July 5th, 2015
Back on schedule, not that there's much to talk about. The biggest new release for the week ending June 21 was Chappie, which barely made more than $30 million domestically. This meant a holdover, American Sniper, rose to top spot on the home market chart with 378,000 units / $5.30 million for the week. This gives the film totals of 2.76 million units / $49.44 million after a month of release.
June 17th, 2015
Wow. Slow week. There are a few releases that are notable, but we very quickly run into titles that would be considered filler during the average week. In fact, there are no first run releases that are contenders for Pick of the Week. There are a trio of limited releases that are in the running for that title: Time Lapse (DVD or Blu-ray or Video on Demand); Wild Tales (DVD or Blu-ray or Video on Demand); and The Wrecking Crew (DVD or Blu-ray or Video on Demand). There were also two catalog releases of note: The Cat Returns (Blu-ray Combo Pack) and Spirited Away (Blu-ray Combo Pack). Both are excellent, but Spirited Away is the better of the two films and it is the Pick of the Week.
March 10th, 2015
It was the worst weekend of the year so far with two of the three wide releases bombing compared to expectations. It was so bad, that the three wide releases combined were lower than the high end predictions for Chappie. Unfinished Business missed the Mendoza Line and will be quickly forgotten by the end of the month. Only The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has a future. Overall, the total box office was just under $90 million, which was 16% lower than last weekend. It was also 38% lower than the same weekend last year. The top five this year barely made more than the number one film from last year, 300: Rise of an Empire. The combined opening of the three new releases this year was dwarfed by the opening of Mr. Peabody and Sherman last year. Granted, 2015 is still ahead of 2014 in the year-to-date comparison, but the lead has shrunk to under 1% at $1.85 billion to $1.84 billion.
March 3rd, 2015
As expected, Focus led the way at the box office, but sadly did so with a much lower opening weekend result than predicted. The rest of the top five were a little stronger than predicted each earning between $10 million and $12 million. That said, the overall box office was still weak, down 10% from last week to $107 million. It was also down 13% from last year. This caused 2015's lead over 2014 to drop. Granted, 2015 is still ahead of 2014 by $110 million or 6.8% at $1.74 billion to $1.63 billion, so it would take a while to lose that lead at this pace.
March 1st, 2015
Will Smith remains a top 20 force on The Numbers Bankability Index, thanks mainly to his leading turns in tentpoles and franchise films. His draw in smaller movies has always been less of a sure thing, even in his heyday. The performance of Focus this weekend is perhaps not as much of a surprise, with Warner Bros. projecting an OK $19.1 million debut for the film—not a terrible number for the time of year, and broadly in line with the openings for Seven Pounds ($14.8m), The Pursuit of Happyness ($26.5m) and Ali ($14.7m).
February 26th, 2015
The month ends with two wide releases: Focus and The Lazarus Effect. Neither film is expected to be a big hit, but at least Focus is expected to earn first place overtaking Fifty Shades of Grey. Overall, I think the box office will drop when compared to last week. Worse still, the box office looks weak when compared to last year. Last year, the box office was led by Non-Stop, while three films earned more than $20 million over the weekend. This year, there's a chance no film will earn $20 million. 2015 is very likely going to lose in the year-over-year comparison ending 2015's winning streak.
February 20th, 2015
Next weekend, Focus will dominate The Lazarus Effect at the box office. As such, it is the only real choice for the target film in this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Focus.
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 Tale of the Princess Kaguya 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 also win a copy of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya on Blu-ray.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
February 1st, 2015
It was a record-breaking January thanks entirely to American Sniper, which set records, both during its limited release run and especially when it expanded wide. There were a couple of other films that did well, but for the most part, it was a typical January. The question is, will American Sniper boost the overall box office, which would help February, or will its effects fade as it does? There are ten wide releases in February; there are a few films that may or may not open in the top ten. Of these, there are only two that have a real shot at true box office success. The biggest film in terms of buzz is Fifty Shades of Grey, which looks so, so bad. Personally, I would rather watch The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water a hundred times than sit through just the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey. If Fifty Shades of Grey becomes the biggest hit of the month, it will mrean the end of civilization. Because. I. Will. End. Civilization. Last February was mostly mediocre, except for The LEGO Movie which was a huge early year hit. There's no chance any film opening this month will match The LEGO Movie; the top two films likely won't match The LEGO Movie. Because of this, 2015 will need to rely on depth to come out ahead. I'm not sure how likely that will be.