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← December 2016

Weekend Predictions: Will Xander’s Return Result in Box Office Dominance?

January 19th, 2017

Split

It is a deceptively busy week with five films opening or expanding wide. At least that’s what the dsitributors are saying. In reality, there are only two truly wide releases, xXx: Return of Xander Cage and Split. There is also one semi-wide release, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, as well as two semi-wide expansions, The Founder and 20th Century Women. Return of Xander Cage and Split are the only two of the films that have a shot at the top ten and they could be in a close race for first place. This weekend last year, there were three wide releases, but none of them made significantly more than $10 million at the box office. The biggest film of the weekend, The Revenant, earned just $16.01 million. 2017 could finally win in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Theater Counts: Xander Cage Opens in 3,651

January 19th, 2017

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

xXx: Return of Xander Cage will make the widest debut of the year so far on Friday. To be fair, the year is very young, but securing 3,651 theaters against quite a bit of competition is impressive, and could set the stage for a big weekend. Split will have a slightly more modest start, but still tops 3,000 theaters. More...

Collide Trailer

January 19th, 2017

Thriller starring Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins opens February 24 ... Full Movie Details. More...

International Box Office: Passengers Takes the Wheel with $30.59 million

January 19th, 2017

Passengers

For the first time in its run, Passengers earned first place with $30.59 million on 17,000 screens in 78 markets for totals of $136.34 million internationally and $226.07 million worldwide. At this point, the studio has either earned back the $110 million production budget, or has come close. If it can find an audience on the home market, then it could break even, eventually. This weekend, the film’s biggest opening was in China where it earned first place with $17.45 million on an estimated 10,000 screens over the weekend for a total of $17.52 million including previews. China is already the film’s biggest market overtaking Russia, where it has $16.25 million after four weeks of release, including $618,000 on 528 screens this past weekend. More...

Contest: Ultimate Prize: Winning Announcement

January 19th, 2017

Patriots Day

The winners of our Ultimate Prize contest contest were determined and the entrants with the closest predictions for Patriots Day’s opening weekend were... More...

Theater Averages: Worlds Starts Apart from the Competition with $16,353

January 18th, 2017

Worlds Apart

Despite earning 50% positive reviews, Worlds Apart topped the theater average chart with $16,353 in its one theater. The only other film in the $10,000 club was 20th Century Women, which spent its third week there with an average of $10,894 in 29 theaters. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Hidden Figures Really Helps the Box Office with $27.51 million

January 18th, 2017

Hidden Figures

As expected, Hidden Figures remained in first place as the box office was dominated by holdovers. The best of the new releases / wide expansions was The Bye Bye Man, which earned fifth place with $15.20 million. On the positive side, while there was only one film to earn more than $20 million over the weekend, there were seven that earned $10 million or more. That’s really good depth. It’s good enough for an 8.5% increase from last weekend reaching $149 million. However, this is still 10% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2017 is behind 2016 by 15% at $562 million to $659 million, but again, it is way too soon to make any predictions. More...

Home Market Releases for January 17th, 2017

January 17th, 2017

Long Way North

The are not many major releases on this week’s home market release list. The Girl on the Train is the biggest, but it is not the best. It is not even close to being the best. The race for best was mostly a two-way race between Long Way North and Ouija: Origin of Evil, with Ixcanul and Train to Busan being close behind. In the end, I went with Long Way North on Blu-ray Combo Pack as the Pick of the Week, but all four are worth owning. More...

Before I Fall Trailer

January 17th, 2017

Drama starring Zoey Deutch opens March 3 ... Full Movie Details. More...

A Cure for Wellness Trailer

January 16th, 2017

Sci-fi thriller created and directed by Gore Verbinski opens February 17 ... Full Movie Details. More...

Featured Blu-ray and DVD Review: Death Race 2050

January 16th, 2017

Death Race 2050

The original Death Race 2000 is one of my favorite films of all time. It is campy, B-movie fun with a serious satirical streak to it. The film spawned a remake / prequel in 2008, which in turn spawn two, soon to be three sequels, none of which really captured the essence of the original. However, Death Race 2050 is produced by Roger Corman, so does that mean it will be closer in tone and quality? More...

Weekend Estimates: Hidden Figures wins MLK Weekend

January 15th, 2017

Hidden Figures

A pile-up at the box office this weekend will leave a crush of new releases behind Hidden Figures and La La Land, which remain the top two films at the box office. Hidden Figures will be down just 10% (in part thanks to expanded distribution) to $20.45 million, for $54.8 million in total, as of Sunday evening. Fox is projecting a $25.3 million 4-day weekend for the film. La La Land is even more impressive, growing its box office by 43% and moving from fifth to second on the chart with $14.5 million, and $74.1 million to date. It’s record-breaking performance at the Golden Globes has clearly lifted it to another level with audiences. More...

Friday Estimates: Hidden Hogs the Spotlight

January 14th, 2017

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures unexpectedly led the way on Friday with $5.53 million. This is 28% lower than last Friday, but that was the film’s first weekend wide and this is a holiday weekend, so it should bounce back a lot over the rest of the weekend. Award-worthy reviews and continued Awards Season presence will also help the film earn about $23 million over the four-day weekend. Its running tally will be about $57 million on Monday, putting it on pace for $100 million domestically. More...

Limited and VOD Releases: Mixed Reviews Plague Limited Releases as Son of Joseph Sole Exception

January 13th, 2017

The Son of Joseph

It’s a deceptively busy week as far as limited releases are concerned. On the one hand, we have release dates for 21 limited releases this week. On the other hand, there are none that are particularly strong. The only film earning overwhelmingly positive reviews is The Son of Joseph, but even this film has almost no shot at box office success. On the other hand, there are a lot of VOD releases this week. Maybe there’s something worth renting out there. More...

Thursday Night Previews: Is Patriots Day Going Bye Bye with $560,000?

January 13th, 2017

Patriots Day

Patriots Day earned $560,000 from 2,000 theaters during its Thursday previews. This is less than half of what Hidden Figures made last week. Worse still, Patriots Day’s target audience should be more likely to go see a film’s previews than Hidden Figures’ target audience would be. That said, it is still a holiday weekend and it should bounce back over the next few days. I think it will miss our predictions, but it should come close with about $19 million. More...

The Shack Trailer

January 13th, 2017

Drama starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer and Radha Mitchell opens March 3 ... Full Movie Details. More...

Contest: Return to Sender

January 13th, 2017

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Next weekend is busier that we were expecting. We thought there would be three films opening or expanding wide, but we have an additional film opening semi-wide and another expanding semi-wide. That said, xXx: Return of Xander Cage is still the only film that has a real shot at first place and it is therefore the only logical choice for 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 xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprise consisting of their choice of either one TV on DVD release, two movies, or a kids package (could be a theatrical release, a couple of single-disc TV on DVD releases, or a full season TV on DVD release). Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a Frankenprize, as described above. Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will win the final Frankenprize, as described above.

Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

2016 - Awards Season: DGA - Nominations

January 12th, 2017

Lion

The last of the Directors Guild of America nominations were announced and the Oscars are really shaping up to be a one-movie show. That movie is Deadpool. I’m joking of course, but it did get yet another nomination. At this point, it could earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination and I wouldn’t be surprised. The film that is dominating Awards Season is La La Land and frankly I’ve lost count of the number of nominations it has received. More...

Theater Counts: Hidden Figures Expands Significantly for MLK, In Spite of New Release Rush

January 12th, 2017

Hidden Figures

In the midst of a crazy week for new releases and wide expansions, Hidden Figures will increase its theater count by an impressive 818 this weekend, from 2,471 to 3,286, as it seeks to hold on to number one at the box office. That won’t make it the film in widest release, since Sing will hold on in 3,688 venues, but it does mean it’s held off the competition, at least in terms of availability. Whether it can stay number one at the box office remains to be seen, but the film seems like a natural fit for the MLK long weekend, so it’ll be a tough one to top. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will the Patriots Win the Weekend? Or Will Hidden Remain Up Front?

January 12th, 2017

Patriots Day

Six films are opening or expanding this weekend, which have a shot at the top ten. However, only one of them, Patriots Day, has a real shot at first place. In fact, it might be the only “new” film in the top five. The biggest wide release of the week is Monster Trucks, which is opening in 2,800 theaters. I didn’t see that coming. [Ed.: The final announced theater count for Monster Trucks is an even more impressive 3,119] Meanwhile, Sleepless is only opening in 1,800 theaters, while Silence is expanding into 750 theaters. We still haven’t mentioned all of the new films. As for holdovers, Hidden Figures has a real shot at first place, while La La Land should get a boost from its Awards Season success. This weekend last year, Ride Along 2 opened with just over $35 million over the three-day weekend. There’s no film that will match that figure during the four-day weekend. On the positive side, there were only four films that earned more than $10 million during the three-day weekend and this year we should have five. That’s not enough to win in the year-over-year competition. It likely won’t even be close. More...

International Box Office: Rogue gets $56.6 million Closer to $1 Billion

January 12th, 2017

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story remained in first place with $56.6 million in 57 markets for totals of $437.1 million internationally and $914.5 million worldwide. It is now in fifth place on the 2016 worldwide chart. ... The entire top five worldwide is from Disney. This is unprecedented. As for this past weekend, Rogue One earned first place in China with $30.11 million over the weekend and $30.65 million including previews. This is on par with expectations, although some were worried it would struggle due to... I was going to say weather, but is smog weather? China is currently dealing with a smog crisis and has been issuing warnings to stay inside. This is the last market for the film, but it should cruise to $1 billion on holdovers. It will likely reach second place on the 2016 worldwide chart, but I think Captain America: Civil War is safe on the top of the chart. More...

Contest: Blood Oath: Winning Announcement

January 12th, 2017

Underworld: Blood Wars

The winners of our Blood Oath contest contest were determined and the entrants with the closest predictions for Underworld: Blood Wars’s opening weekend were... More...

2016 - Awards Season: PGA - Nominations

January 11th, 2017

Deadpool

The Producers Guild of America finally finished announcing their nominations. (They spread out their announcements for reasons I’ve never quite understood.) Most of the films on this list have already earned more than a few previous nominations. We appear to be settling into a predictable Awards Season. More...

2016 - Awards Season: BAFTA - Nominations

January 11th, 2017

La La Land

The BAFTA nominations were announced and it should come as no surprise what film lead the way... La La Land with 11 nominations, Nocturnal Animals and Arrival are tied for second with nine nominations a piece. More...

Get Out Trailer

January 10th, 2017

Horror movie written and directed by Jordan Peele opens February 24 ... Full Movie Details. More...

Theater Averages: The New Year has a Patriotic Start

January 10th, 2017

Patriots Day

The theater average chart was dominated by holdovers, as is the norm this time of year. The top film was Patriots Day with an average of $14,972 in seven theaters. This bodes very well for its wide expansion next weekend. 20th Century Women is becoming a sleeper hit earning an average of $13,047 in ten theaters. This is one of those films that should be earning more Awards Season buzz, but I fear it has slipped between the cracks. Toni Erdmann and Paterson were neck-and-neck with averages of $10,472 and $10,205 respectively. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Hidden Figures is in the Spotlight earning $22.80 million

January 10th, 2017

Hidden Figures

The first weekend of the year wasn’t as potent as anticipated, as none of the holdovers held on as well as expected. This helped Hidden Figures earn first place with $22.80 million, putting it just ahead of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which pulled in $22.06 million. The box office was down 26% from last weekend to $137 million, but this is a post-holiday weekend, so this decline was expected. The box office was also down 14% from this weekend last year. It is still way too soon to compare the box office year-over-year. In fact, we should wait till The Force Awakens faded out of the top five before we can really get a picture of how 2017 will do. That was President’s Day long weekend. So once we get past President’s Day long weekend, the year-over-year comparison will begin it have some real value. More...

Fist Fight Trailer

January 9th, 2017

Comedy starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day opens February 17 ... Full Movie Details. More...

Home Market Releases for January 10th, 2017

January 9th, 2017

His Girl Friday

There’s a lull in the quality and quantity of releases on the home market, one that will continue until the holiday releases start coming out. That’s not to say there are no releases worth picking up. Under the Shadow is an amazing horror film and the DVD is a Contender for Pick of the Week. However, the winner of that honor is The Criterion Collection release for His Girl Friday oni Blu-ray. More...

2016 - Awards Season: Golden Globes - Winners - La La Lands on Top

January 8th, 2017

La La Land

The first major awards night was Sunday with the Golden Globes being handed out. La La Land led the way with seven wins, winning in every category it was nominated in. This is great news for its Oscar chances, but there’s already backlash building. More...

Weekend Estimates: Rogue One and Hidden Figures Tied at the Top

January 8th, 2017

Hidden Figures

With one day left in a topsy-turvy weekend, we have a virtual tie at the top of the box office chart, with both studios claiming a narrow win. Disney posted the highest projection this morning, saying they are expecting Rogue One to earn $21.972 million this weekend. Fox, meanwhile, is projecting $21.8 million for Hidden Figures, and thinks that the film’s lead of about $900,000 coming out of Saturday will be enough to hold on for a win. Sunday’s performance will be key, and there are a couple of factors that make the outcome genuinely uncertain… More...

Friday Estimates: Hidden Gets the Jump on the Competition with $7.6 million

January 7th, 2017

Hidden Figures

It’s looking like a surprisingly close weekend at the box office. The Friday results show three films with a real shot at top spot: Hidden Figures, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Sing. Hidden Figures led the way on Friday with $7.6 million, putting it on pace for between $21 million and $23 million for the weekend. There’s a wide range here, because the studio has made a push to go after African-American churchgoers, so this could really boost the film’s Sunday box office. The film’s legs will be helped by its amazing reviews, as well as its A+ rating from CinemaScore. If it does land on the high end of expectations, then it has a real shot at top spot for the weekend. It does have a lot of competition, on the other hand. More...

John Wick: Chapter Two Trailer

January 6th, 2017

Action movie starring Keanu Reeves opens February 10 ... Full Movie Details. More...

Thursday Night Previews: Hidden is Seen with $1.2 million in Previews

January 6th, 2017

Hidden Figures

Underworld: Blood Wars was the only true wide release of the week, but it was Hidden Figures’ wide expansion that generated the best result at $1.2 million. This is more impressive, as dramas tend to underperform action films in previews; for example, Selma pulled in just $400,000 during its previews. That film earned $11.31 million during its first weekend of wide release and Hidden Figures is expected to double that figure this weekend. More...

Limited and VOD Releases: Daniel Blake Leads Bleak Week

January 6th, 2017

I, Daniel Blake

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the first weekend of January is a slow week for limited releases. It’s too late to qualify for this year’s Awards Season and the competition for late entries into the Oscar race is intense. I, Daniel Blake is the best of a limited field and is certainly worth checking out, while Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America is also worth it, if you like documentaries. More...

Contest: Ultimate Prize

January 5th, 2017

Patriots Day

Next weekend, six films are opening or expanding wide, sort of. Six films opening or expanding wide is far too many for one weekend and it looks like two of the three expansions will only be semi-wide, while two of the three wide releases will open barely wide. This leaves Patriots Day and Sleepless as the only two real contenders for the target film in this week’s box office prediction contest. I’m going with Patriots Day even though it is technically expanding wide, because it has the clear advantage at the box office. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Patriots Day.

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film’s opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of The Ultimate Legacy on DVD. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film’s opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a previously reviewed movie. Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven’t won, or haven’t won recently, and they will also win a previously-reviewed movie.

Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Weekend Predictions: Underworld is a Serious Underdog

January 5th, 2017

Underworld: Blood Wars

It’s the first weekend of the year and there’s only one wide release, Underworld: Blood Wars, plus one wide expansion, Hidden Figures. (As expected, A Monster Calls is not expanding truly wide and it won’t grow enough to make the top ten. I don’t think it will top $3 million over the weekend.) None of these films are really going to challenge the top two holdovers, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Sing, although that pair should be in a close race for first place. This weekend last year was very similar to this weekend, with one new release, one wide expansion, and a Star Wars holdover on top. Unfortunately, this year is much weaker. 2017 is going to get off on a losing note. More...

International Box Office: Rogue’s Threepeat to Tenth Place on 2016 Worldwide Chart

January 5th, 2017

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story added $45.8 million in 55 markets to its running tally, which now sits at $350.0 million internationally and $775.0 million worldwide. By the end of Sunday, the film was already in tenth place for the year and while it is not doing as well internationally as it is domestically, it is still on pace to hit fifth place by as early as this weekend. Its biggest market is the U.K., where it has pulled in $64.4 million, but the U.K. might not stay on top for long, because the film opens in China this weekend. More...

2016 - Awards Season: WGA - Nominations

January 4th, 2017

Hidden Figures

The Writers Guild of America is the latest group nominees to be announced. There are a lot of categories that WGA hand out awards, but only three of them are theatrical releases. The list of nominees include several major Awards Season players, like Hidden Figures, but there are also some surprises. More...

Contest: Rogue Pets: Winning Announcement

January 4th, 2017

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The winners of our Rogue Pets contest contest were determined and the entrants with the closest predictions for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’s third weekend were... More...

Theater Averages: Hidden Stands Out with Average of $34,329

January 4th, 2017

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures rose to first place during its first full weekend of release with an average of $34,329 in 25 theaters. It already has more than $2 million and it expands wide on Friday. 20th Century Women was next with an average of $27,800 in four theaters. It isn’t a major player during Awards Season, but it is picking up enough nominations to help it stick around in theaters. Patriots Day was down just 8% earning an average of $21,117 in seven theaters. Last week’s winner, Silence, fell to an average of $20,827 in four theaters. If it has a similar drop next week, it will put its wide release in jeopardy. The best limited release of the week was Paterson, which earned an average of $17,334 in four theaters. Toni Erdmann earned an average of $14,000 in three theaters during its first full week of release. La La Land continues to expand, but remained in the $10,000 club with an average of $12,738. The overall number one film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, was next with an average of $11,934, while the second place film, Sing, was right behind with an average of $10,647. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Rogue One Wins Weekend, Doesn’t Quite win the Year with $65.62 million

January 4th, 2017

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The final weekend of the year wasn’t as potent as we had predicted, but there were still a number of reasons to celebrate. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story won the weekend and is on its way to becoming the biggest hit of the year. Sing was relatively close behind and will get to $200 million this upcoming weekend. Overall, the box office rose by 2.9% from last weekend hitting $186 million. This is 15% lower than the same weekend last year, which again was actually the first weekend of 2016. We need to switch to the Strowbrinian Calendar. I’m not kidding about this. As for the year-over-year comparison, that’s a little confusing. If you just look at the calender years, then 2016 broke the record earning $11.4 billion. However, the movie year actually begins the first Monday of the year and ends the final Sunday before the first Monday of the next year. Going by this definition of the year, 2016 actually just failed to overtake 2015, because we lost a few days of The Force Awakens and only got one extra day of Rogue One. More...

Bastards Trailer

January 3rd, 2017

Comedy starring Ed Helms and Owen Wilson opens January 27 ... Full Movie Details. More...

A Dog’s Purpose Trailer

January 2nd, 2017

Drama starring Josh Gad, directed by Lasse Hallström opens January 27 ... Full Movie Details. More...

Home Market Releases for January 3rd, 2017

January 2nd, 2017

Denial

The first Tuesday of the year is deceptively busy. There are a ton of romantic films being re-released on DVD, and a few on Blu-ray that I mention below, with Fandango money for Fifty Shades Darker. Most cost between $8 and $10, so if you really wanted one of these movies and were planning on buying tickets for Fifty Shades Darker, then it is a bargain. However, most of the movies that are part of this deal are not good. Strip those out of the mix and the week is really slow. The best of the week is Denial on Blu-ray, while Best and Most Beautiful Things on DVD and The Librarians: Season Two on DVD are also worth grabbing. More...

Weekend Estimates: Rogue One Tops Sing

January 1st, 2017

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

With most studios closed for New Year’s Day, the weekend estimates have a rather piecemeal look as of this morning. We do have an official weekend estimate for Sing, which Universal projects will make $41.5 million over the three-day weekend and $53.4 million over four, for a total coming out of the holidays at an impressive $177.3 million. That will put it in second place, not far behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Disney won’t be releasing numbers until tomorrow, but we should see a three-day weekend around $50 million, $65 million over four days, and a total of about $440 million by Tuesday morning. More...

2017 Preview: January

January 1st, 2017

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

December box office numbers helped 2016 end on ... a note. The good news and the bad news almost exactly balance out. On the one hand, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will finish the year with more than $400 million after just 16 days of release. That’s a stunning amount of money that helped 2016 earn a record box office at the domestic market. However, Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned $650 million during December of 2015, so the month lost a lot of its lead over 2015, so much so that ticket sales fell behind last year’s total. The weakness at the end of the year will spill over into 2017, which is terrible news. A slow start could result in the dominant box office story being 2017 struggles compared to 2016. Bad news like this can sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sadly, 2017 is also going to get off to a slow start when it comes to wide releases / expansions. There are 16 films scheduled to open or expand wide this month and none of them are expected to get to $100 million. It is likely none of them will even get very close. xXx: Return of Xander Cage is expected to be the best of a weak bunch, but I could see it getting beat by one of the five Oscar contenders opening wide this month, if it gets off to a slow start and one of the Oscar contenders starts picking up steam. Hidden Figures got off to a great start on Christmas Day and should it continue to earn Awards Season recognition, including some Oscar nominations, it could be in wide release well into February. Last January wasn’t as busy with 13 films opening or expanding wide over five weeks. Of these, two of them, The Revenant and Kung Fu Panda 3, topped $100 million domestically, while another, Ride Along 2, came close. 2017 is going to get destroyed in the year-over-year comparison. More...