While summer is usually the slowest time of the year on the home market, this week is fantastic with a lot of prime releases, including first-run, TV on DVD releases, classics and limited releases. Unfortunately, the largest single category is, "Screener is Late". You will see that phrase countless times on this list. (Perhaps it's because last week was a short week due to Memorial Day.) It is especially hard to select a Pick of the Week, because I don't like handing out that title when the screener is late. There are a few likely candidates, including Burn Notice: The Complete Fifth Season, Yellow Submarine on Blu-ray, but I went with Tomboy on DVD.
It's a transition week on the home market and while today doesn't mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, it's soon. Very soon. As in Friday. That's when X-Men: First Class comes out, which is the first of the summer blockbusters. The film earned fantastic reviews and will likely be the Pick of the Week, when the screener arrives.
nominations were handed out today and for the most part they've followed the script written by previous awards committees fairly closely.
The Writers Guild of America
is the last of the guilds to hand out nominations, which they did so this week. And while there are 20 or so categories, only two of them are theatrical.
Ye Yan, a.k.a., The Banquet opened in third place in South Korea with $1.04 million on 183 screens over the weekend and $1.24 million in total. That helped the Chinese
film place sixth overall with $5.52 million on 734 screens in 6 markets lifting its international total to $15.94 million, which is just above its production budget.
shot up the charts into sixth place with $5.97 million on 1597 screens in 23 markets for a total of $22.63 million internationally. The film had million dollar debuts in both Spain, ($2.06 million on 250 screens), and Mexico, ($1.04 million on 352), while came reasonably close in Russia, ($960,000 on 217 screens, including midweek numbers). In all three markets, the film placed second on the charts. More amazingly is the film's performance in the U.K. as it dipped just 17% to $1.05 million on 315 screens over the weekend and a three-week total of $5.75 million.
climbed into 6th place on the international charts, the best placing the film has earned. It had a few openings, the biggeset being a sixth place, $410,000 debut on 89 screens in South Korea over the weekend, and $469,000 in total. On the other hand, the film place first in Belgium with $197,000 on 36 screens over the weekend and $226,000 in total and third in Denmark with $102,000 on 32 screens over the weekend and $108,000 in total. Overall it earned $3.44 million on 1423 screens in 22 markets for a total of $31.96 million, which puts it about a week from topping its domestic total.
There was only one new release
to crack the top five, or the top ten for that matter, but it was the number one rental. United 93
was that release with $8.27 million during its first week of release.
No new openings left Garfield's A Tail of Two Kitties
down 40% to $5.87 million on 3779 screens in 32 markets for a total of $90.08 million. It was reported that the film broke a record for an animated
film in China with $6.7 million putting it ahead of The Lion King
, which is a strange thing to report since the movie isn't animated
. Sure, it has a CG lead
, but that's not the same. As for the film's prospects for the future, hitting $100 million internationally is academic at this point and with several openings to go, including previews in Australia this weekend, the film could finish with close to the $125 million earned by the original
It's another busy week with a ton of top-notch releases.
Not so much from the first run releases, as United 93 - Collector's Edition is the only wide release on the list while Kinky Boots - Buy from Amazon is the best of the limited releases.
Nope, to find the best of the best you have to look at the Special Editions and TV on DVD categories.
For the former we have three contenders, Brazil - Criterion Collection - 3-Disc Box Set, Gojira / Godzilla - King of the Monsters - 2-Disc Set , and The Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection - Buy from Amazon.
While from the latter we have Lost - The Complete Second Season - Extended Experience and Supernatural - The Complete First Season.
Trying to limit those five picks to one was impossible, so I'm going with Brazil - Criterion Collection - 3-Disc Box Set and Lost - The Complete Second Season - Extended Experience, although I'm fairly convinced all seven of the above DVDs will find a way into my DVD collection eventually.
A first place opening in the U.K. helped You, Me & Dupree shoot up the charts nearly reaching the top five. While it did have to settle for sixth place, its $4.32 million on 914 screens in 8 markets was enough to push its still early international total to $13.01 million. Over in the U.K., the film picked up $3.10 million on 409 screens and that was more than double its nearest competitor. The film opened in Iceland over the weekend earning second place to Garfield's A Tail of Two Kitties with $42,000 in three theatres.
climbed one spot to sixth with $4.48 million on 1498 screens in 14 markets for total of $20.33 million at the international box office. The film added two more midlevel markets but bombed in both. In the Netherlands the film missed the top ten with $89,000 on 65 screens over the weekend and $100,000 in total while it was only slightly better in Poland earning sixth place with $71,000 on 48 screens. Holdovers, on the other hand, were better than expected with the film down a mere 16% during its second weekend in the U.K. with $1.61 million on 425 screens for a total of $5.83 million.
Over the Hedge
may have slipped out of the top five landing in sixth place this week, but it is still bringing in plenty at the box office. After earning $7.12 million on 3877 screens in 33 markets the film now has $121.76 million internationally and is closing in on its domestic total with several more markets left to open in. Its biggest market was again Germany with $1.49 million on 743 screens over the weekend for a four-week total of $14.26 million. Should it perform well in Japan and Italy, it will have no trouble reaching $300 million worldwide. And while that is low compared to the historical averages for digitally animated
films, but is still a great result.
A first place debut in China lifted Mission: Impossible 3
into sixth place overall with $5.74 million on 838 screens in 21 markets for a total of $239.82 million. In China it earned $2.8 million on 394 screens while in Japan it managed $2.50 million on 540 for a total of $29.92 million after three weeks of release.
A South Korean
film, Hanbando, a.k.a. The Korean Peninsula, topped its native market with a huge $6.14 million on 520 screens over the weekend and a total of $9.85 million overall. That was good enough for sixth place on the international charts.
The Da Vinci Code
slipped out of the top five with $3.85 million on 3037 screens in 55 markets for a total of $515.15 million. This is the 11th best international total ever, while its worldwide mark of $728.36 million places it 23rd on the all-time worldwide chart
Last minute updates in weekend numbers showed that it was The Da Vinci Code
and not Poseidon
grabbing the final spot in the top five. It was an exceedingly close race with the former film topping the latter by less than $3000 both with $5.68 million. The Da Vinci Code
earned its box office on 4352 screens in 57 markets while Poseidon
needed just 3584 in 48. On the other hand, their running tallies are worlds apart with The Da Vinci Code
leading $507.68 million to $94.72 million. That film became just the 12th film to cross $500 million internationally and is less than $20 million from overtaking Finding Nemo
for 10th place on the international charts.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
started its international run last weekend but missed the top five with $7.93 million on 810 screens in 8 markets. The film took first place in five markets, including the U.K. with $3.35 million on 415 screens, in Australia with $2.28 million on 221 screens, and New Zealand with $444,000 on 53 screens. This is inline with what the original
opened with in those markets, but with shorter legs due to Sequelitis
it won't have as high a final box office.
Trick 2 opened in its native Japan
finishing in a close second with $3.83 million on 282 screens. That was enough for sixth place on the overall charts and the best per screen average in the top 30.
The final weekend before the start of World Cup saw Volver
become the latest best of the rest finishing sixth with $4.46 million on 863 screens in 5 markets for a total of $27.25 million. The film was again led by its performance in France where it grew for the second week in a row up 14% to $3.02 million on 404 screens for a total of $9.09 million while in Italy it grew by 28% to $1.44 million on 268 screens for a total of $5.61 million after three weeks. In both of those markets the film is on pace to top such worldwide blockbusters as Mission: Impossible 3
, something nobody would have predicted before the start of the summer. Even more impressively, it is about a week away from France becoming the film's most lucrative market topping the $11.94 million it made in its native Spain
It was a bad week for new releases with no newcomer able to beat expectations.
Even though the holdovers held up well the overall weekend box office numbers sank.
In total, theatrical releases earned $100 million, which was down 9.7% from last week and more importantly 2.7% from last year.
This was the first year-to-year drop-off in eight weeks, although it was relatively small.
In fact, had either Poseidon or Just My Luck matched expectations, the total box office would have seen a small growth.
The small decline wasn't enough to put a dent in 2006's lead over 2005, which remains at 6%.
The second weekend of summer is looking soft this year with Mission: Impossible 3 getting off to a slower than expected start last weekend and buzz surrounding Poseidon being rather weak.
The good news is that both those films should top last year's winner and that should lead to another week of year-to-year growth.
The unofficial start of summer was a disappointment, with the number one film missing expectations by nearly $20 million. However, the overall numbers were still very positive with the box office bringing in a total of $110 million.
That's 7.8% higher than last weekend and 26.5% higher than the same weekend last year.
Even better are the year-to-date numbers, which now stand 6% higher than last year.
There is some bad news ahead as next week looks weaker and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and its $100 million weekend will hurt year-to-year comparisons the week after that.
This weekend is the unofficial start of the summer box office season with what should be the biggest movie of the year, at least so far.
There's little doubt that Mission: Impossible 3 will be the biggest movie of the weekend, the only question is how well will it compare with other blockbusters, both this year and years past.
The last weekend in April is generally not a good time to open a new movie since the first weekend in May is the unofficial start of the Summer Blockbuster season. Movies that open now generally only get one weekend of release before being crushed by the competition. Because of this, studios tend to dump films that have lowered expectations during this weekend. So there's little surprise that the total box office was down 6.6% from last week to $102 million. But more importantly, that represents a 12.6% increase
from the same weekend last year despite the fact that last year's number one film
earned nearly $5 million more than this year's number one film
did. This surge had helped the year-to-date figure grow to $2.603 billion, up 4.7% over last year's pace. This is significant because it puts ticket sales on the rise as well as total box office.
The first of the new Friday edition Weekly Website Review column is here, but not without a hitch. We had a bit of a power outage early in the day so I did what any modern man would do when faced with the prospects of going without the Internet for an undetermined amount of time, I took a nap. Fortunately, I was mostly done before the power went out so there was no real affect on this week's list, but I am starting to this that this column is cursed. As for the list, its pretty average with the best of the bunch being A Scanner Darkly
- Official Site
It's a busy week for wide releases with four such films coming out, although none of them look like breakout hits.
In fact, only one of the films is opening in significantly more than 2,000 theatres.
Continuing the overriding trend of the year, the film that is earning the worst reviews of the weekend should also top the charts.
March wasn't as strong as expected and April doesn't seem to have what it takes to turn things around. IMDb has a poll they run every month on what film you are looking forward to the most. This time the number one film is Silent Hill
was in first with 16.5% of the vote. Number two went to 'Other' at 13.0% of the vote. This is a really, really bad sign. With no advanced buzz, many films will have a hard time attracting an audience, which not only means less people are seeing the movies, but also less people are seeing the trailers for the big summer releases, which means less buzz about the summer releases... On the other hand, there are several limited releases that look promising including Friends with Money
, Hard Candy
, The Notorious Bettie Page
, and Kinky Boots
. Unfortunately, all but the first are being released on April 14th.
Another week with less sites than I would have liked. (On a side note, it seems every time something weird happens it happens on a Thursday. This time its slight internet connection problems / memory leak. I think. Whatever it is, it's causing my computer to act really slowly.) This shorter list doesn't mean there isn't an award-worthy site and the best of the best is Over the Hedge
- Official Site
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. It's busier on this week's list than it has in a while, but there was only one site that was in contention to win the award, Underworld: Evolution
- Official Site
During the past week promotional websites for several movies were launched and some older ones added additional content. Despite being there being two weeks between updates, this was not a very strong week. Sure, there were plenty of websites updated, but not a lot that really stood out as being award worthy. In the end it was Clerks 2: The Passion of the Clerks
- Official Site
that was the best of the bunch and hopefully it will continue to grow and earn that award.