grown like it should and it could struggle to grab fifth place, despite playing in more than 3,000 theaters. On the other hand, Seven Psychopaths has excellent buzz, but is only playing in 1500 theaters. Finally there's Atlas Shrugged: Part II, which is opening in just over 1,000 theaters, but with no chance outside of its politically motivated target demographic. Last year was disappointing at the box office with none of the three new releases becoming hits, while the box office was led by Real Steel for the third weekend in a row. We should do better this time around, unless all of the new releases miss expectations.
2012 continues its downward path. After a record-breaking spring, thanks to The Hunger Games, and a record-breaking start to the summer, thanks to The Avengers, the box office hasn't been able to maintain any real momentum. For most of the month, September was no better than August and now the year-over-year gains are just a little more than inflation. October will need to improve or 2012 will be in real trouble. Unfortunately, that might be tough. There's not a single film coming out in October that looks like it will be a guaranteed $100 million hit and there are only two films with a realistic chance, Taken 2 and Paranormal Activity 4. (There's also Cloud Atlas, which is a wild card. That movie could bomb or be the biggest hit of the month and I wouldn't be surprised either way.) There is a chance all three will get to the century mark, but there's a better chance none of them will. Last October, two films cracked $100 million: Paranormal Activity 3 and Puss in Boots, with the latter nearly reaching $150 million. I don't see any film coming close to matching that figure. On the other hand, last year there were six films that one could accurately describe as bombs. So while 2012 is weaker at the top, it could have better depth than 2011 did. Let's hope so, because we can't afford more bad news.
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