August 29th, 2016
We are in the heart of TV on DVD season with a dozen such releases on this week’s list. Unfortunately, while there are a few that are worth picking up, none of them have the extras needed to be Pick of the Week contenders. The biggest release of the week is The Jungle Book, which is one of the biggest hits of the year. I got a chance to review it, so you can compare my opinion to the critics. As for the best of the best, there weren’t a lot to choose from. In the end, I went with The Commitments, which is making its Blu-ray debut this week.
August 16th, 2016
There are a lot of releases on this week’s list, but most of them are like The Angry Birds Movie on DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 4K Combo Pack. They are good, but not good enough to be a Pick of the Week contender. The best new release is The Fits, but it is only coming out on Video on Demand.
June 30th, 2016
Independence Day: Resurgence started its international run in first place with $102.1 million in 57 markets. That's the good news. That bad news is that its biggest market was China, where it only managed second place with $36.09 million, including previews. In most of the rest of the world, the film did no better than it did here, relative to the size of the market. South Korea helped it out with a first place, $5.45 million opening on 926 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $7.49 million. It opened in second place in the U.K. with $6.91 million in 610 theaters, which is no better than its opening here. The film cost a lot to make, so it needs to do better than this to be seen as a financial hit.
June 22nd, 2016
Finding Dory started its international run in first place with $50.0 million in 29 markets. Its biggest market was China, where it earned second place with 18.15 million over the weekend and $18.18 million including previews. This is not a lot of money compared to last week's winner; however, China is not a market that is kind to animated films. Before this year, no animated movie had earned more than $100 million in China and the current record is held by Zootopia at $235.77 million. Zootopia only made $23.99 million during its opening weekend in China, so this isn't a bad start for Finding Dory. Additionally, Finding Dory doubled Zootopia's opening in Australia with $7.63 million on 524 screens. It also performed very well in Argentina ($3.5 million) and in Russia ($3.25 million on 1,220 screens). It is still too early to tell if Finding Dory will top $1 billion worldwide, but this start gives box office watchers a reason to be optimistic.
June 14th, 2016
As anticipated, The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist led the weekend box office with ease pulling in $40.41 million. The second place film, Warcraft, earned 40% less. Now You See Me 2 only managed third place and it will need a lot of help to break even. The overall box office was $152 million, which is 13% more than last weekend. However, it was also more than $100 million less than this weekend last year. Normally a 44% collapse like this only happens when there is a misalignment in holidays. In this case, it's because of Jurassic World. 2016 is still ahead of 2015 by a substantial margin at $4.76 billion to $4.54 billion. 2016's lead is now 4.8%, more than a full percentage point lower than it was this time last week, but hopefully Finding Dory will help prevent a similar descent this week.
June 9th, 2016
If this weekend is as bad as some fear it will be, it could begin to cause a panic among some studio executives. Two of the three wide releases are sequels and there are some who expect both to fail to match their predecessors by significant margins. If this happens, we will have six sequels failing to match expectations during a four-week stretch. Worse still, there are more than six additional sequels left to open before the end of summer. (Finding Dory seems safe, but the rest could flop as well.) The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist should come out on top at the box office, but with less than the original made. Now You See Me 2 will likely continue Lionsgate's losing streak. Meanwhile, Warcraft could do well enough in China to justify a sequel, which is great news, because it will likely bomb here. This weekend last year, Jurassic World opened with $208 million. There's no way the entire box office will make that much this year. 2016 is going to get pummeled in the year-over-year comparison.
June 7th, 2016
Two of the three new wide releases failed to make much of an impact at the box office over the weekend. This includes the overall number one film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. It earned $35.32 million during its opening weekend, which isn't as bad as some feared, but it is also well below its predecessor's opening. Me Before You did very well in a counter-programming role with $18.72 million. Finally, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping barely topped the Mendoza Line. Overall, the box office earned $133 million, which is 19% lower than last weekend, but that is an acceptable post-holiday decline. Compared to last year, the box office this year was lower, but by less than 0.1%. Year-to-date, 2016's lead has grown to $250 million or 5.9% at $4.56 billion to $4.30 billion.
June 5th, 2016
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows will top the box office chart this weekend with a respectable $35.25 million, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. The weekend as a whole is looking fairly ordinary though, thanks in large part to the muted debuts of X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass last weekend, and their predictably-steep post-Memorial-Day declines. Apocalypse is off 66% this weekend to $22.325 million and $116.5 million in total. Alice will eke out $10.7 million or so for a two-week total of $50.8 million. Overall, the market will be down about 1% from the same weekend last year, and 20% below the comparable weekend from 2014.
June 3rd, 2016
Oh no. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows earned the best Thursday night previews, but did so with just $2 million. That's a mere fraction of the $4.5 million Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and could spell real trouble for the film's box office chances. The reviews are a little better than its predecessor's reviews were, but it is also a sequel and those tend to have shorter legs. It might struggle to top $30 million and that means first place isn't a sure thing anymore.
June 2nd, 2016
It's one of those weekends where the bigger the release is, the worse its reviews are. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is the only film expected to top $100 million domestically and its reviews are just 31% positive. Me Before You is expected to be a midlevel hit, but its reviews have slipped to 47% positive. Meanwhile, most analysts think Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping will bomb, but its reviews are by far the best at 81% positive. This weekend last year, Spy opened with just under $30 million. Out of the Shadows should top that, while both years have similar depth. Hopefully 2016 will win the year-over-year comparison.
June 1st, 2016
May was great, as long as you don't compare it to last May. Captain America: Civil War was a monster hit and is closing in on $400 million, while both X-Men: Apocalypse and The Angry Birds Movie will earn over $100 million. Looking ahead, every week in June, there is one movie that should top $100 million; however, only Finding Dory is expected to make more than $200 million. In fact, that film is expected to make close to $400 million domestically and over $1 billion worldwide. Last June, there were two monster hits, Inside Out and Jurassic World, plus one $100 million hit, Spy. I don't see how 2016 will top that. Even if every film with a shot at $100 million gets to that milestone, 2016 still might not top last year's pace. Fortunately, 2016 does have a large lead and that could be enough to keep 2016 ahead of 2015's pace in the year-over-year competition. It could be really close at the end of the month, on the other hand.
May 26th, 2016
Next week is the first weekend of June and there are three wide releases opening that week: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Me Before You, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. The TMNT is the only film that has a shot at being a $100 million hit. There's a chance it will make more during its opening weekend than the combined totals of the other two films. 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 forTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
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 Confirmation on Blu-ray, plus a randomly selected previously reviewed movie.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a Frankenprize, consisting of two previously reviewed movies.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will win another Frankenprize, consisting of two previously reviewed movies.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!