January 4th, 2016
We are getting back to normal for the home market releases. There are no major first run releases, but one of the biggest limited releases of 2015 hits the home market. Sicario earned nearly $50 million after starting in limited release and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is the Pick of the Week. It wasn't the only contender for that honor, as Deathgasm (DVD or Blu-ray) and Infinitely Polar Bear (DVD or Blu-ray) were also in contention.
September 22nd, 2015
While the two new releases landed in first and second as expected, their box office numbers were not as strong. The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials failed to match The Maze Runner, which is not a good sign for the franchise going forward. Black Mass did well, for a September release. Meanwhile, Everest might be considered the best new release of in the top ten, which is not surprising as it is being released by Universal. Finally there's Captive, the latest victim of the Mendoza Line. Overall, the box office was still strong and rose 10.0% from last week to $112 million. It was also 9.6% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2015 saw its lead expand to 5.8% over 2014 at $7.78 billion to $7.36 billion.
September 18th, 2015
It's a sort of busy week this week, with two wide releases, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Black Mass, as well as two limited releases with a shot at reaching the top ten, Captive and Everest. The Scorch Trials is the latest Young Adult Adaptation franchise. The first film crossed $100 million domestically, so this one hopes to grow at the box office. Black Mass is early Oscar-bait, but the reviews suggest it won't quite get there. Captive is the latest faith-based film and it likely won't go anywhere. Everest gets an early IMAX opening before its wide release next week. This weekend last year was the weekend The Maze Runner opened. Since sequels tend to open faster than their predecessors, 2015 should come out on top in the year-over-year comparison.
September 15th, 2015
Both of the two true wide releases had amazing openings this past week. Or to be more specific, amazing openings for a September release. The Perfect Guy did earn first place, but by less than half a million dollars over The Visit. Both films opened substantially above expectations. Thanks to this, the overall box office rose significantly, both compared to last week and compared to last year. The total box office was $102 million, which is 13% higher than last week. It is also 13% higher than the same weekend last year. September is already looking really good. Year-to-date, 2015 has pulled in $7.65 million putting it 5.3% ahead of last year's pace of $7.26 million. 2015 is nearly $400 million head of 2014's pace and there's not a lot of time for 2015 to blow that lead. It wouldn't be impossible, but it is getting more and more unlikely.
September 13th, 2015
The movie business will make its best ever start to the Fall Season in dollar terms this weekend, thanks to a couple of openers that are handily out-performing expectations. The second weekend in September is traditionally the weakest of the year for the industry, with the combined box office for all movies in release only reaching $100 million on two previous occasions (2008 and 2013). This year will be the third time it’s happened, and final numbers will take 2015 comfortably past 2013’s record of $103.2 million (see complete rankings here). In terms of ticket sales, we’ll still fall short of 1999’s high mark of 15.1 million, but we should see a weekend in the top 5 by that measure too.
September 12th, 2015
What is traditionally the weakest weekend of the year isn’t looking too bad this morning, with The Perfect Guy and The Visit both posting solid opening day numbers on Friday. The Perfect Guy came out marginally ahead on the day, picking up an estimated $9.95 million compared to $9.22 million or so for The Visit. Both films will land over $20 million for the weekend, which is a victory at this time of year, but The Perfect Guy is expected to stretch its lead over the next couple of days.
September 10th, 2015
There are two and a half wide releases coming out this week, led by The Perfect Guy. I think it will earn first place at the box office, but it isn't a sure thing. Up next is The Visit, which is the latest from M. Night Shyamalan. It has been a while since he had real drawing power at the box office. Finally there's 90 Minutes in Heaven, which is not expected to open truly wide, but wide enough to get into the top ten. This weekend last year was led by No Good Deed, which opened with $24.25 million. I don't think any new release will match that this year. There's a chance none of them will match Dolphin Tale 2. I'm cautiously optimistic that 2015 won't lose by a substantial amount, but if either of the two truly wide releases bomb, then the box office will be in real trouble.
September 4th, 2015
Next weekend is the weekend after Labor Day long weekend, which is historically the worst weekend at the box office. This year appears to be a rare exception to that general rule, as there are two films opening wide, The Perfect Guy and The Visit, and neither is expected to truly bomb. Unfortunately for me, those two films are expected to be in a real coin toss for first place over the weekend. I was going to do some research to figure out which film is most likely to earn first place, but instead I went with literally a coin toss. ... The Perfect Guy won and is 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 The Perfect Guy.
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 Age of Adaline on DVD.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a second copy of The Age of Adaline on DVD.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will also win a copy of Camilla Dickinson on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
September 1st, 2015
As September begins, the box office is in a slump. August was terrible and only Straight Outta Compton escaped with its dignity intact. Fortunately, we expected August to be terrible, so the box office isn't any lower than anticipated. As for September, there are two wide releases expected to earn more than $100 million, which is better than most years. Those two films are Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Hotel Transylvania 2, both sequels. There are four other films that could become midlevel hits, so we have good depth as well. By comparison, last September there were also two $100 million hits, The Maze Runner and The Equalizer. However, there were only two midlevel hits, so it appears this year has better depth. Frankly, 2015 has such a large lead over 2014 that all it needs to do is maintain pace for the rest of the year to be considered a success. If September can help 2015 grow its lead, then the overall industry should be very happy.