After a late night party, a group of friends are awoken in the dead of the night by an eerie light beaming through the window. Like moths to a flame, the light source is drawing people outside before they suddenly vanish into the air. They soon discover an otherwordly force is swallowing the entire human population off the face of the earth. Now our band of survivors must fight for their lives as the world unravels around them.
||November 12th, 2010 (Wide) by Universal|
||March 15th, 2011 by Universal Home Entertainment|
||PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language, and brief sexual content.|
(Rating bulletin 2143, 10/20/2010)
||Escape, Alien Invasion|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Science Fiction|
||Rat Entertainment, Relativity Media, Transmission, Hydraulx Entertainment|
Like last week, four new releases reached the top 30 on this week's sales chart and all four landed in the top five. It was a close race for top spot with Yogi Bear leading The Tourist 685,000 units to 609,000 units. In terms of dollars it was even closer at $10.27 million to $9.99 million.
It's a deceptively slow week when it comes to DVD and Blu-ray releases. Have I mentioned how much I love the word, "deceptively"? It is worse than meaningless and actually reduces the amount of information given in any sentence it appears in. In this case, the first sentence could mean the week appears to be slow, but it is actually quite busy. Or it could mean the week appears busy, but is quite slow. Unfortunately, it's the latter. There are four first run releases coming out on the home market, which is more than most weeks, but all four missed expectations to one degree or another. Additionally, there's only one new release that I'm seriously considering for Pick of the Week, The Venture Bros.: Season Four on Blu-ray. In fact, there are a couple Blu-ray catalog titles that are more interesting than any of the first run releases. Leading the way there is Stand By Me, which is not only a great movie, but the Blu-ray isn't shovelware and includes Blu-ray exclusive extras like a Picture-in-Picture track. So which release is the Pick of the Week? I can't decide, so let's call it a tie.
For the second weekend in a row, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I was able to top $100 million on the international box office chart, adding $115.62 million on 16,093 screens in 61 markets for a total of $386.10 million internationally and $605.16 million worldwide. It became only the 56th film to reach $600 million worldwide, and some analysts are now predicting $1 billion is more likely than not.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I helped the overall box office explode from last weekend. In fact, it earned more than all films last weekend combined, propelling the box office to a 60% week-over-week increase. Unfortunately, the rest of the box office was on the weak side, and the total of $194 million was 25% lower than the same weekend last year. Ouch. 2010 is still ahead of 2009 at $9.36 billion to $9.14 billion, but that lead isn't safe given the sharp drop-off we just suffered. Hopefully we will get back on the winning track soon. Even single-digit loses will ensure 2010 sets another box office record.
Unstoppable opened in first place on the international box office over the weekend. (It has likely already fallen to Harry Potter on the daily chart, which opened on Wednesday.) Its opening weekend haul was $18.72 million on 4137 screens in 39 markets giving it a total opening of $19.31 million. It earned first place in Spain with $1.56 million on 336 screens, but was not as potent in South Korea or Germany earning third place with $1.33 million on 323 screens and $1.20 million on 504 respectively. It only managed fourth place in France, with $2.63 million on 430 screens, while it barely squeezed into the top five in Italy with $755,000 on 251.
Only one film in the top five topped expectations over the weekend, while another film came within a rounding error of doing so. This left the overall box office down nearly 20% from last weekend, which combined with last year's monster opening for 2012 means 2010 is off last year's pace by 13%. Year-to-date, 2010 still has a more than $300 million lead at $9.14 billion to $8.84 billion, so a one-week stumble like this is hardly reason to panic.
There could be a three-way race for the top spot at the box office this weekend with two wide releases competing with last week's winner. That's the good news. The bad news is that none of them have a real shot at topping last year's winner. In fact, the worst case scenario has the three wide releases this year opening with less combined than 2012 opened with on its own. Actually, that's not the worst case scenario, as it is pretty damn likely. Even if that does happen, there is a lot more depth this year and 2010 might still earn a solid win overall.
November's here and expectations are all over the place. October saw 2010 lose ground to 2009, which is a bad sign going forward, but we also saw records fall. This month will undoubtedly see an increase in ticket sales over last month, what with the start of Awards Season and the Holidays, but the real question is how well it will compare with last year. Last November saw the release of a couple of surprise hits, none more surprising than The Blind Side, while in the end there were five $100 million movies and two that reached $200 million. Will that happen this year? Maybe. I count six films with a statistically significant shot at reaching $100 million, including three that might reach $200 million, and one of those has a shot at $300 million. That is on the high end, but even on the low end there are three $100 million movies coming out this month, including one that is all but guaranteed to reach $200 million in the end.
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