June 8th, 2015
It was a very shallow week for new releases with only one release that made any real impact. American Sniper dominated the combined home market chart selling ten times as many units as the second place film. During its first week of release, it sold 1.20 million units and generated $22.57 million in sales for an opening week Blu-ray share of 42%. The film is nearly in the top ten on the 2015 combined chart, but given its box office, it should have sold twice that. Also, its Blu-ray share is lower than expected for an action film.
May 19th, 2015
The home market is a lot stronger than it has been in weeks, but that is almost entirely due to the release of American Sniper on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack. On the other hand, it is not the best release on this week's list. There were many of contenders for Pick of the Week, including Girlhood and Limelight, but in the end I went with Orange Is the New Black: Season 2.
February 2nd, 2015
Super Bowl weekend was rough at the box office with only one film topping $10 million. That film was American Sniper, which completed the hat trick, but with less than expected. Second place went to Project Almanac, again earning less than expected, while Paddington was right behind in third place. Overall the box office fell 36% from last weekend, down to just $102 million. This is still 18% higher than the same weekend last year, so we have that to focus on. Year-to-date, 2015 has pulled in $994 million, which is 7.0% more than last year's pace of $929 million. Again, it is way too early to judge and as we saw last year, things can fall apart really quickly. That said, I will take any good news I can get.
January 27th, 2015
As expected, American Sniper earned first place, but it did so with a much stronger sophomore stint. As for the new releases, The Boy Next Door matched expectations (nearly) perfectly but the other two missed the Mendoza Line. Overall, the box office was down 21% to $159 million; however, this is good for a post-holiday weekend. Compared to last year, the overall box office was 37% higher. This kind of year-over-year growth usually only happens when holidays are misaligned. Year-to-date, 2015 is ahead of 2014 by 4.1% at $856 million to $823 million. It is obviously too soon to celebrate, but after last year's losses, I'll take any reason to be optimistic.
January 25th, 2015
After smashing the January weekend record last weekend, American Sniper is enjoying a very solid second-weekend hold. So solid, in fact, that it will also have the third-best January weekend. If it drops less than 35% next weekend, it will share with Avatar the records for the top six January weekends, each movie having topped $42 million three times. Sniper’s expected weekend this time around is $64.365m, according to Warner Bros. Sunday morning projection.
January 22nd, 2015
There are three wide releases coming out this weekend: The Boy Next Door, Mortdecai, and Strange Magic. None of these movies are earning good reviews and none of them are likely to become even midlevel hits. As such, American Sniper will have a really, really easy time to repeat in top spot. It could drop by 80% and still earn first place this weekend. This weekend last year, the only wide release was I, Frankenstein, which bombed hard. I really hope none of the new releases open as poorly as that film did, but it is possible. Regardless, 2015 will win thanks to American Sniper's sophomore stint.
January 16th, 2015
Next weekend there are three wide releases, The Boy Next Door, Mortdecai, and Strange Magic. Oh boy. This is the most January out of all of the January weeks. I really don't think any of them will even come close to becoming a midlevel hit, but one of them will have to be the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. I'm going with ... rolls a dice ... Mortdecai. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Mortdecai.
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 of White Bird in a Blizzard on DVD.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of Life's a Breeze on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
January 1st, 2015
2014 is over and for the most part, December was a soft ending to a weak year. This is bad news for two reasons. Firstly, it means the overall box office is still soft and it is unlikely that January will start strong. Secondly, last January was a great month, thanks in part to Frozen and other holdovers. The slump can't last forever and Taken 3 should help 2015 get off to a reasonably fast start and it even has a shot at $100 million. American Sniper got off to a really fast start in limited release, so it too could be a hit when it expands wide. By comparison, last January was led by Ride Along, but there were only two other films that didn't completely bomb. I want to say 2015 will start out on a winning note, but given the box office losing streak, it will likely pay to be pessimistic.