Although disc sales fell by 7.2% in the UK in 2011, the British Video Association today says a study it commissioned has found sales of DVDs, Blu-rays and digital formats are the “single biggest revenue source for the production of film and television drama in the UK.” The report, by Oxford Economics (which also did this week’s study touting BskyB’s £5.4B contribution to UK GDP), estimates that £2.3B was spent on video entertainment in 2011 in the UK, dwarfing the £1.1B spent on movie tickets. Case studies on six British – or British-themed – films found that in five instances video outperformed box office and TV sales. The biggest local draw of 2011, The Inbetweeners Movie, earned 54% of its takings via video and 46% from theatrical and TV. (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, however, scored 43% of its revenues from video compared to 57% for aggregated box office and TV.) Overall, the study found that video in 2011 was responsible for 47% of feature film revenues and one-third of TV series revenues including such shows as Doctor Who, Planet Earth and Downton Abbey. The digital rental and retail sector is growing with rental accounting for 8.2% of the market, an annual increase of 10%.
Warner Bros said today that Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows has surpassed $529 million in global box office. That surpasses the $524.4 million taken in by the first film in the franchise, 2009′s Sherlock Holmes. Not that the studio and Village Roadshow needs justification for a third pic in the series — Sherlock Holmes 3 already has set Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3) to pen the next installment that will bring back Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law for Guy Ritchie to direct. Game Of Shadows this past weekend upped its cumes to $186.7 million domestic and $324.3 million overseas. “Our successful box office continues to prove the appeal of Sherlock Holmes, especially in the hands of guy Ritchie and his amazing cast, led by Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law,” Warners domestic distribution president Dan Fellman said. “The film had outstanding results throughout the holidays and continued to gain traction well into 2012.”
Sherlock Holmes is in the midst of a serious career revival in Hollywood. Aside from the film franchise, the BBC’s ripping-good modern adaptation Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the Holmes and Watson roles has been commissioned for a third season (it airs on PBS in the U.S.). Also, CBS greenlighted its own modern adaptation as a pilot written by Robert Doherty and starring Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes and …
XMAS SLUMP, TOO! ‘Sherlock Holmes 2′ And ‘Alvin And The Chipmunks 3′ Badly Trail; ‘Mission: Impossible 4′ Best Screen Average Thanks To ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Prologue
SUNDAY AM, 7TH UPDATE: Both Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Warner Bros) as well as Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Fox) badly trailedthe openings of their previous installments. (Sherlock 1/$62.3M vs Sherlock 2/$40M and Alvin 2/$48.8M vs Alvin 3/$23.5M.) The Robert Downey Jr-starring and Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock 2 total included $1.25M from 1,650 Thursday midnight shows. Audiences keep rejecting Hollywood’s sequels and threequels. Of course, the movie studios point out that both the last Sherlock and Alvin opened either on Christmas or after kids were already out of school. Execs are hoping to make up the difference before year’s end. But more pics will open, too, creating clutter. So if this weekend’s low grosses continue, then the domestic box office slump may very well ruin Christmas for Hollywood.
One bright spot is the new Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol which had the best major release per screen average all weekend helped by its higher IMAX ticket prices. It also opened with a huge $1.1 million playing on just 425 screens in 425 locations from Thursday evening through midnight shows. (As reference, M:I3 did $1.1M of midnight business on over 2,000 screens.) Wanna know why? Because it was goosed by none other than Warner Bros’ 6-minute The Dark Knight Rises preview on 40 of the 300 giant screen 70mm IMAX theaters. Paramount tells me that, because of strong early sales for midnight shows, IMAX asked to open Thursday evening to get the word of mouth started. Since Sherlock wasn’t booked into IMAX, Warner Bros couldn’t pair its ‘Batman 3′ prologue with its own product and lost a valuable marketing opportunity which went instead to Paramount on a silver platter. To say that Warner Bros was annoyed is an understatement. But there is a Dark Knight Rises teaser playing with Sherlock 2. The Tom Cruise-Jeremy Renner starrer directed by Brad Bird M:I4 expands this coming week — and then Hollywood will find out how the reformulated franchise fares on its own.
Here’s the Top 10. Full analysis in the morning:
1. Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows (Warner Bros) NEW [3,703 Theaters]
Friday $14.7M, Saturday $15M, Weekend $40M
2. Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Fox) NEW [3,723 Theaters]
Friday $6.8M, Saturday $9.9M, Weekend $23.5M
3. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 3D (Paramount) NEW [425 Theaters]
Friday $4.7M, Saturday $4.8M, Weekend $13M, Cume $13.6M
4. New Year’s Eve (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,505 Theaters]
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $2.9M, Weekend $7.4M (-42%), Cume $24.8M)
5. The Sitter (Fox) Week 2 [2,752 Theater]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $1.8M, Weekend $4.4M (-55%), Cume $17.7M
6. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Summit) Week 5 [2,958 Theaters]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday, Weekend $4.3M, Cume $266.4M
7 Young Adult (Paramount) Week 2 [986 theaters]
Friday $1.1K, Saturday, Weekend $3.6M, Cume $4M
8. Hugo 3D (Paramount) Week 4 [2,532 Theaters]
Friday $1M, Saturday, Weekend $3.6M, Cume $39M
9. Arthur Christmas (Aardman/Sony) Week 5 [2,929 Theaters]
Friday $840K, Saturday $1.5M, Weekend $3.5M, Cume $38.5M
10. The Muppets (Disney) Week 4 [2,808 Theaters]
Friday $903K, Saturday, Weekend $3.4M, Cume $70.9M
Jeremy Clarkson Strikes Again, Fry’s A Gentleman
The BBC has put an episode of Stephen Fry’s game show QI on the shelf following remarks made by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson last week. The episode of the intellectual comedy quiz show, which Clarkson taped this past summer, was due to air tonight in the UK. But appearing on the BBC’s The One Show last week, Clarkson prompted outrage when he commented on the recent public workers strike in Britain, “I would have them taken outside and executed them in front of their families.” Clarkson apologized in due course, but he’s no stranger to this kind of controversy. Earlier this year Top Gear was criticized over comments about Mexicans which were perceived as racist. The Guardian has a compilation of Clarkson’s most famous flubs titled “Jeremy Clarkson: big mouth strikes again.” Meanwhile, I checked Stephen Fry’s Twitter feed to see if he’d made any comment about the network’s decision to shelve the show, but he’s been busy promoting the Sherlock Holmes sequel in which he plays Holmes’ brother Mycroft and which premiered last night in London. He did, however, point to a new poll in which Winston Churchill was voted the greatest British gentleman of the 20th century, followed by filmmaker Richard Attenborough and … Stephen Fry.
New Appointments At Sky, National Geographic
Phil Edgar Jones has been named head of entertainment for Sky. He will have oversight on the bouquet of channels that includes Sky 1, Sky Arts and Sky Living. He will also commission shows for Sky Movies and the recently launched Sky Atlantic which is airing a host of HBO shows. Edgar Jones was previously creative director of independent producer Running Bare and creative director of Remarkable Pictures where he exec produced Big Brother on Channel 4. In related news, Hamish Mykura has been named executive vice president and head of international content for National Geographic Channels International. The former head of documentaries for Channel 4 will also become the London head of global development for National Geographic Channel. Mykura will oversee editorial development and production for the company and will supervise NGCI’s networks NGC, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Adventure.
Warner Bros’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows has been tracking really big in recent weeks despite the box office slump. So it’s no surprise that the latest MovieTickets poll finds that over 40% of the 6,700 moviegoing poll participants who are buying tickets this holiday season are most excited to see that sequel. Here are the stats:
Which movie are you most excited to see this holiday season?
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Warner Bros) – 40.9%
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Sony) – 26.1%
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Paramount) – 20.6%
New Year’s Eve (Warner Bros) – 12.4%
‘Final Destination 5′ Is First For UltraViolet In The UK; Will British Users Have Clearer Picture Than In The U.S.?
On December 26, Warner Bros’ Final Destination 5 will become the first UltraViolet-enabled title to be released in the UK via DVD, Blu-ray and Triple Play. From then on, all of the studio’s future home entertainment releases in the UK — including Happy Feet Two, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Dark Knight Rises — will fall under the UltraViolet “buy once, play anywhere” scheme. As with its practice in the U.S., Warner will offer the streams via Flixster.
Warner Bros was the first to release UV titles in the U.S. back in October with Horrible Bosses and Green Lantern. Although I was told by a Warner UK spokesman that there is no industry evidence as yet on the impact of the added UltraViolet aspect, the Associated Press today reports that consumers of those earlier films found the system didn’t work as expected. Warner Bros UK spokeswoman Deborah Lincoln, who had not read the AP report but was aware of certain complaints, tells me the confusion was largely related to the fact that those first titles didn’t have download ability to certain devices — which she assured me was not going to be the case in the UK. In part, she said, the confusion may have come from early media reports regarding UltraViolet touting it as an anytime, anywhere technology for all devices including IOS — …
Warner Bros. put up a new trailer today for the return of Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which opens December 16. Opinions?