November 29th, 2011
It's another relatively slow week on the home market. The two biggest release of the week don't come out till Friday, while there are few other releases to pick up the slack. As for the search for best and not necessarily the biggest, there are a few contenders. Cave of Forgotten Dreams earned Oscar-worthy reviews and the 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack is a clear contender for Pick of the Week. But in the end I went with Tucker and Dale vs. Evil on DVD or Blu-ray.
August 29th, 2011
Hurricane Irene battered the east coast, which may have had a bigger impact at the box office than some were expecting, but at least it wasn't worst case scenario levels. The overall box office plummeted 25% to just $93 million. That wasn't the worst weekend of the year, but it came uncomfortably close. Compared to last year, the box office was down down 19%, meaning the year-to-date decline worsened. With 2011 down by 4.3% at $7.28 billion to $7.60 billion, the year is running out of time to make up the difference. If we go into the holiday season down by $320 million, it might be impossible to make up the ground, no matter how strong the Christmas releases are.
August 25th, 2011
Three wide releases this week, Colombiana, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and My Idiot Brother, but it is likely that none will pose much of a threat to The Help, which is likely to repeat at the top of the box office. There could be an interesting race for second place, as there's no clear consensus on which new release is the strongest or the weakest. Unfortunately, this is because all three are equally weak. Worse still, this weekend last year saw two films earn more than $20 million, which is a mark no film this weekend will match. On the other hand, those were the only two films to crack $10 million, while there could be four, or perhaps even five films do the same this weekend. Perhaps depth will help 2011 come out with a win, but I wouldn't be willing to bet money on that.
August 22nd, 2011
Yuck. That's really all that needs to be said about the weekend box office. Outside of The Help, there are practically no positive stories to report. All four wide releases that opened this week missed expectations, some by significant margins, which led to a 20% collapse from last weekend. There was also a decline from last year, albeit by just 3%, which is actually an improvement on 2011's average. Year-to-date, 2011 is behind 2010 by just over 4% at $7.13 billion to $7.43 billion. There's little hope things will turn around next weekend.
August 21st, 2011
Four weak debut weekends has gifted The Help a win at the box office as the historical drama posted an impressive 21% decline from last weekend to earn an estimated $20.479 million. The decline in percentage terms was helped by the fact that the film opened on a Wednesday, but it's still an impressive performance. Rise of the Apes help on to second place with $16.3 million in its third weekend, which is perhaps an even better indication of the level of disinterest in the new releases.
August 19th, 2011
Four wide releases open this week, or three wide and one semi-wide, depending on how you define those terms. However, none of them look to be legitimate threats for top spot, as most analysts are predicting The Help will win the weekend. Rise of the Planet of the Apes has a pretty good shot at second place, so we could have the new releases battling for third place. That's kind of sad, but not without precedent. This time last year five films opened wide or semi-wide, but not a single one of them reached the teens at the box office. (Vampires Suck led the way with $12.20 million.) So there's a good chance that 2011 will come out ahead in the year-over-year comparison despite the rather weak selection of new releases.
August 12th, 2011
I think it safe to say summer is over, as next week's batch of releases will all struggle just to be midlevel hits. Which one has the best shot at top spot? Not One Day, which is not opening truly wide. Other than that, it's is a coin toss. I'm going with... tails, Conan the Barbarian 3D as this week's target film. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Conan the Barbarian in 3D.
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 Clash on DVD.
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 Clash on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
August 1st, 2011
It's that time of year again, the time where we try to guess when Summer ends. According to the real world, Summer ends on the 22nd of September, but in the movie business, summer ends suddenly one weekend in August, and it's never really predictable which weekend that will be. There is some reason to be optimistic, as July ended on a relatively strong note. Both films that were predicted to be monster hits, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, were monster hits. And for every potential $100 million hit that missed expectations, there was another film that topped them. If this momentum can carry forward, then perhaps summer can be extended for for one or two more weeks. August of 2010 was a good end to the Summer with two $100 million movies and a few mid-level hits. I'm not sure if 2011 will be able to replicate that performance, but Summer could end on a high note.