June 27th, 2011
While three new releases reached the top five, none were able to sell as many DVDs as True Grit. That film sold 446,000 units over the week for a total of 1.36 million after two, lifting its total revenue to $20.95 million.
June 25th, 2011
While True Grit opening in first place on the Blu-ray sales chart this week was no surprise, its dominance was. During its first week of release it sold 737,000 units and generated $13.41 million in sales, which is close to half the total Blu-ray market. Compared to DVD, Blu-rays represented 42% of total units and 46% of revenue. Normally Westerns tend to skew a little older when it comes to age demographics, so I was expecting a slightly weaker than average Blu-ray ratio, closer to 30% than 40%.
June 21st, 2011
There were seven new releases on this week's DVD Sales Chart, and six of those reached the top ten. Leading the way was True Grit with 1.02 million units / $15.91 million during its opening week on the home market. It is already in 30th place for 2011 and should quickly climb much further up.
June 7th, 2011
The summer is usually a really weak time for home market releases, but this week is amazing. Not only are there two $100 million hits coming out on DVD / Blu-ray this week, but there are also half-a-dozen TV on DVD releases, a few limited releases, direct-to-DVD releases, and catalog titles, many of which are worth picking up, or even contenders for Pick of the Week. I tried to narrow the list of contenders down to one, but I couldn't do it. In the end I went with Leverage: Season Three on DVD and True Grit on Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack as co-winners of the Pick of the Week.
April 13th, 2011
Did summer start already? I ask because we have a summer-like result at the international box office this weekend. Rio crushed the competition with $54.94 million on 11,714 screens in 45 markets. Opening on more than 10,000 screens is usually a feat reserved for summer blockbusters. The film earned first place in nearly every market, although its individual results did vary considerably. For instance, it was stunning in Russia earning $9.28 million on 1,297 screens over the weekend for a total of $11.31 million. Perhaps more impressively, the film earned $8.77 million on 1,024 screens in Brazil. While Brazil is a very large country, it's still an emerging market and this is a great result there. The film was also strong in Mexico with $4.90 million on 1,521. On the other hand, it was more average in a number of other major markets. For instance, it earned $2.63 million on 724 screens in Germany, which is mediocre for a potential blockbuster. The same was true in the U.K. with $2.48 million on 522, in Australia with $2.42 million on 459, and in Spain with $2.21 million on 390.
April 6th, 2011
Just Go With It reached first place on the international chart with $10.84 million on 2,791 screens in 40 markets for a total of $76.26 million after 8 weeks of release. It opened in first place in Australia with $2.44 million on 311 screens, but it struggled in Italy with just $732,000 on 248. So far the film has $9.09 million in Russia after just two weeks, including $2.87 million on 544 screens this past weekend.
March 30th, 2011
Battle: Los Angeles remained in first place on the international scene with $16.32 million on 7,746 screens in 55 markets for a total of $79.63 million after three weeks of release. It didn't have many new openings. It did add $1.12 million on 331 screens during its second weekend in Australia for a total of $4.39 million so far. It has already made more internationally than it has domestically, and with openings in Spain, Germany, and Italy, it should have no trouble getting to $200 million worldwide. I think the studio should be happy with that, but I'm not sure they will be happy enough to go with a sequel.
March 28th, 2011
Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules opened on the high end of expectations while Sucker Punch opened on the low end of expectations, which meant there wasn't a really tight race for top spot at the box office this weekend. The overall box office was healthy with a total haul of $121 million, which was close to 6% higher than last weekend, but it was also close to 6% lower than the same weekend last year. On the one hand, this is arguably the best performance 2011 has had so far, as the only time we've won on the year-over-year comparison was when 2011 has a holiday that didn't line up with 2010. On the other hand, 2011 is still half a billion dollars behind 2010's pace at $2.18 billion to $2.69 billion.
March 2nd, 2011
For the third weekend in a row, Black Swan led the way on the international chart, pulling in $17.50 million on 3,950 screens in 45 markets for a total of $123.37 million internationally and $226.95 million worldwide. In Spain it remained in first place with $2.52 million on 319 screens over the weekend for a total of $6.47 million after two. It added $2.81 million on 363 screens over the weekend for a total of $13.74 million after three. It doesn't have many markets left to open in, but the film has already made nearly a quarter billion dollars on a production budget of just $13 million, so it is fantastically profitable.
February 28th, 2011
February ended in the same position it has been for nearly the entire year, on the losing end of the comparison to 2010. The post-holiday drop-off was steep at 25% leaving the weekend box office at just $109 million. This was 9% lower than the same weekend last year. Normally, a 9% drop-off year-over-year would be devastating, but that's actually better than 2011 has averaged so far. Year-to-date it is now 21% lower than 2010's pace at $1.53 billion to $1.93 billion.
February 22nd, 2011
It was a good news / bad news situation this weekend as a number of films missed expectations. However, the overall box office was still enough for 2011 to secure its first win, topping last year's box office $145 million to $134 million. Granted, this is not exactly a fair comparison, as it was President's Day long weekend this year and it wasn't last year, but when you've had a 14-week losing streak, you will take any win that you can. Year-to-date, 2011 is still behind 2010's pace by nearly $400 million at $1.39 billion to $1.78 billion and there's little you can do to spin that into a positive.
February 17th, 2011
We need a win. It has been more than three months since we've seen a victory in the year-over-year comparison, and with last year's Alice in Wonderland looming ahead on the comparisons, if we don't get a win soon, we might not get one for another couple of months. There is some good news this weekend. It's President's Day long weekend, which actually happened one weekend earlier last year. This means we have a holiday weekend this year going up against the post-holiday weekend from last year. Granted, Shutter Island opened with more than $40 million and I don't think any film will repeat that feat this year. However, last year's second place film, Valentine's Day made under $17 million, and each of the top five films this year could make that much. In order words, depth could be the key to the first victory of the year.
February 15th, 2011
On the one hand, we are only six weeks into the year, which means it is far too early to push the panic button. On the other hand, there's everything else. It was yet another disappointing weekend at the box office with the top two films barely earning more than last year's number one movie. In fact, even if you ignored last year's number one movie, this year was still weaker in terms of ticket sales. The total box office was $149 million, which was 71% higher than last weekend, but while that seems impressive, it was still 27% lower than last year. 2011 is already closing in on $400 million behind 2010 at $1.17 billion to $1.54 billion. Maybe this coming weekend we can catch a break and finally turn things around.
February 13th, 2011
Justin Bieber's popularity may not be restricted to Twitter after all.
This weekend's box office race is too close to call on Sunday morning after Justin Bieber: Never Say Never posted an impressive $30.26m opening weekend, enough to put it within striking distance of Just Go With It for top spot.
The Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy is pegged at $31m by Sony Pictures, which makes it the favorite to win, but a 2% difference between the two films means that Bieber could still take the title if fans turn out in greater numbers than expected today.
February 10th, 2011
2011 is over a month old and we've only had one film that you could call a mid-level hit, two if you want to be generous. Worse still, none of 2010's holdovers have been big either. $100 million films opening in January are very rare, but films earning $100 million during the month of January are not that unusual. In fact, most years the biggest hit of January is a film released in December. So with no new releases or holdover pulling their weight, 2011 is off to a terrible start. This could be the weekend that changes that. Not only is it Valentine's Day weekend, but we should have the first $100 million hit of the year opening on Friday, plus a couple of potential mid-level hits. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the month, I was expecting two potential massive openings, but that appears less likely now. It also makes keeping pace with last year nearly impossible.
February 6th, 2011
Giving young woman an alternative to football this weekend worked out for Sony, as The Roommate comfortably won the weekend with an estimated $15.6 million.
Sanctum could only manage $9.2 million for Universal, continuing their poor run of form.
Most worryingly, both films combined couldn't top the $30.5 million opening enjoyed by Dear John last year, and the overall box office will be down by over 20% from last year.
February 4th, 2011
Next weekend there are two massive releases opening, and while Just Go With It will likely be the bigger hit in the end, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, will be a lot more front-loaded, and I believe it has a slight advantage over the weekend. Regardless of whether I'm right or not, 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 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.
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 Highlander One & Two on Blu-ray Two-Pack.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
February 1st, 2011
January got off to about as bad a start as I feared, and already 2011 is behind 2010 by about $275 million. Even worse, last February was better than expected. Not only did Avatar add another $200 million to its coffers during the month, the new releases collectively topped expectations every week (even if some individual releases failed to do so). What does this mean going forward? It means 2011 will likely continue to lose ground on 2010. By the time March rolls around, the only thing box office watchers will be talking about is the slump.