December 3rd, 2015
There were five new releases for the week of October 20th that reached the top 30 on the combined DVD and Blu-ray chart for November 1st. This includes three in the top five. However, none of them were able to top Jurassic World. The film remained in first place selling 867,000 units / $15.52 million for the week giving it running tallies of 3.17 million units / $69.97 million after two weeks of release. It was able to jump ahead of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and into fourth place on the yearly chart.
October 26th, 2015
It's the week of double-dips, as there are five double-dips for films that would normally be Pick of the Week contenders, but only if you don't have them already. Army Of Darkness has been released so many times, it is hard to keep track of them all. Same with Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If you don't own either of these movies, you need to buy them. However, most fans will already have them. Because of this, I'm giving the Pick of the Week to Mad Men. I reviewed Season Seven, Part Two, but the Complete Series Megaset is the better deal.
August 4th, 2015
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation matched expectations close enough to call it a victory. Meanwhile, Vacation came within 10% of Friday's predictions, but unfortunately, we weren't predicting box office success, so that's not a good thing. With the holdovers slumping as summer ends, the overall box office dipped 3.2% from last weekend. That's not the problem. The problem is the 21% drop-off from the same weekend last year. Granted, Guardians of the Galaxy broke records when it opened this weekend last year, but a 21% drop-off is still troublesome. 2015 still leads 2014 by a substantial margin at $6.67 billion to $6.25 billion, so unless 2015 really crashes, it will still have a lead going into the winter holidays.
July 28th, 2015
Ant-Man unexpectedly repeated on top of the weekend box office, as Pixels failed to meet expectations by a sizable margin. In fact, only Southpaw beat expectations. The overall box office sunk as a result, down 22% from last weekend to $151 million. Worse still, this was 2.3% lower than the same weekend last year. Fortunately, 2015 has won a lot more weeks than it has lost and has built up an impressive 8.2% lead over 2014 at $6.45 billion to $5.96 billion. It isn't impossible for 2015 to lose a lead that large, but I'm cautiously optimistic that it can see this lead grow through to the end of the year.
July 26th, 2015
Three new wide releases and three returning movies that are still pulling in good crowds will produce a box office chart with no knock-out winner this weekend. That’s in large part thanks to a disappointing debut from Pixels. The Adam Sandler/Kevin James-comedy/adventure-Ghostbusters/wannabe will earn about $24 million this weekend, according to Sony’s Sunday estimate. That puts it in danger of not even earning back its marketing budget domestically, let alone starting to recover the $88 million production budget. It also means that Ant-Man will top the charts for a second weekend.
July 25th, 2015
Three mid-tier new releases combined with three returning hits made for a very crowded market on Friday, with all six films earning over $5 million for the day. Pixels emerged the winner with $9.2 million, according to studio estimates, but that far from guarantees a weekend win for the film. Based on previous opening weekend ratios for Adam Sandler movies, we can expect a Friday-weekend multiplier for the film around 2.9, which puts it on course for a $27 million debut. Current studio tracking suggests it will fall short of that mark, with more like $24 million. Either way, that’s not a great start for a film with an $88 million budget and a seemingly attractive premise. Sandler’s drawing power is clearly on the wane, at least domestically. The film has somewhat better prospects overseas, and early reports show it performing well.
July 24th, 2015
Pixels leads a group of three wide releases looking to battle for limited box office dollars. It appears to be on track for first place, but with not as much as I anticipated at the beginning of the month. This is partially explained by its reviews which are lower than the 30% to 40% positive range I was anticipating. Paper Towns is earning much better reviews, but still barely above the overall positive level. Finally there's Southpaw, which is earning mixed reviews and its buzz is weak, so it will likely be outside the top five over the weekend. Both Ant-Man and Minions should continue to perform well, with the former having a shot at first place, if Pixels flops. This weekend last year, there were two wide releases that did quite well, Lucy and Hercules. I don't think any of the new releases this week will come close to earning the same as Lucy did, but I think the depth is better this year, so 2015 will still come out ahead in the year-over-year comparison.
July 16th, 2015
Next weekend, there are three wide releases, two of which should do well at the box office. Paper Towns will very likely be the best film coming out next week, while Pixels will very likely be the biggest. (On the other hand, Southpaw looks like busted Oscar-bait and I'm not bullish about its chances.) I don't know if Pixels will be one of the biggest hits of the summer, but it should be the biggest hit of the week and as such, 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 Pixels.
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 The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Blu-ray.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a copy The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Blu-ray.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will also win a Frankenprize featuring a previously reviewed DVD or Blu-ray.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
July 1st, 2015
June was a much better month than expected due to two films, Jurassic World and Inside Out. Had those two films merely matched expectations, then 2015 would have likely fallen behind 2014. As for this coming month, there are five weekends in July and each week there is at least one film with the potential to reach $100 million. Most weeks there are two films that at least have a shot at getting to the century mark. The biggest hit of the month will likely be Minions, which has already opened in several international markets and it's ahead of Despicable Me 2 at the same point. That film made more than $300 million and nearly $1 billion worldwide, so any growth would be fantastic. There are also a number of potential $200 million films, led by Ant-man. Ant-man is the latest release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a franchise that has averaged $300 million domestically over eleven films and all of the past six films have reached at least $200 million. I'm not saying this one is guaranteed to do the same, but you can't dismiss that possibility. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and Pixels have smaller chances to get to $200 million, but you have to at least entertain the possibility. Additionally, last July was a lot weaker than this July looks to be, so 2015 should win in the year-over-year comparison most weeks. Or I might have let the box office success of June cloud my judgment. We will soon find out.