Walt Disney Animation Studios returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh. Featuring the timeless charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes, this all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical "bear of very little brain" and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo-and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail. "Ever have one of those days where you just can't win, Eeyore?" asks Pooh. Owl sends the whole gang on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply set out to find some honey. Inspired by three stories from A.A. Milne's books in Disney's classic, hand-drawn art style
||July 15th, 2011 (Wide) by Walt Disney|
||October 25th, 2011 by Walt Disney Home Entertainment|
(Rating bulletin 2156, 1/26/2011)
||Hallucinations, Epilogue, Prologue, Rescue, Living Toys, Animal Lead, Talking Animals, Food, Voiceover/Narration, Intertitle, Coming of Age, Breaking the Fourth Wall|
|Source:||Based on Fiction Book/Short Story|
|Production Method:||Hand Animation|
|Creative Type:||Kids Fiction|
||Walt Disney Pictures|
This weekend is Thanksgiving and as always that means Black Friday and Cyber Monday plus 48 hours of shopping in-between. And as always, I've already done my Christmas shopping, for the most part. (I'm still waiting to see if the B.C.Lions win the Grey Cup. If not, I'll need to look for an alternative gift.) For everyone else who is still searching, we present the first part in our annual Holiday Gift Guide. As usual, the gift guide is divided into several sections, starting with Major Movie Releases. These are first run releases, franchise box sets, etc. However, before we get into the individual titles, we will start with an update on...
While there were only four new releases to reach the top 30 on this week's DVD Sales Chart, three of them took the top three spots. Cars 2 earned first place with ease, selling 1.98 million units and generating $31.24 million in opening week sales.
Captain America: The First Avenger led all new releases earning first place on the Blu-ray sales chart by a similar margin to its victory on the DVD sales chart. It sold 1.54 million units and generated $40.08 million in opening week sales. Its Blu-ray ratio was a stunning 68%.
The DVD sales chart returned to normal, at least what passes for normal as we witness the decline of DVD sales. There were not a lot of new releases to chart, but at least the best of them was able to move a lot of units. Captain America: The First Avenger was dominant earning first place with 726,000 units / $12.56 million.
It's a rather strong week on the home market with several top-notch releases and no matter what your tastes are, you should find something to enjoy here. Even if you just look at contenders for Pick of the Week, there are first run releases (Captain America: The First Avenger on Blu-ray Combo Pack); limited releases (Attack the Block on DVD); TV on DVD releases (Robot Chicken: Season Five on Blu-ray), Box Sets (Jurassic Park: Trilogy Box Set) and even classics (Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection on DVD). In the end, I went with the Winnie the Pooh Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, which should pick up an Oscar nomination and might be the favorite to win Best Feature-Length Animated Film.
Winnie the Pooh began as a character in a series of books for kids starting back in 1926. (Actually, he started as a real bear in the Winnipeg Zoo, but that's a different story.) Winnie the Pooh first came to theaters in 1977 with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, but over the past decade a number of spin-off films focusing on the other main characters have been released. This summer, Winnie the Pooh was released in theaters, but it was unable to find an audience. In its defense, it was going up against Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. Now that the competition is much lower on the home market, will the film find an audience?
The weekend race at the box office turned out to be not quite as close as expected with Captain America: The First Avenger running away with things. Fortunately, while Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 fell a little faster than expected, the overall box office was a little stronger than expected. It still fell 27% from last weekend, but a 30% decline would not have been surprising here. Compared to last year, the weekend total of $191 million was 17% higher, while the gap between 2011 and 2010 has close from just over $600 million to just over $400 million in roughly ten days. Revenue is still down by 6%, while ticket sales are close to 8% lower, but if we can end summer less than $300 million off 2010's pace, we might be able to close the gap entirely by the end of the year.
After a weak start, 2011 started to improve in late April. However, by June it had all fallen apart again and it looked like the summer of 2011 would be even worse than the summer of 2010, which was the worst summer in a decade. Thank goodness Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 came along. That film made more than the entire box office did last weekend and came within $10 million of doing the same in comparison to last year. It helped the overall box office reach $262 million, or 68% more than last weekend and 47% more than the same weekend last year. 2011 is still off 2010's pace by more than 7% at $5.85 billion to $6.30 million, but at least there's some hope for the near future.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II will rewrite the record books this weekend with an opening of about $168.55 million, according to Warner Bros.' estimate released on Sunday. That's a remarkable $10 million more than The Dark Knight's debut in 2008 and more than $40 million more than the first weekend enjoyed by Deathly Hallows Part I last year. It's a fitting finish for the most successful franchise in film history, which broke the same records back in 2001 when Sorcerer's Stone posted a $90.3 million opening weekend and ushered in a new era for the industry.
This week is all about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, although I know at least a couple of people who are more interested in seeing Winnie the Pooh. Potter will dominate the box office in a way rarely seen and help boost overall box office substantially. In fact, there is a chance it will make more than the entire top ten did the same weekend last year. As long as it doesn't miss low end expectations, it should help give 2011 a much needed win.
July starts with one of the most important holidays of the year, which is good news for the industry, as June was a little weaker than expected, at least on average. None of the films were shockingly bad at the box office, even if a few missed early predictions by significant degrees. But conversely, none really shocked analysts with their box office prowess. As such, 2011 continued to slide a little further behind 2010's pace, a trend the movie industry hopes will end this month. Fortunately, that is a reasonable goal. Last July was home to two $100 million movies, two $200 million movies, and a one $300 million movie, assuming you count The Twilight Saga: Eclipse as a July film. This time around, we could see two films top $300 million, assuming you count Transformers: Dark of the Moon as a July release. Meanwhile, there are several potential $100 million films. I count up to six films with a statistically significant shot at reaching the century mark, but I would be amazed if more than half of them got there.
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