April 7th, 2015
Just as it was on the Blu-ray Sales Chart, there was a tight race for top spot in the DVD sales chart, only the combatants weren't entirely the same. Exodus: Gods and Kings topped Annie in terms of units at 226,000 units to 202,000 units, but the pair finished in the opposite order in terms of revenue with $3.59 million to $3.38 million.
April 7th, 2015
New releases earned the top three spots on the Blu-ray Sales Chart this week, including a tight race for top spot. Penguins of Madagascar earned first place over Exodus: Gods and Kings in terms of units, 269,000 vs 257,000. However, in terms of revenue, the pair finished in the reverse order at $5.91 million to $5.38 million. As far the their opening week Blu-ray shares are concerned, Penguins managed a very strong 58%, while Exodus managed a very healthy 54%
March 17th, 2015
It's a busy / short week on the home market. There are four first-run releases coming out this week, which is more than most weeks. However, it is also a very shallow week and we run into filler on the first page of Amazon's list of best-selling new releases. The best of the first-run releases is Top Five, but the DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack isn't quite Pick of the Week material. For that honor, we have to look to a smaller release, Song of the Sea on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack.
March 16th, 2015
Top Five is the latest film written and directed by Chris Rock. Chris Rock is one of the biggest stand-up comics around; however, his film career has never truly taken off. He has had some missteps with critics, but even films that earned amazing reviews failed to find an audience in theaters. For instance, this film pulled in just $25 million during the holidays. Does it deserve to find a wider audience? Or will critics like this more than the average moviegoer?
January 17th, 2015
The Oscar nominations were announced early in the morning, when all sensible people were asleep. There were some surprises, as well as some results that would have been surprises had it not been for the previous Awards Season nominations. Seventeen films earned two or more nods, led by Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, both of which picked up nine nominations, while The Imitation Game was right behind with eight.
December 22nd, 2014
The Christmas break got off on a soft note with all three new wide releases failing to meet expectations by substantial numbers. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies got off to a good start on Wednesday, but plummeted the next day and couldn't recover. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb failed to live up to the low end of expectations, while Annie's opening at least came close to predictions. We are still missing some numbers. Overall, the box office rose by more than 60% from last weekend to $135 million and this figure should rise a little as other numbers filter in. However, it likely won't rise by enough to match the $140 million earned the same weekend last year. I really thought 2014 would end its year-over-year slump this weekend, but alas, it was not to be. Year-to-date, 2014 has earned $9.60 billion, which is 4.6% lower than last year's pace.
December 15th, 2014
All-in-all, the box office matched expectations, but sadly, that is not a good thing. Exodus: Gods and Kings opened with $24.12 million, which is anemic for a film that cost $140 million to make. Top Five had a better per theater average, but was playing in less than 1,000 theaters, so it will only become a midlevel hit, at best. Overall, the box office did rise 6.8% from last weekend, but this still only amounted to $83 million. Worse still, this was 43% lower than the same weekend last year. Last year, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened with $73.65 million, which is about 2% less than the top ten earned this year. It should come as no surprise that 2014 lost in the year-over-year comparison, while it continues to lose ground in the year-to-date race as well. Currently, 2014 has pulled in a total of $9.41 billion, which is 4.8% or $470 million lower than last year's pace. There's no chance 2014 will catch up at this point. I just hope it doesn't sink any lower.
December 14th, 2014
Big budget bible epic Exodus: Gods and Kings is probably the riskiest studio bet this Holiday Season. The $140 million-budgeted film will need to do considerable business domestically and internationally to earn a profit, and biblical epics haven’t had the best of track records in recent years. Early signs aren’t great, with Fox projecting a $24.5 million opening weekend, well behind the $43.7 million earned by Noah earlier in the year. There is room for the film to recover though, as it will almost certainly be able to keep playing in a lot of theaters through the New Year. $100 million seems like the top end of domestic expectations at this point, and its international performance so far doesn’t suggest overseas coin will help make up the difference.
December 11th, 2014
The box office has been struggling the past few weeks and / or months. It really depends on how you look at things. This weekend there are two films hoping to help 2014 get back into the win column: Exodus: Gods and Kings and Top Five. Exodus will win the weekend with relative ease, but it might not earn more than $20 million in the process. Top Five would like to earn second place with just over $10 million, but it will probably fall short finishing just behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. This weekend last year, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug led the way with $73.65 million. That's more than the top five will make in total this year. It might be more than the top ten earn. Even last year's second place film, Frozen, might make more than the top film this year will earn. 2014 is going to lose in the year-over-year comparison by a large margin.
December 5th, 2014
Next weekend Exodus: Gods and Kings should dominate the box office, while Top Five will be playing the part of counter-programming. Since Exodus will be by far the bigger of the two wide releases, it is the clear choice for 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 Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday),
without going over
, will win code for a digital high definition download for Pumping Iron
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under
, will win the second code for a digital high definition download for Pumping Iron
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
December 1st, 2014
November is over and there are not a lot of positive things to say about what happened during the month. There were a couple of films that matched expectations, but there were no breakout hits and a few that missed expectations by wide margins. Granted, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 will top $300 million with relative ease, but that's still nearly $100 million lower than some people were predicting. The month ends with 2014 about $300 million behind 2013's pace and there's really no chance to catch up in December. That doesn't mean there are no films that will be worth watching in December. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies should at least earn $200 million, while $300 million is not out of the question. Additionally, there are several films that at least have a shot at $100 million at the box office, but not all will get there. At least this December and last December are on par with each other. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug topped $250 million while there were three others that topped $100 million. I think we will get the same result this month. Last year there were a lot more wide releases, but many of them bombed. I think this year the lack of competition will help more films reach their potential.