Across its first weekAvatarended up bringing in $137 million in domestic box office, just the 28th largest opening week. Yet, what was incredible about Avatar was how the film’s momentum continued togrowacross its run. Most blockbusters lose 50% of their box office gross in the second weekend and continue dwindling each and every week until they leave theaters. Avatarlost just 1.8% in its second weekend, its third weekend brought in $68.5 million, a drop of just 11% from its opening weekend. It set the box office record for largest third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh weekends. In multiple weekends, it actually grew from the prior week. It stayed at number one at the box office fora mind-boggling8 consecutive weeks. Add it all up, andAvatarended up breaking the domestic record for largest total box office with a lifetime gross of $761 million. In international markets it brought in more than $2 billion at the box office, bringing its worldwide total to nearly $2.8 billion, another box office record. Only one other recent movie had a comparable run –Titanicstayed at number one at the box office for an astounding 17 consecutive weeks. It’s second all-time at the box office with a worldwide lifetime gross just south of $2.2 billion. Adjusted for inflation,Titanicwould be closer to $4 billion in global box office. Clearly, breaking the box office record won’t be easy. BothAvatarandTitanicfall in the “maybe once every decade” cultural sensation category. Each film was “must see” in theaters, and both rode a wave of buzz and word of mouth. Yet, records are made to be broken, andAvatar’s box office record is no different.
‘Captain Phillips’ and other new movies, reviewed
Photo by Hopper Stone Captain Phillips (PG-13) ‘Captain Phillips,’ a taut, finely crafted, superbly acted maritime thriller, is just one of a wave of fabulous films heading our way. Its autumn, my friends, a time of falling leaves and soaring cinematic standards. Hallelujah, and pass the buttered popcorn. Ann Hornaday The Summit (R) Because The Summit jumps around in time and because the events on the mountain happened over two days and at locations often far apart, the already garbled chronology of deaths is made even more confusing. Michael OSullivan When Comedy Went to School (Unrated) At first, the movie sets out to prove that the mountain resort was the seminal location for mid-century Jewish comedians to get their start. But after so many detours into other terrain, the movie feels muddled and unwieldy. Stephanie Merry The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete (R) Wright and Mackie have small parts, playing a homeless veteran and a pimp, respectively. Like all the other grown-up actors, their work is fine and tightly focused. But its Brooks and Dizon that youre not likely to forget. They may be tiny little kids, but they deliver outsize performances. Michael OSullivan Escape from Tomorrow (Unrated) As a social critique, ‘Escape From Tomorrow’ is weak. At times, the filmmaker seems to suggest that Disneys mechanistic manipulation of the imagination after all, its park designers are called imagineers is stifling original thought. Michael OSullivan Machete Kills (R) Bad acting, narrative illogic, inattention to character development and storytelling so choppy that the film seems to have been edited with a, well, machete are what you expect from a movie like this, which originated as a fake trailer incorporated into the 2007 film Grindhouse. Michael OSullivan Romeo and Juliet (PG-13) ‘Wherefore art thou Romeo?’ remains, as do the plays other most famous lines, but screenwriter Julian Fellowes, the creator of ‘Downton Abbey,’ has dumbed down much of the remaining dialogue. Does that mean it will appeal to a broader audience? Its possible cursing ‘zounds’ is so 1597, after all but replacing existing text with old adages about the road to hell being paved with good intentions or striking while the iron is hot comes across as lazy. Stephanie Merry A.C.O.D. (R) The cast is uniformly strong, with standout performances from Lynch, OHara, Jenkins, Poehler and Howard. Jessica Alba also makes a nice, if brief, appearance as a fellow child of divorce with whom Carter almost cheats on Lauren.
The Big Business of Big Hits: How Blockbusters Conquered Movies, TV, and Music
More of us want to see Iron Man III than an artsy film. So studios will make morefranchisefilms. More sequels to sequels. To complain about movie studios overspending is odd, because the ticket price doesn’t change. When else do we complain about companies spending too much on us? This is to their marketing advantage, too. You have to spend a certain amount to reach everybody in the country at leastonce. It doesn’t cost as much to reach everybody twice. There are discounts when you do theselarger media buys, so the studios buy up a whole lot of advertising in one go. It’s more expensive tocobble together a bunch of markets. Smaller films are released in NYC and LA first, and if they catch on, they go to other markets. That is a very expensive strategy to run for every movie.
You can buy single episodes and movies for just a little money. And note that you don’t need an Amazon Prime account ($80 per year) to buy and watch a single episode, season pack, or movie. With a Prime account, you can get some content for no extra cost, but not all. Some shows that Amazon carries appear in the Instant store within 24 hours of their airtime, while others lag by a season or two. It all depends on the show. Since we’re on the topic of Amazon Prime, let me add that you can indeed sign up for that service to get access to Amazon’s full catalog of content to stream (that is, watch while connected via the Internet). Both Amazon Prime and content purchased with Amazon Instant Video are supported on most TV streaming boxes and services, which means you can watch those shows and movies on a regular television set if connected to the Internet. Google Play is Google’s answer to the one-stop shop for entertainment. It’s popular among Android users in particular, but anyone with a Google ID can use it online. Similar to the iTunes Store, Google Play’s store has sections for books, music, apps, and more, in addition to an area for movies and TV. And just like in iTunes or on Amazon (see previous paragraph), you can buy or rent single movies or television show episodes, or entire seasons of television content. The other big players in the streaming business are of course Netflix ($7.99 per month) and Hulu Plus (also $7.99 per month). You can watch anything in their catalogs for that monthly subscription price.