UPDATE, WRITETHRU TUESDAY: Studio actuals are in for all Warner Bros films, and also for Disney, while we have estimates still on what was a hodgepodge of titles offshore this weekend. There were no major wide releases in the session, although staggered rollouts began on Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s The Legend Of Tarzan, Fox’s Ice Age: Collision Course and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG. Tarzan, which began pounding his chest in 19 markets, took a better than expected $19.3M (up from yesterday’s $18.8M estimate) in the first overseas swing which included Russia and Korea. The latest Ice Age came in at $18M in seven debuts with 75% of releases still to come. And, The BFG delivered $3.9M in its overseas bow in Russia and Australia. Also new, Edina and Patsy are back with Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
With a 60% drop, last week’s top draw, Independence Day Resurgence, colonized a further $39M to take the international tally to $175M. China leads play with $66.1M to date. In other holds, Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory splashed up another $34.4M for a wee 7% drop. This week, Dory dove into new waters in Brazil and the Netherlands, setting records in both.
Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows slid into China with a $26.1M 2-day frame on 6,600 screens. In comparable Saturday releases, TMNT2 was almost double the launch of Big Hero 6; 41% above TMNT in 2014; and 18% higher than Angry Birds earlier this year. TMNT2 has Chinese money in it via Alibaba Pictures as well as a strategeic investor in Wanda and that will most certainly have helped here. What’s more, actor Stephen Amell — well known locally for Arrow — traveled to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou to promote the film, in a rare swing through all four cities. His presence was a top trending topic on Weibo.
Illumination/Universal’s The Secret Life Of Pets is the cat’s meow again this week in its markets. With No. 1 bow-wows in four new plays and No. 1 holds in last frame’s openers, it now has a cume of $29.6M.
Looking at last year, the Top 5 movies are down 36% versus 2015. At the time, the July 4 frame was led by Terminator Genisys ($73.3M) in its sophomore session; followed by the continued play of Minions ($56.2M) and Jurassic World ($43.3M); the debut of Chen Kaige’s The Monk Comes Down The Mountain ($34.5M); and Inside Out with $21.1M in its 3rd week.
It’s notable that two of the Top 5 Hollywood movies this week took the bulk of their grosses from China (TMNT2 and NYSM2). By this time last year, the PROC was full bore in its unofficial blackout period as Jurassic World played out. This year, the Middle Kingdom has four Hollywood titles still in the Top 10 (five if we count Warcraft). Resurgence opened just last weekend along with NYSM2 (which has a local partner on marketing) and TMNT2 was let in on Saturday (it has that China investment). Coming up, Tarzan will swing in on July 19.
Some of the thinking goes that the powers that be may be playing nicer with Hollywood given local market share is at an estimated 53% thanks to the outsized performance of The Mermaid earlier in the year. However, watchers believe there is no surefire Chinese hit on deck this July in the vein of Monster Hunt, while April and May were both soft in general at Middle Kingdom turnstiles. Two local titles that bowed this weekend, Bounty Hunters ($18M) and No One’s Life Is Easy ($8.5M) were not firestarters. Among upcoming local titles this month are Cold War II and For A Few Bullets.
Next week, The Secret Life Of Pets, Tarzan, Ice Age 5 and Dory continue expansion. We’ll also keep an eye on Salman Khan’s Eid offering, Sultan, which goes out in India and many others.
Breakdowns for this week are updated below.
ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE
The 5th film in the Fox/Blue Sky Studios franchise launched in seven international markets, this frame and scurried to $18M from 5,286 screens. This time around, Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike — inadvertently set in motion by Scrat — that would destroy the world. There is a lot of animated fare in the markets right now, with Finding Dory continuing to roll out and The Secret Life Of Pets just getting started. Collision Course, helmed by Mike Thurmeier, will spread to nearly the rest of the world during July and then hits China in a plum late August slot. North America bows July 22.
The earlier films have all performed increasingly bigger overseas vs domestic with a collective $2.1B in international dollars. IA5 started play this weekend with the industry’s biggest opening ever in Uruguay at $620K; and in Mexico it was Fox’s 2nd biggest opening weekend of all time (-4% from Ice Age: Continental Drift) with $8.4M. Germany was No. 1 with $4.2M — notable given the Mannschaft’s Euro 2016 match against Italy on Saturday night which ran to extended penalties. Similarly, Austria, and Switzerland were both No. 1 with $893K and $514K, respectively. At $3.1M on 308 screens, Australia gave IA5 a No. 5 debut.
THE LEGEND OF TARZAN
Swinging into 19 international markets, the David Yates-directed spin on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic creation snatched $19.3M (up from the expected $18.8M) on about 6,900 screens. It’s got an A- CinemaScore in North America where it
is opening at $38.49M. The offshore rollout is staggered to take advantage of the competitive landscape and surrounding the ongoing Euro Cup soccer tournament (although with England’s surprise knockout out last weekend, anyone who purposely stayed out of the UK this weekend has to be bummed). The main cast for Tarzan was set for UK press ahead of next frame’s bow there, with Alexander Skarsgard headed to Scandinavia and a key push later in Beijing. Tarzan was given a plum July 19 release date out of the Middle Kingdom. Peculiar given the typical July blackout on Hollywood imports, but also not a slam dunk either given there will be a bevy of Chinese movies in the market by that time.
Back to this weekend. Tarzan predictably topped Russian box office with 44% of the Top 5 at $3.1M. The action/CGI lends itself to Russian audiences, but the opening is only on par with the launch of Snow White And The Huntsman and 35% above Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. That film’s sequel, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, fared much better in Russia with a $9.8M start in 2014.
Similarly, in Korea, Skarsgard’s turn as a thinking man’s Tarzan grossed $4M from 606 screens. This is currently a crowded market with two local pics, Familyhood and The Hunt both performing strongly. Tarzan landed No. 2. It should be noted that Disney’s The Jungle Book, which has grossed upwards of $18M here, is still in Korean theaters. On 122 offshore IMAX screens, thet total is $1.2M.
Elsewhere on Tarzan, Asia had No. 1 openings in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Without going into detail, WB says Tarzan opened No. 1 in the majority of Eastern European markets and Puerto Rico. Next weekend, more heavy-hitters come along including the UK, France, Australia and Mexico.
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE
The sweetie-darlings are back and on the big screen. Fox Searchlight’s transfer of the cult British series, led by Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, jumped on the UK catwalk this weekend with a $5.8M start. That was 21% better than The Devil Wears Prada and 5% above The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The story sees Edina and Patsy escape to the French Riviera after the former is blamed for a fashion-world scandal (involving a missing Kate Moss). Bumbling, Bolly and famous cameos abound in what has been a well reviewed confection. AbFab rolls out next in the Netherlands (7/21) and Australia (8/4).
Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Roald Dahl tale about a little girl and her sweet and gentle giant was a charmer at the Cannes Film Festival world premiere earlier this year. Despite an A- CinemaScore domestically, it’s off to just a $18.6M launch for the three-day in North America. Combined with a $3.9M international total, the worldwide cume for this Spielberg title is an estimated $22.5M.
Overseas, where the 4th of July weekend is not a holiday, The BFG bowed in Russia and Australia courtesy of Disney (many international territories were sold off via Mister Smith and we will report those numbers as we receive them). In Australia, the Mark Rylance-starrer opened to an estimated $2M, placing No. 3. That’s +135% vs Dahl’s Jack The Giant Slayer and +35% over Spielberg’s War Horse. In Russia, there were $1.9M in estimated returns for the No. 2 slot. That tops the entire runs of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and War Horse. The next major openings are in Brazil on July 28 and Korea on August 4.
INDEPENDENCE DAY RESURGENCE
In its 2nd frame, Fox’s sequel to Roland Emmerich’s 1996 blockbuster fell 60% for a $39M weekend in 64 markets and on 17,686 screens. In China, IDR had to settle for 4th place in its sophomore session. It’s been getting beat there by Now You See Me 2, on which Lionsgate has a local marketing and distribution partner, and where a new local pic came onscreen this frame as well as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 which has Chinese investment. The cume there is now $66.14M after a $12.4M frame.
The UK was the next best hold at $2.9M and a 49% drop which took it to $13.3M total amid stiff competition from The Secret Life Of Pets and Fox’s own Absolutely Fabulous. Mexico landed No. 2 for an $11.5M cume and Korea dipped to No. 4, also with strong local competition, for a $10.1M running total.
Spain, Sweden and Norway saw solid openings. There are four of the Top 10 international markets still to come: France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
The forgetful blue tang and her pals have now finned out to 40 international territories with a cume of $167.8M. Together with its record-breaking domestic run, the global total on the Pixar sequel is about $548M. The weekend frame was worth a much better than expected $36.3M (up from yesterday’s estimate of $34.4M) overseas.
In family friendly Brazil, Dory rode to $7.1M for the best Disney or Pixar animated opening ever, almost twice the previous record held by The Good Dinosaur. The film is running gill-to-gill with Minions for the No. 1 all-time animation debut record with both title’s carrying local currency estimates of 23M reals. In the Netherlands, Dory definitely posted the largest opening for an animated title ever with $2.1M.
Elsewhere, Dory has surpassed Monsters University to become Pixar’s biggest grosser ever in China with $36.2M after 17 days. Australia is the No. 2 market overall with $22.6M in No. 1 for the 3rd frame in a row. Latin America dropped just 28% in the already opened markets, led by Uruguay (+22%), Chile (+5%) and Argentina (-9%). Argentina is the No. 3 top play overall with $10.4M, followed by France at $10.3M and Spain at $9.6M. Dory’s holds were particularly strong in Europe with an 18% drop. Korea, Taiwan and Lebanon bow next weekend as Dory continues swimming through a staggered release pattern that concludes in Germany in September.
The shell game continued this weekend in 58 markets including seven new openings for a $30.5M frame. The international total on Out Of The Shadows is now $109.2M. Chief among the new plays was China which bowed on Saturday with a $26.1M take over two days on 6,600 screens. The film, which has investment from local giants Wanda and Alibaba Pictures, far outpaced the competition which included Chinese/Korean action comedy Bounty Hunters as well as last week’s leaders Now You See Me 2 and Independence Day Resurgence. Pitching in to pitch, co-star Stephen Amell made a four-city hop to sell the pic there and social media noticed.
Alibaba’s undisclosed investment came with the promise of its subsidiaries Taobao Movie and Yulebao providing service and support to the film (it also has money in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond). We’ve recently seen what key local partners can do for a Western movie in China which has underperformed elsewhere (read: Warcraft) and TMNT2 will have a relatively unfettered week ahead. There are some major Chinese titles on deck this month — which is typically a blackout period although this year there are some studio pics in the mix — but none are expected to be the outsized hit that Monster Hunt was last year when it sucked most of the air out of the market.
Elsewhere, TMNT2 opened in France with $2.5M on 624 cinemas; 29% above Angry Birds and 38% below TMNT.
NOW YOU SEE ME 2
Taking its worldwide total past $200M, Jon M Chu’s magic heist sequel grossed $20.8M in 60 offshore markets this weekend. The international cume is now $155.6M. NSYM2 continues to have an unprecedented run for a Lionsgate pic in China. It is now that studio’s highest grossing film ever in the territory with $81.9M after two weeks.
The pic debuted in Latin America this frame with $585K in Colombia; $500K in Venezuela; $326K in Peru; and $216K in Chile. The UK bows Monday with further rollout throughout July, August and early September.
The New Line/Universal comedy crossed $100M worldwide ($125.9M) this weekend coming off a $14.2M offshore gross as it expanded significantly. Playing in 43 territories, the Kevin Hart/Dwayne Johnson-starrer now has an international total of $30M+. As the only major comedy offering offshore, the film opened in 15 extra markets this frame led by the UK at No. 3 with $4M. In comps, it bowed at the same level as Spy, Knight And Day and The A Team. Australia started off at No. 2 with $3.6M and will be No. 1 for the weekend in many locations with strong Sunday results expected thanks to great audience reaction. Mexico opened No. 4 with $1.6M. The perfs are notably higher in the interior markets. The opening is bigger than comps like 21 and 22 Jump Street, The Heat, Spy and Kingsman: The Secret Service which speaks to Johnson’s international drawing power and Hart’s growing profile. There are 19 more territories to open over the next three months.
THE CONJURING 2
New Line/Warner Bros’ supernatural horror sequel has topped Annabelle’s international gross with a cume to date of $179.3M. That’s thanks to a $13.9M session from 6,752 screens in 60 markets. France was the major debut with $3.7M, including sneaks on 262 screens. The start was good for No. 2 behind local threequel Camping 3. The Conjuring 2‘s French results more than doubled the first film and beat Annabelle by 48%. Mexico continues to lead offshore play at $19.8M.
ME BEFORE YOU
New Line/MGM/Warner Bros’ teen tearjerker picked up another cool million from yesterday to raise its weekend cume to $13.5M (up from $12.2M) in international play on 5,488 screens in 44 markets. The cume cume to date is now $84.4M. Spain launched to $639K from 255 screens, coming in about par now with its main comp, The Fault In Our Stars. After last week’s strong start, Germany was up 1% for $2.1M and a $7M cume. Brazil‘s 3rd weekend also added $2.1M, from 719 screens, and ranking No. 2. The drop was 29% for a total thus far of $11.5M. The top market for this one is the U.K. with $12.8M. Russia bows next weekend.
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Illumination/Universal’s animated look at what our domesticated animals get up to when we leave the house has now bowed at No. 1 in all markets where it has opened. This weekend, it added $11.9M in a total of six for a cume of $29.6M. Taiwan led launches with $2M for the biggest animation debut weekend of 2016 and the second-biggest opening weekend for an original animation of all time behind Madagascar.
Hong Kong ($1.9M) gave Pets the top animation debut of the year and the second biggest original animation opening of all time, just 1% below Inside Out. Vietnam bowed with $806K; Israel was good for $581K, and Universal’s best start of 2016.
In holds, Pets stayed leashed to the No. 1 spot in the UK for a second weekend in a row and $6.3M. The 10-day total is $22.2M. Similarly, Norway held No. 1 and has a 10-day cume of $1.6M.
There are 60 more territories to release over the next three months. Next weekend, the film opens in India along with the U.S. and Canada.
Legendary and Universal Pictures’ Warcraft added seven Latin American markets this frame as well as Japan. The total for the frame was $6.2M in 60 territories. The Universal international total is $156.1M. Combined with the estimated U.S. total of $45.9M, Universal’s haul is $202M. The worldwide cume including China’s $220.1M is $422.1M. In Lat Am, Argentina was the top opener with $800K. In a limited release, Japan picked up $273K in 5th place. Uruguay is Uni’s last market and says game-on this week.
ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
In its 6th offshore weekend, Disney’s rare 2016 misfire drank up $6.2M in 16 markets. Japan was the new play with $5.2M and secured the No. 1 spot among new entries. The overseas total is now $184.6M for about $260M worldwide.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/HIGHLIGHTS
Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes’ The Purge: Election Year entered the domestic race this frame with a $30.9M 3-day. Overseas, it joined the ballot in just a handful of smaller markets including Estonia, Lebanon, Slovenia and Turkey for an estimated $130K. Despite this past week’s turmoil in Turkey, the threequel had the best start of the franchise with $77K. Release is staggered over the next few months for the Universal title.
The Jungle Book in weekend 13 is softening its roar, for now. A $2M frame internationally brings the global tally to $935M. Korea added $1.3M this weekend for a total $18M. This is in advance of the final market – Japan – bowing on August 11.
Sony’s The Angry Birds Movie flapped up another $1.6M this weekend from over 2,900 screens in 71 total markets to take the international cume to $231.6M. Japan is the next key release, in October.
Fox’s X-Men: Apocalypse brought together $1M 22 holdover markets. The offshore cume is now $375.4M with Japan coming up, also on August 11.
Zootopia is playing out internationally with Japan adding $900K in its 9th weekend of release. The cume there is $68.5M, helping bring the global tally to $1,019.1M. The weekend’s international tally was $678.7M.
At the other end of the spectrum, Fox’s Deadpool also continues to deliver excellent results in Japan. The weekend was good for $430K in the market. Deadpool’s $17.8M cume in Japan is greater than the lifetime of Batman V Superman and twice as big as Guardians Of The Galaxy. The international total is $420.7M.
The Jodie Foster-helmed Money Monster delivered an estimated $893K from over 1,100 screens in 58 total markets for $46.6M to date offshore. Greece was a No. 1 start with $166K on 89 screens; 52% ahead of The Big Short.
Neighbors 2 grossed $649K at 1,138 date for Universal in 22 markets. Its total cume now is $47M with $102.2M worldwide. Italy opened in limited release with only 286 dates to gross $191K. The comedy opens in its three final markets — Belgium, France and French-Switzerland tomorrow (July 6).