By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 25 Jan 2010
The lackluster opening weekend box office ($7 million) for CBS Films’ inaugural release, Extraordinary Measures, despite heavy network promotion and name cast (Harrison Ford, Brendan Frasier), underscores the fickle nature of movie consumers.
It also makes the movie unlikely to generate significant DVD/Blu-ray Disc sales, according to Pali Capital analyst Richard Greenfield.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment handles all home entertainment distribution, including digital, for CBS Films as part of a three-year deal.
The analyst said lower box office titles have increasingly been failing to perform in a sellthrough market driven by blockbuster hits.
“The mid-tier (budget) films that fail at the box office also appear to be among the worst performing films in home entertainment, particularly DVD sales,” Greenfield said in a note.
Indeed, Redbox has avoided stocking embargoed new releases with box office tallies below $10 million from Warner Home Video, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, according to Eric Wold, analyst with Merriman Curhan Ford.
CBS Corp.’s theatrical unit — established in 2007 — plans to develop and produce four to six movies a year spanning all genres, with production budgets of up to $40 million per film.
Greenfield said Measures might not lose money ultimately if its production costs are absorbed as a source of content to CBS-owned Showtime Networks, which lost programming to Epix, the high-definition pay-TV and online streaming channel co-owned by Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount Studios.
Future CBS Films releases include The Back-Up Plan April 16 with Jennifer Lopez, Beastly (July 30) with Neil Patrick Harris, and Faster (Nov. 19) with Dwayne Johnson.