Archive for the ‘Public Enemies’ Category

DVD Sales: Harry Potter And The Half-Sales Prince; DVDs Declining

January 12, 2010

Well, The-Numbers DVD Sales Chart is still running behind schedule, but there is a new chart to view this week, for the frame ending on December 13th.  Considering that this week should have been prime time for holiday shopping, there’s just no way to look at these results and not be at least a little bit disappointed.  The harsh reality is that, the DVD industry, just like the CD industry, is on the decline.  Look at the image to the left, from the Wall Street Journal, to see what I mean.  Studios continue to claim that Blu-Ray sales are offseting DVD Sales decreases, but that’s not really the case.  On the whole, less people are buying DVDs, and that is certainly appraent in this week’s DVD Sales Chart.  You can read on to see the full chart, along with my slightly depressing DVD Sales Notes:

DVD Sales Notes:

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince certainly took off on the home market, but the speed that it left shelves was more along the lines of a Nimbus 2000 than a Firebolt.  Half Blood Prince sold 4.2 million copies in its first week, good for $49 million in revenue.  That number seems fine until you realize that the last installment of this franchise, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, which opened on this same week in 2007, sold 6.9 million copies in its first week, earning $143.4 million.  Clearly, both sales and prices have declined drastically since then.
-Second and third place went to two movies that earned just under $100 million during their theatrical releases.  The Meryl Streep and Amy Adams cooking feature Julie And Julia earned a solid $94 million in theaters, and it earned a similarly solid $16.7 million in its first week on the home market.  Meanwhile, the Johnny Depp old-school-gangster piece Public Enemies, which grossed $97 million at the box office, found $15.5 million worth of DVD revenue.
-There are so many possible puns for the movies in 5th and 6th place, but I’ll try not to overdo it.  Up went up 2% this week, and Star Trek beamed up 3%.  The hot air balloon feature and the space shuttle picture both lifted off this week, selling over 500,000 units in their 5th and 4th weeks, respectively.  Up has reached a sky-high $121 million total, while Star Trek has found a not quite out of this world $76.8 million.
-The TV-on-DVD performer of the week is Lost – The Complete 5th Season.  With 451,459 units sold, the ABC drama came in 7th place, but with $16.5 million earned, the ridiculously awesome television series came in 3rd in terms of total revenue.  That makes me feel good.  I love LOST
-Kiddie movies and Christmas movies thrive at this time of year, as parents look for family-friendly stocking stuffers for their children.  That explains the reappearance of movies like Hannah Montana The Movie and It’s A Wonderful Life.  Check out the full chart below:
DVD Sales Chart For The Week Ending December 13, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Che Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 4,199,622 -.-% 4,199,622 $49,038,566 $49,038,566 1
2 Julie And Julia 983,131 -.-% 983,131 $16,742,721 $16,742,721 1
3 Public Enemies 884,440 -.-% 884,440 $15,463,372 $15,463,372 1
4 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 627,004 -61.5% 2,256,708 $10,454,038 $27,317,074 2
5 Up 527,053 2.2% 7,141,269 $9,881,137 $121,248,761 5
6 Star Trek 505,214 3.0% 5,292,868 $8,044,624 $76,799,943 4
7 Lost – The Complete Fifth Season 451,459 -.-% 451,459 $16,550,397 $16,550,397 1
8 Terminator Salvation 353,608 -64.9% 1,362,395 $5,654,192 $15,731,974 2
9 Santa Buddies 285,994 -34.4% 1,693,062 $5,550,543 $29,458,409 3
10 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 273,395 44.0% 8,801,439 $6,011,956 $197,164,619 8
11 The Ugly Truth 241,607 157.4% 1,491,887 $3,621,689 $23,845,237 5
12 Angels And Demons 211,661 -40.1% 1,391,793 $3,824,799 $22,082,111 3
13 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 210,821 44.2% 4,522,108 $3,443,930 $76,522,006 7
14 Four Christmases 196,542 -27.5% 1,181,962 $3,693,024 $18,228,545 3
15 A Christmas Story 176,804 85.1% $1,785,013 481
16 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 176,384 10.8% 3,905,998 $2,791,594 $62,857,838 6
17 The Original Television Christmas Classics 161,265 28.8% $3,223,687 274
18 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 156,646 58.4% $1,759,996 630
19 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 149,087 -33.5% $2,510,073 427
20 The Proposal 146,567 -6.6% 4,360,385 $2,228,859 $71,090,936 9
21 How the Grinch Stole Christmas 144,047 -.-% $1,712,719 421
22 Hannah Montana The Movie 139,933 -.-% 3,189,925 $2,517,395 $54,125,422 17
23 Elf 137,748 91.2% $1,183,255 265
24 Twilight 131,578 -15.2% 9,967,919 $2,862,150 $181,028,196 38
25 It’s a Wonderful Life – 60th Anniversary Edition 128,508 -.-% 1,347,468 $1,849,230 $19,119,577 163
26 Monsters vs. Aliens 121,949 51.8% 4,633,877 $1,812,699 $76,746,361 11
27 My Sister’s Keeper 119,018 79.9% 908,021 $2,355,366 $14,524,912 4
28 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 102,989 -15.4% 2,951,541 $1,605,599 $46,607,587 7
29 Funny People 94,191 -8.3% 392,755 $1,953,945 $7,514,074 3
30 Barbie and the Three Musketeers 67,379 -.-% 930,472 $841,564 $13,329,776 13

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And The Winner Is… Transformers: Dawn of Fallen Dinosaur

July 6, 2009


After a nice, long, relaxing vacation, void of movie news but loaded with Michael Jackson mourning, I’m back to work.

The Fourth of July weekend is usually highly anticipated for big box office releases, but that’s usually when the fourth doesn’t actually fall on that Saturday. Some think this caused a dent in the releases, but they still seemed to just fine.

But we don’t have a clear winner between the top two at the box office. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen both topped out at 42.5 million. Seems the family friendly cartoon did what popular family friendly cartoons do: make loads of money. When anyone who comes to these movies are guaranteed to tack on one to four little tykes, the profit margin is spectacular. And fans have cashed in their dollar votes: they like Michael Bay even when critics don’t. Nobody blows shit up like he does.

Coming in third was the Johnny Depp film Public Enemies with 26.2 million. I saw this film on opening night, and admired it more than enjoyed it. It is very historically accurate, but was rather stagnant. Not exactly a blockbuster, July 4th behemoth. It’s an adult movie, that is perhaps a nice distraction from the typical summer release.

The Proposal landed in fourth with 12.8 million. and The Hangover continued its impressive run, putting 10.4 million into its ever growing piggy bank, and landing it in fifth.

For good measure, Up might be losing steam, coming in sixth with 6.6 million.

Movie Review: Public Enemies

July 2, 2009


I have quite a strange feeling about me right now, and that is the farther I am from seeing Public Enemies last night, the more I think I enjoy it. Because at the time, I didn’t really. This could be because I was sitting directly in front of a man who would clear his throat quite literally every seven seconds and would emit strange burps periodically. I’d never thought of adding “Throat-clearers” to the list of annoying movie-goers, but I grew incredibly impatient to this new type of irritation, and I fear I let my aggravation towards him get reflected on the movie I was viewing. That’s not to say I thought this was a spectacular movie, on the contrary. I think this was an admirable attempt that slightly missed the mark, a respectable, but cold and unentertaining film.

Now before I go, I never try to spoil things that I think shouldn’t be spoiled. And though I find it difficult to spoil a historical film such as this, I will warn you before I give anything away about the ending of the movie. Though I suspect most of you know the ending anyway.

The plot is as straight as an arrow and simple as pie. It’s the 1930s, and the depression has set in for the long haul. Gangs of criminals have ransacked banks throughout the Midwest, led by the likes of Ma Barker, George “Baby Face” Nelson, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and many others with silly quotation-mark worthy nicknames. One of the most famous was John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), who soon became labeled Public Enemy number one, and was one of the most frequently named persons in the papers for a brief time resulting in his arrival as somewhat of a celebrity. He was a smooth talker, and he’d either get you with his sharp tongue or his tommy gun.

J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup) will stop at nothing to catch Dillinger, and under the forming FBI creates an entire team, to be headed by Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale). What comes out is a rather lackluster game of cat and mouse, as we switch from both points of view, watching the glorified criminal escape the violently brutal authorities again and again.

That’s it, and that’s really all we get. The plot really doesn’t rise or fall, the characters really don’t develop or get any depth or dimension past their required caricatures. Even at the film’s climax, there’s no rising action, no real drama at all. It just sort of happens. Part of the problem lies in the fact that we know what Dillinger did; he robbed banks. There ends the extent of our knowledge. We don’t really know who the man was all that well. He was charming and funny to the press, was obviously headstrong and confident, but we don’t know much beyond that. And the movie, perhaps wisely, doesn’t try to fill in too many blanks. Dillinger drops a line that his mother died young and his father beat him, but this certainly doesn’t qualify as a biopic about John Dillinger. Since the movie tries to stay accurate to history, when the history is relatively unknown, it isn’t approached.

Depp is, I’ll say it, superbly cast as Dillinger. The picture on the left shows they definitely share some physical similarities. I am used to seeing him covered in excessive make-up, wearing fantastic wigs, and acting the eccentricities of a lunatic with each new strange character he takes (read: The Mad Hatter). Those things are, dare I say, easy. But Depp reminds us here that he is a fantastic actor, and pulls of the realistic just as well as the cartoonish. While Dillinger on screen never gets quite deep enough, Depp plays him impeccably. He’s funny, especially when arrested, and he’s a gentleman of a crook. He never stole from customers, but he was certainly no re-distributing Robin Hood. “I’m here for the bank’s money, not yours,” he tells a customer who has forked out what cash he has. Sure, but you want the man to plea, “but it’s my money in the bank!” Which, apparently, Dillinger never thought of. He has limits of criminal decency (“The press don’t like kidnapping”) and cares about his friends and particularly, his girlfriend Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard).

Their romance is somewhat Hollywood-ized. They fall for each other instantly, he buys her nice things and gives a quick-witted monologue and she’s all his to protect, though it’s him that puts her in danger to begin with. It is true that the two shared something meaningful. (I suppose Spoilers follow) Frechette actually went on tour, talking about her time with Dillinger to audiences and the press nationwide. And I read an account that said, when she was arrested (which she was), Dillinger “cried like a baby for hours.” (source). (End spoilers).

The rest of the cast is largely forgettable. Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis is adequate, at best, never giving more nor less than the essentials to require his presence. Channing Tatum as “Pretty Boy” Flloyd is annoying and flamboyant, more in the style of the gangster movies actually made in the 3os.

I do have some problems with this movie completely glorifying John Dillinger, while vilifying the police chasing him. I’m not saying the man was pure evil, but bottom line is he stole a lot of money and killed quite a few cops. The movie glances over that little aspect of his life. Meanwhile the policemen and FBI agents commit some ruthless acts, including refusing to give somebody with a bullet behind his right eye any medicine and beating around a woman in custody (though that actually happened), all for the sake of information. If they’re going to make sure to show the good in Dillinger, they should do the same for the other side of the coin, particularly if they’re going for the realism this movie tried to achieve.

There is one type of action scene in this movie that is repeated again and again; bullets start ringing out, parties take cover behind walls or cars, and fire out windows or in a general direction of their enemy, but primarily hiding while the barrage of bullets flies around them. This is, I’d imagine, a relatively realistic rendition of what a gunfight would look like, which means it is also redundantly boring. God, didn’t anything blow up in the thirties? Just kidding… The scenes were put in, I’m sure, to add excitement and action to the film, but they’re too long and not thrilling enough to earn the term ‘action’ scenes. They are required for plot, since gangsters certainly had shoot-outs, but they probably could have cut these off a little sooner and got on with it.

That’s not to say there weren’t some entertaining scenes. There’s a rather thrilling jail-break sequence, for starters, but the real highlight of this movie required no bullets and few lines. Dillinger’s friend needs to go the Chicago police station, and Dillinger offers to take her. Once there, he walks inside, and then straight into the door with his name on it. That’s right, he walks right into his own “Dillinger Bureau.” It’s mostly empty, there are a few people watching a sports game in the corner. But Depp plays this scene brilliantly, walking around with a look of arrogance and curiosity on his face as he observes his own manhunt. Then, just for good measure, before he leaves he asks the men in there what the score is. This, mind you, is widely accepted to be fact.

So overall, the movie sacrifices a little to extended monotonous gun fights, and has an unthrilling and unchanging plot. But it has some good moments, and though it glorifies somone who has perhaps already received too much glory, gives a good look at a man who has become an American myth.

6.9/10

This Week In Blockbusters: Johnny Depp And Christia Bale Are "Public Enemies" And "Ice Age" Brings Back The Dinosaurs

June 30, 2009

Ah, the fourth of July. An extended weekend full of barbecue, fireworks, and big summer releases. Though, if I may be so bold, this year’s tent-pole release date isn’t as strong as I feel like it has been in the past. Though, perhaps this is because Will Smith is nowhere to be found, Michael Bay has already released his movie, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is still doing that whole ‘politics’ thing. This has been a big week for blockbusters in past years. Three of the four Die Hard films came out this weekend, where the phrase “yippee-ki-yay mother fucker” became oddly patriotic, Will Smith has had so many openers on this weekend it could practically be named after him (including the Men In Black movies, Hancock, Wild Wild West, and the appropriately titled Independence Day, which features the best presidential address since Gettysburgh), Superhero films have flourished and failed, and Michael Bay has decided fireworks just weren’t explosive enough to celebrate the fourth like our forefathers would want, so decided he’d blow some shit up himself. Tack on some Terminator movies, more movies about alien invasions like War of the Worlds, and we’ve got ourselves a federal holiday. (But seriously, what is it about this weekend that spawns space oriented/heavy science fiction
movies?)

Not so this year. When you look at the smash-hit lists from yesteryear, this weekend looks relatively tame. But that’s not to say it won’t be fun. First we’ll have Johnny Depp and Christian Bale step out from two of the most financially successful film franchises ever and lend their talents to Public Enemies, a film about the depression bank-robbing wave lead by John Dillinger. Depp stars as Dillinger, and Bale stars the FBI agent, Melvin Purvis, who is trying to catch him.

My first fear is that Bale will still be locked in intense-grunt mode left over after The Dark Knight and Terminator Salvation. Assuming that isn’t the case, this looks to be a rather enthralling film. Early reviews are pretty positive, praising both the actors as well as director Michael Mann. Dillinger was treated as a hero to many, who saw him as a modern day Robin Hood. But he was a killer as well. America had a rather strange habit glorifying and mythologizing our criminals. (I’m sorry, did I say had? Insert: Joke about any rapper). Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker; these people of the ‘Public Enemy’ era captivated U.S. press as they went on their crime sprees in the Midwest. Some people have since forgot how ruthless these people could be, and that they did, in fact, shoot a lot people in the face. John Dillinger himself was one of the most famous, known as ‘Jackrabbit’ for his speed and grace in heists (he was known to leap over furniture, something seen in the trailer for the film. Hooray accuracy!)

We also see in the preview that, during a bank heist, a bystander pulls out his money. “We’re here for the bank’s money,” Dillinger says, “Not yours.” Never mind that the bank’s money belongs to him, and anyone who puts their money in the bank… But it was acts like this that made people transform him into some sort of hero. I am interested to see how the film portrays him.

Though this role is also surprisingly normal for the likes of Johnny Depp. Are we absolutely certain he won’t be tripping on acid the entire time, or dressed up like this:

I’m sure he’ll find some way to quirk up this role.

This will draw in some crowds, certainly, but I’m going to guess the Transformers shadow is going to linger for this weekend.

Excitement Buzz: 7.8/10


Also coming out this Wednesday is the family film Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Now, I’m not one for historical accuracy, but this genre is starting to push even my limits. In the first film, the Ice Age began. Apparently, in the second, what seemed like 16 seconds later, it began to “Melt Down.” Now, in the third one, it’s the Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Really? Didn’t they die out long before mastodons and woolly mammoths walked the earth? There sure seems to be a predominance of mammals in this series for there to be T-Rex’s walking around. I’m okay with this, save for the fact that there are going to be very confused kids concerning particular geological time lines.

But it’s okay! Because this doesn’t actually claim that Dinosaurs didn’t come around until this point in history. In Ice Age 3, they were believed to be extinct for a long time, but actually lived in a secret land under the earth’s surface. How original, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that-

Alright, this whole ‘dinosaurs living underground’ bit needs to stop.

I actually really liked the first Ice Age film. I thought it was original, and interesting. The aspect of saving the human baby, along with Manny’s tragic history involving humans, gave some pretty serious stuff for a kid’s movie. The next film, however, looked too generic and standard ‘cartoon sequel’ like, where the plot consisted of “let’s reverse the first movie” and whose purpose was to show more of Scrat’s antics as he chased his acorn. Now this one seems to be, “okay, let’s have them face dinosaurs!” I’ve seen bits and pieces of the second film, and wasn’t just wildly impressed, and am not expecting much out of this. But perhaps I’m being unfair.

So while this is purely family fanfare, it might pull in some cash over the holiday weekend.

Excitement buzz: 4/10