July 5th, 2015
Back on schedule, not that there's much to talk about. The biggest new release for the week ending June 21 was Chappie, which barely made more than $30 million domestically. This meant a holdover, American Sniper, rose to top spot on the home market chart with 378,000 units / $5.30 million for the week. This gives the film totals of 2.76 million units / $49.44 million after a month of release.
June 17th, 2015
Wow. Slow week. There are a few releases that are notable, but we very quickly run into titles that would be considered filler during the average week. In fact, there are no first run releases that are contenders for Pick of the Week. There are a trio of limited releases that are in the running for that title: Time Lapse (DVD or Blu-ray or Video on Demand); Wild Tales (DVD or Blu-ray or Video on Demand); and The Wrecking Crew (DVD or Blu-ray or Video on Demand). There were also two catalog releases of note: The Cat Returns (Blu-ray Combo Pack) and Spirited Away (Blu-ray Combo Pack). Both are excellent, but Spirited Away is the better of the two films and it is the Pick of the Week.
March 16th, 2015
As expected, Cinderella easily won the race to the top of the box office. However, it didn't quite do as well as expected. Additionally, Run All Night's opening was also a little softer than expected. Fortunately, despite this, the overall box office still bounced back from last weekend growing by 47% to $132 million. This was also higher than last year by 16%, which is really high for a year-over-year comparison. Year-to-date, 2015 is ahead of 2014 by 2.3% at $2.01 billion to $1.97 billion. This is not a huge lead, but it is still enough growth that the overall industry should be happy.
March 10th, 2015
It was the worst weekend of the year so far with two of the three wide releases bombing compared to expectations. It was so bad, that the three wide releases combined were lower than the high end predictions for Chappie. Unfinished Business missed the Mendoza Line and will be quickly forgotten by the end of the month. Only The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has a future. Overall, the total box office was just under $90 million, which was 16% lower than last weekend. It was also 38% lower than the same weekend last year. The top five this year barely made more than the number one film from last year, 300: Rise of an Empire. The combined opening of the three new releases this year was dwarfed by the opening of Mr. Peabody and Sherman last year. Granted, 2015 is still ahead of 2014 in the year-to-date comparison, but the lead has shrunk to under 1% at $1.85 billion to $1.84 billion.
March 8th, 2015
A soft opening for Chappie and a weak returning field will combine to make this the worst weekend at the box office since the dark days of early December last year. Total spending will be around $90 million, down substantially from this time last year when 300: Rise of an Empire opened with $45 million. Chappie won’t manage a third of that, with a $13.3 million weekend projected by Sony as of Sunday morning. A slightly stronger $8.6 million opening from 1,573 theaters for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel won’t help the overall numbers much, but does add a bit of diversity to the top of the chart.
March 5th, 2015
March begins with three wide releases. Or to be more accurate, two wide releases and a semi-wide release. Unfortunately, both wide releases are being attacked by critics. Chappie is being called a smart idea with a dumb execution. Unfinished Business is earning some of the worst reviews of the year and its buzz is really not much better than its reviews. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is earning good reviews, but its theater count is low enough that it might not reach the top five. This weekend last year, there were two $100 million hits that debuted, 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr. Peabody and Sherman. None of the three wide releases this week will get to $100 million in total. In fact, all three films combined likely won't open with as much as 300: Rise of an Empire did. It looks like 2015 will lose in the year-over-year comparison in a significant way.
March 1st, 2015
February was strong thanks to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and Fifty Shades of Grey, both of which beat expectations. This March could actually be even better, as there are three or four films that have a decent shot at earning $100 million or more. The top film will likely be Cinderella, which has a real shot at $200 million. Insurgent will almost assuredly get beyond the $100 million mark, while Get Hard, Home, and perhaps Chappie will also get to the century mark. Last March, there were four $100 million hits, led by Divergent, which pulled in $150 million. While this March should be better than February, I'm not sure it will be better than last March. I don't think March 2015 will be much worse than last year, but I think its percentage lead will be chipped away at by the end of the month.
February 27th, 2015
Next weekend, there are three wide releases, including Chappie, which should lead the way on the box office chart over the weekend. (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Unfinished Business could be midlevel hits, but nothing more.) Because Chappie's box office potential is about twice that of the two other new releases, it is the only real choice for target target film in this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Chappie.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprize, including Life's a Breeze on DVD.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a Frankenprize, including 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!