This was a good weekend for Fox, at home and abroad. The studio had the No. 1 movie in North America and overseas with Gone Girl earning an estimated combined $62.6M. On the international side, Fox International Productions has a pair of home grown No. 1 hits on its hands in two very competitive local markets: India and Korea. Bollywood title Bang Bang earned $19.6M at home, and with additional markets, took its debut cume to $25.4M worldwide. In Korea, FIP’s Slow Video is estimated at $5.2M.
Local language in overseas markets continues to be a lucrative and important component of studio business. On a weekly basis, there are more and more titles that pop into my international box office round-up in which the studios are involved. Both of this weekend’s FIP No. 1s were financed, produced and distributed by Fox (Fox Star Studios in India). I understand that the last (and first-ever) time FIP, fronted by president Sanford Panitch, found itself in a similar position as this weekend was in 2010 with My Name Is Khan at the top of the Indian box office and Hot Summer Days No. 1 in China.
Bang Bang, the Hrithik Roshan/Katrina Kaif-starring remake of Fox’s own Knight And Day, opened on Thursday day-and-date in India, North America, the UK and the Middle East. In India, where Fox Star Studios released the picture, it’s the 3rd biggest opening weekend ever for a non-franchise movie after Ek Tha Tiger and Chennai Express (Dhoom 3 is still the biggest movie ever). It also set a record for Roshan, director Siddharth Anand and Fox Star as their biggest releases.
The North American haul was $1.35M on 271 screens, the biggest opening weekend for any Bollywood film this year and the widest release. The bow bested Salman Khan’s Kick which opened in July to $1.07M and was Roshan’s second best weekend after 2008’s Jodha. The action title earned $929K in the UK, also good for the biggest opening weekend of 2014 for a Bollywood movie, and a career best for Roshan.
In the Middle East, there was a big bump on Saturday with $676K that day alone. The total there is an estimated $2.01M which is the 3rd highest opening weekend ever for a Bollywood title and was bigger than Fox’s 2010 blockbuster My Name Is Khan.
Bang Bang has an interesting backstory, having taken two years to make – production was delayed when Roshan required brain surgery to remove a blood clot. That led to the film being shifted from a May release to October 2, which was also the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth and the beginning of the four-day Dussehra Hindu festival holiday.
The original Knight And Day stirred some controversy when it was released in 2010 to what were considered unflattering domestic numbers. But it ended up making over $185M foreign and opened to a strong $1.2M in India, which is a 90% local movie market. Bang Bang, was a strong collaboration between Hollywood and Bollywood Fox resources, including the recruitment of Andy Armstrong (I, Robot, Planet Of The Apes) to supervise the action.
But it’s not only FIP’s Bang Bang that shot off overseas this weekend. In Korea, its Slow Video bested drama Whistle Blower with Warner Bros’ Annabelle in 3rd place. As readers of my international box office report will know, Korea is also a very heavily competitive local market where about 65% of the box office is homegrown. Slow Video earned $5.2M on 618 screens for the No. 4 Fox opening weekend of 2014 after X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and The Maze Runner. Slow Video is a comedy from director Kim Young-Tak about a young man with extraordinary visual acuity allowing him to see things other people cannot.