3RD UPDATE, Monday, 3:25PM PT: The majors — Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. — have updated their weekend estimates which are now reflected throughout the story. Some dips from what was originally reported yesterday among Sony and Paramount’s titles, but nothing too earth-shattering. While Gone Girl barely notched No. 1 with roughly $400K more than Annabelle stateside, $37.5M to $37.1M respectively; their spread at the overseas B.O. is wider in their weekend takes with the David Fincher film grabbing $24.5M and The Conjuring spinoff taking $20.7M for the weekend. However, Annabelle has a leg up on Gone Girl since it opened in Russia last weekend, hence the horror film’s total cume is $23.6M, $887K short of Gone Girl’s foreign take. Next weekend, the spooky doll film and the missing chick pic will pull each other’s hair in France and Spain where they bow against each other. Annabelle will also tread on Gone Girl in Germany and Brazil where the Ben Affleck pic is already in play.
2ND UPDATE, Sunday, 6:29 PM PT: As expected, Breakup Buddies, the follow-up to 2012 megahit Lost In Thailand, has locals swooning at the box office. Released on September 30 as the National Day holiday kicked off, the film has grossed an estimated $93.24M in less than a week. That includes the $240K it made in the U.S. courtesy of China Lion. The niche distributor also released it in Australia and New Zealand, but it’s safe to say that China took the lion’s share of the box office with about $37-38M at the weekend alone. IM Global acquired the rights before the film’s debut in Toronto and is handling it internationally. The road trip takes stars Xu Zheng and Huang Bo on a cross-country jaunt from Beijing to Shanghai to Dali in Southwest China, seeking out new women to make them forget their troubles.
Breakup Buddies, along with strong performances from Gone Girl, Bollywood title Bang Bang, prequel Dracula Untold and horror spinoff Annabelle contributed to what was a welcome boost for the overseas box office. The frame represented a jump of about 45% over last weekend, and was a quarter higher than the comparable session last year when Gravity bowed and China was high on local pics.
Next weekend’s big one-to-watch will, shock!, also be in China. Guardians Of The Galaxy bows there on October 10. Elsewhere, notable debuts include Disney family film Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day in about 20 markets including the UK, Russia and Mexico. The UK will be a bit crowded with The Maze Runner, Annabelle, Dakota Fanning and Emma Thompson in Effie Gray, Hugh Grant romcom The Rewrite, and festival favorite ’71 all jockeying for play. Also bowing is Robert Downey Jr/Robert Duvall drama The Judge in a handful of markets including Australia. Other expansions will be for Annabelle which adds 20 European and Latin American markets; Dracula Untold in Russia and Korea, notably; and Gone Girl in France, Spain and others.
Brief territory round-ups are below the original posts.
1ST UPDATE, Sunday, 2 PM PT: Warner Bros has weighed in with its estimates for the international weekend. The Conjuring spinoff Annabelle rolled out wider this frame to beat the original film by 21% in the same group of markets. The $6.5M-budgeted horror film starring the increasingly busy Annabelle Wallis delivered $20.7M in overseas grosses from nearly 3,620 screens. Horror movies have had decent success in the past few months including The Purge: Anarchy which is at $37.7M internationally and Deliver Us From Evil, now at $54.7M. Annabelle’s numbers have been added below in the original post as have those for other WB titles.
PREVIOUS, Sunday, 12:05 PM PT: As with domestic, the international markets received a welcome jolt this weekend, with Hollywood and local-language pictures staking out vast swathes of terrain.
We are still waiting on numbers for Annabelle, as well as Chinese blockbuster Breakup Buddies. I hear the latter is expected to return in the high 30s, which would make it the top-grossing picture in the overseas frame. Behind it is Fox’s Gone Girl with $24.5M — about 25% ahead of expectations — and Fox International Productions and FoxStar India’s local language Bollywood pic Bang Bang in a fantastic turn with $25.4M ($1.3M of that comes from the U.S.). Then there’s Universal’s Dracula Untold which sucked up $21M in 25 territories.
David Fincher’s adult psychological thriller Gone Girl has been lighting up the internet since it first screened at the New York Film Festival last weekend, and has thus far proved strongest in sophisticated markets. In its first offshore frame, it found $24.6M. The transfer of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel, which the author adapted herself, played on 5,302 screens in 39 markets with the UK coming out on top. There, the film earned $6.7M at 950 plays. It was a No. 1 bow that gave Fincher his best debut ever in the market. His comp title, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, ultimately had its best overseas run in the UK. Gone Girl was also Fincher’s best opening weekend ever in Australia with $4.6M on 350 screens. The Ben Affleck/Rosamund Pike-starrer was further No. 1 in Russia with $3.4M from 1,049. Mexico, with $967K from 663, was No. 2 behind Dracula Untold in that market. In Germany, there is a tight race for No. 1 with local comedy Mannerhort. Fox is currently reporting Gone Girl at $2.6M on 511 screens, but local media suggest Mannerhort may edge it out. Brazil opened at No. 4 with $877K from 258 plays, and in Hong Kong, folks braved their way to 38 screens to the tune of $628K. Sweden and Greece were among seven No. 1 debuts. Next weekend, it opens in 15 new markets including France, Spain, Belgium and Taiwan.
Bang Bang stars Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan and the increasingly successful Katrina Kaif in a remake of Fox’s Knight And Day. It took $25.4M worldwide from about 4,700 screens in more than eight markets. Notably, in India, it earned $19.3M from 4,200 plays. That’s the 3rd highest-grossing opening weekend ever for a non-franchise title and the biggest and widest opening weekend ever for FoxStar. In North America, the FIP financed and produced film scored $1.35M from 271 screens and in the UK earned $922K from 116. Those are each the biggest Bollywood openings of 2014 in those markets. The Middle East is led by the UAE and its $1.8M from 44 screens. In another milestone, that’s the 3rd highest grossing opening weekend ever for a Bollywood title in the region. Impressively at release on Thursday, it grossed approximately $7M worldwide, a huge turn. Further, the U.S. debut bested that of Kick from superstar Salman Kahn which bowed in July. I’ll have more on Bang Bang later.
Universal’s Dracula Untold took a bite out of international in its debut frame with $21M in 25 territories. Among those, there were several No. 1 starts, notably in Mexico, Hong Kong, Portugal and, natch, Romania, where Gone Girl also bowed. Mexico was a four-day weekend gross of $4.9M at 640 dates and 44% of the market. The prequel will have worked as counterprogramming in some markets with kids and action fans lining up to see Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper and Game Of Thrones’ Charles Dance. In the UK/Ireland, DU was No. 2 to Gone Girl’s No. 1 with $2.7M at 446 dates. In Germany it opened at No. 3 taking $2.4M from 498 dates. Elsewhere, Dracula Untold, directed by Gary Shore, bowed in France (No. 2/$1.9M/303 screens); Australia (No. 4/$1.7M/213 screens); and Malaysia (No. 2/$1.5M/108 screens). Notable upcoming openings include Russia and Korea next weekend, which will also mark the U.S. release.
Annabelle‘s international cume is now $23.6M in 24 markets, about 30%-35% of the international footprint. The top market this frame was Korea with $3.1M from 464 screens. It’s No. 3 behind two local openers there, Slow Video and Whistle Blower. Australia earned $1.7M from 166 screens, 12% above The Conjuring. Italy had the best per-screen average in the market with $1.2M from 132 and ranking No. 2. The results are 72% of the Conjuring opening weekend. In Asia, Annabelle was particularly strong with No. 1s in five markets and a $12.9M total gross. Indonesia was worth $2.5M while Malaysia and Singapore’s results set new industry records for biggest opening weekend for a horror film, taking in $2.4M and nearly $1M, respectively. Taiwan earned $1.8M with the Philippines grossing $1.2M. In Latin America, the John R. Leonetti-helmed scarer set records in Colombia and Chile for the biggest industry opening for a horror film. Both No. 1, the grosses were $1.5M and $820K, respectively. In the holdover market of Russia, Annabelle earned a further $1.15M for a cume of $4.1M. France, Germany, Brazil, Spain and the UK open this week. Next year, The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, will also haunt theaters in October.
The Maze Runner showed legs with another $16.5m from 5,345 screens in 61 markets. The international cume crossed the $100M mark this week with a total now of $119.1M. There were no new openings, but holdovers performed strongly. Korea earned $3M from 476 screens and now has a cume of $16.7M; Australia added $1.85M from 315 for a cume of $11.83M; Russia took $1.3M more from 980 for a $13M cume; Brazil added $1.1M from 373 for a $5.56M cume; and Spain notched $1M from 341 with a total $5.2M. Among the top markets are Korea, Russia, Australia, Mexico ($9M cume) and Taiwan. The Fox movie is in its 4th frame there and has earned $7.2M to date. The Maze Runner races to the UK and Italy next weekend, followed by France, other European and Latin American territories. China launches October 28.
Denzel Washington as The Equalizer grossed $12.9M in its 2nd frame in 70 territories. The overseas take on the SPRI release is now $34.8M with Village Roadshow bringing in $4.9M for a $39.7M combined cume. After earning $19M in its debut frame and scoring a handful of No. 1 bows, the film started at No. 3 in France with $2.1M from 376 screens. Sony puts that 84% above the opening of 2 Guns and on par with Safe House and Taken. Other openings include the Philippines (No. 2/$583K/142 screens); Peru ($189K); French-speaking Switzerland ($97K); and Vietnam ($102K /No. 2). In the Philippines, Peru and Vietnam, this was Washington’s biggest opening. The arrival of Gone Girl and Dracula Untold shook The Equalizer’s balance a bit in some markets like the UK where it fell 37% for a $2M weekend gross and a $7M cume; Russia with a 58% drop for a $1.2M frame and a $5M cume; and Brazil which slipped 35%, taking $856K for a total $2.6M. The Netherlands fell 30% while Belgium dipped 26%.
On the heels of their successful collaboration on The Boxtrolls, Focus Features and Laika Entertainment extended their partnership for three more films this week. The movie is handled by Universal Pictures International overseas and added $6.4M at 3,594 dates in 22 territories this frame for an early total of $26.5M. Openings included Brazil, Italy and the Netherlands. Of those, Brazil was strongest with $723K at 338 dates. Italy followed at No. 6 with $530k at 297 dates, and the Netherlands opened No. 4 with $279k at 162 dates. In holdovers, The Boxtrolls was No. 4 in the UK after four frames with a total of $9.8M. The Australia cume is now $4.6M, and Russia had a good second weekend with $651K at 897 dates for an 11-day total of $2M. There are 35 territories still to open with Israel and Poland on deck for next weekend.
Sci-fi actioner Lucy brought in a total estimate of $6.2M this frame, including $5.4M for Universal. The Luc Besson film is still playing in 60 territories and now has a Universal cume of $223.6M. Combined with the EuropaCorp markets, the offshore total is $281.4M and the worldwide cume is $407.2M, a record for Besson.
On a hot streak with such local titles as Germany’s Doktorspiele ($6.9M cume), Mexico’s Guten Tag, Ramon ($4.7M to date) and Spain’s El Nino ($18.8M cume), Fox International Productions not only has a huge hit in Bang Bang this weekend, it’s also got Korea’s Slow Video. The FIP comedy opened to No. 1 this weekend at home with $5.2M on 618 screens.
In Spain, the local-language biz continues to flourish with the latest studio entry from SPRI. Torrente V: Mision Eurovegas, the 5th film in Santiago Segura’s hit franchise launched to $4.6M and more than 50% market share. Per Sony, the No. 1 opening was 31% bigger than Universal’s Spanish Affairs (now the highest grossing local film of all time) and 27% bigger than Fox’s El Nino. It’s also the biggest opening of the year including all local and Hollywood films.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles added $3.3M in 37 markets and at 1,556 locations for an international total of $160.7M. Venezuela, which, along with Malaysia is one of those increasingly interesting box office markets, opened to No. 1 with $1M at 68 locations. The result is 85% better than Lego Movie, Paramount says. Australia took in a further $1.1M from 257 locations in its 4th frame. The drop there was just 34% with a local total of $14.5M. In neighboring New Zealand, the 3rd frame jumped 16% ahead of last weekend with $267K at 76 locations. The cume there is $1.7M. There are a handful of European territories still to bow including France, Germany, Spain and the UK. China gets the film on October 31 in what is likely to be the last big Hollywood release of the year in the Middle Kingdom.
Sex Tape is still breathing heavy with $2.7M from 37 markets this weekend for an overseas cume of $82.4M. Despite strong local movies in the market, the 4th frame in Germany fell just 29%. The cume there is now $11M. Venezuela added $400K in its 3rd frame, down just 17% and good for a $2M total to date. The UK market cume is now $7M.
Guardians Of The Galaxy added another $2.4M overseas this frame. At home, it remained in the Top 10 for the 10th consecutive week and now has a worldwide cume of $653.8M. Its total international haul is $330.4M with China still to come. It opens there on October 10 and will have competition from local barn-burner Breakup Buddies as well as the upcoming release of three other Hollywood pictures in the following three weeks. Although the characters are less familiar in China, and none of the actors made the trip to promote the movie, the Marvel brand is strong and word of mouth will have generated huge wanna-see.
Catacombs horror pic As Above/So Below grossed a further $1.8M at 1,503 dates in 38 territories for a total of $17.3M. Russia was a new opening with $944k at 409 dates and the No. 6 position. The film, with Perdita Weeks and Ben Feldman, has seven more territories to open.
Sony’s local German thriller Who Am I added $1.6M after a No. 1 bow last week. It fell just 10% but was relegated to the No. 4 spot with local comedy Mannerhort entering the market at No. 1 followed by Gone Girl and Dracula Untold. Who Am I now has a $4.1M cume.
Warner Bros. locally distributed pics were on a roll. In France, the studio’s Te Veux Ou Tu Veux Pas was No. 1 taking $2.8M off 418, 34% ahead of The Equalizer in its second frame, and also outstripping the bow of Dracula Untold. Warner Bros Japan’s Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends shows no sign of stopping its run atop the local box office. No. 1 for the 4th weekend in a row, the film added $1.6M from 366 screens for a $33M cume. In Argentina, Warner’s presentation of a K&S Films & El Deseo production, Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales) is No. 1 for the 7th straight weekend with 32% of the market share and a cume of $14.8M. Including results for Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, the film has grossed $16.2M to date. Taking on further Latin American markets, Wild Tales opens next in Spain, Brazil and Mexico.
Playing in 27 territories, Deliver Us From Evil grossed $1.4M, taking the overseas cume to $54.7M. Brazil fell 32% in its 3rd frame, grossing $550K for a market cume of $3.2M.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes gathered another $1.2M from 784 screens in 11 markets, lifting the international cume to $491.7M. Japan added $889K from 698 locations to cross the $10M mark at $10.23M.
Paramount’s Hercules earned $1.1M from 20 holdover territories at 1,207 locations this frame. The international cume is $153.2M. Hercules is also due to open in China on October 21, and then goes to Japan on October 24.
Fox’s Let’s Be Cops confiscated $1.3M from 607 screens in 23 markets, taking the overseas total to $29M. Denmark was a new opening with $249K from 31 screens. In Holland where the film spent weeks at No. 1 it dropped only 9% from last frame.
Richard Linklater’s Awards Season contender Boyhood saw its fortunes grow a further $395K from 298 dates in 19 territories this frame for a Universal total of $14.6M.
Apart from the huge debut of Breakup Buddies in China this weekend, other performances worth documenting include the continuing run of Peter Chan’s kidnapping drama Dearest which added $6.5M for a $33M cume. It initially entered the market last weekend with $13.5M. The film had bowed in Toronto, much like Breakup Buddies, which is on track to be one of the biggest grossers out of China this year.
In Korea, Annabelle was the Hollywood movie nearest the top of the debuts with $606K on 390 screens and surpassing all of its comps. But it was Fox International Productions’ local comedy Slow Video which was No. 1 with $5.2M on 618 screens for the 4th best Fox opening of the year in the market. The film about a young man with particularly special eyesight, played to positive reaction with a strong female turnout. Below it at No. 2 was Whistle Blower, a drama from director Lim Soon-rye about a journalist who receives an anonymous tip that the world’s first stem-cell founder is involved in an illegal ovum purchase. It’s based on the true story of disgraced Korean researcher Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk.
Hrithik Roshan-starrer Bang Bang did bang-up business in India this weekend with a $19.6M start for the 3rd best non-franchise kickoff. This was one some were predicting might outperform last year’s Dhoom 3, whose December 2013 opening was the biggest ever for a Bollywood film and which went on to be the highest-grossing Bollywood picture of all time. Bang Bang’s result is nevertheless strong in the heavily local market where it went out on 4,200 screens, somewhat fewer than Dhoom 3. The other major film in the territory this fram was Haider, a spin on Hamlet from Disney’s UTV that stars Shahid Kapoor. Preliminary figures have that one at $3.1M through Saturday.
Two local films of note debuted in Europe this weekend. In Germany, Mannerhort was the No. 1 title, ahead of Gone Girl and Dracula Untold. The comedy from director Franziska Meyer Price, is about a group of friends who create a sort of man cave in their housing development as a means to seek refuge from their wives. This is the second week in a row that a local movie has topped the box office after last week’s Sony release of Who Am I. In Spain, Sony released Torrente V: Mision Eurovegas this weekend. The latest film in the successful franchise opened to $4.8M to become the biggest opening of the year, including all local and Hollywood films. Alec Baldwin has a role in the comedy that takes the titular former detective to Sin City. The weekend haul is the 3rd biggest of all five installments, although a reduction in ticket prices in Spain is bound to have had an impact.