The trailing end of the winter blockbuster releases are hitting the home market over the next month. This week we have two $200 million hits, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and Sherlock Holmes. There are also a few Oscar nominated movies: An Education and The Baader Meinhof Complex. Three of these four are worth picking up (as are a number of smaller releases) but none scream Pick of the Week.
dominated both charts on the home market with Employee of the Month
taking top spot on the rental charts with just $5.31 million during its first week of release.
2007 continues its slow start with little in the way of quality first run releases.
The only one that is worth picking up is The Protector - Buy from Amazon, but the quality of the movie is a little low for it to be DVD Pick of the Week.
On the TV on DVD front the best of the best was Doctor Who - The Complete Second Series - Buy from Amazon, but here the price is a little high, which lowers its appeal.
To find the DVD Pick of the Week you have to dig really deep and come up with Purgatory House, which can be purchased through Amazon or direct from their official site.
Not a single film in the top five beat expectations by any significant margin.
Even so, with the terrible result last weekend the overall box office was still able to rebound a little, up 7.7% to $78 million.
However, that was still 9.0% lower than the same weekend last year.
So far the fall season has not kept up the winning ways we saw throughout the summer, but 2006 still has a bit of time to turn things around before we need to worry again.
The second weekend in September is quite often the slowest weekend of the year, and that appears to be the case here. Overall the total box office was a mere $71 million.
To put that into perspective, if that was earned by just one film this weekend, it would only place fourth on the list of 2006's biggest openings.
Needless to say, the overall box office was down this weekend, by a massive 31.3% from the last weekend.
Compared to the same weekend last year the decline was smaller at 18.2%, but that was a more devastating result in the overall scheme of things.
After a very busy month, the number of site on this week's list dropped off dramatically. The decline in quantity was accompanied by a decline in quality with no site jumping out as the obvious choice for the Weekly Website Award. The Guardian
- Official Site
came the closest, but it will have to wait till more features are added for that honor.
This week we have a trio of new releases opening wide, but only one of them managed a theater count above 2,000.
I suppose the studios for the other two films are hoping to earn high per theater averages and expand in the coming weeks based on strong word-of-mouth.
But that almost never works.
Another busy week with plenty of top-notch films to chose from In the end, however, it was a two-way race between The Black Dahlia
- Official Site
and Stranger than Fiction
- Official Site
with the former site winning out by a narrow margin.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, September is the worst month of the year for movies.
Not only are there usually very few hits released at this time of year, but the average is dragged way down by the large number of movies simply dumped on the market.
This year the September dumping ground doesn't look quite as bad as years past.
In fact, several low-level hits and maybe even an Oscar contender are opening wide.
However, those few bright spots will be buried due to the sheer number of releases -- an average of 3 and a half films are opening wide each week.
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for Emilio Estevez' Bobby, Frank Miller's 300 and more.
The torrid pace of website updates continues with more than 30 films on this week's list. There were a few sites that really caught my eye, but it was Trust the Man
- Official Site
and its interactive map of New York City and its more than 2 dozen clips that won the Weekly Website Award.
July finally brought us the year's first truly monster his with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
, but outside that film, most of the month disappointed. With August being a bit of a dumping ground for films that didn't work out, the weakness in the box office should continue. Add in a few surprise hits last year and 2006 may have trouble keeping up with last years pace.
Fun with Dick and Jane
added an handful of new markets this week and that allowed the film to remain in sixth place with $6.00 million on 2645 screens in 49 markets for a running tally of $63.30 million. The film opened in first place in Spain with $1.54 million on 316 screens and in the Netherlands with $475,000 on 75 screens over the weekend and $520,000 in total. It took first place in Argentina as well with $136,000 on 48. On the other hand, it had to settle for second place during its debut in Denmark with $319,000 on 45 screens over the weekend and $335,000 in total. Holdovers include the U.K. where the film was down 56% to $699,000 over the weekend and $10.44 million in total and Italy with a 55% decline to $594,000 over the weekend and $4.83 million in total.
The 40-Year Old Virgin
topped the U.K. marked with an impressive $3.26 million on 394 screens in the U.K., but this is probably not indicative of its potential in other international markets. The film should do well in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, but will likely struggle in non-English speaking markets. (Germany may be an exception.) More...
War of the Worlds
opened in its last international market over the weekend making $3.0 million on 583 screens in China. That's about 10% more money that Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
earned, but War of the Worlds
needed nearly double the number of screens. Overall the film added $4.5 million to its $345 million international total, easily the second best of the year so far.
The Skeleton Key
opened in 10- more markets over the weekend and in now playing on 1400 screens, however, it still hasn't found the success the studio was hoping for. It did open in first place in Germany, but it still had a very soft opening with $1.6 million. It also opened in first place in Russia with $625,000 over the weekend and $780,000 since Thursday, but in Australia and New Zealand it had to settle for a distant second place with $760,000 and $110,000 respectively. The Skeleton Key
also open in Austria with $230,000 for the week, but its placing is unknown at the moment. Add in holdovers in France, ($250,000 for $2.2 million) and the U.K., ($130,000 for $4.5 million) and you have roughly $4 million for the weekend and $16.5 million so far.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
opened in first place in both the Czech Republic with $180,000 on 20 screens and in Slovakia with $50,000 on 8 screens. The film also remained in first place in France with $2.675 million, Belgium with $635,000, The Netherlands with $490,000 and Poland with $266,000. Strangest of all, the film stayed in second place for the fourth weekend in a row in Germany adding $2.12 million to its $20.6 million running tally in the market. Overall the film has made $143 million in markets where Fox
is handling the distribution and may have hit $200 million overall, but there's no conformation on that yet.