International Box Office: 'Paranormal Activity 2' brings the screams around the world

on Thursday, October 28, 2010   2 comments

Paranormal Activity 2 has had a quite a week. Not only did it blow away expectations with its $40.6 million domestic debut, but it easily topped the international box office as well. The fright-fest earned a solid $22.3M overseas in its first week, though that figure is somewhat underwhelming. At the height of Paranormal Activity's buzz last year, it earned $26.9M overseas from just 763 theaters. Out on 2,752 screens this time around, Paranormal Acitivty 2 didn't carry the same momentum out of the gate that it did here in the States. Still, when your movie costs pennies to make, who's counting?

In second place, Despicable Me was close behind with a terrific $20.6M, which is quite a strong figure considering how long Despicable Me has been playing. The animated smash now sits just shy of $200M internationally, and in a few weeks time, it may cross the $500M mark worldwide.

The Social Network rounds out the top three with $10M. The Facebook film has now earned $106.1M worldwide, joining Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, and The Town as recent additions to the worldwide $100M club. Check out the international top ten below:

Weekly International Box Office (in millions)
    Film Weekly Gross  Int'l Total  Worldwide
1 Paranormal Activity 2 $22.3  $22.3  $67.5
2 Despicable Me $20.6  $199.2  $446.8
3 The Social Network $10  $32.1  $106.1
4 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps $9.6  $62.5  $112.7
5 Little White Lies (France) $9.6  $9.6  $9.6
6 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole $8.4  $55.5  $104.2
7 Eat Pray Love $8.3  $100.5  $180.9
8 Life As We Know It $8  $18.3  $56.4
9 Red $7  $14.8  $61.2
10 The Town $5.7  $35.2  $119.6

[Read more at The-Numbers]

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Box Office Headlines 10/27/10

on Thursday, October 28, 2010   0 comments

The blockbuster edition!

James Cameron to shoot Avatar 2 and 3 back-to-back for December 2014 and 2015 releases
With this move, Twentieth Century Fox effectively ties up James Cameron through December 2015, apparently putting a hold on Sony Pictures' hopes for the director to helm a fast-tracked Cleopatra starring Angelina Jolie in 2012

The Dark Knight sequel gets a title, and—shockingly—is avoiding 3D!
“The title of the new film is The Dark Knight Rises and we will be shooting and exhibiting the film in 2-D,” Nolan said of the third Batman film, which is planned for a 2012 release and will now be held up as a victory for the assorted foes of the stereoscopic trend for any and all ”event” films that target younger audiences.
[Hero Complex]

Ghost Rider gets a sequel—but with a much leaner budget; frugality still exists!
The budget has been cut from $135 million to a leaner $75 million, according to a knowledgeable insider. (Even Nic Cage had to take a serious haircut to reprise Johnny Blaze, down from his $12 million fee to what one knowledgeable insider said was $7 million.)
[The Wrap]

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5 Scary Psychos That Scarred My Childhood; Who Haunted Your Dreams?

on Wednesday, October 27, 2010   17 comments

Halloween is right around the corner, and with Paranormal Activity 2 and Saw 3D set to lead the box office this weekend, it seemed appropriate that this week's List Wednesday be horror-themed! Now, I've seen my fair share of horror movies in my life (though admittedly never Halloween or Friday the 13th), and although most of them leave me laughing or rolling my eyes, a few legitimately creep me out—mostly because of the creepy killers at the center of the stories. These days, horror movies still scare me, but I get over it pretty quick. When I was a kid, though, that wasn't the case at all—the frights stayed with me for days, months, even years! It leaves me asking: What were my parents thinking letting me watch this stuff?! Here are five scary psychos that had me trembling as a child..

5. Chucky from Child's Play
I think Chucky has done more to make people hate dolls than any number of Bratz ever could. I'm still weirded out by this little dude.

4. The Fisherman from I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
My older brothers were watching this one night, and I sat in with them. Big mistake. Not only did the crazy, hook-wielding fisherman utterly terrify me, but I was just plain disturbed when the murderer locked the girls inside their tanning beds and turned the knob to the highest setting. Not appropriate for a nine-year-old. At all.

3. Ghostface from Scream
I didn't even have to watch the movie to be scared of Ghostface—the commercials were enough. That face just freaked me out! I had a half dozen nightmares over the course of a month about "the Scream guy" that I would frequently use as inspiration for creative writing in fourth grade.

2. The Dummy from The Night of the Living Dummy (from Goosebumps)
After watching this episode of Goosebumps, I had a complex for about two years that the evil dummy lived under my bed and wanted to grab my ankles and pull me underneath. I tried to prove to myself (and the dummy) that I wasn't scared by taunting him and telling him I knew he was down there. All the while, I would jump on and off my bed about four feet away from the edge. #WowIWasALoser

1. Samara from The Ring
When Samara crawled out of the TV, I don't think I have ever been so scared in my entire life. I slept on my parents floor that night. I was thirteen.

Which crazy killers scared you? Let me hear your deepest fears in the comments!

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Blu-Ray Sales: 'How To Train Your Dragon' and 'Beauty and the Beast' prove that families are embracing the format

on Wednesday, October 27, 2010   11 comments

How to Train Your Dragon didn't need much training at all when it came to its home market release. The Dreamworks animation not only topped the DVD Sales Chart, but the Blu-Ray chart as well. This week, Dragon moved an estimated 800,000 Blu-Ray units, pushing Disney's release of Beauty and the Beast down to second place—the film sold about 635,920 copies, giving it a miraculous two week total of 3.6 million copies. The widespread popularity of these films on Blu-Ray represents an important (and inevitable) shift in the market: general audiences—specifically families—are really beginning to embrace the format. No longer is Blu-Ray merely the fare of tech-junkies and movie buffs—it's going mainstream. Sure, Blu-Ray only represented 16% of the overall home market revenue this week, but it is growing gradually. In fact, a number of Blu-Ray releases are selling quite well, and if you'd like to see the full Top 20, check out TBOJ's exclusive Blu-Ray sales estimates below:

Blu-Ray Sales Estimates for Week Ending October 17, 2010
RankTitleUnits this Week
1 How to Train Your Dragon 800,000
2 Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition 635,920
3 Iron Man 2 271,440
4 The Karate Kid 133,200
5 Jonah Hex 76,720
6 Robin Hood 48.880
7 A Nightmare on Elm Street 32,880
8 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 30,800
9 Avatar 28,320
10 Get Him to the Greek 28,080
11 Sherlock Holmes 25,120
12 The Last of the Mohicans 24,960
13 Kick-Ass 24,400
14 Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue 22,560
15 The Exorcist 20,800
16 Frozen 17,280
17 Dollhouse: Season 2 17,280
18 The Dark Knight 16,400
19 Grindhouse 15,680
20 Saw VI 15,520

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MTC Tracking: 'Saw 3D' headed for $22M

on Tuesday, October 26, 2010   0 comments

Major Theater Chain tracking reports have Saw 3D earning $22M in its opening weekend. That would put it well ahead of Saw VI's $14.1M opening, but far behind the $30-33 million debuts of Saw II-V. Given Paranormal Activity 2's massive $40.6M haul last weekend, Saw 3D might have trouble nabbing the top spot from it over the Halloween frame, but perhaps audiences needed a year-long break from Saw-mania before getting back into the "final chapter" of the series.

[via notfabio]

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DVD Sales: 'How To Train Your Dragon' burns up the chart; 'Jonah Hex' burns out

on Tuesday, October 26, 2010   1 comments

One of my favorite movies of 2010, How to Train Your Dragon, hit the home market last week, and thanks to The-Numbers' latest DVD Sales Chart, we can all rest assured that it will continue to get the recognition it deserves. The Dreamworks animated film grossed $217.6 million in theaters, and in its first week on the home market, Dragon sold a very solid 1.9 million units for a strong $39.6 million in sales. (We'll have to wait and see how well the film sold on Blu-Ray, but once I have those stats, I'll post them.) The Karate Kid dropped one spot to second place, adding another $7.5M to its gross. The martial arts remake sits with $28.3M after two weeks of release. Iron Man 2, meanwhile, has been out for three weeks, and with higher sales and a heftier price tag than many other titles, it has earned $96.3M after moving 4.3 million copies. It should just pass the $100M mark this week.

Jonah Hex is at the opposite end of the spectrum of comic book adaptations—the unsuccessful end. The failed feature earned an embarrassing $10.5 in theaters, which almost makes its $3.1M gross in first week DVD sales seem kind of good. Actually, never mind, no it doesn't. Back in fifth place is a film I'm mildly obsessed with: Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue. This straight-to-DVD movie has performed about as well as The Karate Kid, moving 1.7 million copies and earning a tremendous $31.7M. You can't say Disney doesn't know what they're doing. Could a feature film be far away?

The Tudors: The Final Season is the TV performer of the week, with a solid $3.1M in sales, which is pretty good for a show with a very small audience. My favorite show, How I Met Your Mother, has earned $7.7M after four weeks, while my least favorite show, Glee, has earned $14.8M after five.

There are also a number of Halloween themed releases rising through the rungs on the chart as the holiday is now just a week away. Spookley the Square Pumpkin, Hocus Pocus, and Thomas And Friends: Thomas' Halloween Adventures all returned to the Top 30. Check out the full DVD Sales Chart below:

DVD Sales for Week Ending October 17, 2010
RankTitleUnits this Week% ChangeTotal UnitsSales this WeekTotal SalesWeeks in Release
1How to Train Your Dragon 1,874,531 -.-% 1,874,531 $39,627,023 $39,627,023 1
2The Karate Kid (2010) 421,207 -65.6% 1,645,532 $7,518,545 $28,319,827 2
3Iron Man 2 385,216 -65.1% 4,310,628 $9,614,722 $96,293,421 3
4Jonah Hex 182,767 -.-% 182,767 $3,105,211 $3,105,211 1
5Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue 156,148 -37.1% 1,706,414 $2,849,264 $31,718,159 4
6The Tudors: The Final Season 124,844 -.-% 124,844 $3,119,852 $3,119,852 1
7Robin Hood 114,159 -35.8% 1,414,561 $2,494,374 $32,916,905 4
8A Nightmare on Elm Street 109,473 -60.4% 386,170 $1,859,946 $6,561,028 2
9Get Him to the Greek 100,287 -48.0% 754,825 $1,909,615 $13,959,659 3
10Letters to Juliet 73,294 13.0% 853,942 $1,245,265 $14,689,313 5
11Splice 68,795 -49.7% 205,430 $1,237,622 $3,695,686 2
12Lost Boys: The Thirst 65,421 -.-% 65,421 $653,556 $653,556 1
13Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 63,547 -28.0% 1,163,538 $1,416,939 $26,284,587 5
14Bones: The Complete Fifth Season 50,050 -74.6% 247,166 $1,951,450 $9,637,002 2
15Marmaduke 48,363 9.4% 571,145 $828,458 $10,050,675 7
16Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale 46,863 -41.5% 620,269 $585,319 $8,604,691 5
17The Last Song 45,364 -23.1% 1,314,088 $855,111 $23,905,618 9
18Killers 44,051 -20.0% 663,036 $713,626 $10,515,702 6
19Spookley the Square Pumpkin 42,537 -.-% - $435,898 - 267
20Hocus Pocus 42,421 -.-% - $296,523 - 437
21Glee: The Complete First Season 40,899 -.-% 410,459 $1,402,018 $14,808,845 5
22Spartacus: Blood and Sand - The Complete First Season 39,016 11.4% 265,490 $1,181,404 $8,594,748 4
23Stomp the Yard: Homecoming 36,917 -21.1% 165,765 $632,388 $3,079,212 4
24Diary of a Wimpy Kid 36,178 -16.1% 1,414,027 $650,842 $24,866,218 11
25How I Met Your Mother: Season Five 30,591 -29.4% 291,688 $834,522 $7,683,859 4
26Modern Family: The Complete First Season 29,996 -9.9% 224,948 $989,568 $7,496,810 4
27Superman/Batman: Apocalypse 26,806 -46.6% 229,400 $468,301 $3,954,944 3
28Just Wright 24,946 -45.1% 359,092 $436,306 $6,742,675 5
29Thomas & Friends: Thomas' Halloween Adventures 23,432 -37.7% 61,019 $233,851 $608,969 93
30Dora the Explorer: Save the Day! 22,331 -.-% - $213,484 - 249

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New This Week: Will 'Saw 3D' make the cut?

on Monday, October 25, 2010   1 comments

Only one new film is hitting theaters this week—Saw 3D—but after Paranormal Activity 2's blazing $41.5 million debut, is it time to call the Saw franchise dead? I'm not so sure. The 3D gimmick has reinvigorated franchises like Final Destination and Resident Evil this year, and Halloween weekend might make Saw 3D a contender. Paranormal Activity 2 will still be a force to be reckoned with, but I don't see Saw 3D performing as miserably as Saw VI ($29M). Then again, I don't see it earning anywhere near as much as Saw II ($90M).

Saw 3D (Lionsgate) – 2,700 theaters – Reviews
As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror...

Will you Saw 3D this weekend?

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DVD Sales: 'The Karate Kid' knocks out competition; 'Beauty' is a 'Beast' on Blu-Ray

on Thursday, October 21, 2010   31 comments

Can Will Smith's child dynasty be stopped? Not only has Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" taken over the internet, but older brother Jaden Smith's The Karate Kid, which earned $176.6 million in theaters, had a strong debut on the home market this week, with $20.8M in sales. The film displaced Iron Man 2 in the top spot, though the super hero film earned a better $22.2M in its second week. Thus far, Iron Man 2 has earned a solid $86.7M total from DVD sales. Tinker Bell hasn't been slacking off either. The fairy-themed straight-to-video release has accrued a fantastic $28.9M in three weeks of release after shifting 1.55M units. Those are just three of the thirty bestselling DVDs, so click inside to check out The-Numbers' weekly DVD Sales Chart.

DVD Sales for the Week Ending October 10, 2010
RankTitleUnits this Week% ChangeTotal UnitsSales this WeekTotal SalesWeeks in Release
1 The Karate Kid (2010) 1,224,325 -.-% 1,224,325 $20,801,282 $20,801,282 1
2 Iron Man 2 1,103,239 -60.9% 3,925,412 $22,152,818 $86,678,700 2
3 A Nightmare on Elm Street 276,697 -.-% 276,697 $4,701,082 $4,701,082 1
4 Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue 248,171 -35.1% 1,550,266 $4,864,549 $28,868,895 3
5 Bones: The Complete Fifth Season 197,116 -.-% 197,116 $7,685,553 $7,685,553 1
6 Get Him to the Greek 192,831 -58.2% 654,538 $3,550,019 $12,050,045 2
7 Robin Hood 177,772 -43.8% 1,300,402 $4,341,192 $30,422,531 3
8 Splice 136,635 -.-% 136,635 $2,458,064 $2,458,064 1
9 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 88,274 -22.2% 1,099,991 $1,995,478 $24,867,647 4
10 Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale 80,071 -1.5% 573,406 $1,223,485 $8,019,372 4
11 Letters to Juliet 64,889 -17.6% 780,648 $1,125,824 $13,444,048 4
12 The Last Song 59,012 -.-% 1,268,724 $1,069,888 $23,050,506 8
13 Family Guy: Partial Terms of Endearment 56,931 -54.9% 183,082 $568,741 $1,828,989 2
14 Killers 55,095 26.8% 618,985 $892,539 $9,802,076 5
15 Why Did I Get Married Too? 53,381 33.2% 893,868 $944,289 $16,085,360 6
16 Superman/Batman: Apocalypse 50,197 -67.1% 202,594 $863,890 $3,486,643 2
17 The Human Centipede 48,238 -.-% 48,238 $723,088 $723,088 1
18 Stomp the Yard: Homecoming 46,769 -.-% 128,848 $888,143 $2,446,824 3
19 Bee Movie 46,279 -.-% 5,137,713 $450,336 $80,099,689 135
20 Just Wright 45,422 8.0% 334,146 $823,501 $6,306,370 4
21 Marmaduke 44,198 -.-% 522,782 $801,310 $9,222,217 6
22 How I Met Your Mother: Season Five 43,341 -50.6% 261,097 $1,169,774 $6,849,336 3
23 Diary of a Wimpy Kid 43,096 -.-% 1,377,849 $775,297 $24,215,376 10
24 Spookley the Square Pumpkin 40,648 -.-% - $413,866 - 266
25 Flushed Away 38,934 -.-% 4,419,495 $428,967 $71,464,856 190
26 Thomas & Friends: Thomas' Halloween Adventures 37,587 -.-% 37,587 $375,118 $375,118 92
27 Shark Tale 35,995 -.-% - $393,537 - 296
28 Fringe: The Complete Second Season 35,849 -13.9% 238,275 $1,397,753 $9,290,342 4
29 Spartacus: Blood and Sand - The Complete First Season 35,016 -36.0% 226,474 $1,085,146 $7,413,344 3
30 Hocus Pocus 34,036 -.-% - $259,695 - 436

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Disney officially takes over Marvel's 2012 releases from Paramount, sets 'Iron Man 3' release date

on Monday, October 18, 2010   9 comments

Walt Disney Studios spent $115 million today to transfer the distribution rights of Iron Man 3 and The Avengers away from Paramount and to itself. Disney officially purchased Marvel for $4 billion a few months ago, but those two films were still under contract to be distributed by Paramount. Essentially, Disney is just streamlining the process and removing unnecessary collaboration down the road. Paramount will still distribute Thor and Captain America next year.

As part of this announcement, Disney also set an official release date for Iron Man 3. The picture will hit theaters on May 3, 2013.

You can read the full press release below.

BURBANK, Calif. – October 18, 2010 – The Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios announced they have reached an agreement under which Paramount will transfer its worldwide marketing and distribution rights to Disney for Marvel Studios’ The Avengers and Iron Man 3. Paramount will remain the worldwide distributor of the upcoming films, Thor and Captain America, as well as the previously released Iron Man and Iron Man 2.

Under terms of the new deal, Disney will pay Paramount $115 million for the transfer of the distribution rights to Iron Man 3 and The Avengers to be paid on the theatrical release dates. These monies will serve as a minimum guarantee against the distribution fees.

“In completing this agreement, Disney will now assume worldwide marketing and distribution of The Avengers and Iron Man 3 and leverage these two highly-anticipated films across the multiple global platforms of The Walt Disney Company,” said Rich Ross, Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. “We appreciate the tremendous momentum that Paramount established with these iconic Marvel characters and look forward to propelling the brand even further in the coming years.”

“Five years ago, when Paramount and Marvel made our initial deal, both our businesses were in very different places,” said Brad Grey, Chairman & CEO of Paramount Pictures. “We are grateful for the partnership we have had with the terrific Marvel team over these years and proud of the work we have done together. Today, this new agreement is the right deal for Paramount, for Marvel and for Disney. We look forward to working together on Thor and Captain America, and we wish Disney and Marvel the utmost success, in what we know will be a very productive and wide-ranging partnership.”

“Paramount has been a wonderful partner in helping Marvel Studios bring our characters to the big screen,” said Alan Fine, Office of the President, Marvel Worldwide, Inc. “This agreement makes sense now that Marvel is part of The Walt Disney Company.”

Paramount will release Marvel Entertainment’s Thor and Captain America worldwide beginning on May 6 and July 22 of 2011, respectively. The Avengers will be licensed to Epix under Paramount’s existing pay television arrangement.

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MTC Tracking: 'Paranormal Activity 2' looking strong, but is it getting overhyped?

on Monday, October 18, 2010   3 comments

Major Theater Chain tracking reports are in for this weekend, and both Paranormal Activity 2 and Hereafter's box office estimates seem a bit high to me. Check out the numbers after the jump.

Paranormal Activity 2 – $26M 
Given the lack of promotion from Paramount, this number seems a bit out of reach, and even if the horror sequel open big, it's not likely to be nearly as leggy as last year's phenomenally strong Paranormal Activity. Luckily, this was very cheap to make, so it's almost guaranteed to earn a profit! I don't think Paranormal Activity 2 will utterly fail like fellow sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 ($26.4M total), but audiences will likely tire of the whole surveillance footage gimmick pretty darn quick.

Hereafter – $15M
Certainly a doable number, but with little awareness and a release in just 2,200 theaters, a $10M weekend seems more likely.

[via notfabio]

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New This Week: 'Paranormal Activty 2' hopes to scare away sequelitis; Clint Eastwood's 'Hereafter' expands

on Monday, October 18, 2010   1 comments

After a surprisingly strong weekend at the box office, two new films are hitting theaters this week—well, actually, Paranormal Activity is the only brand new wide release, but Hereafter is moving from 6 theaters to 2,200 theaters, so I'm counting it here as well. The two supernaturally-themed releases are banking on mounting Halloween excitement to lift their box office totals, but with surprisingly little buzz around either film, the results could be frighteningly ghastly. Check out the new films after the jump:

Paranormal Activity 2 (Paramount) – 2,900 theaters – Reviews
Spooky hauntings are once again the main course in this Paramount Pictures follow-up to Oren Peli's wildly successful supernatural thriller, Paranormal Activity. Kip Williams directs from a script by Michael Perry.
Considering this is a sequel to a movie that relied completely upon buzz to find box office success, there sure isn't much discussion around Paranormal Activity 2. Sure, the trailer came out a few months ago and got people talking, but Americans have short attention spans, and advertising has been very weak since then. Add in the fact that most mainstream audiences didn't really love the original film (many found it boring), and Paranormal Activity 2 doesn't seem like the powerhouse many thought it would be when it stole Saw 3D's director and release date last year.

Hereafter (Warner Bros.) – 2,200 theaters – Reviews
Three people are touched by death in different ways. George is a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie, a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus, a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might--or must--exist in the hereafter.
After one weekend of release in six theaters, Warner Brothers' Hereafter has earned $231,000, giving it a promising $38,500. I'd attribute most of that number to the drawing power of director Clint Eastwood, and lead actor Matt Damon, both of whom Warner Brothers plans on campaigning for the Academy Awards. The studio probably hoped to roll out Hereafter slowly, allowing it to peak later in the year, but decidedly mixed reviews may have changed those plans. A quick wide release is now planned, but without the necessary audience awareness, I'm not optimistic about the cash-grab move.

What are you hoping to see this weekend?

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Weekend Fix: 'Jackass 3D' stuns with a $50M opening! 'Red' impresses as well. Idicoracy wins?

on Sunday, October 17, 2010   14 comments

Jackass 3D topped the box office in a big way this weekend, as Johnny Knoxville and his wild boys earned the biggest October opening in box office history (if these estimates stand) with $50 million over three days. The crass gag-fest absolutely obliterated both previous Jackass films' opening weekends (In fact, it's already close to topping their totals!) and it helped lead the Top 12 to a whopping 49% increase over last weekend. Further cementing the notion that idiotic entertainment is the hottest thing in America right now, Red also performed well with a $22.5M haul. It's a strange world we live in, isn't it?

Jackass 3D's $50M opening improved on the debut of Jackass 2 by an unbelievable 72%. Why? Well, for two reasons. First, people just really seem to enjoy the Jackass franchise. Second, 3D! Whether we love it or hate it (I choose the latter) it can reinvigorate a tired franchise. Maybe Saw 3D has a shot after all! To those who point out that Jackass 3D exhibited a fair amount of frontloadedness with a weak 2.3 internal multiplier, I say this: WHO CARES?! When a movie is this cheap to make and it earns so much in one weekend, longevity doesn't really matter. Jackass 3D might go the route of fellow October release Scary Movie 3, which opened with $48.1M on the way to $110M in 2003. This will probably earn somewhere in the same range.

Then there was Red, a film that I despised more than any other in recent history, yet somehow earned an "A-" from audiences via CinemaScore. The elderly action film was benefited by a strong advertising campaign, which appealed to audiences both young and old, and Red earned a great $22.5M this weekend. It's per theater average was a pretty good $6,912 (way down compared to Jackass 3D's $16,228), and word-of-mouth coupled with the old-factor (older moviegoers don't usually rush out to the theater) should make this a solid midlevel hit. I guess I'm happy that Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman got a chance to headline a box office hit, but at the risk of being a Debbie Downer, I'll leave my thoughts at that.

Amongst holdovers, drops were very small/strong across the board. The Social Network continued its wonderfully slow burn, dropping just 29% this week to $11M, and giving the well-reviewed Facebook movie a $63.1M total after 17 days. In fourth place is Secretariat. Though it wasn't too quick out of the gate last week, the horse drama already seems to be catching on with audiences, who never tire of underdog sports stories. It fell just 25% this weekend to $9.5M, giving the film an alright $27.5M. It seems to me that Secretariat would have been better served by a late November release date in the feel-good holiday time period.

Moving at just about the same pace is Katherine Heigl's latest romantic comedy Life As We Know It. After a $9.2M weekend, the film sits with $28.9M in its tenth day of release. Heigl's previous film, Killers, had earned $30.3M in the same time period, but that film dropped 49% in its second weekend versus Life's 37% drop. It looks to me like Life As We Know It will joining Legend of the Guardians, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Easy A, and Secretariat as films that finish with around $50M.

Check out the full chart below.

Top 12 Box Office for October 15-17, 2010
Rank Movie Studio Theaters Weekend Gross   Chg     AVG.   Total
Jackass 3D Paramount 3081 $50,000,000 $16,228 $50,000,000
Red Summit 3255 $22,500,000 $6,912 $22,500,000
The Social Network Sony 2868 $11,000,000 -29%$3,835 $63,119,000
Secretariat Disney 3072 $9,503,000 -25%$3,093 $27,517,000
Life As We Know It Warner Bros 3150 $9,200,000 -37%$2,921 $28,865,000
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Warner Bros 2502 $4,235,000 -39%$1,693 $46,002,000
The Town Warner Bros 2368 $4,040,000 -37%$1,706 $80,574,000
My Soul To Take Universal 2529 $3,161,250 -54%$1,250 $11,906,535
Easy A Sony 2314 $2,650,000 -38%$1,145 $52,334,000
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Fox 2045 $2,350,000 -49%$1,149 $47,881,730
N'Secure Freestyle 486 $1,384,614 $2,849 $1,384,614
It's Kind of a Funny Story Focus 757 $1,264,737 -37%$1,671 $4,042,591
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

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Friday Estimates: 'Jackass 3d' Earns $20M! Headed for a $50M weekend?

on Saturday, October 16, 2010   7 comments

Wow. Just when you thought it was safe to call 3D uncool, the Jackass boys have to come around and prove you wrong. In its opening Friday, Jackass 3D made an astonishingly huge $20 million! Seeing as Jackass 2 earned "just" $29M in its entire opening weekend, it's safe to say that Johnny Knoxville and his crew have truly outdone themselves. The MTV/Paramount collaboration might pull in a mind-blowing $45M over the three day frame, giving Jackass 3D the highest opening weekend since Inception's $62M frame in July.

Red performed solidly on Friday as well, grossing an estimated $7M. Given the comic book-ish nature of the movie, I'm expecting just a tad bit of frontloadedness, so the star-studded action feature may pull in $20M over the weekend.

Meanwhile, holdovers pulled their weight at the box office in a big way, with small drops across the board. The Social Network, now in its third weekend, had a great $3.5M Friday, and a strong $11M weekend seems likely. Life As We Know It and Secretariat each earned $3M, and though Heigl's rom-com will earn a very nice $10M this weekend, Disney's horse racing drama should come in with a slightly stronger $11.2M, due to the consistent family appeal on Saturday and Sunday.

All in all, it's looking like a great weekend at the box office!

[numbers via Deadline]

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Weekend Preview: 'Jackass 3D' should lift the box office out of the 'Red'

on Friday, October 15, 2010   2 comments

Before we get started, I have something very important to say: Please don't see Red this weekend. Hide ya kids, hide ya wives, and save your money because this is legitimately one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and I am perplexed as to how it's getting good reviews. There is nothing at stake in Red, no reason to like the characters, exactly zero funny lines or situations, and the most boring action ever. It drags on and on pointlessly, and you'll be much better off if you just skip this. Sorry to be a wet blanket, but times are tough, and wasting money is no fun, right? Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the predictions—after all, this is shaping up to be one of the more exciting weekends at the box office in quite some time. Jackass 3D and (unofortunately) Red should both post some solid numbers and lift the box office out of the doldrums.

1. Jackass 3D (Paramount) -- 3,081 theaters -- $34 million
Though the jackass franchise isn't quite what it used to be, the 3D gimmick has paid off in spades for the similarly old Final Destination and Resident Evil franchises, so why shouldn't it work here? Those franchises each added about 20% onto their opening grosses, and considering Jackass 2 had a strong $29M debut, Jackass 3D should break the $30M plateau. Advertising has been strong, tracking is solid amongst young people, and 3D ticket prices could give Jackass 3D the biggest opening since The Expendables back in August. I'll give it $35M for the frame.

2. Red (Summit) -- 3,255 theaters -- $19 million
Somehow, advertising has people wanting to see this, and even I must admit, the commercials make this look way better than it actually is. To Red's credit, it is nice to see some Hollywood actors embrace their elderly status, rather than pretend their age doesn't exist. Fanboys and action-lovers will help Red open solidly, and it may become a modest $50M hit. This weekend, though, I wouldn't expect too many members of Red's older target demographic to rush out to see the film--that just ain't how grown-ups act at the box office. Red may shoot up $19M.

3. The Social Network -- 2,868 theaters -- $10.3 million
Good word-of-mouth should continue to propel this Oscar contender into The Town's levels of box office success. After a 31% drop last weekend, another 33% drop may follow, giving The Social Network a $10.3M weekend and a $62M total.

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AMAZING NEWS: Entertainment Weekly's '40 Under 40' feature was compiled by me!

on Tuesday, October 12, 2010   9 comments

For a few weeks, I've been referencing some big news about my life. Well, the time has come to share it with you all. In this week's "Power Issue" of Entertainment Weekly there is a very cool 5 page fold-out feature called '40 Under 40,' in which the 40 highest grossing box office stars under 40 years old are ranked by average box office. What makes this feature awesome (besides the fact that it's about the box office)?

I compiled and helped write it!

My mom has already bought about 358 copies, so if you live in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, you might have some trouble getting your hands on an issue, but do try! Obviously, EW is my favorite magazine (even more so after working there this summer), so the fact that I could help work on such a big project and get published is still blowing my mind.

My work consisted of about 100 hours of research, charts, imdb profiles, and math, which might help explain why I've been rather absent for the past few weeks here at TBOJ. I'm really proud of how everything came out, and I'm SO thankful for all of you readers. Because of your loyalty and excitement, I've been able to take my passion for the box office and turn into something that's actually substantial through TBOJ and now EW!

The issue is on stands until Thursday night/early Friday morning if you want to check it out. If you don't feel like buying it, you can check out the full list here. I hope I don't sound too braggy. I'm just excited!

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Friday Estimates: 'Life As We Know It' takes top spot; 'Secretariat' and 'Social Network' close behind. Three way race for #1

on Saturday, October 09, 2010   2 comments

Early Friday box office numbers for October 8, 2010.

Life As We Know It topped the chart with $5M, but it could be a close race between the rom-com, The Social Network, and Secretariat for the top spot. All three films should finish in the $14M range. Meanwhile, My Soul To Take joins Case 39 and Let Me In as recent horror releases that everyone ignored. 

Friday Estimates for Oct 8, 2010
RankMovie Friday Gross Estimated Weekend
1Life As We Know It $5 million $14.5 million
2The Social Network $4.5 million $14.8 million
3Secretariat $4.2 million $13 million
4My Soul To Take $2.5 million $7 million
5Legend of the Guardians:
The Owls of Ga'Hoole
$1.8 million $6.7 million
6The Town $1.8 million $6.1 million
7Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps $1.4 million $4.3 million
8Easy A $1.2 million $3.8 million
9You Again $750,000 $2.3 million
10Case 39 $750,000 $2.2 million

[via Deadline]

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International Box Office: Chinese film tops chart, 'Resident Evil: Afterlife' continues to dazzle, 'Inception' crosses $800M worldwide

on Friday, October 08, 2010   0 comments

One of the things I've learned in my time writing about the international box office is that it just isn't all that international. American-made movies usually fill up the top ten, but in recent years, foreign markets have started producing their own box office hits. This week's results reveal this trend effectively, as four of the top ten titles around the world come from countries outside America.

China's Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame eked out a surprising win on the international scene this week with $16.4 million. Believe it or not, China doesn't release much box office information (or much of any information for that matter), but we can assume that almost all of this came from its native market. Resident Evil: Afterlife continued to easily best every other Resident Evil film at the box office. This week, the 3D sequel earned another $16.2M, which pushed its international total to $182.6M and its worldwide gross to a terrific $239.2M. No wonder a fifth film got greenlit so quickly. Eat Pray Love took the third spot with $13.5M, lifting the Julia Roberts film's total to $39.8M.

And for those of you who love milestones, Inception crossed the $800M mark. Pretty amazing. Check out the full top ten after the jump.

Weekly International Box Office (in millions)
    Film Weekly Gross  Int'l Total  Worldwide
1 Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame (China) $16.4  $17.3  $17.3
2 Resident Evil: Afterlife $16.2  $182.6  $239.2
3 Eat Pray Love $13.5  $39.8  $119.2
4 Endhiran: The Robot (India) $12.9  $12.9  $12.9
5 Despicable Me $12.5  $115.1  $361.2
6 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps $10.8  $23.3  $61.6
7 Anjaana Anjaani (India) $9.9  $9.9  $9.9
8 Legend of the Guardians: Tee Owls of Ga'Hoole $9  $9.9  $41.7
9 Inception $8.7  $513  $801.4
10 Umizaru 3: The Last Message (Japan) $7  $56.2  $56.2

[Read more at The-Numbers]

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FX picks up TV rights for 'Social Network' and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps'

on Thursday, October 07, 2010   1 comments

FX just keeps adding movies to its already crowded stable. The television channel has been aggressively buying successful films all year, and now it has acquired both The Social Network and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps as well. Perhaps the channel is hoping to establish itself as a primary destination for movie lovers—on par with something like HBO—because it has picked up Grown Ups, The Karate Kid, Iron Man 2Shrek Forever After, How To Train Your Dragon and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse just this summer. Typically, television distribution rights cost about 10-12% of a movie's domestic gross, which means FX has been spending some serious money. We'll have to wait and see some ratings before we can deem this plan a success or failure.

[via Deadline]

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Weekend Fix: Just like Facebook, 'The Social Network' started strong and should grow considerably in coming weeks

on Monday, October 04, 2010   4 comments

The Social Network easily won the weekend box office during this first frame of October, and while there weren't any huge grosses in the mix, strong holdovers performed where newcomers Let Me In and Case 39 could not, providing a firm foundation for the box office. All told, the Top 12 movies earned an alright $86.2 million, down 5% from last weekend and 6% from the same weekend last year, when Jesse Eisenberg had another number one Sony movie in Zombieland, which earned $24.7 in its opening weekend. But that was a whole year ago—you know, when Facebook still made you press "next" to see more photos and fan pages (Like TBOJ's!) were a novelty. Let's get to this year instead.

The Social Network topped the box office with $22.4 million in its opening weekend, which should absolutely be considered a strong debut. "The Facebook Movie" (as most people call it) may have a lot of media buzz around it, but to the average Night at the Museum-loving American, this was a tough sell. A talky drama about web programmers? Eh... Perhaps this explains why the film performed quite poorly in Middle America and posted stronger numbers on the more urban, tech-savvy East/West coasts. Sony spent just $40M on this picture, and between awards nominations and very solid (though not amazing) word-of-mouth, The Social Network should have no trouble getting enough audience "likes" to break the $80M mark over the coming months. This isn't the kind of movie that most people feel obligated to rush out and see, so it's $8,001 per theater average should decline fairly slowly. I would not be surprised at all if this broke $100M.

Filling up the next three spots were Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and The Town. Ga'Hoole was helped by the lack of any strong family option hitting theaters, and it dropped just 32% to $10.9M, good for a $30.1M total. It still has the worst title of any movie in recent memory, but if it keeps dropping like this, it could pull a Tooth Fairy and move past its weak opening to become a modest $60M hit. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps fell a bit harder, declining 47% to $10M, which is pretty good considering this had the sequel-factor and the similarly-themed Social Network working against it. Oliver Stone's film has earned $35.8M overall. In its third weekend, The Town shot up a strong $9.8M gross, pushing Ben Affleck's gritty Boston film to $64.1M total. The Town started with $23.8M, so it's a good comparison to The Social Network—if Social can match The Town's 34% and 38% declines in the coming weeks, it will have no trouble earning some serious buck.

Easy A also continued to impress in its third weekend. The female-led teen comedy fell 36% to $6.8, and it has earned $42.2 million overall. Wait. Does this means teens actually care about quality? And that females can be box office draws? WHAT?!

The bottom five spots on the chart are filled with a few movies that no one cares about anymore (You Again, Devil, Alpha and Omega) and a few that no one cared about from the beginning (Let Me In, Case 39). Devil, with its weak $27M total, is the most successful of the sad bunch. After dual debuts just above $5M, Let Me In and Case 39 will be lucky to even break that number with their combined grosses.

No time to set up a full chart this week. Check here for full results.

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Friday Box Office: 'The Social Network' clicks with audiences,should earn $27M

on Saturday, October 02, 2010   3 comments

The Social Network got off to a strong start with a $9.5 million Friday, and while that's far from the hugest number the box office has ever seen, we must remember that, even with all the buzz surrounding this, it was still a dialogue-heavy movie about computer programmers. A likely weekend of $27M—along with some sure-to-be-great word-of-mouth (I know I loved it!) and major awards buzz—should be considered nothing but a huge success.

Horror movies Let Me In and Case 39 (which was made way back in 2006), meanwhile, were (un)dead on arrival, earning just $1.9M and $1.5M, respectively. Neither movie is likely to break the $5M mark for the weekend.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and The Town should each pull in about $10M this weekend, rounding out a gritty, serious top three. Check out the full results below:

Friday Box Office for October 1, 2010
1. The Social Network – $9M
2. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – $3.3M
3. The Town – $3.1M
4. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole – $2.6M
5. Easy A – $2.3M
6. Let Me In – $1.9M
7. You Again – $1.7M
8. Case 39 – $1.7M
9. Devil – $1.1M
10. Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D – $750,000

[via Deadline]

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Weekend Preview: Critics chose "Like" for 'The Social Network,' but will audiences?

on Friday, October 01, 2010   10 comments

Just some quick predictions for the weekend box office, today! Let me hear your thoughts about this weekend's newcomers in the comments. Are you freaking out about The Social Network like I am?

The Social Network
The way I'm feeling about The Social Network right now is arguably the most excited I've ever been to go see a movie. This just looks awesome. It's got that dusty, brown college-y look, some whip-smart dialogue, an awesome trailer, and overwhelmingly amazing reviews. I'm seeing it tomorrow night. Anticipation has been ramping up for a few weeks, and good word-of-mouth should keep this alive throughout October, but this is still a special effects-free drama about a website—which is to say, it's not going to open like Iron Man. Still, a very solid opening in the $28 million seems about in order for The Social Network. The fanboy in me is getting all riled up, however, so I'm thinking this could even earn about $31 million.

Let Me In and Case 39
I can rarely tell the ads for these horror movies apart, and their generic-looking advertising campaigns will hurt their box office chances. Let Me In has solid reviews, and it should have more appeal than Case 39 (if only because Renee Zellweger is in that mess) to general audiences. Still, I wouldn't expect either of these to break out substantially. I'll say $8.5M for Let Me In, and $5M for Case 39.

The Social Network should take away a big chunk of business from Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and last week's chart topper might fall 50% to $9.5M for the frame. The Town (which, along with Wall Street and Social Network, could round out a stern, male-targeting top 3) should fall a less-steep 40% down to $9.4M. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole will continue to struggle after a weak opening weekend. The poorly titled animation might fall a large-for-a-kid's-movie 45% to $8.7M.

What do you predict will happen at this weekend's box office?

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