Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blu-ray 3rd January Release

Contagion (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy)

Warner Brothers / 2011 / 105 Minutes / Rated PG-13
Street Date: January 03, 2012

Overall Grade 3.5 out of 5 Recommended

Genres: Thriller, drama
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne
, Kate Winslet, Jude Law

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Plot Synopsis:
Steven Soderbergh alternates between films about individuals, like Erin Brockovich, and multi-character thrillers, like Contagion, which takes a Traffic-style approach to a deadly pandemic. It also represents a reunion for three actors from The Talented Mr. Ripley as Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon play a suburban Minneapolis couple, while Jude Law (with unflattering dentures) plays a muckraking Bay Area blogger. When Beth (Paltrow) returns from a business trip to Hong Kong, she brings a virus with her that spreads across the world, attracting the attention of people at the Centers for Disease Control (Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, and Jennifer Ehle) and the World Health Organization (Marion Cotillard). Just as virologists frantically try to track down the origins of the pathogen and to find a cure, it starts to mutate, foiling every move they make. Soderbergh, who serves as his own cinematographer, captures every development: false rumors, looting in the streets, and mass graves. Whenever he focuses on emptied-out offices and supermarkets, chillers like I Am Legend spring to mind, even if Contagion avoids most sci-fi/horror tropes, except for a stomach-churning autopsy sequence--one of his few real missteps. Mostly, he concentrates on cool heads dealing with life-and-death issues the best they can. The end result registers as more realistic than Outbreak, if less pulse pounding than Traffic, though the final sequence proves Soderbergh can find the grace notes even amidst an unbearable tragedy.

Disc Features:

  • 'Contagion': How a Virus Changes the World (HD, 2 min.) – A PSA about what you can do to help prevent the spread of viruses.

  • False Comfort Zone: The Reality of 'Contagion (HD, 11 min.) – This is a fact-based discussion on how real a threat a virus like this actually is. What could be done to combat it, and the overwhelming logistics of trying to vaccinate entire populations.
  • The 'Contagion' Detectives (HD, 5 min.) – The cast talks about discussions they had with real-life scientists before the movie began.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]

Sony / 2011 / 99 Minutes / Rated R
Street Date: January 03, 2012

Genres: Suspense, thriller, horror
Starring: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison and Bruce Gleeson

Director: Troy Nixey

Plot Synopsis:
Fondly remembered for scaring the Tab out of impressionable viewers, 1973's television movie Don't Be Afraid of the Dark stands today as a minor classic of irrational dream-logic horror, with an ending that goes straight for the worst-case scenario. Despite (or perhaps because of) its wonky effects, minimalist character development, and snicker-worthy Freudisms, it knows how to linger into the wee small hours. Cowriter-producer Guillermo del Toro's mash note of a remake is a superior movie in virtually all aspects, really, yet it somehow fails to ping the same whimpering neurons. Director Troy Nixey's film follows the same basic blueprint as the source material--a fractured family (Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, and Bailee Madison) moves into a dark old house, only to be tormented by a gaggle of tiny chatterbox demons--but with a much greater emphasis on the mythology and back story of the creatures. Del Toro has long proclaimed his love for the original movie, and it's rather fascinating to see the filmmaker attempt to shoehorn his own trademark obsessions (grim fairy-tale origins, spooky little girls, odd Lovecraftian angles, etc.) into the existing material. Still, such Gothic curlicues, however nifty, ultimately end up diluting the solid-state nightmare fuel of the premise. Aside from a few solid shocks and a strong performance by Holmes, this heartfelt redo is unlikely to have the same lasting effect on audiences as the much cruder original. Instead of focusing on the hows and whys, that one just wanted to freak the viewer out.

Shark Night [Blu-ray]

20th Century Fox / 2011 / 91 Minutes / Rated PG-13
Street Date: January 03, 2012

Genres: Action, shark

Starring: Sara Paxton and Dustin Milligan

Plot Synopsis:
A weekend at a lake house in the louisiana gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to shark attacks.

Disc Features:

  • Shark Attack! Kill Machine! (HD, 6 min.) – A montage of all the kills in the movie.
  • Shark Night's Survival Guide (HD, 4 min.) – Trivia about sharks using clips from the movie.
  • Fake Sharks, Real Scares (HD, 5 min.) – A featurette about the film's CGI sharks.
  • Ellis' Island (HD, 4 min.) – A very short making of featurette with standard promo interviews.
  • Trailer (HD, 2 min.) – There's a theatrical trailer included.


Justified: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray]

Sony / 2011 / 546 Minutes / Unrated
Street Date: January 03, 2012 






Genres: TV series, thriller, action

Timothy Olyphant and Nick Searcy

Plot Synopsis:
In the aftermath of the deadly showdown that freed Harlan County from the Crowder family crime reign, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens must now take on even greater criminal forces looking to seize power - including hellbent nemesis Boyd Crowder and the arrival of brutal, new adversary Mags Bennett (Emmy® Winner Margo Martindale). Filled with treacherous twists at every turn... the second season of "Justified" proves "spectacularly entertaining" (TV Guide) and has established itself as a show for the ages.

Ghost Protocol Closing The Curtain of 2011 For Box-Office Dec.30 - Jan.1

           Last weekend, Tom Cruise rang in 2012 by being the top draw around the world once again as his latest action sequel Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol topped the box office over the long Friday-to-Monday New Year's holiday weekend. The Paramount release saw its four-day gross dip 13% to $38.2M. according to final studio figures, which lifted the cume to a sturdy $141.2M allowing the new chapter to surpass the $134M final domestic take of the previous film in the series, 2006's Mission: Impossible 3, in a mere 18 days of release. Successfully reviving a franchise that was thought to be dead, the $145M-budgeted Ghost Protocol is now on track to reach the $200M mark while the global gross is on a trajectory to smash the $500M barrier.
          Overseas, the newest Mission: Impossible ruled for the third consecutive frame with an estimated $37M over the standard Friday-to-Sunday period from 54 markets for a robust international cume to date of $225.3M and global tally of $366.5M. Leading territory totals include $35.7M in Japan, $34.8M in Korea, $14.8M in France, $12.7M in the U.K., $12.2M in Russia, and $10.1M in India. With key markets like China and Italy still to open, the overseas tally will climb well above $300M.
          Finishing the long weekend in second place was the season's other star-driven action sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which experienced an identical 13% slide to $26.9M over the Friday-to-Monday period. The big-budget Warner Bros. film has now grossed $136.9M after 18 days of play and is running 18% behind the $166.4M of its 2009 predecessor with Christmas and New Year's included in both totals. A final of $175-200M seems likely putting it below the $209M of the first Sherlock.
          Following Robert Downey Jr. for the third straight weekend, the G-rated kidpic Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked enjoyed a 10% bump to $21.5M boosting the sum to $97.8M. The Fox pic is running 34% behind the pace of the first Alvin from 2007 which also opened in mid-December before the big holiday bump family films receive when schools close for Christmas. Chipwrecked may end up in the $130-140M range.
          Holiday holdovers hope to keep the cash rolling in through mid-January since most college students are still out of school. Plus only one new film opens wide next weekend - the horror film The Devil Inside in 2,000+ theaters - so there will be little competition from new players until January 13 which is the start of the lucrative four-day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend which tends to be very busy at multiplexes.
Holding fourth place was 2011's top-grossing R-rated drama, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which took in $19.2M over four days raising the 13-day total to $60M. The Friday-to-Monday take was off a scant 2% giving the Sony title a better hold than the other two major movies playing to mature adults - Mission: Impossible and Sherlock Holmes - which each saw a decline of 13%. The American remake of the popular Swedish crime thriller should easily reach $90M and could possibly even hit the $100M mark in North America.
          In its first full weekend of release, Steven Spielberg's War Horse grossed $18.1M over four days from 2,547 locations for a solid $7,091 average. Disney's release of the DreamWorks production has resulted in $44.1M in the nine days since its Christmas Day debut last Sunday. A final take of around $75M may result unless it shows strong legs.
          Matt Damon's family dramedy We Bought a Zoo followed with $17M representing a nice 16% jump over its Christmas weekend debut. The Fox title has banked $44.5M in 11 days. Close behind was Spielberg's second offering of the season, The Adventures of Tintin, with $15.4M - up 2% - raising the total to $51.4M in 13 days.
          The Warner Bros. dud New Year's Eve profited from its namesake holiday and saw sales soar by 46% to $7.6M. With $47.3M to date, the all-star comedy should see its numbers tumble into the new year now that its story is no longer relevant. Bad word-of-mouth won't help either. The 3D alien attack thriller The Darkest Hour ranked ninth with $5.2M, up 3%, giving Summit a modest $14.2M thus far. Oscar hopeful The Descendants rounded out the top ten surging 31% to $4.3M putting the Fox Searchlight hit at $40.3M with much of awards season still to go. Golden Globe wins and key Oscar nominations could keep the George Clooney film going all through January.

# Title Dec 30 - Jan 2

Cumulative Distributor

1 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol $ 38,202,439

$ 141,186,646 Paramount
2 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 26,887,893

136,910,219 Warner Bros.
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked 21,488,779

97,848,114 Fox
4 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 19,190,649

59,950,953 Sony
5 War Horse 18,060,743

44,089,786 Disney
6 We Bought a Zoo 17,003,682

44,490,999 Fox
7 The Adventures of Tintin 15,361,463

51,400,450 Paramount
8 New Year's Eve 7,592,773

47,257,823 Warner Bros.
9 The Darkest Hour 5,240,912

14,215,634 Summit
10 The Descendants 4,291,019

40,315,665 Fox Searchlight

11 The Muppets 3,693,812

83,561,073 Disney
12 Hugo 3,320,903

50,313,495 Paramount
13 Young Adult 2,700,114

12,669,252 Paramount
14 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 2,655,680

276,125,476 Summit
15 The Sitter 2,172,279

26,816,340 Fox
16 The Artist 1,715,143

5,448,717 Weinstein Co.
17 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 1,409,896

4,280,214 Focus
18 My Week With Marilyn 1,196,848

9,207,220 Weinstein Co.
19 Puss in Boots 1,006,899

145,738,327 Paramount
20 Arthur Christmas 936,096

46,073,163 Sony

Blu-ray 27th December Release

Final Destination 5 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy)

Warner Brothers / 2011 / 92 Minutes / Rated R
Street Date: December 27, 2011

Genres: Suspense, thriller

Starring: Emma Bell and David Koechner

Director: Steven Quale

Plot Synopsis: Death is just as omnipresent as ever, and in Final Destination 5 it strikes again. During the bus ride to a corporate retreat, Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) has a premonition in which he and most of his friends — as well as numerous others — die in a horrific bridge collapse. When his vision ends, events begin to mirror what he had seen, and he frantically ushers as many of his colleagues — including his friend, Peter (Miles Fisher), and girlfriend, Molly (Emma Bell) — away from the disaster before Death can claim them. But these unsuspecting souls were never supposed to survive, and in a terrifying race against time, the ill-fated group tries to discover a way to escape Death’s sinister agenda.

Disc Features:

  • 'Final Destination 5:' Circle of Death (HD, 6 min.) - Be sure to watch the movie before this noise-filled special feature because it spoils the twist ending.
  • Alternate Death Scenes (HD, 16 min.) - There is no reason why this feature should be 16 minutes long. It doesn't just show two different death scenes, it show everything leading up to them. Instead of showing the last two seconds of the massage parlor death that differs from the theatrical cut, it also shows the identical ten minutes prior to it. Instead of showing just the 30-second change from the laser eye surgery machine, it shows everything that happens into the four minutes leading up to it.
  • Visual Effect of Death: Collapsing Bridge (HD, 9 min.) - Instead of breaking down how the strong visual effects were created, this feature merely splits the screen into two and fills one half with the original shot and the other shot with the final plate. They play out harmoniously, showing the before and after. No description or explanation is given.
  • Visual Effects of Death: Airplane Crash (HD, 3 min.) 

Apollo 18 (Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy)

Starz/Anchor Bay / 2011 / 88 Minutes / Rated PG-13
Street Date: December 27, 2011

Genres: Sci-fi, thriller

Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego

Plot Synopsis: Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 7, 1972, was the last manned mission to the moon. But two years later, in December of 1974, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.

The Borgias: The First Season [Blu-ray]

Paramount / 2011 / 467 Minutes / Unrated
Street Date: December 27, 2011 







Genres: Drama, History
Jeremy Irons

Plot Synopsis: The Borgias is a complex, unvarnished portrait of one of history’s most intriguing families. Oscar®-winner Jeremy Irons stars as Rodrigo Borgia, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the Borgia family who ascends to the highest circles of power within Renaissance-era Italy. The series begins as Rodrigo (Irons), becomes Pope Alexander VI, propelling him, his two Machiavellian sons Cesare and Juan, and his scandalously beautiful daughter, Lucrezia, to become the most powerful and influential family of the Italian Renaissance.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

M.I: Ghost Protocol Is The Christmas Weekend Choice For Box-Office Dec.23 - Dec.25

          Scoring his first number one film in a lead role since his last turn as Ethan Hunt, Tom Cruise scaled to the top of the charts over the Christmas session with his latest spy sequel Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol which topped the North American box office in its first round of wide release. The top three spots were all sophomore sequels playing musical chairs from last week's rankings as the batch of new holiday releases were met with more modest turn-outs settling for slots in the middle of the top ten. Overall sales were somewhat slow but activity picked up dramatically on Christmas Sunday and studios are hoping that the week ahead will see heavy traffic at multiplexes thanks to the extra time off so many people will have. Christmas Eve is always a soft moviegoing day due to last-minute holiday distractions and theaters closing early so with it falling on the prime day of Saturday this year, weekend grosses took a beating for every movie.
         Expanding nationwide after five days of exclusive play on large-format screens, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was the top film among moviegoers over Santa weekend grossing $44.1M over the four-day Friday-to-Monday period. The fourth installment in the long-running Paramount series averaged $12,794 from 3,448 theaters including IMAX sites which was very good given the hit all films took on Christmas Eve. Adding in the earlier limited run in IMAX and other large-format venues, the cume stands at a solid $76.6M with a red hot holiday week still to come when everyday behaves like a Saturday. The CinemaScore grade was a good A-.
         Ghost Protocol will easily beat the $134M domestic final of the last film, 2006's Mission: Impossible III, and although it is too early to conclude, it also has a shot at challenging the $215.4M of 2000's MI2 to become the top-grossing installment of the series. After the disappointing results five years ago of the last flick, and all the negative publicity Cruise attracted in recent years, most thought this franchise could not make a comeback like this.
          Overseas it dominated again with an estimated $58M through Monday lifting the international total to $155M and the global cume to $232M.
          Dropping in its second weekend to second place was the tentpole sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows with $31M over four days raising the 11-day tally to $89.8M. Even factoring out the Christmas Eve effect, it was a large decline for a pricey pic coming off of a softer-than-expected opening as the three-day period fell by half. All the new choices for grown-ups certainly affected the turn out and teens are not contributing significantly to the grosses.
         Fellow sophomore sequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked fared a little better dropping from its opening frame to a Friday-to-Monday take of $19.5M ranking third for the session. The Fox release has taken in $56.5M in 11 days. With kids now out of school and on break, the studio is expecting stellar daily grosses for the next week.
         Sony's much-hyped The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opened in fourth place with a mediocre start grossing $19.5M over the four-day holiday weekend and $27.8M since debuting on Tuesday night. Directed by David Fincher, the R-rated remake of the hit Swedish film averaged $6,692 from 2,914 locations and like other films is hoping to pick up solid numbers during the holiday week ahead. Reviews were quite good and the Daniel Craig starrer has even scored some notices during awards season, however the dark and violent subject matter coupled with intense competition for the attention of mature adults led to an underwhelming result over the happy and cheery yuletide holiday. Still, a domestic final of $100M cannot be ruled out this early in the run as moviegoers continue to catch up on films they are interested in.
          Steven Spielberg had a bumpy start to his Christmas double feature offering for North American movie fans. The animated actioner The Adventures of Tintin bowed to just $15.1M this four-day weekend with $19.8M across the six-day debut period of Wednesday-to-Monday. The domestic total including the earlier run in Quebec which began on December 9 is $23.1M. The 3D Paramount release played in 3,087 theaters and averaged $4,893 over four days but with sensational reviews is hoping to find American audiences over time. The property is not too well-known in the United States which always posed a challenge. Tintin opened in Europe and most international territories in October and has banked a stellar $240M+ overseas already making the U.S. not too important to the overall picture. Other films generated more excitement with parents and kids have been turning up in bigger numbers for the more familiar Alvin and the Chipmunks pic even though it is in its second weekend.
          Also not fast and furious out of the gate, but well-positioned to gain some ground during the holiday week ahead, was the Matt Damon drama We Bought a Zoo which opened on Friday and collected $14.6M over the long weekend from 3,117 locations for a $4,685 average. The PG-rated film was not based on any brand that would lead to upfront excitement and Damon is not much of a box office draw outside of the action genre so Fox has been counting on positive buzz from regular moviegoers to help it sell the film. Two rounds of sneak previews weeks ago and the two days of nationwide release before Christmas Day were intended to get the feel-good film in front of ordinary people who would then spread strong word-of-mouth over the holidays allowing those recommendations to kick in from December 25 onwards. An encouraging A grade from CinemaScore indicates that the product is indeed pleasing ticket buyers so Zoo numbers will have to be watched in the days and weeks ahead.
          Reviews have been mixed and won't help the cause too much, but working in the film's favor is that it is the only truly American film for grown-ups among all the major films this holiday week. Other films feature some combination of foreign settings, charcters, and actors. Studio research showed that the Zoo audience was 58% female and 59% 25 and older.
         The World War I drama War Horse enjoyed a solid debut on Christmas Sunday with $7.5M on opening day and $14.5M for the two-day Sunday-Monday span. Released by Disney, the PG-13 film averaged a strong $6,114 over only two days and was able to capitalize on good reviews and the brand name of Steven Spielberg who shot the film while Tintin's extensive effects work was being done. Producer DreamWorks is hoping for a long run with good notices from audiences during the holiday week ahead to help sell it to a wider audience.
         Also opening on Christmas Day was the thriller The Darkest Hour which bowed to $3M on Sunday and $5.1M over two days. The Summit release averaged only $2,182 across two days from 2,324 playdates and earned a discouraging C+ CinemasScore grade.

# Title Dec 23 - 26

Cumulative Distributor Dec 23 - 25

1 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol $ 44,115,000

$ 76,550,000 Paramount $ 29,500,000
2 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 31,010,000

89,764,000 Warner Bros. 20,260,000
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked 19,528,294

56,468,481 Fox 12,585,192
4 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 19,500,000

27,750,000 Sony 12,750,000
5 The Adventures of Tintin 15,105,000

23,112,000 Paramount 9,705,000
6 We Bought a Zoo 14,604,645

14,604,645 Fox 9,360,434
7 War Horse 14,527,972

14,527,972 Disney 7,515,402
8 New Year's Eve 5,195,000

34,532,000 Warner Bros. 3,310,000
9 The Darkest Hour 5,072,000

5,072,000 Summit 3,000,000
10 The Descendants 3,271,980

33,563,532 Fox Searchlight 2,073,371

Blu-ray 20th December Release

Dolphin Tale (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy)

Warner Brothers / 2011 / 113 Minutes / Rated PG
Street Date: December 20, 2011

Genres: Drama, family

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Nathan Gamble

Director: Charles Martin Smith

Plot Synopsis: Inspired by a true story, Dolphin Tale is about courage, ingenuity, and never giving up. Sawyer (Nathan Gamble) is a young boy who's struggling with school and doesn't have many friends other than his cousin Kyle (Austin Stowell). When Kyle, a star swimmer, joins the army to earn money for college and is called to active duty, it looks like Sawyer is destined to spend his summer alone tinkering in the garage and attending summer school. Sawyer stumbles upon a dolphin that's been severely injured, becomes fascinated by dolphins, and is suddenly intellectually engaged like never before. In spite of his shyness, he forms a friendship with marine rescue doctor Clay (Harry Connick Jr.) and his daughter Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) and, more importantly, a special and very powerful bond with the rescued dolphin, who's dubbed Winter. As the newly formed team struggles to save Winter's life and ensure her continued safety, financial concerns, an accident that leaves Kyle crippled for life, and a hurricane all seem to join forces against them. In the end, it is Sawyer's determination, coupled with a little bit of luck and a lot of ingenuity from an army doctor (Morgan Freeman) who specializes in prosthetics, that helps make each member of the team, including Kyle and Winter, whole again. The talented cast does a great job of creating completely believable characters, but Gamble, Zuehlsdorff, Connick, Freeman, Stowell, and of course Winter, who plays herself, all deserve special mention. While the story of an injured animal rescued and rehabilitated has certainly been told before, this film is emotionally powerful and will absolutely captivate children and adults alike.

Disc Features:

  • 'Ormie and the Cookie Jar' (HD, 4 min.) - An out-of-place low-budget animated short about a fat pig trying to get to a cookie jar on the top of a fridge. This unfun short is reminiscent of classic Looney Toons or 'Tom and Jerry' adventures – watch an unlikely character try time and time again to get something he's not supposed to have. Plan after plan, it never works.
  • Deleted Scene: 'Winter Meets Panama' (HD, 2 min.) - If you go to, you'll look at streaming live-feed cameras on Winter's tank in Florida. Her pool-mate is another injured dolphin named Panama. This deleted scene recreates the first time they met.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 3 min.)

  • The Hutash Rainbow Bridge (HD, 2 min.) - There's a scene in the film where Harry Connick, Jr. explains an old mythical tale of how dolphins came to existence.
  • At Home with the Water (HD, 13 min.) - This short behind the scenes look at the film shows what it was like working with Winter (the real Winter played herself in the film).
  • 'Dolphin Tale:' Spotlight on a Scene (HD, 7 min.) - See how the animators brought the CG dolphins to unrealistic life for the opening credits.

  • Winter's Inspiration (HD, 18 min.) - This feature is the real meat and bones of all the special features. This is where we see the real footage of Winter's rescue, see what it was like when her tail was dying and see the firsthand emotional interaction between Winter and the disabled children and war vets that come to see her. 

Colombiana (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]

Sony / 2011 / 111 Minutes / Unrated
Street Date: December 20, 2011

Genres: Action, thriller

Starring: Zoe Saldana and Lennie James

Director: Olivier Megaton

Plot Synopsis: From writer/producer Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional ) comes Colombiana. Zoe Saldana plays a young woman who has grown up to be an assassin after witnessing the murder of her parents as a child. Turning herself into a professional killer, she remains focused on her ultimate goal: to hunt down and get revenge on the mobster responsible for her parents’ deaths.

Disc Features:

  • Colombiana: The Makin of (HD, 25 min) — EPK-style look into the movie's making, filled with the usual praises about the director, story and performances. Cast & crew interviews discuss shooting locations, design and stunt choreography while showing lots of BTS footage throughout.
  • Cataleya's Journey (HD, 10 min) — A short piece dedicated to the film's main character and development, allotting enough time to the young, talented actress who played the child Cataleya.
  • Trailers (HD) — The same set of previews seen at startup.
  • Assassins (HD, 12 min) — A piece on the character as a professional killer, her personality and Saldana's preparation for the role.
  • Training a Killer (HD, 6 min) — Saldana talks about her commitment to the role and the physical training she endured.
  • Take the Ride (HD, 8 min) — Another promotional piece providing a summary of the plot, a quick overview of the production and interviews with various members of the cast & crew.

Margin Call [Blu-ray]

Lionsgate / 2011 / 107 Minutes / Rated R
Street Date: December 20, 2011

Genres: Drama

Starring: Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany

Director: J.C.Chandor

Plot Synopsis: A thriller that revolves around the key people at a investment bank over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis.

Straw Dogs [Blu-ray]

Sony / 2011 / 110 Minutes / Rated R
Street Date: December 20, 2011







Genres: Thriller, drama

Starring: James Marsden, Kate Botsworth
Director: Rod Lurie

Plot Synopsis: A young couple (James Marsden and Kate Bosworth) moves to a quaint southern town. Soon their perfect getaway turns out to become a living hell when dark secrets and lethal passions spiral out of control. Trapped by a pack of depraved locals led by a ruthless predator (Alexander Skarsgard, TV’s True Blood), they face a night of agonizing suffering and endless bloodshed. Now their only hope for survival is to become more savage than their merciless torturers.

Disc Features:

  • Audio Commentary
  • Courting Controversy: Remaking a Classic (HD, 8 min)
  • The Dynamics of Power: the Ensemble (HD, 6 min)
  • Inside the Siege: the Ultimate Showdown (HD, 7 min) 
  • Creating the Sumner House: the Production Design (HD, 4 min)
  • Trailers (HD)


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sherlock Holmes 2 Settling The Score Before X'Mas For Box-Office Dec.16 - Dec.18

          Last weekend. three big Hollywood sequels led the North American box office pumping in some badly needed new content but that didn't stop the overall marketplace from suffering double digit losses over last year and the year before. Studios are hoping that audiences are just busy right now with holiday shopping and end-of-year activities and that their films will be well-positioned to take advantage of the extra free time people will soon have in the days ahead.
         Doing what its predecessor couldn't, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows debuted at number one with $39.6M from 3,703 theaters for a solid $10,704 average, according to final studio figures. The $145M-budgeted Warner Bros. sequel debuted 36% below the $62.3M of the first Holmes which launched in second place behind Avatar on the Christmas frame two years ago over what was the largest weekend in box office history. Since audiences are historically less available in mid-December, the follow-up was never expected to open at the same heights. Shadows earned good reviews from critics and an encouraging A- grade from moviegoers polled by CinemaScore. Sales on Saturday, however, showed virtually no growth over Friday's opening day. The marketplace for adults will get crowded very quickly in the days ahead so early positive buzz will be crucial as audiences start making up their decisions for what to see over the upcoming holiday break.
          Sherlock entered only six international markets day and date with domestic and grossed an estimated $14.7M from 2,113 screens including $5.8M in the United Kingdom where it ranked number one by a wide margin. Italy was close behind with $5M while Korea and Germany open later this week.
Opening in second place was Fox's kidpic threequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked which took in $23.2M from 3,723 locations for a $6,244 average. It was well below the debuts of its two predecessors as the first Alvin gave families something new and fresh on the same weekend of 2007 with a $44.3M debut while the second installment launched over the lucrative Christmas frame with $48.9M in 2009. Chipwrecked opened while kids were still in school and parents were busy with holiday shopping so it was expected to have a softer bow. And aside from a cruise ship storyline, Chipwrecked offered almost nothing new to the table. Last year this weekend Yogi Bear bowed to $16.4M and finished with over six times that amount after playing through the holidays.
         But while the start was slower, the road ahead looks promising since most films rolling into theaters this holiday season are aimed at adults and there are no new G-rated films for kids opening for the rest of the year. Fox is hoping to capture the family crowd as more children get out of school and more parents get time off to take trips to the multiplexes for some holiday fun. PG-rated competitors will include Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin which is based on a brand that is less familiar to American kids and Matt Damon's We Bought a Zoo which is less zany for kids looking for laughs. Studio research showed that females made up 54% of the crowd and the film earned a good B+ overall grade from CinemaScore.
        Chipwrecked opened overseas on 3,800 screens in 38 markets and grossed an estimated $14.5M with only a handful of the major markets debuting like the United Kingdom, Korea, and Spain.
        Paramount found itself in third place with a unique limited release of its action tentpole Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol which grossed $12.8M from only 425 locations which included about 300 IMAX venues plus other large-format sites. The $145M-budgeted Tom Cruise spy flick averaged a sensational $30,083 per location helped by the higher ticket prices. Including the first shows on Thursday evening starting at 6:00pm, the total was $13.4M. It was a sensational start for an unorthodox move designed to showcase the action film with limited availability in only the biggest possible screens in hopes of sparking strong word-of-mouth that would fuel interest for the film's regular nationwide run which begins this Wednesday. Adding to the grosses was the special prologue for the Warner Bros. tentpole The Dark Knight Rises which played on selected full large-screen IMAX sites.
        The tactic was needed for three reasons. First, the franchise is old having been around for over 15 years with the last installment underperforming in 2006. This helps to eventize the film adding to the excitement. Second, Cruise has suffered from serious popularity issues over the last several years with many moviegoers being repelled just by his name alone. He is not the box office draw that he used to be and this special IMAX release allows action fans to focus on the high-octane entertainment and thrills they get and shifts attention away from the star. Indeed, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol earned the best reviews of any action film this year. And third, the marketplace for grown-up fare will be super-competitive this holiday season so this release aims to get buzz going so audiences choose it first instead of other franchise offerings flooding theaters.
        Overseas results were spectacular with the new Mission: Impossible ruling the international box office with an opening of an estimated $68.2M from 6,079 theaters across 36 markets with many seeing the IMAX version open a few days ahead of conventional screens. Leading the way was Korea with a stellar $11.1M, Japan with $9M, Russia with $6.1M, and India with $4M. Cruise and company have been on a worldwide tour hosting premieres and generating plenty of publicity to help drive in business. Much of Latin America will see openings this coming week including Mexico and Brazil.
         With box office down once again versus last year, 3D became a much smaller part of the picture this year. Last year, four of the top five films this weekend enjoyed 3D surcharges. But this frame, the top seven films were all presented in 2D only and just one new opener for the rest of the year will be a 3D one - Tintin.
Dropping from first place was the star-packed holiday comedy New Year's Eve which fell a reasonable 44% to $7.3M giving Warner Bros. a mere $24.7M in ten days. A final gross near the $50M mark seems likely.     
         Fellow underperforming sophomore comedy The Sitter tumbled 53% to $4.6M bumping its ten-day take to only $17.9M. Look for Fox to end its run with the Jonah Hill pic at $30M. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 followed with $4.2M, off 46%, putting Summit's total at $266.3M.
         Paramount's acclaimed Martin Scorsese film Hugo, which earned three Golden Globe nominations including Best Picture and Best Director, dropped 39% to $3.7M giving the pricey train station saga $39.2M to date.
        With chipmunks stealing away kids, Arthur Christmas fell by its largest amount yet falling 45% to $3.6M giving Sony only $38.5M so far. The 3D toon grossed an additional $9.7M overseas this weekend to raise the international sum to $72.8M and global tally to $111.3M. Next was Disney's The Muppets with $3.5M, down 50%, for a $71M total.
         In tenth place was the Charlize Theron film Young Adult with $3.4M while expanding nationwide from eight to 986 theaters in its second weekend. Averaging a dull $3,451 per site, the $12M-budgeted Paramount release fell below the wide breaks of past end-of-year expansions for director Jason Reitman. His last film Up in the Air, also released by Paramount, fared much better with $11.3M and $5,947 average from 1,895 theaters over the Christmas holiday frame in 2009 while 2007's Juno did $10.6M and a $10,436 average on the session in between Christmas and New Year's. Both widened later in their runs in their fourth round. Total stands at $3.8M including the limited run and a wider release is planned for January 13.
         With moviegoers about to get extended breaks from work and school this week, the marketplace is about to get awful crowded, awful fast. Studios are hoping to mine the riches as weekday sales will soon start to get stronger with an assortment of high-profile films hitting theaters in the coming days. Wednesday will see Sony release The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 2,800 locations while Paramount debuts Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin in 3,000 houses and expands Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol into a full wide release in 3,400 total sites. On Friday, Fox opens the Matt Damon starrer We Bought a Zoo in 3,000 theaters which will be followed on Sunday by the Christmas Day bows of Spielberg's other offering War Horse from Disney in 2,300 and Summit's suspense thriller The Darkest Hour in 2,200 locations. Plus, many awards contenders will open or expand throughout the next two weeks.
         Opening to good but not stellar results in platform release was the Sony Classics release Carnage with $79,795 from five houses for a $15,959 average. Based on the hit play about two sets of parents dealing with trouble between their kids, the Roman Polanski film starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, and Christoph Waltz earned good reviews but has not been a major player during awards season outside of its recent double Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress - Comedy or Musical for Foster and Winslet.
         Other indie films continued to expand. The Focus thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy widened from four to 16 theaters and grossed $456,777 for a strong $28,549 average and $879,548 cume. The Artist, which led all films with six Globe nods, expanded slightly from 16 to 17 sites and collected $287,367 with a $16,904 average. The Weinstein Co. has taken in $1.3M so far.

# Title Dec 16 - 18

Cumulative Distributor

1 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $ 39,637,079

$ 39,637,079 Warner Bros.
2 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked 23,244,744

23,244,744 Fox
3 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (lg scrn) 12,785,204

13,385,204 Paramount
4 New Year's Eve 7,310,413

24,716,167 Warner Bros.
5 The Sitter 4,608,681

17,929,987 Fox
6 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 4,197,893

266,327,974 Summit
7 Hugo 3,707,848

39,155,709 Paramount
8 Arthur Christmas 3,554,286

38,501,631 Sony
9 The Muppets 3,520,926

70,994,571 Disney
10 Young Adult 3,403,159

3,843,083 Paramount

11 The Descendants 3,268,357

28,645,909 Fox Searchlight
12 Jack and Jill 1,228,843

70,506,629 Sony
13 Happy Feet Two 1,077,329

58,909,873 Warner Bros.
14 Tower Heist 901,025

75,788,740 Universal
15 Immortals 851,371

81,889,376 Relativity
16 My Week With Marilyn 591,385

6,087,130 Weinstein Co.
17 Puss in Boots 465,209

142,775,402 Paramount
18 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 456,777

879,548 Focus
19 J. Edgar 386,494

35,718,897 Warner Bros.
20 Shame 307,254

1,231,295 Fox Searchlight