UPDATE, SATURDAY AM: As the little yellow fellows head towards a possible $120M+ weekend Stateside, Minions‘ international box office has now officially passed the $200M mark. This comes after an additional 12 offshore territories opened yesterday, bringing the overseas cume after just over three weeks to $209M. In total, there are now 56 international markets playing Universal and Illumination’s Despicable Me 2 spinoff. It has bowed at No. 1 in 54 of those and on Friday took in $25.5M in overseas coin.
Friday highlights include Mexico‘s No. 1 debut with $4.1M and an 81% market share. The total with Thursday previews is $7.5M. It is 25% ahead of DM2 for which Mexico was the 2nd biggest play outside North America.
The two-day total in Russia, where Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin’s pic bowed Thursday, is $6.8M. The troublemakers are dominating the box office with 75% of the market. France has taken its three-day total to $8M. Its opening was 71% bigger than DM2 which was a $40M grosser there. Elsewhere, holdovers are strong, especially in Australia where Minions is up 4% in its 4th frame and has a 23-day total of $19.7M. Oz was the 8th biggest play for DM2. (For more on the outstanding Russian and French debuts, see Friday’s post below.)
Roundly knocking down records worldwide, the henchmen have claimed the biggest opening day ever for an animated film in Belgium, France, Hungary, Romania, Russia, South Africa, French-speaking Switzerland, Ukraine, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. Minions has also set the record as Universal’s biggest opening day of all time in France, French-speaking Switzerland, Hungary, Russia and Ukraine, and it is the biggest opening day of all time for all films in Venezuela.
Minions has 11 more territories to release over the next two months. Next weekend, it heads to the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the Middle East region. More on Minions in the full international box office report tomorrow.
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY PM: While it’s breaking records out of the gate domestically, Universal/Illumination’s Minions spread the henchmen hijinks to a further 18 offshore markets on Wednesday and Thursday, setting new records along the way as its international release continues. As of this past Sunday, the Kyle Balda/Pierre Coffin-helmed Despicable Me 2 spinoff had grossed $125.1M in 26 markets. With today’s grosses factored in, it will cross $200M at the international box office after just over three weeks in release and with several major plays to come.
Minions is now in 44 overseas markets and has opened No. 1 in 43 of them since initially debuting on June 17. The only place it didn’t open in the top slot was Australia where it hatched three weeks ago at No. 2, leaving room for its villainous Jurassic World cousins to hold that frame at No. 1.
Among the highlights so far this frame, Stuart, Kevin and Bob landed in France with $6.2M in their first two days. The bow on Wednesday was the biggest opening day of 2015 at nearly 600K admissions — and gives Universal bragging rights to the Top 4 openers of the year there: Minions, Fifty Shades Of Grey, Jurassic World and Furious 7. This is also Universal’s biggest opening of all time and the market’s biggest opening day ever for an animated film. It is 181% bigger than Despicable Me 2‘s bow in France which was among the top markets for that film, topping out at over $40M. Adding to the draw, local bigscreen darlings Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet lead the voice cast, co-helmer Coffin is French and Illumination Mac Guff, which is headquartered in France, did much of the animation on Minions.
Russia gave Minions a No. 1 opening on Thursday with $3.8M. That also marks Universal’s best opening day of all time and the 2nd biggest opening day ever in Russia. The debut haul is two times bigger than DM2’s. Russia was the No. 7 market for that picture at about $35M.
Belgium grossed $915K at open this week and set the record as the biggest first day ever for an animated film. It is 210% bigger than the start of DM2. The Philippines gave $509K to Minions on Day 1 in 144 locations. That sets the record for top animated film opening ever and is 84% over DM2. In Hungary, $227K worth of folks on the hunt for a new villain brought the best opening day ever for an animated film; the best opening day ever for Universal; and the best opening day of 2015.
Previous records Minions has set during its run include the biggest opening weekend of all time for an animated film in Brazil; the biggest three-day opening weekend of all time for an animated film in the UK/Ireland; and the highest-grossing weekend for a Universal animated film in Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, Spain, Argentina and Colombia.
There are 12 further territories to go this weekend, including Taiwan and Mexico. The rollout continues over the summer with major plays like Japan, Italy, Korea and China still to come. Despicable Me 2 narrowly missed making $1B worldwide with about $970M at the end of the run. Given how Minions is tracking against that film, the giant yellow brandwagon that its promotional partners have joined, and the key markets ahead, this is looking like another billion-dollar bonanza for Universal in what has become a banner year for the studio which had over $3B in international box office as of Wednesday.