February 23rd, 2011
Due to a mixture of weak holdovers and depth in the new releases, we had seven DVDs debut in the top 30 sales chart this week. This includes a new number one, For Colored Girls, which sold 517,000 units and generated $8.41 million in consumer spending at retail.
February 8th, 2011
Wow. It's a bad week for DVD / Blu-ray releases. While there are a number of first run releases, none of them exactly shout Pick of the Week. The best bet as far as first run releases goes is Paranormal Activity 2, but the screener hasn't arrived yet. Same goes for Thelma & Louise, which is making its Blu-ray debut this week. So in the end I went with Doctor Who: Story 63: The Mutants as the pick of the week. Great story, powerful message, and lots of extras.
February 7th, 2011
You Again opened at the end of September, which is not a good time to release a movie. It earned horrible reviews and it crashed and burned at the box office. Was it unfairly attacked by critics and tragically ignored by moviegoers? Or was this the only predictable result of a miscalculation by the filmmakers?
October 4th, 2010
October started in such a way that it feels like September was extended a weekend. The top film wasn't bad, but the other two wide releases bombed. Overall the box office brought in $95 million, which was down 6% from last week and 11% from the same weekend last year. 2010 is still ahead of 2009 by 4% at $8.19 billion to $7.90 billion, but if it were to lose 11% each weekend, that lead would evaporate by the end of the year.
September 27th, 2010
While none of the three new releases were able to live up to expectations, the holdovers did more than just hold their own, which helped the overall box office pull in $101 million over the weekend. This was nearly identical to last week, while it was higher than the same weekend last year by 4.5% and that helped 2010 maintain its lead over 2009. Currently 2010 is ahead of 2009 by a nearly 4% margin at $8.07 billion to $7.76 billion. Losing a $300 million lead in just three months would be impressive in its ineptitude, but we can't be too quick to claim victory. After all, Avatar made almost as much during the last two weeks of 2009 and there's nothing opening for the rest of 2010 that can compensate for that much at the box office.
September 26th, 2010
Twenty-three years after the opening of the original, Wall Street 2 marked the successful return of Gordon Gecko this weekend with a good (though hardly blockbusting) $19 million opening.
Intervening years of inflation and radical changes in theatrical distribution make a comparison between the openings of the two movies virtually meaningless, but it is noteworthy that the first Wall Street was more a of cultural icon than a box office hit.
It earned $43,848,100 - very respectable for the time, but less than, for example, Outrageous Fortune, Dragnet or La Bamba, which were all also released in 1987.
Wall Street 2 looks headed for similar respectability.
Whether it'll catch the national mood in the same way is more doubtful.
September 23rd, 2010
It's the final weekend of September and there are three and a half new releases this week looking to cash in. We could have a race for the top, as two films, Legend of the Guardians and Wall Street 2 are both vying for top spot. It might be close enough that one could win Friday night at the box office, while the other wins the weekend as a whole. Or perhaps one will win opening weekend, while the other will finish its box office run with more. Either way, combined they should help 2010 keep pace with last year, which didn't exactly have a strong crop of new releases.
September 1st, 2010
Summer has ended and while there were some bigger than expected hits in August, this trend is unlikely to continue in September. There are four weekends this September and nearly a dozen films opening wide, plus a few more that may or may not open wide. Of all of those films, maybe three of four will be midlevel hits, while only one film, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole 3D, has a real shot at reaching the $100 million milestone. This is compared to last year when we had two $100 million hits, although one of those was Paranormal Activity, which didn't expand truly wide till Halloween. Hopefully 2010 can gain ground on 2009 overall, even if it doesn't have as many $100 million hits.