2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 4:39 PM PT: Actuals are in from the international weekend with The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies climbing $4.6M above projections. The 1st frame cume is now $122.2M with 3D results accounting for 71% of the box office total. Increases in key overseas markets have been updated below. Expanded Hobbit holiday cheer will flow next weekend in North America, Italy, Spain and Korea. On the flipside, Exodus: Gods And Kings came in slightly lower in its cume, which is $18.2M versus an estimated $18.8M on Sunday. However, the biblical epic was up over projections in some Asian markets where audiences have been drawn by the scale and spectacle. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 stayed just about on par with Sunday’s estimates, but has now passed the lifetime of Catching Fire in 32 territories including Italy and Brazil — and could imminently pass CF‘s Latin American take entirely. Interstellar was also even with Sunday, but today brings news it has passed the $100M mark in IMAX theaters worldwide. This is is the 4th time a film has hit that milestone.
Figures are updated/added throughout the below on The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies, Exodus, Mockingjay, Penguins Of Madagascar, Interstellar, Horrible Bosses 2, The Theory Of Everything, Ouija, Alles Ist Liebe, Gone Girl, The Pyramid, Trash, Dumb And Dumber To, The Boxtrolls, Boyhood, My Love, Don’t Cross That River and Indian superstar Rajinikanth’s Lingaa (for the latter two, see the key market notes after the original post).
1ST UPDATE, SUNDAY, 4:39 PM PT: Bilbo, Thorin, Legolas, some really nasty Orcs, and the rest of the Middle-earth crew charged ahead with a $122.2M international rollout this weekend. The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies stormed into 37 markets and outperformed the previous two installments in Peter Jackson’s trilogy on a local currency and admissions basis. Records were set, notably for a December IMAX opening with $6.4M. Continuing a trend, Germany was the biggest play with $20.5M — that market ended up being tops for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug last year with $88.7M. Also notable was the UK debut where Five Armies came out even with Jackson’s Oscar-winning finale to The Lord Of The Rings franchise, The Return Of The King. The presumed last trip to Middle-earth for Jackson, the well-reviewed Five Armies could be on its way to a $1B worldwide take. The enduring popularity of JRR Tolkien’s work and fans of Jackson’s earlier movies should certainly provide legs as each has grown on the one prior, but with box office lagging domestically in 2014, it may fall to China on January 23 to help push Five Armies over the mark. That was HDOS’ 2nd biggest ex-U.S. market with $83.2M, and a jump wouldn’t be out of the question. In openings next week, Five Armies sets up camp in Italy, Spain and Korea among the key markets.
Five Armies, along with assists from Exodus: Gods And Kings, Mockingjay, Penguins Of Madagascar and Interstellar, helped push the Top 10 studio titles up over last week, but the take was down from last year when there was a lot of fire at the turnstiles. At that time, the dragon Smaug had just breathed in $135.4M in 49 markets. Also, Frozen was melting moviegoers’ hearts in Russia with an $11.1M start in its 2nd international frame; Hong Kong actioner Firestorm lit up with over $20M in its first week; and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was also raging, having accumulated $27.7M in China after three weeks.
Next frame, The Hobbit’s main competition looks to come from Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb which hits 30 markets including the UK and Germany. This time around, Shawn Levy’s Ben Stiller family comedy is set in London whose Regent Street has been festooned with holiday banners for the film for weeks. The series has been popular there, but lost a small bit of ground from the first movie to the second. There’s certainly a nostalgia factor for parents who may be curious to see the late Robin Williams in one of his last roles. Also arriving in the UK will be Dumb And Dumber To which is hitting France and Belgium as well.
In expansions, Big Hero 6 notably travels to Japan where the Walt Disney Animation Studios title will look to capitalize on some of its Japanese-flavored elements. It had its world premiere there in October at the Tokyo International Film Festival and its action is set in the fictional city of San Fransokyo. Big Hero 6 just garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature which goosed box office a bit this frame.
See below for weekend takings on all of the studio titles including the expansion of Exodus and the continued runs of Mockingjay, Interstellar and others. Also below the original post are some key market notes.
PREVIOUS, 11:55 AM PT: HIGHLIGHTS: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (WB) finds $122.2M treasure with increases on the previous two franchise installments and a new December IMAX record; Exodus: Gods And Kings (Fox) adds $18.2M with No. 1s in 13 markets; Mockingjay (LG) eats up $16M in its 4th frame; Interstellar finishes China run with $122.6M…
Numbers are rolling in on the international weekend with Peter Jackson’s final installment of the Hobbit franchise, The Battle Of The Five Armies, selling over 14M tickets on 15,395 screens in 37 markets. The first weekend take was a big-footed $122.2M. IMAX plays were worth $6.4M on 160 screens. Those numbers bested the debut weekends of the previous two Hobbit movies, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (HUAJ) and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (HDOS). The $6.4M start is an IMAX record for the best December opening, topping An Unexpected Journey‘s previous milestone of $5.03M.
Although the Five Armies bow is lower on a dollar basis than HDOS‘ $135.4M start last year, there are a few key things to note. HDOS debuted in 49 markets and on 16,405 screens versus Five Armies‘ 37 markets and 15,395 screens. Importantly, currency fluctuations play a major role (especially where the euro and the ruble are concerned). Looking only at local currency and admissions tallies, Five Armies is up 16% on HUAJ and 10% on HDOS at the same point. Several of the overseas territories on Five Armies also outperformed HDOS at open this frame.
Market-by-market highlights include Germany which had the best 2014 opening weekend with roughly 72% of the Top 5 market share. Five Armies grossed $20.5M from 1,442 screens. The results beat HAUJ by 22% and HDOS by 15%. Germany was the biggest market for HDOS with $88.7M.
In the UK, where Five Armies scored the 2nd biggest IMAX opening weekend ever, the film took 64% of the Top 5 with $15.2M on 1,489 screens. Excluding preview numbers, Five Armies opened on par with The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King for the biggest opening weekend of the Middle-earth saga.
France increased 72% from Friday to Saturday with the weekend worth $15.05M from 1.55M admissions on 914 screens. This is the biggest opening for a U.S. title this year in the market. In admissions terms, the results are 23% ahead of HAUJ and 7% ahead of HDOS.
In Russia, Five Armies gave Warner Bros its biggest opening ever, and was the top 2014 bow, with $13.75M on 2,390 screens. Nabbing 85% of the market, results are 30% better than HAUJ and 14% ahead of HDOS. Both of those films opened on a Wednesday, rather than a Thursday as was the case with Five Armies which gives the new film’s result impressive heft.
Brazil took $6.8M from 1,037 screens. Excluding sneaks, Five Armies is the 2nd biggest WB opening of all time behind Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Mexico debuted with $6.3M from 2,775 screens, with Thursday-Saturday results accounting for 56% of the Top 5 share. These numbers are the best ever for a Peter Jackson film, and also rank as the best December opening ever. Five Armies surpassed HAUJ, which opened on a Friday, by 33%, and HDOS (Thursday opening) by 19%.
In a big feat, Five Armies was No. 1 in Japan where there were three local openers. Bilbo and the gang earned an estimated $2.4M from 640 screens on Saturday and Sunday. The results were 35% better than HAUJ and a staggering 95% higher than HDOS.
The home of Middle-earth, New Zealand opened to $1.8M from 205 screens to become the biggest Hobbit four-day gross ever, and 2nd biggest of Jackson’s Tolkien saga, behind Return Of The King by 14%.
Across Scandinavia, the take was a huge $15.2M with Sweden and Finland the setting all-time industry opening records.
Upcoming key releases for this final Hobbit include Italy, Spain and Korea in step with North America on December 17; Australia on December 26; and China on January 23.
In holdovers and expansions, Exodus: Gods And Kings whipped up $18.2M from 6,257 screens in 29 markets. In 13 of those, Ridley Scott’s biblical epic is No. 1. The international cume is now $49.46M. The film is playing across broad audiences, some more enticed by the religious themes like Korea, Mexico and Latin America, and others in it for the spectacle like Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. After a great start last week, Korea is still the top market with $3.1M from 665 dates. The total there is now $10.6M. Taiwan opened to $1.57M from 155. There were also strong holds in Mexico ($2.13M/$8.1M cume), Spain ($1.71M/$7.44M cume), Australia ($1.4M/$4.71M cume), Hong Kong ($738K/$2.43M cume), and Colombia ($530K/$1.61M cume). New openings included Singapore ($995K from 85 dates), Turkey ($854K from 270), Israel ($443K from 55), Puerto Rico ($370K from 73) and Portugal ($341K from 73). There is still a significant portion of the international landscape to go, including Belgium and Holland next weekend and Brazil, Germany, Sweden and UK the following weekend
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 now has an overseas cume of $334.5M. This weekend, it added $16M in offshore coin, playing in 86 markets. Brazil has now passed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s lifetime gross and that’s also occurred in 31 other territories including Italy, Chile, Venezuela, Central America and Portugal. The Top 5 Mockingjay markets are now the UK ($42.7M), Germany ($32.9M), Australia ($24.8M), France ($22.7M) and Mexico ($22.3M).
Penguins Of Madagascar added $14.64M from 9,249 screens in 54 markets taking the overseas cume to $116.8M with school holidays on the horizon. In their final frame in China, the birds brought in $2.93M from 1,797 for a $40.6M total. That’s 129% of the Madagascar 3 Middle Kingdom haul. Russia added $1.9M from 1,860 for an $18.1M cume and the No. 2 spot behind Five Armies; Germany was worth $1.65M from 1,150 dates ($8.87M cume): the UK‘s 2nd frame was good for $1.68M at 908 dates ($4.8M cume) and Italy now has a $9.2M cume after adding $1M on 635 screens. Fox opens the DreamWorks Animation pic in France and Mexico next weekend.
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar has now hit $455M internationally after grossing another $11.5M this weekend. The Warner Bros and Legendary title is playing in 62 territories and maintaining its gravitational pull in Korea where it was down just 16% this frame for $3.2M and a cume of $71M. China ended its run on Friday with the final total at $122.6M.
Horrible Bosses 2 kidnapped a further $5.7M this frame in 49 territories. The overseas cume is now $32.2M for the comedy sequel. Australia, which doesn’t get Five Armies falling in until the end of the month, opened to No. 1 with $2.2M, including sneaks, on 355 screens. The UK is still tops with a $5.1M cume after three weeks.
It looks like a little Frozen magic has rubbed off on Big Hero 6. In its 2nd week of release in Thailand, the heartwarming animated Golden Globe nominee has become the second highest grossing Disney-Pixar animation release ever and is the biggest industry animation release of all time in Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. This frame, it spread inflatable joy to Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Iceland and Hong Kong taking $3.9M. In total, it’s playing in 32 markets which reps only about 24% of the international footprint. Russia leads all markets at $20.1M, followed by Mexico with $15.2M and Malaysia with $5.7M. The overseas cume is now $68.2M for a worldwide take of $253.5M. Next weekend will be very telling with openings in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland — and Japan. The latter was by far the biggest market for Frozen and this film’s Japanese elements are expected to play. There’s no confirmation on a China release yet.
From Fox International Productions, The Pyramid rocked up another $2M from 1,574 screens in 19 markets. The overseas cume is now $8M led by Russia in its 2nd frame where the cume is now $2.72M..
Gone Girl has now reached $180.52M in offshore takings. The film’s Japan bow was a very strong $1.9M at 321 dates. In an unusual twist, that puts two Hollywood movies in the top spots (Five Armies is No. 1). Rosamund Pike’s Golden Globe-nominated performance is keyed up to dazzle Italy next weekend. The Fox film’s total haul this weekend was $2.68M.
Multiple Golden Globe nominee, The Theory Of Everything, had a strong opening in Korea where the film was No. 4 with $1.4M at 297 dates and emotional dramas play well. Reviews have helped boost the film as did the awards mentions this week which put it in contention for the Best Motion Picture – Drama prize as well as for its two leads, Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne. The full weekend haul was $1.7M at 360 dates in Korea, Hong Kong (up 20% over the first frame )and Taiwan, for an early total of $2.2M. International dates on the Universal release roll out over the next few months.
The weekend frame spelled an extra $1.2M for Ouija. The horror pic is playing in 12 territorires and now has an international cume of $23.46M. Brazil opened this frame at No. 4 with $540K at 95 dates and the 2nd best per-screen average in the market. It’s continuing a strong run in Spain where Stiles White’s pic held at No. 2 in its 2nd session with $620K at 255 dates. The 10-day tally there is $2.6M.
Universal’s local romcom in Germany, Alles Ist Liebe, held at No. 5 with $768 at 533 dates. The drop was a mere 9% and the 11-day cume is $2.3M. Combined with Austria and German-speaking Switzerland, the weekend was worth $869K at 627 dates for a total of $2.6M.
Paramount’s Men, Women & Children opened in key European markets this weekend with an estimated $410K for a $1M international cume. The Jason Reitman movie that stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner is next due in South Africa in January.
Stephen Daldry’s Trash collected $265K at 442 dates in 13 territories over the weekend for a total of $5.36M. There were no new openings for the thriller that rolls out over the next several months via Universal.
Dumb And Dumber To, which Universal is distributing in seven territories, grossed $258K in Germany, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland and Spain over the weekend. Universal’s international total is $8.75M. Based on figures provided by Red Granite, the overall international take through December 7 was $45.4M. Latin American markets are making up the lion’s share of that with Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Spain among the top homes for the Farrelly brothers’ follow-up.
Winding down its theatrical run, The Boxtrolls added $115K at 533 dates in 28 territories this frame for a total of $57.4M. Released by Universal, it is Laika Entertainment’s biggest grossing international film to date.
Boyhood has crossed the $20M mark in the Universal territories where it’s playing at the international box office. As Richard Linklater’s beloved drama continues to notch awards season recognition, it added $97K this weekend in 20 markets. The Universal total is now $20.14M. The film’s five Golden Globe nominations had a knock-on effect of upping box office in most territories. The next release is Mexico on January 1.
Key market tidbits
Rentrak was unable to provide China numbers this weekend, although it’s likely Zhang Yibai’s Fleet Of Time continued to perform after earning $36.2M through Tuesday. That movie bested John Woo’s anticipated drama The Crossing, which had made $18.5M in its first six days, according to FilmBizAsia. Still, the film that has the most expectations on it, Gone With The Bullets, is due for a release on Thursday in the Middle Kingdom. Despite its premiere being cancelled last week, producers have said the release is going forward after a few tweaks to please the censors. Jiang Wen’s Shanghai-set period film is eyed as a major blockbuster and comes as both Interstellar and Penguins Of Madagascar have concluded their China runs. Speaking of Interstellar, the space epic has now amassed an out-of-this-world $71M cume at the Korea box office. But, it was edged out of the top spot this frame by a sentimental documentary about a couple who’s been married for 76 years. My Love, Don’t Cross That River has been steadily climbing since it released on November 27 and is now the biggest local indie of the year in Korea with a $6.5M cume. The Korean Film Council is cautiously predicting it will hit 1M admissions by the end of the year. Korea was not one of the Top 10 markets for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug so it will be interesting to keep an eye on how the documentary performs next week when faced with the arrival of the Five Armies. Audiences in Korea tend towards films which have an emotional core, which this last Hobbit movie does, especially as regards Bilbo’s relationship with Thorin.
Paddington is still cuddling up to audiences across Europe with strong holds in the UK, Germany, and France. Its $11M estimated haul in 23 markets this frame brings the cume to $45M. In the UK, Studiocanal says this frame was down just 24% despite the arrival of The Hobbit. The 3rd weekend is looking at $4.6M for a local take thus far of $22.5M. The indie says the film should surpass Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as its biggest grosser of all time. Studiocanal’s Imitation Game, meanwhile, had a 40% drop and a weekend gross of $821K. The cume in Britain is $19.5M.
Indian superstar Rajinikanth, who is so popular in the southern states that huge cardboard cut-outs of him are reportedly a common sight, opened in action drama Lingaa on Friday. Coinciding with the star’s birthday, screenings began at 1am for the story of a reformed thief with an estimated first day take of 22 crore ($3.52M). The IB Times says that lands it among the Top 5 opening days of the year along with Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year, Ajay Devgn’s Singham Returns, Hrithik Roshan’s Bang Bang and Salman Khan’s Kick. In North America, it earned $1.4M for the weekend according to Rentrak and overall overseas box office is estimated at $2.03M. While it should continue to play in Chennai, a massive potential blockbuster is on its way next weekend. P.K., a comedy about a childlike man, stars Aamir Khan whose Dhoom 3 broke a string of records at home and abroad when it was released last December. P.K. goes out on the 19th in India, the UK and elsewhere. Local media is predicting the 200 crore ($32M) mark will be handily broken with a potential 250-300 crore ($40M-$48M) ultimate total. Dhoom 3 ended with about 284 crore after releasing on December 20.