Throughout history, tales of chivalry have burnished the legends of brave, handsome knights who rescue fair damsels, slay dragons and conquer evil. But behind many a hero is a good-for-nothing younger brother trying just to stay out of the way of those dragons, evil and trouble in general. In Your Highness, two princes, Thadeous and Fabious, are on a daring mission to save their land. They must rescue the heir apparent's fiancée before their kingdom is destroyed.
Thadeous has spent his life watching his perfect older brother Fabious embark upon valiant journeys and win the hearts of his people. Tired of being passed over for adventure, adoration and the throne, he's settled for a life of wizard's weed, hard booze and easy maidens. But when Fabious' bride-to-be, Belladonna, gets kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar, the king gives his deadbeat son an ultimatum: Man up and help rescue her or get cut off.
Half-assedly embarking upon his first quest, Thadeous joins Fabious to trek across the perilous outlands and free the princess. Joined by Isabel - an elusive warrior with a dangerous agenda of her own - the brothers must vanquish horrific creatures and traitorous knights before they can reach Belladonna. If Thadeous can find his inner hero, he can help his brother prevent the destruction of his land. Stay a slacker, and not only does he die a coward, he gets front row seats to the dawn of an all-new Dark Ages.
||April 8th, 2011 (Wide) by Universal|
||August 9th, 2011 by Universal Home Entertainment|
||R for strong crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity, violence and some drug use|
(Rating bulletin 2114, 3/31/2010)
||Stoner Comedy, Visual Effects, LGBT, Road Trip, Buddy Comedy, Wedding Day, Dysfunctional Family, Prologue, Intertitle, Voiceover/Narration, Delayed Adulthood, Prince/Princess, Rescue, Kidnap, Narcotics, Sword & Sorcerer, Intentionally Anachronistic|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
||Stuber Pictures, Universal Pictures|
New releases were particularly weak this past week, and none of them were able to unseat Rio on the DVD sales chart. It sold an additional 636,000 units and generated $9.53 million more dollars in sales, pushing its running tallies to 2.27 million units and $34.01 million. It is already in six place for 2011 (fifth place if you don't count Despicable Me, which was released in 2010).
Despite six new releases in the top ten on the Blu-ray sales chart this past week, Rio was able to remain on top with 261,000 units / $7.30 million over the week and 1.29 million units / $28.67 million after two.
This week's list is highly frustrating for two reasons. Firstly, while there's a pretty big list of first-run releases, many of which had some pre-release buzz, almost none of them matched expectations. Secondly, my internet access kept cutting out, so it took till 4:30 a.m. to get this done, and by the end I was swearing nearly constantly. (Even 15 minutes of the Smooth Jazz Nyan Cat wasn't enough to calm my nerves.) Moving on... There were two main contenders for Pick of the Week, Paul on Blu-ray and Stargate: Atlantis: Complete Series Megaset on Blu-ray. In the end I went with the latter, partially because the screener for the former hasn't shown up yet.
The early part of 2011 is a time that the box office industry would love to forget. Not only was the box office constantly being compared to 2010, which had Avatar's record-breaking run boosting the overall numbers. But were also a number of films that missed expectations. Your Highness was one such film. It was directed by David Gordon Green, who previously directed The Pineapple Express. It was co-written by Danny McBride and Ben Best, who co-wrote The Foot Fist Way and Eastbound and Down. Plus it starred James Franco and Natalie Portman, both of whom were coming off Award-winning years. Despite all of this, the film crashed and burned at the box office, opening in sixth place and quickly disappearing. The question is why?
Woo hoo! 2011 finally won a week without having to rely on a misaligned holiday. Granted, the overall box office was about $20 million lower than expected, but I don't care. At this point I will take any win we can get. The overall box office was $130 million, which is 12% higher than last weekend and 8% higher from the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2011 is still down by a tragic amount, 19% to be precise at $2.65 billion to $3.29 billion, but at least we are moving in the right direction and if we can add a couple more wins before summer starts, it would be great.
The winners of our Your Prize contest were determined and they are...
Ugh. It's time to break out the thesaurus to look up different ways of saying, "disappointing". This past weekend three of the four new releases missed expectations, while the holdovers were not able to compensate. This led to a 7% drop-off from last weekend to $116 million, which was 9% lower than the same weekend last year. 2011 continues its depressing pace and is now behind 2010 by 21% at $2.49 billion to $3.13 billion. Hopefully things will turn around next weekend. We need at least one win going into summer, or we could be in desperate trouble.
It's looking like another disappointing weekend at the box office, with Arthur performing well below expectations with a weak $12.6 million opening to leave Hop as the clear winner for a second consecutive weekend. The bunny movie posted an estimated $21.7 million, down 42% from its opening, which isn't bad, and it will be helped by Easter, one suspects. There were also some signs of life from two other openers: Hanna and Soul Surfer.
So far 2011 has been a disappointment and the industry is desperate for a win before we get into the lucrative summer blockbuster season. We don't want to start summer with a slump hanging over our heads. Last weekend Hop got off to a faster than expected start, and if one or two of this week's new releases do the same, we could have our first legitimate win in the year-over-year comparison. That's not likely. Last Year we had three films earn more than $20 million, while this year Hop's the only one likely to do the same. We do have some good news, as three of the four new releases have a good shot at topping original expectations and perhaps the depth further down the box office chart will be enough.
There are four wide releases coming out next weekend, two of them have a shot at top spot, and Your Highness appears to be the favorite to win. It is also the 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 Your Highness.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), regardless if they go over or not, will win a copy of Hannah Montana Forever: The Final Season on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
Another month has gone by and 2011 has slipped further behind 2010's pace. March was a bit of an improvement over the first two months, but only in the most generous of terms. It still lost ground to 2010, but not at the same disastrous pace as January and February did. There is some good news, as last April was rather weak and there's a chance 2011 could actually gain ground. After all, only Clash of the Titans earned $100 million last year (although Date Night came awfully close). This year, there are three or four films that could hit the century mark. That would be welcome news indeed. On a side note, April is usually a bit of a dumping ground as studios fear going head-to-head with summer blockbusters opening in May. However, I get the feeling that this year they are hoping to extend summer by having it open a couple of weeks early. Maybe they'll succeed.
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