After a somewhat disastrous box office run earlier in the year, action-thriller "Battleship" hits DVD and Blu-ray this week looking to scoop up audiences that missed it in theaters, which might a tough task due to negative buzz. Also reaching the home market this week is "Think Like a Man," a limited release comedy that came out of nowhere to be one of the top box office earners of the spring. TV lovers also have a plethora of choices this week, including the latest seasons from Emmy nominated shows "Homeland," "Once Upon a Time," "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Walking Dead." Romantic drama "The Lucky One" also gets its DVD/Blu-ray release this week as does "Headhunters," a Norwegian thriller that enjoyed a solid U.S. theatrical run earlier in the year.
With a $209 million production budget, expectations were enormous for "Battleship" when it reached theaters in the middle of May. Aiming at the same crowd that made "Transformers" a gigantic commercial hit, "Battleship" was mostly overshadowed by May releases "The Avengers" and "Men in Black III," leading to a very disappointing $65 million domestic haul for distributor Universal. "Battleship" did a little better outside of the U.S., though it still ranks as one of the biggest duds of the year. Starring Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna and Liam Neeson, "Battleship" should at least do a little better on the small screen now that it doesn't have to compete directly with "The Avengers," but Universal is far from green-lighting a sequel.
A release that didn't have much of a problem finding its target audience the first time around was comedy "Think Like a Man." With a production budget of only $12 million and a limited release of 2,015 theaters, "Think Like a Man" racked up an eye-popping $91 million, making it easily one of the most successful low-budget releases of the year; so far, "Magic Mike" is the only other 2012 release that has earned $90 million in the U.S. while costing less than $20 million to make. Starring Jerry Ferrara alongside Regina Hall and Michael Ealy, "Think Like a Man" should have quite a bit of success in the home market thanks to positive buzz from its theatrical run.
Also making a nice dent with mainstream audiences last spring was "The Lucky One," a PG-13 romantic comedy that hauled in a solid $60 million in the U.S. and $91 million overall, which are good totals for a late-April release. "The Lucky One" is the latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel and stars Zac Efron as a war veteran returning home to look for the woman of his dreams. Without much romantic comedy/drama competition this week, "The Lucky One" should be a popular title over the next couple of weeks.
Those not interested in the new American releases might turn to "Headhunters," an acclaimed Norwegian thriller that was one of the few foreign titles to get much of a release back in the spring. Co-starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of "Game of Thrones" fame, "Headhunters" follows the story of a wealthy headhunter who lives a risky double-life as an art thief. "Headhunters" received a very solid 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating and should do well with art house crowds as it hits DVD and Blu-ray.
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" also makes its home market debut this week after a so-so box office run earlier in the year. Though "The Pirates" received very positive reviews, it struggled to catch on in the U.S., earning just $31 million domestically despite a launch of more than 3,300 venues. With minimal competition for family audiences, "The Pirates" is in good shape to find families that didn't give it a chance while it was in theaters.
This week is also bursting with prominent releases from some of the most critically acclaimed shows on television. Showtime's "Homeland" takes audiences deep inside the CIA for a complicated battle with terrorists, with Claire Danes and Damian Lewis co-starring. "Homeland" has been a big hit for Showtime, securing a bevy of primetime Emmy nominations and plenty of buzz heading into its season two premiere on September 30th.
Also gearing up for a new season is HBO's Prohibition-era drama "Boardwalk Empire," starring Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald and Michael Pitt. "Boardwalk Empire" has gained acclaim for its unflinching look at the criminal underworld that ran Atlantic City during Prohibition. HBO is launching the second season this week on DVD and Blu-ray, setting up the season three premiere in mid-September.
ABC's fantasy series "Once Upon a Time" has also caught on with both critics and audiences, leading to a highly anticipated season two debut at the end of September. Ginnifer Goodwin ("Walk the Line," "Big Love") stars as a troubled woman learning the magical secrets of a small town in Maine. With fantasy films and TV shows in full bloom, "Once Upon a Time" looks like it might have a long run on ABC. Fans can catch all 22 episodes of the first season starting this week on DVD and Blu-ray.
The complete second season of "The Walking Dead" will also reach the home market this week as the hit AMC series gears up for season three this October. "The Walking Dead" fictionalizes a post-apocalyptic Earth in which small bands of survivors must team up to fight off millions of zombies. Though zombies aren't as popular as vampires these days, "The Walking Dead" has a very strong audience and boasts higher ratings than AMC's other landmark shows "Breaking Bad" and "Man Men."
After this week's eclectic set of new titles, next week will slow down considerably, with "Piranha 3DD" and "The Five-Year Engagement" ranking as the two most prominent new titles launching on DVD and Blu-ray. "16 Candles," "Atonement" and classic "Umberto D" will also hit Blu-ray in special edition sets as we turn the calendar to September.
by RTT Staff Writer
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