Per Theater Chart: Mockingjay Makes a Mockery of the Per Theater Chart

2014-11-26

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 poster

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 not only earned first place on the overall box office, but it also led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $29,366. Foxcatcher earned an average of $19,764 in 24 theaters. It is nearly at $1 million and has room to grow further. The Theory of Everything expanded again, but still remained in the $10,000 club with an average of $10,798 in 141 theaters.

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Contest: Silent Knight: Winning Announcement

2014-11-26

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

2014 - Holiday Gift Guide - Part I

2014-11-26

This Thursday is Thanksgiving, which means this is Black Friday and 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. In some ways, this is better than last year, as there were a wider number of big releases that would make great gifts. However, in other ways it is much weaker. I can't think of a single big franchise box set that came out this year. There are some smaller ones, like the Halloween Box Set, but while the franchise has lasted ten installments and 30 years, how many can you really say are worth repeated viewing? Fortunately, there were plenty of great films to come out this year, starting with what is currently the biggest hit of the year. More...

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

2014-11-25

It is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, which means there are only a few days before Black Friday, which is one of the busiest shopping days of the season. At first glance, this might seem like a great day to release a DVD or Blu-ray; however, the massive sales will instead overshadow anything that comes out this week. This explains why there are so few interesting releases. The biggest release of the week is The Expendables 3 on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack, but it might be so bad it killed the franchise. The best release is Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Turkey Day Collection (XXXI), which is the Pick of the Week. We also have a Puck of the Week for Rhymes for Young Ghouls on DVD, a Canadian film that deserves a wider audience. More...

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Step Up All In

2014-11-24

I've reviewed every film in the Step Up franchise, except Revolution. Step Up 3D is a prime example of the genre. The plot, and lead characters, take a back seat to the dancing. The latest installment of the franchise, Step Up All In, comes out on the home market this week. (Maybe. There seems to be some confusion on the release date over on Amazon.com.) Is it more of the same? Will that be enough for fans of the franchise? More...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Hunger Games Goes on a Diet

2014-11-24

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 poster

As expected, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 earned first place with ease pulling in more than the rest of the box office combined. On the downside, it was well below the optimistic expectations at just $121.90 million. ... It seems strange that an opening of $121.90 million is considered disappointing. Worse still, none of the other films in the top five topped predictions, so they couldn't help mitigate Mockingjay, Part 1's softer than anticipated opening. The overall box office still rose 38% from last weekend to $194 million, but this was 14% lower than the same weekend last year. There's really no way to spin that in a positive manner. Year-to-date, 2014 has earned $8.94 billion, which is 3.2% or $290 million lower than last year's pace. Again, it is hard to spin that number in a positive way.

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Weekend Estimates: Mockingjay Sets 2014 Record with Disappointing Debut

2014-11-23

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 poster

If you could sum up 2014 at the box office in one sentence, this weekend’s headline probably comes close. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 is the film we’ve been waiting for all year: the third film in a franchise that has already topped $150 million on each of its previous two opening frames, with the weekend before Thanksgiving all to itself, and reviews that, if not stellar, are at least very respectable for a franchise tentpole. A weekend of $150 million plus seemed a very good bet, and something bigger still couldn’t be ruled out. But, come Sunday, Lionsgate is projecting a $123 million weekend, down about 20% from previous installments. That is, of course, a fantastic weekend by most measures: it’s the 15th-best weekend of all time, and easily the biggest opening weekend in 2014. But this will now be the first year since 2010 without a $150m+ weekend, and the debate about the waning influence of theater-going on the industry will undoubtedly be re-opened. More...

Limited Releases: Pain in the... Mule

2014-11-21

The Mule poster

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

International Box Office: Century Weekend for Interstellar

2014-11-20

Interstellar poster

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

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Weekend Predictions: Will Hunger Games Leave Moviegoers Hungry?

2014-11-20

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 poster

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

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Contest: Black and White

2014-11-20

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

Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of Jeff Dunham: All Over the Map on Blu-ray. Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a previously reviewed DVD or Blu-ray. Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay! More...

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

2014-11-19

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

Per Theater Chart: None of the Competition could Catch Foxcatcher

2014-11-19

Foxcatcher poster

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

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Contest: Smart and Smarter: Winning Announcement

2014-11-19

Dumb and Dumber To poster

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

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

2014-11-18

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

Weekend Wrap-Up: Dumb Leaves the Competition Smarting

2014-11-18

Dumb and Dumber To poster

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

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

2014-11-17

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

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Wind Rises

2014-11-17

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

Weekend Estimates: Dumb and Dumber Top

2014-11-16

Dumb and Dumber To poster

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

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

2014-11-16

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