Archive for the ‘Star Trek’ Category

DVD Sales: The Chart Was Already Hungover Before New Year’s Eve

January 19, 2010

Good news, everyone!  The-Numbers is getting all caught up with their DVD Sales Charts after the holiday delays, and this week, they posted two charts, which wrapped up 2009.  Next week, they should post two more charts, and then be right back on schedule!  You should really check out the site- it’s fantastic.  But let’s get on with the numbers.  Over the past two weeks, a few new movies debuted on the home market, but none of the newcomers could even come close to The Hangover‘s level of success.  The surprise blockbuster (and surprise Best Picture winner at the Golden Globes) continued its dominant run with two straight weeks atop the DVD Sales Chart.  Click inside to see two weeks of DVD Sales along with my observations:

DVD Sales Notes:

The Hangover finished out a relatively weak year of DVD sales with a bang!  With 5.9 million units sold, the R-rated smash comedy has grossed a tremendous $113 million in just two weeks.  It’s a little depressing when you consider that most of those egregiously inappropriate DVDs were opened on Christmas Day… have we truly lost any of the meaning of Christmas?

-Three movies with similar grosses debuted in the last two weeks.  Inglourious Basterds, the sole movie keeping the Weinstein Company alive at this point, had a pretty solid start on the home market.  The fictional World War II account, which earned $120 million in theaters, has moved 2.3 million copies in two weeks, good for $42.5 million in revenue.  Meanwhile, District 9, which earned a similar $115 million in theaters, got off to a softer start.  The alien comedy sold 1.1 million units in its opening week, earning $18.4 million along the way.  Finally, G-Force, the animated guinea pig comedy that found $119 million in theaters, got off to the softest start of the three.  Audiences apparently weren’t too impressed with what they saw in theaters, as G-Force sold only 1.7 million copies for $33.8 million after two weeks.

-Indie sleeper hit (500) Days Of Summer took its sweet time grossing $32.4 million in the late Summer and early Fall.  Will that be the case on the home market as well?  The film, which never earned more than $3.7 million on a weekend during its theatrical run, earned $5.2 million in its first week on DVD.  Not bad for a film budgeted at just $7.5 million.

-Let’s not even talk about All About Steve.  Maybe Sandra Bullock’s success in The Blind Side fooled $3.8 million worth of people to actually pick up this crappy movie on DVD.

-The TV-on-DVD performer of the week goes to Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Darkside, which earned $8 million in its first week.  Other TV big-shots are Lost – The Complete Fifth Season, with it’s $28.5 million gross, and Planet Earth, which has become a $187 million blockbuster in its two and a half years on the home market.

Up and Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen continue their impressive runs, and the films have sold 8.5 million and 9.3 million copies, respectively.  Check out the charts below:

Top DVD Sales For The Week Ending December 27, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 The Hangover 2,047,577 -47.5% 5,944,241 $42,875,648 $113,683,099 2
2 District 9 1,080,097 -.-% 1,080,097 $18,379,039 $18,379,039 1
3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 1,015,598 -29.4% 6,653,089 $16,568,567 $89,246,036 3
4 Inglourious Basterds 819,645 -45.8% 2,331,940 $15,335,640 $42,562,394 2
5 Up 742,861 25.1% 8,477,982 $12,571,808 $145,252,868 7
6 G-Force 647,444 -36.8% 1,671,487 $13,079,081 $33,827,523 2
7 Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside 630,858 -.-% 630,858 $8,062,365 $8,062,365 1
8 Star Trek 459,067 44.6% 6,069,513 $7,471,499 $89,535,355 6
9 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 402,758 27.0% 2,976,654 $6,442,114 $39,038,274 4
10 Julie And Julia 399,277 -13.0% 1,841,435 $6,799,687 $31,359,638 3
11 Public Enemies 326,384 -14.0% 1,590,359 $6,084,287 $28,868,532 3
12 (500) Days of Summer 316,351 -.-% 316,351 $5,150,194 $5,150,194 1
13 Santa Buddies 267,004 22.6% 2,177,890 $4,661,436 $38,436,294 5
14 All About Steve 258,609 -.-% 258,609 $3,876,549 $3,876,549 1
15 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 232,195 -0.9% 9,267,823 $5,802,553 $209,054,675 10
16 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 208,443 38.2% $3,435,287 429
17 Terminator Salvation 205,372 -16.1% 1,812,477 $3,361,303 $23,125,217 4
18 The Proposal 195,339 8.7% 4,735,360 $3,404,251 $77,819,029 11
19 Angels And Demons 174,454 4.1% 1,733,804 $3,163,793 $28,808,435 5
20 Four Christmases 173,430 11.0% 1,511,648 $2,970,856 $23,821,144 5
21 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 170,768 50.6% 3,263,274 $2,559,812 $51,580,997 9
22 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 158,687 9.5% 4,825,751 $2,605,053 $81,447,405 9
23 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 147,426 2.3% 4,197,601 $2,578,363 $67,920,913 8
24 Twilight 145,982 16.0% 10,239,767 $2,636,975 $186,221,644 40
25 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 144,968 -.-% $1,439,431 632
26 The Ugly Truth 138,416 95.2% 1,793,982 $2,074,856 $28,373,641 7
27 A Christmas Story 132,683 -.-% $1,260,316 483
28 American Pie Presents: The Book of Love 128,178 -.-% 128,178 $2,177,744 $2,177,744 1
29 Lost – The Complete Fifth Season 122,036 -22.3% 730,531 $5,206,776 $28,582,126 3
30 True Blood: The Complete First Season 114,255 -.-% 1,790,340 $3,247,127 $61,528,999 32
Top DVD Sales For The Week Ending December 20, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 The Hangover 3,896,664 -.-% 3,896,664 $70,807,451 $70,807,451 1
2 Inglourious Basterds 1,512,295 -.-% 1,512,295 $27,226,754 $27,226,754 1
3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 1,437,869 -65.8% 5,637,491 $23,095,052 $72,677,469 2
4 G-Force 1,024,043 -.-% 1,024,043 $20,748,442 $20,748,442 1
5 Up 593,852 12.7% 7,735,121 $11,420,546 $132,681,060 6
6 Julie And Julia 459,027 -53.3% 1,442,158 $7,817,230 $24,559,951 2
7 Public Enemies 379,535 -57.1% 1,263,975 $7,337,854 $22,784,245 2
8 Star Trek 317,578 -37.1% 5,610,446 $5,248,453 $82,063,856 5
9 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 317,188 -49.4% 2,573,896 $5,276,327 $32,596,160 3
10 Terminator Salvation 244,710 -30.8% 1,607,105 $4,031,940 $19,763,914 3
11 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 234,189 -14.3% 9,035,628 $5,852,383 $203,252,122 9
12 Santa Buddies 217,824 -23.8% 1,910,886 $4,358,920 $33,774,858 4
13 The Proposal 179,636 22.6% 4,540,021 $3,324,326 $74,414,778 10
14 Angels And Demons 167,557 -20.8% 1,559,350 $3,435,874 $25,644,642 4
15 Lost – The Complete Fifth Season 157,036 -65.2% 608,495 $6,787,708 $23,375,350 2
16 Four Christmases 156,256 -20.5% 1,338,218 $2,721,980 $20,850,288 4
17 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 150,801 1.1% $2,577,280 428
18 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 144,956 -31.2% 4,667,064 $2,343,620 $78,842,351 8
19 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 144,177 -18.3% 4,050,175 $2,503,533 $65,342,550 7
20 Planet Earth – The Complete BBC Series 143,787 -.-% 3,475,176 $3,880,811 $187,320,938 139
21 The Original Television Christmas Classics 129,369 -19.8% $2,530,458 275
22 Twilight 125,866 -4.3% 10,093,785 $2,531,920 $183,584,669 39
23 Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie 120,017 -.-% 120,017 $2,399,140 $2,399,140 1
24 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 113,393 -13.1% 3,092,506 $1,893,663 $49,021,185 8
25 Monsters vs. Aliens 96,637 -40.0% 4,769,589 $1,394,994 $78,758,267 12
26 Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (TV Special) 91,182 -.-% 1,991,486 $1,184,454 $31,619,579 161
27 My Sister’s Keeper 88,454 -46.9% 1,044,135 $1,717,777 $17,147,544 5
28 Funny People 74,037 -39.5% 494,994 $1,534,624 $9,632,755 4
29 The Ugly Truth 70,919 -78.8% 1,655,566 $1,063,076 $26,298,785 6
30 Edward Scissorhands 70,140 -.-% $723,550 485

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Poll: Which 2009 Release Had The Most Surprisngly Awesome Box Office Run?

January 14, 2010

Let’s try something new: a poll!  Thursdays are the day of the week when I usually do a box office analysis article, and this week I’m answering a request from Rohan (sidenote: I’m reading The Two Towers right now, and I have a whole new appreciation for the word “Rohan”) to go take a look at the biggest box office surprises of 2009.  I’ve narrowed the choices down to seven, and believe it or not, Avatar is not included!  I wanted to showcase those films that exceeded expectations in a big way, so movies that everyone knew would be blockbusters aren’t really on the list.  Check below to read my seven cases as to why each movie deserves your vote, and then go ahead and vote in the poll!  If your ideal choice isn’t listed, then let me know what you think in the comments.  Can’t wait to see the results!

The Blind Side ($220 million so far)

Why it deserves your vote: Because the little $29 million feature opened very well against that  behemoth known as New Moon, earning $34 million in its opening weekend. After that, the feel-good movie showed some incredible legs over the holidays, earning a stunning $220 million, over 6.5 times as much as its opening weekend!  The crazy thing is, it’s still not done, either!

Star Trek ($257.7 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Sure, this flick had a big $150 million budget, but the Star Trek franchise was dead in the water when J.J. Abrams rebooted it.  The critical darling introduced this intergalactic adventure to a brand new generation, and earned a whole lot of money on the way!

Paranormal Activity ($107.9 million)
Why it deserves your vote: This independent horror movie was made for $15,000.  Yes, just $15,000.  After sitting on the shelf for years, Paramount decided to release the film in a few theaters.  Then they started an online marketing campaign.  Then the campaign went viral.  Then Paramount added it to a few more theaters.  Then it made a shocking amount of money. Then everyone started talking about it.  Then Paramount put it into wide release.  Then it killed Saw VI.  Then it broke $100 million.  Then it was declared an all-out phenomenon. 

Taken ($145 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Because it was a simple, $25 million action film starring Liam Neeson, who was hardly an A-list box office draw.  I’m sure Fox expected it to do some solid enough business, and then make a little bit extra on DVD, but they got way more than they bargained for. The film opened to a solid $24 million, and it connected with audiences in a huge way.  The thriller surprised everyone over the course of the next two months, dropping by tiny amounts on its way to $145 million.

The Hangover ($277.3 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Warner Brothers launched one of the biggest comedies of all time out of nothing.  No A-list stars, no huge budget, no family-friendly premise, no super-anticipatory buzz.  The R-rated comedy opened to a fantastic $44 million over the first weekend in June, and then chugged along all Summer on its way to $277 million.

Inglorious Basterds ($120.5 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Because it made a rather unsavory WWII story accessible to audiences, and actually gave The Weinstein Company a hit!

Paul Blart: Mall Cop ($146.3 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Because, against all odds, the wretchedly reviewed comedy somehow caught on with audiences, launching the Era Of Easy Entertainment in the process.  Who’d of thunk that this $26 million January release would become a box office star?

Go ahead and place your vote in the poll below:

Which 2009 Release Had The Most Surprisingly Great Box Office Run?(polls)

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

New And News: Denzel And Jackie Star In One Very Confusing Movie, And One Very Obvious One

January 11, 2010

Alright, now this is more like the January I’ve come to know and love.  As opposed to the relatively well-reviewed releases of last week, two sorta crappy-looking movies are hitting theaters this Friday.  These are the sorts of films that usually debut in January.  Movies have typically opened poorly in January, as it’s somewhat of a box office dead zone after the huge numbers of November and December.  Because box office results are often bad, studios release some of their worst movies in January, and because movie quality is bad, the box office stays in the toilet.  Do you see how that cycle perpetuates itself?  Well, with a confusing apocalyptic thriller and a fish-out-of-water family comedy that, despite some solid star power, each look pretty poor, the third weekend of January should continue the tradition sub-par quality.  Poor box office, however? That’s another story, as both of these new releases have a shot at some moderate success.  Keep on reading for an over view of this week’s new releases, as well as some news about Star Trek 2, Green Lantern, a sequel to Twister, and James Cameron’s latest move.

New:

The Book Of Eli (Warner Bros) – 3,000 theaters – Reviews

This movie looks downright confusing.  Somehow, Denzel Washington is a super-violent, Bible-thumping, warrior in a post-apocalyptic world.  Maybe it’s a sequel to 2012?  Maybe to The Road?  Denzel is supposed to be a sort of righteous fighter, with Mila Kunis as his apprentice, and as they journey over a barren landscape, they kill a lot of people.  This movie’s advertising seems to be avoiding associating itself too much with the Bible, though it seems like a key plot point.  Thus, the ads have left me scratching my head, and when audiences don’t have any clue what movie is about, it’s never good for business.  Denzel will bring in audiences for sure, but I don’t see this taking down Avatar.

The Spy Next Door (Lionsgate) – 2,800 theaters – Reviews

This looks almost exactly the same as Disney’s 2003 Vin Diesel vehcile, The Pacifier.  Jackie Chan plays a former spy ready who’s asked to babysit a neighbor’s three children, who find themselves in a heap of trouble when one of them downloads an top secret code.  Keeping these kids in line and winning their approval proves to be harder than he would have thought, and hijinks ensue.  Blah.  How can I tell this movie is a stinker.  First off, it’s an uncreative premise.  Second, it’s debuting in January.  Third, it’s starring Billy Ray Cyrus. 

News:

Star Trek Sequel’s Release Date Set:

I mentioned it last week that Star Trek 2 (I’m sure the title will be something more along the lines of Star Trek: The Rise Of The Blah-Blah-Blah) would begin shooting in Late 2010. Now, BoxOfficeMojo reports that the Paramount sci-fi film will release on June 29th, 2012.  That means we’ve got 2 years, 5 months, and 18 days to buzz anxiously about it!

James Cameron Options Japanese War Film

The Avatar director has optioned yet another film that he may possibly make.  Instead of a sci-fi epic like Battle Angel or The Fantastic Voyage, though, this one would be an adaptation of the upcoming book, The Last Train To Hiroshima, which chronicles the eyewitness accounts of Japanese civilians and American pilots who watched the atomic bombs go off.  Is this really the right movie for Cameron to direct? I know he loves big special effects, but we don’t really want to turn Hiroshima and Nagasaki into entertaining spectacle, do we?

What Goes Around Comes Around

Who needs new ideas when we’ve got so many old ones?  Despite the fact that Twister, which earned $241 million at the box office, is now a whopping fourteen years old, Bill Paxton is hoping to move forward with production on a sequel.  At least he’s honest about why he’s doing it, though: “The only reason I’d like to revisit that ground is because I realize we’re living in a time where big movies cost so much to make that the town is looking for built-in audiences…”  The bad news about this: they want to shoot it in 3D.  Ugh.

Blake Lively Cast In Green Lantern

Female castings in superhero movies are always some of the most buzzed about movie news on the web, and that’s certainly been the case with Blake Lively’s recent casting as Ryan Reynolds’ love interest in The Green Lantern.  I think she’s a great actress, and she’ll probably do a good job, but to me, her voice is a bit too deep to be a screaming damsel in distress!  Is that too judgmental?

DVD Sales: Star Trek On Top Last Week; Some Old Chart Corrections, This Week’s Chart?

December 8, 2009

Alright, there’s quite a bit to go over this week in DVD Sales.  First off, I spoke with Bruce Nash of The-Numbers, who is an amazing analyst that works hard to put together the DVD Sales Chart each week.  I use his figures, and I never want anyone to forget about the hard work that he does.  I spoke to him because of a discrepancy in the DVD Sales Chart for the week that ended November 15th, when Up topped the charts.  He told me that there was an error in The Numbers’ calculations, and the chart was re-posted with different numbers that had originally been reported.  I’ve posted the revised Nov. 15th chart at the bottom of this post.  Also, the holidays caused a major delay with last week’s chart, for the week ending November 22nd, when Star Trek was the top seller.  Thus, we’re still a week behind, and while I’m trying to sort out all the confusion, I’m going to have to skip my DVD Sales Notes and just give you the two charts.  Obviously, this invalidates last week’s Blu-Ray Sales Chart as well, so I’ll maybe modify that, or maybe restart from scratch.  I’ll keep you posted on this week’s chart, but check out the two accurate ones below:

Top Selling DVDs For The Week Ending November 22, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 Star Trek 3,583,259 -.-% 3,583,259 $53,002,492 $53,002,492 1
2 Up 906,565 -77.2% 4,876,357 $17,823,521 $83,880,860 2
3 My Sister’s Keeper 508,464 -.-% 508,464 $8,201,524 $8,201,524 1
4 Brüno 405,267 -.-% 405,267 $6,536,957 $6,536,957 1
5 Twilight 321,856 130.9% 9,535,382 $6,280,086 $172,465,485 35
6 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 254,770 -58.2% 3,475,441 $4,278,607 $56,292,444 3
7 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 246,170 -35.7% 8,215,830 $5,167,108 $184,599,291 5
8 The Ugly Truth 239,362 -71.6% 1,080,958 $4,236,707 $17,685,411 2
9 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 176,655 -53.5% 4,067,093 $2,783,906 $69,209,173 4
10 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 161,247 -36.0% 2,584,450 $2,417,093 $41,164,109 4
11 The Proposal 122,547 -22.6% 3,884,819 $1,999,832 $64,467,454 6
12 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas 122,189 -.-% 122,189 $2,320,369 $2,320,369 1
13 Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season 101,406 -.-% 642,972 $2,411,435 $22,079,926 10
14 Polar Express, The 84,207 -33.5% $757,021 204
15 The Taking of Pelham 123 82,415 -60.4% 1,236,653 $1,317,816 $19,081,539 3
16 Monsters vs. Aliens 78,832 -30.6% 4,085,172 $1,095,032 $70,312,134 8
17 Hannah Montana The Movie 66,290 1.2% 2,985,460 $927,397 $50,663,318 14
18 How the Grinch Stole Christmas 64,140 0.4% $899,429 418
19 Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season 63,065 -.-% 427,183 $1,197,604 $14,417,136 13
20 Original Television Christmas Classics, The 59,124 -.-% $1,270,575 271
21 Aliens in the Attic 56,257 -27.7% 449,820 $1,028,378 $7,519,390 3
22 Fight Club 49,807 -.-% $1,244,677 494
23 Orphan 44,694 -18.4% 528,382 $759,351 $9,460,898 4
24 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 39,416 -43.3% 4,063,277 $579,805 $68,470,302 10
25 Land of the Lost 36,191 -64.8% 946,881 $521,874 $14,903,326 6
26 The Wizard of Oz 30,139 -.-% $520,265 661
27 Gone with the Wind 28,666 -.-% $720,090 578
28 Mickey’s Magical Christmas 27,384 -54.3% $410,486 420
29 Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham and Other Favorites 26,536 -.-% $265,095 320
30 Coraline 24,853 -.-% 2,158,758 $406,876 $39,262,749 18

Top Selling DVDs For The Week Ending November 15, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 Up 3,969,792 -.-% 3,969,792 $66,057,339 $66,057,339 1
2 The Ugly Truth 841,596 -.-% 841,596 $13,448,704 $13,448,704 1
3 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 608,966 -76.7% 3,220,671 $9,834,801 $52,013,837 2
4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 382,688 -53.0% 7,969,660 $8,223,965 $179,432,183 4
5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 380,306 -62.1% 3,890,438 $6,758,038 $66,425,267 3
6 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 252,082 -61.5% 2,423,203 $4,030,791 $38,747,016 3
7 The Taking of Pelham 123 208,017 -78.0% 1,154,238 $3,201,382 $17,763,723 2
8 The Proposal 158,395 -44.4% 3,762,272 $2,733,898 $62,467,621 5
9 Twilight 139,395 -7.4% 9,213,526 $2,727,960 $166,185,399 34
10 Polar Express, The 126,636 39.7% $1,138,458 203
11 Monsters vs. Aliens 113,536 -28.4% 4,006,340 $1,531,601 $69,217,102 7
12 Land of the Lost 102,818 -5.4% 910,690 $1,181,379 $14,381,451 5
13 Aliens in the Attic 77,808 -75.4% 393,563 $1,366,308 $6,491,012 2
14 Peanuts Holiday Collection 73,441 -.-% $1,688,409 479
15 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 69,471 -27.1% 4,023,861 $1,064,296 $67,890,497 9
16 Tale of Despereaux, The 67,486 -.-% 1,384,441 $1,011,615 $23,343,403 32
17 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 67,089 -.-% $841,296 626
18 Hannah Montana The Movie 65,502 -35.0% 2,919,170 $981,875 $49,735,921 13
19 How the Grinch Stole Christmas 63,914 -.-% $798,286 417
20 Mickey’s Magical Christmas 59,944 -26.2% $958,505 419
21 Orphan 54,783 -61.4% 483,688 $985,546 $8,701,547 3
22 I Love You, Beth Cooper 52,401 -59.1% 180,375 $1,002,431 $3,176,709 2
23 Edward Scissorhands 44,488 -54.8% $462,724 480
24 My One and Only 40,889 -.-% 40,889 $694,704 $694,704 1
25 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season One 40,095 -75.1% 201,237 $1,202,449 $6,035,098 2
26 Dark Knight, The 38,090 -10.7% 12,998,694 $380,519 $224,403,516 49
27 Battlestar Galactica: The Plan 32,949 -61.2% 297,598 $623,066 $5,627,578 3
28 Watchmen 25,725 -.-% 2,291,602 $731,105 $48,465,819 17
29 My Life in Ruins 20,954 -.-% 279,539 $418,870 $5,587,985 6
30 Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season 19,864 -.-% 161,602 $580,029 $5,135,308 5

Star Trek or Paranormal Activity? Which Is REALLY The Bigger Moneymaker For Paramount?

October 22, 2009

In one corner we’ve got a major blockbuster: Star Trek.  In the other corner, we’ve got an independently produced horror movie: Paranormal ActivityStar Trek is Paramount’s highest grossing film of 2009, with a huge $257 million in the bank.  Paranormal Activity, on the other hand, has earned $36 million in its first month in theaters.  So which movie do you think has been the more successful performer for Paramount?  Sensible logic would say that Star Trek is the obvious winner, but I’m not so sure that’s the case.  Let’s crunch some numbers and figure this out…

Star Trek

Domestic Gross – $257.7 million
International Gross – $127.2 million
Worldwide Total – $384.9 million
Theater’s Share ≈ $50 million (Theater’s usually take about 20% of the theatrical gross)
Production Budget – $150 million
Advertising Budget – $75-140 million (There are conflicting reports on this.  I’ve seen everything from $75 million, which seems low, to $140 million, which seems a bit high.  Let’s split the difference and use $107 million as our figure.)
International Advertising And Distribution – $75 million?  (I really have no idea because I can’t find figures for this anywhere! Still, to promote and release a film all over the world seems like it must take more than $50 million, so I’ll make a guess, that is very much just a guess, of $75 million.)
TV Distribution – $30.9 million (FX agreed to pay 12% of the domestic gross for the TV rights)

Total Negative Costs ≈ $382 million
Total Combined Earnings – $415.8
Profit ≈ $33.8 million

Paranormal Activity

Domestic Gross – $36.9 million (so far)
International Gross – N/A
-Theater’s Share – $7 million
Production Budget – $11,000 (But this was not paid for by Paramount.  This was independently made and then bought by Dreamworks/Paramount before the big split between them.(
Rights to Distribution – $350,000 (Source; This is what Paramount, then called Dreamworks, had to pay to be able to release this movie.)
Advertising Budget – less than $1 million (The campaign was done online, which is very cheap compared to traditional TV/print advertising)
TV Rights – N/A

Total Negative Costs ≈ $8 million
Total Earnings – $37 million
Profit – $29 million (so far)

So who is our winner?  Let’s hash that out. After the hundreds of millions spent on production and distribution, the sci-fi reboot of Star Trek has netted just over $33 million for Paramount.  Great DVD sales are all but assured, and the movie no-doubt will benefit from merchandising, but DVDs aren’t available yet, and I have no way of knowing what sort of merchandising revenues Paramount has collected.  Still, after all the money spent on Star Trek, one would think that the movie would’ve managed to make a bit more money theatrically.  Frankly, I’m not surprised that it hasn’t.  Studios are notorious for spending egregious amounts of money on their movies, and they receive frequent criticism for their frivolous spending.  The bottom line is that Star Trek cost a ton of money, and there’s just no getting around that.  Still, while the theatrical release did not find Pirates-style box office grosses, the film served much more as a platform for the future of the Star Trek franchise.  The DVD will be huge.  The merchandising grosses are surely valuable.  And the sequel will be gigantic!  Therefore, while Paramount invested a horrendously large amount in Star Trek, it looks like their gamble worked well enough and it will continue to pay off in the future.

Paramount hasn’t had to work nearly as hard, though, to earn money with Paranormal Activity.  The movie was independently made for $11,000 and then Dreamworks/Paramount purchased it for $350,000.  The movie was advertised solely through Eventful, and so pretty much no money was spent on advertising- the buzz just built itself!  Because Paramount invested almost no money in Paranormal Activity‘s release, pretty much all of its gross is pure profit!  Now the movie has earned $8 million and $20 million in the last two weekends, and it’s only going to keep expanding through Halloween, so higher grosses are surely on the way.  I have no idea where Paranormal Activity will finish, and who knows if it will get an international release, but the deafening buzz and its amazing Cinderella story thus far, seem to be pointing it in the direction of at least $80-90 million.  Again, Paramount has had to spend almost nothing on this movie, and so the theater’s share of the gross is really the only other factor we need to look at.  If we say Paranormal finishes with about $90 million, then Paramount is looking at a $70 million profit!  And that’s without DVD sales!

Now, don’t get me wrong, Star Trek is by no means a failure.  The movie did well, and the franchise will continue to thrive because of it, but when you are looking at production and distribution costs of about $332 million vs. costs of pretty much nothing, it’s going to be very hard to recoup that amount of money quickly.  Paranormal Activity is pure gravy, and you can mark my words, in terms of theatrical profits, this is Paramount’s biggest success in a long, long time.

News That Caught My Eye: Moses Meets 300? Toy Story 3, Star Trek, And X-Men

October 19, 2009

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for News That Caught My Eye, where I round up some of my favorite news articles about the movie world from the past week.  In this edition, we have have news about some sequels, a brand new trailer for a hotly anticipated Summer 2010 release, and the most delightfully strange idea ever!

Star Trek Sequel in 2012?

Lots of great information in this one from TrekMovie about the future of the Star Trek franchise.  J.J. Abrams will definitely be back as a producer, but it’s not clear if he’ll produce.  A Summer 2012 release seems likely.

Toy Story 3 Trailer Released

Alright, so this really isn’t a news article, but the blogosphere was all in a tizzy when Disney released the trailer for the latest Disney-Pixar masterpiece.  Toy Story 3 comes out this Summer, and I can’t wait!

The Ten Commandments, 300 Style?

Variety reports that Peter Chernin, over at Twentieth Century Fox, has purchased a treatment of the story of Moses to be told in the style of Zak Snyder’s 300?  This could be amazing, but it may also have “fail” written all over it.  Either way, I’m intrigued!

Bryan Singer To Return To X-Men?

You realize you want to come back to the franchise, now?  Couldn’t you have come to this conclusion before X-Men: The Last Stand?!  Oh, well.  Better late than never, I guess. Via THR.

J.J. Abrams On Star Trek Sequel

June 26, 2009

Steve Weintrub at Collider.com got the chance to ask J.J. Abrams, director of the recent smash Star Trek (among many other successes) about the prospect of a follow-up. You can (and should) watch the video and read his article at the link above. The highlight question, at least for me, was this:

Q: Everyone wants to know, what are the chances of you getting back in the director’s chair?

Abrams: We just started talking about ideas… we’ve just begun this process so it’s so early that it’s insane to, you know – I have no idea; but I would say that it’s that kind of feeling that as we’re talking about stories you start to salivate, like ‘oh my God I can’t wait to do that!’ and so that feels good and my guess is that as we continue it will become clearer how we will plan out what will happen. But it’s been really fun – even the cursory discussions we’ve had so far

So I’m no detective, but it sounds to me like he’s excited to do another one. Which bodes well for Trekkies (both of the original and the ‘Abrams’ variety) everywhere.

Week Late Review: Star Trek

May 17, 2009


A while ago, I wrote the “This Week In Blockbusters” for Star Trek and indicated my excitement, despite knowing hardly anything about the basic series. Four exams and two beaches later, I finally got to watch it, and it matched and exceed my expectations. Star Trek is one of the best science fiction movies I’ve ever seen. When the biggest problem I have with it is the way Zachary Quinto stands as Spock (I tried to find a picture. It seems like his chest is stuck out and his arms are bent and pulled back), I know I have a great movie.

Star Trek opens strongly, with an intense action sequence as a gigantic Romulan ship attacks the U.S.S. Kelvin in deep space. Once the captain boards the ship, per their leader Nero’s (Eric Bana) request, he puts a young man named George Kirk in charge. Once all hell breaks loose, Kirk, as the new captain, orders the people on the Kelvin to be evacuated, including his very pregnant wife (played by the lovely Jennifer Morrison) who has just gone into labor. Once Kirk is the last one left, he realizes that he must remain on the ship to divert the Romulans long enough for the evacuees to survive. In his final minutes, as he shoots down missiles pursuing the small escape crafts, he talks to his wife one last time and helps name his son, James.

I did not expect to get chills watching Star Trek. I certainly did not expect the opening scene to pack such an emotional punch. I thought we’d have a space battle, sure, but not a story of such sacrifice and emotional weight. It’s a mythic origin, very much akin to the beginnings of various heroes throughout time (including, I have to say it because I noticed so many similarities, Superman). As I watched this scene, with its pristine special effects and its heroic message, I knew it was going to be great.

We then see the origins of a young Spock, trained in the methods of logical thinking and emotion suppression on the planet Vulcan. This might be more difficult for him than for his peers, since Spock is only half Vulcan; his mother is human (played surprisingly well by Winona Ryder). He is ridiculed by those his age and the leaders constantly underestimate his talents. He is told, “Control your emotions, so that they don’t control you,” and he learns to suppress his humanity, though it sometimes eeks out. When offered the opportunity to attend a school for higher learning “Despite his disadvantage” (aka his human mother), he refuses. He is the first person/Vulcan/living being to ever decline admission.

It’s these two early events that indicated I would love this movie. I knew it would have brains, and I knew it would have great action and special effects, but it also has heart, and I was not expecting that.

As the plot develops, we find out (what most people already know) that Nero has come from the future from the original ‘Trekverse,’ thus creating a tangent and alternate universe (the movie goes into perhaps too-much detail, making it abundantly clear that in this Trekverse, ANYTHING can happen). We also learn why he blows up Federation ships, and why he creates black holes at the core of planets. It works for the story, but the character is very one-dimensional. He’s out for vengeance, and is an evil Romulan. Got it? Good. It’s simple, but Bana plays it capably, since all he has to do is sneer and be evil, and cringe every time he hears the name “Spock.”

And about Spock. Even I got chills seeing Leonard Nimoy reprise his role (that being, future Spock, or as he’s listed “Spock Prime”). It’s great seeing him interact with young Kirk as if they’re old friends (I suppose they are, for one of them), and then later with New Spock. It works well, and serves as a nice tie-in.

Chris Pine plays James Tiberius Kirk very well. I don’t know much about Shatner’s Kirk (except, of course, for…his… stunted… speech), so I can’t compare, but this Kirk is strong, confident, often humorous, but also rebellious and risk taking (something his father was as well, and a quality he is told will work for his benefit). It’s great to see his transformation from a drunkard in a bar to the leader of the newest ship in the fleet (despite it’s slight contrivance). Overall he was very entertaining to watch, and I hope this helps push his career forward, as I’m sure it will.

The movie also made me wish I knew more about Star Trek lore, which I didn’t really think I’d care about. But even I picked up on some of the throwbacks. There’s a, “Damn it man, I’m a doctor not a physicist,” and a “I’m givin’ her all she’s got.” I did some research after seeing it, there are other little fun factoids for Trekkie fans. For instance, there’s a scene where three people sky dive and they’re each wearing different colored shirts. Those familiar with the show will realize one of them isn’t going to survive very long, based solely on his attire.

The movie is also surprisingly funny. There’s a lengthy sequence where Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) continuously injects Kirk with various medicines and antidotes in order to get him onto the Enterprise, all the while Kirk is trying to get to the deck to warn Captain Pike of an impending ambush. Okay, so writing it doesn’t sound that humorous, but it’s worth a few laughs, another thing I didn’t expect from Star Trek.

As I said, this movie exceeded my high expectations, something few movies do. It deserves all the praise it’s getting, especially for making a Star Trek movie that is entertaining and accessible to the general public whether they be Trekkies or those that are dragged there by their boyfriends and think that they hate sci-fi movies. It’s sci-fi at its best, reminiscent of the old Star Wars and a reminder of what the new Star Wars (particular I and II) could have been. J.J. Abrams has directed a fantastic space epic and once again shows his clout in movie-making. Sure the time travel story is a little contrived, and Winona Ryder plays an old lady, but they make it work for a thoroughly entertaining summer blockbuster, and somehow make Star Trek cool.

Score: 8.7/10

UPDATE: Sequel Rumors: Slashfilm has posted an article discussing the guaranteed sequel. Abrams says both William Shatner and Kahn are candidates for characters, though it’s pure speculation at this point.