May 18th, 2011
Few new releases were able to make a real impact on the Blu-ray sales chart this week, but we did have a new number one. The Green Hornet earned top spot by selling 291,000 units and generating $5.82 million in opening week sales. By units, 38% of its market share was in High definition, which is quite strong.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I slipped to second place with 166,000 units for the week and 2.70 million after a month of release. It remains the best-selling Blu-ray of the year, so far.
May 17th, 2011
As expected, there were not many new releases to reach the top 30 on this week's DVD sales chart. However, in an unexpected twist, this weakness in the new releases allowed The King's Speech to climb into top spot with 531,000 units over the weekend for totals of 1.66 million units / $23.93 million after three. Maybe its word-of-mouth is helping out.
May 3rd, 2011
Historically, this is the weakest time of year for DVD releases. The last of the winter releases have already been released. It's too early for the flood of TV on DVD releases for the upcoming season in the fall. And studios are too worried about competing with blockbusters in theaters. There's really only one first run release that's generating any buzz, The Green Hornet, but while the 3D Blu-ray / Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack is worth picking up, the sales potential quickly declines from that point and by the time you reach the bottom of the top ten, you are really struggling to find any release that will have any real impact on the home market. As for the best release, as opposed to the biggest, there are two TV on DVD imports that are worth checking out: Being Human: Season 3 on DVD and Murdoch Mysteries: Season 3 on DVD or Blu-ray. (The Blu-ray release for Being Human is too pricey.) Both are worth picking up, but for Pick of the Week, I'm going with Murdoch Mysteries.
January 24th, 2011
It's getting harder and harder to to spin the weekend numbers, as this time around the overall box office was down significantly, even if you ignore Avatar. The total box office was $103 million, which was 21% lower than last weekend and a stunning 29% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date 2011 is already almost $250 million behind $2010 at $730 million to $979 million. Granted, it's far too early in the year to panic, but we haven't seen year-over-year growth for nearly three months.
January 23rd, 2011
A decent $20.3 million estimated opening for No Strings Attached and some surprisingly good holds in the top four wasn't enough to halt 2011's early box office slump.
Overall, the weekend's box office take looks like it will be about $35 million below last year's total, once more uncannily close to the haul of Avatar in the equivalent period.
January 20th, 2011
There's only one wide release this week, and it has a clear path to first place at the box office. However, while No Strings Attached will have little trouble winning, the real question box office watchers are asking is: How well will 2011 do compared to 2010? So far the answer to that question as been, "Disastrously." That trend will continue. This weekend last year, Avatar earned close to $35 million, while no new release will make that much. In fact, the top two films will barely earn more than that. If both No Strings Attached and The Green Hornet can earn more than Legion opened with last year, then I'll be willing to call it a victory, of sorts. Not a true victory, but at least we can look at things with some optimism.
January 18th, 2011
2011 continues its trend of performing pretty well against 2010, if you ignore Avatar. This time last year, Avatar earned just over $40 million at the box office over the three-day weekend. This weekend 2011 was behind 2010 by just under $40 million over the same period. (You get a similar result if you look at the four-day numbers.) One could look at this as a small victory, as Avatar is such a rare commodity that it is unfair to expect the box office to compensate for that. However, there are a number of points that makes that thinking dangerous. First of all, even taking out Avatar, 2011's growth is not enough to keep pace with inflation. Secondly, without Avatar as competition, The Book of Eli probably would have earned at least a few million more, as would the rest of the box office. Thirdly, 2011 lost over the four-day weekend by a margin of $210 million to $159 million, which means there were about 7 million fewer people at theaters this weekend, which means there were 7 million fewer people seeing trailers, posters, etc. for upcoming films, and the box office can hardly afford missing out on that much free advertising. Finally, already 2011 is behind 2010 by nearly $200 million, at $798 million to $601 million, and if the conventional wisdom becomes, "2011 will be a disaster at the box office", it will take something special to overcome that negative buzz. And quite frankly, I don't see anything really special hitting theaters till the fall, and by then it will be too late.
January 16th, 2011
An estimated $34 million opening for The Green Hornet (a fractional improvement on the debut of The Book of Eli this time last year) wasn't enough to pull 2011 out of its early box office slump.
Total box office for MLK weekend looks as though it will be down about 20-25%, or $40 million, from last year.
Its no coincidence that Avatar grossed about $40 million in the same frame in 2010, which suggests that the industry will have a hard job closing the gap over the next couple of months.
January 13th, 2011
Two wide releases this week look to bring in the green and return the overall box office to the black. The wider of the two, The Green Hornet, is even looking to earn more than Avatar did this time last year, which would be a major victory for 2011. I'm not saying its going to, but it is a real possibility. And if it can't, it appears it is more likely than not that it will match The Book of Eli's opening from last year, which would at least be some positive news for the box office.
January 7th, 2011
There could be a real race for top spot next week, which makes choosing the target film for this week's box office prediction contest a little trickier. The Dilemma will probably be the bigger hit in the long run, but The Green Hornet could open faster before collapsing. As such, I'm picking the latter as this week's target film. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for The Green Hornet.
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 Squarepants: Season Six, Volume Two on DVD and iCarly: iSpace Out 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 iCarly: Season Two, Volume Two on DVD and Yo Gabba Gabba!: Let's Visit the Doctor on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!