A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery.
We are officially in the worst time of year on the home market. The last of the major Awards Season players have already come out, but it is still too early for the Spring hits to be released. The competition from May Sweeps and the start of the Summer Blockbuster Season means there’s not a lot here that’s going to do well in DVD / Blu-ray sales. Ironically, the lack of a major release means there are a lot of smaller releases that are competing for Pick of the Week, many of which would be lost in the crowd during a busier time of year. This includes I Am Not Your Negro, The Salesman, Real Genius, and Seven Days in May. In the end, I went with The Red Turtle on DVD or Blu-ray as the Pick of the Week. In the meanwhile, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone on Blu-ray gets the Puck of the Week honor, as the “best” Canadian release of the week. I just wish it were coming out in 3D.
We are entering the worst time of year for the home market. The number of Oscar contenders have nearly dried up and there are more bombs than box office hits. As for the best of the new releases, The Criterion Collection release for Tampopo is the best and the only real choice for Pick of the Week. Meanwhile, the Mean DreamsDVD earns Puck of the Week, for the best Canadian release of the week.
As expected, it was a big weekend at the box office with three massive hits. The Lego Batman Movie did earn first place, but not with as much as predicted at just $53.00 million. Fifty Shades Darker wasn’t that far behind with $46.61 million. Meanwhile, John Wick: Chapter Two just cracked $30 million, which is one of the ten best third place openings of all time. Week-over-week, the box office nearly doubled growing 90% from last weekend. Sadly, it was down 22% from last year. Granted, Valentine’s Day landed on a Sunday last year, so that boosted the weekend box office and 2017 should make some of that decline back on Tuesday. Year-to-date, 2017 has pulled in $1.28 billion, putting it $40 million or 3.0% behind 2016’s pace. It is still way too soon to tell how 2017 will finish in the end, but hopefully things will turn around soon.
As expected, Split earned first place over the weekend with $14.42 million. That’s not bad for Super Bowl weekend. In fact, the overall depth was better than expected, not that you could tell from the week-over-week decline. The overall box office fell 31% to just $98 million. However, this was still 2.5% better than the same weekend last year. That’s a surprise victory. Granted, 2017 is still behind 2016 by 5.1% at $1.06 billion to $1.12 billion, but every little victory helps.
Rings managed to win on Friday, but the weekend as a whole will belong to Split, which is expected to top the chart with $14.6 million, according to Universal’s Sunday morning projection. Rings will finish second with $13 million or so, and A Dog’s Purpose will win Sunday (making this a rare weekend where three different films will top the daily chart) to finish the weekend with $10.8 million, and $32.9 million to date.
Rings had the best start in previews last night, but here “best” is a relative term. It only managed $800,000, 20% lower than Resident Evil: The Final Chapter previews last weekend. Worse still, its reviews are 0% positive with 17 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes so far. This could result in an opening weekend of less than $10 million, but I think that’s a little pessimistic. $11 million is more likely. That’s not a good start, even for a film that cost $33 million to make, and it will need help internationally to break even.
The new releases this week are not strong, so we could see Split remain on top for the third weekend in a row. Rings should at least be in a fight for first place, if it just does as well as Resident Evil: The Final Chapter did last weekend. On the other hand, The Space Between Us is being eviscerated by the critics and it really needed good word of mouth to thrive. If it opens in the top five, I will be impressed. This weekend last year, Hail, Caesar! was the number one new release and it earned just $11.36 million. Rings should top that. Unfortunately, the number one film was Kung Fu Panda 3, which earned more than than $20 million. There’s no way Split will match that, so 2017 is going to lose in the year-over-year competition.
Next week there are two wide releases: Rings and The Space Between Us. Apparently, they are opening in a similar amount of theaters. However, even if I thought they had a similar box office potential, Rings would be the better choice for the target film in this week’s box office prediction contest, because horror films tend to start faster and fade quicker. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Rings.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprise consisting of their choice of either one TV on DVD release, two movies, or a kids package (could be a theatrical release, a couple of single-disc TV on DVD releases, or a full season TV on DVD release).
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 Frankenprize, as described above.
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 the final Frankenprize, as described above.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
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