With Avengers: Age Of Ultron now at $439M overseas, Disney is sitting comfortably above the $1B international box office mark for 2015. The milestone was actually achieved on Thursday when the studio quiety passed $1B in the second shortest amount of time in its history. With weekend estimates tallied, the studio’s offshore cume is $1.171B as of today. Last year, the Mouse cruised over the $1B threshold on April 20 — a record for speed.
Ultron and Cinderella, whose overseas box office is now $300.6M, have been the key drivers in the first trimester. Also puffing up the total was Oscar winner Big Hero 6 which debuted in 2014 but crossed over into 2015 in several markets. Those included China, where BH6 earned upwards of $83.5M, as well as Japan with over $76M and France, Korea and the UK which tallied $60M+ combined this year. Into The Woods also contributed — it had strong pipes in Australia, the UK and Japan with much of its $85M take coming in 2015.
Last year was slightly speedier thanks to the phenomenal grosses of Frozen which had begun its rollout in 2013 but didn’t melt hearts in its biggest play of Japan until March of 2014. By April 20 last year, it had become the highest-grossing animated film of all time in international markets with a tally of $729.3M. Also, the spring Marvel movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, began its offshore rollout a month ahead of this year’s Ultron.
Dave Hollis, Disney’s EVP of distribution says the $1B threshold is “encouraging and great.” But, he adds, “We have a lot of business left to do.” Indeed. Coming up are George Clooney-starrer Tomorrowland which starts its day-and-date rollout on May 20; Pixar’s Inside Out which debuts at the Cannes Film Festival before going global in June; Ant-Man in July; and the continuation of a little franchise known as Star Wars whose Force Awakens starting December 16.
The month of April had a number of billion dollar babies with Fox and Universal also crossing the international milestone.