Like it was on the sales chart, new releases took the top two spots on the DVD rental chart.
However, they finished in the opposite order as Superbad beat out Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End $13.97 million to $9.54 million.
Superbad's performance here compared to its performance on the sales chart may be explained either as a clear case of Try-Before-You-Buy, or it may be a lot of people interested in seeing it are expecting to get it for Christmas.
This week, the Holiday Gift guide discusses movies as its theme, but not just any movie can get on this list.
This is for smaller movies, ones that might have slipped past most people's attention. The top ten movies of the year would also make great gifts, but you don't need me to tell you about them. (Except to say The Simpsons Movie doesn't come out on DVD and Blu-Ray until Tuesday.)
Here we have independent films, foreign films, and yes, a few Canadian films. ...
Okay, more than a few Canadian films.
Only one new releases managed to reach the top five leaving Live Free or Die Hard with a clear number one finish adding $10.26 million to its total of $22.68 million after two weeks of release.
There were no new releases to reach the top five on the sales chart this week and this left Live Free or Die Hard in first place with 716,000 units sold this week.
That raises its total sales to 2.78 million units and $47.60 million.
It's the official start of award season as the Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced. Several films received nods, but I'm Not There and Juno were the big hits.
Last Friday was Black Friday, one of the most important shopping days of the year.
And Monday was Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year.
So it goes without saying that releasing a DVD the day after the most important weekend of shopping ends is not a good idea.
There are still several DVDs worth checking out, and a few contenders for the DVD Pick of the Week.
However, there are a lot more sub-par releases and several that are contenders for worse movie of the year (half of which I had the task of reviewing).
But let's concentrate on the positive end.
The three best bets are Futurama - Bender's Big Score - Buy from Amazon, Namesake - Buy from Amazon, Waitress - Buy from Amazon.
If I was forced to choose just one DVD, it would be Bender's Big Score, but all three earn the title of DVD Pick of the Week.
Also of note, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Complete Series is also being released this week.
Only one film was able to top $10,000 on the per theater chart, but it did so with ease.
Sicko earned $68,969 in its lone theater, and also sold out all 43 advanced screenings.
This is a very good sign for Friday's wide release, although I'm still not confident it will open in the top five.
La Vie en Rose won the race to the top of the per theater chart, earning $180,000 in 8 theaters for an average of $22,481.
Brand Upon the Brain! continued its tour and jumped into second place with an average of $12,223 in its three theaters.
12:08 East of Bucharest was close behind with $11,586 in its lone theater while overall box office winner, Ocean's Thirteen was the last film to cross $10,000, earning an average of $10,136.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and its record-breaking theater count of 4,362 were able to top the per theater chart this weekend with $26,303. As impressive as that was, both Shrek the Third and Spider-Man 3 opened with better averages. Paprika opened in second place with $17,797, but while that's a great start, its niche market appeal will prevent it from expanding wide. Last week's winner, Once, fell to third with $16,607, but, given the film's expansion, this was an amazing hold.
The Golden Door opened with an average of $13,872 in two theaters while Shrek the Third was close behind with $12,713.
The Memorial Weekend was one of the biggest weekends of all time, pulling in a combined $193 million.
Yet, for many, it will be looked at as a disappointment.
In fact, the whole month of May has been like that as, while it will go down as one of the most lucrative months of all time, it will still be remembered by some for not reaching expectations.
For the third time in four weeks there will be another $100 million opening. It's strange, for four years after Spider-Man set the record, no film matched its record-setting debut. In fact, no film really came that close. However, in the past 12 months, three films have topped that mark and another film will do the same this weekend.
Once won a close race for top spot on the per theater chart, just topping Shrek the Third $30,951 to $29,507.
Brand Upon the Brain! held up better than expected, earning an average of $18,907 in its three theaters while Chalk was the only other film to top $10,000 with $13,363.
There was another massive opening over the weekend, something we'll have to get used to this summer, but not all reports are glowing.
The second $100 million opening of the month helped push the overall box office up, way up, to $182 million, which is 70% higher than last weekend.
However impressive these weekly fluctuations may seem, it is the year-to-year increase of 11% that is more important.
The other number of note is 15%, which is how much higher this summer is over the record-setting pace of 2004.
That summer not only gave us Shrek 2, but also Spider-Man 2 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Those three movies combined for more than $1 billion, a mark this summer's top three films should be able to top.
So far May has been softer than expected. Sure, Spider-man 3 opened with a record breaking weekend, but since then it has started tracking below expectations. Meanwhile, every other film has missed their modest expectations, some by large margins. This weekend things should get back on track with one of the most anticipated films of the year debuting tomorrow, but even here there are some warning signs.
Brand Upon the Brain! was the top dog on the per theater chart this week, scoring an impressive $46,412 in its one theater over the weekend and $63,837 since Wednesday.
In most cases this would be clear evidence that the film was destined for mainstream success. However, given the nature of the movie, it should have a successful tour of art house theaters in major cities, but it will never play in multiplexes.
The second place film was Brooklyn Rules with $41,811 an exclusive engagement ahead of this Friday's opening.
Paris, je t'aime remained in third place while its average rose to $20,247.
The overall number one film, Spider-man 3, earned an average of $13,680, which was more than the four new wide releases combined.
Finally, Waitress just maintained a $10,000 average, earning an average of $10,108 in 65 theaters.
There is little doubt the film will earn some measure of mainstream success at this point.
Spider-man 3 not set records on the overall charts, but it also earned the highest-ever per theater average for a movie playing in wide release.
Its average of $35,540 beats the record set by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest when it set the previous all-time high weekend mark in July last year.
Spider-Man wasn't the only film to reach the $10,000 club though, as three new limited releases also managed that feat, led by Waitress, which made $92,000 over the weekend (and $112,000 in total), for an average of $23,009 in its four theaters.
This is enough to suggest the film should be able to earn at least some measure of mainstream success.
Paris, Je T'Aime was close behind with an average of $19,621 in its two theaters, while Away From Her earned an average of $13,317 in four.
Among the more than two-dozen films on this week's list, there were a few that came very close to winning the Weekly Website Award. Of the three, Spider-Man 3 - Official Site was probably the closest to winning, but in the end was brought down by high expectations.
The prospect of going up against Spider-Man 3 didn't scare away limited releases this week.
This is not surprising, as their role during the summer blockbuster season could be described as the ultimate in counter-programming.
Among the lengthy list, there's a new take on the Bollywood tale, two competing Canadian films, and an early hopeful for Summer indie darling.
It is this last film, Waitress, that appears to have the best shot at mainstream success.
Even with the extra day, it was a slow week for websites. There were a couple films to have their full sites go live this week, but in both cases there was a lack of features. The best of the list is Pathfinder - Official Site, but it's not up to the level of an award winner.
Awesome. We are finally getting some major updates to the summer blockbuster movies. The ones people are watching to see if they break records. This includes the first half of the massively interactive website for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Official Site. And while the site isn't done yet, it is still more than enough to win the Weekly Website Award.
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for The Reaping, Skinwalkers, Hot Rod and more.