Limited Releases: Pain in the... Mule

2014-11-21

The Mule poster

It is not a busy week as far as limited releases are concerned, which is good, because my computer crashed halfway through and I had to redo some of this column. (Save early, save often.) However, while there are not a lot of films on this week's list, many of them are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. It is unlikely that all of them will be able to capitalize on their reviews. Bad Hair, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, The King and the Mockingbird, The Mule, as well as a few documentaries all deserve to find audiences. Hopefully more than a couple of them actually do. More...

International Box Office: Century Weekend for Interstellar

2014-11-20

Interstellar poster

Interstellar remained in first place with $107.9 million in 63 markets over the weekend for totals of $225.8 million internationally and $322.7 million worldwide. This might be enough to cover the film's production budget, but probably not. That said, by this time next week, its worldwide total will be close to $500 million, which should put the film in the black. This weekend the film opened in first place in China with $42.67 million during its five-day opening. Perhaps more impressively, the film grew by 6% in South Korea helping it remain in first place with $13.13 million on 1,410 screens over the weekend for a total of $35.24 million after two weeks of release. It didn't hold up quite as well in the U.K., but still remained in first place with $5.91 million on 576 screens over the weekend for a total of $19.11 million.

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Weekend Predictions: Will Hunger Games Leave Moviegoers Hungry?

2014-11-20

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 poster

There is only one wide release coming out this weekend, but it is the biggest release of the year. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 should have no trouble earning the biggest opening weekend of the year so far and it shouldn't take very long before it surpasses Guardians of the Galaxy for number one film of the year. As for the rest of the box office, there's not a lot to look forward to. Dumb and Dumber To will likely take a serious hit, while Big Hero 6 should overtake it over the weekend. This weekend last year, Catching Fire led the way with $158.07 million, which could be more than the entire box office earns this year. Hopefully that won't be the case, but I don't see how 2014 comes out ahead on the year-over-year comparison.

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Contest: Black and White

2014-11-20

Next weekend is Thanksgiving weekend and there are two films hoping to not be crushed by The Hunger Games: Mockyingjay, Part 1, which will be in its second week of release. Penguins of Madagascar will likely beat out Horrible Bosses 2 for second place and as such, it is the choice for the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Penguins of Madagascar.

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 Jeff Dunham: All Over the Map on Blu-ray. 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 DVD or Blu-ray. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 18th, 2014

2014-11-19

There are no summer tentpole releases making their home market debuts this week, but that doesn't mean it is a bad week on the home market. 22 Jump Street is leading the way, while there are four other first run releases among the new releases, ranging from If I Stay to Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in terms of box office numbers. Not only that, but this week there are a trio of Hayao Miyazak releases, including his more recent film, The Wind Rises, which is coming out on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack. That film, along with the double-shot, are the Picks of the Week. However, they are not the only films worth picking up. If you like horror / comedy, give Housebound on DVD or Blu-ray a try. More...

Per Theater Chart: None of the Competition could Catch Foxcatcher

2014-11-19

Foxcatcher poster

Foxcatcher was the latest Oscar-hopeful to top the per theater chart earning an average of $45,146 in six theaters. This practically guarantees some measure of mainstream success; however, unless it can earn some Awards Season nominations, it likely won't expand truly wide. Likewise, The Theory of Everything expanded to 41 theaters earning an average of $17,937. It also reached its first major milestone over the weekend and will earn more in the future. The overall number one film, Dumb and Dumber To, was next with an average of $11,450, while The Homesman was right behind with an average of $11,358 in four theaters.

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Contest: Smart and Smarter: Winning Announcement

2014-11-19

Dumb and Dumber To poster

The winners of our Smart and Smarter contest were determined and they are... More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Hayao Miyazak Blu-ray Double-Shot: Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke

2014-11-18

To coincide with the home market release of The Wind Rises, two other Hayao Miyazak films are making their debut on Blu-ray this week. I've combined these reviews into one, partially because I've already reviewed one of the movies. Are they worth picking up? Are they worth the double-dip? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Dumb Leaves the Competition Smarting

2014-11-18

Dumb and Dumber To poster

There was some good news and bad news over the weekend. The good news was Dumb and Dumber To, which managed a stronger than expected opening, despite its reviews. The bad news was Beyond the Lights, which couldn't turn its reviews into box office success. That said, the good outweighed the bad and overall the box office was quite strong. It was still down 11% from last weekend to $140 million, but that's still 12% more than the same weekend last year. 2014 remains behind 2013's pace by 3.4% or $310 million at $8.72 billion to $9.03 billion, but every little victory will help soften the blow at the end of the year. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

2014-11-17

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari turns 95 years old in a few months. It is I believe the oldest film I've ever reviewed, beating out the previous record holder, Wings. This film is widely considered the best silent horror movie of all time. That sets up really high expectations. Can the film live up to them? And how does a nearly 100-year old film look on Blu-ray? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Wind Rises

2014-11-17

Hayao Miyazak has retired a number of times in the past and he keeps coming back. That said, this time he swears that The Wind Rises is his last film. If so, did he go out on a high note? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up for his fans here? More...

Weekend Estimates: Dumb and Dumber Top

2014-11-16

Dumb and Dumber To poster

The box office chart is starting to take on a decidedly seasonal look, with a comedy sequel topping the chart, a smattering of Oscar hopefuls doing well in limited release, and not a single top 10 film dropping by more than 50% from last weekend. The comedy sequel, Dumb and Dumber To, will narrowly win the weekend with a shade over $38 million, per Universal’s Sunday estimate. That’s $2 million more than Big Hero 6 will post in its second weekend in release. The animated adventure will be off just 36% from last weekend. Also posting an impressive hold from a big opening weekend is Interstellar, with $29.1 million—39% below its opening frame. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Power Rangers: Megaforce: The Robo Knight Before Christmas

2014-11-16

I have no idea how many Power Rangers DVDs I've reviewed over the years. The latest is a Christmas special called The Robo Knight Before Christmas. Is it worth picking up for fans of the show? More...

Limited Release: Foxy Releases

2014-11-14

Foxcatcher poster

It's a long list this week, but you could eliminate nearly all of the films and concentrate on just Foxcatcher and Rosewater. These two films are earning the vast majority of the buzz. They are not the only films worth seeing, Red Army looks particularly good, but I worry no other film will thrive. More...

International Box Office: Interstellar Reaches for the Stars

2014-11-13

Interstellar poster

As expected, Interstellar opened in first place on the international chart earning $82.90 million on 14,800 screens in 62 markets during its opening weekend. As you may or may not know, we introduced a new comprehensive look at the international numbers, so there's little more than needs to be said here. I will point out that the film's opening in South Korea was particularly strong at $12.46 million on 1,310 screens over the weekend, for a total opening of $14.21 million. The film also opened in first place in the U.K., with $8.53 million on 1,298 screens, which is about on par with its domestic opening, given the relative size of the two markets. Russia was close behind with $8.00 million on 1,800 screens. The film opened in China this week and those numbers should help the film remain in first place next weekend.

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Weekend Predictions: Does it Pay to be Dumb?

2014-11-13

Dumb and Dumber To poster

It is a slower weekend at the box office than last weekend. Granted, there are two films opening wide, but neither of them are expected to be a huge hit. Dumb and Dumber To is earning terrible reviews, but it is expecting to earn first place at the box office. Beyond the Lights is earning much better reviews, but it will likely only become a midlevel hit at best. As far as holdovers are concerned, both Big Hero 6 and Interstellar will continue to be big factors at the box office, but only these four films have a shot at $10 million or more at the box office. This weekend last year, Thor: The Dark World led the way with $36.59 million while The Best Man Holiday opened in second place with $30.11 million. I think the one-two punch this year will be better, plus we will have a lot more depth leading to 2014 earning a win in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Contest: Silent Knight

2014-11-13

Next weekend, the only wide release is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and as such, it is the only choice for the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.

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 Power Rangers Megaforce Robo Knight Before Christmas 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 previous Power Rangers Christmas Special, Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Per Theater Chart: Everything Above All Others

2014-11-12

The Theory of Everything poster

There were four films in the $10,000 club, including The Theory of Everything, which led the way with an average of $41,753 in five theaters. This is high enough to make some measure of mainstream success nearly inevitable. Up next were a pair of wide releases. Big Hero 6 earned an average of $14,947, while Interstellar was right behind with an average of $13,342. The final film in the $10,000 club was National Gallery, which earned $10,049 in one theater over the weekend for a total opening of $13,165.

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Contest: Be the Hero: Winning Announcement

2014-11-12

The winners of our Be the Hero contest were determined and they are... More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 11th, 2014

2014-11-10

It is not a very deep week on the home market. Leading the way is How to Train Your Dragon 2 on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack or 3D Combo Pack. The film failed to live up to high expectations at the box office, but it earned Oscar-worthy reviews. If it doesn't at least earn a nomination for Best Feature-Length Animated Film, I would be shocked. So it should come as no surprise that the Pick of the Week is The Compleat Al, which is making its DVD debut this week. More...