January 20th, 2009
A terrible week for first run releases. There are five such releases on this week's list, but they has a combined haul of around $130 million, and nearly $100 million of that came from two films. With no big releases, we had to look other places for the DVD Pick of the Week. Repo! The Genetic Opera on Blu-ray is a clear contender for that title, but its lack of mass appeal is troublesome. This American Life - Season Two is a safer pick, but it is a Borders Exclusive release. Regardless of these issues, both releases are worthy of the DVD Pick of the Week. Despite the weakness at the top, there are still more than enough total releases to cause this column to stretch into two parts. The second part can be found here.
June 2nd, 2007
It was a mixed week for new releases as they were able to take three of the top four spots on the rental chart, including number one, but were practically shut out of the remainder of the chart. Also, while Apocalypto finished first, its opening week total of $6.02 million was less Pan's Labyrinth opened with last week. In fact, it was not that much ahead of the $5.58 million Pan's Labyrinth earned this week.
May 27th, 2007
Mr. Bean's Holiday fell one spot out of the top five this weekend despite showing some significant growth. The film did have a few openings, including a third place $165,000 debut on 56 screens in Turkey, but its biggest market was Germany where it grew 44% to $651,000 on 577 screens for the weekend and $22.52 million in total. Overall the film added $3.47 million on 2634 screens in 43 markets for a total of $176.19 million internationally with debuts in South Korea, Japan, and China, yet to come, (and of course it doesn't open here till August).
May 25th, 2007
New releases took top spot on both the rental and the sales charts, but there were different films. On the rental chart Pan's Labyrinth was this week's champion after earning $6.48 million.
May 14th, 2007
It's another slow week for top level DVD releases, but I should probably stop saying that as practically every week from May until the end of summer is going to be somewhat slow.
The third quarter is historically the slowest time of year for DVD sales as people who rather go to the cinema and watch the latest blockbuster rather that sit at home.
That is not to say there isn't any DVD worth picking up this week, and the DVD Pick of the Week, Pan's Labyrinth - 2-Disc Platinum Series, would have earned that designation regardless of how busy the week was.
Also earning that distinction this week is Robson Arms - The Complete First Season, a great Canadian TV series.
April 22nd, 2007
Sunshine climbed into sixth place with $5.20 million on 1866 screens in 30 markets for a total of $10.20 million. However, while it nearly doubled last week's opening, this was entirely due to the film's expansion. Its biggest market of the weekend was France where it placed fourth with $1.36 million on 339 screens while it placed eighth in its debut in Australia with just $611,000 on 161 screens. On the other hand, the film only managed $508,000 on 192 screens during its debut in Japan and while likely see a sharp drop-off next weekend given its weak per screen average. Meanwhile in the U.K. the film suffered the worst week-to-week drop-off in the top ten down 57% to $879,000 on 409 screens over the weekend and a total of $4.45 million in total.
March 25th, 2007
The French film, Taxi 4, just missed the top five with $3.94 million on 1255 screens in 7 markets for a total of $49.56 million. Obviously, most of that has come from France, $35.70 million in fact, but the film is also doing well in Russia with $10.63 million so far, including $2.22 million on 466 screens over the weekend.
January 30th, 2007
Well, January is finally over and we survived.
The final four entries tried their luck this weekend and while two earned enough to be considered box office successes, none came close to wowing critics.
January 23rd, 2007
The lone wide release of the weekend struggled to find an audience and even though most of the rest of the top five were able to beat expectations, the weekend box office was still way down.
At just $100 million, the weekend was down 22% from last week and 17% from the same weekend last year.
January 19th, 2007
Just the one new wide release this weekend, which is surprising since there are five films opening or expanding wide next weekend.
This weekend could handle one or two more wide releases and take some of the pressure off next weekend.
But as it is now, The Hitcher will have little competition this weekend while next weekend at least two films will be squeezed out at the box office.
January 17th, 2007
Seven films made it into the $10,000 club at the weekend, but none of them were able to earn much more than $11,000.
Pan's Labyrinth continues to show very strong legs on the per theater chart despite expanding ever wider.
This weekend the film earned nearly $2.2 million in 194 screens for an average of $11,180.
Comedy of Power grew by nearly 9% to $10,945 in its lone theater, placing it second, less than $20 ahead of God Grew Tired of Us.
Next up was Guru, which earned an estimated $760,000 in 71 theatres for a preliminary average of $10,704.
The overall box office leader, Stomp the Yard, was next with an average of $10,645 in its 2,051 theaters.
Long-term resident, Letters from Iwo Jima saw its first expansion this past weekend, growing from 5 theaters to 35 while its average remained strong at $10,464.
Venus grew by more than 11% this week to reenter the $10,000 club with an average $10,079.
January 17th, 2007
Martin Luther King Jr. long weekend saw a new film take top spot while several films in the top five outperformed expectations.
However, overall the box office was 3% lower from last weekend at $128 million and just 2% higher than the same weekend last year.
That's likely not enough to keep up with ticket price inflation.
Obviously it is too early to panic, or even make predictions, but this is not the start the industry was hoping for.
January 13th, 2007
A slow week, but that's not surprising. The movie industry is seasonal with peaks and valleys throughout the year. With movie websites, there tends to be the same peaks and valleys, just a few months earlier. (The same is true for DVDs, just a few months later.) While there are a few sites on this week's list that show promise, there are none that are really award-worthy.
January 12th, 2007
The weekend prospects are pretty weak, with none of the wide releases / expanding films looking like they have what it takes to top the box office charts.
This is not particularly surprising, as the Martin Luther King long weekend is not known as a powerhouse at the box office.
With a returning champion and a selection of new and expanding films, moviegoers have a lot of choice, but come Tuesday, there won't be a lot of celebrating in the movie studios.
January 6th, 2007
Big list as I try to catch up after the holidays. I think I caught all the updates. Not only are there a lot of sites on this week's list, several of them are potential award winners with the best of the best being Smokin' Aces
- Official Site
January 2nd, 2007
It is the beginning of a new year. A time to start fresh. So why do most of the new releases smell so stale? It's the January dumping ground, home to films that looked promising on paper but just didn't pan out.
That doesn't mean there are no films that could be worth checking out.
Out of the twelve new films opening wide this month (that's opening, not expanding), Smokin' Aces looks great and so does ... no, that's about it.
Almost all of the new releases are likely to struggle at the box office and with critics alike.
And to make matters worse, six of these new releases are going wide on the same weekend.
This is complete madness and guarantees that at least two films that would otherwise succeed are going to fail.
On the other hand, there are nearly a dozen films that have previously opened and are expanding wide (Children of Men and Pan's Labyrinth, for example), or are being re-released to grab some last minute Oscar buzz,
(The Queen and The Last King of Scotland, among others).
This makes for an incredibly busy month, but not one that will likely produce many hits.
Two additional notes...
Firstly, Letters from Iwo Jima is expanding throughout the month but likely won't go wide until February.
Secondly, The Dead Girl has a planned expansion on the 19th, but after struggling in limited release since opening last weekend, this seems unlikely.