Blu-Ray Sales: 'Avatar' dominates, of course

on Tuesday, November 30, 2010   1 comments

If you're still in doubt about whether Americans have embraced the Blu-Ray format, you can stop your wondering. Blu-Ray sales have been steadily increasing throughout the year, and heading into this Christmas season, sales are more solid than ever. Avatar's special edition release topped the chart with an estimated 650,000 copies sold, and that's after the millions of copies it's already moved. It's not totally surprising—geeky sci-fi blockbusters tend to sell very well on Blu-Ray as techies embrace new technology readily. Still, A Christmas Carol's strong second place debut (570,800 copies) shows that the format is starting to click with families. Check out TBOJ's exclusive Blu-Ray Sales Chart below:

Blu-Ray Sales Estimates for Week Ending Nov 21, 2010
RankTitleUnits this Week
1 Avatar 650,000
2 A Christmas Carol 579,800
3 The Last Airbender 418,145
4 Toy Story 3 202,085
5 The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition 136,435
6 Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition 102,700
7 Grown Ups 94,510
8 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 91,715
9 The Pacific 62,985
10 How to Train Your Dragon 61,555
11 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore 47,580
12 Iron Man 2 45,695
13 Predators 40,430
14 The Polar Express 38,805
15 Kick-Ass 36,270
16 Clash of the Titans 24,310
17 The Dark Knight 22,685
18 Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy 21,905
19 Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season 21,840
20 Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales 21,450

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DVD Sales: 'A Christmas Carol' and 'The Last Airbender' top the chart, still aren't hits

on Tuesday, November 30, 2010   4 comments

The-Numbers has just released its latest DVD sales chart, and we're starting to see the beginning of the holiday bump on the home market. Disney's incredibly expensive A Christmas Carol topped the chart, with Paramount's incredibly expensive the Last Airbender following close behind, and neither made enough money to offset the memory of their theatrical woes. After all, Disney spent a boatload of money on Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol (estimates place the total production and promotional costs around $300M), but it only earned $137M at the domestic box office. After its international run, the 3D film had earned $323M, but due to the cost of international release, it was still in the red. Then came A Christmas Carol's home market release (last week). Because the movie released so long after its original theatrical run, Disney had to spend even more money to promote it and remind people of its existence. Thus, average first week sales of $16.8M aren't all that impressive, just like the rest of A Christmas Carol's finances. We'll have to wait and see how its sales are affected as we get closer to Christmas. It's pretty much the same story with The Last Airbender—the studio spent way too much money on a film that wasn't very good!

Toy Story 3 and Avatar, meanwhile, are continuing to flex their box office muscle in third and fourth place. Toy Story 3 sold 712,975 copies, pushing its total to 5.5 million units, and crossing the $100M mark in revenue. Avatar, meanwhile, keeps getting closer to the 10 million mark, moving another 648,681 copies this week. It's total revenue stands at $161M, and that's not even counting Blu-Ray sales. It says something about this age of movies that the top four films selling on DVD were all 3D releases. Interesting. Click inside for the full DVD Sales Chart.

DVD Sales for Week Ending November 21, 2010
RankTitleUnits this Week% ChangeTotal UnitsSales this WeekTotal SalesWeeks in Release
1 Disney's A Christmas Carol 989,144 -.-% 989,144 $16,805,557 $16,805,557 1
2 The Last Airbender 750,859 -.-% 750,859 $12,757,094 $12,757,094 1
3 Toy Story 3 712,975 -23.6% 5,506,518 $13,775,461 $103,406,647 3
4 Avatar 648,681 -.-% 9,045,065 $13,186,906 $161,648,374 31
5 Grown Ups 394,075 -49.0% 1,166,147 $7,877,559 $23,311,279 2
6 The Original Television Christmas Classics 207,547 65.1% - $3,407,922 - 323
7 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore 182,596 -.-% 182,596 $3,284,902 $3,284,902 1
8 How to Train Your Dragon 164,099 -48.9% 4,332,681 $3,179,976 $90,368,515 6
9 The Pacific 158,362 -9.8% 626,872 $7,226,058 $27,367,303 3
10 Ramona and Beezus 142,140 -60.2% 499,508 $2,130,679 $7,487,625 2
11 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 138,678 168.5% 7,924,895 $1,580,777 $106,666,859 50
12 Lottery Ticket 126,610 -.-% 126,610 $2,530,934 $2,530,934 1
13 The Blind Side 114,345 -.-% 5,676,334 $1,370,997 $90,308,108 35
14 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World 112,466 -40.9% 302,683 $2,023,263 $5,445,267 2
15 The Karate Kid (2010) 103,761 -51.4% 2,328,447 $1,718,282 $39,603,745 7
16 Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season 97,035 -.-% 657,251 $2,660,700 $24,439,650 13
17 The Polar Express 75,670 -.-% - $688,378 - 256
18 Charlie St. Cloud 74,483 -57.5% 249,852 $1,339,949 $4,845,575 2
19 Iron Man 2 73,296 30.4% 4,773,874 $1,830,355 $108,282,879 8
20 Toy Story 62,733 69.2% - $843,834 - 734
21 Diary of a Wimpy Kid 61,342 -18.0% 1,626,037 $919,517 $28,072,141 16
22 Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale 59,744 15.9% 816,936 $746,203 $11,061,062 10
23 Toy Story 2 57,405 53.3% - $778,079 - 505
24 Sex and the City 2 55,492 -42.4% 1,099,134 $883,433 $18,422,358 4
25 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 53,861 87.9% 1,357,115 $847,756 $29,893,073 10
26 Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue 50,347 1.3% 2,019,152 $794,088 $37,303,057 9
27 Modern Family: The Complete First Season 47,479 21.6% 375,876 $949,105 $11,659,065 9
28 Predators 42,434 -8.0% 1,013,335 $678,520 $16,955,082 5
29 Cars Toons: Mater's Tall Tales 41,984 -47.4% 257,302 $755,292 $4,334,755 3
30 Harry Potter Years 1-6 Giftset 36,988 -.-% 65,722 $1,678,778 $3,000,552 50

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MTC Tracking: 'Warrior's Way' headed for a $__ million opening weekend

on Monday, November 29, 2010   6 comments

Since The Nutcracker in 3D isn't even getting a wide expansion anymore, The Warrior's Way is this week's only new wide release. Check out what it's expected to make after the jump.

$4 million! That's it! Ouch. Looks like it'll be another Harry Potter vs. Tangled showdown this weekend. My money's on Tangled...

[via notfabio]
MTC Tracking stands for "Major Theater Chain" tracking. These numbers are taken from box office tracking reports that are sent out to theater owners and posted anonymously on HSX.

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Weekend Fix: 'Harry Potter' beats 'Tangled' by a hair; 'Burlesque,' 'Faster,' and 'Love and Other Drugs' fail to attract audiences

on Monday, November 29, 2010   16 comments

As everyone in the world expected Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 stayed atop the box office over the strong Thanksgiving holiday weekend, leading the top 12 to a cumulative total of $249.1 million, down a scant 2% from the same weekend last year. The penultimate wizard flick in the hugely popular franchise pulled in $75 million over the five-day frame from Wednesday to Sunday, $49.1M of which came from the three-day weekend. All told, Hallows has grossed $219.1M in just ten days, the best performance of any of the Harry Potter films to date, and it seems to be headed for a total in the $350M range. Has there ever been a bleaker holiday blockbuster?

The real story of the weekend is Tangled, Disney's comeback in the princess genre after last year's poorly-performing The Princess and the Frog. The Rapunzel adventure earned a terrific $68.7M over the five day frame, $48.8M of it over the weekend. With broad appeal for families, a feel-good story, strong word-of-mouth, and a lot of money already in the bank (including the week's best per theater average for a wide release: $13,628), Tangled may just become the runaway hit of the holidays—look for it to hold well throughout December.

Tangled's release has fascinated me. I remember Disney quietly announcing the film seven years ago, and I have been following it closely ever since. When conceptual artwork first appeared, I was excited about the lush scenery and whimsical tower, until I found out that it was going to be CG animated. For me, classic Disney movies were just meant to be traditionally animated, and the CG animation felt like a cheap money-grab. But times and attitudes have changed, and, as the box office reflects, kids seem to prefer the newer style over traditional. Even I have come around to the idea of CG animation—Tangled really felt much more like an organic evolution of animation style. But Tangled didn't succeed merely on its technical merits. It benefited from Disney's advertising campaign, which focused more on the male protagonist (which actually is true to the story), big adventure, and goofy humor. Keeping away from terms like "princess" and "musical," Disney coaxed audiences into the theater, and pretty much everyone seems to be happy they did. The Mouse House is undoubtedly thrilled, as the merchandising dollars should roll in through the holidays. Bravo on a smart release, Disney!

Megamind reached third place this weekend with an impressive $17.3M take over the five-day, $12.6M over the three-day. Like the two movies above it, the animated film benefited from family appeal over the holiday weekend, and with $130M after four weekends, Megamind is set to join the ranks of Bee Movie and Monsters vs. Aliens as a somewhat forgettable animated movie with solid $150-200M box office performance.

Burlesque could only dance and sing its way into fourth place, snagging a disappointing $17.3M in its first five days. The campy film always appeared a little too kitschy and glitter-glamorous to attract broad audiences (who would probably rather watch football), but ScreenGems was hoping to make Burlesque an event film like Sex and the City that brought women and gay men to the theater. Poor reviews, lack of buzz, and the country's general distaste for Christina Aguilera prevented this from happening, though. As it is such a campy film, the people who did see Burlesque have probably been planning on seeing it for quite some time, so expect a big drop next weekend, and a Rent-like finish (Rent earned $17.1M over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend in 2005) of about $30M.

In fifth place is a film that, in its third weekend, is starting to live up to its name: Unstoppable. Dropping just 10% over the three-day weekend to $11.4M ($15.9M over five days), Unstoppable had the smallest drop of any movie in the Top 12, and after 17 days, the Denzel Washington/Chris Pine collaboration has earned a solid $60M. This not only represents a nice mid-level hit for Denzel, but a sign of non-Star Trek box office viability for Pine.

Two more new releases filled the sixth and seventh place spots, and each had underwhelming results. Love and Other Drugs, you know that movie where Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway GET NAKED AND APPARENTLY NOTHING ELSE MATTERS, earned $13.9M in its first five days of release ($9.7M over three). This didn't quite look like a romantic comedy, and it didn't quite look like a drama, and without a firm sense of the story, most Americans skipped this one. If I had to bet, I'd guess that the more mainstream How Do You Know will prove more palatable in a few weeks. Action film Faster, meanwhile, took in an even more disappointing $12M ($8.5M over three days). CBS films still hasn't figured out how to release a film effectively (The Back Up Plan earned just $37.5M, Extraordianry measures only $12.1M), and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has lost some of his action-cred after roles in The Game Plan and Tooth Fairy. Faster also suffered from its rather generic look and advertising, which drew comparisons to other 2010 action films like The Losers and Takers. Neither film was especially expensive to make, but they certainly won't see a profit from their theatrical releases alone.

Three holdovers fill in the final spots in the Top 10. Due Date continues to remind me of Date Night, as it quietly marches closer to the century-mark. In its fourth weekend, the quirky comedy earned $7.2M ($10.3M over five days), pushing the Robert Downey Jr./Zack Galifinakis film to a strong $84.8M. On the other end of the spectrum are two under-performers. Russell Crowe's failed vehicle The Next Three Days grabbed $4.7M over the last three days (see what I did there?), good for a $14.4M gross. Morning Glory, meanwhile, earned an additional $3.9M for a still not-great $26.3M total.

Two strong limited release performers, 127 Hours and Fair Game, round out the Top 12. 127 Hours is riding a wave of buzz and has earned $4.4M, despite its theater count maxing out at 108 theaters so far. Fair Game, meanwhile has earned a $6M, but given the presence of box office poison, Naomi Watts, it probably won't go much further. Check out the three-day weekend results below:

Top 12 Box Office for November 26-28, 2010
Rank Movie Studio Theaters Weekend Gross   Chg     AVG.   Total
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Warner Bros 4125 $49,087,101 -61%$11,900 $219,056,129
Tangled Disney 3603 $48,767,052 $13,535 $68,706,298
Megamind Paramount 3411 $12,575,778 -22%$3,687 $130,218,934
Burlesque ScreenGems 3037 $11,947,744 $3,934 $17,300,213
Unstoppable Fox 3183 $11,432,903 -12%$3,592 $60,442,621
Love and Other Drugs Fox 2455 $9,739,161 $3,967 $13,901,532
Faster CBS Films 2454 $8,523,153 $3,473 $12,002,840
Due Date Warner Bros 2555 $7,167,885 -20%$2,805 $84,861,008
The Next Three Days Lionsgate 2564 $4,683,123 -28%$1,826 $14,392,072
Morning Glory Paramount 2441 $3,910,058 -25%$1,602 $26,340,571
127 Hours Fox Search. 293 $1,708,883 +87%$5,832 $4,420,168
Fair Game Summit 396 $1,560,189 +7%$3,940 $5,958,795
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

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New This Week: 'The Warrior's Way' and 'The Nutcracker'

on Monday, November 29, 2010   5 comments

Martial arts movie The Warrior's Way is the sole film entering theaters this week, but The Nutcracker in 3D is undergoing a major expansion. Neither film should be able to take down strong holdovers from Harry Potter and Tangled. Check out a preview of each film, and vote in the weekend box office poll below.

The Warrior's Way (Relativity) – 1,500 theaters – Reviews
An Asian warrior assassin struggles to finds peace, contentment and perhaps love in a forgotten western town on the edge of the desert.
How do you know that Kate Bosworth is not an in-demand box office commodity? First off, she had to take a role in this random martial-arts movie to sustain her career. Second, she's the only recognizable name in the cast, and she didn't even make the poster! Oh well, The Warrior's Way shouldn't be much of a pock on her resumé because most people probably won't remember it. With next to no advertising, a small theater count, and very weak tracking, it will have trouble doing anything close to the $38M total Ninja Assassin was able to gross last November.

The Nutcracker in 3D (Freestyle) – 2,700 theaters – Reviews
Nine-year-old Mary's dull Viennese Christmas is suddenly filled with excitement and adventure following the arrival of her beloved Uncle Albert and his gift of an enchanted nutcracker. On Christmas night, Mary's new friend, The Nutcracker, or "NC," comes to life and takes her on a wondrous journey into his magical world of fairies, sugarplums, and other Christmas toys which come to life. Mary soon realizes that this fantastical kingdom is facing danger from the tyrannical rule of the evil Rat King and his devious mother. When NC is taken hostage, Mary and her newfound toy friends must uncover the secret of the Rat King to rescue NC and his kingdom.
This movie isn't a tough nut to crack—it will flop. It released into 42 theaters this weekend and pulled in a pitiful $68,208, giving it a per theater average of $1,624. Awful word-of-mouth (0% on RottenTomatoes) and a wide release just may give The Nutcracker one of the worst per theater averages in history this weekend—and that's with 3D!

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TBOJ turns 3!

on Sunday, November 28, 2010   6 comments

Three years ago, today, TBOJ was born! Let's all sing a happy song. Just for fun, why don't you go check out the first ever post I ever wrote on this blog. It's about that Disney princess movie Enchanted, and since I'll be attending the Redskings/Vikings game all day today, you can just pretend that you're actually reading about that other Disney princess movie Tangled in this week's weekend box office report, and then we're all happy, right?

Thanks for being such great readers all this time and putting up with my inconsistencies!

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Friday Box Office: Unbeweavable! 'Tangled' continues to overperform!

on Saturday, November 27, 2010   6 comments

Tangled got a big boost on Friday, as it appears that awareness and word-of-mouth are way better than anyone was expecting. The Rapunzel adventure earned $22 million (just think how much shampoo that could buy!) on Friday, just a touch behind Harry Potter's $23M. Everything else performed pretty much as expected. Full numbers below.

Friday Estimates for November 26, 2010
RankMovie Friday Gross Estimated Weekend
1Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 $23 million $56 million
2Tangled $22 million $54 million
3Megamind $6.3 million $15.5 million
4Unstoppable $4.8 million $12 million
5Burlesque $4.5 million $11.5 million
6Love and Other Drugs $3.8 million $9.5 million
7Faster $3 million $7.5 million
8Due Date $2.8 million $7 million
9The Next Three Days $2.3 million $5.7 million
10Morning Glory $1.7 million $4.2 million

[via Deadline]

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Weekend Preview: 'Tangled' and 'Harry Potter' usher in family-driven holiday season

on Friday, November 26, 2010   3 comments

Thanksgiving Weekendis one of the biggest weekends at the box office every year. Families are all together, and once people shake off their Turkey-comas and finish Black Friday shopping, the movies become a prime destination for parents and kids alike.

It should come as no surprise, then, that a pair of family-targeting films will easily top the box office—the surprising thing is just how much money they are going to make. I'll give you a hint, it's a lot. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
and Tangled (both of which I saw and loved) have performed splendidly on Wednesday and Thursday, earning $25.9M and $20M, respectively. Harry Potter could charm up another $65M over the next three days for a $230M total. Tangled won't be able to surpass the wizard flick over the weekend, but the Rapunzel tale is already performing way above expectations. Most analysts were expecting a $35-40M five-day take for Tangled, but after a likely $48M weekend, Disney's delightful hairy fairy tale should find itself much higher up on the golden stair, pushing a a fantastic $70M total.

The weekend's more adult-focused releases didn't fare nearly as well. Burlesque pulled in $5.4M over the Wednesday to Thursday period, and it looks to be headed for an $18M five-day total. With much poorer reviews, Burlesque will be lucky to finish with half of Dreamgirls' $100M total. Further down the chart, Love and Other Drugs, the Jake Gyllenhaal/Anne Hathaway film that seems to only be about nudity, has earned $4.2M in two days, and it could pull in $9.5M more in the next three. The moral of the story? Keep your clothes on, Hollywood! Stripping doesn't sell!

And then there was Faster, the Dwayne Johnson action film that's acting pretty slow out of the gate. After a sad $3.5M over Wednesday and Thursday, the poorly advertised shoot-em-up may pull in another $8.2M for an $11.7M five-day total. The Rock's last picture, Tooth Fairy, had a great 4.0 multiplier, but even if Faster performed similarly (it won't), it would still be rather disappointing. Things are much rosier for fellow action film Unstoppable, which has already earned $49M and should pull in another $11M over the weekend.

Among other holdovers, Megamind may pull in a family-fueled $15M, pushing its total to a solid $133M, while laugher Due Date may grab $8M more for an $85M total.

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Sometimes things just get 'Tangled'

on Friday, November 26, 2010   6 comments

Here I am at the three year anniversary of my blog, and alas, I've fallen into the trap of inconsistency yet again. If you've been a longtime reader, you know that I've had my ups and downs with TBOJ, but, for the most part, things are usually good during the school year. Posting is usually consistent, videos arrive frequently, and box office musings come quickly. That hasn't been the case for the last six months, and I apologize. I think I've been suffering from a little bit of box office burnout, and there are a few factors involved.

1. There's always the excuse that I'm busy, but so is everyone else in the world, so I won't whine...

2. Working for EW made me a bit of a snooty blogger. It's tough to go back to working for free when you've been getting paid to blog.

3. As I think about finding a job and heading into the real world this year, I sometimes find myself wondering whether box office analysis is a worthy pursuit. I mean, do I want to write about movies forever?

4. In early Fall, I found myself working so hard on box office charts and calculations that I got very tired of box office numbers. This junkie needed a break.

ALL THAT BEING SAID, I am not ready to give up on this website. I really have worked so hard to create and sustain TBOJ, and I'm not about to just let it die. Why, this sudden return of inspiration? Let me tell you:

Today, I was surfing on the internet for hours looking for jobs that might allow me to be fun and creative and expressive after I graduate, and I found the whole experience rather depressing. All these huge companies need you to serve their needs, and they need you to have "x" amount of experience, and they'd like you to perform these specific duties, and you have to be this exact kind of person, and you need to know how to use the following programs—I'm sure you get the idea. As I stare bewilderingly into the face of the American career machine, I'm afraid that I'll simply become another cog in the system. And if I go completely corporate, I may lose the things that set me apart, and I'll have nothing to show that is uniquely mine—my perspective, my passion, my production.

Everyone who has ever gotten anywhere in life has had to work hard at something on their own time with their own money because of their own drive. That is what I want for this website and my box office career. I want to write, and make videos, and analyze movies, money, and what their relationship says about people. I mean, this is a small niche that I'm targeting, but I want to unite box office fans around the world and create a following of box office lovers/junkies/fans/whatever you want to call them.

Of course, I'll have to find a "real job" and support myself financially, but if I want to go on TV and talk about the box office down the road, or write for major publications about my passion, then I need something to show for it! Simply being interested is not enough. TBOJ allows me to be creative and excited right now! You readers support me with your comments and tweets, and I'm ready to get back into writing and making videos and being into the box office once again.

Oh, and just so the headline is applicable, Tangled was really terrific.

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