UPDATE, Monday: Final actuals have been logged below for 20th Century Fox, Universal, Warner Bros., and the Weinstein Co.
HIGHLIGHTS: Jupiter Ascending (WB) rises in China; Kingsman: The Secret Service (FOX) passes $150M; It’s a tie for Fifty Shades (UNI) and Focus (WB); Big Hero 6 (DIS) & American Sniper (WB) pass global milestones; Chappie (SONY) switches on in Asia; Unfinished Business drums up $1.88M; The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water (PAR) splashes up record in Israel; More…
UPDATE, 4:16 PM PT: China was key to the top two movies at the international box office this weekend: Jupiter Ascending and Big Hero 6. At the same time, two local titles which emerged from the Lunar New Year holiday landed in the 8th and 10th positions on the overall overseas chart: The Man From Macau II ($10M/$133M cume) and Wolf Totem ($9.5M/$95M cume). Still, numbers are off by about 8% across the Top 10 studio releases this frame versus last, and a little more than 20% versus last year overall. In the same period in 2014, 300: Rise Of An Empire started flexing its muscle with an $88.8M bow which notably included over $9M in Russia. (This frame’s top Hollywood title in Russia is Chappie at $2.1M, a reminder of the market’s currency woes.)
On deck this week, Cinderella will aim to put her best foot forward internationally — notably in a day-and-date release in… China. Other key markets include Germany and Mexico while previews have already started. The Kenneth Branagh-helmed live-action take on the classic fairy tale will look to capitalize on its clear recognizability, the Disney brand and the buzz that started with a big splashy premiere in Berlin. Downton Abbey‘s Lily James plays the titular girl of the glass slipper and the rest of the cast features a wicked turn by Cate Blanchett, a comic spin by Helena Bonham Carter and Game Of Thrones‘ Richard Madden as the prince.
Also coming up is a reteam of Liam Neeson and Juame Collet-Sera for crime actioner Run All Night. The pair collaborated on 2014’s Non-Stop, which crossed $100M worldwide in this same frame last year on its way to $131M internationally. Run All Night pits Neeson’s hitman Jimmy Conlon versus Ed Harris’ mob boss in France and the UK via Warner Bros in the coming week. Notable expansions include Chappie and Focus.
See below for figures on this weekend’s international play.
PREVIOUS, 2:21 PM PT: In a turnabout, Andy and Lana Wachowski‘s Channing Tatum/Mila Kunis sci-fi adventure Jupiter Ascending leads the international box office chart this weekend. That’s thanks to a strong kick-off in China, where it earned $23M out of a total $24.3M frame overseas. The Middle Kingdom haul is close to the total of the siblings’ Cloud Atlas, which grossed about $28M there in 2013. Elsewhere, there were mixed fortunes amongst the new entries. Sony’s Chappie was strong in Asia, grabbing more than a third of its $13.7M weekend total there. Unfinished Business, on the other hand, wasn’t exactly money for Fox. See below for more on those and other studio titles at the international box office.
Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie made its overseas debut in 53 Sony Pictures Releasing International markets and grossed an estimated $13.7M. In Asia, the robot tale bested, or was on par with, the helmer’s previous efforts, District 9 and Elysium, grossing $5.1M from just eight markets. That could bode well for releases later down the line including Korea and Japan which embraced the earlier films. Malaysia was tops with $1.1M on 250 screens, 23% above Elysium and more than four times higher than District 9. The Taiwain opening doubled District 9 at $814K on 105 screens, No. 2 behind Kingsman. Indonesia bowed at No. 1 with $757K at 198 dates. Thailand was also No. 1 with $701 on 159 screens, about equal to Elysium. That film made upwards of $25M in China which has yet to set a firm date for Chappie.
In Russia, Chappie was No. 2 behind a local pic. It earned $2.1M from 1,213 screens. In France, the sci-fi fable landed at No. 2 with $1.7M on 413 screens – falling in line behind American Sniper. The UK launched with $1.5M on 602 screens. Germany was one of the softer opening plays with $892K on 491 screens. Overall, Europe wasn’t so hot, although Blomkamp’s films have had good multiples. Latin America was led by Peru‘s $223K on 84 screens, more than double the opening of District 9. Central America opened No. 1 with $190K on 107 screens, and Ecuador kicked off with $67K. Most major markets are yet to come including Australia, Korea, Mexico, and Spain this week.
Vince Vaughn-starrer Unfinished Business mustered just $1.88M from 1,713 screens in 15 markets. Openings were soft across the board in places like Russia, Peru and Down Under. The UK drew $600K from 415 screens. Looking back, Vaughn’s Delivery Man counted the UK as its best offshore market, although on the whole that film came in higher domestically. Before that, The Internship was slightly better attended overseas, while there was a big gap between Couples Retreat‘s $109M domestic and $63M international. That Unfinished Business’ story line unfolds in Berlin could add to its appeal when it opens in Germany in July. Much of Europe doesn’t hit until the latter half of the summer.
In one weekend, Jupiter Ascending has made a quarter of its overseas box office – thanks to China. Pulling in a total $24.3M in the frame – its second best since debuting in early February – the Wachowski siblings’ sci-fi title now has a cume of $106.5M. While holdover drops were 59%, China gave the film a No. 1 debut with $23M from over 7,028 screens and with 35% of the market. It’s Warner Bros’ fifth-biggest three-day opening of all time. While the costly film has suffered elsewhere, China was expected to be big: It was the No. 1 market for Cloud Atlas. Japan releases on March 28.
Crossing $600M, Disney’s Big Hero 6 now has a cume of $604.8M adding another $19.9M globally this frame. The Oscar winner has overtaken Tangled to become the 3rd-highest-grossing Disney animated release of all time behind Frozen and The Lion King. It’s still in 25 markets, but China pushed it across the goal this weekend with another $15.9M for a local cume of $40.8M. That makes it the film’s second-biggest offshore market behind Japan ($75.1M).
Will Smith’s Focus is now on release in 49 international markets, where it grossed $18.1M in its 2nd frame. The cume on Focus is now $37.3M. After a soft launch last frame, Warner Bros added 18 markets with some No. 1 debuts this go-round. Mexico started off with $2.5M on 1,554 screens, ranking No. 1; Italy was also No. 1 with $2.1M on 407 screens; Australia was tops with $2.1M on 271; and Argentina chimed in with $641K and giving Smith his 2nd biggest opening ever behind Men In Black III. In Germany, Focus couldn’t pull first place away from Mr Grey, settling on $1.3M at 474 plays. Holdover cumes include the UK ($6.5M) and Russia ($6.3M).
Ana and Christian soared past $500M last week and have landed at the end of the weekend with a global cume of $526.7M. In its 4th frame, Fifty Shades Of Grey added an estimated $16.5M from 59 territories for a total of $370.3M internationally. Of particular note, Germany continues to lust after the erotic love story with a 4th consecutive No. 1 spot – ahead of the openings of Focus and Chappie, according to Universal. Brazil is also a No. 1 hold. The top grossing territories are the UK/Ireland ($50.2M); Germany ($37.3M); France ($30M); Brazil ($27M); and Italy ($22M). Egypt opens on March 11, the last international bow.
Kingsman: The Secret Service carried on strongly this frame, adding $16.85M from 6,411 screens in 73 markets for a cume of $150.6M. In Korea, where the Matthew Vaughn-directed pic has found a fantastic niche, it is now Fox’s second-biggest movie ever – behind only Avatar. With a slight 15% drop this frame, it earned another $4.48M for a local cume of $31.6M. After jumping to the No. 1 position in its 3rd week last session, it again held the berth. The undercover Colin Firth action/comedy is strong in several Asian markets with a No. 1 in Taiwan (three weeks running/$8.48M cume); a new record in Singapore ($2.94M) as the highest M18-rated film of all time; and a $4.7M cume that’s 57% higher than X-Men: First Class in Malaysia. Elsewhere, Brazil opened at No. 2 ($1.69M) behind another smart dresser, Christian Grey. France was No. 2 in its 3rd week with a cume of $8.6M to date. Kingsman is now Vaughn’s biggest title of all time in Australia. Germany, Austria, and Turkey release next weekend and the Secret Service takes on China on March 27.
American Sniper has shot past $500M globally with $500.2M after this frame which added $14M from over 5,016 screens in 59 markets. The Oscar-winner opened in Russia and Holland, setting new debut frame records for Clint Eastwood at $338K and $616K, respectively. In France, it was No. 1 for the 3rd consecutive frame, adding $2.8M for a cume of $17.2M. In Japan, it was No. 2 with a further $1.5M and a total to date of $12.3M. The international cume is $163M.
Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water soaked up a further $9.6M this weekend from 6,676 locations in 51 territories for a cume of $110.4M. Opening in Israel, the film took the No. 1 spot with $854K at 27 locations — a $31,629 per-screen average and the biggest release ever for the studio in the market. It was four times bigger than Big Hero 6‘s opening and 4.5 times bigger than Penguins Of Madagascar. In Malaysia, the debut for the Bikini Bottom crew was good for a No. 2 slot with $526K at 85 locations; 39% ahead of The Lego Movie. Singapore opened to $317K from 26 sites, 34% above Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, but 40% below Penguins Of Madagascar. In holdovers, the drops were in the 50% range in Italy, Germany, France and Brazil. The UK bows on March 27 followed by Australia on April 2.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel enjoyed its second international frame with a further $5.59M from 1,408 screens in nine markets. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Richard Gere & Co held at No. 1 in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. The cume in the UK is now $13M with an early international total of $21.06M. There are still 57 markets to release throughout spring. Domestically, the movie bettered expectations with an $8.54M start this frame.
Still flying high from its Oscar wins, Birdman winged to another $4.19M from 2,928 screens in 52 markets. Korea opened at $896K, 57% above the opening of The Grand Budapest Hotel and holds elsewhere were good, per Fox. The international cume stands at $53.1M, with four additional offshore markets, including Japan, releasing through April.
The Weinstein Co.’s The Imitation Game keeps clicking the turnstiles overseas with $3.9M on 1,743 screens and a new overseas cume of $119M. Worldwide, the Oscar winner for best adapted screenplay has amassed $205.8M worldwide.
The Theory Of Everything added $2M from 46 territories for a total of $79.2M. Combined with the U.S. estimated total of $35.5M, the worldwide cume to date is $114.7M. There were no new openings this frame, but Japan, Serbia/Montenegro and Vietnam are still to come.
Seventh Son, which Universal is handling for Legendary, also added $1.9M this session. Playing in 17 territories, the fantasy pic now has a total of $88.6M international including China where Legendary East released it. Germany, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland, Venezuela, Australia and New Zealand all bowed this weekend. Germany opened at No. 10 with $447K, far behind Fifty Shades, American Sniper and a handful of local titles. Things were brighter Down Under where Australia opened at No. 5 with $542K at 153 dates.
Penguins Of Madagascar flapped up another $1.4M from 622 screens in 26 markets as its total hits $284.4M. The terrific run in Venezuela continued with $888K from 82 screens, a 14% drop for a local cume of $9.5M after four weekends.
Project Almanac booked $1.3M from 913 locations in nine markets for Paramount. The international cume is now $9M. Mexico and Germany were new bows with $350K and $145K respectively. Further Latin American markets and South Africa open throughout March and April.
Sony’s Annie reboot warbled up a further $1.3M on 1,248 screens in 32 territories this weekend, for an offshore cume of $48.7M. The only new open was Venezuela with $234K from 45 screens. The little orphan moves into Russia on March 19.
Universal released local comedy/drama Dukhless 2 (Soulless 2) this weekend to a No. 1 spot at the Russian box office. The Roman Prygunov-helmed pic is a sequel to 2012’s hit, which made over $13M there. The franchise is based on the book by Sergey Minaev about a young hedonistic male executive who meets a girl from the other side of the tracks. The weekend take for Soulless 2 is $3.77M at 1,040 dates – 41% bigger than the opening of the previous film and 19% higher in terms of admissions. Fedor Bondarchuk, the helmer of Russia’s all-time biggest local title, Stalingrad, is having a good couple of weeks at the box office – he produced both Dukhless 2 and last week’s No. 2 Batalon, which Sony is releasing there.
Universal Pictures International’s Italian drama Nessuna Si Salva Da Solo (No One Is Saved Alone) was released on Thursday locally, scoring a No. 2 slot. The weekend gross is $1.46M at 400 dates. Sergio Castellitto directs the Scenes From A Marriage-esque love story based on a novel by his wife, Margaret Mazzantini.