G.I. JOE WOUNDED ON SUNDAY
Suggesting that "Mission accomplished!" may have been declared prematurely over the weekend debut of G.I. Joe, final box office figures indicated on Monday that Paramount's estimate for the movie's ticket sales on Sunday was off by some $1.5 million. The studio's final count for the weekend was therefore $54.7 million, rather than its original estimate of $56.2 million. (On Sunday afternoon all major studios issue a weekend estimate based upon actual ticket sales for Friday and Saturday and an "educated guess" on what their releases will earn on Sunday.) In reporting the disparity, the Los Angeles Times observed today (Tuesday): "The fact that G.I. Joe didn't meet the studio's estimate signals combined with the movie's sizable 18-percent drop from Friday to Saturday, indicates it may be suffering from weak audience buzz and could experience a sizable drop next weekend of more than 60 percent." With the film reportedly costing $175 million to produce and an additional $50-75 million to promote and distribute, the film will need to earn at least $300 million to break even. Another bad sign: a camcorded version of the movie has already hit BitTorrent and came in at No. 9 among TorrentFreak's list of the most pirated movies of the week.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Paramount, $54,713,046, (New); 2. Julie & Julia, Sony, $20,027,956, (New); 3. G-Force, Disney, $9,870,594, 3 Wks. ($86,183,076); 4. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Warner Bros., $8,928,349, 4 Wks. ($273,848,633); 5. Funny People, Universal, $7,986,435, 2 Wks. ($40,537,755); 6. The Ugly Truth, Sony, $6,750,125, 3 Wks. ($68,838,257); 7. A Perfect Getaway, Universal, $5,948,555, (New); 8. Aliens in the Attic, 20th Century Fox, $4,021,478, 2 Wks. ($16,314,371); 9. (500) Days of Summer, Fox Searchlight, $3,739,702, 4 Wks. ($12,357,265); 10. Orphan, Warner Bros., $3,674,306, 3 Wks. ($34,766,199).
THE PROPOSAL BIGGER THAN SEX AND THE CITY
The New York Times has taken note of the fact that, with the $2.8 million it earned last weekend, the Sandra Bullock starrer The Proposal has now reached $155 million in total domestic ticket sales. That, noted the newspaper, puts it ahead of the total domestic tally for Sex and the City and firmly plants the movie "as one of the most successful romantic comedies of the decade." When total sales, including DVD receipts, television rights, and foreign box office are factored in, The Proposal should wind up with about $172 million in profit, according to media analysts at SNL Kagan cited by the Times. The newspaper commented that such a result would be "extremely good news for Disney's struggling studio division, which posted a rare loss in the most recent quarter."
BIG PLANS FOR 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF GONE WITH THE WIND
Gone With the Wind, the biggest box-office champ of all time when adjusted for inflation, is about to add more millions to its total with the release of a newly restored version on Blu-ray on November 17. Warner Home Video, which obtained the rights to the movie when it acquired Turner Broadcasting, which owns the MGM library, said Monday that it plans to release an "ultimate" package with 18 hours of content to observe the 70th anniversary of the movie's release. Price tag: $69.92. Jeff Baker, head of the Warner theatrical catalog, told Video Business magazine: "This is for households that appreciate the highest quality films that are seminal in nature, and I think this will be a strong seller that will sustain for many years to come."
NO 3D HOME VIDEO RELEASE FOR UP
Walt Disney's home-entertainment unit plans to release Up, its biggest hit of the year, on DVD and Blu-ray on November 10 -- but without 3D. Many critics have complained about the quality of so-called anaglyph 3D, the system currently used for 3D releases on home video, including Disney's The Jonas Brothers 3 D Concert Experience and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.Up, the digitally animated movie from Disney's Pixar unit, will be released as a four-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, a two-disc standard DVD set, and a single DVD.
SONY SETS PLANS FOR JACKSON CONCERT FILM
A Los Angeles judge on Monday approved a $60-million deal that gives Sony Pictures the rights to the rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage shot during the weeks prior to Michael Jackson's death in June. It was also disclosed that some of the footage was shot in 3D. "This historic recording of the last time [Jackson] sang and danced on stage shows the legendary artist in an incredibly powerful way, with crystal clear images and sound," said Sony Pictures chairman/CEO Michael Lynton in a statement. The film will be directed by Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson's concert, and produced by Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware of AEG Live, the production company that was promoting the concert series at the time of Jackson's death. Sony said Monday that it plans to release the concert film on October 30.