Gus Lobel has been one of the best scouts in baseball for decades, but, despite his efforts to hide it, age is starting to catch up with him. Nevertheless, Gus - who can tell a pitch just by the crack of the bat - refuses to be benched for what could be the final innings of his career.
He may not have a choice. The front office of the Atlanta Braves is starting to question his judgment, especially with the country's hottest batting phenom on deck for the draft. The one person who might be able to help is also the one person Gus would never ask: his daughter, Mickey, an associate at a high-powered Atlanta law firm whose drive and ambition has put her on the fast track to becoming partner. Mickey has never been close to her father, who was ill-equipped to be a single parent after the death of his wife. Even now, in the rare moments they share, he is too easily distracted by what Mickey assumes is his first love: the game.
Against her better judgment, and over Gus's objections, Mickey joins him on his latest scouting trip to North Carolina, jeopardizing her own career to save his. Forced to spend time together for the first time in years, each makes new discoveries - revealing long-held truths about their past and present that could change their future.
||September 21st, 2012 (Wide) by Warner Bros.|
||December 18th, 2012 by Warner Home Video|
||PG-13 for language, sexual references, some thematic material and smoking.|
(Rating bulletin 2235, 8/8/2012)
||Dysfunctional Family, Lawyers, Autumn Years, Baseball|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
||Malpaso Productions, Warner Bros.|
There were plenty of new releases to chart this week, but none of them were able to top the Blu-ray sales chart. In fact, most missed the top ten. This left Ted on top for the second weekend in a row with 558,000 units / $13.93 million giving it totals of 1.86 million units / $39.92 million after two. These are amazing Blu-ray totals for a comedy.
While there were a number of new releases to reach the to 30 of the DVD sales chart this week, Ted was able to remain in first place. It sold an additional 1.04 million units while generating $18.59 million, lifting its totals to 2.71 million units / $45.24 million after two weeks of release.
It's the last week before Christmas, which means it is the last chance for last minute gifts. There are a number of first-run releases coming out this week, some of which are not coming out till Friday, or even next Monday. There are also quite a few limited releases and TV on DVD releases hitting the home market this week. However, none of these were big hits and very few earned strong praise from critics. That doesn't mean there are none that are worth picking up. In fact, we have a trio of contenders for Pick of the Week. Shameless: The Complete Second Season on DVD or Blu-ray; Pitch Perfect on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack; and Arbitrage on DVD or Blu-ray. It was a close call, but in the end I went with Arbitrage. Also coming out this week is Rush: 2012 - CD and Blu-ray in a Deluxe Edition or Super Deluxe Edition, which is a clear winner of Puck of the Week.
September ended on a record-breaking note as Hotel Transylvania finally bumped Sweet Home Alabama out of top spot on the September weekend list. That record lasted a full decade, which is amazing given the total ticket price inflation since 2002. Not only did Hotel Transylvania crush predictions, Looper also did a little bit better than predicted, a tiny bit better than predicted. This is true of just about every film in the top ten, and every little bit helps. Overall, the weekend box office surged 30% from last weekend to $118 million, which was 19% higher than the same weekend last year. Let's hope this is more than a momentary blip and the beginning of a new winning streak.
There are two wide releases coming out this week that should be in a relatively close race for first place, plus an also-ran that will mostly be forgotten. Last week I thought Looper would win the weekend over Hotel Transylvania; however, that's probably not going to happen. Looper is definitely the better movie, but Hotel Transylvania is opening in more theaters than expected, while Looper is opening in less than expected. Both should do decent business, at least compared to the rest of September's new releases. On the other hand, Won't Back Down will likely struggle just to reach the top five. There's one more new release with a shot at a spot in the top ten, Pitch Perfect. It's opening in more than 300 theaters, which is a risky proposition. If it does open in the top ten, it could expand wide next weekend. I don't think it is very likely, but I'll have more to say with the limited release report. Last year there were four wide releases, but none of them cracked $10 million. The number one film was Dolphin Tale at just under $13 million. If we don't top that this year, we are in a world of trouble.
It was another terrible week at the box office with only one of the four wide releases matching pre-weekend predictions. End of Watch was able to come out on top and it was only the second time an Open Road release was able to do that. The rest of the films ranged from a little disappointing to, 'Please don't make me talk about this; it's depressing.' The overall box office rose by 5.1% from last week to $90, but that's a staggering 23% lower than the same weekend last year. Yes, year-to-date, 2012 is still ahead of 2011, but its lead continues to shrink reaching just 2.5% at $7.92 billion to $7.73 billion. Ticket sales are just 1.3% higher than last year's pace and the upcoming releases don't seem particularly strong, so by the end of October, we could officially be in trouble.
This weekend there are four wide releases, which is too many. The odds are at least one, more likely two films will miss reaching their full potential. That's under normal circumstances. The box office is clearly sub-normal at the moment. The widest release of the week is Trouble with the Curve, but its Tomatometer Score has fallen from close to 90% to barely more than 60%. At this pace, by the time the weekend starts, it will be below the overall positive level. House at the End of the Street has good buzz, but still no reviews, and that is troubling. Dredd's reviews are shockingly good, but the film has had trouble escaping the remake stink. Finally, End of Watch is also earning great reviews, but its studio has a really bad track record at the box office. By comparison, last year there were four wide releases, none of which earned more than $20 million; however, three of them did earn more than $10 million and the fourth came close, while The Lion King won the weekend with more than $20 million. I think it will be another loss for 2012 in the year-over-year comparison. It likely won't be close.
August is over and let's just be glad we never have to talk about that month again. It is too early to tell how a couple of the wide releases from the month will do, but of the other fourteen we have solid numbers for, none of them were a pleasant surprise. There were a few that were mildly disappointing, but likely still profitable. There were also a few that were "What were they thinking?" level of box office bomb. This September, there about a dozen films opening wide, depending on your definition of wide. (Plus, For A Good Time, Call might expand wide on the 14th, while The Master is opening in limited release on the 14th, but might expand wide before the end of the month. "Might" is the key here. I don't think either will get it done.) None of the dozen films are likely to get to $100 million. In fact, there's a good chance no film opening this month will get to $75 million in total. The biggest film of the month could be Finding Nemo, which is getting a 3D Re-release. As long as the movie going public hasn't tired of 3D re-releases, it should be a hit, but there are signs that the trend might be ending soon. There are a few others that should become midlevel hits, but most will struggle to find an audience. Last September was not terrible with one $100 million film and a few other midlevel hits. For 2012 to come out ahead, it will have to rely on depth, and I'm more than a little worried in that regard.
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