July 22nd, 2014
I think it is fair to say it is a mixed week on the home market. There are four wide releases coming out this week, but all but one struggled at the box office. Worse still, looking down the list of new releases and you quickly run into filler. Fortunately, there are a few films that are contenders for Pick of the Week, including Blue Ruin and Next Goal Wins. However, the winner is Ginger Snaps, which is coming out on a Special Edition Blu-ray.
April 7th, 2014
So the first weekend of April was amazing. Not only did Game of Thrones set a series record for ratings (and the best for HBO since The Sopranos) but Captain America: The Winter Soldier set the April opening weekend of all time. Its opening was on the high end of expectations, which is great news, and this strength helped the overall box office grow by 19% from last weekend to $167 million. This is also 24% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 now has $2.55 billion, which is 7% more than 2013's running tally of $2.38 billion.
April 1st, 2014
March is over and it ended on a bit of a down note. Noah topped expectations, but not every film managed to do the same. For instance, Sabotage barely avoided the Mendoza Line. Overall the box office was down less than $1 million, or 0.7%, when compared to last weekend. Compared to last year, the box office was down 5%, which isn't great, but given how strong 2014 has been, it is hardly a reason to panic. In fact, year-to-date, 2014 has a 6% lead over 2013 at $2.35 billion to $2.22 billion.
March 27th, 2014
The final weekend in March is a busy one with two wide releases, possibly two wide expansions, and a semi-wide release that could reach the top ten. Noah is the wider of the two wide releases and should have little trouble earning first place over the weekend. On the other hand, there is a chance Sabotage won't reach the top five. Both Bad Words and The Grand Budapest Hotel are expanding wide, or widish. The Grand Budapest Hotel should pop into the top five, but not everyone thinks Bad Words will reach the top ten. Finally, Cesar Chavez is opening in more than 600 theaters and there is a chance it will reach the top ten. This weekend last year was led by G.I. Joe: Retaliation with just over $40 million. Noah could get there, but even if it does, I don't think the other films will hold their end of the bargain and 2014 will finally lose in the year-over-year comparison.
March 21st, 2014
Noah opens next week and it could be a massive hit, or it might be an expensive flop. The film reportedly cost $160 million to make, so the studio will be pushing it hard. However, the buzz is mixed, at best. That said, it should crush the only other wide release of the week, Sabotage, which feels like an afterthought. There's a clear choice for 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 Noah.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win the first Frankenprize of the week, which I'm expanding. You can choose between three DVDs / Blu-rays, four TV on DVD releases, or six single-disc TV on DVD releases, usually kid's movies.
Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win the second Frankenprize.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
March 1st, 2014
2014 continued its strong run in February with The Lego Movie beating even the high end expectations and will become the first film released in 2014 to reach $200 million. March doesn't look as strong, as no film is on track to hit $200 million, but there are five films that have a chance at $100 million. Granted, not all of them will get there; in fact, there's a chance only one of them will get there. Divergent is the film I think has the best shot at the century club, but it could be joined by Mr. Peabody and Sherman, for instance, which is earning surprisingly strong reviews. Noah is a big-budget Bible epic and the studio has to be hoping for at least $100 million, but the buzz is quite negative and there have been reports of troubles behind-the-scenes. Last March was led by Oz The Great and Powerful, which pulled in more than $200 million domestically. I don't think any film opening this March will match that figure. In addition, The Croods and G.I. Joe: Retaliation also hit the $100 million milestone, while Olympus Has Fallen came very close. Granted, there were also some big bombs last March, like The Host, but even so, I think 2014 will lose ground in the year-over-year comparison.