4TH UPDATE, TUESDAY AM WRITETHRU: In a comparatively soft frame, international box office was down about 32% versus last week across the Top 10 studio titles. That’s due to a convergence of holdovers that are deeper into their runs, or taking a staggered release approach — and new arrivals that were never expected to blow the competition out of the water. In its 3rd frame, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 held the lead again at $30.05M, followed by Spectre in its 6th outing and The Good Dinosaur‘s sophomore session.
The biggest newcomer was In The Heart Of The Sea with a better than projected $18.5M in Monday actuals and some No. 1 debuts. While it’s comping respectably to other sea-faring — if not apples-to-apples — fare, there are only about 10 days of open offshore water ahead of it before Star Wars docks. It will see stiff local competition in France this week and then sits out new plays until Boxing Day in the UK before Japan and China next year. ITHOTS is not yet dated in the latter, but if it ends up in January it will still have to face off with Star Wars, which goes out in the second week, and Kung Fu Panda 3 at the end of the month.
In smaller release, Point Break picked up $14.1M in six Asian markets, including $12.1M in China. While The Martian continued its red-hot run atop the Middle Kingdom chart over the weekend, Point Break was No. 1 on Monday swelling to $14M there. This is an early PROC release experiment that gives it a bit of space with regard to Hollywood movies, although local films will be gunning for it. The action pic hits the rest of the world at Christmas, right in the wake of The Force. The other major debut, Krampus, made a smaller dent internationally at $3.46M versus its $16.3M domestic over-performance on a reported $15M budget. It hits Mexico, the Netherlands and New Zealand next session. Offshore highlights so far have been markets that are familiar with the legend.
Compared to last year, the Top 3 movies were off by about 13% in this frame. In 2014, Mockingjay Part 1 was in the lead followed by Chinese pic Fleet Of Time and the expansion of Penguins Of Madagascar. Conversely, the top Chinese movie on the chart this week, Fall In Love Like A Star, brought in just $11M. We will see a reversal as the blackout period begins to boost market share even higher than the 59% it already hit earlier this week for 2015.
Elsewhere, next weekend will see expansions and essentially be a chance for current films to leg out a little more ahead of the arrival of The Force Awakens which begins international roll out on December 16.
(Actuals for all titles have been updated below, courtesy of Deadline’s Kinsey Lowe)
3RD UPDATE, SUNDAY PM, WRITETHRU: Much as we saw last year at this time, Katniss Everdeen fended off newcomers to lead the international box office frame. With $30.5M, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 has held the No. 1 spot for the 3rd session in a row. In a particular highlight, MJ2 has now passed $500M in global box office. Spectre and The Good Dinosaur round out the top trio.
They are followed by Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s In The Heart Of The Sea which debuted in 38 markets on $18.5M. Those were led by Korea. Next up is Alcon/DMG/Warner Bros’ Point Break which entered offshore play on a $14.1M wave in six Asian markets — including $12.1M in China. That wasn’t enough to unseat The Martian and its No. 1 Middle Kingdom reign after two frames, but is a decent start in an experimental move to launch three weeks before domestic. More info on those and others below.
IN THE HEART OF THE SEA
Sailing to 38 international markets this weekend, Warner Bros’ Ron Howard-helmed survival tale grossed $18.5M with 3.3M admissions on more than 9,500 screens. Korea launched with $2.6M on 550 screens. But No. 2 behind local hit Inside Men, it had just about 18% market share. Russia was a No. 1 bow with $2M on 1,689 screens. Mexico rounds out the top three markets with $1.9M on 1,650 screens, ultimately taking No. 2 behind The Good Dinosaur.
Half of the plays here are 3D and there are 156 IMAX dates which accounted for 7% of the box office. ITHOTS staked out some opportunistic dates in specific markets including a long holiday weekend in Italy and Spain. Going out this weekend got the movie on screens about 10 days ahead of Star Wars, but that’s a big headwind to be staring down while the UK and Japan don’t open until December 26 and January 16.
The overall opening came in 47% higher than Howard’s Rush (which also starred ITHOTS‘ Chris Hemsworth and ultimately underperformed at $70M despite positive reviews); over 32% higher than Master And Commander ($118M total international box office); and 7% higher than Captain Phillips ($112M). WB is careful to note that if those figures were up to date with today’s exchange rates, the gaps would widen. But closing the gap with the ultimate IBOs looks like a longshot through the current spyglass.
Among other openers were Italy on $1.7M at No. 1. On 489 screens, it had the best per-screen average, more than doubling all other films in the Top 5. Brazil ($1.3M) came in No. 2 behind MJ2 and ahead of local comedy opener Bem Casados.
In Asia, Thailand is at No. 1 with $787K on 250 screens, besting the lifetime runs of Rush and Captain Phillips in local currency. Taiwan is also No. 1, with $693K. Across six smaller Asian markets, there was a combined $2.2M on 765 screens. Australia took $607K on 438 screens, somewhat surprising given the presence of local son Hemsworth. In Spain, where Spanish Affairs 2 continues to dominate the market, ITHOTS opened to $550K on 355 screens. The UAE rowed to $646K on 94 screens, ranking a strong No. 1. Other Middle East markets brought in an additional $600K. France opens this week.
From helmer Ericson Core, the update on Kathryn Bigelow’s classic 1991 crime drama made China its debut market — three weeks ahead of the U.S. bow. Grossing $12.1M in the Middle Kingdom, it came in 2nd, fending off local newcomer Fall In Love Like A Star in the four-day, and riding in the wake of The Martian which held the No. 1 spot. The total in six Asian markets was $14.1M. Warner Bros has the UK, Russia, Japan and Latin America; Lionsgate is releasing the DMG Entertainment/Alcon Entertainment pic in the rest of the world. In China, the movie was on 3,700 screens in a strategic window, and got a big marketing boost from DMG locally. This is a decent start, especially considering lower grosses on Hollywood movies of late. Alcon’s Andrew Kosove says they’re happy with the results and expext to perform over the next week similarly to Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials which would be a solid result given the lack of brand equity associated with Point Break. Yes, it’s a remake, but the first film remains an essentially unknown quantity there. The next three weeks see no new Hollywood competition as we enter a blackout period; that should help PB experience a “slower decay curve” than some others recently which have faced full-frontal competition from other Western movies. Still, look for those Chinese titles to stack up.
Universal’s Babysitting 2 bowed No. 1 in France with $4.9M. This is the local sequel to the 2014 smash which Universal co-produced. At 526 dates, and as the French continue to get back to their normal ways (which includes Christmas shopping at this time of year), it has 23% market share and started out 85% bigger than the opening weekend of the original Babysitting. Nicolas Benamou and Philippe Lacheau helmed the first pic about a night of mishaps. They return for the follow-up which moves the action to Brazil.
Legendary and Universal’s horror comedy wove its tale in 24 international territories this weekend with an estimated $3.46M at 1,642 dates. Based on Austrian folk lore, the story centers on an evil Santa who pays a visit to an unsuspecting family. Most major markets, with the exception of France, Italy, Australia, Japan and Korea opened this frame. Helmed by Michael Dougherty, Krampus performed above expectations domestically. But overseas, the best plays were places where the legend is most familiar. Austria opened No. 1 with $517K at 65 dates and Germany bowed at No. 4 with $704K at 303. The UK was No. 8 with $620K at 318. Latin America could see some pick-up when Mexico bows next weekend along with 12 other territories. Latin America in the debut frame brought No. 4 openings in Argentina with $176K at 100 dates and Colombia with $117K at 106. If word of mouth works, this could find audiences looking for a holiday-themed film ahead of Star Wars.
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2
Katniss slung another quiver of arrows at the international box office in her 3rd time out, targeting $30.05M for a 49% drop and an offshore cume of $295.02M. That total takes MJ2 past the overseas lifetime of the first Hunger Games movie, but leaves it well short of Catching Fire’s $440M and Mockingjay Part 1’s $418M. The worldwide cume has now surpassed $500M at $522.4M. The final film is playing in 92 overseas markets with the UK leading at $35.5M, followed by Germany with $32.1M. China rounds out the Top 3 with $22M, a franchise low.
007 aimed at his final market this frame with Japan spying a three-day weekend of $2.95M on 583 screens. Including previews, the cume is $6.95M. In a total of 94 markets, Spectre added $23.56M on 9,900 screens. After six weeks in release, the total is $607.98M on the Eon/Sony/MGM 24th Bond. Germany continues its great run with a 35% drop in weekend 5 for a total of $60.9M; France fell 47% in its 4th weekend to bring the cume to $32.9M; the UK dipped 44% for $139.7M to date; and Australia slipped 38% to cume $20.9M. In the Netherlands, folks just can’t get enough of the superspy with the movie at No. 1 for six straight weeks. The total is $17.2M. China is at $84.5M with the run essentially complete.
THE GOOD DINOSAUR
Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur crossed $100M globally in its 2nd frame after adding $20M offshore to a cume of $55.9M . The global total to date on the pic that has a staggered release is $131.4M. Among significant territories not yet open are Australia, Korea, Japan and Brazil. Playing in 45 territories, Arlo and Spot have stepped out in approximately 59% of the international marketplace. The sophomore session had no major openings, but saw Latin America hold to just a 19% drop and retain the No. 1 position throughout the region. In Europe, standout holds were France and Germany, each down 25%. The UK stayed at No. 2 and South East Asia, which opened strongly last week, also experienced good holds, including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. Lead markets are the UK ($7.8M), Mexico ($6.7M), France ($6M), Russia ($3.8M) and Italy ($3.7M).
After its terrific China start last frame, Ridley Scott’s red planet romp added $13.05M from 4,417 screens in 33 markets this weekend. It impressively held the No. 1 spot in the Middle Kingdom despite the arrival of a handful of local titles and Point Break. The cume there is now $73.7M, taking it over the lifetime cume of Gravity in the market. The international cume is now $352.4M, with Japan scheduled for lift-off on 2/5/16.
BRIDGE OF SPIES
Fox’s international release of Steven Spielberg’s Tom Hanks Cold War drama added $9.87M from 4,340 screens in 55 markets. Spain opened No. 3 ($1.87M) and France took $1.64M, but fell in at No. 5. In both markets they were bigger than Hanks comp Captain Phillips. Holdover plays dropped just 25% to push the cume to $41.7M. The UK remains the best offshore hub with $5.9M. Upcoming releases include Italy on 12/16 and Japan on 1/8/16.
Director Todd Haynes’ drama is still barely getting started. In its second weekend in the UK, Carol brought in $523.5K (-28% from its first weekend) for an international cume of $1.98M. The film added just one more market in Europe: Greece, which brought in $71K from a single screen. Likewise the U.S. platform release by the Weinstein Company held steady at 4 theaters in the third weekend. Carol was just voted Best Picture by the New York Film Critics Circle and has plenty of room to grow both in North America and abroad. The global cume is $2.8M.
Notably opening in the UK, the Fox genre drama came in at No. 8 with $652K, meaning it didn’t exactly capitalize on a cast of well-known Brits. However, there were good holds across Latin America to bring the weekend to $5.1M on 4,662 screens in 38 markets. After two weeks, Mexico is the top play at $3.34M and Russia has $3.08M. The total is $19.08M to date.
SPANISH AFFAIRS 2
In its 3rd frame, this Universal-released sequel is still tops in Spain. The updated weekend figure is $4.1M at 370 dates for a total of $23.5M. It has 35% market share and is twice as big as the No. 2 film. After just 17 days, it is the biggest local film of the year and the 3th highest-grossing film of 2015 behind Minions and Jurassic World.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
Guests continue to check in for the Sony animated comedy, with a further $2.55M from 3,200 screens in 69 total markets. Cume to date has reached $274.1M. There were no new releases this frame, but Australia fell 30% in its 2nd frame to gross $1.1M from 409 screens. Staggered school holidays begin there next weekend, just before Star Wars heads Down Under. After that, HT2 will check into Korea on Christmas Eve.
THE PEANUTS MOVIE
Snoopy and the gang kicked up $1.98M in 14 offshore plays for Fox this frame. The Japan bow-wow was $1.5M for a No. 2 slot ahead of the holidays. The early international cume is $13M, with releases in over 58 international markets still to come.
Sony added 10 new markets as part of a long release plan with play now in 55 total. Taking in $1.7M this chapter, the international cume is now $36.6M. Russia was a No. 2 bow, behind ITHOTS, with $1.27M. Mexico remains the top overseas market at $7.1M. Still to come in 2016 are Korea, Italy, Spain, Germany, the UK and France.
Now boxing in nine international markets, Ryan Coogler’s Rocky-inspired drama grossed $1.5M from over 457 screens. The overseas cume is $5.3M. Driven by good word of mouth, Australia held strongly in the 2nd weekend, adding eight screens and grossing $902K from 197 total to lift the cume to $2.65M. The result is 29% above the sophomore session of Rocky Balboa and on par in the cume. Oz is the top play with several majors to come including Japan (12/23), France (1/13), Germany, Italy and Russia (1/14) and the UK (1/15).
The Visit (UNI): +$865K, $31.9M international total to date
Black Mass (WB): +$1.4M, $30.2M
The Dressmaker (UNI): +$470k, $12.7M
Macbeth (Various): +$429K, $7.28M
Steve Jobs (UNI): +308K, $6.6M
By The Sea (UNI): +$201k, $1.4M