September 6th, 2010
It's TV on DVD season, as five of the top six best-selling new releases for the week are in that category, while the sixth is an exercise DVD. Of the many, many TV on DVD releases coming out this week, there are plenty that are worth picking up, but not many that are worth of Pick of the Week Honors. The top pick in my mind is Stardust, which is making its Blu-ray debut this week. However, Solitary Man might also be added to that list if / when the DVD / Blu-ray screeners arrive.
September 4th, 2010
Since breaking into directing with Layer Cake, Matthew Vaughn has yet to make a bad movie. Even throwing in his producing credits and he only has one real dud, Swept Away. On the other hand, he's never had the breakout box office success either. (That might change with X-Men: First Class when it comes out next year.) Stardust earned impressive reviews, but it wasn't able to live up to expectations at the box office, barely making more than it cost to advertise. I've previously reviewed the film when it came out on DVD / HD DVD (Remember that format?) so much of this review will be seem familiar to long-time readers and the question is if the movie is worth owning, it is, but is the Blu-ray worth is worth upgrading to.
December 31st, 2007
There were plenty of new releases to chart this week, but most did not live up to expectations. This includes the number one film, The Simpsons Movie, which sold 2.76 million units during its first week for total sales of $48.14 million.
December 31st, 2007
There were 12 new releases to chart this week, including 6 in the top ten alone; however, The Bourne Ultimatum remained in first place with $12.76 million in rentals for the week and $28.20 million in total.
December 18th, 2007
Another deceptively weak week for DVDs.
Sure, there appear to be plenty to choose from, but it feels like half the top 20 are Blade Runner releases.
In fact, one of the two DVD Picks of the Week are for that movie.
For those who are big fans of Blade Runner, grab the Four-Disc Collector's Edition - DVD, or 5-Disc Collector's Edition - Blu-Ray or 5-Disc Collector's Edition - HD-DVD if you can.
(Given the choice between those last two, pick 5-Disc Collector's Edition - Blu-Ray.)
For those who are huge fans of Blade Runner, and I mean stupid level fans of the movie, grab 5-Disc Ultimate Edition - DVD, 5-Disc Ultimate Edition - Blu-Ray, or 5-Disc Ultimate Edition - HD-DVD.
But good luck, I pre-ordered mine months ago and there are reports they are sold out in many places. The second DVD Pick of the Week goes to The Simpsons Movie - Blu-Ray.
The light extras are disappointing, but that transfer is immaculate.
December 9th, 2007
Bee Movie returned to the charts in sixth place with $6.71 million on 1288 screens in 11 markets for an early international total of $19.43 million after a month of release. This includes a pair of first place debuts in Spain and Mexico. In the former it earned $2.81 million on 421 screens while in the latter is earned $2.60 million on 389 screens. While Spain is the larger marker, I thought the family friendly nature of Mexico would give it the edge. Even so, there are great openings for the film.
December 3rd, 2007
Lions for Lambs climbed a spot to sixth place with $4.34 million on 2453 screens in 53 markets for a total of $25.97 million, while only managing $1 million or more in one market this past weekend, ($1.40 million on 390 screens during its sixth place debut in France). It opens in Italy later this month and Japan in the spring of '08, but there's almost no chance the film will show a profit at this point. Normally one movie losing money isn't a big issue because the studio can rely on one or two monster hits to pay for their misses, (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix made enough money to pay for the entire budgets of half-a-dozen misses for Warner Bros. this year, and that's before the home market). However, United Artists is a newly relauched studio and they don't have a war chest built up from past victories. Stumbling out of the gate like this hurts.
December 2nd, 2007
It's the first of December. (At least it was when I was writing this intro the first time. I was only going to do a dozen or so releases, but the list ballooned well out of control.) This week kicks off our second annual Holiday Gift Guide with a look at some high definition releases, because nothing says holidays like a format war.
November 25th, 2007
Elizabeth: The Golden Age nearly reached the top five with $5.79 million on 1579 screens in 12 markets for a total of $21.80 million. This includes a first place, $1.89 million opening on 470 screens in Russia, while the film added $933,000 on 394 screens in the U.K. for a total of $8.40 million so far.
November 18th, 2007
Stardust fell out of the top five, but still added $5.80 million on 2327 screens in 48 markets lifting its running tally to $83.50 million. Its best market remained the U.K. where it climbed a spot to second place with $2.66 million on 459 screens for a total of $23.59 million. The film has no major openings left, but $100 million internationally is still within reach.
November 7th, 2007
For the fifth week in a row, Ratatouille led the way on the international charts as it pulled in $15.65 million on 3732 screens in 30 markets for a total of $375.08 million. The film is still number one in the U.K. with $3.22 million on 498 screens and in Italy with $3.15 million on 536 screens. However, its best market of the weekend was Germany where it added $3.84 million on 835 screens scoring second place in the process. The film now has $42.19 million in Germany, $40.89 million in the U.K., and $20.37 million in Italy, which is impressive but well back of France where the animated feature has earned $66.05 million after three months of release. Even with no further markets to open in, Ratatouille will have no problem becoming just the third Pixar film to earn $600 million worldwide and the sixth such hit this year.
October 31st, 2007
Ratatouille's feeding frenzy continues with another first place finish this time the film earned $22.61 million on 4271 screens in 29 markets for a total of $348.16 million. Even though the film had no new openings this week, and won't for the rest of its run, it still managed first place in a handful of markets. The best of these was the U.K. where it earned $7.40 million on 525 screens over the weekend for a total of $35.73 million, which is already more than Cars earned in that market in total. Meanwhile in Italy it remained in first place despite having to deal with five wide releases while adding $4.56 million on 624 screens for a two-week total of $14.07 million. On the other hand, a local hit pushed the film into second place in Germany, but it still earned $3.91 million on 845 screens over the weekend for a total of $35.15 million. It looks more and more likely that the film will reach $400 million internationally and $600 million worldwide. Only Finding Nemo earned more internationally for Pixar and only The Incredibles and Finding Nemo earned more worldwide.
October 24th, 2007
Ratatouille remained in first place over the weekend as it topped $300 million internationally and $500 million worldwide. Over the weekend the film opened in first place in Italy with $6.29 million on 658 screens over the weekend and $7.26 million in total, which is the best opening for a Pixar film in that market. It also topped the charts in Sweden with $1.71 million on 183 screens over the weekend and $2.03 million in total and Poland with $1.24 million on 130 screens over the weekend and $1.49 million. Overall, Ratatouille added $30.11 million on 4168 screens in 29 markets for a total of $310.12 million internationally and $515.03 million worldwide. The film could reach $400 million internationally, especially with its impressive legs so far. In the U.K. the film was down only 31% to $6.26 million on 535 screens over the weekend and $18.38 million in total, while in Germany it was down just 1% to $6.40 million on 860 screens over the weekend and $29.24 million in total. The only Pixar film to make more in that latter market was Finding Nemo at $54 million, which is in all likelihood out of reach, but not completely out of the question.
October 21st, 2007
Bhool Bhulaiyaa became the latest in a long line of Indian films to strike it rich on the international box office as it scored sixth place with $4.59 million on 756 screens in 17 markets. The supernatural comedy even scored a top ten finish in Britain with $600,000 on 45 screens topping a few major Hollywood releases that week.
October 14th, 2007
The Heartbreak Kid missed the top five by less than $20,000 over the weekend earning $5.74 million on 819 screens in 4 markets during its opening weekend on the international charts. This includes openings in to major markets including the U.K. where it opened in first place with $2.52 million on 409 screens, but this was still a disappointing debut, much like it was domestically. Conversely, the film opened in second place in Russia with $2.31 million on 360 screens, but this is a much better performance compared to the overall box office size of the marketplace.
October 7th, 2007
Hairspray managed to climb into sixth place by the narrowest of margins earning $4.59 million on 2073 screens in 37 markets for a running tally of $54.35 million. This includes a third place, $1.36 million opening on 302 screens in Italy, which is close to its opening domestically, when you take into account the relative size of the two markets. On the other hand, many muscials prove to be difficult to market internationally and it was never likely that this film would match its domestic run. However, it has already made enough to be considered a financial success.
September 30th, 2007
Ratatouille opening in first place in South Africa this weekend earning $298,000 on 40 screens, which is very close to what The Simpsons Movie made in its opening there a few weeks ago. Its best market of the weekend remains France where it was down a mere 4% to $1.67 million on 655 screens over the weekend for a total of $58.63 million. At this pace, the film will reach $60 million by this time next week while topping Finding Nemo's total of nearly $65 million is increasingly in reach. Overall Ratatouille added $4.66 million on 2535 screens in 27 markets for a total of $216.42 million, which is more than Cars managed, and this film still has openings in Germany, U.K., Italy, and Scandinavia.
September 23rd, 2007
Rush Hour 3 missed spending its fifth week in fifth place by less than $4000 at $5.69 million on 2443 screens in 31 markets for a total of $69.71 million. This weekend the film opened in first place in Russia with $2.28 million on 385 screens while it had to settle for second place in Denmark with $485,000 on 41 screens over the weekend and $517,000 in total.
September 16th, 2007
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry soared into sixth place with $4.72 million on 1521 screens in 21 markets for a total of $14.61 million internationally. The film finally hit big in a non-English speaking market earning first place with $1.27 million on 364 screens in Russia, but was soft in its debuts in South Korea and Italy. In Italy it managed $683,000 on 198 screens, but that was a tiny fraction of the first place film, while in South Korea it managed just ninth place with $275,000 on 123 screens over the weekend and $312,000 in total.
September 2nd, 2007
Knocked Up went from barely making the top 30 to nearly hitting the top five after adding $6.89 million on 1628 screens in 19 markets. The film now has a total of $25.54 million internationally while its worldwide total hit $173.34 million. To put this into perspective, The 40-Year Old Virgin earned $177.34 million and Knocked Up has yet to open in France, Spain, Italy, and many other significant markets. This week it did open in two major markets, the U.K. and Germany. In the former it had to settle for second place with $3.08 million on 423 screens while in the later it topped the charts with $2.11 million on 597 screens. In both markets this represents a small drop-off from The 40-Year Old Virgin, but the movie has already covered its total cost, so there's little reason to complain.
August 26th, 2007
The Transformers fell out of the top five but still cracked 8 digits with $11.10 million on 54.92 screens in 52 markets for a total of $354.33 million. The film is mostly coasting on holdovers at the moment, but it did top the Polish market with $664,000 on 106 screens while its best market was Japan where it added $2.49 million on 592 screens over the weekend for a total of $23.98 million.
August 20th, 2007
Summer abruptly ends during August, sometimes before the month even really begins.
Even in the best years, you only get Summer-like openings during the first two weeks.
However, this year we got a third Summer weekend, as Superbad opened with more than Evan Almighty's debut figure in late June.
Granted, the overall box office dropped to $130 million, which was 15% decline from last weekend.
However, that's still a softer decline than expected, an 18% improvement from last year, and enough to say it is still summertime.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
August 19th, 2007
D-War slipped to sixth place overall, but remained in first place in South Korea with $10.19 million on 623 screens over the weekend and $37.81 million in total.
August 16th, 2007
This weekend we will have the weakest number one film since at least June 22nd when Evan Almighty opened, and mostly likely since before the summer started.
But there are still some interesting stories to follow and possibly the last $100 million film to open until November.
August 13th, 2007
As expected, Rush Hour 3 took first place this weekend and helped the overall box office hit $155 million.
This was 12% lower than last weekend, but the summer season is wrapping up, so week-to-week drop-offs like this are to be expected.
More importantly, it was up nearly 20% from the same weekend last year.
August 13th, 2007
Rush Hour 3 made a big first step in paying back its huge production budget over the weekend, opening with just over $50 million, according to studio estimates.
That's the second-best opening by a movie in the franchise, and some way behind the $67 million enjoyed by Rush Hour 2 six years ago.
It certainly looks extremely unlikely there will be a fourth movie in the series.
August 12th, 2007
Another good week for movie sites with a few sites that either won in the past or could win in the future. This includes this weeks winner, The Brothers Solomon - Official Site.
August 9th, 2007
I think it is safe to say that this weekend is the unofficial end of summer. After the release of Rush Hour 3, there's not a single film that has a serious shot at $100 million till October... maybe November. However, while everyone expects Rush Hour 3 to open in first place, I have my doubts as to how big that opening will be.
August 5th, 2007
Another big list of movie sites, but not much in the way of top-notch entries. For a movie site to be an award winner, I expect it to have all of the usual features, extras like clips, something interactive like a game, and background sound and animation. The film that best exemplifies that criteria is Stardust - Official Site, which is the winner of the Weekly Website Award.
August 1st, 2007
August marks the unofficial end of the lucrative summer box office season. The only question is when will it end. Studios usually hope for two summer-like weekends, and sometimes they can squeeze in three.
Other times they can only get one, or none.
Sadly, this year the August offerings are not particularly strong with only two that have a real shot at $100 million or more, and three or four others that should earn good reviews (and one of those has since been pulled from the schedule).
Most of the rest are films that probably seemed like a good idea at the time but didn't work out and those that were a mistake from day one.
July 29th, 2007
Server upgrades went... less smoothly than anticipated, which delayed this column, but at least there are a huge number of sites to check out. Many of these sites are making their first appearance on the list while quite a few are making their last appearance. Unfortunately, while it's a big list, there are not many that are even close to being award worthy at the moment. 30 Days of Night - Official Site comes the closest, but I'm waiting for the missing features to be added before I make that decision.
July 21st, 2007
Big list in terms of numbers, not so much in terms of quality. In fact, the best film in terms of updates this week was The Simpsons Movie - Official Site, which has already won the Weekly Website Award. Because of that, there are no new winners this week.
July 14th, 2007
One of the last summer blockbusters launched its full site this week. This means two things, The Bourne Ultimatum - Official Site is the clear winner of the weekly website award. And secondly, there will likely be a slowdown in top-notch sites as we approach the dog days of summer, and the even worse days of September.
July 7th, 2007
The list returns to its normal busy self, in fact, we have several sites making their first appearance this weekend. In addition, there were a couple of older sites that saw massive updates, including this week's winner, Charlie Bartlett - Official Site.
June 30th, 2007
One of the slowest weeks I can remember for this list, but at least we have a top-notch site to give the Weekly Website Award to: Ratatouille - Official Site.
June 17th, 2007
There weren't as many websites on this week's list as in the past few weeks, but there were at least three that earned some consideration for the Weekly Website Award. In the end, that honor went to I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry - Official Site.
June 9th, 2007
There are a lot of movies on this week's list, but many have just the synopsis, image gallery, and the trailer, and many don't even have that. There were very few that stood out, but at least Speed Racer - Official Site got off to a great start. Perhaps it will win the award before it hits theaters.
May 26th, 2007
Another slow week. If this keeps up I'm going to have to rethink my methodology. Not only were there not as many sites as I would like, there were none that really stood out as award-worthy. The best was Stardust - Official Site, but here I will wait for more of the content to be added before I make a final decision.
March 24th, 2007
Good week for trailers with several on the list, including a trio of major summer blockbusters. However, while those site will obviously generate the most traffic, they are not award-worthy sites, (at least not yet). The best site this week is Pathfinder - Official Site.
February 11th, 2007
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for Indiana Jones 4, The Mummy 3, Hellboy 2 and more.
December 2nd, 2006
Good week with plenty of strong site, but there was not a whole lot of competition at the very top as The Good Shephard
- Official Site
took home the Weekly Website Award.
November 12th, 2006
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for Halloween, Saw 4, The Incredible Hulk and more.
October 14th, 2006
With more and more Oscar contenders getting ready to start their theatrical runs, it is fitting that a satire of such films, For Your Consideration
- Official Site
, takes home the Weekly Website Award.
September 24th, 2006
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for Horton Hears a Who, Black Snake Moan and more.