Limited Releases: Lagging Behind the Competition

2014-10-24

Laggies poster

Last weekend, Birdman opened with Oscar-worthy reviews and it wasn't the only film that was expected to be a hit at the box office. This weekend, there are no such films. CitizenFour and Force Majeure are both earning Oscar buzz, but one's a documentary and the other is a foreign-language film, so neither are likely to expand significantly. This leaves Laggies as the film with the loudest buzz, even if its reviews suggest it might not thrive in limited release. More...

Contest: Hand Over the Prizes

2014-10-23

Next Friday is Halloween, which is a bad day to release a movie. The only movie opening wide is Nightcrawler, although in this case "wide" is best said with air quotes. That said, it is the only movie to choose from, so 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 Nightcrawler.

The prize this week is supplied by the folks who made The Devil's Hand, which is currently on Video on Demand. I will be reviewing the film when it comes out on DVD.

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a $15 coupon for iTunes. 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 B-movie horror film. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Weekend Predictions: Ouija Will Win, But By How Much?

2014-10-23

Ouija poster

It is not a good week at the box office for new releases. There are only two films opening wide, one of which is earning terrible reviews and the other is earning terrible buzz. At the moment, Ouija's Tomatometer Score is barely in the double-digits. That said, it is a horror film opening the week before Halloween, so it should make at least $20 million at the box office. On the other hand, John Wick's reviews are Award-worthy... but the buzz is so quiet, I doubt many award voters will see it. This weekend last year was led by Bad Grandpa, which opened in first place with $32.06. Maybe if Ouija is a surprise hit, it will match that figure. However, while 2013 looked better at the top, it had really weak depth beyond the top five, so 2014 will likely win in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Contest: More than a Penny and Not Dreadful: Winning Announcement

2014-10-22

The winners of our More than a Penny and Not Dreadful contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Guardians Have Double-Milestone Weekend

2014-10-22

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Not only did Guardians of the Galaxy return to top spot on the international chart this past weekend, it reached two major milestones along the way. Over the weekend, it pulled in $23.1 million in 22 markets for totals of $404.8 million internationally and $732.6 million worldwide. The film earned $37.97 million in China, but that was for the full week, giving it $69.04 million after ten days of release. The film has yet to open in Italy and it might have a shot at $800 million worldwide by the time it ends its run there. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Fury et al are a Little Calmer than Expected

2014-10-21

Fury poster

The weekend box office was a little softer than expected, with Fury earning first place, but with much less than some were expecting. I was a little more conservative and I was still off by close to $10 million. The rest of the top five, on the whole, were also not quite as strong as expected, so the overall box office fell 11% from last weekend. However, it was 26% higher than the same weekend last year, which is the much more important figure. 2014 is still behind 2013 by more than $300 million, or 3.6%, at $8.05 billion to $8.36 billion, but if we can close the gap a little bit each week, we can at least make it a respectable race in the end. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for October 21st, 2014

2014-10-21

Like last week, it is not a very busy week on the home market. However, unlike last week, there are not a lot of prime releases. The second to last DVD / Blu-ray release for Mad Men tops the list. Well, it is the second to last release, until the Full Season Megaset comes out. The biggest theatrical release is The Purge: Anarchy, which was a huge hit, given its budget, but not a monster hit. As for the Pick of the Week contenders, it's Mad Men and Snowpiercer on DVD or Blu-ray. In the end I had to flip a coin to decide. I came up heads. Then I realized I should probably decide which movie is heads before I flipped the coin. Let's try that again. Snowpiercer is the Pick of the Week. More...

Per Theater Chart: Bird is the Word, and that Word is Awards Season

2014-10-21

Birdman poster

Birdman debuted in first place on the Per Theater Chart with an amazing average of $106,099. This is the best per theater average since The Grand Budapest Hotel opened with just over $200,000 for its per theater average. It wasn't the only film in the $10,000 club, as Dear White People opened with an average of $31,633 in eleven theaters. The Tale of Princess Kaguya was surprisingly strong during its opening weekend earning an average of $18,305 in three theaters. God the Father earned $15,037 in one theater. The final film in the $10,000 club was Listen Up Philip, which earned an average of $11,642 in two theaters. Diplomacy might have made it in the $10,000 club if it opened on Friday. However, it opened on Wednesday earning $8,518 in one theater over the weekend for a total opening of $12,750. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Life After Beth

2014-10-20

Life After Beth opened with strong buzz, especially for a limited release, but the reviews were mixed and it struggled to find an audience in theaters. It also debuted on Video on Demand, so that didn't help its box office numbers. Now that it is out on the home market, is it worth a look? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Weekend Estimates: Fury an Unspectacular First

2014-10-19

Fury poster

Fury will top the box office chart this weekend with a solid, but unspectacular, $23.5 million, according to Sony’s Sunday morning estimate. Pre-weekend projections had the film closer to $30 million, and with an $80 million price tag, and Brad Pitt starring, the film is really underperforming at this point. By way of comparison, Gone Girl opened with $37.5 million three weeks ago. Fury will need really good legs, or a really strong performance overseas, to post a profit. More...

New at The Numbers: Trending Movies and People, and More

2014-10-19

We’re pleased to make announcements today about some new features on the site, and our future plans. We’ve received a recent spike in traffic at The Numbers, which has allowed us to hire some extra development and research people, and they are hard at work implementing the features that we’ve been asked for most over the years. The early fruits of their labors have hit the site with new trending movies, most anticipated movies, and trending people pages; and (huge) new lists of production companies and home video distributors. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Perry Mason: Movie Collection: Volume 4

2014-10-19

We are getting close to the end of the Perry Mason TV movies. There's just one more release and this series is done. This week, I finally get to Volume Four, which came out at the beginning of the month. (In my defense, the screener didn't arrive till Thursday, along with a ton of late screeners.) How do these mysteries compare to the original TV show? Are they better than the previous TV movies? Or is the quality dropping? More...

Contest: Gunning For Top Prize

2014-10-17

Next week, John Wick and Ouija both open wide, but Ouija is expected to make more during its opening weekend than John Wick is expected to make during its entire run. As such, it is the clear 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 Ouija.

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 Annie Oakley: The Complete TV Series 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 TV on DVD release. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Bird is the Word

2014-10-17

Birdman poster

It's an excellent week for limited releases with several films earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. This includes a couple that are also earning really loud buzz. Of these, Birdman is probably going to win the weekend race on the Per Theater Chart, while Dear White People should also be a hit. Diplomacy, Housebound, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and others also deserve to find audiences, but not all will do so for various reasons (wrong genre, opening in Video on Demand, etc.). More...

Contest: Reserve Your Judgment: Winning Announcement

2014-10-16

The winners of our Reserve Your Judgment contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Guardians Hit Gold in China, but Dracula Tops Chart

2014-10-16

Dracula Untold poster

Dracula Untold rose to first place with $33.9 million in 42 markets for a two-week total of $62.6 million. This week's biggest new market was Russia, where it pulled in first place with $9.81 million on 1,068 screens. It opened in second place in South Korea with $2.65 million on 477 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $4.29 million. Mexico led the holdovers with $2.78 million on 1,624 screens over the weekend for a two-week total of $9.30 million in that market. More...

Weekend Predictions: Are the New Releases All Wind and Fury?

2014-10-16

Fury poster

Three wide releases are trying to fight for box office dollars, including Fury, which could be the biggest hit of the month. Its reviews are excellent and the buzz is strong enough that is should have no trouble earning first place. The Book of Life is a family friendly animated horror film opening near Halloween. That should be a combination that spells box office success, but while the reviews are strong, the buzz is not as loud as I would like. Finally, there's The Best of Me, the latest from Nicholas Sparks, but I think the shine has come off his career. Its early reviews are terrible, which isn't surprising. The buzz is rather quiet, which is a little more surprising. This weekend last year, Gravity completed the hat-trick earning just over $30 million. I think Fury will top that. The best new release last year was Carrie, which earned just over $16 million earning third place in the process. It looks like there are a couple of films that will earn a similar amount this year. Additionally, the depth again appears to be better than last year, so 2014 should find itself on top of the chart, again. This is a surprise, as at the beginning of the month, it looked like 2014 would be in an extended slump by this point. More...

Per Theater Chart: Whiplash has a Saintly Opening

2014-10-15

St. Vincent poster

There were a trio of new limited releases topping the per theater chart, led by St. Vincent with an average of $27,470 in four theaters. Whiplash was close behind with an average of $22,565 in six theaters. The final film in the $10,000 club was Awake: The Life of Yogananda with an opening of $18,885 in one theater. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Untold Nearly Undoes the Competition, But Gone Remains

2014-10-14

Gone Girl poster

There were four new releases in the top ten, plus another that just missed that mark. Despite the competition, Gone Girl remained in first place and it earned a little more than expected. The biggest surprise was Dracula Untold, which earned first place on Friday and nearly took first place over the weekend. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day grabbed third place, while there were other reasons to celebrate lower on the chart as well. Overall, the box office was on par with last weekend at $147 million. It was technically higher, but by 0.2%. Compared to last year, the box office was 26% higher, which was much better than anticipated. 2014 is still well behind 2013 by more than $300 million at $7.87 billion to $8.18 million, but every little bit helps. At this point, we are more concerned about limiting the losses than we are worried about completing the comeback. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for October 14th, 2014

2014-10-14

In some ways, it is a great week on the home market, as there are several excellent releases worth picking up. In other ways, it is an even better week, because there are so few releases and almost no filler. The only downside is trying to select a release for Pick of the Week, as there are a number of competitors. One of the biggest releases of the week is X-Men: Days of Future Past on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack and it is also one of the best. Other contenders include Mr. Peabody & Sherman on DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3D Combo Pack, Fargo: Season One on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack, and Witching and Bitching on DVD. Strangely, I'm still waiting for the screeners for all four films. In the end, I literally rolled a dice to determine the winner and it was X-Men: Days of Future Past. More...

Featured DVD Review: Locked In

2014-10-13

Locked In was shot in 2009 and made its debut in 2010 at the Boston Film Festival. It is only getting a regular release now, and it is being dumped direct-to-DVD. That's a really bad sign. Is it a good movie that fell between the cracks? Or is there a good reason it failed to find a distributor for so long? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Penny Dreadful: Season One

2014-10-12

Penny Dreadful debuted on Showtime in May with its first season ending at the end of June. Normally, TV on DVD releases come out just in time for the next season to begin, but it is coming out now, likely to take advantage of the Christmas shopping season. Was this a smart move? Is it worth checking out? Or is the competition for TV on DVD releases much too strong at this time of year? More...

Weekend Estimates: Dracula Nearly Gets Girl

2014-10-12

Gone Girl poster

What was largely expected to be a fairly comfortable win for Gone Girl this weekend turned out to be a bit of a squeaker, thanks to a better-than-expected $23.46 million estimated opening for Dracula Untold. The vampire actioner won the day on Friday, but couldn’t maintain its pace, with $8.7 million on Saturday, against Gone Girl’s $11.3 million. Projections for today have it potentially falling into third place behind Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day on Sunday, which doesn’t bode well for its legs long-term. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Kingpin

2014-10-12

Kingpin was not a hit when it was first released nearly 20 years ago. It earned mixed reviews and barely matched its production budget domestically. However, it became a huge cult hit on the home market. This week it comes out on Blu-ray for the first time. It is also the first time I've seen it. Was it worth the wait? Or was I smart skipping it the first time it came out? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: White Christmas

2014-10-11

I previously reviewed White Christmas the first time it came out on Blu-ray. I have nothing new to say about the movie, but last time I only got the DVD to review. How does the film look and sound on High Definition? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up if you missed it the first time like I did? More...

Friday Estimates: Dracula Wins Friday, Gone Girl Will Win Weekend

2014-10-11

Dracula Untold poster

Dracula Untold enjoyed a better-than-expected opening day, and will top the chart for Friday. Saturday morning reports have it doing $8.9 million, well ahead of Gone Girl, which will land on $8.15 million. Dracula looks set for a weekend between $20 million and $25 million, which won’t be enough for an overall win. Gone Girl should end up between $25 million and $27 million for the weekend, down just 30% from its opening frame, and will be close to $80 million by Monday morning. More...

Contest: More than a Penny and Not Dreadful

2014-10-10

Next week Fury is opening wide. It isn't the only wide release of the week, but it is widely expected to dominate the box office, while it might become the biggest hit of the month. As such, it is the clear 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 Fury.

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 Penny Dreadful: Season One 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 TV on DVD release. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Whipped into Shape

2014-10-10

Whiplash poster

We have a rather long list of limited releases this week, but sadly only three of them are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Unfortunately, two of these films will likely not do well in theaters. Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is a horror film, which is one strike against it, while it is also playing on Video on Demand. I Am Ali is a documentary, so it could do well in art house circuits, but its chances of expanding significantly are very limited. Finally there's Whiplash, which could lead the way on the Per Theater Chart. More...

International Box Office: Breakup Breaks the Competition

2014-10-09

Xin Hua Lu Fang poster

Breakup Buddies led the way in China and overall with a weekend total of $38.0 million over the weekend for a six-day total of $94.13 million. That's fantastic start for a local film in this market. More...

Weekend Predictions: Are the New Releases Terrible, Horrible, No Good, and Very Bad?

2014-10-09

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day poster

This weekend there are four new wide releases; however, none of them are expected to be big hits. In fact, Gone Girl is widely expected to repeat in first place, while Annabelle might have a shot at second place. Three of the new releases will likely finish in the midteens with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day currently on track to become the best of the bad bunch of new films. The Judge has taken a huge tumble as far as analysts are concerned. Dracula Untold is in the mix and might earn second place, but it might also earn fifth. Regardless, it won't do well enough for a film that cost $100 million to make. Then there's Addicted, a movie whose buzz is so quiet I forgot it was opening this week. This weekend last year, Gravity again led the way with $43.19 million, while Captain Phillips opened in second place with $25.72 million. There's no chance any film will match Gravity. In fact, the top film this week will very likely be behind Captain Phillips. On the other hand, last year only one other film earned more than $4 million, so the depth was terrible. I think the depth this week should be enough to eke out a win. More...

Contest: Get These Prizes Before they are Gone: Winning Announcement

2014-10-08

The winners of our Get These Prizes Before they are Gone contest were determined and they are... More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Gone Girl Arrives and Annabelle Scares the Competition

2014-10-07

Gone Girl poster

As expected, Gone Girl won the race for top spot on the box office chart this weekend. However, while it earned more than expected, Annabelle still managed to make it a really close race. These two films, as well as the rest of the top five, all beat predictions and this lead to the overall box office growing 38% to $147 million. More impressively, this was 16% better than the same weekend last year. I was not expected 2014 to come out ahead on the year-over-year comparison, which makes this win so much more spectacular. Year-to-date, 2014 is still behind 2013 by a substantial margin of $370 million or 4.6% at $8.05 billion to $7.68 billion. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for October 7th, 2014

2014-10-07

The biggest release of the week is Edge of Tomorrow, which is coming out on DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack. However, while the reviews are excellent, the extras are not quite up to the Pick of the Week level. The same is true of the To Be Takei DVD, but fortunately there is a winner out there. Adventure Time: Season Four is better than the previous seasons and the DVD or Blu-ray have enough extras to be the best release of the week. Meanwhile, The Grand Seduction on DVD earns the Puck of the Week for best Canadian release. More...

Per Theater Chart: Wide Releases are Keepin' On

2014-10-07

Keep On Keepin' On poster

Keep On Keepin' On had the best weekend of its run earning an average of $13,291 in two theaters. Gone Girl earned an average of $12,446 in just over 3,000 theaters. Annabelle was very close behind with an average of $11,659 in close to 3,200 theaters. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Houdini

2014-10-06

Houdini is a two-part TV mini-series that first aired at the beginning of last month. This week, it hits the home market on DVD or Blu-ray. Is it worth checking out for those who are interesting in the life of Harry Houdini? Is it worth checking out for those who know little about Harry Houdini? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Adventure Time: Season Four

2014-10-05

This is going to be a shorter review than normal, the third shorter review in a row. The reason for this is simple. I've previously reviewed the Jake the Dad DVD and many of the shorts on that DVD are included on this Blu-ray. There's no need to repeat myself here, so instead I will concentrate on the few episodes that are new to me and that were highlights or lowlights. Is this Blu-ray better than the mixed DVD release in terms of quality? Is it worth picking even if you already own many of these shorts? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Sharknado 2: The Second One

2014-10-05

Sharknado came out last year and immediately earned a "so bad, it's good" buzz. Amazingly, it earned excellent reviews and many critics said it was highly entertaining, in part because it was so low-budget and cheesy. It should come as no surprise that they made a sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One, but will it live up to the first installment? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: A Million Ways to Die in The West

2014-10-04

Seth MacFarlane wrote and directed Ted, a movie about a talking Teddy bear that earned more than half a billion dollars worldwide. For his next film, he was given free rein. He decided to make A Million Ways to Die in The West, which made less than $100 million worldwide. Did this film struggle at the box office because it is a bad movie? Or is it just too much of a Seth MacFarlane movie? Is it only for his hardcore fans? More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Sleeping Beauty

2014-10-04

This is not the first time I've reviewed Sleeping Beauty. It is not the first time I've reviewed the film on Blu-ray. The previous review was almost exactly six years ago. This review is less about the movie and more about the differences in the two Blu-ray releases. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete First Season

2014-10-04

This is the fourth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series and the third animated series. Season three has already started airing on TV and the first season was previously released on three separate volumes, while I reviewed the first DVD release from Season Two. Yeah, it's a bit of a mess. Since this DVD has been released previously, the real question is whether or not it is worth the double-dip? Or if it is worth picking up for those who missed it the first time. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Obvious Child

2014-10-03

Obvious Child opened in limited release in June taking top spot on the per theater chart over its opening weekend. It wasn't able to expand truly wide, but it did finish with more than $3 million, which is still excellent for a limited release. Is it as good as its opening was? Or is there a reason it wasn't able to expand truly wide? More...

Contest: Reserve Your Judgment

2014-10-03

It appears there will be a two-way race for top spot next weekend between The Judge and Alexander and the Movie with the Really Long Name. I'm not 100% sure which film will earn first place, but I'm absolutely choosing The Judge as the target film for this week's box office prediction contest, because I don't want to type out Alexander and the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog several times in the rules. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for The Judge.

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 one of the three Perry Mason Movie Collection Double Feature from the Volume Two collection. Normally I would never take a single DVD from a collection like this and give it away, but there are two mitigating factors. Number one, they are sold separately as well as in a three-disc set. Number two, the individual DVDs are cheaper than the collections, so there's no reason to buy the collections. 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 copy one of the three Perry Mason Movie Collection Double Feature from the Volume Two collection. Meanwhile, one other valid entrant will be chosen and they will win the final copy of one of the three Perry Mason Movie Collection Double Feature from the Volume Two collection. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

These Limited Releases are Good and That's No Lie

2014-10-03

The Good Lie poster

The list this week is less detailed than usual for reasons I'm not going to go into detail about. I'm just going to say two words, "Food poisoning", and leave it at that. There are not a lot of limited releases on this week's list that are earning good reviews and strong buzz. The Good Lie is the best limited release of the week in that regard, but I already talked about it on the weekend predictions, because I think it will reach the top ten. I don't think any of the films below will earn breakout success. More...

Weekend Predictions: Are the Box Office Chances Going, Going, Gone?

2014-10-02

Gone Girl poster

The first weekend in October promises to be better than the average weekend in September was, but then again, it would practically have to. Gone Girl is aiming for first place and most analysts think it will get there. On the other, Annabelle has an outside shot at top spot over the weekend. That seems unlikely, but thanks to its genre, it has a better shot at earning first place on Friday's daily chart. The final wide release of the week is Left Behind, which as it turns out isn't opening truly wide. The buzz is so bad that some expect the film to open below the Mendoza Line. This weekend last year, Gravity opened in first place with $55.79 million. No film is going to open with that much money. In fact, all three wide releases combined might not make that much. 2014 is going to lose in the year-over-year comparison, but frankly we should all be used to that by now. More...

Per Theater Chart: Proud Result for Not Cool

2014-10-01

Not Cool poster

There were only three films in the $10,000 club and it was a holdover leading the way. Not Cool pulled in $24,964 in one theater for a two-weekend total of $35,688. The best new release was Pride with an average of $13,662 in six theaters. The final film in the $10,000 club was also the number one film on the overall box office, The Equalizer, with an average of $10,549. More...

Contest: All Things Being Equal: Winning Announcement

2014-10-01

The winners of our All Things Being Equal contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Lost in a Maze

2014-10-01

The Maze Runner poster

The Maze Runner easily won the race for top spot on the international chart with $28.8 million in 62 markets for a three-week total of $92.4 million. This is already enough to cover its production budget, so the studio should be very, very happy. The film remained in first place in South Korea with $4.37 million on 655 screens over the weekend for a total of $11.94 million after two weeks of release. It also topped the charts in Russia with $3.13 million on 1,486 screens for a two-week total of $10.49 million. The film has yet to open in Italy, the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, and others. It should surpass $200 million internationally and $300 million worldwide before it is done. That is excellent for a film that cost $34 million to make. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Chef

2014-09-30

Jon Favreau's career behind the camera started out with smaller movies. He co-wrote Swingers and wrote and directed Made. However, recently he has directed a number of major movies. He was the one behind the camera for the first two Iron Man movies, for instance, and the average budget for his three most recent films he directed is close to $175 million. With his latest film, Chef, he went the opposite direction and created a much, much smaller film. Was he able to still maintain his usual high level of quality? Or does he need the spectacle to make a compelling movie? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: The Equalizer Has No Equal

2014-09-30

The Equalizer poster

The Equalizer easily won the race for the top of the box office chart this weekend earning almost as much as the next two films combined. Those next two films were The Maze Runner and The Boxtrolls, both of which exceeded expectations, albeit by tiny margins. The strength of these three films helped the overall box office reach $106 million, which is 4% higher than last weekend. On the other hand, this was 2% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 has pulled in $7.51 billion, which is a massive amount when you look at it without context. However, it is nearly $400 million or 4.9% lower than last year's pace, which is also a massive amount. It is technically possible for 2014 to catch up to 2013 before the end of the year, but only if October is a really strong month at the box office. It won't be. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 30th, 2014

2014-09-30

Transformers: Age of Extinction leads the pack of new releases this week, at least in terms of sales potential. It is by far not the best movie on this week's list, but it does appear to have to scared away a lot of the competition. Fortunately, the next best selling new release is Chef on Blu-ray Combo Pack, which is a clear contender for Pick of the Week. The main competitor for this title is Once Upon a Time in America on Blu-ray, but I'm going with Chef. More...

2014 Preview: October

2014-09-30

Fury poster

September is over and while it got off to a bad start, a really, really, truly terrible start, it actually ended on a bit of a strong note. Granted, no film has yet to reach $100 million, but The Maze Runner and The Equalizer both could get there in the end. As for October, we might go another month without a $100 million hit. There are a couple of films that have the potential to reach the century mark, Gone Girl and Fury. Hopefully they will get there, but given the recent box office woes, it is probably best to keep expectations low. Last October, there were two films that earned more than $100 million. Bad Grandpa just made it passed that mark. On the other hand, Gravity was a monster hit earning nearly $275 million. It you compare its run to this year's batch of films, it only ranks behind Guardians of the Galaxy. ... There's no way any film opening this month is going to match that. ... There no way the top two films will match that. ... The top three films might not match that. ... 2014 is going to get crushed in the year-over-year comparison and by the end of the month, it will be safe to say its chances of ever catching up to 2013 will be over. It is going to be a depressing month. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction

2014-09-29

If you look at our list of franchises, none have made more money in as few installments as Transformers has earned. On the other hand, if you look at the top ten franchises, none of them have earned as much critical scorn as the Transformers films have earned. Only the first one managed to come close to overall positive reviews. Depending on who you talk to, the most recent installment, Transformers: Age of Extinction, has been called the best of the sequels or the worst of the sequels. Which camp do I fall under? More...

Limited Releases You Can Take Pride In

2014-09-26

Pride poster

The list of new releases is a little calmer this week than it was last week. There are still a few movies that could do well. The Two Faces of January has some of the best reviews and has an impressive cast, but it is also playing on Video on Demand, so its box office numbers might not shine. On the other hand, I think Pride will turn its excellent reviews into a long run on limited release. It might even find a significant measure of mainstream success. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will The Equalizer Equal Success?

2014-09-25

The Equalizer poster

The Equalizer and The Boxtrolls opens wide this week. They are an action film and a family flick and the last weekend of September has been kind to both genres. The Equalizer could become the fastest opening film of the month, which might be enough to get it all the way to $100 million during its entire run. The Boxtrolls, on the other hand, is a Stop-motion animated film, which rarely rises above the midlevel hit. This weekend last year, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opened with $34.02 million, which is right in the middle of the expected range for The Equalizer, plus the depth is better this year, so 2014 should win the year-over-year competition. More...

Contest: Get These Prizes Before They are Gone

2014-09-25

October finally begins next week and Gone Girl should have no trouble leading the way at the box office. (Annabelle should be a midlevel hit, while Left Behind will be left behind at the box office.) Since Gone Girl could open with more than the other two films combined, it is the clear 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 Gone Girl.

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 Decoding Annie Parker on DVD. 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 copy of Decoding Annie Parker 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: Yellow Day Opens in the Black

2014-09-24

Yellow Day poster

Awards Season might have begun, as there were six new releases in the $10,000 club this past weekend. Leading the way was Yellow Day, with an estimated $31,000 in one theater. 20,000 Days of Earth was close behind with $27,879 over the weekend and $30,969 over five days, also in one theater. Pump! earned an average of $14,059 in three theaters, which is particularly good for a documentary. A fellow documentary, Art and Craft, was next with an average of $11,500 in two theaters. Not Cool debuted with $10,329 on one theater, which is surprisingly strong, given its lack of reviews. Likewise, Hector and the Search for Happiness earned bad reviews, but still managed an average of $10,212 in four theaters. More...

Contest: Dynasty in the Making: Winning Announcement

2014-09-24

The winners of our Dynasty in the Making contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Maze Runs Down Competition

2014-09-24

The Maze Runner poster

Just as it did on the domestic chart, The Maze Runner earned first place on the international chart. It did so with $38.0 million in 51 markets for an early total of $50.7 million. Its biggest market was Russia, where it placed first with $5.59 million on 1,748 screens, while South Korea was close behind with $4.88 million on 648 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $5.41 million. It also earned first place in Australia with $3.19 million on 305 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.31 million. The final major market debut of the weekend was Brazil, where it earned first place with $1.96 million on 316 screens. It slipped to second place in Mexico with $1.73 million on 996 screens over the weekend for a two-week total of $5.92 million. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Rover

2014-09-23

The Rover opened in limited release and opened really well, but the next weekend, its per theater average collapsed as it tried to expand and it barely crossed $1 million before leaving theaters. Is this a sign that the film only has appeal to a very limited audience? Or did the distributor try and expand the film way too soon and way too fast? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 23rd, 2014

2014-09-23

This is both a great week on the home market, as well as an amazing week on the home market. There are by my count, at least a dozen releases that could be considered must haves or perfect Christmas gifts, which is great. What makes it amazing is the lack of filler. There are a couple of weak releases here and there, but the hit to miss ratio is as good as I can remember. The biggest release of the week, according to Amazon.com, is the Halloween Complete Collection, but it is not the best release. Contenders for Pick of the Week include a couple of limited releases: Ida - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray and We Are the Best! - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray. However, in the end I went with a TV on DVD release, Modern Family: Season Five - Buy from Amazon: DVD. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Neighbors

2014-09-22

This summer was terrible at the box office with no $250 million hits throughout the summer until Guardians of the Galaxy opened in August. That said, there were a number of smaller movies that did quite well at the box office. Neighbors, for instance, cost less than $20 million to make, but pulled in $150 million at the box office. Was it a hit because of its quality? Or did it benefit from the weakness in the tentpole releases? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Maze Runs Laps Around Competetion

2014-09-22

The Maze Runner poster

The Maze Runner easily won the weekend box office race this past weekend beating expectations by a little bit with $32.51 million. Unfortunately, the other new releases were not as strong and their combined totals were about 25% lower than the number one film. Overall, the box office was $103 million, which is 14% higher than last weekend and 18% higher than the same weekend last year. This is a fantastic result, given the box office troubles of the past several weeks. Year-to-date, 2014 is still behind 2013 by a large margin at $7.38 billion to $7.75 billion, which is a 4.8% deficit. Hopefully this win will help the box office going forward and the fall will be better than the summer was. More...

Weekend Estimates: Maze Runner Boosts Box Office

2014-09-21

The Maze Runner poster

The Maze Runner will be the first film to top $30 million at the box office in six weeks, bringing a welcome boost to the industry at the beginning of the Fall season. With $32.5 million projected for the weekend, and overall positive reviews, Fox could have a modest new franchise on its hands. Things look less rosy for the weekend’s other wide releases. A Walk Among the Tombstones will have a disappointing debut around $13 million—the worst result for a wide release starring Liam Neeson since K-19: The Widowmaker back in 2002, or, if one takes inflation into account, the 1998 version of Les Miserables. This is Where I Leave You lands with a projected $11.86 million, and reviews that aren’t good enough to give it much hope of redemption via word of mouth. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Key and Peele: Season Three

2014-09-21

Key and Peele stars Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele, hence the name of the show. I previously reviewed Season One of the show and loved it. Is season three just as good? More...

Featured DVD Review: Game of Assassins

2014-09-21

Last week, I reviewed Warrior Princess, a film I had never heard of before that was coming out direct-to-DVD by Lionsgate. This didn't set up the highest expectations and that film failed to rise above them. This week I'm reviewing Game of Assassins, which is a direct-to-DVD release by Lionsgate. Again, expectations are low. Will this film be a surprise hit? Or will I be disappointed again? More...

Contest: All Things Being Equal

2014-09-19

Next weekend is the last weekend of September and there are two wide releases that are trying to avoid the September doldrums. The Boxtrolls and The Equalizer should both do relatively well at the box office, but The Equalizer has the best chance at being a breakout hit and because of that, it is the best 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 Equalizer.

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 SpongeBob ScaryPants Collection 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 Dora the Explorer: Celebrate With Dora on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Between Zero and 20,000 Limited Releases

2014-09-19

The Zero Theorem poster

It's an overly busy week for limited releases with nearly two-dozen films on this week's list. There are a number of films on this week's list that are earning outstanding reviews, like 20,000 Days on Earth, or strong buzz, like The Zero Theorem. But there are not a lot earning both. Films like Stop the Pounding Heart or The Guest will likely not live up to their Tomatometer Scores. Tracks is probably the film with the best chance at breakout success. More...

Weekend Predictions: Which New Release Will Get Off to a Running Start?

2014-09-18

The Maze Runner poster

There are a trio of new wide releases this week, led by The Maze Runner, which is expected to top the box office chart and it is also currently earning the best reviews, although it is so close that it could change with a single new negative review. (It did change about five minutes after writing that, as it fell to second place.) The buzz for A Walk Among the Tombstones hasn't grown like I thought it would, but it still looks on pace to become a midlevel hit. On the other hand, This is Where I Leave You's chances are weakening and it looks like it won't finish in the top three. There is some good news. This weekend last year, Prisoners was the only film to earn more than $20 million, while Insidious Chapter 2 was the only other film to earn more than $10 million. This weekend, we could have five films earning more than $10 million and the number one film could earn more than $30 million. More...

Per Theater Chart: Skeletons Eat Their Fill

2014-09-17

The Skeleton Twins poster

There were a number of films in the $10,000 club this weekend, led by The Skeleton Twins, which earned an average of $25,379 in 15 theaters. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby was next up with an average of $19,295 in four theaters. Both of these films have lots of room to expand. My Old Lady also did well with an average of $11,335 in 11 theaters, which is more impressive, because it was a Wednesday release. On the other hand, its reviews are merely good and likely not good enough to thrive in limited release. No Good Deed was right behind with an average of $11,150 in nearly 2,200 theaters. More...

Contest: Tale for Two: Winning Announcement

2014-09-17

The winners of our Tale for Two contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Another Week, Another Milestone for Lucy

2014-09-17

Lucy poster

Since this time last week, Lucy topped $200 million internationally. Considering a significant number of people thought it wouldn't reach $200 million worldwide, this is a great result. Over the weekend, it remained in first place with $24.9 million in 59 markets for totals of $230.6 million internationally and $354.1 million worldwide. The film opened in first place in Russia with $9.77 million on 1,013 screens, which was more than $9 million more than the second place film. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 16th, 2014

2014-09-16

The Christmas Shopping Season is kicking into high gear with a great mix of first-run releases, as well as TV on DVD releases. The biggest release of the week is Godzilla and while it is worth picking up on DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 3D Combo Pack, it isn't quite Pick of the Week material. For that, we turn to The Fault in Our Stars on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack and Eraserhead on Blu-ray (Criterion Collection). It was a close call, but in the end, I went with The Fault in Our Stars. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Deed has a Good Opening, but Box Office is still Bad

2014-09-16

No Good Deed poster

No Good Deed led the box office this weekend with a surprisingly robust opening of $24.25 million. This was more than double last week's number one movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. Dolphin Tale 2 also topped last week's number one film, even though it didn't live up to expectations. Overall, the box office pulled in $90 million, which was 37% more than last weekend. Unfortunately, this was still 13% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 has pulled in $7.26 billion, which isn't an insignificant amount. However, it is 5.2% or nearly $400 million behind last year's pace. 2014 still has a chance to catch up to last year, but the odds of it doing so are getting slimmer and slimmer each week. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Awkward.: Season Three

2014-09-15

Season four of Awkward. began in April, so I don't know why Season Three is coming out this week. I'm just glad they are releasing a full-season set after releasing season three in two volumes. If you are a fan of the first two seasons, is season three worth picking up? Or is the show's quality starting to wane? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Denver The Last Dinosaur: Complete Series

2014-09-14

Denver The Last Dinosaur debuted on TV in 1988 and ran for 50 episodes. This week, for the first time ever, the full series is coming out on DVD. (The first 20 episodes were released as two volumes seven years ago, but they apparently didn't sell well enough to continue the releases.) Is it worth picking up for those who missed it the first time? More...

Weekend Estimates: No Good Deed Enjoys Surprise Win

2014-09-14

No Good Deed poster

Movie fans are ignoring the critics this weekend and turning out in big numbers to see No Good Deed. The thriller, starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson will easily win the weekend with an estimated $24.5 million, in spite of earning only 17% positive reviews from critics. Audiences are giving the film a 71% positive score so far, which represents a huge difference of opinion. Dolphin Tale 2, which was considered the more likely weekend winner, and is enjoying excellent reviews from critics and moviegoers alike, is under-performing at the box office and should make about $16.5 million according to Warner Bros., down from the $19.2 million opening for the first film in the franchise. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Faust

2014-09-14

Faust came out in limited release last year before coming out on DVD in June. This week it comes out on Blu-ray. I'm not sure why the DVD release came out so much earlier than the Blu-ray. I tried to get the DVD, but there were not enough screeners to go around, but the Blu-ray showed up. Was it worth the wait? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Burning Bush

2014-09-14

Burning Bush is a three-part, four-hour TV mini-series that was made and first aired in the Czech Republic. It is about the resistance to the Soviet occupation of the then Czechoslovakia. It was recut as a movie, which came out in limited release this summer. This week, the full mini-series is being released on DVD. Will it appeal to those who are interested in the historical events? Will the mini-series appeal to those who are unfamiliar? More...

Featured DVD Review: Warrior Princess

2014-09-13

Warrior Princess is an Asian action / adventure film that takes place in the 17th century. It is being released on DVD by Lionsgate, which is a company that releases a ton of movies direct-to-DVD. Some of these are hidden gems, but others will remained buried. Is this film a pleasant surprise? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: South Park: Season 17

2014-09-13

I've reviewed a number of season of South Park and my opinion is starting to sound like a broken record. It has been roughly seven years since the last truly classic episode (Make Love, Not Warcraft). They've come close a few times since then, but they've also had more episodes that were just not funny. Does the series return to its heights? Or is it continuing its slow decent into mediocrity? More...

Contest: Dynasty in the Making

2014-09-12

Three new releases enter the marketplace next weekend: The Maze Runner, This is Where I Leave You, and A Walk Among the Tombstones. I don't think any of them will be breakout hits, but The Maze Runner has the best chance to earn first place, even if its legs likely won't be very long. Because of this, it is the best 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 Maze Runner.

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 Dynasty: The Final Season - Vol 1 & 2 Pack 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 TV on DVD release. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Skeleton Key to Box Office Success

2014-09-12

The Skeleton Twins poster

There's a large number of limited releases, including a few that are earning good reviews and strong buzz. One of these is The Drop, but it is opening in too many theaters and I think that will hurt it at the box office. If I were to guess, The Skeleton Twins will be the biggest hit on this week's list. More...

Weekend Predictions: Box Office set to Bounce Back

2014-09-11

Dolphin Tale 2 poster

Last weekend was the worst weekend in more than a decade. This weekend the box office will bounce back, because it has to. It can't possibly get worse. There are two wide releases debuting this weekend: Dolphin Tale 2 and No Good Time. Neither film is expected to become a big hit; in fact, if either film earns more than $20 million over the weekend, I will be impressed. That said, they will still be a step up from what happened last weekend. The biggest news of the weekend will come from Guardians of the Galaxy, which will become the first film released in 2014 to top $300 million. This weekend last year, Insidious Chapter 2 opened with more than $40 million and the combined openings of the two new releases this weekend will likely be below that. Worse case scenario has neither film opening above last year's number two film, The Family. There's almost no chance 2014 will win in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Per Theater Chart: Last Days of Limited Releases

2014-09-10

Last Days in Vietnam poster

There was only one film in the $10,000 club this weekend, Last Days in Vietnam, which earned an average of $15,225 in two theaters. More...

Contest: These Prized on Fire: Winning Announcement

2014-09-10

The winners of our These Prized on Fire contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Lucy Makes a Return Trip to the Top

2014-09-10

Lucy poster

Lucy reclaimed top spot on the international chart with $26 million in 54 markets for totals of $193 million internationally and $314 million worldwide. I don't think a lot of people thought this movie would reach $300 million worldwide, so this is a great run. The film opened in second place in South Korea with $7 million, but includes weekday numbers. The film remained in first place in the U.K. with $1.96 million on 506 screens over the weekend for a total of $17.26 million after three weeks of release. Lucy opens in Russia and China this weekend and could remain in first place. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 9th, 2014

2014-09-09

The Christmas shopping season has begun in full force. Even if Captain America: The Winter Soldier were the only new release this week, it would be a great release, as the Combo Packs are clearly pick of the week contenders. It's not the only Pick of the Week contender. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1 is also a prime contender, although I'm still waiting for the screener for that release. At the moment, I'm giving the win to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but when I get a chance to review the screener, that might change. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Guardians Fail to Protect Box Office

2014-09-09

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

The weekend box office was an unmitigated disaster. Guardians of the Galaxy was the only film to crack $10 million over the weekend and there were no other releases that came close. The only new "wide" release was The Identical, and it missed the top ten. Overall, the box office fell 40% from last weekend to just $66 million. It goes without saying that this is the worst box office of the year so far. In fact, it is the fifth worst box office weekend since 2000 running 23% lower than the worst weekend from last year. The worst weekend from last year was this weekend last year, so that makes the comparison so much easier. Year-to-date, 2014 has pulled in $7.15 billion, which is 5.1% lower than the last year's pace. Things better turn around soon, or we can say goodbye to any chance to catch up to last year. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Blue Bloods: Season Four

2014-09-08

Blue Bloods' ratings improved last season, at least with respect to the rest of CBS's lineup. It was no longer the lowest rated show on CBS that earned a renewal. It wasn't even its lowest rated show on Friday night. (On a side note, I think Hawaii Five-0 might be ending soon. It's ratings are low and I seriously doubt it is a cheap show to make.) Overall, the ratings are very reliable. Is the quality of the show as reliable as its ratings are? More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: The Compendium

2014-09-07

Star Trek fans are never at a loss for things to buy. The studio seems to know the fans will buy everything they put out, so they put out a lot of otherwise questionable releases. Is this one of those questionable releases? Or is there real value here? More...

Featured DVD Review: Sabrina - Secrets of a Teenage Witch: A Witch and the Werewolf

2014-09-07

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch has been around for more than 50 years, starting as a comic book character in the 1960s. The character and its world have been turned into TV shows in the 1990s starring Melissa Joan Hart, which is probably the incarnation most people know the best. This time last year, the latest installment in the long-running franchise debuted. It is a digitally animated series with Ashley Tisdale providing the voice for the titular witch. This week, a DVD is coming out. Is it worth checking out for fans of Sabrina? Or is it best to stick with some of the previous versions? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2014-09-06

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the latest in an unending string of hits for Marvel Studios. It was for quite a while the biggest hit of the year, but was recently overtaken by Guardians of the Galaxy. Is this film worth checking out for those who have enjoyed the previous Avengers films? And if you've never seen any of the previous Avengers films, is this a good place to start? More...

Weekend Predictions: Will The Top Five be Identical to Last Week?

2014-09-05

The Identical poster

It's the weekend after Labor Day Weekend, which is historically the one of the two worst weekends of the year. Only the weekend after Thanksgiving really competes with it. This year there is only one wide release, The Identical, and it technically not opening truly wide. It is practically guaranteed that Guardians of the Galaxy will win the weekend box office race for the fourth time in its run and there likely won't be many changes in the top five. (As Above, So Below will drop out and The November Man will take its place.) This weekend last year, Riddick opened in first place with $19.03 million. No film this week it going to match that figure and the depth this year isn't going to help. Look for a big loss in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Contest: Tale for Two

2014-09-05

Next weekend, there are two wide releases, Dolphin Tale 2 and No Good Deed. Neither film is expected to be a big hit, but Dolphin Tale 2 is expected to win the weekend box office chart. As such, it is the best 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 Dolphin Tale 2.

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 Bonanza: Official Seventh Season - Volume One & Two 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 TV on DVD release. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

God Help These Limited Releases

2014-09-05

God Help the Girl poster

Awards Season starts soon. If you are a fan of limited releases, just keep repeating that. To be fair, there are two limited releases earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, No No: A Dockumentary and Wetlands, but neither are really likely to find audiences outside of the art house circuit. There are a couple films that are earning good reviews, but not great reviews. This includes God Help the Girl, which I'm rooting for, but I don't think any film here will top $10,000 on the per theater average. One last note, Forrest Gump is getting an IMAX release this weekend in 337 theaters. More...

International Box Office: Dawn of a New Day for Apes

2014-09-04

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes rose from eighth to first place thanks to its debut in China. Overall, the film made $51.2 million in 29 markets for totals of $408.0 million internationally and $613.3 million worldwide. It dominated the box office in China with $45.13 million and if it has any legs in this market, it will reach $500 million internationally and $750 million worldwide is within reach after its run in Japan. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Guardians Grab Top, But Summer Ends on a Down Note

2014-09-03

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Labor Day Weekend was dominated by holdovers. The two new releases were As Above, So Below and The November Man, which opened in fourth and sixth places respectively. Guardians of the Galaxy remained in first place over the weekend and climbed into first place for the year in the process, overtaking fellow Marvel Film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Overall, the box office fell 4% from last weekend down to $110 million. Compared to last year, the box office was down 11%, which is troubling. Year-to-date, 2014 is now behind 2013 by a 4.5% margin at $7.07 billion to $7.40 billion. This is the weakest post-Labor Day weekend running tally since 2008 and that's before you look at ticket price inflation. With ticket price inflation, you have to go back to 2005. More...

Contest: Prize for Above or Below: Winning Announcement

2014-09-03

Life of Crime poster

The winner of our Prize for Above or Below contest was determined and it is... More...

Per Theater Chart: Lovely and Strange

2014-09-03

The Last of Robin Hood poster

The Last of Robin Hood led the way on the Per Theater Chart with an average of $17,709 in two theaters. Through a Lens Darkly was the only other member of the $10,000 club with $11,764 in its lone theater. This is more impressive, because it opened on Wednesday. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for September 2nd, 2014

2014-09-02

It is officially the start of Christmas shopping season, sort of. It is also the first day of school for a lot of children, so there are not a lot of new releases coming out this week. Draft Day is the biggest first-run release of the week and while its reviews were good, it likely won't appeal to most people. There are also a ton of TV on DVD releases coming out this week, but the only two I'm interested in are It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 9 and New Girl: Season 3, and in both cases I'm waiting for the screener. As for Pick of the Week Contenders, only Night Moves - DVD or Blu-ray and Years of Living Dangerously - The Complete Showtime Series - DVD come close. In the end I went with Years of Living Dangerously. More...

2014 Preview: September

2014-09-01

The Equalizer poster

August was a great month, it is as simple as that. Not only did Guardians of the Galaxy break records, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a surprise hit as well. These early gains led to an extended winning streak in the year-over-year comparison. Granted, 2014 is still more than $300 million behind 2013, but this is substantially less than the gap was before the month. Can September maintain this run? I'm not sure. Last September was strong compared to most Septembers with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 earning more than $100 million while Insidious Chapter 2 came relatively close. This year, there likely won't be any $100 million hits, but I think The Equalizer should at least come close. Meanwhile, there are some who think The Maze Runner will be the biggest hit of the month, but I'm not among them. There have been too many similar releases that have struggled to think this one will be a hit. I think September will get off to a terrible start, but overall I think it will be close to last year. More...

Weekend Estimates: Guardians Win Again on Sluggish Labor Day Weekend

2014-08-31

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

A lackluster Summer comes to an end this weekend with an third weekend win for Guardians of the Galaxy, which, in the process becomes the top-grossing film of 2014. That’s reason to cheer for Disney and the Avengers franchise, not least because the movie Guardians overtakes is their previous franchise outing, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Marvel juggernaut was much too much for this weekend’s more low-key openers. More...

Contest: These Prizes are On Fire - Emergency Update

2014-08-29

It appears The Green Inferno has been pulled from the schedule. The Identical will be the target film for this box office prediction contest. Sorry for the confusion.

Next weekend is the weekend after Labor Day, which is historically one of two weakest weekends of the year. This year there are one or two wide releases. I'm not 100% sold that The Identical will open truly wide. Because of this, The Green Inferno is the only true 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 Green Inferno.

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 Jarhead 2: Field of Fire on Blu-ray Combo Pack, as well as one other previously reviewed release. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win two previously reviewed releases. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

These Limited Releases are Cursed

2014-08-29

Swearnet: The Movie poster

It's not a great week for limited releases as there are only two films earning overwhelmingly positive reviews: The Congress and Starred Up. Both of those films are playing on Video on Demand as well, so their box office numbers are likely going to be weaker than their Tomatometer Scores. Cantinflas does have an outside shot at tenth place, so at least there's some good news as far as limited releases are concerned. Swearnet: The Movie might turn out to be the biggest hit of the weekend north of the border, but it doesn't open in the States till next month. More...

International Box Office: Lucy is Sky High

2014-08-28

Lucy poster

Lucy rocketed to first place with 34.0 million in 42 markets for totals of $104.4 million internationally and $218.1 million worldwide. Its biggest opening of the weekend came from Taiwan, where the movie opened with $6.2 million on 88 screens. The film also opened in first place in the U.K. with $5.10 million on 486 screens and in Spain with $3.32 million on 387. More impressively, it remained in first place in France with $4.43 million in 615 screens over the weekend for a total of $29.93 million after three weeks of release.

More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Labor Day Be an Above Weekend?

2014-08-28

As Above, So Below poster

It's Labor Day Weekend, which is historically the worst long weekend of the year. This year As Above, So Below and The November Man are trying to avoid bombing this weekend. It looks like As Above, So Below will be a middling hit thanks in part to its low production budget. On the other hand, The November Man only managed fifth place during its opening day and it will likely get worse over the weekend. This leaves Guardians of the Galaxy with an easy path to first place for the weekend, and coincidentally, an easy path for first place for the year so far. Labor Day last year was led by One Direction: This is Us and there's really no chance the new releases this year will do the same. 2014 does have better depth, but I don't think that will be enough to continue the winning streak in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Per Theater Chart: Lovely and Strange

2014-08-27

Love is Strange poster

The only new limited release in the $10,000 club on the per theater chart was Love is Strange, which earned an average of $23,455 in five theaters. There were two holdovers in the $10,000 club with The Trip to Italy earning an average of $10,645 in ten theaters while The Admiral: Roaring Currents was right behind with an average of $10,213 in 47 screens. More...

Contest: Prizes to Kill For: Winning Announcement

2014-08-27

The winner of our Prizes to Kill For contest was determined and it is... More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 26th, 2014

2014-08-26

This is not a good week for new releases on the home market. For one thing, the biggest first-run release is Blended (DVD or Blu-ray ComboPack) which is also one of the worst movies of the summer. There are many TV on DVD releases that helped pick up the slack somewhat, but it still feels like a shallow week. As for Pick of the Week contenders, there are not many. The Normal Heart (DVD or Blu-ray) and Belle (Blu-ray) are the two most likely candidates, but I kind of want to give it to Gravity Falls: Even Stranger (DVD). In the end, I went with The Normal Heart. More...

We’re Hiring: Research Assistant Position

2014-08-26

Nash Information Services, LLC, the owner of The Numbers and OpusData has an open position for Research Assistant. If you’re interested, and you’re a good fit for the job description below, please send your resumé to careers@nashinfoservices.com. The interview process will start the week of September 2. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Holdovers Have Staying Power

2014-08-26

If I Stay poster

Of the three wide releases, none topped expectations and only If I Stay did decent business at the box office. It only managed third place, but it did have the best per theater average in the top twenty. This left holdovers atop of the box office chart with Guardians of the Galaxy returning to first place and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles slipping to second place. Overall, the box office was down 20% from last weekend to $115 million. However, this was 4.7% higher than the same weekend last year, which is the more important metric. Unfortunately, 2014 is still behind 2013 by a large margin of $330 million or 4.7% at $6.91 billion to $7.24 billion. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Elementary: Season Two

2014-08-25

I previously reviewed this show, which should make this review of Elementary much easier. There's no real need to get into the setup of the show, while I only really need to say if the show is better or worse than the first season. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Deadbeat: Season One

2014-08-25

Deadbeat is an original show made for Hulu. This week it is coming out on DVD as a Target exclusive. (Although I couldn't find the link to buy it online.) So what is the show about? And is the DVD worth picking up, when you can watch it online? More...

Weekend Estimates: Sin City Bombs

2014-08-24

If I Stay poster

Even though it is nine years since original movie opened with $29 million and topped a fairly lackluster April weekend, few predicted going into the Summer that Sin City: A Dame to Kill For would finish in 8th place on debut. In spite of little competition the neo-noir thriller will post about $6.5 million from 2,894 theaters, putting it in third place among the openers. Tearjerker If I Stay is the best new release this weekend, with an expected $16.35 million from 2,907 theaters, for a very respectable average of $5,600. It will be third overall behind Guardians of the Galaxy, which will pass $250 million today, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which falls to second place with $16.8 million this weekend and $145 million in total. With a little over $1 million separating the top three, it’s conceivable that the order could change when final results are reported on Monday. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Now and Again

2014-08-23

Now and Again debuted in 1999 and while it found a sizable audience, the production budget was biggest than its ratings were and it was canceled after just one season. This means this review is a little different. The question isn't whether or not the TV show is worth watching. The question is whether or not the TV show is worth watching knowing the show ended without a good resolution. That's a higher bar to reach. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Divergent

2014-08-22

Divergent is one of the latest Young Adult adaptations to hit theaters. These films usually fall under one of two sub-genres: Dystopian Future and Fantasy Romance. (There are also a growing number of Dying Girl movies, like The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay.) This film is part of the Dystopian Future genre and will inevitably be compared to Hunger Games. How is it compared that franchise? Does it work on its own? More...

Contest: Prize for Above or Below

2014-08-22

There are two wide releases opening wide next weekend, but only As Above, So Below is opening on Friday. Because of this, it is the only real 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 As Above, So Below.

The prize this week is brought to you by the upcoming Life of Crime, which is opening in theaters and on Video on Demand on the 29th. Check out the official site for more details.

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 $15 Fandango gift card. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases are Strange

2014-08-22

Love is Strange poster

It's a short list this week with only a handful of films. Fortunately, there are two films opening in limited release that are earning strong buzz and great reviews: Love is Strange and The One I Love. Both should find audiences in theaters. Another film, To Be Takei, is also earning great reviews and could do better than most documentaries. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Bears

2014-08-22

Bears is the latest nature documentary from DisneyNature. Nearly every year, Disney releases one of these films on Earth Day and they are usually the biggest documentary of the year. They are likely also one of the most expensive documentaries of the year. How does this one live up to its predecessors? Does it leave me excited for Monkey Kingdom? More...

Weekend Predictions: New Releases Will Kill or Be Killed

2014-08-21

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For poster

Last weekend, there were three wide releases, but only one of them did relatively well. This weekend, there are also three wide releases and hopefully they will perform better at the box office. There are some positive signs and some analysts think both Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and If I Stay will open with more than $20 million while When the Game Stands Tall could make more than $10 million. That's on the high side. On the low side, none of the new releases will open in first place and Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be in a battle for first and second place. That said, this weekend last year, none of the three wide releases earned more than $10 million during the weekend and only two films in total reached that mark over the weekend. Even low-end expectations for this year are more bullish than that, so 2014 should continue its winning streak in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Contest: Shell Full of Prizes: Winning Announcement

2014-08-20

The winners of our Shell Full of Prizes contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Dragons Invade China

2014-08-20

How to Train Your Dragon 2 poster

How to Train Your Dragon 2 debuted in first place in China with $26.32 million. This helped the film earn first place on the international chart with $37.7 million in 28 markets for totals of $366.0 million internationally and $537.2 million worldwide. The film is already ahead of its predecessor internationally and worldwide, so the studio should be happy, even if it didn't earn as much domestically. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 19th, 2014

2014-08-19

There are a number of big releases on this week's list, especially if you like TV on DVD. However, there are not a lot of releases in total. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the biggest release by a wide margin, but it is not the best. For that honor, I would have to chose Boardwalk Empire: Season 4 on Blu-ray. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Holdovers Help, But Summer Stops

2014-08-19

Let’s Be Cops poster

Only one of the three wide releases this past weekend did reasonably well over the weekend. Despite earning reviews that were flirting with single-digits, Let's Be Cops was the best of the new releases this weekend earning an acceptable opening. On the other hand, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy held on well earning first and second places over the weekend. The overall box office plummeted from last weekend down 23% to $143 million, but this is still 2.5% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 is still behind 2013, even though the gap shrunk a little bit at 4.5% or $6.75 billion to $7.07 billion. More...

Per Theater Chart: Italian Cuisine

2014-08-19

The Trip to Italy poster

The Trip to Italy led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $26,841 in three theaters during its opening weekend. The Admiral: Roaring Currents earned an average of $17,517 in 30 theaters during its second weekend of release. By this time next week, it will be at over $1 million in total. Frank was the final member of the $10,000 club with an opening of $16,056 in its lone theater. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: NCIS: Season Eleven

2014-08-18

During Season Ten of NCIS, it rose to first place in the ratings. That's impressive for any show, but it is doubly so for a show that was a decade old. However, Season Eleven saw its ratings decline a little, falling back to third place. Is this a sign that the show is finally showing its age? Has the quality also dropped from last season? More...

Featured DVD Review: A Brony Tale

2014-08-18

A Brony Tale is not the first documentary about the Brony phenomenon. What is a Brony? It's a older male fan of My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic, a cartoon I previously reviewed. Will this documentary appeal to Bronies? Will it help others understand the appeal of the show? Will it convert some viewers into Bronies? More...

Weekend Estimates: Turtles and Guardians Hold Off Newcomers

2014-08-17

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster

Three lackluster debuts have allowed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy to keep the top two spots at the box office this weekend. Turtles will be down a fairly modest 57% in its second weekend for $28.4 million, and $117.6 million in total after two weekends. Guardians will be down 41% in its third weekend for a total of $222 million, and will remain on track to become the highest-grossing film of the Summer. Things look much less pretty for the openers. More...

Frankly, You Need to Support Limited Releases

2014-08-15

Frank poster

As the summer blockbuster season ends, there are a few limited releases that are actually fairly strong. Perhaps they are hoping to take advantage of the lull in blockbusters, or perhaps they are hoping to get a jump on Awards Season. Regardless why they picked this weekend to open, Abuse of Weakness, Frank, and The Trip to Italy all have a chance to thrive in the art house circuit. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast

2014-08-15

The Enchanted Feast is the fourth DVD release from Sofia the First. This show debuted in late 2012 and was a huge hit right away. I previously reviewed the first release and this week I got to the latest one. It arrived a little late, but was it worth the wait? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Dom Hemingway

2014-08-14

Dom Hemingway hit theaters in limited release last April earning mixed reviews and failed to find an audience. It came out on Blu-ray in July, but the screener arrived just a little late, but I got to it this week. Was it worth the wait? More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Summer End this Weekend?

2014-08-14

The Expendables 3 poster

The strong opening by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles allowed summer to be extended one more weekend. This week three films look to avoid flopping, thus signaling the end of summer, but in order to do so, they must defy critics. The Expendables 3 is the biggest of the three films opening this weekend, but the franchise appears to be on a downward trajectory. Let's Be Cops opened on Wednesday, but with simply awful reviews, the word-of-mouth could kill it by the time the weekend starts. Finally, The Giver is the latest Young Adult adaptation, but this genre has produced more flops than even midlevel hits. Frankly, the most interesting aspect of the weekend box office will likely be milestones reached by Guardians of the Galaxy and other movies, rather than the new releases. This weekend last year was also arguably the the end of summer. The Butler was the only movie to make more than $20 million, while three of the four wide releases opened in fifth place or weaker. It looks like 2014 will continue its winning streak. More...

Contest: Prizes to Kill For

2014-08-14

There are three wide releases opening wide next weekend: If I Stay, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and When the Game Stands Tall. Despite opening late in August, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is actually earning loud buzz and might be a surprise midlevel hit. It is the best 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 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

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 Perry Mason: Movie Collection Volume 3 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 TV on DVD release. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

International Box Office: Guarding Top Spot

2014-08-13

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Guardians of the Galaxy remained in first place with $47.1 million in 50 markets over the weekend for a total of $138.8 million internationally and $315.3 million worldwide after just two weeks of release. It is already ahead of the lifetime total of The Incredible Hulk and should pass another Avengers film or two by this time next week. The film finished in first place in Australia with $6.08 million on 586 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $8.24 million. The film was pushed into second place in Russia with $6.01 million on 2,097 screens over the weekend for a total of $24.32 million after two weeks of release. It had a very similar result in the U.K. with the film landing in second place with $5.59 million on 561 screens over the weekend for a total of $23.24 million. More...

Per Theater Chart: The Admiral Roars to the Top

2014-08-12

What If poster

The Admiral: Roaring Currents had a stunning opening with an estimated $43,000 in its sole theaters. It will be interesting to see if the film can maintain this success as it expands wider. The overall box office leader, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was second with an opening weekend average of $17,055. The Guardians of the Galaxy remained in the $10,000 club for the second weekend of its release earning an average of $10,305. More...

Contest: Cool Name, Boring Prizes: Winning Announcement

2014-08-12

The winners of our Cool Name, Boring Prizes contest were determined and they are... More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Locke

2014-08-11

Locke is a movie starring Tom Hardy as a man driving his car. That's pretty much it. So how can this film be at all interesting? ... He has his cell phone with him. Seriously, one of the reasons I decided to give this movie a try was curiosity. It seemed like a difficult movie to get right, but the reviews are amazing. Do I agree with the critics? If so, how did they manage to get it to work? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 12th, 2014

2014-08-11

It's a slow and shallow week on the home market. Not only are there no prime releases, we quickly run into filler as we look down the list of best selling new releases on Amazon.com. The biggest release of the week is Muppets Most Wanted, which is one of nine reviews on this week's list. It is also the best release of the week and the best choice for Pick of the Week. Next week should be more interesting, as TV on DVD season begins. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Turtles Topple Guardians

2014-08-11

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster

Despite earning some of the worst reviews of the summer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles easily won the race for the top of the box office chart unseating Guardians of the Galaxy, which earned some of the best reviews. The rest of the new releases were well back. Overall, the box office was down from last weekend, but by less than 0.5% to $185 million. Compared to last year, the box office was 16% higher, which is a great result. Year-to-date, 2014 is still behind 2013, but the deficit was down to 4.4% or $300 million at $6.52 billion to $6.82 billion. More...

Weekend Estimates: Turtles Power to $65 Million

2014-08-10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles didn’t just overcome the bad guys in a movie this weekend. They also overcame almost universally-scathing reviews and an end-of-Summer release date to top the box office. With expectations going into the weekend ranging from the low 30s to $50 million or so, an opening that Paramount is projecting at $65 million as of Sunday morning is a triumph. Even with the prospect of steep declines in the weeks ahead, the film should hit $150 million domestically, and with international markets expected to be the film’s strong suit, a sequel or two are likely to follow. The weekend’s other openers have less rosy futures. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Tarzan

2014-08-10

By the time Tarzan came out, Disney's animation studio was off its recent peak and had been overtaken by Pixar as the king of animated films. Tarzan did manage to open in first place, but it was the most expensive animated film of all time when it came out, while its box office numbers were only good in comparison. Now that the film is coming out on Blu-ray, is it worth picking up? More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers

2014-08-10

Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers is a direct-to-DVD movie that came out 10 years ago and is coming out on Blu-ray this week. Direct-to-DVD cartoons don't have a good reputation, but will this film prove the critics wrong? Or is there a reason it didn't get a theatrical release. More...

Featured DVD Review: Boredom

2014-08-10

Boredom is the latest documentary from director Albert Nerenberg. Albert Nerenberg specializes in making movies about parts of humanity that are truly universal, likely Stupidity. Even the smartest among us have moments when we do something stupid. Or laughter. You could be stuck in a foreign land and not know a word of what people are saying, but you will still recognize when someone is laughing. Or hating Toronto. There are tribes in the Amazon rain forest that have never seen the outside world, but they still hate Toronto and think you are a fool if you think the Maple Leafs will make the playoffs this year. So will this film entertain and educate you? Or will it live down to its name? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Toy Story of Terror

2014-08-09

Toy Story of Terror was a TV special that aired last year around Halloween. They are releasing it on DVD and Blu-ray in late summer, because if they waited till Halloween, they would have to deal with a flood of Christmas releases. Since it is just a 30-minute TV special, it runs just 21 minutes without commercials, so even if the short is worth watching, there needs to be solid extras to make it worth picking up. Is that the case? More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Bedknobs and Broomsticks

2014-08-09

Bedknobs and Broomsticks came out in 1971 and was part of the lowest point of Disney's box office numbers. For instance, this film cost $20 million to make at the time, which was no small amount, but it only pulled in $17.87 million. It is making its way onto Blu-ray this week, but is it worth picking up? Or was it part of the reason Disney was struggling for so long? More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Hercules

2014-08-09

In 1989, The Little Mermaid ended Disney's slump at the box office. However, the good times didn't last forever. In fact, a decade later when Hercules came out, there were signs the studio was slipping back into a slump. Hercules missed expectations at the box office, but does that mean it was a bad movie? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad / Fun and Fancy Free

2014-08-09

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad and Fun and Fancy Free were two theatrical releases released during the lowest point in Disney's history, at least financially. The company was very close to bankruptcy. They didn't have the resources to produce feature-length movies, so they packaged shorts to be shown instead. This Blu-ray combo pack includes two theatrical releases, plus a bonus film, for a total of five films. These start with... More...

Ask About Our Limited Releases

2014-08-08

What If poster

Last week, there was only one limited release that I thought would do well, Calvary. This week might be even weaker. There is only one film earning a good amount of buzz, What If. Unfortunately, its reviews are likely not as good as they need to be. Again like last week, there are also a couple of documentaries that could find audiences in limited release: Fifi Howls from Happiness and The Dog. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Muppets Most Wanted

2014-08-07

The Muppets was the first Muppet movie in more than a decade, but it was a big hit with critics and did very well in theaters for a live action family film. A sequel was inevitable, but as the opening song of Muppets Most Wanted, the sequel is rarely as good as the original. Is this the case here? Is it one of the rare exceptions? If not, is it still good enough to check out? More...

Weekend Predictions: Can any of the New Releases Overtake Guardians?

2014-08-07

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Yep. It's August alright. There are four wide releases coming out this week, the largest of which is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is currently earning 17% positive reviews. It's not even the worst reviewed film of the weekend so far, as Into the Storm is a little worse. There are a couple of films that might earn overall positive reviews: The Hundred Foot Journey and Step Up All In. None of the new releases are on track to match Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, all four combined won't make as much as Guardians of the Galaxy opened with last weekend. This weekend last year, there were also four wide releases, three of which earned more than $20 million. I don't think that will be true this year, but I think based on the strength of Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 2014 will win in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Contest: Shell Full of Prizes

2014-08-07

This week, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens wide and we have a trio of TMNT prizes to give away. However, obviously we can't use that film as the target film, so we have to look to next week. I think Let's Be Cops will be the better movie, perhaps even the bigger movie. However, it opens on the Wednesday, so The Expendables 3 is the better 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 Expendables 3.

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 Turtle Power: The Definitive History Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on DVD, plus a previously released TMNT DVD. 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 previously reviewed TMNT DVD. Finally, one additional entry will be chosen, regardless of the accuracy of their prediction, and that person will also win a previously reviewed TMNT DVD. So if you are really bad at predicting box office numbers, this is the contest to enter. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Per Theater Chart: Guardians Rides to the Rescue

2014-08-06

Calvary poster

The overall box office leader, The Guardians of the Galaxy, also led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $23,118 in just over 4,000 theaters. Second place went to Calvary, with an average of $18,537 in four theaters. The final film in the $10,000 club was Magic in the Moonlight, with an average of $11,396 in 65 theaters. More...

Contest: Galaxy of Prizes: Winning Announcement

2014-08-06

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

The winners of our Galaxy of Prizes contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Guardians of the Global Box Office

2014-08-06

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Guardians of the Galaxy opened in first place internationally with $67.4 million in 42 markets. This includes a number of major markets, led by Russia with $12.90 million on 2,097 screens and the U.K. with $10.70 million on 554 screens. It also earned first place in Brazil with $5.27 million on 472 screens. It wasn't as strong in South Korea with $3.83 million on 575 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $4.78 million. There was a massive local release in that market, so that partially explains that result. The film also opened in second place in Australia with $2.15 million on 244 screens, but this was just the film's previews. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Guardians Help Summer Recover

2014-08-05

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Finally! Finally we have a week where there's nothing but good news to talk about. Guardians of the Galaxy crushed high expectations breaking the August records for biggest day and biggest weekend. While Guardians dominated at the box office chart, Get On Up did okay in the counter-programming role. This helped the overall box office soar, rising 20% when compared to last weekend to $186 million. More importantly, this was 35% better that this weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 is still behind 2013 $6.26 billion to $6.62 billion, but the gap was closed a little bit at $360 million or 5.4%. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for August 5th, 2014

2014-08-04

The first weekend of August isn't a bad weekend, at least in terms of box office numbers. Divergent earned $150 million domestically, but wasn't able to win over critics. The only wide release coming out this week that earned good reviews was Oculus, but its reviews were much better than its box office numbers were. It is certainly worth picking up, but not a Pick of the Week contender. For that honor, we have two choices. Firstly, there's Phantom Of The Paradise - Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Combo Pack, which is a cult hit that turns 40 years old this year. Then there is The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits, which may or may not be coming out on DVD or Blu-ray this week. It was a close call, but in the end I went with The Legend of Korra. More...

Weekend Estimates: Guardians Go Big, Up Opens Okay

2014-08-03

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

It was a big, big weekend at the box office with Guardians of the Galaxy pulling in an estimated $94 million. The majority of analysts thought it would break the August weekend record, but very few thought it would have one of the top five openings of the year. Additionally, the film earned some of the best reviews of the year and could become the biggest hit of the year... at least untill Mockingjay, Part 1 hits theaters in November. Get On Up did not do as well earning $14.03 million and grabbing third place along the way. This is barely more than Jersey Boys opened with in June. Its reviews should help it earn better legs and it wasn't an expensive movie to make, so the studio should be relatively happy with this start. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

2014-08-03

The Legend of Korra is a follow-up to Avatar: The Last Airbender. That cartoon earned a lot of praise and became a favorite among many people becoming popular enough to be adapted into a movie, which we will never speak of again. When a new series was announced, some were a little worried. It would have big shoes to fill. However, the first season was greeted with nearly universal praise. Can the second season continue this high level of quality. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Californication: Season Seven

2014-08-02

The last time I reviewed Californication was back in season three. By then I had grown to hate the main character, Hank Moody, so I skipped the other seasons as they arrived. This week the final season hits the home market, so I figured I would try the show one last time. Did it improve in the following years? Or should readers expect to see the DVD on an upcoming contest? More...

2014 Preview: August

2014-08-01

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

July was... well... let's just pretend it didn't happen. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes did well, but week after week 2014 fell further behind 2013 in the year-to-date comparison. At the moment, we are roughly $400 million behind last year's pace and while I don't think August will continue the losing streak, there's really no chance August will put a dent in that number. It looks more and more likely that Guardians of the Galaxy will be a hit, especially given its early reviews, but it could be the last $100 million hit till October, if the bad buzz surrounding Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles turns into bad ticket sales. Last August there were two films that reached $100 million, plus two others that came close. This August might match that, while the biggest film this year should top the biggest film from last year. I think the slump 2014 is suffering through will end the first weekend and overall I think it will cut the deficit a little bit. That said, summer 2014 will still end as one of the worst recent summers at the box office. More...

Contest: Boring Name, Cool Prizes

2014-08-01

There are four wide releases coming out next weekend, but only Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a real shot at first place. As such, it is the clear 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 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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 Boredom on DVD, plus a previously reviewed DVD from my collection. 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 copy of Boredom on DVD, plus a previously reviewed DVD from my collection. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Call in the Calvary

2014-08-01

Calvary poster

There are an even dozen films on this week's list, but only Calvary is earning good reviews and strong buzz. Hopefully this will translate into ticket sales, or it will likely be a very bad week for limited releases. There are also a couple of documentaries that could do well in limited release, Finding Fela! and Rich Hill, but neither has the potential for breakout success. More...

Featured DVD Review: Next Goal Wins

2014-08-01

Next Goal Wins is a documentary about the American Samoa soccer team, who in 2001 lost a World Cup Qualifier to Australia by a score of 31-0. That's not a soccer score. That's high scoring compared to a lot of football games. The film touches on this loss, but looks at how the team tried to rebound. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Perry Mason: Movie Collection: Volume 3

2014-08-01

With this release, we are about halfway through the Perry Mason TV movies. So what movies are found on this collection? And is it worth picking up? The answer to that second question is no. If this is anything like the last time, these six movies will be released as two-movie double-features, which will cost less than this box set does. That said, will they be worth picking up when the single-disc releases come out? More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Guardians Be the Biggest in the Galaxy?

2014-07-31

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Guardians of the Galaxy will likely become the biggest hit of this August. It might become the biggest hit of any August. The buzz is powerful, as are the reviews, and this could add up to a record-breaking opening. It isn't the only film opening wide, as Get On Up is also coming out this weekend. That film is a biopic of James Brown and it is earning stellar reviews, but will be limited to the counter-programming role. This weekend last year, the box office was led by 2 Guns, which made $27.06 million during the weekend. Guardians of the Galaxy should make more than that during its opening day. It looks like 2014 should finally end the slump it is in. More...

International Box Office: Apes Overtake Dinobots

2014-07-30

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes rose to first place on the international chart with $54.8 million on 12,247 screens in 61 markets for a total of $186.7 million after three weeks of release. Worldwide, the film's running tally rose to $359.2 million, which is still about $120 million away from topping the previous installment, but at this pace, it is practically inevitable that it will get there. This week, the film earned first place in Brazil with $6.86 million on 453 screens for a total opening of $9.10 million, or a two-week total of $9.10 million, depending on what sources you look at. Likewise, it either opened in first place in Mexico, or rose to first place in Mexico earning $6.90 million on 2,392 screens over the weekend for a total of $12.99 million. The film remained in first place in the U.K. with $6.37 million on 574 screens for a two-week total of $28.90 million. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: New Releases Sparkle

2014-07-29

Lucy poster

There were two truly wide new releases that came out this weekend, and both of them did very well. In fact, Hercules placed second and earned as much as some people predicted Lucy would earn while placing first. Lucy topped the high end of expectations and unless its legs are really short, will easily become a surprise $100 million hit. This helped the overall box office rise 3.7% from last weekend up to $155 million, which is a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, the weekend total was still down 10% from this weekend last year, meaning the 2014 slump continues. It has gotten so bad that 2014 is now behind 2013 by 6.1% at $6.01 billion to $6.40 billion. Next weekend should finally end the slump, but it might be too late to save 2014 overall. More...

Per Theater Chart: A Little Magic at the Box Office

2014-07-29

Magic in the Moonlight poster

Magic in the Moonlight led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $24,241 in 17 theaters, which is great for most films, but not as strong as some of Woody Allen's more recent releases. Arguably, Boyhood's weekend was much stronger, as it earned an average of $16,466 in 107 theaters. At this point, I'm not sure how long it will last in theaters, but it has already earned at least a measure of mainstream success. The overall number one film, Lucy, was the only other film in the $10,000 club with an average of $13,835. More...

IMAX: Summer Slump Hits IMAX

2014-07-29

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Guardians of the Galaxy opens on IMAX this weekend and hopefully it will be a hit, because the format could use some good news. The second quarter numbers were released last week and there are some troubling signs. For instance, global ticket sales for DMR titles generate $216.0 million during the second quarter of 2014, which was down from the same time period of 2013. Granted, it was down by less than $4 million or just under 2%, which is much better than the overall market was like during the same time period. The average per screen box office fell more dramatically down 15% from $353,300 to $299,800. Obviously IMAX is still going strong and the continuing growth in total IMAX screens is evidence of that, but like non-IMAX theaters, they could really use a monster hit to boost the box office numbers. More...

Contest: In the Sky with Diamonds: Winning Announcement

2014-07-29

The winners of our In the Sky with Diamonds contest were determined and they are... More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Bubble Guppies: Get Ready for School!

2014-07-28

The latest Bubble Guppies DVD to find its way to my desk is Get Ready for School!. What episodes are found on the DVD? Are there any extras? And is the overall value worth the asking price? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Other Woman

2014-07-28

The Other Woman is the second film called The Other Woman that I've reviewed. That film was melodramatic and mediocre. I really doubt this film with be melodramatic, but will it be better than merely mediocre? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for July 29th, 2014

2014-07-28

I is not a bad week on the home market, as we do have a $100 million hit coming out on DVD and Blu-ray. Unfortunately, this $100 million hit is Noah, which is a good movie, but not a Pick of the Week contender. Worse still, it is a very shallow week and on the first page of Amazon.com's new releases list, there are releases that on a normal week would be filler. There are a trio of Pick of the Week contenders: Finding Vivian Maier - Buy from Amazon; It Felt Like Love - Buy from Amazon; and Marty - Blu-ray Buy from Amazon. All three are worth picking up, but in the end I went with Marty as Pick of the Week. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Noah

2014-07-27

Noah was a risky movie to make. It is a Bible Epic, which is to say, it uses a Bible story to tell an epic movie, as opposed to a faith-based film aimed at churchgoers. It was bound to offend that target audience, while being based on the Bible was bound to turn off those who get annoyed at those who get offended by films like Noah. Should either of these audiences give the film a second chance? Will it appeal to churchgoers? Is it an entertaining film, even for those who don't believe? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Protector 2

2014-07-27

The Protector 2 is the latest martial arts movie starring Tony Jaa. Tony Jaa was thought to be the next big thing when it comes to martial arts movies, but that hasn't panned out, at least not here. The reviews might be taking a toll on his career as only Ong Bak has earned overall positive reviews. Can The Protector 2 win over this critic? Or is the martial arts at least worth checking out, if the movie itself isn't? More...

Weekend Estimates: Hercules No Match for Lucy

2014-07-27

Lucy poster

This weekend’s boys versus girls box office match-up has proven to be a triumph for the girls, with Lucy enjoying a decisive win over Hercules. The Scarlett Johansson/Luc Besson sci-fi thriller will post an opening around $44 million, according to Universal’s Sunday estimate, which is almost exactly 50% more than the $29 million debut projected for Hercules. The difference in budgets between the two films is even starker with Hercules clocking in at around $100 million, and Lucy reportedly closer to $40 million. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Ong-Bak Trilogy

2014-07-27

The first Ong-Bak film looked like it would propel Tony Jaa to super stardom. That hasn't worked out just yet, but there were two other films made in the franchise, which is being released this week. It is just the previous Blu-rays being released in a box set, but I only reviewed one of these films previously, so I jumped at the chance to see the other two. Are they worth picking up if you don't have them already? More...

Weekend Predictions: Are New Releases Worth Their Weight in Diamonds?

2014-07-25

Lucy poster

There are a trio of wide releases coming out this week, sort of. The first of these, if we go alphabetically is And So It Goes, but it is only opening in 1,762 theaters, which is not quite enough to be wide and likely not enough to reach the top five. Hercules and Lucy are both opening truly wide and both are earning reviews that are currently in the overall positive level. (Although it is close enough that it might change.) Lucy will very likely come out on top, while Hercules should earn second place. There's one more film of note, The Fluffy Movie, which is opening in 400 theaters and has a slim chance at making the top ten. This weekend last year saw the release of The Wolverine, which opened with $53.11 million. There's a chance the top two films won't make that much this year. In other words, 2014 is going to lose in the year-over-year comparison yet again. More...

Contest: Galaxy of Prizes

2014-07-25

Guardians of the Galaxy poster

Next weekend the summer film I'm most interested in seeing finally opens, Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, out of all of the The Avengers: Phase Two films, this is the one I'm most interested in seeing. To celebrate, we have three T-shirts from Shirts.com, specifically their Superhero / Marvel collections. (You can choose any T-shirt on the site; we are just highlighting these collections.)

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win one of three coupons for Shirts.com. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win one of three coupons for Shirts.com. Finally, one additional entry will be chosen, regardless of the accuracy of their prediction, and that person will win the final of three coupons for Shirts.com. So if you are really bad at predicting box office numbers, this is the contest to enter. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Most Wanted Limited Releases

2014-07-25

A Most Wanted Man poster

There are not a lot of great limited releases on this week's list. There are a few films that are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews; however, there are just as many films on this list that have no reviews. The best film is arguably A Most Wanted Man, but its high theater count might hurt its changes on the per theater chart. Happy Christmas is earning better than average buzz, but it is also playing on Video on Demand, so its theatrical numbers are less important. Also... Christmas in July? More...

International Box Office: Transformers Continue On Top

2014-07-24

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

Transformers: Age of Extinction continues its lock on top spot earning $84.6 million in 58 markets for totals of $662.6 million internationally and $889.6 million worldwide. It is about a week away from becoming the first film released in 2014 to hit the $1 billion mark and it will top Dark of the Moon's international numbers in the process. This weekend, the film opened in first place in Germany with $11.16 million on 645 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $12.84 million. It also pulled in first place in France with $8.91 million on 890 screens. It earned first place in Italy with $3.87 million on 850 screens over the weekend for a total of $5.24 million. Its "biggest" opening of the weekend was in Brazil where it made $16.13 million, but that was with previews. Over the weekend it made $5.71 million on 504 screens. That's a lot of previews. The film's biggest market to date is China, where it has pulled in $306.28 million, including $26.08 million over the past week. However, it has been knocked out of top spot by a local hit. More...

Per Theater Chart: Boyhood has Extended Childhood

2014-07-23

Boyhood poster

The biggest film on the per theater chart this weekend was Boyhood, for the second weekend in a row. It expanded from 5 to 34 theaters, but its average fell just 56% to $34,418. That's fantastic. It has already earned a measure of mainstream success, while it has its eyes on Chef for best limited release for the summer. Second place went to There's No Place Like Utopia with $30,710 in one theater. This is a great start, but there are still no reviews, so I think it will have short legs. A Five Star Life and Mood Indigo were relatively close with averages of $15,996 and $13,256 respectively. The only wide release to reach the $10,000 club was The Purge: Anarchy, which earned an average of $10,626. More...

Contest: Total Anarchy: Winning Announcement

2014-07-23

The Purge: Anarchy poster

The winners of our Total Anarchy contest were determined and they are... More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Shogun

2014-07-22

Shogun is a TV mini-series that first aired way back in 1980. I saw the theatrical cut on VHS, and remember loving the show. However, that was about 25 years ago and my tastes might have changed and / or the film might not have aged gracefully. Is it as good as I remember it? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for July 22nd, 2014

2014-07-22

I think it is fair to say it is a mixed week on the home market. There are four wide releases coming out this week, but all but one struggled at the box office. Worse still, looking down the list of new releases and you quickly run into filler. Fortunately, there are a few films that are contenders for Pick of the Week, including Blue Ruin and Next Goal Wins. However, the winner is Ginger Snaps, which is coming out on a Special Edition Blu-ray. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Monkeys Still in Business

2014-07-22

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

As expected, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes remained on top of the box office chart with a healthy lead over The Purge: Anarchy. Unfortunately, the other two wide releases, Planes: Fire and Rescue and Sex Tape were anything but healthy and that led to a weakening box office. It fell less than 1% from last weekend to $149 million. This was 24% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 is now 5.6% or $340 million behind last year's pace at $5.79 billion to $6.13 billion. I think with summer wrapping up, it is close to the time to panic. More...

Featured DVD Review: Antboy

2014-07-21

Antboy is a Danish kids movie that came out on limited release earlier in the year. Live action kids movies rarely do well in theaters and this is double so for a limited release. This film wasn't an exception. That said, does it deserve to find an wider audience on the home market? Or was its troubles on the home market warranted? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Rio 2

2014-07-20

I previously reviewed Rio and thought it was... a movie. It is so middle of the road that I couldn't get passionate about the film, either positively or negatively. That said, it made a ton of money, especially internationally, so it should come as no surprise that Rio 2 was made. Does it improve upon its predecessor? Does it get worse? Or is it yet another movie that just exists? More...

Weekend Estimates: New Releases No Match for Apes

2014-07-20

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

Only one new release really fired at the box office this weekend, and even that film, The Purge: Anarchy couldn’t topple Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from top spot on the chart. Apes will be down 50% from last weekend, to $36 million, and its cume is hovering around $140 million so far. It seems destined to be another film that ends up around $200 million this Summer. Anarchy will open with about $28.4 million, according to Universal, for a theater average of almost exactly $10,000. That’s stellar business for a film costing $9 million to make, although it is off a bit from the $34 million open enjoyed by last year’s surprise hit. A third installment seems inevitable (and a direct-to-video Part 4 is a good bet).

The weekend’s other two wide releases were well behind the pace. More...

Contest: In the Sky with Diamonds

2014-07-18

Next weekend there are two to four wide releases. Lucy and Hercules are opening wide. I'm not sure about And So It Goes and The Fluffy Movie is only opening in 400 theaters, more or less. Of these four films, Lucy has the best buzz and should earn first place with relative ease. As such, it is the clear 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 Lucy.

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 Unforgettable: Season Two on DVD, plus a previously reviewed 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 two a previously reviewed TV on DVD releases. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: I Wish I Were Watching a Limited Release

2014-07-18

Wish I Was Here poster

It is a really bad weekend for limited releases. There are a dozen films on this week's list, but the best-reviewed release is Alive Inside, which is earning 64% positive reviews. On the other hand, the film with the loudest buzz is Wish I Was Here, which is opening in 68 theaters. More...

Weekend Predictions: Anarchy on Top?

2014-07-17

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

There are a trio of wide releases coming out this week looking to dethrone Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The Purge: Anarchy is the most likely film to come out on top, but the original didn't win over many moviegoers. It opened big, but collapsed very quickly after that. Planes didn't perform much better with moviegoers, but there hasn't been an animated family film released wide since How to Train Your Dragon 2, so Planes: Fire and Rescue could benefit from the lack of competition. Sex Tape is the only non-sequel opening wide this week and that could help it do well. Or the fact that it is not based on a previous movie could hurt it. There is one last film that might reach the top ten, Persecuted, which is opening in 700 theaters. It would only need a per theater average of just over $4,000 to reach the top ten, which is doable. This year, we should have four films that earn more than $20 million. Last year there were only three. However, last year, The Conjuring earned more than $40 million, a milestone no film this year will reach, while seven films earned more than $10 million. This year there will be only four films earning more than $10 million. Again, it looks like 2014 is going to get crushed at the box office. More...

International Box Office: Transformers Climbs into First Place

2014-07-16

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

Transformers: Age of Extinction remained in first place with $100.3 million in 50 markets for totals of $543.5 million internationally and $752.3 million worldwide. This makes is the biggest worldwide hit of the year so far. Granted, half of the film's international total came from China where it has made $279.75 million so far, including $56.36 million this past week, and the studio gets a very small share of the box office revenue from that market. As for new markets, the film debuted in first place in the U.K. with $20.11 million on 533 screens, including previews. This is the biggest opening of the year in that market so far. The film also did well in Mexico with $8.26 million on 3,131 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $15.84 million. More...

Per Theater Chart: Coming of Age

2014-07-15

Boyhood poster

After a weekend with no films in the $10,000 club, this weekend we had the second best per theater average for the year. Boyhood earned nearly $400,000 in just five theaters for an average of $77,524. This is the second best per theater average for the year; only The Grand Budapest Hotel opened with a better average. The overall box office leader, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, was next with an average of $18,304 in nearly 4,000 theaters. More...

Contest: I'll Give You a Clue (Or Three): Winning Announcement

2014-07-15

The winners of our I'll Give You a Clue (Or Three) contest were determined and they are... More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Under the Skin

2014-07-14

Under the Skin stars Scarlett Johansson, which gave the film a lot more star power than most limited releases have. On the other hand, the premise was a little out there, so much so that it really never had a shot at expanding significantly. It managed $2.5 million, which is great, especially considering so far this year only three limited releases have topped $10 million (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Chef, and very recently Belle). Does the film work as an art house film? Will it please more mainstream audiences? More...

Contest: Total Anarchy

2014-07-14

The Purge: Anarchy poster

As I mentioned previously, this week's contest was delayed due to legal reasons, the details of which I don't know. I also mentioned that the contest would be based on The Purge: Anarchy, not because I think it will finish in first place, but because we have prizes for that movie. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for The Purge: Anarchy. However, while there is only one wide release, there are three prizes to give away.

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a The Purge: Anarchy prize pack consisting of The Purge: Anarchy promo T-shirt and a The Purge: Anarchy promo flashlight. 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, to make up for the contest starting late. 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 July 15th, 2014

2014-07-14

There is actually a $100 million hit on this week's list of new releases, which puts it miles ahead of most of recent weeks. Unfortunately, that new release is Rio 2, which isn't terrible, but it certainly isn't Pick of the Week material either. Worse still, there is practically no depth this week and almost none of the new DVDs / Blu-rays are Pick of the Week contenders. Fortunately, "Weird Al" Yankovic comes to the rescue with Mandatory Fun, which is a CD, which I normally don't talk about. As far as DVDs and Blu-rays are concerned, Orphan Black: Season 2 on Blu-ray is clearly the best. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Break of Dawn

2014-07-14

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

As expected, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes earned first place and it finished on the high end of reasonable expectations. Unfortunately, it crushed the competition earning more than four times more than the second place film, Transformers: Age of Extinction. It made almost as much as the rest of the box office combined made, so the overall box office was still soft for this time of year at just $149 million. Granted, this is 13% higher than last weekend, but more troublesome, it was 23% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 is now more than $200 million lower than 2013's pace at $5.57 billion to $5.78 billion. More...

Featured Blu-ray review: Revenge of the Nerds

2014-07-13

Revenge of the Nerds came out in theaters 30 years ago and hit Blu-ray in February or May. Amazon seems to have been confused on this issue. The screener arrived late, possibly by a few months, but I finally got to the review this weekend. Was it worth the wait? The reviews were strong when it came out, but has it aged well? And is the Blu-ray worth checking out? More...

Weekend Estimates: Apes Dawns with $73 Million

2014-07-13

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

In the midst of a disappointing Summer for Hollywood, the arrival of an unabashed success is welcome news indeed, and that’s what we have this weekend, with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes delivering an excellent $73 million opening weekend, well ahead of early industry expectations. The success of the film is most likely down to two factors: first, its reviews have been excellent, and, second, its storyline is sufficiently interesting to draw in people who aren’t excited by the thought of yet another super hero/monster movie. After the success of Maleficent and the failure of Edge of Tomorrow, films that strive to be a bit different are now scoring 2 out of 3 this Summer; films that are the product of formulas and marketing departments haven’t produced a single out-and-out hit. If the studios could get the message in the that, we really would see the dawn of something. More...

Limited Releases: Boy Oh Boy

2014-07-11

Boyhood poster

There are more than a dozen limited releases coming out this week, including a few earning good buzz and / or good reviews. Closed Curtain, Land Ho!, Underwater Dreams all have a shot at finding an audience in limited release. However, leading this pack is Boyhood, the latest from Richard Linklater. If only one movie is a hit this weekend, it will most likely be Boyhood. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season

2014-07-11

For the past couple of seasons of True Blood, there have been troubling signs. The show was clearly off its peak in terms of quality and this was adversely affecting its ratings as well. It was still a good show, but no longer a great show. Season Six saw the show earn its weakest ratings since season one, which was before it was discovered by most people. Is this also a sign that these troubling signs finally broke and True Blood is now just a shadow of what it once was? More...

Weekend Predictions: Apes Look to Climb to the Top

2014-07-10

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the only new wide release of the week and since last week's new releases underperformed, it will dominate the box office this weekend. In fact, it will dominate the box office, even if it barely managed to live up to its predecessor. Transformers: Age of Extinction will be well back with less than $20 million, while Tammy might not reach $10 million. By comparison, this weekend last year, there were two films that earned more than $40 million (Despicable Me 2 and Grown Ups 2) and a total of six films earned $10 million or more. 2014 is going to get crushed in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Legal Delay

2014-07-10

The Purge: Anarchy poster

In what might be a first for me, a story will be delayed for legal reasons. We are still waiting on the details for this week's prizes (the person I talked to mentioned lawyers, so I assume they just need to make sure none of the details are out of place) so the launch of the contest might be delayed a day or two. If you don't care what the prizes are and just want to enter, you can send your prediction for the opening weekend for The Purge: Anarchy, as well as your address and phone number to contests@the-numbers.com. The full contest and rules will be online A.S.A.P. More...

International Box Office: Transformers in Their Prime

2014-07-09

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

Transformers: Age of Extinction remained in first place with $95.8 million in 37 markets over the weekend for totals of $400.9 million internationally and $576.3 million worldwide. Its best market remains China, where it added $120.61 million for the full week giving it a total of $222.74 million after two. These numbers are important for two reasons. Firstly, revised totals in China put the film's opening there ahead of its debut in North America. Stunning. Secondly, the film is already ahead of Avatar's final figure in that market. Granted, it's barely above Avatar's pace, as that film pulled in $221.9 million after ten days of release, but that is still great news. It held up better than most films do in South Korea earning $8.05 million on 1,096 screens over the weekend for a total of $34.62 million. In Russia, the film added $7.04 million on 2,171 screens over the weekend for a total of $35.38 million after two. The last major market was Australia, where it pulled in $4.54 million on 623 screens over the weekend for a two-week total of $17.32 million. More...

Per Theater Chart: Blacking Out

2014-07-08

Code Black poster

There were no films in the $10,000 club on the per theater chart this weekend. The film that came the closest was Transformers: Age of Extinction, which earned an average of $8,753 in more than 4,000 theaters. The best limited release was Code Black, which earned $7,978 in one theater. The best new release was Tammy with an average of $6,227 in more than 3,000 theaters. Finally, the best new limited release was Life Itself, which managed an average of $5,713 in 23 theaters. More...

Contest: Fracking Prizes: Winning Announcement

2014-07-08

The winners of our Fracking Prizes contest were determined and they are... More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Dinobots Dominate Subdued Box Office

2014-07-07

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

As expected, Transformers: Age of Extinction won the race to the top of the box office chart and did so with ease. However, that film, and practically every film in the top five, failed to live up to expectations. Tammy still took second place with ease, but it was the only other film to earn more than $10 million over the Independence Day long weekend. Overall, the box office pulled in $132 million over the weekend, which is 27% less than last weekend. Compared to the same weekend last year, the box office was 42% lower this year. Ouch. To put this into perspective, even if you take out Despicable Me 2 from last year's box office, 2014 would have still failed to match 2013's weekend numbers. Year-to-date, 2014 is now $130 million or 2.4% below 2013's pace at $5.35 billion to $5.48 billion. It is still too early to panic, but if things don't turn around soon, the panic button will be pushed. More...

Weekend Estimates: Transformers Top Modest July 4 Weekend

2014-07-06

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

After opening around the $100 million mark last weekend, Transformers: Age of Extinction was always the odds-on favorite to win this weekend, and even a 64% fall will be enough to keep it top with a projected $36.4 million for the Friday–Sunday period. That’s well ahead of Tammy, which will post a respectable $21.2 million for the three-day weekend and almost $33 million in total by the end of Sunday. That’s plenty for a film that cost $20 million to make. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Stage Fright

2014-07-06

Stage Fright is a horror musical. When you look up a list of horror musicals, you find films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Little Shop of Horrors. Those are comedies that use horror tropes to tell a story. The list of actual horror musicals is tiny. Is there something in musicals that makes them incompatible with horrors? If so, how does Stage Fright figure this out? Is it actually a horror movie? Or is it as scary as The Rocky Horror Picture Show? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for July 8th, 2014

2014-07-06

It is a terrible week on the home market. I could just leave that as my opening sentence on this column all summer long and the vast majority of the time it would fit perfectly. This week, the biggest new release is Raid 2, a foreign-language action film. The second biggest release is Jodorowsky's Dune, a documentary about a movie that was never made. Neither release will sell a ton of units. However, both earned great reviews and both are contenders for Pick of the Week. The third and final contender is Le Week-End, which is earning reviews that are just as good, but the film appears to be selling far fewer units on the home market. While all three releases are worth picking up, Jodorowsky's Dune on Blu-ray Combo Pack is the best this week and it is the winner of the Pick of the Week. More...

Contest: I'll Give You a Clue (Or Three)

2014-07-04

Next weekend there is only one wide release, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which means 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 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. However, while there is only one wide release, there are three prizes to give away.

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 No Clue on DVD. 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 copy of No Clue on DVD. Finally, one additional entry will be chosen, regardless of the accuracy of their prediction, and that person will win the final copy of No Clue on DVD. So if you are really bad at predicting box office numbers, this is the contest to enter. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: The Good Life

2014-07-04

Life Itself poster

It is a busy week with several releases spread over three days. Unfortunately, most movies opening this week are earning weak reviews and many of them have almost no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. The lack of buzz and the weak critical response will likely prove fatal. Fortunately, there is an exception as Life Itself is earning amazing reviews. A Hard Day's Night is also worth checking out, as it is getting a 50th anniversary. More...

Weekend Predictions: Dinobots look to Chomp Down on New Releases

2014-07-03

Tammy poster

There are three wide releases and a wide expansion this week all hoping to take advantage if the Independence Day long weekend. (There was to be one more wide expansion, but Begin Again is expanding to less than 200 theaters.) Tammy is the biggest of these wide releases and it is the latest Melissa McCarthy vehicle and might be a surprise $100 million hit. Deliver Us From Evil and Earth to Echo were in a close battle for third place on Wednesday, but I think their futures will be quite different. Finally, America: Imagine a World Without Her is expanding to over 1,000 theaters. This isn't enough to compete with the new releases, but it could compete for a spot in the top ten. While there are a lot of new releases, Transformers: Age of Extinction will win the race for top spot in the box office chart, unless something surprising happens. The only thing more surprising than Age of Extinction getting knocked out of top spot would be if the overall box office was stronger that the same weekend last year when Despicable Me 2 opened with more than $80 million during the three-day weekend. More...

International Box Office: Beginning of a New Age

2014-07-02

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

Transformers: Age of Extinction earned top spot on the international chart with $201.3 million on 10,015 screens in 37 markets. This includes a record $99.81 million opening in China, which is basically a rounding error away from its North American debut. It also broke the record in Russia with $21.23 million on 2,171 screens. Its opening in South Korea was nearly identical with $15.88 million on 1,597 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $21.98 million. The final major market of the weekend was Australia, where it pulled in $8.30 million on 623 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $9.56 million. The film likely cost about $300 million to make and advertise, so it still needs work to break even, but this is an amazing start. More...

2014 Preview: July

2014-07-01

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster

Overall, June was not good. Most films matched expectations, or came close enough that there weren't major disappointments. However, it looks like How to Train Your Dragon 2 will miss expectations by more than $100 million. This was such a massive amount that 2014 lost its lead over 2013 and not even Transformers: Age of Extinction's $100 million opening was able to turn things around. Looking forward to July, there's not a lot of good news. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes might be the only film coming out during July that will reach the $100 million milestone, but on the high end, it might reach the $200 million mark. There are a few others that have a shot, but are not favored to reach the century mark. On the other hand, there are more films that may or may not open / expand wide and even if they do, they will likely have no real impact at the box office. By comparison, last July, Despicable Me 2 was the top draw and finished with more than $350 million. There were also four other films that surpassed $100 million at the box office. It seems practically impossible for 2014 to match those numbers and will likely finish the month behind last year's pace. Overall, 2014 isn't doing poorly, but the summer has been much weaker than the spring was, so we've gone from potential record breaking year to merely average.

More...

Per Theater Chart: Beginning on Top

2014-07-01

Begin Again poster

Despite there being a $100 million hit on the box office this weekend, Begin Again still led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $26,813 in five theaters. This bodes well for its expansion on Wednesday. The overall number one film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, was next with an average of $23,633 in more than 4,000 theaters. Snowpiercer was the third film to earn a per theater average over $20,000 with an average of $20,266 in eight theaters. America: Imagine a World Without Her was next with an average of $12,869 million in three theaters. Yves Saint Laurent was a surprise entry in the $10,000 club with an average of $12,104 in two theaters. It managed this despite earning weak reviews and opening on the Wednesday. The final film in the $10,000 club was Code Black, which climbed into the $10,000 club during its second weekend of release with $10,953 in two theaters. It is rare for a documentary to do this well, and it is even rarer for a film to see its per theater average grow. More...

Contest: LEGO My Prize: Winning Announcement

2014-07-01

The winner of our LEGO My Prize contest was determined and it is... More...

Featured DVD Review: No Clue

2014-06-30

No Clue is a Canadian movie written by and starring Brent Butt, who also created and starred in Corner Gas. Corner Gas was one of the most popular Canadian Sitcoms around during its run (and has spawned a movie that is in the works), so there was a lot of buzz regarding this film, more than most Canadian movies manage. Could it live up to the buzz? Or does Brent Butt's sense of humor work better on TV? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for July 1st, 2014

2014-06-30

It is a terrible week on the home market. The biggest new release according to Amazon.com is Legend of Korra: Book Two, Spirits, which is coming out on DVD and DVD or Blu-ray. However, according to the people sending me a screener, it doesn't come out till the first week of August. The best release on this week's list is The Grand Budapest Hotel, but it came out last month and the Blu-ray arrived late. The best new release on this week's list, that I know is coming out this week, is The Lunchbox and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is the Pick of the Week. More...

Analysis: Sandra Bullock is Hollywood’s Top Actress

2014-06-30

With the recent weak performance of films such as Transcendence and Edge of Tomorrow at the box office, there’s been a lot of talk recently about how much actors and actresses are really worth to a film. The poor performance of these films hasn’t come as a huge surprise to followers of the Bankability Index, which produces valuations considerably below the $20 million that Johnny Depp reportedly earned from his lead role in Transcendence, and we thought this is a good opportunity to look at what the Index says about the most valuable actors and actresses in the business.

With Angelina Jolie making headlines for all the right reasons for her starring role in Maleficent, it seemed only fitting to start with an analysis of the most valuable actresses in Hollywood. For this chart, we’ve taken each star’s worldwide Bankability Index and divided it by the number of films they make each year to get an estimate of the average value they bring to a film, as of June, 2014. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Dinobots Propel Transformers to the Top

2014-06-30

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

As expected, Transformers: Age of Extinction easily won the race for the top of the box office chart and became the first film released in 2014 to earn more than $100 million during its opening weekend. Granted, it barely made it, but we will take it. This helped the overall box office climb by 20% to $190 million over the weekend. Unfortunately, this was still 8% lower than the same weekend last year when Monsters University repeated at the box office champion. Year-to-date, 2014 has pulled in $5.11 billion, which is 0.3% below 2013's pace of $5.13 billion. This is still close enough that we shouldn't panic, but the trajectory is going in the wrong direction. More...

Weekend Estimates: Transformers On Cusp of $100 Million Weekend

2014-06-29

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

Transformers: Age of Extinction is set to deliver the year’s biggest weekend, as it performs to sell-out crowds across the country. Paramount is projecting a weekend total of $100 million as of Sunday morning, which honestly seems like a conveniently round number. Perhaps the studio is playing it safe, and the actual weekend number will be a few million over $100 million? Or maybe they’re hoping that announcing a $100 million weekend will help encourage people to theaters today and push the film over the line? Based on the numbers we’re seeing, it looks more like the latter, and we’ll have to wait until Monday to see if Age of Extinction will actually be the first $100 million opener of the year. At the end of the day, it probably doesn’t matter a huge amount: $99 million versus $101 million is a rounding error, and the film has topped $200 million internationally this weekend, which is a great start towards repaying its reported $210 million production budget. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

2014-06-28

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the latest film from auteur director, Wes Anderson, and it is also his biggest box office hit. I liked some of his earlier films, but after The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited, I didn't consider myself a fan of his work. Then I saw The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom and I loved both. Because of this, I was super excited to see The Grand Budapest Hotel and its box office success caused my expectations to rise even more. Did they rise too high? Is this Wes Anderson's best movie, as well as his biggest hit? More...

Limited Releases: Begin the Weekend with a Limited Release

2014-06-27

Begin Again poster

There are more than a dozen limited releases on this week's list, including two films that are opening in limited release this week with a scheduled wide expansion next week. Unfortunately, I don't have high hopes for either of those two films. There are some films worth checking out, including a pair of documentaries, The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz and Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, both of which are also playing on Video on Demand. The film I hope has the best start is Snowpiercer, a South Korean film that is earning amazing reviews. More...

Weekend Predictions: Are we Witnessing the Extinction of a Franchise?

2014-06-26

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

There is only one wide release of the week, but it is a potential monster hit. It is also potentially the last in a very profitable franchise. Transformers: Age of Extinction is the fourth film in the Transformers franchise, a franchise that has averaged more than $350 million at the box office. However, they have also averaged well below 50% positive reviews and the poor critical response could finally be taking its toll. It will still crush the competition this weekend, but it likely won't live up to past installments in the franchise. It will also beat last year's new releases and more than double the first place film; however that might not be enough to save 2014. Last year there were five films that pulled in $20 million or more. This year there will be only one. In fact, there will be only four films that pull in $10 million or more. More...

Contest: Fracking Prizes

2014-06-26

Next weekend there are three wide releases and two limited releases that are scheduled to expand wide. However, only Tammy has a shot at being more than a midlevel hit. It might make more than the other four films make combined. As such, Tammy is the clear 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 Tammy.

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

International Box Office: Bewitching the Box Office

2014-06-25

Maleficent poster

Maleficent rose to first place with $47.9 million in 54 markets for totals of $340.8 million internationally and $526.7 million worldwide. It became the first live-action film in Angelina Jolie's career to reach the $500 million mark. The film opened in first place in China with $22.01 million. Up next for the film is Japan and if it does well there, it could top Kung Fu Panda 2 as Angelina Jolie's biggest hit. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Think Sinks, But Still Comes out on Top

2014-06-24

Think Like a Man Too poster

This weekend was a disaster. Think Like a Man Too couldn't even live up to the original's opening, which is terrible for a sequel. Jersey Boys opened on the low end of lower expectations. Unfortunately, the holdovers weren't able to take advantage of the weak openings and the overall box office plummeted 22% to just $146 million. Compared to last year, the overall box office was down 39%. That's a disaster. There's no other way to describe it. Last year's number one film, Monster University made more money during its opening day than Think Like a Man Too made during the full weekend. It made more during its opening weekend than the top three films this year made. Even worse, 2014 has lost its lead over 2013. Granted, it is still close at $4.86 billion to $4.88 million, or just 0.3%, but it wasn't that long ago that 2014 was on a record-setting pace. Transformers: Age of Extinction should help turn things around next weekend, but I don't think that film will help in the long run. More...

Per Theater Chart: Putting Thought in the Per Theater Chart

2014-06-24

Think Like a Man Too poster

There were three films in the $10,000 club. They were led by the number one film on the overall chart, Think Like a Man Too, with an average of $13,142 in more than 2,000 theaters. Venus in Fur was close behind with an average of $12,381 in two theaters. The final film in this list was Le Chef with $11,290 in one theater. More...

Contest: Stop Thinking: Winning Announcement

2014-06-24

The winners of our Stop Thinking contest were determined and they are... More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 24th, 2014

2014-06-23

There's very little on the home market that stands out. 300: Rise of an Empire is the biggest movie coming out this week, but it is far from the best new release. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of new releases in competition for Pick of the Week. The A Hard Day's Night Criterion Collection Blu-ray is absolutely worth picking up, but there are no new extras for the Blu-ray, so that is a strike against it. Masters of Sex: Season One earned great reviews, but the extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray are only good. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Six is loaded, but its price is just too high. In the end, I rolled a dice and Star Trek: The Next Generation came out on top, but it really is a close race. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: FrackNation

2014-06-22

FrackNation is an environmental documentary, and there have been a lot of those that have come out in recent years. It is forgivable if the average moviegoer can't tell them apart anymore. How does it compare to the other film's in this genre? Does it stand out? More...

Weekend Estimates: Think Like a Man Rolls to Weekend Win

2014-06-22

Think Like a Man Too poster

Mid-Summer weekend will produce a near tie at the box office, according to estimates released on Sunday, with Sony in first and second place. Think Like a Man Too will come out top with about $30 million, according to the studio—basically in line with the $33 million earned by the first film in the franchise. That portends a total that will fall short of the $91.5 million earned by the previous outing domestically, and with limited international appeal, this installment will be solidly, but not spectacularly profitable. Enough for a third film? Probably. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Enemy

2014-06-22

Enemy is the latest film from Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal. It was actually made before Prisoners was, but that was a lot more mainstream movie and it earned a theatrical release first. There are many words that can be used to describe Enemy, but mainstream isn't one of them. Is it worth checking out for fans of the unusual? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chain of Command

2014-06-21

Ever since The Best of Both Worlds came out, there has been a two-part episode released for each season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. For Season Six, they chose Chain of Command as the episode to elevate to is own release. Did that make the right choice? And is it worth the price to buy separately? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Six

2014-06-21

This is the penultimate season for Star Trek: The Next Generation and the end of what most people would call the golden age of the seasons. (Season seven wasn't bad. It was better than the first two seasons, but it was certainly not as good as seasons three through six.) So what are the highlights of season six? Are there many lowlights? And is the Blu-ray worth upgrading to? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Dora the Explorer: Dora's Magical Sleepover

2014-06-21

The latest DVD from Dora the Explorer is Dora's Magical Sleepover. This franchise has been around for so long, the girl who provided the voice for Dora, Kathleen Herles, turns 24 this year. I don't think I need to explain what the show is, so let's get right to the episodes. More...

Contest: LEGO My Prize

2014-06-20

There's only one wide release next weekend, Transformers: Age of Extinction, so it is clearly 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 Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Interestingly, Transformers: Age of Extinction will likely be the biggest hit of the year so far, while the current leader, The LEGO Movie, is featured as the prize. You can upload six-second clips to YouTube by using this App.

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 The LEGO Movie on Blu-ray Combo Pack Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Every Third Person Should See a Limited Release

2014-06-20

Third Person poster

There are a dozen limited releases on this week's list, including five films that are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Unfortunately, I don't think any of them will be monster hits. There's a Code Black, documentary, which is a genre that rarely finds breakout success. There's Coherence, a high concept Sci-fi movie that will likely be too out there to find an audience. Norte, the End of History, a four-hour foreign-language film, which will reduce its target demographic and the number of screenings that can be shown. A Summer Tale, a French film from 1996, which is making its theatrical debut. And finally Venus and Fur, which is probably going to be the biggest limited release hit of the weekend, but I really doubt it will expand wide enough to find a measure of mainstream success. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey

2014-06-19

Cosmos debuted on TV in 1980 and featured Carl Sagan, who was arguably the most famous science communicator ever. When it was announced that the show was being re-booted as a mini-series, I was super excited, even more so when it was announced Neil deGrasse Tyson was the host, my anticipation grew even more. But did it grow too much? Could the show possibly live up to my expectations? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: RoboCop

2014-06-19

When the RoboCop remake was announced, a lot of people thought it would be a disaster. The original RoboCop is widely considered a classic that not only offers a lot of action, but is also a smart satire. Some where expecting the film to be a complete train wreck. That wasn't the case, at least not with critics. Granted, 49% positive isn't a good score, but it is better than expected. Will I like it more than I thought I would? Or will I recommend skipping this movie and sticking with the original? More...

Weekend Predictions: Think or Swim

2014-06-19

Think Like a Man Too poster

There are two wide releases coming out this week, but none of them are expected to be monster hits. Think Like a Man Too could eventually get to $100 million, while Jersey Boys might become a midlevel hit, but no more than that. There are a couple of holdovers that should be very big players at the box office, as both How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street will earn close to $30 million over the next three days. On the other hand, this weekend last year there were two monster hits, Monster University and World War Z, as well as a holdover, Man of Steel, that will make more than either of the two new releases this year will make. 2014 is going to get crushed in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Per Theater Chart: Jumping over the Competition

2014-06-18

22 Jump Street poster

There were three films in the $10,000 club, including the top two on the overall chart. 22 Jump Street led the way with an average of $17,263. The Rover was wedged between the two wide releases with an average of $13,860 in five theaters. Next up was How to Train Your Dragon 2 with an average of $11,627. This is good, but lower than expected. More...

Contest: Training Wheels: Winning Announcement

2014-06-18

The winners of our Training Wheels contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Trio Top the Charts

2014-06-18

Godzilla poster

There were three films that were in a virtual tie for top spot on the international top ten. Godzilla squeaked out a win with $38.4 million in 62 markets for totals of $248.7 million internationally and $440.2 million worldwide after a month of release. This includes a $37.00 million opening weekend in China. Needless to say, it earned first place in that market. The film finishes its international run in Japan at the end of July and it should jump over $500 million worldwide when it does. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Dragons Soar but Jump Higher

2014-06-17

22 Jump Street poster

How to Train Your Dragon 2 missed lofty expectations and that allowed 22 Jump Street to earn first place. Both films opened well and their respective studios should be happy, while the overall box office rose by 15% compared to last weekend hitting $187 million. Unfortunately, this is still 8% lower than this weekend last year. Had How to Train Your Dragon 2 matched higher expectations, 2014 would have won on the year-over-year comparison. Year-to-date, 2014 has earned $4.64 billion, putting it 3.0% ahead of 2013's pace of $4.50 billion, so this weekend's loss isn't a big deal. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 17th, 2014

2014-06-17

It's a good week / bad week on the home market. There are several releases coming out this week that are absolutely worth picking up. But there are also several of these where I'm still waiting for screeners to arrive, some of which are contenders for Pick of the Week, like The Grand Budapest Hotel or House of Cards. Other potential Pick of the Week contenders include Ernest and Celestine on Blu-ray Combo Pack and The LEGO Movie on Blu-ray Combo Pack. It was literally a coin toss and Ernest and Celestine won. Meanwhile, No Clue on DVD wins the Puck of the Week, for the best Canadian release of the week. More...

Featured DVD Review: Jimmy P.

2014-06-16

Jimmy P. came out in February, which isn't a great time of year to release a limited release. It earned mixed reviews and struggled to find an audience in theaters. Now that it is getting a second chance on the home market, will it perform better? Or are the weak reviews and weak box office numbers deserved? More...

Featured DVD Review: A Measure of the Sin

2014-06-16

A Measure Of The Sin is brought to us by BrinkVision, which specialize in ultra-low-budget films. I saw a couple of trailers for this film on DVDs I've previously reviewed and I was intrigued in a, "What the hell did I just watch?" kind of way. It likely won't appeal to mainstream audiences, but will fans of more unique cinema want to check it out? More...

Weekend Estimates: Jump Street and Dragon Share Spoils

2014-06-15

22 Jump Street poster

Moviegoers are spoiled for choice this weekend, with the two major openers both scoring over 90% positive reviews, and a wealth of returning films that are definitely worth watching. Top of the heap will be 22 Jump Street, which is set to post a $60 million opening weekend—well ahead of the $36.3 million debut posted by the first film in the franchise. With foreign territories also doing significantly better than last time around, 23 Jump Street is surely just a matter of time (my money’s on two years). More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Ernest and Celestine

2014-06-15

Pretty much every year, the Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature includes one surprise nomination. I don't mean one film that didn't earn strong enough reviews to be an Oscar-contender (although that also happens a lot) but a film that most mainstream moviegoers haven't heard of before the nominations are announced. Last year, that film was Ernest and Celestine. The film only got a token release in theaters, but it is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack this week. Did it earn the nomination? And is the Blu-ray Combo Pack worth picking up? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Cheap Thrills

2014-06-14

Cheap Thrills came out in theaters and on Video on Demand in March and it did well during its opening weekend, but its legs were really short. Normally this would suggest poor word-of-mouth, but the reviews were excellent. Then again, it is a black comedy, which is a hard genre to market. Now that it is out on the home market, will it perform better? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Power Rangers: Megaforce: Ultra Defenders

2014-06-14

I've previously reviewed a couple of DVDs from Power Rangers: Megaforce and thought it was one of the best installments in the franchise. The latest DVD is Ultra Defenders. What episodes are here? And is the DVD worth the price? More...

Weekend Predictions: Can Dragon Get the Jump on the Competition?

2014-06-13

How to Train Your Dragon 2 poster

This weekend, there are two potential monster hits coming out. How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street both look to improve upon the box office numbers their respective predecessors managed. Thanks to the sequel effect, they should both start fast. Additionally, both should have better legs than most sequels, thanks to their incredible reviews. The rest of the top five should all earn more than $10 million helping the overall box office. This weekend last year there were only three films to earn more than $10 million. One of them was Man of Steel, which earned more than $116 million by itself. No film this weekend will match that total, but the depth this year is much better. It should be strong enough for 2014 to win in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Contest: Stop Thinking

2014-06-13

Next weekend, Think Like a Man 2 and Jersey Boys open. It appears that Jersey Boys is going to open much wider that Thinking Like a Man 2, but Thinking Like a Man 2 is very likely to top Jersey Boys on the weekend chart. 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 Think Like a Man 2.

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 Non-Stop on Blu-ray Combo Pack. 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 copy of Non-Stop on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Signaling Defeat

2014-06-13

The Signal poster

Just a quick look at the list of limited releases coming out this week you will find more than a few that are earning great reviews. However, you will also find more than a few that are earning more negative reviews than positive ones. Of the ones earning fantastic reviews, most don't have a lot of buzz. I'm not sure any will be a breakout hit. Both The Amazing Catfish and Burning Bush are earning perfect reviews, so hopefully they will at least do relatively well. More...

International Box Office: Sharpening the Edge

2014-06-12

Edge of Tomorrow poster

Edge of Tomorrow rose to first place with $82 million in 63 markets for a two-week total of $111 million. This includes a first-place, $25.68 million opening in China. It also opened in first place in South Korea with $10.52 million on 801 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $16.28 million. In Russia, the film opened on top spot with $7.41 million on 1,649, while in France it also earned first place, but with just $2.82 million on 585. It only managed second place in Australia with $2.88 million on 477 screens, while it could do no better than third place in Mexico with $2.88 million on 1,301 screens over the weekend for a total of $3.19 million. Its best holdover was in the U.K. where it added $2.08 million on 460 screens for a two-week total of $7.21 million.

More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 10th, 2014

2014-06-11

This week's list of new DVD and Blu-rays includes a couple of first run releases, but neither are really must haves. Of all of the theatrical releases coming out this week, Alan Partridge on DVD or Blu-ray is the one I'm most interested in seeing, but the screener is still late. I'm also waiting for the screener for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, but I saw every episode on TV and the DVD or Blu-ray is clearly a contender for Pick of the Week. So is True Detective: Season One on DVD or Blu-ray. It was a bit of a coin toss, but in the end I went with Cosmos. More...

Per Theater Chart: It is Obvious Who Won

2014-06-11

The Fault in Our Stars poster

Obvious Child led the way on the per theater chart with $77,000 in three theaters for an average of $25,772. The Fault in Our Stars earned an average of $15,128, which was surprisingly strong. The final film in the $10,000 club was Citizen Koch, which earned $10,200 in one theater. More...

Contest: Young Love: Winning Announcement

2014-06-11

The winners of our Young Love contest were determined and they are... More...

Featured DVD Review: Adult World

2014-06-10

Adult World came out on Video on Demand and in theaters in February. It earned mixed reviews and opened below the Mendoza line. Now that it is hitting the home market, is it worth a second look for those who missed it the first time? And is the DVD worth picking up? More...

Featured DVD Review: Haunt

2014-06-10

Haunt is an incredibly generic name for a horror movie. It is not surprising it struggled to find an audience with a name like that. However, was that the only reason? Or is the movie as generic as the name? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: True Detective: Season One

2014-06-09

True Detective earned a lot of pre-release buzz and opened with great reviews. The series debut earned more than 2 million viewers and by the end of its 8-episode run, its ratings grew by more than 50%. On the other hand, there were many people who were let down by the ending. Did I get drawn into the show like most critics were? And did the ending let me down? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Fanboys Propel Fault to the Top

2014-06-09

The Fault in Our Stars poster

As expected, The Fault in Our Stars won the box office race this past weekend, while its opening weekend was on the very high end of expectations. (It did so with a surprisingly strong opening Friday, but more on that later.) The other wide release of the week, Edge of Tomorrow, did about as well as expected, which is to say it really struggled compared to its production budget. Overall, the box took in $163 million, which is 2% lower than last weekend. On the other hand, it is 9% higher than the same weekend last year, which is the far more important number. Year-to-date, 2014 has pulled in $4.38 billion, putting it 3.3% ahead of last year's pace of $4.24 billion. This is still a good margin and hopefully it will last. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Non-Stop

2014-06-08

It has become almost a yearly ritual for there to be a Liam Neeson action film coming out early in the year. This year, it was Non-Stop. How does it compare to other such Liam Neeson action films? Is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Weekend Estimates: Almost Faultless Opening

2014-06-08

The Fault in Our Stars poster

After a big win for Maleficent over A Million Ways to Die in the West last time around, this weekend we had another battle between female-friendly and male-friendly films, and once more the women have won by a large margin. The Fault in Our Stars is set to open with $48.2 million, according to Fox’s Sunday morning estimate. That tops Noah’s $43.7 million debut to make the film the biggest drama opener of the year so far. Edge of Tomorrow will be a distant third with $29.1 million, per Warner Bros., which is fairly disastrous for a film costing $178 million. However, in spite of the big difference in performance between the two films, The Fault in Our Stars does have one fairly surprising weakness compared to the sci-fi actioner. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

2014-06-08

I previously reviewed the Jack Ryan box set when it came out on Blu-ray last year. When I got a chance to review the latest installment, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, it seemed like the natural thing to do. But can this reboot live up to the past installments in the franchise? Or was there a reason it was dumped during the early part of the year? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Ray Donovan: Season One

2014-06-07

Ray Donovan began last year on Showtime and broke the record for biggest premiere on that cable channel. It maintained its viewership numbers throughout the season, while earning great reviews. Now that it is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray, is it worth checking out for those who don't have Showtimes? Is the Blu-ray worth picking up for those who like the show? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Perry Mason: Movie Collection: Volume 1

2014-06-06

After the Perry Mason TV series ended, the show was mostly dormant till the 1980s when a series of TV movies came out. I got a chance to review Volume Two and this week I'm reviewing Volume One, sort of. The six movies from Volume One are be released as Double-Features, for those who liked one or two of the movies, but not all of them. Are they worth picking up? Or is the full volume a better deal? More...

Limited Releases: Earning Your Trust

2014-06-06

The Case Against 8 poster

It's a pretty good week for limited releases with a few films that are earning good reviews and strong buzz. This includes The Case Against 8 (Reviews), but documentaries are rarely break-out hits. Borgman is earning very strong reviews and the buzz is good, but it is too bizarre for mainstream audiences. This leaves Obvious Child (Reviews) as the most likely break-out hit on this week's list. On the other hand, I really want to see Trust Me (Reviews), but I'm a Fanboy of a particularly strong type and Clark Gregg is part of my preferred Fandom. More...

Featured Blu-ray review: Napoleon Dynamite

2014-06-05

In 2004, Napoleon Dynamite was a small independent film that earned buzz at the Sundance Film Festival and was picked up by MTV films. MTV pushed the film hard and it worked, as the film earned more than $40 million starting in limited release. I didn't get a chance to see it, but saw it when it came out on DVD and really liked it. A few months later, I watched it a second time and I wasn't as impressed. Now that it has been ten years since it came out, will I like it like the first time, or has it aged poorly? More...

Weekend Predictions: Are the New Releases Faulty?

2014-06-05

The Fault in Our Stars poster

This weekend, there are two wide releases coming out, one of which is the obvious potential monster hit and the other being the obvious counter-programing. On paper, Edge of Tomorrow is the obvious potential monster hit. It is a Sci-fi action film with a production budget that is nearly $200 million. The Fault in Our Stars is the obvious counter-programing. It is about two teen cancer patients who fall in love, which couldn't be farther away from a popcorn flick. However, the buzz really suggests The Fault in Our Stars could win. In fact, it could break the record for biggest opening for a romantic drama. This weekend last year, The Purge won with $34.06 million, while no other film earned more than $20 million. This year, three films might top $30 million and the winner could pull in more than $40 million. I think 2014 will win this weekend in the year-over-year competition. More...

Contest: Training Wheels

2014-06-05

Next weekend we could have the biggest hit of the year opening wide. How to Train Your Dragon 2 likely won't have the biggest opening of the year, but it could become the first film of the year to reach $300 million, eventually. It should certainly open better than 22 Jump Street will, which is the film's only competition next weekend. 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 How to Train Your Dragon 2.

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 Hitler & The Nazis on DVD, as well as one previously reviewed DVD or 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 two previously reviewed DVDs or Blu-rays. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

International Box Office: Century Opening for Maleficent

2014-06-04

Maleficent poster

Maleficent opened on top of the international chart with $106.1 million in 47 markets, making it the latest movie to open with more than $100 million on the international chart. The film opened in a number of major markets, but individual results were mixed. The film opened in first place in Mexico with $14.05 million on 2,892 screens and in Russia with $13.06 million on 1,733 screens. In the U.K. it pulled in $11.04 million on 486 screens. It didn't crack $10 million, but did earn first place in Italy ($5.87 million on 650 screens); in Brazil ($5.63 million on 452); and in Germany ($4.87 million on 525 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $5.26 million); and Spain ($4.29 million on 625). It had to settle for second place in Australia with $3.76 million on 530 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.90 million. It only managed third place in France ($5.01 million on 550 screens) and in South Korea ($3.38 million on 631 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.81 million). The film has yet to open in China and Japan and given this start, it should reach $500 million worldwide before it is done. More...

Per Theater Chart: Maleficent Holds Off Trio of Limited Releases

2014-06-03

Maleficent poster

The overall box office leader, Maleficent, also led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $17,586 in nearly 4,000 theaters. Korengal was the best of the limited releases earning $14,630 in one lone theater. Night Moves was close behind with an average of $12,050 in two theaters. The final $10,000 film was Elena with $10,341 in one theater. More...

Contest: Sweet Prizes: Winning Announcement

2014-06-03

Maleficent poster

The winner of our Sweet Prizes contest was determined and it is... More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Motel Life

2014-06-02

The Motel Life opened in limited release, as well as Video on Demand, back in November of last year. It earned good reviews, but not great reviews, and failed to find an audience in theaters. Granted, most films that open on Video on Demand fail to find an audience in theaters, but would this film have struggled even if it debuted in theaters without the Video on Demand? Or is it not strong enough for limited release? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for June 3rd, 2014

2014-06-02

It's not a bad week on the home market, given the time of year. Lone Survivor earned more than $100 million at the box office and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is clearly worth picking up. It isn't quite Pick of the Week material, on the other hand. There are a few choices including a pair of documentaries: Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself - Buy from Amazon and Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction - Buy from Amazon. The third option was Attack on Titan, Part 1 - Blu-ray Combo Pack Regular Edition or Limited Edition. It was essentially a coin-toss between the three, but in the end I went with Plimpton! as Pick of the Week. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Maleficent is Magnificent Enough

2014-06-02

Maleficent poster

It was a mostly good weekend at the box office with Maleficent earning first place with nearly $70 million, which was on the very high end of expectations. On the other hand, A Million Ways to Die in the West failed to match the low end of expectations. Overall, the box office pulled in $165 million, which is 11% lower than last weekend. That's not bad for a post-holiday weekend. Compared to last year, the box office was higher, albeit by 0.6%, which is much lower than ticket price inflation. Considering I thought it would be worse than this, I'm calling a 0.6% increase a victory. Year-to-date, 2014 remains ahead of 2013, but by $133 million or 3.3% at $4.16 billion to $4.02 billion. If June is as bad as May, then 2014 could slip behind 2013 entirely. More...

2014 Preview: June

2014-06-01

Transformers: Age of Extinction poster

It is too soon to tell how May will end, as this story will be published before the weekend estimates came out. (Maleficent had an excellent start on Friday, unlike A Million Ways to Die in the West.) Overall, it was a good month with at least three movies that are on track to hit $200 million, but there was no really big winner for the month. It was nice and balanced. Unfortunately, last May there was a monster hit, Iron Man 3, and 2014 could not compete with that, so it lost ground to 2013. June hopes to turn things around and there are some reasons to be optimistic. All four weeks there is at least one film opening that at least has a shot at $100 million. There are even two films that at least have a shot at $300 million. Transformers: Age of Extinction should win the monthly box office race while How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a long shot to win, but I wouldn't be completely surprised if it did. Additionally, 22 Jump Street, Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars, and Think Like a Man 2 are all contenders for the century club. Not all of them will get to that milestone, but all of them at least have a short. Last June, there were three films that reached $200 million, including Man of Steel, which nearly reached $300 million. It looks like June of 2014 will be about as strong as June of 2013, more or less. If all films reach their potential, it could win the year-over-year comparison. Unless there are some shocking bombs, it shouldn't struggle so much that 2014 loses its lead over 2013 entirely.

More...

Weekend Estimates: Maleficent Magnificent

2014-06-01

Maleficent poster

Disney’s $180 million gamble on Maleficent looks to have paid off this weekend, with Angelina Jolie’s starring role carrying the film to a $70 million opening weekend, in spite of middling reviews. The film is as much a triumph for Jolie as World War Z was for husband Brad Pitt. They truly are Hollywood’s power couple. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Lone Survivor

2014-06-01

Lone Survivor came out for an Oscar-qualifying run late in December of 2013, which seemed odd, because it didn't look like the typical Oscar-bait movie. However, it actually picked up a couple of Oscar nominations (for technical categories) and more impressively earned a WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as SAG Award for Best Stunts. This lifts the expectations, but is this for the best? Does the film truly rise above the action genre? More...

Limited Releases are the Best

2014-05-30

Vi ar bast! poster

It's a mixed bag for limited releases with a number of movies earning weak reviews or that have almost no chance at the box office. There are also some that are good enough to thrive, like Elena - Reviews or Lucky Them - Reviews. But the best movie according to critics is We are the Best! - Reviews. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will the New Releases Die at the Box Office?

2014-05-29

Maleficent poster

The weekend after a long weekend is never the best time of year to release a new movie, but at this point, summer vacation has begun for a lot of people, so both new releases should still have a lot of potential at the box office. Maleficent is the origin story for the villain from Sleeping Beauty. It should earn first place with ease. A Million Ways to Die in the West is the latest from Seth MacFarlane, but it is not earning as much praise as Ted did and its box office chances are not as strong as a result. The box office will certainly be lower than it was last weekend. However, we are more concerned with the comparison with last year. This weekend last year, there were two wide releases, Now You See Me and After Earth, but neither opened with more than $30 million. Granted, Fast and Furious 6 earned $35 million over the weekend, but that's still lower than usual for a number one film during summer weekend. The top three films this weekend should be better than the top three films last weekend, but I think 2014's depth will hurt it in the year-over-year comparison.

More...

Contest: Young Love

2014-05-29

Next weekend, Edge of Tomorrow and The Fault in Our Stars opened wide and while I think the former will start out faster, I think the latter will have the legs to become the bigger hit overall. It is also closer in theme to our prizes, so I'm going with The Fault in Our Stars as 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 The Fault in Our Stars.

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 Endless Love on Blu-ray Combo Pack. 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 copy of Endless Love on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Per Theater Chart: The Full Picture

2014-05-28

Words and Pictures poster

There were only two films in the $10,000 club this weekend. X-Men: Days of Future Past led the way with an average of $22,729 in nearly 4,000 theaters. The only other film was The Dance of Reality with an average of $12,384 in two theaters. However, if one were to include holiday Monday, Words and Pictures would also reach the $10,000 club with an average of $11,544 in ten theaters. More...

Contest: Righting Your Wrongs: Winning Announcement

2014-05-28

The winners of our Righting Your Wrongs contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Looking Forward to the Future

2014-05-28

X-Men: Days of Future Past poster

X-Men: Days of Future Past dominated the international box office chart with $171.08 million in 71 markets for a total opening of $191.00 million. This includes China, where it earned first place with $39.35 million on 6,000 screens. It also earned first place in the U.K. with $15.39 million on 537 screens, while in South Korea it earned $11.78 million on 1,056 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $14.15 million. Mexico contributed $9.39 million on 3,034 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $11.02 million. The film's debut in Russia was very similar with $9.90 million on 2,230 screens. France was right behind with $9.29 million on 620 screens, while in Brazil it pulled in $8.38 million on 507. The film earned $7.80 million on 684 screens in Australia. It struggled a little more in Germany and Spain with $4.03 million on 579 screens and $3.19 million on 650 respectively. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: X-Men Earn Monster Opening, but Overall Box Office Still Down

2014-05-27

X-Men: Days of Future Past poster

X-Men: Days of Future Past easily won the weekend race at the box office earning more than $100 million over the four-day weekend. That's great news and it helped the overall box office grow by 5% to $187 million over the three-day weekend from last week. That's the good news. The bad news the other new release, Blended, bombed and the three-day weekend was down 27% from the same weekend last year. In fact, this year's four-day weekend total of $231 million was 9% lower than last year's three-day total and 26% lower than the four-day weekend from last year. That's a devastating collapse. The only saving grace is last year was a record-breaking Memorial Day long weekend, so a sharp drop-off isn't that unexpected. So far, 2014 has pulled in $3.95 billion, which is 4% more than 2013's running tally of $3.80 billion. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for May 27th, 2014

2014-05-26

While summer time is a great time for theatrical releases, it is a terrible time on the home market. This week, there are nearly no first-run releases, and the one that came out, Endless Love, earned terrible reviews and failed to find an audience in theaters. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of other releases to make up for the lack of first-run releases. There are some catalog releases, like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, which is coming out on Blu-ray. There are also some summer shows coming out on DVD ahead of the premiere of the latest season, like Suits: Season Three. There's not much in the way of contenders for Pick of the Week. Cheap Thrills is one such contender, but I'm still waiting for the DVD or the Blu-ray screener to arrive. This leaves Journey to the West on Blu-ray as the only choice for Pick of the Week. More...

Weekend Estimates: X-Men Joins 2014 $90 Million Club

2014-05-25

X-Men: Days of Future Past poster

Another weekend, another $90 million opener. This time, there’s an asterisk at least, because X-Men: Days of Future Past will “open” with $110 million, thanks to the four day Memorial Day long weekend, giving Fox an arguable claim to the biggest weekend of the year, and the first $100 million debut. The reality, however, is that it will line up in fourth place when comparing 3-day weekends, with Captain America still out in front, thanks to its $95 million opening back in April. May has seen the three other $90 million-plus weekends, with Godzilla second ($93 million) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 third ($91.6 million). More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Journey to the West

2014-05-25

Stephen Chow wrote, directed, and starred in Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer, which are two amazing movies. When I heard he was making another movie, I was super excited. When Journey to the West was released last year, the film made $200 million internationally, which helped lift expectations. (It made less than $20,000 here, but it was playing on Video on Demand as well as in theaters, so this isn't surprising.) Is the film as good as its predecessors? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Featured Blu-ray review: Dan Curtis' Dracula

2014-05-25

Dan Curtis is best know for creating Dark Shadows, a Gothic supernatural soap opera that ran for five years starting in 1966. He also directed a number of other projects, mostly TV projects like a couple of mini-series and TV movies. One such TV movie was Dracula, starring Jack Palance. This TV movie came out 40 years ago this year. How does it compare to other adaptations of Bram Stoker's novel? And has it aged well? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Perry Mason: Movie Collection: Volume 2

2014-05-24

Perry Mason lasted for nine seasons starting in 1957. After nearly two decades off the air, the show returned, this time in the form of a series of TV movies. Volume One came out last December, and unfortunately I wasn't able to get a screener to review. More recently, Volume Two came out, and while the screener arrived late, I finally got to the review. So how do the TV movies compare to the original series? More...

Featured Blu-ray review: How to Train Your Dragon

2014-05-24

How to Train Your Dragon 2 hits theaters in just a few weeks, so the studio is releasing How to Train Your Dragon on a Collector's Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack this week. What's new with the Blu-ray? And is it worth picking up? More...

Contest: Prizes Tailored to You: Winning Announcement

2014-05-23

The winners of our Prizes Tailored to You contest were determined and they are... More...

Contest: Sweet Prizes

2014-05-23

Maleficent poster

Next weekend, Maleficent and A Million Ways to Die in the West both open wide and while I think both will be hits, Maleficent is tracking better than the competition. As such, it is the clear 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 Maleficent.

The prize this week is provided by Mars, the candy company, not the planet, who want to know who you would share your Twix with.

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 TWIX Bites Movie Prize Pack including a $15 gift card for Fandango, as well as two 2.83-ounce sharing size and one 7.0-ounce resealable stand-up pouch. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Talking Pictures

2014-05-23

Words and Pictures poster

It is not a particularly strong week for limited releases. There are a few that are earning good reviews, but almost none are earning good reviews and any buzz. Cold in July is one of the exceptions and its reviews and star power could have resulted in a fast start, but it is also playing on Video on Demand. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will the X-Men Opening be Remembered in the Future

2014-05-22

X-Men: Days of Future Past poster

It is Memorial Day long weekend and the box office is looking strong. X-Men: Days of Future Past should dominate the box office chart and there are some who think it will have the best opening of the year so far. Blended is playing the role of counter-programing this week and should do well in that role opening in third place. Meanwhile, the rest of the top five will be filled with Godzilla, Neighbors, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, all of which should still pull in $10 million or more. By comparison, this weekend last year, there were six films that earned more than $10 million over the four-day weekend, led by Fast and Furious 6, which earned a four-day opening of $117.04 million There are some who think X-Men: Days of Future Past will top that figure. I really hope so. However, even if it does, last year was a record-breaking Memorial Day long weekend and I don't think 2014 will match it. More...

International Box Office: Godzilla Grounds the Competition

2014-05-21

Godzilla poster

Godzilla got off to a milestone start on the international market earning $103.0 million on 16,946 screens in 64 markets during its first weekend of release. It was able to dominate the box office thanks to a string of first place finishes in most of the major markets. Its biggest market was the U.K., where the film pulled in $10.73 million on 550 screens, while Russia was close behind with $8.65 million on 1,814 screens. The film was surprisingly strong in Mexico, pulling in $7.21 million on 2,494 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $8.57 million. It was also strong in Australia with $6.34 million on 498 screens and in France with $5.73 million on 596. The film earned $4.97 million on 584 screens over the weekend in Germany for a total opening in that market of $5.50 million. Brazil was a strong market for Godzilla, as it opened with $4.07 million on 417 screens there. The film's opening in South Korea was nearly the same with $3.65 million on 610 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $4.37 million. Italy was next with $3.55 million on 692 screens. Finally, the film was soft in Spain with an opening of $1.29 million on 427 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $1.55 million, but this was still enough for first place there. Overall, it wasn't as strong internationally as it was domestically, relative to the size of the markets, but it is still on pace to break even before it reaches the home market. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Godzilla Helps 2014 Climb Back on Top

2014-05-20

Godzilla poster

I thought Godzilla would be a monster hit. I mentioned that possibility in the monthly preview and the weekend predictions. However, I was in the minority and I reduced my expectations. That turns out to be a mistake. Godzilla opened with $93.19 million over the weekend, which is a better opening than The Amazing Spider-Man 2 managed, but it wasn't quite up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It also helped the overall box office soar to $178 million, which is 30% more than last weekend. More importantly, it was 16% more than the same weekend last year. 2014 is now ahead of 2013 by a margin of $185 million or 5.3% at $3.66 billion to $3.48 billion. More...

IMAX: Godzilla Growls Loud

2014-05-20

Godzilla poster

Godzilla's weekend haul was very impressive and this includes its IMAX numbers. The film pulled in $14.2 million on 352 IMAX theaters, while internationally it managed $7 million in 187. Up next is Maleficent, which opens at the end of the month. I don't think it will be as big, but it should still be a significant hit on IMAX. More...

Per Theater Chart: Godzilla Chows Down on the Competition

2014-05-20

The Immigrant poster

Godzilla led the way on both the overall box office chart and the per theater box office chart, earning an average of $23,580 in nearly 4,000 theaters. The second best film on the per theater chart was The Immigrant with an average of $14,688 in three theaters. Chinese Puzzle was the final film in the $10,000 club with an average of $11,772 in two theaters. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Grand Piano

2014-05-19

Grand Piano is a thriller that opened in limited release earlier this year. Thrillers rarely do well in limited release and this film proved to be no exception. Despite earning amazing reviews, the film opened below the Mendoza Line and disappeared in a matter of weeks. Granted, it was also playing on Video on Demand, so the theatrical numbers were an after thought. This week, it comes out on the home market, but will those who passed on it in theaters want to check it out now? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for May 20th, 2014

2014-05-19

It's that time of year, the weakest time of year on the home market. This week there are four first-run releases, but only one of them earned overall positive reviews and only one of them did well at the box office. Fortunately, it was the same film, About Last Night. If you are a fan of romantic comedies, then the DVD or Blu-ray is worth picking up, but it is not Pick of the Week material. For Pick of the Week, I went with Nosferatu the Vampyre on Blu-ray. More...

Weekend Estimates: Godzilla Joins $90 Million Club

2014-05-18

Godzilla poster

After a huge start on Friday, estimated at $38.5 million, Godzilla looked as though it might be the first film of 2014 to have a $100 million opening weekend. But the monster movie seems to have run out of energy a little through the weekend, and Warner Bros. is projecting a weekend around $93.2 million, based on figures through Sunday morning. The film’s performance is well ahead of earlier tracking, which pegged its opening around $60 million–$80 million, and impressive for a non-sequel (although clearly Godzilla is a well-established franchise at this point). In fact, it is one of the top 10 non-sequel openers ever (see full list here). More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: 3 Days to Kill

2014-05-18

Kevin Costner practically stopped acting in movies after Swing Vote. After appearing in Man of Steel last summer, he has four films this year. Unfortunately, so far none of them have been box office hits. 3 Days to Kill, for instance, earned just over $30 million at the domestic box office. Is it truly a bad movie? Or was this more of a result of a bad release date? More...

Featured DVD Review: In Secret

2014-05-18

In Secret is a film based on the novel Thérèse Raquin, which was written nearly 150 years ago. The novel has been adopted into a few theatrical releases, a few TV movies, a few TV mini-series, etc. over the years, but it never really became something that entered the mainstream awareness like Pride and Prejudice did. For instance, this version opened well below the Mendoza Line before quickly disappearing from theaters. Is this film as bad as its box office numbers would indicate? Or would it have thrived had it opened in just a few theaters and expanded with its word-of-mouth? More...

Contest: Righting Your Wrongs

2014-05-16

Like this weekend, next weekend there are two wide releases. But unlike this weekend, both should become box office hits. Blended is aiming for $100 million during its entire run, while X-Men: Days of Future Past could earn $100 million during its opening weekend. (That would be over the four-day opening weekend, while we are only concerned with the three-day weekend for this contest.) I think it is the safe 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 X-Men: Days of Future Past. 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 Right Kind of Wrong on Blu-ray, as well as a DVD or Blu-ray I previously reviewed. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win two DVDs or Blu-rays I previously reviewed. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: New Arrivals

2014-05-16

The Immigrant poster

There are a number of films on this week's list that could find audience in theaters, including Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, Chinese Puzzle, The Discoverers, Horses of God, etc. However, if I were to pick just one, it would be The Immigrant. It has amazing reviews and strong buzz. More...

Featured DVD Review: Strawberry Shortcake: Fun Under the Sun

2014-05-16

Strawberry Shortcake has been around for decades and the latest incarnation of franchise has been going strong for a little while now. The latest DVD release, Fun Under the Sun, came out last week but the screener arrived a little late. What is it about? And how does it compare to other DVDs from the franchise? More...

Weekend Predictions: Godzilla will be Huge, but How Huge?

2014-05-15

Godzilla poster

Godzilla is the second of four May releases that at least have a realistic shot at reaching $200 million domestically. The first of these films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 won't match original expectations, but it is still on pace to reach $200 million. It is very unlikely Godzilla will open as fast as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did, but even coming close would be a huge boost to the box office. Million Dollar Arm should have a respectable opening as counter-programming and on the high end it could land in third place. Meanwhile, Neighbors is aiming for $100 million and while it won't get there this weekend, it will get there soon enough. This weekend last year, Star Trek Into Darkness earned first place with $70.17 million over the weekend, which is a figure I think Godzilla will top. If it does, and the holdovers hold on well, then 2014 might end its mini-losing streak earlier than I thought it would. More...

Per Theater Chart: Eat It Up

2014-05-14

Chef poster

It was a good week on the per theater chart with five films in the $10,000 club, led by Chef with an average of $34,160 in six theaters, which is the third best opening average of the year so far. Palo Alto was well back, but was still strong earning an average of $15,865 in four theaters. The overall box office leader, Neighbors, was next with an average of $14,954. There were also a couple of holdovers in the $10,000 club, which is impressive. Ida held on strong earning an average of $12,223 in seven theaters, with room to keep growing. Belle expanded from 4 theaters to 45 theaters, but still managed an average of $10,825. By this time next week, it will have reached its first major milestone, with more to come. More...

Contest: Fine China: Winning Announcement

2014-05-14

The winners of our Fine China contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Spider-man Webs Neighbors

2014-05-14

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 poster

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 remained in first place, but saw its weekend box office haul fall to $71.33 million on 26,694 screens in 91 markets. Its international box office rose to $404.72 million and worldwide it has made $550.93 million. The film will need to make about $200 million to $250 million more at the worldwide box office to break even, which is doable. The film had its first full week in China pulling in $46.45 million over the week for a total of $56.38 million in that market. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Neighbors were Louder than Expected

2014-05-13

Neighbors poster

Neighbors got off to a much faster start than expected, as did many of the top five films. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fell more than 60% during its sophomore stint, but that was expected, at least it was inline with my expectations. Overall, the box office still fell from last weekend, but by 11% to $137 million, which isn't as bad as it could have been. It was down 14% from the same weekend last year, but that's a huge improvement from what it was last weekend, so in a small way, it is a bit of a victory. Year-to-date, 2014 has pulled in $3.45 billion, putting it 5.4% ahead of 2013's pace. That's down from its peak, but even if 2014 loses next weekend and the weekend after that, 2014 should still remain ahead of last year's pace. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for May 13th, 2014

2014-05-13

It's a weird week on the home market. There are more first-run releases on this week's list than last week, as well as some TV on DVD releases and others. That said, it still feels very shallow. Even coming up with a list of ten new releases will include some filler. According to Amazon.com, I, Frankenstein is the biggest selling new release of the week. However, Her is the best new release of the week and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is the Pick of the Week. More...

Featured Blu-ray review: Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

2014-05-12

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron was an early film from DreamWorks Animation. It cost $80 million to make, and likely another $30 million to $40 million to advertise. However, worldwide it barely matched its combined production budget. On the other hand, it earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature film. (Granted, it was a soft year for animated films and only three films earning a Tomatometer Score of 80% positive or better: Spirited Away, Lilo and Stitch, and The Wild Thornberrys. The last one didn't even pick up an Oscar nomination.) It has been more than a decade since so maybe it has gotten better with time. Is that the case? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Featured Blu-ray review: Crocodile Dundee / Crocodile Dundee II

2014-05-12

Before I say anything about this Blu-ray... Crocodile Dundee is a trilogy. It is a trilogy, but they are releasing just the first two films. That's a big slight. The first Crocodile Dundee cost less than $10 million, but it made more than $300 million worldwide in 1986. Just two years later, Crocodile Dundee 2 came out, and while it made nearly $100 million less worldwide, it was still a huge hit. Nearly 30 years later, these two films are coming out on a two-disc Blu-ray set. Has it aged well? Will fans of the films want to pick it up? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Big Bad Wolves

2014-05-11

Big Bad Wolves is an Israeli thriller that came out last year in its native country and earlier this year in America. The buzz was good, as were its reviews, but it opened well below the Mendoza Line and quickly disappeared. Granted, thrillers are not known for success in limited release, but this is still disappointing. Was the film really this bad? Or was it just the wrong genre and should perform better on the home market? More...

Weekend Estimates: Neighbors Tops $50 Million

2014-05-11

Neighbors poster

Comedy triumphs at the box office this weekend, with Neighbors posting an impressive $51 million, according to Universal’s Sunday morning estimate. That’s the 16th-biggest opening ever for a comedy film (depending somewhat on one’s definition of what constitutes a comedy), and comparable to the debut of Ted (which made $54 million in 2012). It’s also easily Seth Rogen’s best weekend, ahead of the $33.5 million debut for The Green Hornet, and Zac Efron’s best, beating High School Musical: Senior Year. More...

Featured DVD Review: Tin Can Man

2014-05-10

Tin Can Man is an ultra-low-budget film from Ireland. It was made in 2007 for a cost of 10,000 Euros, or about $13,000. It recently came out on DVD here. Is it worth checking out? Or does the low budget limit its target audience? More...

Contest: Prizes Tailored to You

2014-05-09

Next weekend there are two wide releases, but the box office will be dominated by Godzilla. (Million Dollar Arm could do well in counter-programming, but its early reviews are merely mixed.) On the high end, Godzilla could earn the highest opening box office of the year so far. Even on the low end, it will double or triple the second place film. Because it will dominate the box office so much, it is really 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 Godzilla. 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 Adventure Time: The Suitor on DVD. Meanwhile, 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 copy of Adventure Time: The Suitor on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: What's Cooking?

2014-05-09

Chef poster

There are a number of limited releases coming out this week that are earning strong buzz and good reviews. Some of the films that have reviews that are strong enough to suggest box office success are Palo Alto and The Double, as well as two documentaries, Fed Up and Llyn Foulkes One Man Band. However, the film with the best combination of buzz and reviews is Chef. More...

IMAX: First Quarter Lacks Big News

2014-05-08

IMAX announced their first quarter 2014 financial numbers, but there wasn't a lot to get excited about. The first quarter is almost always the slowest, unless there's a monster hit released in late December that lasts in theaters for several months. As a result, there's not much to say this time around. Total box office for the first quarter was $138.5 million, which was higher than first quarter of 2013, but by less than $10 million. Interestingly, two-thirds came from international markets. IMAX has been focusing on expanding its international market penetration recently and it is paying off. In fact, IMAX signed contracts for 36 new theaters during the first quarter, 23 of which were in Europe. There are now 840 IMAX systems around the world, including 707 commercial sites. More...

International Box Office: Spider-man's Amazing Weekend Haul

2014-05-08

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 poster

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 saw its weekend box office haul explode with $117.38 million on 30,460 screens in 41 markets for totals of $278.23 million internationally and $369.84 million worldwide. The film opened in first place in Brazil with $11.06 million on 1,139 screens and in second place in France with $11.03 million on 837. It broke the record for biggest Hollywood debut in India with $6.9 million on 1,523 screens. The film also opened in China, on Sunday, with $9.9 million on 11,031 screens, which was a record for an opening Sunday. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Neighbors Have a Good Opening?

2014-05-08

Neighbors poster

It could be an interesting weekend at the box office as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is expected to fall far enough that Neighbors could win the box office race. That certainly would be a boost for the new release's box office chances. Earning first place does provide a lot of free publicity. The other two wide releases coming out this week are not expected to be major players at the box office. I've heard some buzz that Mom's Night Out could be a sleeper hit. On the other hand, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return might not open above the Mendoza Line. This weekend last year, Iron Man 3 led the way with $72.53 million, which is more than all three wide releases will make. In fact, last year's second place film, The Great Gatsby earning $50.09 million, which might be more than all three wide releases make this weekend. On the other hand, depth will be better this time around and that should mitigate the situation a little bit. More...

Per Theater Chart: Belle Has Beautiful Debut

2014-05-07

Belle poster

Belle led the way on the per theater chart with an opening of just over $100,000 in four theaters for an average of $26,645. Meanwhile, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was relatively close behind with an average of $21,186 in more than 4,000 theaters. The only other film in the $10,000 club on the per theater chart was Ida, which made $55,000 in 3 theaters for an average of $18,479. More...

Contest: Too Amazing: Winning Announcement

2014-05-07

The winners of our Too Amazing contest were determined and they are... More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Spidey Strong, but not Amazing

2014-05-06

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 poster

The summer blockbuster season has begun and it started on a mixed note. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 easily earned first place with more than $90 million. An opening of more than $90 million isn't a bad number, but it is the lowest opening three-day weekend for a Friday debut in the franchise. Worse still, the overall box office was just $153 million, which is substantially lower than last year's number one film, Iron Man 3, opened with. $153 million is 32% higher than last weekend, but the start of summer should be bigger than that. It is also 30% lower than the same weekend last year. You usually only see a decline that sharp when there's a misalignment in a holiday weekend. Granted, 2014 is still ahead of 2013 by a large margin (8.6% or $3.26 billion to $3.01 billion) so we don't have to worry about 2014 losing that lead any time soon. This is just not a great way to start the summer blockbuster season. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for May 6th, 2014

2014-05-06

It's a short list this week, because there's almost nothing worth talking about. The best-selling new release according to Amazon is Veronica Mars, while the first page of new releases is dominated by Godzilla titles, and not even good Godzilla titles. There are not a lot of new releases that are contenders for Pick of the Week, but Still Mine on DVD is the best of what is out there. Meanwhile, another Canadian release, Republic of Doyle: Season 1 earns an honorable mention and is the Puck of the Week. More...

Featured Blu-ray review - Amistad

2014-05-05

I don't think it is unfair to call Amistad Oscar-bait. It is a film based on a powerful real life story that came out in theaters in December, right in the heart of Oscar season. However, it didn't live up to expectations, either with critics or at the box office. It did pick up four Oscar nominations, but it failed to convert any of those into wins. Then again, "Not quite good enough for Oscars." is hardly a damning statement. Was the movie hurt by unrealistic expectations? Has it aged well in the years since it came out? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Featured Blu-ray review - The Terminal

2014-05-05

The Terminal came out in 2004, just after Tom Hanks' record-breaking run of seven $100 million hits in a row came to an end. The streak ended with The Ladykillers, but many thought The Terminal would start a new streak. It didn't. Now that it has been ten years since it came out, does it feel like it underperformed at the box office. Or was this never going to be a big hit with moviegoers? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: I Love Lucy: Season One

2014-05-04

I've reviewed a number Lucille Ball TV shows over the years, including The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy. I Love Lucy is still the one remembered the most, and loved the most, by people. It is a true classic. Like The Honeymooners, which I just reviewed, there's little need to go over the show itself and this review will focus more on the Blu-ray and how it compared to the DVD. More...

Featured DVD Review: Separate But Equal

2014-05-04

Sidney Poitier made a number of movies that dealt with race relations over the years, including Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night. He also starred in the TV mini-series Separate But Equal, which is about the landmark segregation decision. Is it as powerful as some of his previous films? And is the DVD worth picking up? More...

Weekend Estimates: Spider-Man Swings into Summer with $92 million

2014-05-04

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 poster

The modern tradition is that first weekend in May starts the Summer season with a super-hero action movie. And Hollywood being the industry that lets no tradition go before it's beaten it to death, this year we start Summer, on the first weekend in May, with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Now, the most amazing fact about the Spider-Man franchise is probably that every movie has done worse at the domestic box office than the one before it, even without adjusting for inflation. This is another tradition that looks like it might continue, with Spider-Man 2 opening with $92 million—without doubt a very good debut, but one that points towards a final box office around $250 million, or perhaps a shade higher. With The Amazing Spider-Man having made $262 million in 2012, a fourth straight decline for the franchise looks like a 50-50 bet right now. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: The Honeymooners "Classic 39" Episodes

2014-05-03

The Honeymooners started as a series of sketches on Cavalcade of Stars before, eventually, becoming a TV series of their own. This series only lasted 39 episodes, now called the "Classic 39". While it didn't last long, it is still considered one of the best TV series of all time and went on to inspire such hits as The Flintstones, Roseanne, and pretty much every other working class family sitcom made since then. It is a classic and it is worth owning, there's no doubt about that. However, it has already been released on DVD, so the real question is whether or not the Blu-ray is worth picking up. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Spidey Swing into Action?

2014-05-02

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 poster

It is the official opening of the summer blockbuster season and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hopes to get the summer off to a fast start. On the positive side, it is the latest installment in one of the most popular comic book franchises. On the negative side, its reviews are below expectations and below the overall positive level. There are no other new releases to pick up the slack should this film fail to live up to lofty expectations at the box office, although The Other Woman should still do well in a counter-programming role. Last year Iron Man 3 dominated the way with $174.14 million during the opening weekend. There's no way The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will match that this weekend. There is a small chance The Amazing Spider-Man 2 won't make that in total. More...

Contest: Fine China

2014-05-02

Next weekend there are three films opening wide, but only one of them, Neighbors, is expected to do well. The other two are expected to bomb and bomb hard. Because of that, there is really only one 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 Neighbors. 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 China Beach: Season 3 on DVD. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win China Beach: Season 3 on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Belles of the Ball

2014-05-02

Belle poster

There are a few limited releases coming out this week that are earning good reviews. Of these, two of them stand out as potential hits. There's Belle, a period piece that deals with interracial romance, as well as slavery. Then there's Ida, which is about a young woman discovering her past. Its reviews are incredible, so I hope moviegoers reward it with strong ticket sales. More...

2014 Preview: May

2014-05-01

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 poster

It has been a great year so far and April was again a strong month. The box office was led by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as it became the second film of the year to reach $200 million, while Rio 2 is on pace to become the seventh $100 million hit of the year. Big picture, 2014 has already hit $3 billion, which isn't a record for this time of the year, but it is $250 million ahead of 2013. That streak ends in May. Don't get me wrong. There are six films opening this month that at least have a shot at $100 million and two of those should earn more than $200 million and there are two others that at least have a shot at that milestone. Leading the way is The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which is looking to top The Winter Soldier and become the second biggest hit of the year so far. Its main competition this month is X-men: Days of Future Past, while Godzilla also has a shot at $200 million. Unfortunately, this month last year, Iron Man 3 earned more than $400 million, while two other films took in $200 million and seven films in total reached the century mark. That is going to be really hard to replicate this year and 2014 will likely lose some of its lead over 2013. Fortunately, 2014 has such a big lead that unless the box office really slumps, it will end the month with at least a small lead over 2013. More...

Per Theater Chart: Most Limited Releases have a Rough Time

2014-04-30

From the Rough poster

It was not a good week on the per theater chart, as only one film topped the $10,000 mark. That film was Locke, which earned an average of $20,252 in four theaters. More...

Contest: Drunk with Power: Winning Announcement

2014-04-30

The winners of our Drunk with Power contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Spider-man Swings into Top Spot

2014-04-30

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 poster

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rose to first place on the international chart with $67.34 million on 14,587 screens for a two-week total of $132.15 million. This week's new openings included South Korea, where the film dominated with $10.84 million on 1,472 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $13.85 million. This is on par with The Amazing Spider-Man. It also earned first place in Russia with $9.34 million on 1,779 screens, which is also about on par with the first film. In Japan, it only managed fourth with $4.11 million on 763 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $5.11 million, which is less than half of the opening of the first film. On the other hand, it was stronger in Italy with $5.71 million on 811 screens over the weekend for a total of $6.58 million. It added $5.66 million on 1,566 screens over the weekend for a total of $27.77 million in the U.K., which again is about on par with The Amazing Spider-Man. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: The Other Woman the Only Other Winner in April

2014-04-29

The Other Woman poster

April ended with a new film on top, The Other Woman, which finally broke Captain America: The Winter Soldier's hold on the box office chart. It was a surprisingly strong hit earning $24.76 million, but the other new releases were not as strong. Brick Mansions only managed fifth place, while The Quiet Ones missed the Mendoza Line. The overall box office was $115 million, which was 13% lower than last weekend. More importantly, this is 25% more than the same weekend last year. 2014 added to its lead over 2013, which now stands at $257 million, or 9.2%. Its running tally is $3.05 billion and summer is just about to start. More...

Featured DVD Review: Gloria

2014-04-28

Gloria is a small film from Chile which came out in limited release this January. It earned near perfect reviews and pulled in $2 million in limited release, which is great for a foreign language film. This week, the DVD comes out. Is it worth checking out? Are there enough extras on the DVD that it is worth picking up? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 29th, 2014

2014-04-28

According to Amazon, the top best selling new release of the week is Space Battleship Yamato on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Huh? This is a live action remake of a 1970s Anime series, and according to Amazon.com, it is the number one selling new release of the week. Either this is an incredibly slow week, or there's something wrong with Amazon.com's algorithm. It's mostly the former. Gloria is easily the best movie on this list, but the reviews on the DVD are weak. Star Trek: Enterprise: Season Four has a lot of extras and the season was arguably the best in the show's short run, but the Blu-ray is expensive and even the best season isn't as good as the average TNG season. I finally got to the review for Knights of Badassdom and I loved the Blu-ray, but I'm not sure there is a wide enough audience for the movie. I was tempted to go with Space Battleship Yamato as Pick of the Week. In the end, I went with Gloria. More...

Weekend Estimates: The Other Woman Averts April Fourpeat for Captain America

2014-04-27

The Other Woman poster

By every measure, April at the box office has been dominated by Captain America: Winter Soldier, but it won't win every weekend this month, thanks to a jaunty $24.7 million debut for The Other Woman. The comedy, headlined by Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton hasn't been a huge hit with critics, but audiences are giving it a solid 70% at Rotten Tomatoes, which is plenty for a comedy (The Heat, by comparison, earns a 72% positive audience score at Rotten Tomatoes, though it started higher). A strong run in theaters certainly seems possible for The Other Woman, given its competition over the next few weeks will mostly come from male-skewing films (Moms' Night Out being the only exception). More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Star Trek: Enterprise: Season Four

2014-04-25

Star Trek: Enterprise ends its home market run this weekend (unless they put out a Blu-ray Megaset or 4K releases in the future). The first two seasons were not well-received by critics, but season three started to show some promise. Can Season Four continue this forward progress? Or is there a good reason it was the last season of this show? More...

Contest: Too Amazing

2014-04-25

Next weekend is the official start of the summer blockbuster season and The Amazing Spider-man 2 is opening and could have the biggest weekend of the year so far. (Walk of Shame is also opening wide, but won't have a major impact at the box office.) There is really only one 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 Amazing Spider-man 2. 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 Labor Day on Blu-ray Combo Pack, as well as a random DVD or Blu-ray that I've previously reviewed. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also two random DVDs or Blu-rays that I've previously reviewed. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Lockedown

2014-04-25

From the Rough poster

It is a busy week for limited releases, but most of the films are earning weak reviews. Several are earning reviews that would be good if they were opening wide, but not good enough to suggest they will thrive in limited release. There are a few of films with truly great reviews, including Blue Ruin, which not only has amazing reviews, but also earned a number of film festival awards. Both Last Passenger and Locke are also earning close to 90% positive reviews, but none of them really feel like limited release hits. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob, You're Fired!

2014-04-25

SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob, You're Fired! is a little different than most SpongeBob SquarePants DVDs. It has more than 3 hours of episodes, starting with... More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed

2014-04-25

Jim Gaffigan has been doing stand-up for more than 20 years and his first CD came out more than a decade ago. His latest TV special is Obsessed, which airs on Sunday before coming out on the home market on Tuesday. More...

International Box Office: Rio 2 Repeats, Spider-man not as Amazing

2014-04-24

Rio 2 poster

Rio 2 remained in first place, barely, with $47.1 million in 65 markets for an international total of $200.9 million and a worldwide total of $276.0 million after a month of release. This includes a second place opening in Italy where it pulled in $2.17 million on 711 screens. This is again weaker than its predecessor's opening there. The film earned $12.05 million in China, but that was for the full week, pushing its total to $25.01 million after two. The first film barely played in China, so this is a boost to its international numbers, but I don't think it will be enough to match what the original movie made. More...

Weekend Predictions: Can Captain America Close Out April On Top?

2014-04-24

The Other Woman poster

The final weekend of April ends with three wide releases. With The Amazing Spider-Man 2 looming large on the horizon, it should come has no surprise that the three wide releases this weekend and not expected to be huge hits. The Other Woman has a shot at first place, but Captain America: The Winter Soldier might block it. On the other hand, I'm fairly sure Brick Mansions and The Quiet Ones can't both fit into the top five. Last year, April ended with Pain and Gain earning first place with just over $20 million. That is likely more than the first place film this year will earn. However, this year has better depth than last year, so I think 2014 will still come out ahead. More...

Per Theater Chart: Fade Sharpens into Focus

2014-04-23

Fading Gigolo poster

Fading Gigolo debuted on top of the per theater chart with an average of $36,160 in five theaters. This is the second best per theater average for a 2014 release behind The Grand Budapest Hotel. Granted, it was well behind that film, but still in second place. Also, given the film's reviews, it won't last very long at the box office. The only other film to reach the $10,000 club was Godzilla: The Original Japanese Version, which celebrated its 60th anniversary with $10,903 in one theater. More...

Contest: Power Through the Competition: Winning Announcement

2014-04-23

The winners of our Power Through the Competition contest were determined and they are... More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Knights of Badassdom

2014-04-23

Knights of Badassdom came out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 1st, so this review is late. In my defense, the screener did arrive late, although to be fair, it didn't arrive that late. The film is clearly aimed at the nerd audience, especially those into RPGs and LARPing. Will it appeal to these fans? Will it have broader appeal? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 22nd, 2014

2014-04-22

According to Amazon, the top three best selling new releases of the week are a play, a film considered one of the biggest box office bombs of all time, and a yoga exercise DVD. Most weeks, these would be filler. This week, they are the top three releases. There's not a lot that jumps out as being worth picking up. Sorcerer's Blu-ray release will interest a lot of people, while the other two contenders for Pick of the Week are Bettie Page Reveals All on Blu-ray and Big Bad Wolves on Blu-ray. Like last week, it came down to a roll of the dice and Bettie Page Reveals All won. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Captain America Reaches Milestone, Transcendence Sinks

2014-04-22

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

Captain America: The Winter Soldier won the weekend box office race with a better than expected result and this helped it reach $200 million. Likewise, Heaven is for Real was surprisingly strong earning second place over the weekend, despite opening on Wednesday. Unfortunately, none of the other new releases lived up to expectations and the overall box office fell 5% to $133 million. This was still 20% higher than the same weekend last year, boosting 2014's lead over 2013 to 8% at $2.92 billion to $2.70 billion. More...

Weekend Estimates: Heaven is for Real Leads Easter Openers

2014-04-20

Heaven is for Real poster

Moviegoers are celebrating Easter weekend by turning out in big numbers to see Heaven is for Real. The Christian-themed movie will be the biggest opener this weekend, with a very respectable $21.5 million projected Friday-to-Sunday and a theater average of $8,895. That puts it at nearly twice box office take of the widest opener this weekend, Transcendence, which is set for a very disappointing $11.15 million debut. Also opening this weekend, and similarly posting mediocre numbers is A Haunted House 2, with a projected $9.1 million from 2,310 theaters. But, with a production budget reported at $4 million, compared to $100 million for Transcendence, the horror spoof shouldn't have a hard time earning money. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Monsters: The Complete Series

2014-04-20

Monsters is a horror anthology show that ran for three seasons and was a sequel of sorts to Tales from the Darkside, which I previously reviewed. The final season of that show was weak, but can this series perform better throughout its three-year run? More...

Featured DVD Review: Barefoot

2014-04-20

Barefoot is an English-language remake of Barfuss a German film. The film earned mixed reviews (both reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are positive, but the critics are not overly enthusiastic with their praise calling it a lightweight and predictable movie). Despite this, it was a hit in its native market earning just over $12 million on a $6.5 million production budget. Barefoot wasn't able to live up to its predecessor at the box office, but is it worth checking out on the home market? More...

Contest: Drunk with Power

2014-04-18

Next weekend is the last weekend of April, which is a bad weekend to release a film, because the summer blockbuster season looms large. Of the three films opening wide, Brick Mansions, The Quiet Ones, and The Other Woman, only The Other Woman has a real shot at becoming even a midlevel hit. It might make more than the other two films will make combined. As such, it is the only real 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 Other Woman. 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 Moonshiners: Season Two on DVD, as well as a random TV on DVD release I've previously reviewed. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win two random TV on DVD releases I've previously reviewed. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Fading Chances

2014-04-18

Trailer Park Boys 3: Don't Legalize It poster

It is a busy week for limited releases, but not a good week. Arguably the best film is Gojira, which is getting a re-release for its 60th anniversary. As for new films, The Final Member and Gabrielle are earning the best reviews. However, I'm most interested in seeing Trailer Park Boys: Don't Legalize It. More...

International Box Office: Rio 2 Rise, Soldier Surges Past Milestones

2014-04-17

Rio 2 poster

Rio 2 raced to first place with $63.5 million on 20,008 screens in 65 markets for a total of $125.6 million after four weeks of release. This includes a first place debut in Mexico, where it earned $8.42 million on 2,627 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $8.97 million. This is about $3 million more than the first film's debut there. It also earned first place in Australia with $2.09 million on 278 screens, although this is weaker than its predecessor. It is still too soon to tell where it will finish internationally, as it has been doing better in some markets, but worse in others, when compared to Rio. That said, I think the studio should be happy overall. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Transcendence Rise Above the Competition?

2014-04-17

Transcendence poster

It's a busy weekend with four wide releases opening this week, but only one of them, Transcendence, has a real shot at opening in first place, but its reviews will likely prevent that. Heaven is for Real is aiming for a midlevel hit, to match its midlevel reviews. A Haunted House 2 hopes to match its predecessor, but it is unlikely to get there. Finally there's Bears, which has the best reviews, but the weakest box office potential. Despite the number of new releases, top spot will likely be a battle between Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2. Family films tend to have better legs, so that could give Rio 2 the edge, but movies also tend to drop the most during their sophomore weekend. (That is unless their theater count collapses shortly afterward.) Last year, Oblivion opened with $37.05 million, which is a figure no film will match this year. On the other hand, 42 was the only other film to earn more than $10 million last weekend. 2014 will lose on the top of the chart, but it also has better depth than 2013 did, so that should help it come out on top in the end. More...

Contest: It's Raining Prizes: Out of Storage

2014-04-16

The winners of our Out of Storage contest were determined and they are... More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 15th, 2014

2014-04-15

It is a busy week on the home market with five films that either opened at least semi-wide or expanded semi-wide. However, unlike last week, there's no monster hit like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug leading the way. In fact, most of the semi-wide or wide releases on this week's list were critical and box office disappointments. Only Philomena did well with critics. Fortunately, it did well enough that it is a contender for Pick of the Week without even considering the extras on the DVD or Blu-ray. There are a few other new releases that are noteworthy, but most of them are catalog Blu-ray releases. These include Touch of Evil on Blu-ray and Double Indemnity on Blu-ray. In the end, I went with Touch of Evil, but I literally had to roll a dice to decide. More...

Per Theater Chart: Only Lovers Left on Top

2014-04-15

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

Only Lovers Left Alive earned top spot on the per theater chart with ease earning an average of $21,997 in four theaters. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the only other film in the $10,000 club as it earned an average of $10,481. More...

Featured DVD Review: Wrong Cops

2014-04-14

Wrong Cops is the latest film from Quentin Dupieux, the director who brought us Rubber, a film about a serial killer tire. I really liked that movie, but I will admit the target audience might be low. Is this movie just as good? Is it more accessible to moviegoers? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Cowgirls N Angels: Dakota's Summer

2014-04-14

Cowgirls 'N Angels 2: Dakota's Summer, or Dakota's Summer, as is it sometimes simply known as, is the second film in the Cowgirls 'N Angels franchise. Although I'm not sure I would call it a true sequel, as there are almost no characters from the first movie in this one. Is the film worth checking out? Is the Blu-ray worth picking up? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Winter Solider Continues Solid Spring

2014-04-14

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

As expected, Captain America: The Winter Soldier took the top spot on the weekend box office chart, but it was a little closer than expected, as the film's sophomore stint was on the low side of predictions. Rio 2 did very well opening with a nearly identical result as its predecessor. Oculus opened well, for a film that cost $5 million to make. It likely won't have good legs, because films of that genre rarely do, but it should break even regardless. Only Draft Day was disappointing. Overall, the box office was able to pull in $140 million over the weekend. This was down 16% from last weekend, but this is still 20% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 has now pulled in $2.73 billion, which is nearly 8% and $200 million more than last year's pace. More...

Weekend Estimates: Winter Soldier Beats Out Rio

2014-04-13

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

When Friday's numbers came in, the consensus was that Rio 2 would take the weekend, but relatively weak Saturday numbers for the debutant, and strength through the weekend for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, means that the final weekend estimates on Sunday morning point towards a win for Marvel's superheroes. Captain America is projected to earn $41.4 million over three days for a domestic total around $159 million after two weekends. That's well ahead of the original's $117 million at this stage in its release, and the film's worldwide box office will better the first film's final global total by the end of the weekend too. Rio 2, meanwhile, will have an opening weekend almost identical to Rio, which is a slight disappointment, but hardly a disaster. More...

Featured DVD Review: Flowers in the Attic

2014-04-13

Flowers in the Attic started out as a book in 1979 and was first turned into a movie in 1987. This movie earned poor reviews, but did okay business at the box office, mainly because of the controversial nature of the book. Earlier this year, the film was released as a TV movie on Lifetime and brought in more than 6 million viewers to the channel, something none of their original movies from 2013 were able to accomplish. On the other hand, Lifetime's original movies don't exactly have a great reputation and there is already one bad movie based on the book, so my expectations are not exactly high. Is this film a good surprise? Or should I have lowered my expectations more? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Nut Job

2014-04-13

The Nut Job opened earlier this year and was a surprise hit more than doubling its production budget domestically. It did so well that a sequel is already in the works. Is this a good movie? Is it merely good enough for a kids movie? Or did it thrive because there wasn't a lot of competition when it opened? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Ride Along

2014-04-13

Ride Along is the second film I'm reviewing this weekend that earned bad reviews that already has a sequel in the works. I'm not surprised it is getting a sequel. After all, it did earn nearly $135 million on just a $25 million production budget, but a big box office doesn't mean high quality. Were the critics right to lambast this film? Or were moviegoers right to check it out in theaters? And if so, is the Blu-ray Combo Pack worth picking up? More...

Limited Releases: Looking for the Perfect Limited Release

2014-04-11

Perfect Sisters poster

This weekend is almost as busy for limited releases as last week, and on the plus side, there are a handful of films that are worth checking out. Only Lovers Left Alive and Joe are both earning great reviews. On the other hand, Only Lovers Left Alive is probably too "Art House" to thrive, while Joe is opening too wide and on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are also limited. Dancing in Jaffa is earning perfect reviews, but documentaries rarely have breakout success. Finally, Disco Singh could be a surprise hit, as it could be on track to break records in its native India. More...

Featured Movie Review: Dry Spell

2014-04-11

Dry Spell is an ultra-low budget film from the same filmmaker that brought us Raymond Did It. This film cost a mere $22,000 to make. It could have cost ten times that and still be considered low budget. So one has to have lowered expectations when it comes to the technical presentation. But on the other hand, if the writing is good, the film should still be entertaining, regardless of the production budget. Is that the case? More...

Weekend Predictions: Can Rio 2 Fly to the Top?

2014-04-10

Rio 2 poster

While Captain America: The Winter Soldier is expected to win the race for first place on the box office chart this weekend, some think it will be rather close with Rio 2 giving it a fight. Draft Day and Oculus will also be in a close race for third place with both films earning in the low teens. Overall, the box office looks a lot stronger than it did last year. Both The Winter Soldier and Rio 2 will crush 42's opening, while Draft Day and Oculus will be close to Scary Movie 5's debut. More...

Contest: Power Through the Competition

2014-04-10

It's a busy week at the box office next week including Bears, A Haunted House, Heaven is for Real, and Transcendence. Only Transcendence has a real shot at first place at the box office. As such, it is the only real 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 Transcendence. 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: The Great Dragon Spirit on DVD. Meanwhile, 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 copy of Power Rangers: Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Contest: It's Raining Prizes: Winning Announcement

2014-04-09

Birds of Paradise poster

The winners of our Winter is Coming contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Winter of Content

2014-04-09

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

Captain America: The Winter Soldier remained in first place on the international chart with $109.8 million in 50 markets for a two week total of $209.4 million internationally and $304.4 million worldwide. The Winter Soldier is already ahead of the first Captain America internationally, and by this time next week, it will have $500 million worldwide, about 30% more than its predecessor's final figure. This week, the film opened in first place in a trio of major markets, led by China where it earned $36.23 million, which is just over $20 million more than the first film finished with in that market. Russia was next with an opening of $7.79 million on 1,685, or $1 million lower than the first film's final tally there. Finally there was Australia, where the film opened with $5.91 million, which is about 20% more than its predecessor opened with. As far as holdovers go, the film added $4.64 million in the U.K. for a total of $18.31 million there, which is already ahead of the first film's total. More...

Per Theater Chart: Under Over Everyone Else

2014-04-08

Under the Skin poster

Under the Skin opened surprisingly well with a per theater average of $33,289 in four theaters. This is the second best opening per theater average for any film released in 2014, well back of The Grand Budapest Hotel's record-breaking debut. The only other film in the $10,000 club was the overall box office leader, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which earned an average of $24,130 in nearly 4,000 theaters. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Winter Soldier Produces a Lot of Heat

2014-04-07

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

So the first weekend of April was amazing. Not only did Game of Thrones set a series record for ratings (and the best for HBO since The Sopranos) but Captain America: The Winter Soldier set the April opening weekend of all time. Its opening was on the high end of expectations, which is great news, and this strength helped the overall box office grow by 19% from last weekend to $167 million. This is also 24% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 now has $2.55 billion, which is 7% more than 2013's running tally of $2.38 billion. More...

Weekend Estimates: Captain America Sets New April Record

2014-04-06

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

The evolution of the Avengers universe is working out very well for Disney. In November, Thor enjoyed a bump from $65 million to $85 million on opening weekend (and an almost $200 million boost in final worldwide box office). Now, Captain American: Winter Soldier is topping the first movie in its sub-franchise by $30 million or so on opening weekend, with a projected total of $96.2 million, compared to $65 million last time around. With excellent reviews, and a better global launch, we could be looking at another $600 million in the bank before this one is finished. Into the bargain, the film will easily be the record weekend in April, comfortably ahead of the $86 million earned by Fast Five back in 2011. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Nurse 3D

2014-04-06

Nurse 3D was shot in 2011 but didn't get a release until earlier this year when it debuted in limited theaters, as well as Video on Demand. That's not a good sign. It did open with strong buzz, especially from genre sites. So will it please horror fans? Or was there a legitimate reason it took so long to come out? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Here's Lucy: The Complete Series

2014-04-06

I previously reviewed several seasons from The Lucy Show, which ended for business rather than ratings reasons. Here's Lucy is a very similar show in tone, if not in terms of characters. It too lasted six seasons before ending its run. (This time ratings did play a significant part in that happening.) All six seasons have been released on DVD in the past, but a couple weeks ago, a full series Megaset was also released. Is the show worth picking up for fans of the Lucille Ball? Is the box set worth the asking price? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 8th, 2014

2014-04-06

It is a busy week on the home market with five wide releases / films that expanded wide among the new releases. This includes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is dominating the chart with four of the top six new releases. Of those four releases, the 3D Combo Pack is the best deal. August: Osage County earned a couple of Oscar nominations, which should help it sell well, but the Blu-ray Combo Pack isn't quite Pick of the Week material. There are some other releases that are definitely worth picking up, for smaller target audiences. I Am Divine on DVD should please fans of the character, but I'm not sure there's enough of them out there to give it Pick of the Week. Finally, Sofia the First: The Floating Palace on DVD is a must have for young girls, and quite a few young boys, but the appeal isn't wide enough justify being a Pick of the Week. In the end, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on 3D Combo Pack is the safest choice. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

2014-04-05

The Paranormal Activity has run for five years. The first film cost just $15,000 to make ($450,000 after post-production) and earned more than $100 million domestically and nearly $200 million worldwide. Obviously the studio started rushing out sequels. Unfortunately, some of the later sequels failed to win over critics and it "struggled" at the box office. (It made $86 million worldwide on a $5 million production budget.) The latest film in the franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, is a spin-off of the original story and the first Paranormal Activity not released around Halloween. In fact, it was released in January, which is normally a dumping ground for films. On the other hand, there have been quite a few horror films to do relatively well early in the year in the past few years. Was this one of those successes? Or was it really dumped into theaters because the studio had no faith in the film? More...

Limited Releases: Afflicting Limited Releases on the Public

2014-04-04

Alan Partridge poster

It is a busy week, not only in terms of quantity, but also quality. There are seven films earning 80% positive reviews or higher (at least when I checked last). Some of these, like Afflicted, probably won't find an audience in theaters, because it is just the wrong genre. Others, like The Unknown Known and Watermark, might do well for the genre, but won't find any real measure of mainstream success. On the other hand, Under the Skin and Alan Partridge might find audiences in theaters. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Power Rangers: Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit

2014-04-04

The last time I reviewed Power Rangers, it was the second volume of the Megaforce series. I wasn't expecting a lot, because most incarnations in this franchise are pretty weak. However, it was a pleasant surprise. Will The Great Dragon Spirit be as good as the previous installment? Or was it only good because my expectations were so low? More...

International Box Office: Winter of Content

2014-04-03

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

Captain America: The Winter Soldier started its international run a week earlier than its domestic run and it started out really well. It earned first place with $75.2 million in 32 markets. This includes a number of major markets, led by the U.K. with $10.05 million on 535 screens. By comparison, the first Captain America made $14.75 million in the U.K., in total, including a $4.90 million start. It also cracked $10 million in South Korea with $8.89 million on 1,268 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $10.99 million. The first film made $3.81 million in South Korea in total. The Winter Soldier also opened in Mexico, earning $8.60 million on 2,681, which was a little bit above its predecessor opening. It is too soon to tell if it will reach $20 million, like The First Avenger did. The first film made $10.28 million in France in total, while this film opened with $6.06 million on 664 screens. In Germany, the film only managed $3.66 million on 626 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.99 million, compared to $4.81 million the original made in total. It had a near identical opening in Italy with $3.60 million on 648 screens over the weekend, for a total opening of $4.06 million. This is close to half of the $8.60 million the first film made in total in that market. On the other hand, the film had to settle for second place in Spain with $2.93 million in 709 screens, which is just a little bit more than the $2.54 million the original opened with. As you can tell, The Winter Soldier topped The First Avenger's opening in every major market. It topped its predecessor's total in one major market. This is an amazing start and with several major markets left ahead of it, an international total of $300 million is a reasonable goal. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Captain America Freeze Out the Competition?

2014-04-03

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

It is the first weekend in April, which means one thing... Game of Thrones returns! Also, Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens domestically. The film already opened internationally and was a much bigger hit than its predecessor was in the markets it debuted in, which bodes well for its opening here. On the other hand, it scared away all other films and there's no competition opening in wide release and it could take a real bite out of the holdovers. That said, this weekend last year, the biggest hit of the weekend was Evil Dead, which only made $25.78 million and The Winter Soldier could earn four times that over the weekend. More...

Contest: Out of Storage

2014-04-03

Next weekend there are three wide releases, but only Rio 2 is expected to make a lot of noise at the box office. (Personally, I'm more interested in seeing Oculus.) It might not earn first place, because Captain America: The Winter Soldier could repeat as box office champion. However, it is the only real 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 Rio 2. 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 Flowers in the Attic on DVD. Meanwhile, 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 copy of Flowers in the Attic on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Contest: It's Raining Prizes: Winning Announcement

2014-04-02

The winners of our It's Raining Prizes contest were determined and they are... More...

2014 Preview: April

2014-04-01

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

March was stronger than expected when compared to 2013 with four films earning $100 million or more, led by Divergent. (Not all of them have gotten there yet, but they are certain to reach that milestone before they are done their box office runs.) It wasn't a blow-out victory, on the other hand, as a few weekends the ticket sales were lower in 2014 than they were during the same weekend in 2013. April looks really strong with Captain America: The Winter Soldier leading the way. This film should top $200 million over the weekend, while it isn't the only film that should crack the century mark, as Rio 2 is also on track for $100 million. This is great news, as no film last April reached $100 million. Granted, 42 came close and Oblivion wasn't far behind, but The Winter Soldier should earn more than those two films earned combined giving 2014 a comfortable lead over 2013 over the full month. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Noah Sails to the Top, but Box Office Sinks

2014-04-01

Noah poster

March is over and it ended on a bit of a down note. Noah topped expectations, but not every film managed to do the same. For instance, Sabotage barely avoided the Mendoza Line. Overall the box office was down less than $1 million, or 0.7%, when compared to last weekend. Compared to last year, the box office was down 5%, which isn't great, but given how strong 2014 has been, it is hardly a reason to panic. In fact, year-to-date, 2014 has a 6% lead over 2013 at $2.35 billion to $2.22 billion. More...

Per Theater Chart: Mistakes Paid Dividends, while Raid Rules

2014-04-01

Mistaken for Strangers poster

It was a close race, but The Raid 2 took top spot on the per theater chart with an average of $23,613 in seven theaters. Finding Vivian Maier was right behind with an average of $21,200 in three theaters. The overall number one film, Noah, was the only other film in the $10,000 club, earning an average of $12,257. More...

Analysis: March Bankability and the Top Dramatic Actors

2014-04-01

In the March update to our Bankability Index, our list of industry influencers increases to 14 people and we examine the top actors and actresses in dramatic roles in movies.

Overall, March's chart reflects the relatively modest start to the year at the box office. Samuel L. Jackson moves back into second place in the overall chart thanks to his appearance in RoboCop, Hans Zimmer was helped by his composing for Winter's Tale and Son of God (and will be further helped in April's chart through his involvement in Divergent–does the man ever sleep?). Leonardo DiCaprio continues to benefit from his producing roles in The Wolf of Wall Street, Out of the Furnace and Runner Runner. Finally, Frozen helps John Lasseter solidify his 11th place in the chart.

This month's new entry is Morgan Freeman, who got a very handy boost from his voice role in The LEGO Movie, and was also helped by some work we did on our archive of credits. That combination takes him to 14th on the Worldwide Chart, up 3 places from February.

All this activity has kept us pretty busy, but it's our new Bankability feature that really kept us burning the midnight oil this month: The Bankability Index Casting and Hiring Guides... More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Pirate Fairy

2014-03-31

The Tinker Bell franchise began in 2008 and while they've never received a full theatrical release domestically, they've become huge hits on the home market. The latest installment is The Pirate Fairy, which is the fifth film released in six years. Has the franchise finally run out of stream? Or is this film just as entertaining as the past ones? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for April 1st, 2014

2014-03-31

The home market isn't terrible this week and there are a couple of releases on top that could sell well. However, it is not a very deep week and even the second page of the new releases over on Amazon.com has some releases I would call filler. Anchorman: The Legend Continues on 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack is the best-selling new release of the week and it is arguably the best as well. The Pirate Fairy on Blu-ray Combo Pack is the second best-selling new release of the week and also a contender for Pick of the Week. Meanwhile, I'm really looking forward to seeing Knights of Badassdom but the Blu-ray Combo Pack is still on its way. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Anchorman: The Legend Continues

2014-03-30

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy came out in theaters nearly a decade ago. It earned good reviews and did well at the box office managing nearly $90 million worldwide on a $25 million budget. However, it became a classic on the home market and many think it is among Will Ferrell's best movies. Rumors of a sequel persisted for quite a while before Anchorman: The Legend Continues finally came out. It earned better reviews and nearly doubled the first film's numbers at the worldwide box office. Is this because the quality is also better? Or did it unduly benefit from nearly ten years of demand? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Due South: The Complete Series

2014-03-29

Due South started in 1994 and was a rare beast. It was a Canadian TV movie that debuted on American TV, as well as up here in Canada. The TV movie was a hit and it was turned into a series. However, while the ratings started out well, the American network kept moving it about the schedule and soon it was no longer pulling in the numbers needed to thrive and it was canceled in America and sadly mostly forgotten. Echo Bridge Home Entertainment has the rights to the show and recently re-released The Complete Series on DVD. Is it worth picking up for fans of the show? Will those who never saw it originally enjoy it? More...

Contest: Winter is Coming

2014-03-28

Birds of Paradise poster

Next weekend is the first weekend in April, which can only mean one thing... Game of Thrones returns. ... Also, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is opening wide. In fact, it is the only wide release of the week, so 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 Captain America: The Winter Soldier. 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 Birds of Paradise on DVD, which is a Walmart Exclusive this week. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win Birds of Paradise on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: No Mistake

2014-03-28

Mistaken for Strangers poster

It's quite a good week for limited releases, as there are several that are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Finding Vivian Maier, Hide Your Smiling Faces, and Mistaken for Strangers are all earning excellent reviews. The Raid 2 is also earning excellent reviews, but it also possesses the buzz needed to thrive in limited release. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Noah Wash Away the Competition?

2014-03-27

Noah poster

The final weekend in March is a busy one with two wide releases, possibly two wide expansions, and a semi-wide release that could reach the top ten. Noah is the wider of the two wide releases and should have little trouble earning first place over the weekend. On the other hand, there is a chance Sabotage won't reach the top five. Both Bad Words and The Grand Budapest Hotel are expanding wide, or widish. The Grand Budapest Hotel should pop into the top five, but not everyone thinks Bad Words will reach the top ten. Finally, Cesar Chavez is opening in more than 600 theaters and there is a chance it will reach the top ten. This weekend last year was led by G.I. Joe: Retaliation with just over $40 million. Noah could get there, but even if it does, I don't think the other films will hold their end of the bargain and 2014 will finally lose in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Contest: Converge on the Winner: Winning Announcement

2014-03-26

The winners of our Converge on the Winner contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Speed Races Around the World

2014-03-26

Need for Speed poster

Need for Speed remained in first place on the international chart with $29.2 million in 55 markets for a two-week total of $96.1 million. This includes $10.5 million over the weekend in China, and $24.22 million for the full week. After two weeks of release, the film has $45.54 million in that one market. The film opened in first place in Germany with $2.91 million on 455 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.06 million. The film opens in Spain and France, among other markets, in April, while by the time it debuts in Japan, it might have covered its production budget internationally. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for March 25th, 2014

2014-03-25

It is a good, but very shallow week on the home market. The Wolf of Wall Street is leading the pack, with the Blu-ray Combo Pack earning first place and DVD earning second. This is a $100 million hit and a multi-Oscar nominee, so it is not surprising it is earning the top two spots. On the other hand, third place currently belongs to Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! on DVD. That's a real sign that it is a shallow week. That's not to say some of the smaller releases are not worth picking up. Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIX is certainly a contender for Pick of the Week, but in the end I went with The Wolf of Wall Street. On a side note, Continuum: Season 2 on Blu-ray earned the Puck of the Week, for Best Canadian Release. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Divergent Results

2014-03-25

Divergent poster

This weekend, there were two new wide releases at the box office. One was a big hit and the other struggled. Also, one was a hit with critics and one was not. Sadly, the critical miss was a box office hit with Divergent earning more than $50 million while Muppets Most Wanted failed to reach $20 million. Overall, the total box office this weekend was $141 million, which is 24% more than last weekend. It is also more than the same weekend last year, but by less than 2%. Year-to-date, 2014 is 8% ahead of 2013 at $2.16 billion to $2.01 billion. More...

Per Theater Chart: Thrills are Not Cheap But Grand Still Rules

2014-03-25

Cheap Thrills poster

The Grand Budapest Hotel expanded once again, but still managed to lead the way on the per theater chart with an average of $22,329 in 304 theaters. The overall number one film, Divergent, was in second place on the per theater chart with an average of $13,874. Rob the Mob was right behind with $13,833 in its lone theater. Jodorowsky's Dune opened in three theaters earning an average of $12,006. God's Not Dead was the big surprise of the weekend with an average of $11,852 in 780 theaters. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Welcome to the Jungle

2014-03-24

Welcome to the Jungle is a comedy that opened in limited release with weak reviews. When it hit theaters, it failed to find an audience. Now it is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray. Does it deserve a second chance on the home market? Or is there a reason it failed to entice moviegoers? More...

Featured DVD Review: The Punk Singer

2014-03-24

The Punk Singer was made in 2010 and focuses on Kathleen Hanna, who is not only a punk singer, but a lot more and helped influence a movement. At least she did till she left the spotlight in 2005. Do we get enough insights into her work? And will the documentary appeal to a wider audience? More...

Oscar Contest: Winners Announcement

2014-03-24

The Numbers Oscar Contest once again proved to be uncannily accurate at predicting Oscar winners this year, with no less than 21 of the top vote-getters in the contest going on to win the Oscar on the night. That includes all the major awards, including Best Picture 12 Years a Slave, and Best Animated Feature, Frozen. Those correct predictions bring our tallies to 14 out of 17 for Best Picture and 11 out of 13 for Best Animated Feature, for an average of over 80%.

The only categories where entrants in the contest missed the winner were Best Documentary Feature, where The Act of Killing lost out to 20 Feet From Stardom, and two of the short categories (always the hardest to predict): Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short.

With the consensus of contest participants being so close to the actual winners, the winners had to score incredibly highly. In fact, five people scored 23 out of 24 Oscar winners correctly, meaning that we needed to go to the tie-breaker to determine the winners. These are the people who came out on top: More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Book Thief

2014-03-23

I don't think it is unfair to call The Book Thief Oscar-bait. It's a costume drama that deals with the Holocaust, albeit indirectly. Unfortunately, its reviews were mixed, to be kind, so becoming an Awards Season player was out of the question. It did pick up a few nominations here and there, mostly for the score, but also a few for Sophie Nelisse's performance. In the end, it earned more than $20 million, which is amazing for a film that started in limited release. So were critics right in giving the film mixed reviews? Or is there a reason so many people saw it in theaters? More...

Weekend Estimates: Diverse Winners at the Box Office

2014-03-23

Divergent poster

Once more, the Summit division of Lionsgate is showing the rest of the industry how to successfully bring a Young Adult novel to the screen, with Divergent delivering an impressive $56 million on its opening weekend. While that's a long, long way short of the $152.5 million posted by The Hunger Games on its debut, it is in the same ballpark as the $69.6 million enjoyed by Twilight when it came out in 2008, in spite of being from a book with a smaller fanbase. It's also the second-biggest weekend of the year so far after The LEGO Movie, and bodes well for an impressive final tally, and sequels to come.

But that's not the only piece of good news on a weekend where the theme is diversity. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

2014-03-23

The Wolf of Wall Street is the latest film from Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio. Not surprisingly, it was considered an Awards Season favorite from the time it was announced. The last time Martin Scorsese directed a movie that didn't earn at least overall positive reviews was Boxcar Bertha back in 1972, which is so long ago that we don't even have it in our database. That's a winning streak that is probably second to none. Since the year 2000, he has released six movies (not counting documentaries) and five of those six have earned multiple Oscar nominations. Combined, they have earned 14 Oscar wins. On the other hand, this film earned weaker reviews than expected and was shut out on Oscar night. So is this film weaker than than average for his recent work? Or has he simply made so many great movies that the expectations are just too high? More...

Contest: It's Raining Prizes

2014-03-21

Noah poster

Noah opens next week and it could be a massive hit, or it might be an expensive flop. The film reportedly cost $160 million to make, so the studio will be pushing it hard. However, the buzz is mixed, at best. That said, it should crush the only other wide release of the week, Sabotage, which feels like an afterthought. There's a clear 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 Noah. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win the first Frankenprize of the week, which I'm expanding. You can choose between three DVDs / Blu-rays, four TV on DVD releases, or six single-disc TV on DVD releases, usually kid's movies. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win the second Frankenprize. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Thrilling or Just Cheap?

2014-03-21

Cheap Thrills poster

There are quite a few limited releases this week, including Nymphomaniac: Volume 1, which is earning the loudest buzz. Its reviews are great, but not as strong as the buzz, plus it has been playing on Video on Demand. The best reviews go to Cheap Thrills (Reviews) and Jodorowsky's Dune (Reviews). Hopefully both films will find an audience this weekend, but limited release is a rough go even with the best reviews. More...

International Box Office: Speed Races Around the World

2014-03-20

Need for Speed poster

Need for Speed performed a lot better internationally than it did domestically earning first place with $45.6 million in 40 markets. Unfortunately, $21.09 million was earned during its opening weekend in China. I say unfortunately, because studios only get about 20% of the box office haul in that market, compared to 40% in most other international markets and 60% domestically. It also earned first place in Russia with $5.84 million on 1,050 screens and in the U.K., with $3.35 million on 469. The surprise result came in Malaysia where it earned $1.89 million on 184 screens. On the other hand, the film had a trio of third place debuts in Australia ($1.38 million on 457 screens); Brazil ($1.29 on 335); and Italy ($1.07 million on 426). The film opens in Germany this weekend, while it doesn't open in Japan till June. It likely topped its production budget worldwide by Monday, so as long as its legs are not really short, it should break even sometime on the home market. More...

Weekend Predictions: Divergent Opinions on the New Releases

2014-03-20

Divergent poster

Another week, another pair of wide releases. That's becoming a common thing to say. It is also a good thing to say, because too many movies tend to hurt all films involved and it is much better to have one big release and the counter-programing film. This week the big release is Divergent, which the studio is hoping will be the start of a new franchise. The box office tracking for the film looks good, even if the reviews do not. The counter-programing this week is Muppets Most Wanted, which is also opening with a saturation level theater count and it looks to do as well as The Muppets did. Last year there was also a strong one-two punch with The Croods topping Olympus has Fallen $43.64 million to $30.37 million. I'm not sure that Muppets Most Wanted will hold up its end of the bargain, but Divergent is poised for an opening of at least $50 million. It looks likes 2014 will again win over 2013. More...

Per Theater Chart: Grand Still the Grandest of Them All

2014-03-19

The Grand Budapest Hotel poster

Despite expanding from 4 to 66 theaters, The Grand Budapest Hotel held on well enough to lead the per theater chart with ease. In fact, its average of $55,122 was the second best per theater average for the year, behind only its opening weekend. Bad Words came in second place with an average of $18,884 in six theaters. This is a good opening, but not one that suggests it could naturally expand wide. Fortunately, the film already has a wide release scheduled and as the ad campaign for the wide release ramps up, it should at least become a midlevel hit when compared to its production budget. Enemy was right behind with an estimated $18,000 in its lone theater. Le Week-End was the final film in the $10,000 club as it earned an average of $14,536 in three theaters during its opening weekend of release. More...

Contest: Speed It Up: Winning Announcement

2014-03-19

Need for Speed poster

The winner of our Speed It Up contest was determined and it is... More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Peabody and Sherman Travel to the Top

2014-03-18

Mr. Peabody & Sherman poster

The weekend box office didn't shake out as expected with the new films failing to live up to the low end of predictions. Need for Speed didn't earn first place, in fact, it only managed third place. Tyler Perry's Single Mothers Club barely managed fifth place and was the worst opening for Tyler Perry in his directing career. On the positive side, Mr. Peabody and Sherman held on better than expected allowing it to rise to first place. The overall box office sank compared to last weekend, down 21% to $114 million. This is still above last year's box office total by 6%. Year-to-date, 2014 has pulled in almost $2.00 billion, which is 11% ahead of 2013's pace. More...

Featured Blu-ray review - The Jungle Book 2

2014-03-17

I previously reviewed The Jungle Book 2 back when it came out on DVD in 2008. At the time I considered it an unnecessary sequel. Has my opinion changed? Does the film film shine on Blu-ray? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Here Comes the Devil

2014-03-17

Here Comes the Devil is a Mexican horror film that opened last year in limited release. Horror movies rarely do well in limited release, and worse still, this one was saddled with weak reviews. Needless to say, the film struggled in theaters. Does it deserve a second chance on the home market? Or were moviegoers smart to give this film a pass the first time around? More...

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

2014-03-17

It's a good week / bad week on the home market. The good news is there are four films coming out this week that earned some level of Awards Season buzz. The bad news... there are four films coming out this week that earned some level of Awards Season buzz and they scared away the competition. Two of those four films are strong enough to be contenders for Pick of the Week, Frozen on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack and American Hustle on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for the screeners for both of those movies, so I'm not sure which of those two is the Pick of the Week. Fortunately, the screener for 12 Years a Slave arrived and the Blu-ray is Pick of the Week material. More...

Featured DVD Review: The Horror at 37,000 Feet

2014-03-16

The Horror at 37,000 Feet is a TV movie starring, among others, William Shatner as an ex-priest on a plane that is attacked by an ancient demon. There's no way this movie will be good, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. But will it be entertaining? More...

Weekend Estimates: Peabody Beats Out Action Trio

2014-03-16

Mr. Peabody & Sherman poster

An over-abundance of action movies this weekend split the market for moviegoers looking for such entertainment, allowing the animated family adventure Mr. Peabody and Sherman to sneak in and win the weekend. Peabody will be down a decent 34% from last weekend at $21.2 million, according to Fox, and will hit $63 million by the end of the weekend. Its legs will take it past 300: Rise of an Empire, which will be down 58% to $19.1 million for the weekend, and $78.4 million after two. Both films will top new release Need for Speed. Disney's debutant will post around $17.8 million for the weekend, a number undoubtedly squeezed by competition with 300 and Non-Stop, which will post $10.6 million in its third weekend, for $68.8 million in total. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Doc McStuffins: Mobile Clinic

2014-03-16

This is the third Doc McStuffins DVD I've gotten the chance to review. I've enjoyed the other two and I think they are above the usual offerings for preschool kids. What episodes are on Mobile Clinic? And is the overall value still strong? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: 12 Years a Slave

2014-03-15

12 Years a Slave recently won the Best Picture Oscar. This creates huge expectations. I am a little worried the expectations are so great the film will be weak by comparison. Is that the case? Or is the film really as good as its reviews and accolades would indicate? More...

Weekend Predictions: Will 2014 Keep Speeding Along?

2014-03-14

Need for Speed poster

Another week, another pair of wide releases. This time around, Need for Speed is competing with Tyler Perry's Single Mothers Club. Neither film is expected to be a huge hit, but Need for Speed has a better chance at earning first place. 300: Rise of an Empire does have a shot at repeating on top, but it could also collapse due to mixed reviews and direct competition. Last year, the box office was led by Oz the Great and Powerful with $41.25 million during its second weekend of release. No single film is going to come close to that figure this weekend. On the other hand, 2014 has better depth than 2013 had, so it could still come out on top. More...

Contest: Converge on the Winner

2014-03-14

Next week should be the biggest weekend of the month with Divergent debuting. A lot of box office analysts think the film will be the biggest hit of the month, including myself. Muppets Most Wanted is also opening wide, and while I really, really, really want it to be a big hit, it has no realistic chance to open in first place. There's a clear 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 Divergent. 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 12 Years a Slave on Blu-ray. Meanwhile, 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 copy of 12 Years a Slave on Blu-ray. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Will Bad Words bring Good News?

2014-03-14

Bad Words poster

There could be as many as two-dozen limited releases opening this week, which is insane. That's so many that I'm going to have to limit the ones I talk about to those that I can easily find release dates and / or theater listings for on official sites. (I should really do this every week, because too many times I talk about a film opening in limited release, only to never hear about the movie again.) The competition is overwhelming, but there are a few that rise above the crowd. Veronica Mars is opening wider than any other film and its reviews are pretty good. On the other hand, it is also playing on Video on Demand, so its box office numbers might be really weak. Bad Words is only opening in six theaters tonight, but since it already has a wide expansion planned for the 28th, one could say it is the biggest release of the week. There are several other films on this week's list that could find an audience (Enemy, Exposed, On My Way, etc.) but the competition will likely prove to be too much. More...

International Box Office: Empire Conquers the World

2014-03-13

300: Rise of an Empire poster

300: Rise of an Empire dominated the international box office earning first place with $87.8 million on 14,478 screens in 58 markets during its opening weekend of release. The film earned first place in Russia with $8.43 million on 1,441 screens. It only managed second place in France, but with a still strong $6.08 million on 454 screens. It also had a string of first place finishes in a number of other major markets, including South Korea where it made $5.49 million on 720 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $6.42 million. Brazil was next with an opening of $5.64 million on 869 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $5.92 million, while Mexico was close behind with $5.47 million on 2,048. Germany took in $4.75 million on 580 screens over the weekend for a very healthy debut of $5.23 million. The U.K. earned a similar result with $4.62 million on 487, but that is one of the weaker results given the size of the market. Other major markets include Spain ($3.69 million on 710 screens); Italy ($3.33 million on 580); and Australia ($2.91 million on 467). The film has yet to open in China and Japan, but given its start in these markets, it hardly matters how well in does in those. More...

Per Theater Chart: Grand, Grandeur, Grandest

2014-03-12

The Grand Budapest Hotel poster

The Grand Budapest Hotel led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $202,792 in four theaters. This is the best per theater average this year and the best per theater average since Frozen's debut last year. It is also the best per theater average for a live action film of all time, beating The Master's old record of $147,262 in five theaters set in 2012. The film will clearly expand wide enough to earn a significant measure of mainstream success, if it doesn't expand truly wide. Particle Fever was next with an average of $14,323 in three theaters over the weekend, while its total since Wednesday is $49,869. The only wide release to top $10,000 on the per theater chart was 300: Rise of an Empire, which earned an average of $13,006. Interior. Leather Bar. was a surprise entrant in the $10,000 club earning $10,902 in one theater. More...

Contest: Travel Back in Time: Winning Announcement

2014-03-12

The winners of our Travel Back in Time contest were determined and they are... More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: 2014 Rises Thanks to Empire and Peabody

2014-03-11

300: Rise of an Empire poster

The box office weekend was a little stronger than expected with 300: Rise of an Empire earning $45 million while Mr. Peabody and Sherman earned $32 million. Overall the box office pulled in $143 million, which was 17% more than last weekend. It was also 2% more than the same weekend last year. Granted, that's not a lot. In fact, it is probably less than ticket price inflation. Then again, any win, even a close win, is amazing since we were up against Oz the Great and Powerful's massive opening last year. Year-to-date, 2014 has amassed $1.84 billion, putting it 11% ahead of 2013, which had earned $1.65 million by this point in the year. It won't be long till 2014 hits $2 billion and there are some pretty big hits coming out this summer to look forward to. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Beyond Outrage

2014-03-10

Beyond Outrage is the latest film from Takeshi Kitano, who has made some great films in the past, like The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi. It is also a sequel to Outrage, which earned overwhelmingly positive reviews. Can this film live up to its predecessor? Or should fans of the genre stick to the earlier work? More...

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

2014-03-10

If you look over at Amazon.com, the best-selling new release of the week is The Book Thief. This film made just over $20 million at the box office, which is amazing for a limited release. However, it is still a limited release on top of the new releases. That tells you how slow this week is on the home market. Fortunately, last Friday The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack and I'm including it on this week's list as well. There are a number of other releases that are worth picking up, including The Patience Stone on DVD, In Fear on DVD, and Inside Llewyn Davis on Blu-ray. However, while there is some competition, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Blu-ray Combo Pack is the Pick of the Week. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Big History

2014-03-09

Please don't suck. Please don't suck. Please don't suck. I've been burned by a number of History Channel shows in the past. Some are quite good, like How the Earth was Made, but others that I had high hopes for didn't live up to expectations. (And that's not counting the complete crap on the network, like the shows that deal with ghosts, aliens, or preppies pretending to be hicks.) I hope Big History is one of the better shows and the setup sounds intriguing. Does it live up to its promise? Or was I burned again? More...

Weekend Estimates: 300 and Peabody in Shadow of Budapest Hotel

2014-03-09

The Grand Budapest Hotel poster

Two movies with very different audiences top this weekend's box office chart, according to studio estimates released on Sunday morning, but the really eye-popping numbers are to be found lower down the rankings. 300: Rise of an Empire leads the charge with a very solid $45 million or so from 3,470 theaters. While that's a long way behind the $70.9 million earned by 300 on its opening weekend, it's an impressive showing for a film that hasn't been earning particularly strong reviews and doesn't share much of the cast, nor the director, from the original movie. In second place, Mr. Peabody & Sherman will land at around $32.5 million for Fox. Playing in 3,934 theaters, the family animated adventure will have a decent $8,361 theater average, and its legs over the next few weeks will be closely watched -- it'll need them for any chance of a sequel.

The main story for the weekend, however, lies lower in the chart. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutagen Mayhem

2014-03-09

The latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series started in 2012. After the 1987 cartoon ended in 1996, there have been a number of attempts to reboot the franchise on TV as well as in theaters. Not all of them worked. (The less said about the Saban series, the better.) Can the latest series thrive where some of the others have failed? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Out of the Furnace

2014-03-09

Out of the Furnace came out the weekend after Thanksgiving, which is a dead zone at the box office. Despite being in the heart of the winter holidays (Thanksgiving through New Year's Day) the weekend after Thanksgiving is often times among the worst weekend of the year for wide releases. That was certainly the case in 2013 and Out of the Furnace was part of the problem. Is it as bad as its box office numbers would indicate? Or did it fail to find an audience in part because of the release date? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

2014-03-07

The Hunger Games came out in 2012 with high expectations. Many thought it was going to be a good movie and do very well, especially for a spring time release. Instead, it broke records, including best mid-night screening for a non-sequel, biggest March weekend, biggest weekend for a non-sequel, etc. And thanks to its high quality, it had better than expected legs. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out last fall and earned even more money at the box office. Is it as good as its predecessor? Or can it be even better? More...

Limited Releases are Looking Grand

2014-03-07

The Grand Budapest Hotel poster

This week the list of limited releases includes The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is earning amazing buzz and arguably better reviews. It will likely dominate the per theater chart so much so that the rest of the films might suffer as as result. This would be too bad, because there are several other films that deserve to find an audience. Grand Piano and In Fear are both earning great reviews, but as horror films playing on Video on Demand, their box office numbers will be nothing more than an afterthought. There are also a couple of comedies I'm interested in seeing, Journey To The West and No Clue, although the latter is only playing in Canada. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Bubble Guppies: Animals Everywhere!

2014-03-07

The latest Bubble Guppies DVD to find its way to my desk is Animals Everywhere!. What episodes are found on the DVD? Are there any extras? And is the overall value worth the asking price? More...

Featured Blu-ray review - Samson and Delilah

2014-03-07

This will be a short review. Samson and Delilah made its DVD debut less than a year a ago and I reviewed it then. This week, it makes its Blu-ray debut. My opinion of the movie hasn't changed since then, but how does the Blu-ray look and sound compared to the DVD? More...

Weekend Predictions: Greeks and Persians vs. Peabody and Sherman

2014-03-06

Mr. Peabody & Sherman poster

There are two wide releases this week, 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Mr. Peabody and Sherman is opening in nearly 4,000 theaters and is earning better reviews, but 300: Rise of an Empire will likely open faster at the box office. The three holdovers in the top five, Non-Stop, Son of God, and The LEGO Movie, should also do well earning more than $10 million each over the weekend, so overall the box office should be strong. Unfortunately, this weekend last year, Oz the Great and Powerful earned just shy of $80 million over the weekend. There's no way either new release will match that. In fact, it is likely both new releases combined won't match that. 2014's winning streak will end, but not to panic, it still has a large lead and while March doesn't look great, April should be better. More...

Contest: Speed it Up

2014-03-06

Need for Speed poster
Next week there are two wide releases, Need for Speed and Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club. Neither film is expected to be a major hit, but Need for Speed will likely start faster, and might even have better legs. It is a close call, but it is 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 Need for Speed. We have a first when it comes to prizes... Food. Snickers is giving a prize pack that includes $15 of tickets from Fandango, as well as five Snickers bars.

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

Per Theater Chart: Wind Rises to the Top

2014-03-05

Ernest & Celestine poster

There were three films in the $10,000 club this past weekend, two that were not a surprise, but one that was a huge surprise. Leading the way was The Lunchbox with an average of $14,847 in three theaters. This film earned 94% positive reviews. Likewise, Ernest & Celestine earned 100% positive reviews, so its start of $13,078 in one theater is also to be expected. In between those two films was The Bag Man, which earned an average of $14,616 in two theaters, but only managed 9% positive reviews. More...

Contest: Don't Not Stop: Winning Announcement

2014-03-05

The winner of our Don't Not Stop contest was determined and it is... More...

International Box Office: RoboCop Rises to the Top

2014-03-05

Robocop poster

RoboCop debuted in China this past weekend and that helped it climb into first place internationally with $30.2 million in 75 markets for a total of $136.0 million internationally after a month of release. The film opened in top spot in China over the weekend with $20.67 million. The film also remained in first place in Brazil with $2.4 million on 756 screens over the weekend for a total of $7.3 million after two. More...

Featured DVD Review: Girl Rising

2014-03-03

Girl Rising is a documentary that opened last March. Its opening weekend per theater average was only mixed, but it stuck around in theaters long enough to top $1 million. That's a great run for a documentary. Is it also one of the better documentaries I've seen during the past year? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for March 4th, 2014

2014-03-03

This week there are a couple massive releases on the home market. 12 Years a Slave just earned the Best Picture Oscar, so it's the perfect time to release it on DVD or Blu-ray. The biggest release of the week is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but it doesn't come out on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack till Friday, so I will get the review online in a couple of days. On the flip side, those two releases seem to have scared away most of the competition, because there's almost nothing else worth talking about. (There's an exercise video in the top five new releases on Amazon.com. That almost never happens.) As for the Pick of the Week, it's 12 Years a Slave on Blu-ray. It's not the only release coming out on Tuesday that's worth buying. I recommend picking up Girl Rising on DVD as well, while Venture Bros.: Season Five on DVD or Blu-ray is also worth the money. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Non-Stop Starts Fast

2014-03-03

Non-Stop poster

Non-Stop led the way at the box office this weekend and like nearly every film in the top five, it beat expectations. Son of God did so well that it reached second place. Even The LEGO Movie had reason to celebrate, as it hit $200 million over the weekend. This helped the overall box office rise 7% from last weekend reaching $118 million. Meanwhile, this was 8% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 has earned $1.65 billion putting it 11% or $163 million ahead of 2013. More...

2014 - Awards Season: Slave Top Winners at Spirit Awards

2014-03-02

12 Years a Slave poster

Independent Spirit Award handed out the hardware last night and the big winner was 12 Years a Slave, which picked up five of the seven awards it was nominated for. More...

Weekend Estimates: Non-Stop Tops Son of God on Oscar Weekend

2014-03-02

Non-Stop poster

Even with awards shows dominating industry headlines this weekend, three movies, none of which are nominated for anything, will manage to top $20 million at the box office. Top of the pile will be Liam Neeson actioner Non-Stop, which will debut with a shade over $30 million. That's the best performance for a non-sequel movie Neeson has headlined. Not far behind, Son of God is projected to earn around $26.5 million this weekend, and Fox is projecting it to top the chart on Sunday. The third movie topping $20 million will be The LEGO Movie, which passes $200 million in the process in its 4th weekend in release. More...

Breaking News: 12 Years a Slave Predicted Best Picture Winner

2014-03-02

12 Years a Slave poster

The Numbers readers are making 12 Years a Slave the hot favorite to win Best Picture at tonight's Oscar ceremony, with 70% of entrants in our Predict the Academy Awards contest giving it the nod. Gravity comes a distant second with 18% of votes.

But Gravity looks likely to have the first laugh, if not the last, with wins predicted for Best Director and most of the technical categories.

Dallas Buyers Club is the dark horse tonight, with wins predicted in 3 categories, equal with 12 Years a Slave.

Full analysis coming this afternoon...

- Predicted winners in each category
- Complete vote tallies in each category
More...

Featured DVD Review: Big Bad Wolf

2014-03-02

Big Bad Wolf was made under the name Huff. Big Bad Wolf... Huff... Yep, it's a horror film inspired by The Three Little Pigs. This isn't the only horror film with a folktale origin, but I'm not sure there's enough plot in the original story to make a feature-length movie. If not, we could have a generic horror movie with a lame hook. Let's hope for the best. More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Ceremony Live Blog - And the Oscar goes to... 12 Years a Slave

2014-03-02

The Oscars are being handed out this evening and as usual, we will be live-blogging the event. Here's the last look at the nominations with those chosen by our contest entrants as the likely winners in Bold. If I disagree with the consensus, they are in italics, and sharp-eyed readers will note there are no categories where that's true. Finally, if I am rooting for an underdog, they are underlined. There are only two categories where that is true. I want Chiwetel Ejiofor to win Best Lead Actor for his performance in 12 Years a Slave. I also want Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa to win for Best Hair and Make-up, because Dallas Buyers Club had a hair and make-up budget of $250. Yes it was effective, but the special effects make-up used in Bad Grandpa was just more difficult to pull off, even if the movie wasn't Oscar-bait. Regardless, I don't expect there to be many surprises at this year's awards. More...

2014 Preview: March

2014-03-01

Divergent poster

2014 continued its strong run in February with The Lego Movie beating even the high end expectations and will become the first film released in 2014 to reach $200 million. March doesn't look as strong, as no film is on track to hit $200 million, but there are five films that have a chance at $100 million. Granted, not all of them will get there; in fact, there's a chance only one of them will get there. Divergent is the film I think has the best shot at the century club, but it could be joined by Mr. Peabody and Sherman, for instance, which is earning surprisingly strong reviews. Noah is a big-budget Bible epic and the studio has to be hoping for at least $100 million, but the buzz is quite negative and there have been reports of troubles behind-the-scenes. Last March was led by Oz The Great and Powerful, which pulled in more than $200 million domestically. I don't think any film opening this March will match that figure. In addition, The Croods and G.I. Joe: Retaliation also hit the $100 million milestone, while Olympus Has Fallen came very close. Granted, there were also some big bombs last March, like The Host, but even so, I think 2014 will lose ground in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Dora the Explorer: Dora in Wonderland

2014-03-01

It is been more than six months since I reviewed any Dora the Explorer, but this week Dora in Wonderland comes out on DVD. What episodes are found on the DVD and is it worth the asking price? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Venture Bros.: Season Five

2014-03-01

This is the first time I've gotten a chance to review Venture Bros., but not the first time I've seen it. It is one of the more normal shows in the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim line-up with an actual plot. I didn't get a chance to see season four, but I'm sure I'll be able to catch up right away. More...

Contest: Travel Back in Time

2014-02-28

Next week there are two wide releases, 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Personally, I think both films have a shot at $100 million and since 300: Rise of an Empire is an action film and a sequel, it should start off faster, but decline quicker. On the other hand, there are some who think it will bomb as badly as the previous Swords and Sandals releases that have come out this year have. Mr. Peabody and Sherman has a much more stable level of expectations. Maybe it will finish a little above $100 million, maybe it will finish a little below. Almost no one thinks it will bomb completely. As such, I think it is the safer 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 Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win Breaking Amish: Season 1 on DVD, plus another random Reality TV release. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win two random Reality TV releases. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases take on the Oscars

2014-02-28

Ernest & Celestine poster

It is Oscar weekend, so it should come as no surprise there are not a lot of limited releases with the usual target audience. Art house aficionados will be paying more attention to the Awards than to new releases. Ernest & Celestine is the lone exception, which is the only Oscar-nominated film on this week's list and the best reviewed as well. Most of the rest of the movies are earning reviews that range from mixed to outright terrible. The Lunchbox could be the break-out hit of the weekend, if there is a break-out hit. More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Director

2014-02-27

Gravity poster

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. Today we end this with the two most prestigious awards, starting with Best Director. You could generously call this a two-horse race, but in reality there is only one director expected to win. More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Picture

2014-02-27

12 Years a Slave poster

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. We wrap up our look at the prestigious categories with the most prestigious of them all: Best Picture. Like last year, there were nine nominees. Unlike last year, none of them were completely out of left field. That's not to say they all have a legitimate shot at winning; there's definitely a favorite. However, politics could become an issue. I don't mean politics as in Democrat vs. Republican. I mean behind-the-scenes issues might play a bigger role than what is on the screen. More...

Contest: Bride of Frankenprize: Winning Announcement

2014-02-27

The winners of our Bride of Frankenprize contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Hobbit's Journey Nearly at an End

2014-02-27

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is nearly finished its international run and this week it debuted in China where it earned first place with 33.04 million 5,500 screens. The film is also playing in nine other markets, where it earned about $100,000 for a total weekend haul of $33.1 million. This lifts its totals to $637.1 million internationally and $893.7 million worldwide. The film opens in Japan this weekend and if it does well there, it could reach $1 billion worldwide. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will New Releases Stop LEGO?

2014-02-27

Non-Stop poster

It looks like The LEGO Movie will finally relinquish top spot. Non-Stop should lead the way atop the box office charts, but there are some who think Son of God will be a surprise hit. There certainly is precedent for that prediction. While it is the last weekend in February this year, the same weekend last year was the first weekend of March. Fortunately for 2014, the first weekend of March of 2013 was a bit of a disaster as Jack the Giant Killer opened with just $27 million compared to a nearly $200 million production budget. Worse still, no other movie topped $10 million over the weekend. I don't know if Non-Stop will top Jack the Giant Killer, but overall 2014 should come out ahead of 2013. More...

Analysis: Oscar Preview

2014-02-26

Sunday night is Oscar night in Hollywood, and, as we do every year, we'll be providing analysis and insight into the industry's biggest event of the year. Here's a preview of what we have in store.

First, our Predict the Academy Awards contest is nearing its deadline for entries. It's not too late to enter, and you stand a chance of winning all nine Best Pictures nominees on Blu-ray or DVD. We'll be announcing our projected winners, based on votes in the contest, on Sunday afternoon, in time for you to cheat on your Oscar party ballot!

C.S. has been publishing his previews of each of the major award categories, with Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay, Lead Actress, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Documentary and Animated Feature all previewed so far, and the Best Director and Best Picture previews coming on Thursday.

But that's not all... More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Original Screenplay

2014-02-25

Her poster

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. Today we will look at the two writing categories, starting with Best Original Screenplay. This race is twice as competitive as the Best Adapted Screenplay, by that I mean it is a two-way race for the Oscar and not a runaway race. More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Adapted Screenplay

2014-02-25

12 Years a Slave poster

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. Today we will look at the two writing categories, ending with Best Adapted Screenplay. This race is about as uncompetitive as it can be with nearly all analysts agreeing on the likely winner. More...

Per Theater Chart: Wind Rises to the Top

2014-02-25

Kaze Tachinu poster

The Wind Rises led the way on the per theater chart. It earned an average of $14,941 in 21 theaters, which is a good start, especially for this time of year. The only other film to reach the $10,000 club was Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me with an average of $13,927 in 2 theaters. More...

IMAX: Gravity Helps IMAX Grow Larger

2014-02-25

Gravity poster

IMAX announced their fourth quarter and 2013 yearly financial numbers and it was a good year. During the fourth quarter, the IMAX Corporation pulled in $105.1 million for a per screen average of $336,000. Over the full year, it earned $287.9 million for a per screen average of $1.15 million, which is inline with its most recent averages. (This excluded 2010, as Avatar itself earned a per screen average of close to $1 million during the course of its run.) Much of the fourth quarter and 2013 success can be attributed to Gravity, which as we previously reported reached $100 million worldwide. The future for IMAX is just as strong, as the company added 54 new theater systems and upgraded 4 others during the quarter, lifting the number of new and upgraded IMAX theaters to 112 for the year in 23 countries. There were a total of 837 IMAX systems at the end of the year, including 701 commercial screens and 136 educational screens. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Adventure Time: Season Three

2014-02-24

Adventure Time is in its fifth season, but the full-season sets are a little behind. This week, Season Three comes out on DVD and Blu-ray. If you've never seen the show, is it worth checking out? If you are a fan of the show, is it worth picking up, even if you have some of the previous smaller releases? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for February 25th, 2014

2014-02-24

It's a very impressive week at the top of the new DVD and Blu-ray releases. There's not one, but two $200 million hits coming out this week. Likewise, there are not one, but two major Awards Season hits coming out as well. One film, Gravity, is in both groups. All three films, Gravity, Thor: The Dark World, and Nebraska, are all contenders for Pick of the Week. Gravity is the only one I didn't get a chance to review, but the Blu-ray Combo Pack or the 3D Combo Pack are clearly the Pick of the Week. It's an amazing movie and the Blu-ray releases are loaded with extras. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Lego Adds Another Brick to Its Box Office Haul

2014-02-24

Lego poster

The LEGO Movie completed the threepeat in a dominating fashion earning more than 3 Days to Kill and Pompeii earned combined. On the other hand, neither of those films were that impressive, so beating both of them might not seem like a real accomplishment. The overall box office took a tumble, which is expected for a post-holiday weekend, but it still fell a little more than I would like, down 37% to $111 million. This is 7% more than the same weekend last year, so 2014 continued its winning ways in the year-over-year race. In fact, 2014 extended its lead to $150 million or 11% and now leads 2013 by a $1.51 billion to $1.36 billion. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Nebraska

2014-02-23

Nebraska is one of the major players during this year's Awards Season earning six Oscar nominations. That sets up really high expectations. Then again, it's a movie directed by Alexander Payne. That alone sets up really high expectations. Can the film live up to The Descendants' high quality? If it can't, is it still worth checking out? More...

Weekend Estimates: LEGO Unstoppable at Top

2014-02-23

Lego poster

The LEGO Movie will see off two more challengers for box office supremacy this weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. 3 Days to Kill will open with $12.3 million, soft for a film that cost $28 million, while Pompeii will barely reach $10 million, disastrous for a film that cost $80 million or $100 million, depending on who you talk to. That leaves The LEGO Movie miles ahead, with a projected $31.4 million for the weekend and $183 million or so in the bank after 17 days in release. It'll be down 37% from last weekend—an impressive result considering last weekend was a holiday. More...

Contest: Don't Not Stop

2014-02-21

February ends with two wide releases, Son of God and Non-Stop. Son of God is a real wildcard and it could tap into the churchgoing demographic and become a surprise hit. On the other hand, since it is just a re-cut of a TV mini-series that its target audience got to see for free last year, it could flop. Non-Stop is much more likely to be the big hit of the weekend and should finally end The LEGO Movie's reign on top. I'm not sure where it will fit with the other Liam Neeson early year movies, but it should be the number one film during its opening weekend, making it the clear 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 Non-Stop. 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 Girl Rising on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases on the Rise

2014-02-21

Kaze Tachinu poster

It's a busy week on the limited release front, not only in terms of the number of films, but also in terms of the theater counts for some of them. There are several movies opening in more than a dozen theaters. This includes The Wind Rises, which is the highest profile film of the week and its reviews are living up to its buzz. However, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me and Child's Pose are earning even better reviews and could find an audience in limited release. More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Lead Actor

2014-02-20

Dallas Buyers Club poster

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, continuing with Best Lead Actor. Like last year, this category is not truly competitive with one nominee way out ahead according to experts. And also like last year, I'm supporting an underdog. (In fact, I'm cheering for two underdogs.) More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Lead Actress

2014-02-20

Blue Jasmine poster

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, finishing with Best Lead Actress. Unlike last year, this year the race is far more competitive in nearly all of the of the four acting categories this year. The person seen as the favorite has switched, more than once, and at the moment, I'm not sure who is going to win. More...

International Box Office: RoboCop Arrests the Competition

2014-02-20

Robocop poster

RoboCop rose to first place with $35 million in 37 markets for a total of $70.28 million after three weeks of release. The film's biggest opening came from Russia where it earned first place with $5.72 million in 1,153 screens. It opened in second place in Mexico with $2.90 million on 564. It earned third place in South Korea with $3.67 million on 635 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $4.31 million. It slipped to third place in the U.K. with $2.53 million on 436 screens for a two-week total of $8.16 million. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will New Releases Blow Up at the Box Office?

2014-02-20

Pompeii poster

There are two wide releases debuting this week, Pompeii and 3 Days to Kill. Neither film were expected to be big hits and I originally predicted $35 million for both films. Now it seems low expectations have dropped even further. Neither film has a shot at first place, which should come as no surprise, but now it looks like the two films will be battling for fifth place. The LEGO Movie will remain supreme over the weekend and will not only crush the competition this week, but will crush the competition from last year as well. Last year the two new releases were Snitch and Dark Skies, but the box office was led by Identity Thief. There's a slim chance The LEGO Movie will earn more than those three films earned combined (roughly $35 million). Even on the low end, it will earn more than the top two films earned last year. 2014 will continue to dominate 2013 in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Analysis: DiCaprio and Lasseter Big Gainers in February's Bankability Index

2014-02-20

Box office powerhouse Frozen has propelled head of Disney Animation (and Pixar) John Lasseter into 11th place in The Numbers Bankability Index for February. The Index measures the value people generate in the industry, and Lasseter certainly deserves his place towards the top of the chart, having built Pixar into an animation powerhouse, and rebuilt Disney's in-house animation studio so effectively that it's close to knocking Pixar off its perch as the industry leader. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Lego Presides Over Presidents' Day

2014-02-19

Lego poster

The LEGO Movie again crushed expectations earning almost as much over three-days as most people were expecting it to earn over four. The new releases were not as lucky for the most part. About Last Night and RoboCop matched expectations, while Endless Love and Winter's Tale missed lowered expectations. Overall, the three-day box office pulled in $170 million, which was 12% more than last week and 20% more than last year. Over four days, the total box office was $199 million, or 12% more than the four-day period last year. Year-to-date, 2014 has extended its lead over 2013 to 8.5% at $1.36 billion to $1.25 billion. More...

Featured DVD Review: Scarecrow

2014-02-19

Scarecrow is a TV movie that debuted last year on SyFy channel. Time to lower expectations. It is directed by Sheldon Wilson, who previously directed Mothman, which was better than expected for most of its running time. Will this be one of SyFy's pleasant surprises? Should I have lowered my expectations even more? Or is it so bad it's entertainingly bad? More...

Per Theater Chart: In Love with the Top

2014-02-19

Bei Jing Ai Qing Gu Shi poster

Beijing Love Story led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $18,708 in 9 theaters. This is surprisingly strong, given its weak reviews. Next up is the overall box office leader, The LEGO Movie, with an average of $13,204 and the overall second place film, About Last Night, was right behind with an average of $11,384. More...

Contest: Between a Rocky and a Hard Place: Winning Announcement

2014-02-19

The winner of our Between a Rocky and a Hard Place contest were determined and it is... More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Supporting Actress

2014-02-18

12 Years a Slave poster

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, starting with Best Supporting Actress, which is again not a very competitive category this year. I'm not saying it is impossible for upset to happen here, but it is very, very unlikely. (On a side note, except for changing the links and using another poster, this is an exact cut and paste from last year. This category is slightly more competitive that last year, but not by enough to matter.) More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Supporting Actor

2014-02-18

Dallas Buyers Club poster

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, continuing with Best Lead Actor. This is one of the least competitive races this year. One actor has consistently pulled in win after win and I would be shocked if Oscar night wasn't the same. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Thor: The Dark World

2014-02-17

Thor came out in 2011 and cost $150 million to make. However, it barely made a profit. In fact, had it been a stand-alone movie, it would have very likely lost money. Had it not been for The Avengers boosting the home market numbers, it might have lost money. On the other hand, Thor: The Dark World cost $170 million to make and pulled in 40% more at the worldwide box office. Is it also 40% better? Or did it benefit from the big picture The Avengers movie universe has pulled together? More...

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

2014-02-17

It's a horrible week for me. The biggest release of the week is Game of Thrones: Season Three. I was supposed to review the Blu-ray, but it hasn't arrived yet. Usually HBO releases arrive a little early, not late. On the other hand, it was a holiday last week, at least it was where I live, so perhaps the mail was delayed. Or perhaps they ran out of copies before they got to me. It's the uncertainty that sucks the most, because right now the Blu-ray Combo Pack costs just $30 on Amazon.com. Of course you buy it at that price. The only reason not to, is because you want the Limited Edition Box Set instead. On the other hand, after Game of Thrones, there are practically no major releases. According to Amazon.com, the second best new release is the Criterion Collection release for The Fantastic Mr. Fox. It's a great movie, but it failed to make an impact at the box office, so a Blu-ray double-dip shouldn't sell that well. More...

Weekend Estimates: LEGO Towers Over All

2014-02-16

Lego poster

It's looking like a healthy President's Day weekend at the box office, with one impressive debut and several movies enjoying strong second, fourth, and even thirteenth weekends. The champion opener is About Last Night, a remake of the 1986 hit, which will open with about $27 million over three days, helped by a big $13 million Valentine's Day. With the film playing in only 2,253 theaters, that represents a terrific $12,000 theater average, and continues Kevin Hart's hot streak. Handily beating About Last Night at the top of the chart, though, is The LEGO Movie, with a projected $48.8 million over three days, and around $60 million over the full four-day weekend. That's down a decent 29% from last weekend, for a theater average of almost $13,000. More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Schedule

2014-02-15

12 Years a Slave poster

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. Over the next two weeks, we will be looking at the ten most prestigious categories starting with...

More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Animated Feature

2014-02-15

Frozen poster

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. Today we look at Best Animated Feature Film, which looked like it would be competitive for most of the year, then Frozen came out and instantly became the favorite. Is it the favorite? Or is there a dark horse out there? More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Feature-Length Documentary

2014-02-15

The Act of Killing poster

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. Today we look at Best Feature-Length Documentary, which is probably the hardest category to predict, because some of the previous winners of major awards were not even nominated for an Oscar. When the nominations were this unpredictable, the winner could be any of the five films. More...

Featured Blu-ray review - Chicago: Diamond Edition

2014-02-15

Chicago came out in 2002 and was a surprise hit earning more than $300 million worldwide on a $30 million production budget. It was a surprise hit, in part because movie musicals had not been able to find an audience like that in a long, long time. Musicals have been around for as long as movies have had sound. The first film with spoken dialogue, The Jazz Singer, was also the first movie musical. But the heyday of movie musicals ended about forty years before Chicago hit theaters. Unfortunately for a lot of studios, Chicago wasn't able to reinvigorate the movie musical genre. Has the decline in the genre meant Chicago hasn't aged well? Or have more recent musicals failed to match it at the box office, because they have also failed to match its quality? More...

Weekend Predictions: RoboCop Starts First, but Last Night should get Last Laugh

2014-02-14

About Last Night poster

RoboCop opened on Wednesday, but failed to meet expectations, which leaves an opening for About Last Night to become the best of the new releases. Endless Love will also be competitive this weekend, meaning all three 1980s remakes could finish back-to-back-to-back. On the other hand, Winter's Tale could miss the top five. As for the holdovers, The LEGO Movie will crush all of the new releases and easily repeat as box office champion. By the end of business on Monday, it will have made enough money to cover its entire production budget. This time last year there were also four new releases, led by A Good Day to Die Hard. I think this year's new releases are a little weaker on average than last year's were' however, The LEGO Movie could make $50 million over the next four days, so it will carry 2014 to victory. More...

Contest: Bride of Frankenprize

2014-02-14

Pompeii poster

So the Frankenprize seemed to be quite popular, so we will try that again. Choosing the target film is a bit difficult. Pompeii cost $100 million to make, so you would think the studio would be pushing it hard, but that's not the case. The buzz is really weak. On the other hand, 3 Days to Kill is being compared to Non-Stop, which opens the weekend after. I think Pompeii will be a disaster compared to its production budget, but it should still open faster. As such, it is the 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 Pompeii. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win the first random prize pack. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win the second random prize pack. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Easy Cash for Limited Releases

2014-02-14

Girl on a Bicycle poster

There are lots of films on this week's list of limited releases, but only one of them, The New Black, is earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. The Returned is earning overall positive reviews, but that's not enough to thrive in limited release. In fact, given the competition, it is unlikely there is any film that will earn breakout success. More...

The Numbers 17th Annual Predict the Academy Awards Contest

2014-02-14

The Numbers annual Predict the Academy Awards Competition is back, providing you with a chance to win some great prizes, and for all of our readers collectively to predict who will win the Oscars on March 2. The top selections for Best Picture and Best Animated Feature go on to win the Oscar on the night over 80% of the time—so this is also a great way to find out who's the favorite to win on the night.

Uniquely among Oscar contests, when you make your predictions, we show you how many people have voted for each movie so far, and allow you to go back and change your choices. In fact, you can come back at any time to update your predictions as news breaks and sentiment changes about different nominees. But beware: our tie-breaking rule if multiple people correctly predict the same number of winners is that whoever made their picks first will win the prize.

So enter now for your best chance of winning our grand prize: every film nominated for Best Picture on DVD or Blu-ray. We will send you all nine films that are nominated as soon as they become available on the home market, and you get to choose either the DVD or Blu-ray version.

Our second-placed finisher will receive the Best Picture winner and Best Animated Feature winner.

And finally, as an added incentive to everyone who enters regularly, the highest-scoring player from our All-Time Top 200 Players list will receive the Best Picture winner on their choice of DVD or Blu-ray.

See our complete set of rules for more information.

More...

International Box Office: Frozen Outlasts Competition

2014-02-13

Frozen poster

Frozen continues its impressive run earning first place with $24.0 million in 47 markets for totals of $545.1 million internationally and $913.7 million worldwide. It became the 28th film to reach that level and has already overtaken Finding Nemo for 27th place. The film opened in China with $14.11 million over the weekend, which was enough for third place over the weekend, which is good, but not amazing. On the other hand, it fell just 30% in South Korea adding $8.93 million on 1,375 screens over the weekend, lifting its total to $58.04 million after four weeks of release. At this pace, it should catch up to Despicable Me 2 in a couple of weeks, and depending on how it does in Japan, it could reach $1 billion worldwide. More...

Weekend Predictions: RoboCop Gets the First Shot at the Weekend Box Office

2014-02-12

Robocop poster

Tonight RoboCop opens early / late, depending on your point of view. On the one hand, it is opening on Wednesday, while the rest of the wide releases are opening on Friday, Valentine's Day. It makes sense not to try to compete with three romantic movies on Valentine's Day, so this could help its box office numbers. On the other hand, the film was originally scheduled for a Summer 2013 release, but was pushed back till February, which suggests the studio doesn't have a lot of faith in the movie. So how does the film's prospects look this weekend? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: LEGO Earns Stacks Dollar Bills

2014-02-11

Lego poster

The LEGO Movie didn't break the record for Biggest February Weekend, but it came close. The Monuments Men performed better than expected, but was still a very distant second place. On the other hand, Vampire Academy bombed, fully and completely. Compared to last week, even without The LEGO Movie, this week is almost better. With The LEGO Movie, this week is 76% better at $151 million. Compared to last year, The LEGO Movie opened with more than the top five made in 2013. Overall, the year-over-year growth was 46%. This is just a fantastic result no matter how you look at it. Year-to-date, 2014 has pulled in $1.12 billion, putting it 12% ahead of 2013's pace. It is obviously still too early to declare 2014 the winner, but this is still a fantastic start. More...

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

2014-02-11

It's a strange week on the home market. If you look at the top ten selling new releases on Amazon.com, there are a couple of first run releases, a catalog title, TV on DVD release, and some limited releases. That's basically every category there is. The biggest release is Ender's Game, a film that failed to find an audience in theaters. It barely earned overall positive reviews and it isn't a contender for Pick of the Week. Some of the other best-selling releases are contenders, like The Jungle Book: Blu-ray Diamond Edition or Sherlock: Season Three on DVD or Blu-ray. There are also a few of the smaller releases that were in consideration, including Doctor Who: Story 33: The Moonbase and G.B.F. on DVD. But in the end, I went with Wadjda on Blu-ray Combo Pack for Pick of the Week. One last note, Dry Spell is coming out on Video on Demand. It's a good chance to support ultra-low-budget filmmaking and the reviews I've read have been positive. More...

Per Theater Chart: Cash for LEGO

2014-02-11

Lego poster

The LEGO Movie not only earned the first place on the overall chart, but it was also the only film to top $10,000 on the per theater chart. It earned an average of $18,291, nearly doubling the average of the second place film, Kids for Cash, which earned an average of $9,160 in 4 theaters. More...

IMAX: Gravity Swallows Another Record

2014-02-11

Gravity poster

Gravity hit a major milestone reaching $100 million worldwide on IMAX. Domestically, the film played on 330 IMAX screens earning $48.6 million, while internationally it earned $51.5 million on 309 IMAX screens. Only two other Hollywood releases have crossed $100 million on IMAX, Avatar and The Dark Knight Rises. On the other hand, Avatar's record of $228 million is quite safe. More...

Contest: Wings and a Prayer: Winning Announcement

2014-02-11

The winners of our Wings and a Prayer contest were determined and they are... More...

Featured DVD Review: The Summit

2014-02-10

The Summit is a documentary that came out in October of last year, but it opened poorly and never really found an audience. Is there something fundamentally flawed with the film? Or is its target audience simply too small because of its subject matter? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Haunter

2014-02-10

Haunter might have come out on the 18th of October of last year. That's what the official site says, but there's precious little else that backs that up. There are no box office numbers I can find anywhere. On the other hand, it was also a Video on Demand premiere through IFC, so it might have only gotten a token midnight release, in which case, no box office numbers were released. It's a low-budget horror film, which immediately lowers expectations, but is that fair? Just because it is low-budget doesn't mean it must be bad. Then again, most high-budget movies are pretty bad. (Sturgeon's Revelation states 90% of everything is crud. (Yes, that's Sturgeon's Revelation. Sturgeon's Law is, "Nothing is always absolutely so.")) So going in with neutral expectations, how is Haunter? More...

Featured Blu-ray review - The Jungle Book

2014-02-09

The Jungle Book was the last movie Walt Disney worked on before his death in 1966, although it wasn't released till 1967. The last time it came out on DVD was seven years ago, but this week it makes it debut on Blu-ray. How does the film look and sound on high definition? And how are the extras? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Austenland

2014-02-09

Austenland is a romantic comedy that opened in limited release last summer. That's not the right genre for a limited release, but it opened at about the $10,000 mark on the per theater chart and lasted long enough to hit $2 million at the box office. That's a better than expected run. Is the movie also better than expected? Or does it fall prey to the usual romcom clichés? More...

Weekend Estimates: LEGO Builds Instant Franchise

2014-02-09

Lego poster

2014 is shaping up to be a good year at the box office. After excellent openings for Ride Along and Lone Survivor in January, February is getting off to a spectacular start thanks to a huge opening weekend for The LEGO Movie. Warner Bros. is projecting an opening of $69.1 million for the toy spin-off -- far and away the biggest weekend of the year so far, and the second-best February weekend ever, behind only The Passion of the Christ. Numbers like that guarantee a sequel or three, and boost a franchise that has already built an impressive following in the video market. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: How I Live Now

2014-02-09

How I Live Now is based on a 2004 Young Adult novel, which puts it in a category that includes nearly all films made in the past decade or so. That's exaggerating, but it is one of the crowded genres today with numerous examples coming out each year. How I Live Now wasn't one of the more lucrative examples. In fact, it opened in limited release missing the Mendoza Line before quickly disappearing from theaters. Granted, it was also a Video on Demand premiere so that has a serious effect on box office numbers. Should it have performed better? Or does it suffer from too many of the clichés of the genre. More...

Featured Blu-ray review - Rocky - The Heavyweight Collection

2014-02-08

Rocky: The Undisputed Collection came out nearly five years ago and I loved it. Now a new box set is coming out. However, is it any different than before? Or is it a simple cash grab? More...

Limited Releases: Cash for Limited Releases

2014-02-07

Kids for Cash poster

It's another busy week for limited releases with more than a dozen of them on this week's list. This does mean I'm not going to be as talkative about each individual film, because there are just so many of them. Fortunately, there are also a few that are worth checking out, like Vic + Flo Saw a Bear, Alphaville, etc. If I were to chose just one film, it would be Kids for Cash, but the subject matter will enrage you. More...

Weekend Predictions: Can LEGO Build an Audience

2014-02-06

Lego poster

The first weekend of February should be the biggest with The LEGO Movie looking to dominate the box office, while The Monuments Men is expected to do respectable business over the weekend. The other wide release is Vampire Academy, which wasn't screened for critics. It is not aimed at a target demographic that cares about what critics think, but they still didn't screen the film for critics. This weekend last year, there were two wide releases, Identity Thief and Side Effects. The two films earned a combined $44 million during their opening weekend. The LEGO Movie will make more than that on its own. 2014 should easily win in the year-over-year competition. More...

Contest: Between a Rocky and a Hard Place

2014-02-06

Next weekend is Valentine's Day / Presidents Day long weekend and there are four wide releases hoping to take advantage. Of those four, only two have a shot at first place, RoboCop and About Last Night. RoboCop is opening on Wednesday, so that leaves About Last Night as the clear 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 About Last Night. 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 Rocky: Heavyweight Collection on The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents 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: Artistic Integrity

2014-02-05

Tim's Vermeer poster

Tim's Vermeer led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $14,468 in four theaters. It was the only film to reach $10,000 on the per theater chart this weekend. Peter Brook: The Tightrope did make $10,301 in one theater, but that was over five days. Over the weekend, it pulled in $6,768. More...

Contest: Starved for Attention: Winning Announcement

2014-02-05

The winners of our Starved for Attention contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Happy New Year!

2014-02-05

The Wolf of Wall Street poster

It's Chinese New Year and the international box office was led by two Chinese films. The Monkey King earned first place with $46 million in 7 markets for a total opening of $54 million. Like most Chinese films, we don't have breakdowns of individual markets. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Dallas Buyers Club

2014-02-03

Dallas Buyers Club is widely considered a favorite to win at least one Oscar and it has a shot at becoming the big winner come Oscar night. Needless to say, my expectations for the film are really high. I'm hoping they are not unrealistically high. Is this the case? Or is the movie as good as its critically acclaim? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for February 4th, 2014

2014-02-03

It's another slow week on the home market. There are five or so first run releases, but the biggest box office was earned by Free Birds, which earned $55 million. Fortunately, while there are no box office hits, there are some high quality releases, led by Dallas Buyers Club. Unfortunately, the DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack has so few extras that I'm convinced a special edition is on its way, so it isn't a Pick of the Week contender. So what are the Pick of the Week contenders this week? First there's Cutie and the Boxer on DVD or Blu-ray. Second there's ... Cutie and the Boxer is the Pick of the Week. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Ride Laps Competition

2014-02-03

Ride Along poster

Super Bowl turned into a blow-out, but still earned a record television audience. This explains why the overall box office numbers were down compared to last weekend. That said, there were some films that did well, including Ride Along, which completed the threepeat and by this time next week with be at over $100 million. On the other hand, the new releases really struggled. That Awkward Moment only managed third place, while Labor Day barely avoided the Mendoza Line. Week-over-week, the overall box office fell 26% to $86 million. Compared to last year, the box office also fell, but by only 3%. That said, 2014 is still ahead of 2013 by 6% at $943 million to $887 million, so the market is still healthy. More...

Weekend Estimates: Ride Along Completes Hat-trick

2014-02-02

Ride Along poster

With distributors aiming for counter-programming over Super Bowl weekend, Ride Along will win this weekend fairly comfortably, according to estimates released on Sunday. Universal is projecting a $12.3 million weekend, down 42% from last time, and a cume by Monday morning of nearly $93 million. That should set the film up to cross $100 million in the next week, and makes it a rare winner of 3 weekends in a row. Second place is a toss-up between Frozen and That Awkward Moment, although Disney is laying claim to the prize right now with $9.3 million projected, up 2% from last weekend thanks to a new sing-along version of Frozen introduced to theaters on Friday. More...

2014 Awards Season: WGA: A.I. and Pirates Told the Right Stories

2014-02-01

Stories We Tell poster

WGAs handed out their awards on Saturday and depending on who you talk to, there were a couple of major upsets. There was certainly at least one upset, but the other awards are less surprising. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Escape Plan

2014-02-01

Escape Plan features two of the biggest action stars of the 1980s, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It earned mixed reviews and failed to find an audience here. (It did perform well enough internationally that it could break even early on the home market.) Is the film better than its box office performance? Or did it fail to find an audience for a reason? More...

Limited Releases: Best Week Ever?

2014-01-31

Best Night Ever poster

It's a rather busy week for limited releases, but not a good week. There are a couple of films that are earning overwhelmingly good reviews, 12 O'Clock Boys and Tim's Vermeer, but there are more films earning terrible reviews. The limited release I'm most interested in are the 2014 Oscar Shorts. This year they are split into four films (live action, animated, and two for the documentaries) and should easily be the biggest limited release of the weekend. The total combined reviews are 30 positive and only 4 negative. More...

2014 Preview: February

2014-01-31

Lego poster

After a weak start, January rebounded and a couple of films on last month's preview cracked $100 million at the box office. Granted, Lone Survivor is technically a December release, but Ride Along will become one of the rare January releases to reach the century mark. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be too many February releases that have a real shot at $100 million. It is very likely that The Lego Movie will reach that milestone, but most of the rest of the movies will be lucky if they reach $50 million. Last February was very similar. We had one surprise $100 million hit, Identity Thief, plus a couple of solid midlevel hits, Warm Bodies, for instance. However, for the most part, the month was one miss after another. This means 2014 could continue its winning ways, or at the very least, shouldn't fall behind 2013's pace. More...

Weekend Predictions: New Releases are Far from Super

2014-01-30

That Awkward Moment poster

It's the Super Bowl weekend, so needless to say, the new releases are looking rather weak. Why would any studio want to release a film against what is the largest single sporting event of the year? There are two wide releases coming out, but neither is expected to make much of an impact. That Awkward Moment is the bigger of the two wide releases, but its reviews are terrible. It should still earn first place, because there's no competition to speak of. Labor Day's reviews are slightly better and its target demographic has very little crossover appeal with the Super Bowl. Even so, most think it will miss the top five. This weekend last year, Warm Bodies earned first place with just over $20 million. If That Awkward Moment earns $20 million, I will be shocked. It might not earn too much more than half of that. More...

Contest: Wings and a Prayer

2014-01-30

While there are three wide releases next weekend, only one of them has a real shot at first place: The LEGO Movie. It is the only real choice for the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, simply predict the opening weekend box office figure for The LEGO Movie.

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win the a copy of Wings on DVD.

Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of Care Bears: Care-A-Thon Games on DVD.

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

International Box Office: Wolf Rolling in the Money

2014-01-29

The Wolf of Wall Street poster

The Wolf of Wall Street remained in first place with $35.27 million on 5,472 screens in 40 markets for an international total of $125.49 million. This is already substantially more than the film has pulled in domestically, plus it has a number of major market debuts ahead. This past weekend, the film opened in first place in Australia with $4.46 million on 325 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $4.68 million. Meanwhile, it remained in first place in the U.K. with $5.95 million on 506 screens over the weekend for a total of $17.94 million after two weeks of release. It had a very similar weekend at the box office in Germany with $5.49 million on 597 screens, while it is $14.11 million in that market, also after two weeks of release. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for January 28th, 2014

2014-01-28

There are a large number of first run releases coming out this week on the home market, five in total. This is a huge amount. This week, the latest season of Downton Abby also comes out on the home market, and it is the best selling new release of the week, at least according to Amazon.com. So at the top, it is a really busy week. On the other hand, there's very little depth. Beyond those six releases, there's not a lot to talk about. Out of all of the movies on this week's list, Rush is the best movie, but the DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack are only good and not great. On the other hand, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 on Blu-ray or 3D Blu-ray is the best total package. Meanwhile, I finally got a chance to review Carrie (the screener arrived late) and it was better than I thought it would be and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is worth picking up, especially if you haven't seen the original movie. More...

Per Theater Chart: Glory to Gloria

2014-01-28

Gloria

There were not a lot of new releases to do well on the per theater chart this week, but one of them, Gloria, led the way with an average of $19.592 in three theaters. A long-time release, The Great Beauty, returned to the $10,000 club with an average of $13,121 in nine theaters. More...

Contest: Frankenprize: Winning Announcement

2014-01-28

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

Featured 3D Blu-ray / DVD Review: Argento's Dracula

2014-01-27

Dario Argento is a master of the horror genre. In fact, he helped change the genre and his influence is still felt today. However, it has been nearly 20 years since a film of his has earned overall positive reviews, and nearly 30 years since his last great movie. Will Argento's Dracula be the film that turns his recent streak around? Or is it more of the same weak releases he's put out in the past two decades? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Frankenstein's Debut isn't Lively

2014-01-27

Ride Along poster

I, Frankenstein died at the box office, as it missed the top five entirely. This gave Ride Along an easy road to first place over the weekend. Meanwhile, the rest of the top five all matched expectations, or came within a rounding error of doing so. This helped the overall box office somewhat. It was still a post-holiday frame and the total box office fell 34% to $117 million, but it could have been worse. Compared to last year, the overall box office was 4% higher, which is good news early in the year. 2014 has extended its lead over 2013 to 9% at $823 million to $754 million. More...

Weekend Projections: Frankenstein D.O.A.

2014-01-26

Ride Along poster

After tracking poorly for months, Lionsgate's I, Frankenstein arrived in theaters this weekend with a disappointing projected $8.275 million, according to the distributor, enough for only 6th place on a box office chart that's a jumble of Oscar hopefuls and less ambitious January fare. Ride Along tops the list with $21.1 million projected for the weekend by Universal, which also lays claim to this weekend's number two spot with Lone Survivor's $12.6 million. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Carrie

2014-01-26

Carrie is a remake of of the 1976 film of the same name. The original Carrie is considered a classic horror film and the movie that brought Stephen King immense fame. Horror remakes have done poorly recently and this film was no different. However, was it a bad remake? Or has the public perception of horror remakes unfairly hurt this film at the box office? Does it do enough new to make it worth watching? Or is it yet another unnecessary remake? More...

2014 Awards Season: DGA: Gravity adds Weight to its Oscar Chances

2014-01-26

Gravity poster

The Directors Guild of America handed out the awards over the weekend, including two for theatrical releases. There were no true upsets, but it didn't go exactly as I anticipated it would go. More...

Featured DVD Review: The April Fools and The War Between Men and Women

2014-01-26

Jack Lemmon starred in some of the greatest movies ever made. That is not a hyperbole. Some Like it Hot is arguably the greatest comedy every made. The Odd Couple, The Apartment, Grumpy Old Men, Glengarry Glen Ross, etc. The list of great movies he was in goes on and on and on. This week, two of his lesser known movies come out on DVD for the first time. To give you some perspective, neither The April Fools nor The War Between Men and Women have any reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. They have clearly faded from public memory. Do they deserve to be rediscovered? Or is there a reason they didn't get a DVD release till now? More...

Limited Releases: Shelter From the Storm

2014-01-24

Gimme Shelter poster

There are a number of releases on this week's list that are worth checking out. This includes Gloria, the official Oscar selection from Chile; Stranger by the Lake, an erotic thriller with a gay protagonist; and Our Man in Tehran, a Canadian documentary that tells the story of what happened in Argo. There are also some less serious films that I think I will like more than the average critic: 3 Night Stand and Knights of Badassdom. On the other hand, the widest release is Gimme Shelter, which might do well if it can tap into the churchgoing demographic; however, it could also miss the Mendoza Line. More...

Contest: All the Presidents' Prizes: Winning Announcement

2014-01-23

The winner of our All the Presidents' Prizes contest was determined and it is... More...

International Box Office: Wolf Leads the Pack

2014-01-23

The Wolf of Wall Street poster

The Wolf of Wall Street rocketed from fifth place to first place with $32.84 million in 4,446 screens in 36 markets for an international total of $80.86 million over four weeks of release. The film opened in first place in the U.K. with $7.65 million on 500 screens, while in Germany it earned first place with $6.66 million on 502 screens. Meanwhile, it made $3.62 million on 327 screens in Spain, earning first place in that market as well. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Frankenstein be Taken for a Ride?

2014-01-23

I, Frankenstein poster

After a record-breaking weekend, it's a letdown this weekend. I, Frankenstein is the only wide release of the week and there's very little chance it will be a major hit at the box office. It might overtake Ride Along for top spot, but I wouldn't bet on it. Last year Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was the biggest release of the week earning $19.69 million over the weekend, while it and Mama were the only two films to earn more than $10 million. We should have four films earning more than $10 million over the weekend, so 2014 should win in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Contest: Starved of Attention

2014-01-23

Next weekend is the last weekend of January / first weekend of February and there are two films that are opening wide: That Awkward Moment and Labor Day. Unfortunately, neither of them are expected to be big hits and it is possible neither of other will open with more than $10 million. That said, we still have to pick a target film for this week's box office prediction contest, and I'm not 100% sure Labor Day will open 100% wide, so let's go with That Awkward Moment as the target film for this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, simply predict the opening weekend box office figure for That Awkward Moment. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win the a copy of The Starving Games on DVD. Meanwhile, 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 copy of The Starving Games 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: Along for the Ride

2014-01-22

Ride Along poster

The only film to top $10,000 on this week's per theater chart was Ride Along, which earned an average of $15,590. This is an amazing result for a January release. In fact, it would have been amazing for a limited release. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Ride Cruises to the Finish Line

2014-01-21

Ride Along poster

It was a record-breaking weekend with Ride Along earning the biggest January opening weekend and the biggest MLK long weekend. Needless to say, it crushed expectations. Additionally, The Nut Job overcame terrible reviews to earn a solid opening, at least according to estimates. Overall, the box office pulled in $176 million over the three-day weekend, which is 26% more than the three-day weekend last week and last year. Over the four-day weekend, the box office pulled in $211 million, or 28% more than last year's MLK long weekend. That's great news, as 2014 was below 2013's pace. In fact, after this weekend, 2014 has pulled ahead of 2013 by 8% at $671 million to $621 million. More...

2014 Awards Season: PGA Produces a Rare Tie

2014-01-20

Gravity poster

Producers Guild of America handed out their awards last night and while there were no real upsets, there was certainly a surprise for the top prize. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for January 21st, 2014

2014-01-20

The home market picks up steam this week, sort of. We are starting to get some of the Awards Season hopefuls coming out, which is great news for fans of great movies. However, there's not a lot of depth to go with the award-worthy movies. The two films that were the main contenders for Pick of the Week were Captain Phillips on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack and In a World... on DVD or Blu-ray. It was a close decision, but in the end, I went with In a World... More...

2014 Awards Season: PGA Buries the Lead

2014-01-19

12 Years a Slave poster

Producers Guild of America announce the winners tonight, but it seems I forgot to upload the story when they announced their nominations. In my defense, they announced them on January 2nd. You don't make an announcement on January 2nd, not unless you are trying to bury a story. As for the actual nominations, there are very few differences between this group and others, except when it comes to documentaries. Then again, that's been the norm this year. No one seems to agree on what the best documentaries were. More...

2014 Awards Season: SAG is a Buyer's Market

2014-01-19

Dallas Buyers Club poster

SAG handed out their awards last night, and while there were not many surprises, there was one major upset, at least in my mind. Dallas Buyers Club led the way with two wins, making it the new Oscar favorite. More...

Weekend Projections: Ride Along Sets January Opening Record

2014-01-19

Ride Along poster

What could have been a close run thing at the box office this weekend has turned into a romp to victory for Ride Along, with the comedy set to break Cloverfield's record for biggest opening weekend in January with estimated three-day $41.2 million. The performance is all the more impressive for being delivered from just 2,663 theaters, and marks Universal's third consecutive MLK weekend win, following Mama last year and Contraband in 2012. With the studio's holdover, Lone Survivor, holding on to second place with $23.2 million in its second weekend the other three wide openers range from 3rd to 6th place in the charts. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Best Man Down

2014-01-19

Best Man Down opened in the heart of Awards Season, but it wasn't aiming for Oscars. It's simply an Indie Dramedy that got lost in the crowd, in part due to its release date, but also in part due to its reviews. Does it deserve to find an audience in limited release? Or would this film have faded away no matter when it debuted? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Instructions Not Included

2014-01-18

One could argue that Instructions Not Included was the biggest surprise hit of the year. In a year in which Iron Man 3 earned $1.2 million billion worldwide, doubling the franchise average, a small movie from Mexico is still arguably the biggest surprise hit of the year. While Iron Man 3 was the follow-up to one of the biggest hits of all time, Instructions Not Included came out of nowhere to become the biggest Spanish-language hit of all time. Is it as good as its box office numbers would indicate? Or it is more right place, right time? More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Jack Ryan Win or is it just Along for the Ride

2014-01-17

Ride Along poster

At the beginning of the month, I thought this weekend would be a close race between Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Ride Along. That might still be the case, but it is increasingly unlikely, as Jack Ryan's buzz hasn't kept pace with the buzz for Ride Along. Additionally, Jack Ryan has direct competition from Lone Survivor, which nearly set the January record last weekend and should remain potent this weekend. This weekend last year, Mama won the weekend with $28.40 million and I don't think Ride Along will top that. On the other hand, last year there were only three films that topped $10 million, while this year there could be as many as seven or eight. (All four wide releases have a shot at $10 million, but it is likely not all will get there. There are two holdovers that will earn more than $10 million. Finally, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street might get an Oscar bounce back to $10 million.) Even in the worst case scenario, four films will crack $10 million. 2014 should win for the first time in the week-over-week comparison. More...

Contest: Frankenprize

2014-01-17

I, Frankenstein poster

There is only one new wide release debuting next weekend, I, Frankenstein, which is debuting in an estimated 2,700 theaters. Since it is the only new wide release, it is clearly 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 I, Frankenstein. It's good to get the target film out of the way quickly, because the prizes are a little more complicated. I've been reviewing DVDs and Blu-rays for nearly a decade now and in that time I've amassed more than 60 banker boxes of movies and TV on DVD releases. I have to get rid of some of them. Late last year we had a contest with a surprise prize and it was actually a little more popular than the average, so we are going to do that again. Each winner will win either a random TV on DVD full season set (or volume, depending on how the set was sold), or two movies, or three single-disc TV on DVD releases (usually kids shows). Because the prize is a combination of unrelated releases, it's a Frankenprize!

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win the first random prize pack. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win the second random prize pack.

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

Limited Releases: Big Bad Limited Releases

2014-01-17

Big Bad Wolves poster

It's the weekend after the Oscar nominations were announced and it is closing in on Sundance, so it is not a good time to release a film in limited release, as art house aficionados are focuses elsewhere. Unfortunately, there are lots of limited releases on this week's list, most of which are earning weak, or really weak reviews. There are a few that are earning good reviews, Big Bad Wolves, G.B.F., Like Father, Like Son, etc., but with the competition, I can practically guarantee that most of them will get lost in the crowd. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Machete Kills

2014-01-17

Machete had one of the strangest origins. It began as a fake trailer in Grindhouse, but the fake trailer was so popular they turned it into a real movie. Unfortunately, while that movie earned good reviews, the target audience for Grindhouse cinema is too small to thrive in theaters. It must have done well enough to justify a sequel in someone's mind, albeit a sequel with a greatly reduced production budget being released by a smaller studio. But can the sequel live up to its predecessor? More...

2014 Awards Season: Oscars Understand the Gravity of the Situation

2014-01-16

Gravity poster

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning and there are some surprises mixed in with the predictable results. Gravity and American Hustle led the way with ten nominations each while 12 Years a Slave was right behind with nine. The fact that 12 Years a Slave wasn't the leader is the first of the surprises. More...

International Box Office: Frozen Fights Its Way to the Top

2014-01-15

Frozen poster

After being in second place for a long time, Frozen finally scored first place with $27.8 million in 50 markets for totals of $394.6 million internationally and $711.9 million worldwide. The film had no major market openings this past weekend, but it opens this weekend in South Korea and in Japan in March. More...

2014 Awards Season: DGA: Telling Stories about Documentaries

2014-01-14

Stories We Tell poster

The Directors Guild of America finished its theatrical nominations yesterday with the Documentary category. I'm of two minds with the list of nominees. On the one hand, I feel like I should be surprised, because a number of documentaries thought to be Oscar favorites were left off the list. On the other hand, they've been left off the list a number of times. I think it is time to rethink who is and is not an Oscar favorite. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Survivor Does More than Survive

2014-01-14

Lone Survivor poster

As expected, Lone Survivor won the race to first place on the box office this past weekend. However, it crushed predictions to an astounding degree. It wasn't enough. The overall box office was down to $140 million. Granted, that was less than 1% lower than last weekend and just over 1% lower than the same weekend last year, but it is still frustrating. Besides the number one film, there's not a lot of positive news to report. Year-to-date, 2014 is a little behind 2013 at $413 million to $436 million. Granted, it is far too soon to talk about end of year results, but you obviously would want a fast start rather than a slow start. More...

Per Theater Chart: Still Lonely

2014-01-14

Lone Survivor poster

There was only one film in the $10,000 club, but that's one more than a lot of people thought there would be. Lone Survivor expanded wide earning $37.85 million in 2,876 theaters for an average of $13,161. That's awesome, especially for this time of year. More...

Contest: Powering Up: Winning Announcement

2014-01-14

The winner of our Powering Up contest was determined and it is... More...

2014 Awards Season: Golden Globes: All American Night

2014-01-13

American Hustle poster

Hollywood Foreign Press Association handed out the Golden Globe awards last night, and there were a few surprises in the mix. American Hustle led the way with three wins, which isn't a real surprise, but I think many thought another film would lead with three or more wins. The only other film to earn more than one award was Dallas Buyers Club at just two. That might give you a hint at what the big surprise was. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for January 14th, 2014

2014-01-13

There are a few first-run releases on this week's list of new DVD and Blu-ray releases. Riddick is the biggest, while You're Next is the best in terms of reviews. However, neither is truly Pick of the Week material. There are some contenders there, and in a strange coincidence, the two best feature Brie Larson: Short Term 12 on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack and The Spectacular Now on DVD or Blu-ray. It literally came down to a coin toss, but The Spectacular Now won. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Archer: Season Four

2014-01-12

I've reviewed every season of Archer and from the first episode I was hooked. Personally I think the show has gotten better each season, last season even had good extras. Can the show continue to improve? Is the DVD or the Blu-ray loaded with extras? More...

Weekend Projections: Lone Survivor Posts Fifth-Best January Weekend

2014-01-12

Lone Survivor poster

2014 has its first bona fide hit this weekend, with Lone Survivor posting an impressive $38.5 million, according to Universal's weekend estimate. That's the fifth-best January weekend in history, and the second-best by a film that wasn't already playing wide over the holidays (Avatar holds the top three spots in the chart and Cloverfield remains the record-holding new release). Unfortunately, the success of Lone Survivor was in part to blame for a weak debut by The Legend of Hercules, which will end in 4th or 5th place for the weekend. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: You're Next

2014-01-11

You're Next opened in late August, which is a dumping ground for bad movies. This film was actually earning some strong pre-release buzz. Unfortunately, it wasn't able to turn that buzz into box office success. (To be fair, it reportedly only cost $1 million to make, so it made enough to cover that opening day. It will still need to pay off its P&A budget, on the other hand.) Is the film as good as its pre-release buzz? Or is it as bad as its release date suggests? More...

Contest: Not So Family Friendly Prizes: Winning Announcement

2014-01-10

The winners of our Not So Family Friendly Prizes contest were determined and they are... More...

Contest: Sign Me Up: Winning Announcement

2014-01-10

The winners of our Sign Me Up contest were determined and it is... More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Survivor Be Lonely At the Top?

2014-01-10

Lone Survivor poster

There is only one truly new wide release this weekend: The Legend of Hercules. This film is earning zero positive reviews and most analysts think it will miss the top five. Fortunately, there are a couple of limited releases expanding wide this weekend that should help compensate. Lone Survivor is the most obviously mainstream hit and it has been doing surprisingly well in limited release. Meanwhile, Her is probably too out there to be a mainstream hit, but its reviews suggest it should at least do well with those looking for Oscar-quality films. This weekend last year was the weekend Zero Dark Thirty expanded wide. It pulled in $24.44 million over the weekend, which is a figure Lone Survivor might match. Unfortunately for 2014, 2013 had much better depth at the box office, so even if the Lone Survivor does get to $25 million or beyond, it still looks like the year will continue lower than last year. More...

Contest: All The Presidents' Prizes

2014-01-10

Next weekend is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and there are four wide releases trying to take advantage of the early year holiday. Granted, Devil's Due and The Nut Job will likely be a footnote at the box office. On the other hand, both Ride Along and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit could be in a tight race for top spot for the month. While both films should do well, I think Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit has the advantage over the opening weekend. As such, it is 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 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. 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 The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Rocket, Man.

2014-01-10

The Rocket poster

It's a relatively busy week for new releases, but sadly, almost none of them are earning overall positive reviews. Banshee Chapter is one exception, but it is the wrong genre for limited release. On the other hand, The Rocket is earning the best reviews and it is the kind of film that can thrive in limited release. Perhaps it can be an early year success story. More...

International Box Office: Hobbit Hits Half a Billion

2014-01-09

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug began 2014 the same way it ended 2013, on top. This weekend it pulled in $58 million in 62 markets for totals of $527 million internationally and $756 million worldwide. The film had no major market openings this past weekend, but did remain in fourth place in Russia with $9.6 million on 1,378 screens for a total of $42 million after three weeks of release. It was able to remain in top spot in Germany for the fourth weekend in a row with $8.6 million on 1,40 screens for a total of $75.1 million there. Granted, the film won't match An Unexpected Journey's debut, but it will end its run with well over $800 million worldwide, possibly even $900 million worldwide. There's no way to look at that figure and not call the movie a smashing success. More...

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

2014-01-08

Megaforce is the follow-up to Super Samurai and the latest incarnation of the Power Rangers. I was never a fan of this franchise growing up, but there have been some installments that I liked. (Most notable would be RPM.) Can this version improve upon the Super Samurai installment? Can it approach RPM in terms of quality? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Box Office Goes Cold

2014-01-07

Frozen poster

The box office wasn't as boisterous as anticipated and this is partially due to the seasonal storm that hit the east coast. This is also partially due to weaker than expected numbers for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which only managed second place in its debut. This allowed Frozen to return to top spot on the chart, even though it was a little weaker than expected. The overall box office fell 27% from last weekend down to $141 million. Compared to last year, the box office was down 4%, which isn't a good result, but it is also not terrible. Had The Marked Ones merely matched expectations, it would have been a virtual tie. More...

Per Theater Chart: Holdovers Feeling Lonely

2014-01-07

Lone Survivor poster

It was a slow week for new releases as none topped $10,000 on the per theater chart. There were some holdovers that performed well, led by Lone Survivor, which pulled in an average of $42,429 in two theaters. This is compared to $45,436 during its opening weekend. Such a small decline is great news for its upcoming wide expansion. August: Osage County was next with an average of $27,983 in five theaters, which is 22% lower than its opening average of $35,860. Its running tally is already at nearly half a million and it has potential to expand, especially if it continues to do well during Awards Season. The final film in the $10,000 club was Her with an average of $15,378 in 47 theaters. It is already at nearly $3 million after three weeks of release and it expands wide this weekend. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: SpongeBob and Friends: Patrick SquarePants

2014-01-07

It has been almost a full year since I last reviewed a SpongeBob SquarePants DVD. The latest release is SpongeBob and Friends: Patrick SquarePants. Like previous releases, there are a number of stories, starting with... More...

2014 Awards Season: DGA Dips into Nominations

2014-01-07

12 Years a Slave poster

The Directors Guild of America handed out their nominations for Feature Films today and will do the same for Documentaries next week. I have no idea why they do this, but it makes my job harder. Usually, I just wait till the Documentary nominations are announced, but this year I will do two stories. Next week will be mostly cut and paste job. More...

Weekend Projections: Marked Ones Frozen Out

2014-01-05

Frozen poster

Given the weather conditions in half the country, this weekend couldn't have a more appropriate winner at the box office. Disney's Frozen takes top honors again in its 7th weekend in release after previously topping the chart the weekend of December 6th. The film is projected to earn $20.72 million this weekend, making it only the fourth film ever to earn more than $20 million at this stage in its theatrical run. Avatar, Titanic and Home Alone are the other three (and see full list of 7th weekends here). Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was pushed into second spot with a decent $18.2 million opening. More...

2014 Awards Season: WGA: Nominees Have Stories to Tell

2014-01-05

Stories We Tell poster

WGAs announced their nominations this weekend and there were a couple of surprises to talk about. The top of that list is 12 Years a Slave, which was deemed ineligible because it wasn't written under WGA jurisdiction. This makes using the WGAs as an Oscar guide less reliable. On the other hand, several Oscar favorites showed up as well, including American Hustle, Nebraska, and others that have picked up major nominations this year. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for January 7th, 2014

2014-01-05

It is a relatively slow week this week. That's not to say there are no releases worth picking up, in fact, there's a close race for Pick of the Week. It's just none of the releases were monster hits at the theaters. This includes a couple of documentaries, The Act of Killing and Inequality for All, as well as a couple of TV on DVD releases, Archer: Season Four and Being Human: Complete Third Season. However, in the end, I went with We Are What We Are on DVD or Blu-ray for Pick of the Week. Meanwhile, Being Human: Complete Third Season on DVD or Blu-ray earns Puck of the Week, for the best Canadian release. More...

Contest: Powering Up

2014-01-03

Technically, there's only one wide release next week, The Legend of Hercules. Unfortunately, it is expected to bomb. Fortunately, there are two limited releases expanding wide next week, Her and Lone Survivor. Lone Survivor is by far the most mainstream of these three films and as such, it is 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 Lone Survivor. 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 Power Rangers Megaforce: The Mysterious Robo Knight on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Early Year Doldrums

2014-01-03

Autoreiji Biyondo poster

In order to qualify for the Oscars, a film has to open before the end of the year, so every year the weekend before New Years Eve has a few films trying to get into theaters just under the wire. This also means that the weekend after New Years Eve is a terrible time to release a movie in limited release. Art house theaters are loaded with Oscar hopefuls and it is very unlikely any of the new releases have the reviews to compete with those movies. That is certainly the case this year. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will the New Releases Win the New Year?

2014-01-02

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the only wide release opening on the first weekend of the year. The long running franchise will have to battle a weaker release date, franchise fatigue, and several holdovers that are still going strong. It still has a good shot at first place, as does Frozen. Frozen could win the weekend, with the help of families going out to the movies one last time before school starts again. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug probably won't extend its winning streak, but it should still be pull in quite a bit of money over the weekend. Last year the year started with Texas Chainsaw 3D earning more than $20 million. Django Unchained also topped $20 million over the weekend, albeit by the tiniest margin. We might have two $20 million films this weekend as well, with as many as five additional films earning more than $10 million. If 2014 doesn't win in the year-over-year comparison, it should at least be close. More...

2014 Preview: January

2014-01-01

Jack Ryan poster

It's the first month of the new year, but the biggest hit might be a film released in December. Last month ended on a slow note with all five Christmas day releases failing to become hits, some more than others. (It's a little too soon to tell if The Wolf of Wall Street or The Secret Life of Walter Mitty will do well enough to break even any time soon, but neither is a serious hit.) There are still some December releases that will likely remain on the charts through the opening weekends of January, while there are some films that opened in limited release last month with a scheduled wide release this month. Of the purely January releases, I would guess Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit will be the biggest hit. Even then, it won't live up to the previous films in the franchise, even if you don't take inflation into account. Most of the rest of the new releases will be happy if they can become midlevel hits. Last January was led by Mama, which earned more than $70 million. I think Shadow Recruit will top that figure at the box office, while there are a similar number of likely box office bombs opening this year as there were last year. 2014 could start out ahead of 2013's pace, but it likely won't be a huge difference either way. More...

International Box Office: Hobbit Ends the Year On Top

2014-01-01

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

As it has the past couple of weeks, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug topped the international chart earning $99.7 million on 15,782 screens in 61 markets for totals of $424.8 million internationally and $615.1 million worldwide. The film opened in Australia on Boxing Day, but due to the holidays earning first place with a total opening of $12.9 million on 629 screens; however, this was a little behind An Unexpected Journey's debut there. On the other hand, the film set the record for biggest total opening in Poland with $5.6 million on 425 screens. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up and Holiday Schedule

2013-12-30

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

Some studios are still closed and won't open till this time next week, so we won't have all of the final numbers for the past two weeks till then. We do have some final numbers, as well as some studio estimates that we can look at now. As for the upcoming week, it will look a lot like last week in terms of stories. We won't have a per theater chart, we might have an international top ten, while prediction, contest, and limited releases will be mostly normal. We might even have a review this weekend. (That's assuming some of the late screeners finally arrive, because at the moment I have nothing to review.) More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for December 31st, 2013

2013-12-29

This Tuesday is New Years Eve, so it should come as no surprise that there are almost no new releases worth talking about. In fact, it is arguably weaker than last week, because last week had Insidious Chapter 2, which was a big hit for a September release. This week the biggest, and best, new release is Don Jon, which earned amazing reviews, but failed to make an impact at the box office. There are almost no extras on the DVD, but the Blu-ray has several exclusive extras and it is the Pick of the Week. It's not the only new release that is worth checking out, but it is close to the other new release that is worth checking out. More...

Weekend Projections: Hobbit Top But Frozen Most Impressive

2013-12-29

Frozen poster

The Hobbit will extend its run at the top of the chart to three weekends, according to studio estimates released on Sunday, but Frozen is the real winner, with a 47% increase in box office from last weekend (the second-best in the top 10 behind Saving Mr. Banks), and a new entry in the record books as the second-most-successful film in its 6th weekend in theaters -- only Avatar tops it.

The rest of the chart is a mess of new releases enjoying varying degrees of success. More...

International Box Office: Desolation Brightens The Weekend

2013-12-27

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was the biggest draw on the international chart last weekend adding $97.4 million on 16,840 screens in 56 markets for totals of $278.4 million internationally and $406.0 million worldwide after just two weeks of release. This includes a first place debut in Russia where it made $16.36 million on 2,125 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $19.11 million. This is more or less the same as the first film opened with. (An Unexpected Journey didn't open on Wednesday, but made $17.89 million on 2,128 screens during its three-day opening weekend.) More...

Weekend Predictions: Holiday Treats or Lumps of Coal

2013-12-27

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

It's the final weekend of the year and there are a lot of films fighting for spots in the top five, including five films that opened on Christmas Day. Unfortunately for those films, it looks like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will remain in first place for the third weekend in a row. The Wolf of Wall Street will likely be the biggest of the five new releases, but it is unlikely that it will have a shot at first place; it might only finish fifth. The other new releases are even weaker. Last year there were only three new releases for the final weekend of the year, but none of them bombed, so 2013 might end on a low note. 2013 should still win in the year-over-year comparison, but losing on the final weekend of the year is a bad sign for 2014's debut. More...

Contest: Sign Me Up

2013-12-27

It's the first Box Office Prediction contest of the year and it is an easy week to pick a target film, as the only wide release is Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. Paranormal Activity is an established franchise, but this is the first film in the series not to open wide in October, so it will be interesting to see how moviegoers reach. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. 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 signed poster for The Legend of Hercules, signed by Kellan Lutz.

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

Limited Releases: Last Chance for Oscar Glory

2013-12-27

August Osage County poster

There are a quartet of films opening in limited release this weekend hoping, as this is the last weekend they could open and still have a shot at Oscar glory this year. Three of the four films have already earned at least one major nomination, while the fourth has a shot at Oscar nominations in a technical category or two. Overall, however, their reviews are merely good, but not great. With all of the competition, it might be too difficult for any of them to expand wide. August: Osage County has the best combination of reviews and buzz and should win the weekend. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Star Trek: Enterprise: Season Three

2013-12-27

Star Trek: Enterprise ran for four seasons, which means the series is already halfway done its Blu-ray run. On the seventh of January, the film's third season hits Blu-ray. If you look at various sites that rate episodes, you will find 80% of the bottom twenty episodes of this show's run are from the first two seasons, while 80% of the top twenty episodes are from the third and fourth seasons. That's quite a turnaround. But is it enough? Or is being better than the first two seasons just damning it with faint praise? More...

Holiday Schedule and Early Predictions

2013-12-23

The Wolf of Wall Street poster

It's Christmas week and that means most stories will be delayed and / or shortened. Many studios are closed for the next two weeks, and some did so before releasing final box office numbers for the weekend. (This includes Paramount, so we we won't have a winner in our Box Office Prediction contest either.) International numbers will likely be delayed for a couple weeks as well. As far as weekend predictions go... More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for December 24th, 2013

2013-12-23

This Tuesday is Christmas Eve, so it should come as no surprise that there are almost no new releases worth talking about. There are so few releases, that I included them in last week's list. I thought I would just cut and paste what I said last week, just so I could include a Pick of the Week. It's More Than Honey on DVD or Blu-ray. On a side note, there are no featured reviews this week. I actually got the review done for Star Trek: Enterprise: Season Three done, but I'm not supposed to upload that earlier than ten days before its release date, so look for that review on Friday. More...

2013 - Holiday Gift Guide - Part IV

2013-12-21

PANIC! If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet, it is officially time to panic. Personally, I got the last of my shopping done on Wednesday, although I don't think the gift will arrive in time for Christmas. For those still looking for a last minute gift, Part IV of our Holiday Gift Guide focuses on books, CDs, and of course anything else I missed the first time around, beginning with... More...

Limited Releases: Her and Now

2013-12-20

Her poster

There are not a huge number of limited releases on this week's list, but all of the ones that have more than a few reviews on Rotten Tomatoes have outstanding reviews. Her isn't earning the best reviews, but it does have the best combined reviews and buzz and has the best shot at mainstream success. The Past could also expand wide enough to earn some measure of mainstream success, if it can translate its reviews into Awards Season glory. More...

2013 - Holiday Gift Guide - Part III

2013-12-19

Part III of the Holiday Gift Guide is a little late due to reasons you probably don't want to hear the details about. (I believe I've developed a food allergy to something in Eggnog.) The third installment of our holiday gift guide includes independent films, classics, foreign films, etc. The fastest way to find gifts is to go to the Independent Spirit Awards nominations and find any film that is on that list that is already out on DVD / Blu-ray (Frances Ha, Mud, etc.). Unfortunately, most of the films competing for Awards Season glory are still in theaters and not available as gifts. But there are still many films worth picking up, starting with... More...

International Box Office: The Hobbit Finds Treasure Abroad

2013-12-19

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened in first place on the international chart with $135.4 million on 16,405 screens in 49 markets. This includes a trio of markets where it topped $10 million. Germany led the way with $19.00 million on 874 screens, compared to $15.01 million earned by the previous film. The U.K. contributed $15.20 million on 580 screens, but that wasn't as strong as the $18.77 million earned by the first installment. France was third with $13.38 million on 909 screens, up from $11.12 million. It also placed first in a number of other major markets with Spain bringing in $7.05 million on 859 screens. It earned $6.24 million on 809 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $7.25 million. Mexico was up next with $5.07 million on 2,615 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $5.96 million. Italy and Brazil earned nearly identical results with $4.97 million on 720 screens and $4.86 million on 1,039 respectively. More...

Weekend Predictions: Will Anchorman Anchor the Box Office or will Smaug Persist

2013-12-19

Anchorman 2 poster

This week there are two wide releases, Anchorman: The Legend Continues and Walking with Dinosaurs, as well as two limited releases expanding wide, American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks. All four films will have to deal with last weekend's champion, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as well as Frozen, which should do well thanks to the holidays. This weekend last year was pretty bad for a December weekend. Jack Reacher opened with $15.21 million, which put it a distant second place to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The Desolation of Smaug won't make as much as An Unexpected Journey did last year, but Anchorman has a shot at first place and so the combined strength should help the box office grow in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Per Theater Chart: Hustle Speeds to the Top

2013-12-17

American Hustle poster

American Hustle started its box office run in limited release with a stunning average of $123,409. This is the second best per theater average for the year, behind only Frozen. Saving Mr. Banks opened in 15 theaters earning an average of $27,558. It should do well in its upcoming expansion. Inside Llewyn Davis expanded, playing in 15 theaters over the weekend while its per theater average fell to $23,786. It will continue to expand. The overall box office leader, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, was the final film in the $10,000 club earning an average of $18,869. More...

Contest: Spin the Wheel: Winning Announcement

2013-12-17

The winner of our Spin the Wheel contest was determined and it is... More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for December 17th, 2013

2013-12-16

It's a busy week with eight or so first-run releases. (It depends on if you count the The Sound of Music Live! as a first-run release.) However, none of them were big hits at the box office. Some of them made enough money to break even sometime on the home market, others struggled more than that, but none were breakout hits. Some of these are still worth picking up. For others, there's a reason they struggled. There are also a few TV on DVD releases this week that are worth picking up, as well as a few limited releases that are strong. All in all, it's a good week on the home market with many DVD and Blu-rays that are worth picking up, some of which I'm looking forward to reviewing... when they show up. This time of year, getting screeners on time tends to be a little harder. I think Burn Notice: Season Seven is the top selection, but I'll have to wait for the screener to make sure. On a side note, next Tuesday is Christmas eve, so there won't be a DVD and Blu-ray Release report. There's only four films worth talking about anyway, so I'm including them on this list. Of next week's films, More Than Honey on DVD or Blu-ray is the Pick of Next Week. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Smaug Descends on Box Office

2013-12-16

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

It's a good news / bad news weekend at the box office. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug earned first place with ease earning the fourth biggest December opening weekend of all time. On the other hand, it was a little weaker than expected opening on the low end of predictions. Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas also underperformed by a significant degree, which didn't help the overall box office. The overall box office rose 59% to $147 million, which seems like a huge amount, till you realize last weekend was the weekend after Thanksgiving, which is historically one of the worst weekends of the year. If there wasn't a massive jump at the box office, it would have been fatal for the month. This was also higher than the same weekend last year, albeit by a smaller margin of 6%. Year-to-date, 2013 is still ahead of 2012, but by less than 0.5% at $9.90 million to $9.85 million. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Lone Ranger

2013-12-15

Before The Lone Ranger even hit theaters, there was a lot of bad buzz preceding it. Part of the reason was the film's budget. With a combined production and P&A budget of around $400 million, the film would need to make more than $600 million worldwide to have a hope of breaking even sometime during its home market run. However, previous to this film's release, the biggest western was Dances with Wolves, which barely cracked $400 million. On the other hand, Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski helped revitalize the Pirate genre, so perhaps lightning can strike twice. Nope. The film bombed. But is it as bad as its box office numbers? Or was it unfairly overlooked by moviegoers? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Ghost Team One

2013-12-15

Ghost Team One is one of four or five comedies released this year set in a haunted house. I don't think a single one of them earned positive reviews. This film didn't earn the worst reviews, so I'm hoping it is at least entertaining, if not truly good. Can it live up to lowered expectations? More...

2014 Awards Season: SAG a Slave to Slave

2013-12-14

12 Years a Slave poster

SAG handed out nominations over the week, and like with the Independent Spirit Awards, 12 Years a Slave led the way and earned four nominations. It wasn't the only film that was singled out. More...

2014 Awards Season: Slave Hustles to the Top

2013-12-14

12 Years a Slave poster

Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their Golden Globe nominations this week, and a clear picture is forming. 12 Years a Slave was again the recipient of the most nominations, but this time it was a tie, as it and American Hustle both grabbed seven nominations. If you look down the list of other multi-nominated films, you will find a number of familiar faces. More...

Limited Releases look to Save America

2013-12-13

American Hustle poster

On the one hand, this is an amazing weekend for limited releases as there are not one, but two films opening that are very likely going to earn multiple Oscar nominations. On the other hand, most films opening this weekend are earning weak releases. The two main Oscar contenders are American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks, while The Crash Reel is up for Best Feature-Length Documentary. More...

Per Theater Chart: Insider Trading

2013-12-12

Inside Llewyn Davis poster

Inside Llewyn Davis had an incredible opening earning more than $400,000 in four theaters for a per theater average of $101,353. This is the third best per theater for the year behind just Frozen and Blue Jasmine. Mandela Long Walk to Freedom had a strong hold with an average of $19,413 in four theaters. The reason for this is obvious, but a little ghoulish to talk about. More...

Contest: Out of the Fire: Winning Announcement

2013-12-12

The winners of our Out of the Fire contest were determined and they are... More...

International Box Office: Fire Holds off the Freezing Cold

2013-12-12

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire again earned first place on the international chart, this week pulling in $42.9 million in 83 markets for a total of $340.6 million internationally and $676.5 million worldwide. The film had no major market openings this past weekend, not unless you count India, where the film made $703,000 on 613 screens. The film has already surpassed its predecessor and it has yet to open in Japan. $800 million worldwide is the current target, which is more than enough to cover this film's combined production and P&A budgets, and possibly the combined budgets for the next next two movies as well. More...

Weekend Predictions: Clear Skies for Smaug

2013-12-12

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

There are four noteworthy releases this week, although a couple of them are opening in limited release and expanding wide over the next couple of weeks. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug expected to be the biggest hit of the month, but not as big as An Unexpected Journey. Meanwhile Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas should be solid as counter-programming and better legs than most Tyler Perry. This weekend last year, An Unexpected Journey opened with $84.62 million. Most expect The Desolation of Smaug to miss that figure, perhaps by more than $10 million. However, the second best film last year was Rise of the Guardians, which only made $7.14 million. 2013 likely won't be as strong at the top, but it will certainly have better depth. More...

Contest: Not So Family Friendly Prizes

2013-12-12

Next week is a mess when it comes to new releases with two wide releases and two limited releases that are expanding wide. (There's a third limited release that might expand semi-wide.) The only film with a shot at top spot is Anchorman: The Legend Continues, but it opens on Wednesday, which means by the time the contest ends, there will be a full day's box office number released. This is why we try to avoid Wednesday openers, but in this case, we really don't have a choice. As such, Anchorman 2 is 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 Anchorman: The Legend Continues. 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 Family on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of The Family on Blu-ray Combo Pack.

We will also have a review for The Family shortly. (It comes out on DVD on and Blu-ray on the 17th, so hopefully the screener arrives soon.) In the meantime, we got some useful French phrases sent to us by the studio that you might find useful if you are ever find yourself in the French countryside hiding from the mob.

  1. On peut se tutoyer? – Unlike in English, the French have different ways of saying the word ‘you’. One you, ‘tu, is used when you know someone well and is relatively informal. The other, ‘vous’, is much more formal and is usually used when speaking to people who don’t know very well. Simply put, ‘On peut se tutoyer?’ means ‘can I refer to you informally’. When you’ve made your first French friend, this might be a useful phrase to use to cement your first relationship!
  2. Je Vous prèsente…/ Je te prèsente… – Loaded with your new identity and your status as a US mobster a distant memory, there will come a point where you are going to have to introduce your family by their new names. It certainly won’t be easy remembering your own new name, let alone all of your family members! Add to the equation that you are going to have to do this in fluent French and you have a potential disaster on your hands! Don’t panic. If you use this phrase (which literally means- I present to you) before naming each of your loved ones, you will be successfully conning the locals in no time.
  3. Je vous remercie de tout cœur - I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you really want to embrace politeness with the upmost romanticism, this is a great phrase to use (even if it is just a false pretence).
  4. Mon dieu! Il y a une hache dans ma tete. - Oh my god! There's an axe in my head. This will probably come in handy when you screw up again and the mob learns where you are. ... Actually this is my suggestion and one of only four French phrases I know. "Parlez-vous français?", "Je ne parle pas français.", and "Où est la bibliothèque." are far less useful in this situation.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Calm Before the Winter Store

2013-12-10

Frozen poster

As expected, the box office was really soft this weekend with Frozen rising to the top with over $30 million. It was the only film that earned more than that amount, while The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the only other film with significantly more than $5 million. Out of the Furnace was the only new release and while it barely topped $5 million, it still managed third place. The overall box office fell from 56% to just $92 million. As bad as that result is, it is still 15% higher than the same weekend last year. 2013 remains above 2012, albeit by a tiny margin of 0.3% at $9.75 billion to $9.72 billion. It wouldn't take much for 2013 to again lose its lead, so there's a lot to be interested in in the final few weeks of the year. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Fast and Furious 6

2013-12-10

As a franchise, Fast and the Furious appeared burnt out in 2009. Tokyo Drift bombed failing to match its production budget domestically and likely losing a ton worldwide. Fast and Furious saw the return of the original cast, which helped it return to previous heights in terms of box office dollars, but critics eviscerated it. Then, defying logic, Fast Five became the biggest hit in the franchise and earned the most critical praise. Can Fast and Furious 6 maintain this momentum? Or was Fast Five just a fluke? More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for December 10th, 2013

2013-12-10

It's a good week / bad week when it comes to new releases. On the positive side, there are a couple big first run releases, a couple big TV on DVD releases, and even a classic film hitting Blu-ray for the first time. On the other hand, the depth is really bad. If you look at Amazon.com's list of best selling new releases, you will find filler on the second page. That's not to say there are no contenders for Pick of the Week. Despicable Me 2 is the best selling release and the Blu-ray Combo Pack or 3D Combo Pack are also among the best, as is Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray. There are also a few more contenders where I'm waiting for a screener (Berberian Sound Studio, The Hunt, etc.). and it is a busy week for top notch releases. In the end, I went with Despicable Me 2 for that honor, but it was a real coin toss. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Despicable Me 2

2013-12-09

Despicable Me came out in 2010 and it was the first digitally animated film released by Universal. There was a lot of pressure to do well, because its level of success would not only determine if more Despicable Me movies would be made, but if the studio would continue to release digitally animated films in general. It beat expectations. Not only was it a great movie, but it earned more than $500 million worldwide on a $69 million budget. Needless to say, Despicable Me 2 was given the greenlight right away. However, can it live up to its predecessor? If not, is it still worth checking out? More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition

2013-12-09

It's the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins and Saving Mr. Banks is about to hit theaters. It's the perfect time for the film to make its high definition debut. So how does it look on Blu-ray? And is the total package worth picking up? Or should you stick with the 45th Anniversary DVD, which I previously reviewed? More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Big: 25th Anniversary Edition

2013-12-09

Big hits the home market this week with a 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray. Or if you want to be snarky, you could call it a 4th Anniversary Edition of the 2009 Blu-ray release. Is there anything new this time around? No. That said, if you didn't grab the Blu-ray the first time around, is the 25th Anniversary Edition worth it? More...

Weekend Projections: Frozen Top During Calm Between the Storms

2013-12-08

Frozen poster

Frozen will come out the winner at the box office this weekend, topping Catching Fire $31.6 million to $27 million, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. Both films are down over 50% from last weekend's holiday frame, but Frozen enjoys an advantage as the more seasonal of the two and will likely maintain its lead, at least until The Hobbit blows them both away on Friday. More...

2013 - Holiday Gift Guide - Part II

2013-12-07

The first full weekend of December and less than three weeks till Christmas. The second installment of our Holiday Gift Guide is where we talks about TV on DVD releases. We limit ourselves to the first season of new shows or the Megasets for complete shows. We do this, because generally speaking, you don't need our advice whether or not to give someone the sixth season of Murdoch Mysteries as a gift. Did they buy and enjoy the first five? Then yes, but the sixth season as a gift. If not, I wouldn't bother. Like with Part I, this year's selection doesn't seem very strong. There were very few new shows that were truly great. According to Metacritic, the best new show of the season was Nashville, which is a bit of a surprise. The second best show was Call the Midwife, but season two has already come out on DVD and Blu-ray, so it is not really a new show. Meanwhile, the third best show was canceled before its first season was completed. It wasn't a good year for high quality TV. There are also not a lot of Megasets for shows that recently ended that are obviously worth picking up, but the best of the group is... More...

Contest: Spin the Wheel

2013-12-06

Next week there are two wide releases, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas. The Desolation of Smaug is clearly going to be the winner and it is the only real 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 Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

On the other hand, there's no clear prize for this week's winner. We have something a little different this time around. 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 random Blu-ray from the following list...

Just look at the app...

There are 21 possibly Blu-rays on that list, and the winner won't know which one they won till it arrives. I think this is kind of fun. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Inside Track to the Oscars

2013-12-06

Inside Llewyn Davis poster

Like last week, it's not a good week on the limited release front. It's busier, but there are almost no films earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Inside Llewyn Davis is the biggest exception and it is earning Oscar-worthy reviews. Not only are its reviews stunning, but the buzz suggests it should be a major hit as well. White Reindeer is also earning Award-worthy reviews, but it might not have the buzz to escape art house cinemas. More...

Contest: FREEZE!: Winning Announcement

2013-12-05

The winner of our FREEZE! contest was determined and it is... More...

December Bankability Index: Brad Pitt Up on Slave and Counselor

2013-12-05

Brad Pitt is the big gainer in December's update to The Numbers Bankability Index, moving ahead of Adam Sandler and up to 7th place in our Worldwide Bankability Index chart. His move comes on the back of two films, 12 Years a Slave and The Counselor. Meanwhile, in our first extension to the chart since our launch last month, Will Smith makes an appearance in 11th place. More...

International Box Office: Hunger Games Continues to Burn Bright

2013-12-05

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire remained in first place on the international chart with $90.0 million in 79 markets for a total of $272.1 million. To put this into perspective, The Hunger Games finished with $276.5 million, so it is likely the sequel has already topped its predecessor internationally. The film opened in first place in France with $12.11 million on 755 screens. In comparison, The Hunger Games made $14.51 million in total in France, including $3.80 million during its opening weekend. The film also earned top spot in Italy with $5.05 million on 651 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $5.93 million. The original did poorly in that market with $1.29 million during its opening weekend and $3.83 million in total. Holdovers were led by the U.K., where it added $9.04 million on 557 screens over the weekend for a total of $35.36 million, or less than $2 million from its predecessor's total in that market. In Germany, the film pulled in $7.57 million on 670 screens over the weekend for a total of $24.63 million after two. The film film finished with $20.30 million in that market. More...

Weekend Predictions: Heat Up Some Leftovers

2013-12-05

Out of the Furnace poster

The weekend after the Thanksgiving long weekend is nearly always a dead zone for new releases, and that is certainly the case this year. Out of the Furnace is the only wide release this week, but its reviews plummeted compared to the early buzz. It should still reach the top five, but only because it would have to make less than $4 million to earn sixth place or worse. On the positive side, Frozen and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire should finish one-two each earning $30 million or more. By comparison, this weekend last year, the two biggest film earned barely more than $10 million. 2013 will easily win the year-over-year comparison. More...

Per Theater Chart: Mandela Sprints to the Top

2013-12-04

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom poster

Mandela Long Walk to Freedom earned first place on the per theater chart with an average of $21,071 in four theaters. However, its reviews are only good, not great, and it likely won't have great legs. Frozen and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire were neck and neck with averages of $18,009 and $17,819 respectively. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Unrated Rich Mahogany Edition)

2013-12-03

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is nine years old this year, which makes it an odd time to release a special edition Blu-ray. At least it would be an odd time if Anchorman: The Legend Continues wasn't hitting theaters in a couple of weeks. Is the movie as good as most people remember it? And is the Unrated Rich Mahogany Edition worth the upgrade from the previous edition? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Cool Films, Hot Box Office

2013-12-03

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

Thanksgiving long weekend set records with both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen breaking records for biggest Thanksgiving weekend and biggest Thanksgiving opening respectively. There was also good news for Thor: The Dark World over the weekend, as it topped predictions, and even while the rest of the new releases struggled, to be polite, it was a really impressive weekend. Over the three-day portion of the weekend, the box office pulled in a total of $208 million, which was 8% lower than last weekend. This is actually a very good decline, as the midweek holiday releases took some of the demand for the weekend. This was 82% higher than the same weekend last year, but this is misleading, because this weekend last year was the weekend after Thanksgiving day. 2013 was stronger than last Thanksgiving, but by 0.0456% over the three-day portion. Over fives days, the box office earned $293 million, which was almost exactly 1% more than last Thanksgiving. 2013 has regained the lead over 2012, albeit by a tiny margin at $9.62 billion to $9.61 billion. Hopefully it can maintain this lead from now till January. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for December 3rd, 2013

2013-12-03

There are a trio first run releases hitting the home market this week; however, all of them missed expectations at the box office to one degree or the other. The Wolverine performed the best and it is definitely the only one worth checking out, but I won't know if it is the best till the screener arrive. (I hope I get the Extended Edition 3D Combo Pack, because I hear it is a much better version of the movie). Contenders for Pick of the Week are limited. The Rutles Anthology was on the short list, but in the end I went with Drinking Buddies on DVD or Blu-ray. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review - The Jack Ryan Collection

2013-12-02

The Jack Ryan franchise is a strange one. There have been four films so far, with a fifth on the way, and during that time, four different actors will have played the titular role. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit hits theaters in mid-January, so it is a perfect time to release the four earlier movies on a Blu-ray box set. (Or to be more accurate, re-release the 2008 Blu-rays in one box set.) How many of these earlier films are worth checking out? And is the box set good value? More...

Final Weekend Numbers

2013-12-02

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

Final weekend numbers:
- 3-Day Weekend Friday-Sunday
- Wednesday Daily Numbers
- Thursday Daily Numbers
- Friday Daily Numbers
- Saturday Daily Numbers
- Sunday Daily Numbers

We are now publishing our weekend and daily charts with updates as they are received from the studios. Most major studios, and many independent distributors report by about 1pm, Pacific Time and final numbers are available by 3.30pm. To be included in our charts, please send box office reports and release schedule updates to bodata@the-numbers.com. More...

2013 Preview: December

2013-12-01

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster

We had some good news and some bad news in November. The bad news is the overall weakness at the box office continued and 2013 lost its lead over 2012. Strong runs by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen did help it bounce back in the end, but 2013 is still going to have a tough time topping 2012. Looking forward to December, we find about a dozen wide releases, sort of. There are several films that are opening in limited release that are expected to expand wide by the end of the month, but I'm not sure that will be the case for all of them. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug should be the easy winner this month and if it is a little lucky, it might even top its predecessor at the box office. There is a huge amount of hype surrounding Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and it could double the first film's box office numbers. On the other hand, those two films might be the only two December wide releases to reach $100 million. There are a few that have the potential to get to the century mark, if they are big players during Awards Season. Obviously some of the films coming out this month will win awards, but there's already a lot of competition in theaters before the month begins. There were three $100 million movies last December, led by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, so while it could be close, it looks like December will lose in the year-over-year comparison. This is really bad news, as 2013 can't afford to go out on a losing streak if it wants to top 2012. More...

Contest: Out of the Fire

2013-11-29

Next weekend is the weekend after Thanksgiving day, and like it is nearly every year, it's a really weak week for new releases. In fact, there's only one film that might open wide, Out of the Furnace, and I'm not 100% sure it will. Additionally, it is opening on the Wednesday, while we only look at the Friday through Sunday numbers. Regardless, we need a target film for our box office prediction contest and this is the only choice. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Out of the Furnace. 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 Rise of the Guardians Holiday Edition with Marching Elf on DVD. Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness - Good Croc, Bad Croc on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Long Walk to Success

2013-11-29

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom poster

It's not a good week on the limited release front. There's only a couple of films earning overwhelmingly positive reviews: Cousin Jules and The Punk Singer. The former just screams art house and has little hope of finding mainstream audiences. The latter might do better, but it still will be limited to the art house circuit. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom has the most mainstream appeal, but its reviews are only good and not great. More...

2014 - Awards Season: Slave Earns Independence

2013-11-28

12 Years a Slave poster

Independent Spirit Award started the Awards Season this week, handing out its nominations. 12 Years a Slave led the way with seven nominations, but it wasn't the only film to pick up multiple nominations. More...

International Box Office: World Catches Fire

2013-11-27

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire had its first wide weekend on the international chart after debuting in Brazil last weekend. It shot up to first place with $146.1 million in 65 markets, including two weeks in Brazil. The film was very strong compared to The Hunger Games in most markets, this was noticeable in the U.K., where it earned $19.8 million compared to $7.78 million for the first film. Germany's haul was $14 million, more than three times the $4.26 million for the original. It grew in Australia as well, but by a more subdued margin of $11.4 million to $9.48 million. More...

Weekend Predictions: Fire vs. Ice

2013-11-27

Frozen poster

Thanksgiving long weekend won't be remembered for the quality of the films opening wide. In fact, of the three new releases on this week's list, only one of them is truly opening wide. Homefront is debuting in 2,500 theaters, while Black Nativity is only opening in 1,500. Oldboy is only opening in 600 theaters, but it still has a reasonable shot at the top ten. If it weren't for the wide expansion of Frozen and hopefully a strong hold by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the weekend would be a write-off. As it is, 2013 should crush 2012... mostly because there is a misalignment and this weekend last year was the weekend after Thanksgiving. The post holiday slump meant the top five was only able to bring in a little under $75 million. I'm not saying Catching Fire will top that number, at least not over three days, but it should clear at least that much over the next five days. More...

Per Theater Chart: Frozen has a Hot Opening

2013-11-26

Frozen poster

Frozen begun its short prestige release before its wide expansion on Wednesday and it was fantastic. The film pulled in $243,390 in one theater giving it the best per theater average for the year so far, topping Blue Jasmine and pushing Spring Breakers into third place. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was in a distant second place with an average of $37,971 in more than 4,000 theaters. Philomena did very well with an average of $32,109 in four theaters. The Great Beauty remained in the $10,000 club with an average of $17,452 in three theaters. Nebraska rounded out the $10,000 club with an average of $11,634 in 28 theaters. It should continue to expand and start hitting major milestones. More...

IMAX: The Hunger Games Devours Another Record

2013-11-26

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opened on IMAX scoring $12.6 million in 347 IMAX theaters domestically and $5.4 million internationally for an $18 million opening. It earned a per screen average of $36,300, which is the best ever for a November release, topping Skyfall. Overall, IMAX theaters pulled in $25.7 million worldwide, which was the second best weekend for the format. More...

Contest: Catch'Em All: Winning Announcement

2013-11-26

The winners of our Catch'Em All contest were determined and they are... More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 26th, 2013

2013-11-25

It's a pretty soft week when it comes to new releases. This is not surprising, as it is also Thanksgiving long weekend starting on Wednesday. These releases are only going to be out one day before they are overshadowed by sales. Fortunately, there are a couple of releases that stand out. The biggest of these, and the best, is Breaking Bad: The Final Season. The DVD or the Blu-ray could be a contender for Pick of the Week even during the busiest week. However, I think that honor should go to the show's Blu-ray Megaset. It is expensive, but it is worth it. An honorable mention goes to Mystery Science Theater 3000: 25th Anniversary Edition. More...

Final Weekend Numbers

2013-11-25

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

Final weekend numbers:
- 3-Day Weekend Friday-Sunday
- Friday Daily Numbers
- Saturday Daily Numbers
- Sunday Daily Numbers

We are now publishing our weekend and daily charts with updates as they are received from the studios. Most major studios, and many independent distributors report by about 1pm, Pacific Time and final numbers are available by 3.30pm. To be included in our charts, please send box office reports and release schedule updates to bodata@the-numbers.com. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Catching Fire Burns Bright, But Not Quite as Bright as Predicted

2013-11-25

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire easily won first place at the box office this past weekend and it even broke the record for biggest opening weekend in November. Even so, its opening seems a little disappointing, because some analysts were predicting an opening of more than $180 million. The overall box office was still huge at $226 million. This was nearly $100 million or 80% more than last weekend. This was also higher than the same weekend last year by 9%. Unfortunately, 2013 is still behind 2012 by 1.4% at $9.28 billion to $9.41 billion. More...

2013 - Holiday Gift Guide - Part I

2013-11-24

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and that means Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a ton of shopping. It also means the first installment of our Holiday Gift Guide. Over the next month, we will talk about TV on DVD releases, independent releases, foreign language releases, classics, etc. but this week we start with Major Movie Releases. These are first run releases, franchise box sets, etc. However, this year seems weaker than years past. Last year the biggest new release was The Avengers, which was also one of the best reviewed wide releases of the year. This year the biggest release is Iron Man 3, which earned good reviews, but not great reviews. Last year there were a ton of franchise box sets. This year has been pretty barren. In fact, I think the only franchise box set that's truly new and really worth picking up is... More...

Weekend Projections: Catching Fire Takes November Record

2013-11-24

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

As expected, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire topped Delivery Man to win at the box office this weekend. OK, topped is perhaps an understatement when the gap between the two movies is about $150 million. Catching Fire will easily record the biggest November weekend of all time, topping The Twilight Saga: New Moon. It's also heading towards the 4th-biggest weekend of all time, per Lionsgate's Sunday estimate, although there's a good chance it'll end up just behind The Dark Knight Rises' $160.8 million from last year. It will definitely end behind Iron Man 3's $174 million from earlier this year, but continued big earnings for Catching Fire over Thanksgiving means that this year's box office championship race is about to get interesting. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Red 2

2013-11-23

Red opened in the fall of 2010 and became a surprise hit. When you think of action films, you generally don't think of retirees. The combined age of the four actors who played the retired secrets agents was 250 years old when the movie came out. But because the film was something different, it won over critics and moviegoers. Needless to say, they started working on a sequel soon after. However, when Red 2 came out, it wasn't as successful at the box office or with critics. Is it really weaker? Is it so weak that it isn't worth checking out if you liked the first one? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Bill Cosby... Far From Finished

2013-11-23

It has been 26 years since Bill Cosby: 49 aired in 1987, which was the last time Bill Cosby had a TV special. Now he makes his Comedy Central debut with ... Far From Finished. Does he still have what it takes at age 76? Or has stand-up comedy changed too much in the past 26 years? More...

Weekend Predictions: How Hot will Catching Fire Burn?

2013-11-22

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster

The weekend before Thanksgiving is one of the best weekends of the year to release a monster hit, and this year we get The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. If Catching Fire doesn't break the record for biggest opening weekend in November, it will be seen as a huge shock. It has a chance at topping Iron Man 3's opening weekend and securing top spot for the year. Catching Fire isn't the only film opening wide this weekend, but to call Delivery Man counter-programing is an understatement. It might not crack $10 million, but that will still be enough to earn a spot in the top five. This weekend last year was the Thanksgiving long weekend, so it is a little hard to compare the two and judge which one is stronger. Catching Fire should easily earn more than the top five did over the three-day weekend, perhaps even more than the top six or seven earned, but the real test will come next weekend when we can compare this Thanksgiving to last year's. More...

Contest: FREEZE!

2013-11-22

There are three wide releases next week, Black Nativity, Homefront, and Oldboy. Unfortunately none of them are expected to be even midlevel hits. Fortunately, there's one other option, Frozen. Frozen opened in one theater on Friday the 22nd before expanding wide on Wednesday the 27th. Normally we don't like to use films that have already opened, but it is still the best 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 Frozen. 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 Impractical Jokers: Season One on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Limited Releases are Frozen Out

2013-11-22

Frozen poster

This week's list of limited releases is kind of mixed. Frozen is coming out this week for a prestige opening before expanding wide on Wednesday and it is virtually guaranteed box office success. On the other hand, most of the rest of the films are documentaries, which almost never have breakout success. Every documentary on this list looks interesting, but of the non-Frozen releases, I think Philomena has the best shot at box office success. More...

Contest: Best of Luck: Winning Announcement

2013-11-21

The winner of our Best of Luck contest was determined and it is... More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 19th, 2013

2013-11-20

There are some good releases this week, but it is also a shallow week. If you look at Amazon.com's list of new releases, by the third or fourth page, you will find more filler than releases worth talking about. On the other hand, there are a number of late releases that finally arrived and I was able to get done. There are a number of contenders for Pick of the Week this week, including Doctor Who Story 29: The Tenth Planet, which is a must have for all Whovians. Kinky Boots is a very fun movie and you can't beat the price of the DVD. On the other hand, the Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-ray releases for Season Five and Unification are expensive, but worth it for fans. In the end, I went with The World's End on Blu-ray Combo Pack for Pick of the Week. More...

Per Theater Chart: Everyone Takes a Trip to Nebraska

2013-11-20

Nebraska poster

Nebraska led the way on the per theater average with an average of $35,100 in four theaters. This is not as strong as Alexander Payne's previous release, especially if you take into account the difference in the theater count between the two films. The Great Beauty was next with $23,442 in its lone theater. The Best Man Holiday was the only wide release to crack the $10,000 club earning an average of $14,875 during its opening weekend. The Book Thief and The Christmas Candle were right behind with averages of $14,501 and $14,140 respectively. More...

International Box Office: Thor 2 Overtakes Original

2013-11-20

Thor: The Dark World completed the hat trick earning first place for the third weekend in a row. It pulled in $52.5 million on 3,841 screens in 69 markets for totals of $332.8 million internationally and $477.9 million worldwide. This is already more than the original Thor finished with and possibly already enough to break even. (It depends on its global P&A budget.) The film had no major market openings this past weekend, but it did debut in first place in Argentina with $1.73 million on 256 screens. Its biggest market so far is China at $41.8 million, while Russia is second with $32.07 million. The film has yet to open in Italy and Japan, so it might hit a few more milestones. On the other hand, it will surrender top spot this weekend to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Best Man Bests Prediction, Thor Still Powers Through

2013-11-19

As expected, Thor: The Dark World led the way on the weekend box office chart. However, The Best Man Holiday was surprisingly strong and helped soften the blow at the overall box office. Even so, the box office was down 26% from the last weekend at $125 million. A 26% drop-off is bad, but the year-over-year comparison was even worse. So much worse. Compared to this weekend last year when The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 debut, the box office was down almost exactly 50%. And with that, 2013 is no longer ahead of 2012's pace. It was bound to happen with the weak box office numbers recently. Granted, 2013 is only behind by 0.4% at $9.02 billion to $9.06 and one really good weekend could reverse that situation. In fact, the opening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this coming weekend could reverse that situation, but 2013 will be neck-and-neck with 2012 from here on out, instead of the solid leads it held for much of the year. More...

Final Weekend Numbers

2013-11-18

Thor: The Dark World poster

Final weekend numbers:
- 3-Day Weekend Friday-Sunday
- Friday Daily Numbers
- Saturday Daily Numbers
- Sunday Daily Numbers

We are now publishing our weekend and daily charts with updates as they are received from the studios. Most major studios, and many independent distributors report by about 1pm, Pacific Time and final numbers are available by 3.30pm. To be included in our charts, please send box office reports and release schedule updates to bodata@the-numbers.com. More...

Featured DVD Review: Kinky Boots

2013-11-18

Kinky Boots came out in 2006 and did relatively well in limited release. Most limited releases don't crack the $1 million mark at the box office. But I think the studio was hoping for a whole lot more. This explains why it is coming out on DVD this week as a bargain release from Echo Bridge. Is it worth checking out if you missed it the first time? And despite being a bargain release, does it have any extras? More...

Featured DVD Review: Breaking the Girls

2013-11-18

Breaking the Girls came out in limited release in July, but was not a hit with moviegoers or critics. In fact, it has so far earned zero positive reviews. Will I disagree with the other critics? Or is there a reason none of the critics on Rotten Tomatoes recommended the movie? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The World's End

2013-11-18

The World's End is the final film of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. The first two films were Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. This film was the least financially successful of the three films, but is it also the weakest? If so, is it so weak that it isn't worth checking out? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification

2013-11-17

This is the third two-part episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation to be released as a stand-alone Blu-ray, but it is not a season finale. Those made sense to release, because it is in someways unfair to make someone wait to finish a two-part episode when the show has been off air for a couple decades. But both parts Unification are coming out on Blu-ray the same day on the Season Five Blu-ray. So is it really worth it to buy it separately? More...

(Updated) Weekend Projections: Thor Almost Bested By Best Man Holiday

2013-11-17

The Best Man Holiday

Although it's still the calm before the storm that will be Catching Fire next weekend, this weekend has a healthy look to it thanks to a stronger-than-expected debut for The Best Man Holiday, which will post about $30.5 million according to Universal's Sunday projection, more than three times the debut figure for the previous film in the franchise. That won't be enough to unseat Thor at the top of the chart though. The Marvel superhero will post about $38 million, down a reasonable 55% from its opening frame. Most other returning films are enjoying good holds too. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Planes

2013-11-17

Planes started out as a direct-to-DVD sequel, but sometime during production, someone decided the script was good enough to be made into a theatrical release. This isn't the first time this has happened. Return to Neverland took the same route. That film wasn't loved by critics, but it did well for its production budget. Planes was huge at the box office, pulling in more than $200 million worldwide, which is much more than a lot of people thought it would pull in. Did it do so well because it was also better than expected? Or did it thrive because it was the last animated film of the summer, so it had no competition? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Five

2013-11-16

We are more than halfway through the seven-year run of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The first two seasons were a little rough, but by season three and season four it had really hit its stride. How does season five compare? More...

Contest: Catch'Em All

2013-11-15

It's a really easy week to pick the target film for the Box Office Prediction Contest. Granted, there's more than one wide release next week, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will crush Delivery Man at the box office. Catching Fire will likely make more during its midnight showings than Delivery Man will make during the whole weekend. As such, it is the only real 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: Catching Fire. 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 JFK - A New World Order on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Meanwhile, 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 copy of JFK - A New World Order on Blu-ray Combo Pack. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Dear Limited Releases

2013-11-15

Nebraska poster

There are not a lot of limited releases on this week's list, but there are a few that are intriguing. Nebraska has the best reviews and an excellent pedigree. Dear Mr. Watterson is a good choice for fans of Calvin and Hobbes. While Faust is earning good enough reviews to be worth checking out, even if it will be overshadowed by some of the Oscar contenders out there. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Way Way Back

2013-11-15

The Way Way Back is written by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. For most of their careers, they have been actors. However, they wrote the script for The Descendants, which won them an Oscar. This time around, they not only co-wrote the screenplay, but co-directed the film as well. Was The Descendants a fluke? Or do they have another critical darling on their hands? More...

International Box Office: Thor 2 Still Strong Second Time Around

2013-11-14

Thor: The Dark World debuted last weekend, but thanks to a number of new markets this weekend, it was even more dominant on the international chart. It pulled in $94 million in 66 markets, which lifts its running tally to $240.9 million internationally and $326.6 million worldwide. Its biggest market was China where it made $20.98 million. In comparison, Thor made about $15 million there, in total. This is incredible growth. It grew in Russia rising to $11.44 million on 1,500 screens for a total of $24.04 million after two weeks of release. The original Thor finished with $268.30 million internationally, which is a figure Thor 2 will smash through by the weekend. It might make more internationally than the first film made worldwide and it could help Disney break the all-time single year global box office record, currently at $3.791 billion, which it earned in 2010. More...

Weekend Predictions: Holiday Between Blockbusters

2013-11-14

The Best Man Holiday

Last weekend, Thor: The Dark World made its debut. Next weekend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens up. With these two monster hits opening so close together, it comes as no surprise that this weekend there are not a lot of new releases. In fact, we only have The Best Man Holiday as a wide release. It won't be able to score top spot, but the lack of direct competition should help it score a solid second place. On the down side, this weekend last year The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 opened with $141.07 million, which is very likely more than the entire box office will make this season. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: The Three Faces of Eve

2013-11-13

The Three Faces of Eve first came out in 1957 and was groundbreaking in its portrayal of mental illness. It stars Joanne Woodward in only her third theatrical release. However, despite being practically unknown to moviegoers, she won an Oscar for her performance in this film. On the other hand, 1957 was a long time ago and what was Oscar-worthy then might not have aged well. More...

Analysis: The Numbers Bankability Index Under the Covers

2013-11-13

On Tuesday we launched The Numbers Bankability Index, a new service to help assess the value that different people bring to the industry, from actors and actresses to directors, screenwriters, producers, and anyone else involved in the creative process of making a movie. In this article, I'll look more deeply into how the Index is compiled, and how we use the tools behind it to analyze questions about people in movies.

If you haven't already, now's a good time to look at our announcement video, and the November Edition of the Worldwide Bankability Index. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Mad Men: Season Six

2013-11-13

Season Six of Mad Men is the penultimate season for the show. This is bittersweet for fans, because a lot of them will be losing their favorite show. Also, it makes the expectations really high. Fans will demand the show go off on high note and any sign of a decrease in quality might send them off in a panic. Are there reasons to panic? Or does it look like the seventh and final season will be a great send off for the show? More...

Introducing The Numbers Bankability Index

2013-11-12


See The Numbers Bankability Index™ for November
More...

Per Theater Chart: Thief Steals Top Spot

2013-11-12

The Book Thief poster

The Book Thief was a surprise top spot with an average of $26,251 in four theaters. It was seen by some as a possible Awards Season contender, but its reviews suggest otherwise. Thor: The Dark World was first on the overall box office and second on the per theater chart with $22,322. Dallas Buyers Club fell from first to third on the per theater chart, but with a still strong average of $18,249 in 35 theaters. More...

Contest: In the Dark: Winning Announcement

2013-11-12

The winners of our In the Dark contest were determined and they are... More...

Final Weekend Numbers

2013-11-11

Thor: The Dark World poster

Final weekend numbers:
- 3-Day Weekend Friday-Sunday
- Friday Daily Numbers
- Saturday Daily Numbers
- Sunday Daily Numbers

We are now publishing our weekend and daily charts with updates as they are received from the studios. Most major studios, and many independent distributors report by about 1pm, Pacific Time and final numbers are available by 3.30pm. To be included in our charts, please send box office reports and release schedule updates to bodata@the-numbers.com. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 12th, 2013

2013-11-11

There are a number of good releases this week. The two biggest releases are Man of Steel and Turbo. While the former has a larger target audience, the latter is the better film. It is still not Pick of the Week material. The best films are some of the smaller releases, like The Attack, Barbara, Blackfish, City Lights, and Prince Avalanche. All of those are worth picking up, but I think Nosferatu on Blu-ray is the Pick of the Week. More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Thor Sees the Light

2013-11-11

Thor: The Dark World matched expectations nearly perfectly and dominated the box office over the weekend. In fact, it earned more than the rest of the box office pulled in combined. This helped the overall box office rise 32% from last weekend reaching $167 million. Unfortunately, Thor couldn't match Skyfall's opening weekend and the total box office was 3% lower than the same weekend last year. 2013 is still ahead of 2012, but by 0.9% at $8.85 million to $8.77 million. Since there is only one new release next weekend, and it isn't a prime release, we will likely see another year-over-year loss. Fortunately, 2013 should still stay ahead of 2012 and Catching Fire should end 2013's losing streak in a big way. More...

Featured DVD Review: Grabbers

2013-11-10

Grabbers is an Irish / British horror comedy that opened in its native market last summer while it earned a limited release here this summer. Horror comedies rarely do well in limited release and this film wasn't an exception. On the other hand, films like this tend to do relatively well on the home market. Will that be the case? Can this film find a cult appeal on DVD? More...

Weekend Estimates: Thor Starts the Holidays with a Powerful Opening

2013-11-10

Thor: The Dark World poster

Thor: The Dark World gets the holiday season off to a start this weekend with a powerful display at the box office. Disney is pegging its opening weekend at $86.8 million, which will be a healthy 30% boost from the debut of the first film in the franchise and also one of the ten biggest weekends in November. It's the first film in the Avengers über-franchise to open outside of the May-July Summer season, but that certainly doesn't seemed to have harmed it at the box office, and it won't have much competition until Catching Fire opens in a couple of weeks' time. All said, it looks a virtual certainty to top the box office performance of the original. More...

Featured DVD Review: Dealin' with Idiots

2013-11-10

Jeff Garlin directorial debut was I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With, which earned very good reviews, even if it struggled to find an audience in theaters. He followed that film with Dealin' with Idiots, which sadly didn't live up to the first film either critically or fiscally. Was it unfairly attacked? Or is it much worse than his directorial debut? More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Dexter: Season Eight

2013-11-09

This is the final season of Dexter, but instead of being excited, I'm more than a little worried. Season six and seven failed to live up to the standards set in previous seasons. As a result, I'm concerned the show will end on a low note instead of going out on a high. Were these concerns justified? Or was I being too pessimistic? More...

Weekend Predictions: Thor Will Rule, But Will It Crack $100 Million?

2013-11-08

Thor: The Dark World will easily win the race for the top of the box office this weekend. It really has no competition for top spot, and only token competition as far as new releases are concerned. About Time is the only other new wide release, and quite frankly, I should add quotes around both "new" and "wide", as it opened in limited release last weekend, will expand to 1,400 theaters this weekend and it likely won't reach the top five. It will be interesting to see if Ender's Game will hold up next to the competition from Thor, but that seems unlikely. Thor: The Dark World could do well when compared to last year's number one film, Skyfall, but 2013 just doesn't have the depth to thrive, so 2013 will lose again in the year-over-year comparison. More...

Contest: Best of Luck

2013-11-08

Next week there is only one wide release, but unlike this week, its rather weak. The Best Man Holiday has the weekend to itself, but will very likely get crushed by Thor: The Dark World at the box office. Even so, since it is the only wide release, 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 Best Man Holiday. 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 Kinky Boots on DVD. Meanwhile, 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 copy of Kinky Boots on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Lying about Limited Releases

2013-11-08

Best Man Down poster

There are quite a few limited releases on this week's list, including several that have earned more pre-release buzz that most limited releases earn. However, many of these films' reviews are good, but not great. The Book Thief is one such film, but it could still find an audience in limited release, although its plans to expand wide are very unlikely to happen. How I Live Now and Great Expectations are in similar positions. More...

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for November 5th, 2013

2013-11-07

It's a big week with several first run releases, some big TV on DVD, releases, and more to deal with. The only one that truly rises to the level of Pick of the Week is Mad Men: Season Six, but the screener arrived late and I hate awarding Pick of the Week to a title when that happens. The only other release I really want to see is White House Down, but that's more guilty pleasure than Pick of the Week. I guess it goes to Mad Men: Season Six on DVD or Blu-ray. More...

Per Theater Chart: Buyers Market

2013-11-07

Dallas Buyers Club took top spot on the per theater chart with an average of $28,985 in nine theaters. Add in its reviews and this is a great start. 12 Years a Slave was finally pushed out of top spot, but it still has a very strong showing with an average of $11,688 in more than 400 theaters. More...

Contest: Game of Chance: Winning Announcement

2013-11-07

The winner of our Game of Chance contest was determined and it is... More...

International Box Office: Thor Brightens the Day

2013-11-07

Thor: The Dark World made its international debut a week ahead of its domestic debut and it crushed the competition with $109.4 million in 36 markets. Its biggest market was the U.K., where it earned first place with $13.80 million on 522 screens. By comparison, the first Thor film managed $9.11 million on 500. If the film has a similar increase in its opening weekend here, it could open with $100 million. That's probably too optimistic; it did show growth in most major markets, just not as much as it did in the U.K. France was the second best new market with an opening of $9.94 million on 609 screens, compared to $8.69 million for its predecessor. Germany and Mexico were neck-and-neck with $8.31 million on 620 screens and $8.26 million on 2,482 respectively. Russia was strong with $7.59 million on 769 screens. Australia made $6.80 million on 609 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $6.98 million. Brazil was close behind with $6.69 million on 1,090 screens. In South Korea it made $6.11 million on 843 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $7.63 million. The only major market to see a decrease was Spain, where the film made $3.34 million on 717 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.82 million. By comparison, Thor made $5.58 million on 562 screens. More...

Introducing Our New Web Site Design

2013-11-07


We're pleased to reveal a new look for The Numbers today, and a lot of new features and functionality along with it. Today's initial roll-out introduces a new layout to the site, which includes a more modern and cleaner design, and much more compact presentation of data, particularly on the movie and people pages. From a functional standpoint, it includes the addition of Blu-ray sales totals and a box office trend chart to our movie pages, analysis of each of the 65,000+ people in the database, covering their best-known roles, the people they have worked most productively with, and the role they most often perform in making a movie. On the home market front, we have added weekly and annual combined packaged media sales charts to go with our traditional DVD and Blu-ray charts. We've also revamped our budgets and finances pages to give a more sophisticated analysis of the most profitable films, and the biggest money losers. And this is just the beginning... More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Ender Has Game, but Box Office Sinks

2013-11-06

As anticipated, Ender's Game won the weekend race with ease and no individual film truly bombed. That said, the overall effort was still lacking. Compared to last weekend, the overall box office was up 23% to $127 million, which is nice to see. However, and more importantly, this was 8% lower than the same weekend last year, thus ending 2013's winning streak at one weekend. 2013 is still ahead of 2012's pace, but by a shrinking margin. Currently, this year is ahead of last year by less than 0.5% at $8.66 billion to $8.62 billion. It wouldn't take much to 2013 to lose the lead at this point, and this might happen sometime during this month. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire should end any losing streak when it is released, but perhaps not before 2013 falls behind 2012's pace. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Twilight Forever: The Complete Saga Box Set

2013-11-05

Twilight came out in 2008 to a mixture of high buzz and abject horror. There were a lot of people who were major fans of the book series by Stephenie Meyer, while others consider Stephenie Meyer the worst author of all time. That might be a bit harsh. The first movie opened with mixed reviews, but smashed through all expectations with nearly $200 million domestically. A year later, New Moon came out and despite earning just 27% positive reviews. That's awful any way you look at it, but even so, it earned nearly $300 million at the box office. Clearly this franchise is critic-proof and I'm under no delusion that any of my criticisms will stop anyone from buying this 10-disc Blu-ray box set. I'm so convinced that no one will change their minds over my opinion of the movie that I'm going to keep that portion of the review to a minimum and concentrate on the extras instead. After all, anyone interested in this box set has already made up their mind about the movie and just want to know if this box set has enough extras to be worth the price. More...

Featured TV on DVD Review: Under the Dome

2013-11-05

Under the Dome is a book written by Stephen King in 2009. Reviews for the book were really good and it wasn't long before talk of an adaptation was in work. Since the book was so massive, it was clearly going to have to be a mini-series, but that's where things get a little complicated. More...

Final Weekend Numbers

2013-11-04

Final weekend numbers:
- 3-Day Weekend Friday-Sunday
- Friday Daily Numbers
- Saturday Daily Numbers
- Sunday Daily Numbers

We are now publishing our weekend and daily charts with updates as they are received from the studios. Most major studios, and many independent distributors report by about 1pm, Pacific Time and final numbers are available by 3.30pm. To be included in our charts, please send box office reports and release schedule updates to bodata@the-numbers.com. More...

Weekend Estimates: Ender's Game Leads Trio of Openers

2013-11-03

As expected, Ender's Game will comfortably win this weekend's box office race with an opening in the vicinity of $28 million. That's a healthy figure, but barely gets it into the top 100 openings in November and it'll be footnote by the time Thor and The Hunger Games have rolled out in a few week's time. It seems well short of what would be needed for a sequel to be greenlit. Free Birds will also not enjoy a theatrical sequel (although direct-to-video spin-offs seem likely) as it will open with around $16 million, but CBS Films is very happy with the $16 million debut of Last Vegas, which will benefit from an older demographic in the weeks to come. More...

Featured Blu-ray Review: Disney Christmas Double-Shot: Mickey's Christmas Carol and A Very Merry Pooh Year

2013-11-03

This week there is a double-shot of Disney Christmas specials making their debut on Blu-ray. Mickey's Christmas Carol has been released more than once, including on Volume 7 of the Walt Disney Animation Collection, which I previously reviewed. The second is A Very Merry Pooh Year, a Winnie the Pooh special from 2002. Are either of them worth checking out? And how do they look on Blu-ray? More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Lovelace

2013-11-03

When Lovelace was first announced, there was a lot of good buzz surrounding it. The film is a biopic of Linda Lovelace, arguably the first porn star that had mainstream name recognition. However, when it finally hit theaters, the critical response was mixed and it failed to find an audience in theaters. Is it busted Oscar bait? Or does it deserve a second chance to find an audience? More...

2013 Preview: November

2013-11-01

October ended on a winning note, but it was the only time the entire month that 2013 topped 2012 in the year-over-year comparison. This is quite shocking, as Gravity crushed expectations with more than $200 million and counting. Even with that surprise monster hit, the month still couldn't keep pace with last year. Compared to October, November looks a lot better with three films that could be monster hits: Frozen, Thor: The Dark World, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. On the other hand, those are the only three movies with a 50/50 chance or better to top $100 million compared, while there were seven films that reached that milestone last November. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire should make more than last year's number one film, Skyfall, but the depth last year could prove too much to deal with. 2013 might dip below last year's pace sometime during the month, but hopefully it won't stay there too long. More...

Contest: In the Dark

2013-11-01

Next week there is only one wide release, but it is nearly a guaranteed monster hit: Thor: The Dark World. Since it is the only wide release, 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 Thor: The Dark World. 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 Degrassi: Season 12 on DVD. Meanwhile, 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 copy of Degrassi: Season 12 on DVD. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

Limited Releases: Buying Into Limited Releases

2013-11-01

After last week's short list, there are nearly 20 films on this week's list. Because of this, each entry will be shorter than usual. There are a few films on this week's list that seem destined for mainstream success, including Dallas Buyers Club, which could net Matthew McConaughey some Awards Season hardware. More...