Archive for the ‘Marley And Me’ Category

DVD Sales: Notorious B.I.G. Is Alive Again! On The Home Market, That Is…

May 13, 2009

The-Numbers‘ DVD Sales chart for last week was delayed, and then all the Star Trek pandemonium happened, so I apologize for the lateness of last week’s DVD Sales Chart, but I finally got some time to get it posted. The chart, and my notes, can be found after the jump:

DVD Sales Notes for the week ending April 26, 2009:

-In a week where no films really broke out on the home market, Notorious still had a pretty good weekend. The rapper biopic had a solid first week of $14 million worth of sales on DVD, which is all well and good, but we must remember that this is a film that defined the term “frontloaded” during its theatrical run. It opened to $20 million and finished with just $36 million in theaters, and you can trust me when I say that Notorious will plummet next weekend.

The Wrestler, the Oscar bait that saved Mickey Rourke’s career, found a modest $7.5 million on DVD in its first week on the home market. For a film that earned $26 million at the box office, this is probably sufficient, but a bit less than what Fox Searchlight might have hoped for. Meanwhile, the other Oscar nominated release on DVD this week, Frost/Nixon, was completely ignored, moving just 181,593 copies. It certainly does not fit into the Era of Easy Entertainment!

Twilight can not be stopped. Another 12% increase?! $139.4 million overall?! This film has singlehandedly made Summit Entertainment a viable studio.

-Dogs have proved themselves at the movies lately, and the DVD Sales Chart reflects this trend. Marley And Me, Bolt, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua have all sold very well on DVD, with cumes of $48.9 million, $57.3 million, and $50.6 million respectively.

Here’s the full chart:

Top 30 Selling DVDs for the Week Ending April 26, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Notorious (2009) 605,916 -.-% 605,916 $14,535,925 $14,535,925 1
2 Wrestler, The 400,207 -.-% 400,207 $7,487,873 $7,487,873 1
3 Twilight 332,526 12.3% 7,715,411 $5,982,143 $139,483,327 5
4 Spirit, The 226,794 -32.2% 561,092 $5,425,185 $11,693,272 2
5 Day the Earth Stood Still, The 205,345 -29.8% 1,381,406 $3,325,090 $23,154,960 3
6 Marley and Me 199,589 -25.9% 2,720,508 $3,434,468 $48,876,571 4
7 Bedtime Stories 198,074 -29.3% 2,161,692 $3,392,651 $36,961,073 3
8 Bolt 186,137 -4.2% 3,220,500 $3,378,145 $57,344,529 5
9 Frost/Nixon 181,593 -.-% 181,593 $3,437,555 $3,437,555 1
10 Yes Man 176,806 -28.6% 956,385 $3,137,741 $16,661,455 3
11 Caprica 169,656 -.-% 169,656 $3,293,023 $3,293,023 1
12 Reader, The 156,932 -33.0% 391,308 $2,934,628 $7,476,835 2
13 Slumdog Millionaire 133,483 -13.6% 1,403,510 $2,134,393 $22,969,076 4
14 Seven Pounds 130,878 0.6% 990,066 $2,045,623 $16,632,842 4
15 Quantum of Solace 122,880 -0.3% 1,998,972 $2,124,804 $35,640,749 5
16 Tale of Despereaux, The 117,426 -25.5% 852,318 $1,995,068 $14,480,883 3
17 Doubt 93,978 -30.1% 486,753 $1,690,664 $8,681,783 3
18 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 92,584 7.1% 2,947,762 $1,480,418 $50,616,568 8
19 Stuart Little 78,466 -.-% $587,710 471
20 Not Easily Broken 75,618 -19.4% 387,084 $1,317,266 $7,168,377 3
21 Ron White: Behavioral Problems 71,862 -.-% 71,862 $789,763 $789,763 1
22 Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, The 70,529 -.-% $578,338 488
23 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 70,499 16.1% 5,815,130 $996,179 $88,946,988 12
24 Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases 67,499 -.-% $404,319 476
25 Role Models 57,804 -4.5% 1,706,794 $982,090 $28,998,430 7
26 Australia 52,048 -0.3% 1,406,260 $884,296 $23,713,349 8
27 Fireproof 49,685 0.9% 1,570,641 $741,300 $26,932,618 13
28 Pinocchio 47,625 -12.4% $809,149 496
29 High School Musical 3: Senior Year 33,892 -40.4% 3,005,165 $626,555 $53,802,366 10
30 Milk 33,072 -4.8% 527,610 $564,208 $9,391,518 7

DVD Sales: The Spirit Tops A Weak Chart In The Post-Easter Frame

April 29, 2009

As always, here are my notes on the latest DVD Sales Chart from The-Numbers:

-Maybe because it was the week right after Easter, repenting buyers felt convicted that they needed more of the spirit in their lives, and they mistakenly purchased Lionsgate’s disastrous 300 ripoff The Spirit, thinking it could help them. Whatever the reason, The Spirit benefited from a complete lack of competition, and somehow scored a number one debut. Granted, its $6.3 million first week is the weakest total Ive seen in a long time, and it will plummet next weekend. Still, with enough time in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart, I’m sure The Spirit‘s DVD sales will surpass its abysmal $19 million total box office.

Twilight continues its shockingly amazing run on the home market, with another $5.5 million this week, for a $133 million total. Having already sold a stunning 7.4 million copies of Twilight on DVD, Summit Entertainment has to be feeling pretty good about the upcoming sequel, New Moon, which debuts this Winter.

-Warner Brothers has to be disappointed with the lackluster performance of Yes Man on DVD. Just $13 million after two weeks of release is extremely bad for a Jim Carrey comedy that earned $90 million during its theatrical run.

-Just as the Easter frame was kind to family films last week, the post-Easter frame was equally harsh to these same titles. Marley And Me, Bolt, The Tale Of Despereaux, Bedtime Stories, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa all saw sizable drops of 62-88%.

-Speaking of Bolt, I thought I should point out that after four weeks, the animated pooch film has $53 million in the kitty (or would doghouse be more appropriate, here?), and it’s been a solid performer on DVD for Disney.

-I’m somewhat ambivalent about the home market performance of two Oscar-winning films. First off, The Reader‘s $4.5 million opening week is nothing to cry about, but its nothing special either. Second, Slumdog Millionaire‘s $20 million after three weeks feels quite low to me, especially after its rosy $141 million box office. I think it probably came out on DVD too soon after its theatrical run. After three straight months of deafening buzz during awards season, every person that was going to be persuaded to see Slumdog already did, so the quick release date after it won its obligatory Oscar may have backfired for Fox Searchlight.

See the full chart after the jump:

Top 30 Selling DVDs for the Week Ending April 19, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Spirit, The 334,298 -.-% 334,298 $6,268,088 $6,268,088 1
2 Twilight 296,188 -28.6% 7,382,885 $5,538,716 $133,501,184 4
3 Day the Earth Stood Still, The 292,678 -66.9% 1,176,061 $5,179,493 $19,829,870 2
4 Bedtime Stories 280,209 -80.8% 1,963,618 $4,788,940 $33,568,422 2
5 Marley and Me 269,378 -62.9% 2,520,919 $4,628,857 $45,442,103 3
6 Yes Man 247,648 -53.4% 779,579 $4,321,680 $13,523,714 2
7 Reader, The 234,376 -.-% 234,376 $4,542,207 $4,542,207 1
8 Bolt 194,328 -73.3% 3,034,363 $3,515,899 $53,966,384 4
9 Tale of Despereaux, The 157,622 -72.7% 734,892 $2,677,998 $12,485,815 2
10 Slumdog Millionaire 154,580 -43.4% 1,270,027 $2,493,375 $20,834,683 3
11 Doubt 134,488 -47.9% 392,775 $2,419,439 $6,991,119 2
12 Seven Pounds 130,075 -41.7% 859,188 $2,154,042 $14,587,218 3
13 Quantum of Solace 123,256 -27.5% 1,876,092 $2,131,959 $33,515,945 4
14 Not Easily Broken 93,838 -56.9% 311,466 $1,594,308 $5,851,111 2
15 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 86,483 -64.0% 2,855,178 $1,382,863 $49,136,150 7
16 Stuart Little 75,855 -9.7% $578,774 470
17 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 60,742 -88.7% 5,744,631 $763,412 $87,950,809 11
18 Role Models 60,541 -42.2% 1,648,990 $1,028,592 $28,016,340 6
19 High School Musical 3: Senior Year 56,864 -74.8% 2,971,273 $1,064,653 $53,175,812 9
20 Pinocchio 54,357 -69.2% $923,525 495
21 Australia 52,217 -39.7% 1,354,212 $887,167 $22,829,054 7
22 Mamma Mia! 51,786 -.-% 5,957,687 $665,921 $125,254,362 18
23 Fireproof 49,236 -.-% 1,520,956 $766,112 $26,191,317 12
24 40-Year-Old Virgin, The 46,534 -.-% $474,456 175
25 Tigger and Pooh and a Musical Too 44,495 -71.6% 201,135 $844,960 $3,819,554 2
26 Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword 35,335 -63.1% 131,132 $494,337 $1,834,537 2
27 Milk 34,748 -33.6% 494,538 $607,743 $8,827,310 6
28 Punisher: War Zone, The 34,419 -32.6% 398,065 $668,235 $7,525,557 5
29 Transporter 3 33,396 -35.8% 1,011,642 $573,793 $18,041,585 6
30 Cadillac Records 29,675 -26.0% 310,751 $504,178 $5,927,887 6

DVD Sales: Bedtime Stories Hops Atop An Easter-Fueled Chart

April 23, 2009

Here’s the latest DVD Sales Chart from The-Numbers for the week ending April 12th. I’ve added my notes below:

-I was wrong about Bedtime Stories bombing last week on DVD. It looks like it just hit stores a day early, and it registered on the chart as having a poor debut. The reality of the situation is actually much rosier, though, and Bedtime Stories has accrued a solid $28 million over eight days. Not bad for the disappointing Disney/Adam Sandler collaboration that struggled to pass $100 million.

The Day The Earth Stood Still? More like The Day The DVDs Stood Still. It’s not that the Keanu Reeves sci-fi remake bombed with its $14 million debut, but when you factor in the fanboy effect, this is really not a great start on the home market for the Fox film, which also underwhelmed this fall, barely making it to $79 million despite huge buzz.

-Wow. The week of Easter is a great time to be a family film on DVD. Look at the giant boosts that the holiday offered all family-oriented films. A 16% increase for Bolt! A 117% increase for Beverly Hills Chihuahua! A 218% increase for High School Musical 3! A 300% increase for Kung Fu Panda! Pretty impressive stuff. The family effect also helped out The Tale Of Despereaux moderately, as it found a humble $9.8 in its first week on DVD, which is onl $300,000 less than it earned in its opening weekend.

Top 30 Selling DVDs for the Week Ending April 12, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Bedtime Stories 1,462,555 562.2% 1,683,409 $25,005,595 $28,779,482 1
2 Day the Earth
Stood Still, The
883,383 -.-% 883,383 $14,650,377 $14,650,377 1
3 Bolt 729,084 16.6% 2,840,035 $13,244,030 $50,450,485 3
4 Marley and Me 726,305 -52.4% 2,251,541 $12,581,128 $40,813,246 2
5 Tale of
Despereaux, The
577,270 -.-% 577,270 $9,807,817 $9,807,817 1
6 Madagascar: Escape
2 Africa
537,196 173.7% 5,683,889 $4,981,795 $87,187,398 10
7 Yes Man 531,931 -.-% 531,931 $9,202,034 $9,202,034 1
8 Twilight 414,927 -35.6% 7,086,697 $8,057,882 $127,962,468 3
9 Slumdog Millionaire 273,059 -67.6% 1,115,447 $4,172,342 $18,341,308 2
10 Doubt 258,287 -.-% 258,287 $4,571,680 $4,571,680 1
11 Beverly Hills
Chihuahua
240,151 117.2% 2,768,695 $3,840,014 $47,753,286 6
12 High School Musical
3: Senior Year
225,526 218.0% 2,914,409 $4,053,153 $52,111,158 8
13 Seven Pounds 223,040 -55.9% 729,113 $3,789,450 $12,433,176 2
14 Not Easily Broken 217,628 -.-% 217,628 $4,256,804 $4,256,804 1
15 Kung Fu Panda 207,978 300.5% 8,332,557 $1,904,392 $126,522,601 22
16 Pinocchio 176,530 76.2% $2,999,245 494
17 Quantum of Solace 169,949 -54.1% 1,752,836 $2,962,636 $31,383,986 3
18 Tigger and Pooh
and a Musical Too
156,640 -.-% 156,640 $2,974,594 $2,974,594 1
19 Madagascar 156,493 274.5% $1,719,858 178
20 Bee Movie 109,838 -.-% 4,836,258 $908,481 $76,570,787 57
21 Role Models 104,719 28.6% 1,588,449 $1,779,176 $26,987,749 5
22 Shrek the Third 98,869 -.-% 11,578,058 $874,269 $173,439,755 74
23 Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword 95,797 -.-% 95,797 $1,340,200 $1,340,200 1
24 Australia 86,634 16.9% 1,301,995 $1,471,912 $21,941,887 6
25 Stuart Little 83,962 76.4% $712,837 469
26 WALL-E 80,148 121.9% 8,623,786 $1,297,372 $136,193,424 21
27 Milk 52,303 14.3% 459,790 $914,779 $8,219,568 5
28 Transporter 3 52,004 -6.3% 978,246 $893,117 $17,467,792 5
29 Punisher: War
Zone, The
51,054 14.6% 363,646 $1,003,553 $6,857,322 4
30 Cadillac Records 40,087 1.6% 281,076 $801,339 $5,423,709 5

DVD Sales: Marley And Me Is Top Dog

April 16, 2009

Here’s the latest DVD Sales Chart (along with my notes) from The-Numbers:

Best performer: Marley And Me

Pretty good, considering its still in theaters : Slumdog Millionaire

Disappointing: Seven Pounds

Epic failure: Bedtime Stories

Most impressive overall: Twilight

Top 30 Selling DVDs For The Week Ending April 5th
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Marley and Me 1,525,236 -.-% 1,525,236 $28,232,118 $28,232,118 1
2 Slumdog Millionaire 842,388 -.-% 842,388 $14,168,966 $14,168,966 1
3 Twilight 643,955 -73.8% 6,671,770 $11,584,750 $119,904,586 2
4 Bolt 625,042 -56.3% 2,110,951 $11,188,189 $37,206,456 2
5 Seven Pounds 506,073 -.-% 506,073 $8,643,727 $8,643,727 1
6 Quantum of Solace 369,870 -69.5% 1,582,887 $6,526,393 $28,421,350 2
7 Bedtime Stories 220,854 -.-% 220,854 $3,773,887 $3,773,887 0
8 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 196,298 16.6% 5,146,693 $1,866,657 $82,205,603 9
9 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 110,580 -7.3% 2,528,544 $1,768,174 $43,913,272 5
10 Pinocchio 100,208 -31.9% $1,702,534 493
11 Role Models 81,448 -34.3% 1,483,730 $1,383,802 $25,208,573 4
12 Australia 74,126 18.9% 1,215,361 $1,259,401 $20,469,975 5
13 High School Musical 3: Senior Year 70,923 -9.2% 2,688,883 $1,311,246 $48,058,005 7
14 Transporter 3 55,519 -34.8% 926,242 $963,177 $16,574,675 4
15 Eagle Eye 54,756 -.-% 2,083,282 $1,045,949 $36,591,766 14
16 Barbie Presents: Thumbelina 54,603 -47.4% 438,201 $654,690 $6,320,432 3
17 Kung Fu Panda 51,930 7.4% 8,124,579 $485,951 $124,618,208 21
18 Stuart Little 47,587 -.-% $404,014 468
19 Milk 45,757 5.9% 407,487 $800,290 $7,304,788 4
20 Punisher: War Zone, The 44,537 -40.7% 312,592 $868,721 $5,853,769 3
21 Madagascar 41,791 -23.7% $459,283 177
22 Fireproof 41,505 8.3% 1,440,120 $725,922 $24,872,521 10
23 Hannah Montana: Keeping it Real 39,961 -.-% 39,961 $559,054 $559,054 1
24 Cadillac Records 39,474 19.9% 240,989 $789,085 $4,622,370 4
25 South Park – The Complete Twelfth Season 38,283 -17.9% 229,359 $1,186,390 $7,107,835 4
26 The Venture Bros.: Season Three 36,758 -51.2% 112,127 $698,034 $2,129,292 2
27 WALL-E 36,126 -.-% 8,543,638 $657,547 $134,896,052 20
28 Body of Lies 31,355 -20.8% 913,342 $632,430 $17,457,403 7
29 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – A Galaxy Divided 30,200 -56.7% 99,922 $392,298 $1,297,987 2
30 Space Buddies 28,674 -.-% 1,831,265 $458,497 $27,574,735 9

Welcome To The Era Of Easy Entertainment!

January 20, 2009

We’re in the middle of a huge economic recession, millions of people are out of work, the news is consistently depressing, the earth is apparently so polluted that a Wall-Eish future seems likely, we’re still fighting what seems to be a never-ending battle in the Middle East, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop just earned $39 million over four days in theaters. What is going on in the world, and why are all these terrible things happening at once? To be honest, I can’t really tell you anything about those first five- you’d have to ask a Washington insider about those. But when it comes to the issue of Paul Blart: Mall Cop raking in huge profits, let me offer up this explanation: In light of the economic, political, and social struggles that currently permeate our society, we have reached a new stage of culture: The Era of Easy Entertainment (EEE), where popular entertainment has become valued more as a distraction than an artform.

You see, it seems to me that in these tough times, the last thing people want in their lives is any more stress. And yes, if you’re wondering, there is a such thing as stressful entertainment. Over the last few years, movies centered on war have completely stalled at the box office. Even high profile releases like The Good German ($1.3 million), Flyboys ($13 M), The Great Raid ($10 M), and Flags Of Our Fathers ($33 M) have had trouble finding an audience. The best performing war-themed picture was 2005’s Jarhead ($62 M), but even that failed to live up to expectations. Still, if these films were to be released right now, I predict that they would do even worse at the box office than they did in their original theatrical runs. Why? Because people are tired of bad news! People are tired of war and fighting and not knowing what is going to happen next! And now, as the economic foundation of the country starts to crack, people are eager for something consistent and comforting. Where have they turned? To easy entertainment.

With exception of Nothing Like The Holidays ($7 M), every single comedy that has been released in the last two months has been a solid hit. Role Models earned $67 million. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa earned $178 million. Four Christmases earned $120 million. Bolt earned $113 million. Yes Man earned $93 million. Marley And Me has earned $134 million. Bedtime Stories has earned $105 million. Bride Wars has earned $40 million. And Paul Blart: Mall Cop opened to $39 million! The average T-Meter on RottenTomatoes for these films is 39%, so it’s not like these are just the best films out there right now. Yea some of them are great, and others are truly awful, but I think it’s more that right now, people just truly want to laugh and smile. Think about all the people who lined up in droves to go see Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Don’t you think they knew that it wasn’t going to be a magnificently memorable work of art? What they did know was that it would be safe enough and fun enough to provide them with a pleasant distraction from the reality of life, if only for a couple hours.

But this trend isn’t just limited to film. Look at the general trends of television viewing this season. The sitcom, which many pronounced as “dead” a few years ago, is now back in full force. Shows like The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and 30 Rock have seen massive 35-45% increases in their viewership this season, despite network television ratings being universally down. And it’s not just comedy that makes up the EEE. No, some entertainment is just “easy,” like television’s number one new show, The Mentalist. The show does absolutely nothing to break the mold of a typical CBS procedural crime drama. It follows a very predictable formula each and every episode, and audiences aren’t complaining. In fact, because it requires so little thinking, and the mystery is always wrapped up by the end of each episode, it’s pulling in almost 19 million viewers every week. Shows like Lost or 24 should be glad they launched when they did, because they would never break out in 2009- they just require too much thinking, too much stress!

There’s no telling how long EEE will last. It is the reason that films like The Unborn and My Bloody Valentine: 3D have done so well lately. These are horror flicks, yes, but they are also proedictable and fun. It is the reason dogs are the hottest thing in Hollywood now. They don’t need to be able to act or speak- they’re cute and make people feel good. So long as people are worried about our failing economy, horror films and comedies and movies that advertise the fact that they are fun, will continue to thrive. Already, the box office is having an incredibly lucrative winter season because people have made it very clear that right now they don’t need a ton of drama- they want some simple comfort instead.

Weekend Fix: Gran Torino, Bride Wars, And The Unborn All Have Strong Openings

January 11, 2009

What a great weekend at the box office! Amidst reports of peaking unemployment, retail failures, and recessionary woes, the box office continues to shine throughout this winter season. It appears that people are eager to escape from all the depressing news bogging them down by taking a good ‘ole trip to the movie theater. The Top 12 movies grossed a cumulative $129 million, an increase of 22% over last year. While many of the holdovers got hit harder than expected, the three robust debuts of Gran Torino, Bride Wars, and The Unborn set a promising tone for the rest of 2009.

The number one film this weekend is Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, which earned a fantastic $29 million, after expanding into 2,808 theaters. I believe that this debut will be considered massively important, as it marks another milestone in the ever continual internationalization of cinema. Truly, I can’t remember another film with a large Asian cast to have such audience support. Of course Clint Eastwood was the main draw here, but it’s still a promising sign for the industry. The debut gave the Warner Brothers Oscar bait a per theater average of $10,337, the best in the Top 12. Let me take a moment to break down how great of a venue average that is: Last weekend Gran Torino was playing in 84 theaters and had a per theater average of $33,571, which means that while the theater count increased 3,300% , the per theater average only fell 69%, which is pretty incredible. After five weekends in theaters, Gran Torino has amassed $40 million, and with awards season kicking into high gear, I’m thinking that this shouldn’t have any trouble making it to $100 million in the near future.

Let’s talk about this next film as little as possible. I’ll try to sum it all up in one sentence and then move on to something worth talking about. Fox’s Bride Wars debuted in second place with $21.5 million, which gave it a pretty good (but not surprisingly Satanic) venue average of $6,665. Why, Anne Hathaway? Why?!

The Unborn came in thrid place, with a stronger opening than anyone was expecting. The Universal horror flick scared up a solid $21 million, effectively marking that the 2006-2007 horror slump is over. The recognition here really belongs to Universal’s marketing department, who put together genuinely creepy trailers and television ads that gave people a good of the story (A long-lost, evil, unborn twin is coming to terrorize his sister). I’m usually not a fan of horror movies, but even I wasn’t unexcited for The Unborn. Whereas a movie like Seven Pounds opened poorly because people had no idea what it was about, The Unborn showed that the opposite was true, and I’m thinking that The Uninvited will reap similar benefits later this month. The film had a great $8,950 venue average, but any hope for longevity is pretty doubtful. First, there is the simpe reality that horror releases are notoriously front-loaded, and on top of that, there is a new horror title coming out for the next three weekends. It doesn’t really matter, though, because these movies are so cheap to produce. The Unborn will be pretty fortunate to make it to $50 million, before selling well on DVD.

Wait a second, is it Christmas Weekend all over again? The four Christmas Day releases fill up the next four spots on the chart, albeit with much lower numbers and some fairly steep drops. Provided with fresh titles on the scene, audiences forgot about the old films. Fox took away some of its own audience with Bride Wars, and consequently, the Jennifer Aniston starrer, Marley And Me, dropped 53% to $11.3 million, and has earned $123 million overall. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button fell 49% to $9.4 million for the weekend, and a $94 million cume. Perhaps poor word-of-mouth has spread, because Bedtime Stories fell a harsh 58% to $8.5 million, giving it $97 million total. The Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler features will each surpass $100 million in the next week. Tom Cruise’s comback movie, Valkyrie declined 53% to $6.6 million, and has found a solid $71 million overall.

The Jim Carrey vehicle Yes Man fell 56% this weekend to $6 million. After its dispappointing $18 million opening, Warner Brothers’ Yes Man has been leggier than anyone would have guessed, and it has now earned a total of $89 million, which represents an impressive 5.0 multiplier.

In ninth place, we have Not Easily Broken, a marital drama from Sony released in just 724 theaters. Proving that melodrama is a genre that does have some life in it, Not Easily Broken earned $5.6 million, which gave the film a good $7,735 per theater average. While this result is a nice surprise for the weekend, it pales in comparison to the kind of numbers that Tyler Perry can pull in for a similar movie. He truly does have the golden touch.

Moving down a notch to another overly dramatic film, the Will Smith snoozefest Seven Pounds dropped 61% to $3.9 million over the weekend frame. With $66 million in the bank after four weekends, the ultra serious Sony drama will go down as one of the few missteps in Smith’s otherwise impeccable career.

Future Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire (that is, if Wall-E isn’t nominated) dropped just 20% to $3.7 million this weekend for a $34 million total. It’s still pulling in a solid $6,206 venue average, but Fox Searchlight needs to pump up the advertising and the theater count, because there is certainly lots of life left in this vibrant title, especially as it rakes in the awards.

Down in 12th place is Twilight, the teenage vampire movie from way back in November that can’t be stopped. Perhaps it’s just riding on the news of star Taylor Lautner returning for the sequel, but the Summit Entertainment feature fell just 40% to $2.8 million, and it has grossed a stunning $181 million over eight weekends. Here are the full weekend results:

Top 12 for January 9-11 2009

# Movie Title 3-Day Gross
% Change AVG. Total
1 Gran Torino $29,025,000 888% $10,337 $40,065,000
2 Bride Wars $21,500,000 $6,665 $21,500,000
3 The Unborn $21,095,150 $8,950 $21,095,150
4 Marley And Me $11,350,000 -53% $3,263 $123,710,171
5 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $9,450,000 -49% $3,247 $94,330,000
6 Bedtime Stories $8,550,000 -58% $2,435 $97,180,000
7 Valkyrie $6,662,000 -53% $2,347 $71,509,383
8 Yes Man $6,155,000 -56% $2,083 $89,411,000
9 Not Easily Broken $5,600,000 $7,735 $5,600,000
10 Seven Pounds $3,900,000 -61% $1,588 $66,830,000
11 Slumdog Millionaire $3,730,000 -20% $6,206 $34,074,855
12 Twilight $2,789,000
-40% $1,902 $181,395,000
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Friday Estimates: GRAND Torino At The Box Office

January 10, 2009

I’ve just got to be real with you- I way underestimated the box office of the premiering films, and I overestimated the holdovers. Things just took a rather unexpected turn this weekend, but don’t worry, I’m not about to sit here and dwell on it. After all, pretty much everyone got it wrong!

This weekend proved to be a pretty big draw for American audiences, as all three openers debuted to pretty good results. Gran Torino, after launching into wide release in its fifth week, earned an estimated $9.8 million on Friday, which is fantastic. The NFL playoffs should detract from its overall multiplier a little bit, but it’s still headed for around $29 million for the weekend. Much to my dismay, Bride Wars also opened well with $8 million on Friday. It should make it to around $24 million for the weekend. I don’t want to talk about it. The Unborn also managed an $8 million Friday, and because it will be front-loaded, I’m seeing an $18 million weekend. Still, that’s a fairly good debut, which means that audiences may be ready for horror movies again after two years of disappointing receipts. Give it a month before people are tired of these movies again… The only other new film hitting the charts was Not Easily Broken, a small film playing in just 724 theaters. It opened in 7th place, $2 million on Friday. Look for a $6 million weekend.

With the new options shining so brightly, there were some very large drops among returning features. Among holdovers, Marley And Me is looking at $10 million for the weekend, Benjamin Button should find $9 million, and Bedtime Stories $8 million. Here’s the Top Ten Friday Estimates:

Friday Estimates for January 9th
1. Gran Torino – $9.8 million
2. Bride Wars – $8 million
3. The Unborn – $8 million
4. Marley And Me – $3 million
5. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button – $2.7 million
6. Bedtime Stories – $2.1 million
7. Not Easily Broken – $2 millino
8. Valkyrie – $1.9 million
9. Yes Man – $1.9 million
10. Seven Pounds – $1.1 million

Weekend Preview: Sorry Clint Eastwood, Bride Wars And The NFL Are BFF’s

January 9, 2009

January has historically been a rather bipolar month at movie theaters. On the one hand, studios often dump some of their very worst films in January, and this month’s releases are pretty much awful more often than not. On the other hand, however, January is also the time when studios will expand their quality, smaller titles, hoping to capitalize on the positive effects of awards season and build enough buzz to garner the ever elusive Oscar nomination. The second weekend of 2009 follows this tried-and-true formula to a tee: There are two new wide releases, Bride Wars and The Unborn, which are getting absolutely obliterated by critics, and then Clint Eastwood’s buzzy Gran Torino, which is launching into wide release after four weekends in a limited count.

I truly hate that I’m writing this, but the top spot this weekend could go to Bride Wars, the utterly derivative wedding comedy from Fox. Okay, Kate Hudson’s choice of role has always been rather questionable, but how Anne Hathaway ended up in this dreck is beyond me. I’m sorry to sound so cynical, but I can’t be the only person who is so over Hollywood’s love of stereotypical bridezilla comedy. The movie follows two lifelong friends, whose weddings are suddenly scheduled on the same day. When they find this out, they launch a war to take down the opposing bride, completely forgetting that they are best friends. Obviously, these are well-developed, three-dimensional characters who actually act like real human beings, and it sounds hilarious, right? Wrong. Unfortunately for all mankind, Bride Wars does actually have a good amount going for it. Last year, 27 Dresses, another wedding-centered film targeting women, opened to $23 million, which bodes rather well for Bride Wars. Also helping will be the fact that the NFL playoffs are this month. While millions of men are glued to the TV screen, millions of disinterested wives will go to the movies, and Bride Wars has made it clear that it is a cinematic destination for women only. I have to give Fox a little bit of credit for wisely counter programming. Advertising has been very strong, but I think that its box office will be limited to a small extent by its horrendous reviews. I only say “to a small extent” because when movies are exclusively targeting women, females seem to settle for some truly bad entertainment. Men do it too. So do Christians. I don’t quite understand it. Anyway, the comedy is out in 3,226 theaters, and I’ll give it the narrow victory this weekend, with a $19 million opening.

Completely switching gears, Warner Brothers’ Oscar bait, Gran Torino, is expanding from 84 to 2,808 theaters, and it will be duking it out with Bride Wars for the top spot. The Clint Eastwood-directed drama is targeting older males, pretty much the exact opposite audience of its main competition, and though the NFL playoffs will help Bride Wars, they should have a negative effect on Gran Torino‘s performance. Still, the venue averages for Gran Torino have been amazing solid, up in the $20-30,000 range these past few weeks. While these numbers will come down to earth over the next few days, they tell us that Gran Torino should still start off pretty well in wide release. The racial drama’s good reviews and word-of-mouth will certainly help it as well. I’m predicting an $18 million weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up coming out on top.

The final new wide release of the weekend is The Unborn, a typical January horror release. It’s funny- this is a film that is probably just as bad as Bride Wars, but I just don’t seem to mind. I feel like horror is never really that good, and if I consistently expect nothing, I’ll always be delighted! In truth, poor reviews don’t matter much for the Universal fright-fest. Teens will be the main audience for The Unborn, and they are pretty much review-proof. This should play out like almost every other horror title: Teens will rush out the theater this weekend to watch it, and then it will plummet in its second weekend, and then it will earn some dough on DVD. The Unborn will definitely benefit from being the first of four horror movies this January, and the ads have actually been pretty scary, so I think this one should do alright. Playing in 2,356 theaters, it should earn $14 million.

Among holdovers, there should be some pretty standard (for January) 30-40% drops. Former top dog Marley And Me will stick by its constant companions, Bedtime Stories and The Curious Case Of Benajmin Button. The films might garner similar weekend totals of $13.5 million, $13 million, and $12 million, respectively. Bedtime will cross the $100 million milestone, and Button will be only a few million dollars behind. Here are my full Top 12 predictions:

Predicted Top 12 for January 9-11
1. Bride Wars – $19 million
2. Gran Torino – $18 million
3. The Unborn – $14 million
4. Marley And Me – $13.5 million
5. Bedtime Stories – $13 million
6. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button – $12 million
7. Yes Man – $8.5 million
8. Valkyrie – $8 million
9. Seven Pounds – $6 million
10. Slumdog Millionaire – $3.9 million
11. The Tale Of Despereaux – $3.8 million
12. Doubt – $3.6 million

Also, if you guys use Digg, Delicious, Furl, StumbleUpon, etc., I’d really appreciate a tag! We’re a small little group of Box Office Junkies around here, so let’s invite a few more people to the party!

Weekend Fix: Everything (But The Spirit) Holds Well, Slumdog And Doubt Shine

January 4, 2009

The first weekend of 2009 provided Hollywood with a strong start for the year. Marley And Me, Bedtime Stories, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, and Valkyrie remained the top four choices for moviegoers, and the top seven features each held their rank from last weekend. Though there was very little movement on the chart, solid holdovers and tiny drops led the Top 12 to earn $130 million in total box office, a 7% increase over the first weekend of 2008. It’s a happy new year, indeed.

Marley And Me again took the top spot, grossing $24 million, for an eye-popping $106 million total. The Fox production dropped 34% from last week and had a solid $6,682 per theater average, which guarantees that it will keep playing in theaters for a good while longer. Marley And Me has firmly re-established the box office vitality of both Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, and it really is a victory for all those involved. Between this and last year’s Alvin and the Chipmunks, Fox has demonstrated that they know how to open a movie in late December to great success, so if you’re wondering about the prospects of Fox’s next December title, James Cameron’s Avatar, which is being released on December 19th of this year, I’m making an early prediction that it’s going to be HUGE.

Disney’s Adam Sandler vehicle, Bedtime Stories, evaded any backlash from its horrendous reviews and managed to drop just 26% to $20 million. Proving that the holidays are kind to family films, Bedtime Stories earned a $5,507 venue average, as parents took advantage of the winter break and flocked to the theaters with their kids one last time, before they had to go back to school. The film has grossed a nice $85 million so far.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button fell 31% in its second weekend, raking in an estimated $18 million dollars. The Paramount picture had a good $6,158 per theater average. There’s something nice about seeing a true-blue, old-school Hollywood drama starring A-list leads like Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett do so well at the box office. It just makes me feel like there is normalcy in the world, which is comforting. After twelve days, the picture has amassed a very good $79 million.

United Artists’ Valkyrie continued its surprisingly strong run this weekend, adding $14 million to its box office total, with a $5,505 venue average. The WWII drama starring Tom Cruise has caught on quite well with male viewers, and with $60 million already in the bank, it could be headed to a $90 million total. So while Tom Cruise may not be all the way back to his Mission: Impossible/ Top Gun glory days, he’s well on his way to career redemption.

The next three spots are filled by three films that can’t seem to get enough of each other, for they have been stuck together on the chart since they debuted three weeks ago. In fifth place is the Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel comedy Yes Man, which earned $14 million. The Warner Brothers film has performed admirably after its lackluster start, and it now sits with $79 million total. In sixth is Seven Pounds, the Will Smith flick that just didn’t ever catch on. This weekend the Sony drama found $10 million, pushing its total to $60 million. And in seventh is Universal’s The Tale Of Despereaux, which grossed $7 million, for a modest $43 million total.

Doubt came in eighth place this weekend, as the effects of awards season begin to show their strength. The religious drama from Miramax fell only 6% to $5 million. It’s $3,909 venue average isn’t amazingly strong, but its enough to keep it around for a few weeks, and if it can pick up some awards, it will keep up its slow burn at the box office. Thus far, it has earned a pretty-good-considering-the-subject-matter $19 million. The Day The Earth Stood Still, a film that won’t be winning any awards, earned $4.8 million this weekend for an alright $74 million total.

And now for the film that I am unabashedly in love with: Slumdog Millionaire. I’m serious, it’s not like I just liked this movie a little bit- I LOVED it. I’m talking Wall-E levels of affection here! To my great pleasure, the Danny Boyle masterpiece did great at the box office this week, actually increasing 11% to $4.7 million, for a $29 million total. Even better, it’s $7,794 per theater average was the best in the Top 12! Fox Searchlight has mastered the art of rolling out lovable, artistic flicks like this one, and they’re doing a great job with Slumdog Millionaire. Seriously, go see it.

Filling up the last two spots are November stalwarts, Twilight and Bolt. The Summit vampire movie sucked another $4.5 million out of Americans’ pockets for a $176 million total. It will be interesting to see how the third Underworld movie, Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans, which debuts later this month, will perform in this newly-invigorated vampire genre. Finishing off the Top 12 is Disney’s Bolt, a film that has recovered nicely after a very slow start. This weekend, it grossed $3.2 million for a $110 total, which represents a great 4.23 multiplier. (For the uninitiated, a multiplier is calculated by dividing a movie’s total gross by its opening weekend.)

From here on out, look for things to cool down a bit now that the holidays have come to a close. The box office should return to its regular cycle of low weekday and high weekend numbers. Next weekend will see the debut of three new films: Bride Wars, The Unborn, and Not Easily Broken. Check back next Thursday for my Weekend Preview, throughout the week for new industry-related stories. For now though, here are this weekend’s results:

Top 12 for January 2-4 2009
# Movie Title 3-Day Gross
% Change AVG. Total
1 Marley And Me $24,050,000 -34% $6,862 $106,510,250
2 Bedtime Stories $20,317,000 -26% $5,507 $85,351,000
3 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $18,400,000 -31% $6,158 $79,011,000
4 Valkyrie $14,042,000 -33% $5,055 $60,691,979
5 Yes Man $13,850,000 -17% $4,033 $79,413,000
6 Seven Pounds $10,000,000 -24% $3,626 $60,308,000
7 The Tale Of Despereaux $7,019,816 -21% $2,271 $43,741,816
8 Doubt $5,031,000 -6% $3,909 $18,730,000
9 The Day The Earth Stood Still $4,850,000 -37% $2,075 $74,299,426
10 Slumdog Millionaire $4,770,000 11% $7,794 $28,778,672
11 Twilight $4,530,000 -4% $2,399 $176,815,169
12 Bolt $3,271,000 -3% $1,892 $109,897,000
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Who Get’s The Credit For Marley And Me’s Success: Jennifer Aniston Or The Dog?

January 3, 2009

By now, it’s clear to everyone that Fox’s Marley And Me is a massive success. It has already earned $92 million, and by the end of the weekend it will be sitting pretty with almost $110 million. At this point, $175 million seems well within reach. Many, including myself, have hailed this as a major comeback for Jennifer Aniston, who in recent years has suffered an image crisis, fueled primarily by gossip blogger Perez Hilton. However, for all of the praise that’s been heaped upon Aniston, there are huge hordes of haters who refuse to give the actress any credit, instead citing the titular dog’s cute-factor as the major drawing power of Marley And Me. Well, despite their excessively standoffish behavior, the haters actually got me thinking. Who should get the credit for Marley And Me‘s success? Was it the dog, Aniston, or something else completely?

To answer this question, I looked at the box office history of movies with dogs as a main character. Unfortunately, there is no available box office information for Disney’s 1957 film Old Yeller, which lives on as the most famous dog movie of all time, but with the available statistics, here are the Top 20 Dog Movies of all time.

Top 20 Dog Movies Of All Time
# Movie Title Studio Total Gross Release Date
1 Scooby-Doo WB $153 million 2002
2 101 Dalmations Disney $136 million 1996
3 Cats & Dogs WB $93 million 2001
4 Beverly Hills Chihuahua Disney $93 million 2008
5 Marley And Me Fox $92 million 2008
6 Scooby-Doo 2:
Monsters Unleashed
WB $84 million 2004
7 Eight Below Disney $81 million 2006
8 Snow Dogs Disney $81 million 2002
9 Turner & Hooch Disney $71 million 1989
10 102 Dalmations Disney $67 million 2000
11 The Shaggy Dog Disney $61 million 2006
12 Beethoven Universal $57 million 1992
13 Beethoven’s 2nd Universal $53 million 1993
14 Underdog Disney $43 million 2007
15 K-9 Universal $43 million 1989
16 Homeward Bound:
The Incredible Journey
Disney $41 million 1993
17 Benji Mulberry $39 million 1974
18 Good Boy! MGM $37 million 2003
19 White Fang Disney $34 million 1991
20 My Dog Skip WB $34 million 2000

Other than the fact that Disney really likes to make dog movies, what do these results tell us? Well, they tell us that dog movies aren’t really all that popular. They do well enough, and many of the grosses are solid, but they’re hardly breaking any box office records. (You should keep in mind that these are the top 20, and there are many more dog movies that are not even on the list.) The results have me asking, if dogs are really such a draw to the theaters, why have only two dog movies ever broken $100 million? After ten days, Marley And Me already sits at number five, and it will undoubtedly top this chart by the end of its run, but based on box office history, we simply can’t attribute all that success to the presence of a dog in the movie. Clearly, pooches do have some drawing power, but not enough to pull in the kind of numbers that Marley And Me is seeing. So, if it’s not the puppy, who should get the credit?

Jennifer Aniston. From a box office perspective, that’s the answer that makes the most sense to me, because she has all the makings of a real box office star. I truly don’t understand why the entertainment media decided that they should dislike her. Give the woman some love! She was on one of the most popular television shows of all time, she’s a total babe, and she already has some box office success under her belt with Bruce Almighty ($242 million), Along Came Polly ($88 million), and The Break Up ($118 million). Of course, one could point to The Good Girl ($24 million), Derailed ($36 million), or Rumor Has It ($42 million) as signs of her inconsistency, but I think that these are simply examples of the Sandler-Effect, which is when an actor plays outside his/her main genre and sees limited box office results. Clearly, she’s an actress that audiences prefer to see opposite a leading man in comedies, and so Marley And Me was a wise choice of role. Thus, because of her proven marketability, and the so-so popularity of dogs, I’m saying that Jennifer Aniston deserves more credit than Marley. Q.E.D.

Plus, she starred in Office Space! Come on, haters! What gives?!