An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Conlon returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan, a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family after being suspended from his day job. Even though years have passed, recriminations and betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father.
But when Brendan's unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives.
||September 9th, 2011 (Wide) by Lionsgate|
||December 20th, 2011 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment|
||PG-13 for sequences of intense mixed martial arts fighting, some language and thematic material.|
(Rating bulletin 2149, 12/1/2010)
||Addiction, Directing Yourself, Mixed Martial Arts, Returning Soldiers, Tournament, Dysfunctional Family, Bank Foreclosure|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
||Mimran Schur Pictures, Lionsgate, Solaris Entertainment, Filmtribe|
With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which films should just feel honored to be nominated. This week we will look at the four acting categories, and up next is Best Supporting Actor. This category is only slightly more competitive than Best Supporting Actress with almost all the evidence pointing to one winner.
Yesterday was one of the biggest days during Awards Season as The Oscar nominations were announced in the morning. It was a two horse race for top spot as far as the big winners are concerned. Hugo earned the most nominations with eleven, while The Artist was right behind with ten. However, one could argue The Artist is the bigger winner, as more of its nominations were in the more prestigious categories.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 climbed into first place on the Blu-ray sales chart with 232,000 units / $4.63 million over the week for a total of 4.79 million units / $102.50 million after seven weeks of release. It became only the third Blu-ray to reach the $100 million milestone.
There were only four new releases to reach the top 30 on this week's DVD sales chart, and only one of those placed in the top five. The Hangover II rose to first place with 521,000 units / $5.20 million for the week and 2.26 million units / $31.22 million after three. This is barely more than half what the original sold during its first week of release.
Christmas is less than a week away and there are a few releases that would make great last minute gifts. There are also very few releases overall so expect a short list this week. These great last minute gift ideas include Midnight in Paris on DVD or Blu-ray, Dolphin Tale in 3D Combo Pack and Futurama: Volume Six on DVD or Blu-ray. However, for Pick of the Week, I'm going with Warrior on Blu-ray Combo Pack. It's a great movie and there are plenty of extras on the DVD and the Blu-ray includes a Picture-in-Picture track.
Warrior is a sports film that focuses on Mixed Martial Arts. MMA is a sport that is growing in popularity, but it has not yet reached mainstream appeal. This could partially explain why the film struggled at the box office, although opening in less than 2000 theaters didn't help either. Now that it is coming out on the home market, will it find a wider audience? Or is it strictly for fans of the sport?
The SAG nominations were handed out this week, and while The Help led the way with four nods, it wasn't the only film that earned multiple nominations.
There were three new wide releases this past weekend, but it was a re-release, The Lion King, that dominated at the box office. This success is really good news, because all three new wide releases, Drive, I Don't Know How She Does It, and Straw Dogs, missed expectations. The overall movie industry generated just over $101 million this weekend, compared to $82 million last weekend, which is a 24% increase. This weekend last year, the overall box office was just under $101 million, so yes, 2011 squeezed out a win this week, even if it was by less than 1%. Year-to-date, 2011 has earned $7.70 billion, compared to $8.01 billion it earned last year. We are going to need to see some big wins over the coming weeks if 2011 is going to have a shot at closing that gap by the end of December.
The weekend after the Labor Day long weekend is often the worst weekend of the year, and that appears to be the case this time around. No film matched Thursday's predictions, although a couple came relatively close, like Contagion. Unfortunately, the rest of the new releases really bombed and most of the holdovers fell significantly more than expected. This led to the box office falling 24% from last weekend to just $82 million. This is the lowest it's been all year, and lower than last year, but by less than 1%. Unless next weekend will be even worse, and it is almost hard to imagine that as a possibility, this will be the lowest point for the year. On the other hand, there's a chance that we don't dip below this level for a long, long time, if ever. Given population growth and inflation, hitting these low points are less likely each year.
The weekend after the Labor Day long weekend tends to be one of the worst, if not the worst weekend of the year, but that probably won't be the case this year. This weekend we have four wide releases, one of which is a bit of a surprise wide release. One of them, Contagion, could wind up being a real hit. The other three, well, they are not opening truly wide. Maybe The Warrior will be a sleeper hit, but the other two could struggle to reach the top ten. By comparison, this weekend last year Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D was a surprise hit with $26.65 million. It's not terribly likely any film will match that opening, but 2011 has better depth and hopefully that will be the key to victory.
After a strong start, August ended on a really low note, and that's bad news for September, as it means the positive momentum we had is gone. Looking at the upcoming month, there are 18 films opening wide over five weekends (including one re-release) but only four or five of them have a real shot at being midlevel hits, and it is unlikely that all of them will get there. Worse still, there are no films opening this month that look like they will match The Town, which made more than $90 million last September. In fact, the selection of releases is so weak that the film I'm most looking forward to is a limited release that has already come out on Video on Demand, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. (It has seventeen reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and still not a negative one among them.)
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