UPDATED, TUESDAY AM PT: Disney/Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme conjured a significant slice of extra magic in the actuals with Disney reporting an $87.7M weekend bow for Doctor Strange in 33 offshore markets. That’s up $1.7M from Sunday’s estimates. The increases were seen across some of the major plays including the UK, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Russia in what was a mystical debut for the 14th MCU picture, which beat notable comps Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: The Dark World.
Final international weekend numbers have been updated below on all films reporting.
UPDATED, SUNDAY 2:40 PM PT: The international box office got a jolt this weekend with an $87.7M start for Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange. That opening bested predictions which were largely comped against Ant-Man and Guardians Of The Galaxy given the newness of the property in a big-screen transfer. A combination of interest in the fresh character, the visual effects and Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Sorcerer Supreme helped the Doctor prescribe what is the best offshore opening of the fall season.
International multiples on the comps are not apples-to-apples given the market variations and exchange rate fluctuations. Still, with no major tentpoles apart from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them in the coming frames, Doctor Strange looks to have a healthy run ahead of him. It’s early, and China (which opens November 4) is clearly in its own strange box office place at the moment, but if the elements continue to line up, this will continue to be another big win for Marvel after this weekend’s magical debut.
The overseas session is nevertheless a touch down (-3%) on the comparable 2015 frame across the Top 10. Last year, Spectre debuted to a little over $80M in its first markets and Hotel Transylvania 2 checked in with $33M+. But, it’s a 21% jump versus last weekend.
More Strange magic is portended this week as many markets are off for the post-Halloween All Saints Day holiday. There are also openings in 23 more hubs next frame including China and Brazil — Russia also goes wide — while the film unspools in North America at the same time (November 4).
PREVIOUS, 8:14 AM PT: Injecting some major mystical magic into the international box office this weekend, Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange reigns supreme with $87.7M in its offshore opening. In 33 markets, the Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer blasted past projections to debut 49% ahead of Ant-Man, 37% ahead of Guardians Of The Galaxy, 23% ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 1% ahead of Thor: The Dark World when comparing the same suite of territories and all at today’s exchange rates.
In 2015, Ant-Man legged to a $339.2M international cume at historic rates and $324M at the current exchange. Guardians Of The Galaxy ultimately flew to $440.1M overseas ($359M in today’s dollars).
The top Doc market, as expected, is Korea with the biggest opening weekend ever for a Marvel original IP release. At $18.1M, the score also already exceeds the entire lifetime cumes of Guardians, Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad. It will pass Ant-Man this week. Korea was the No. 3 offshore market on that film with $20.7M.
Ant-Man and Guardians both introduced new characters to a wider audience, much as this 14th MCU release does, making those films the preferred comps. Here Cumberbatch plays Doctor Stephen Strange, a supremely gifted — and arrogant — neurosurgeon who suffers severe damage to his hands in a car accident. From there, he embarks on a journey of healing and becomes a powerful sorcerer under the tutelage of a mystic known as the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Also starring are Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Overaseas audiences are reacting to the freshness of the character as well as the special effects. Testament to that, the Korea launch is also the all-time best for IMAX, beating Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
(The Cumberbatch effect also can’t be ignored. He’s got some solid indie hits under his belt internationally and of course stars as Sherlock in the global phenomenon that the BBC series has become over the past few years.)
In overall IMAX plays, Doctor Strange opened on 213 screens in 32 countries, producing record results with an estimated weekend of $7.8M. The Scott Derrickson-helmed film is IMAX’s best ever October debut internationally and more than doubled the previous record set by Gravity with $3.2M.
Elsewhere, Doctor Strange had its second best start in the UK with $11.1M (including previews) bowing 33% bigger than Ant-Man and 4% over GOTG.
The release this weekend comes ahead of domestic on November 4 which is also the China date. Other significant markets not opening this weekend are Russia (wide), Brazil and Japan.
There were no other major openers this frame, although some local movies had good starts including Warner Bros’ Japan release, Death Note: Light Up The New World with $4.4M. Sony’s Inferno also opened in Japan — the last two films in the Da Vinci Code franchise saw some of their best ex-North America performances in that market. In total, Inferno added $29.1M this weekend to bring the international cume to $132.7M on its way to a potential $200M. That’s despite the poor domestic showing on this film that is geared more towards overseas given the plot, locales and cast. Trolls added $30M in 40 markets with China leading the way, but in the No. 5 slot. In other notables, Bridget Jones’s Baby continues to gestate towards a $200M worldwide cume.
Breakdowns on the above and more have been updated below:
Disney/Marvel’s Benedict Cumberbatch-starring Doctor Strange debuted in 33 markets– about 45% of its international footprint — this weekend, and one frame ahead of the domestic (and China) release. The $87.7M start magically bested predictions — even at the high-end of $70M — led by a fantastic Korea debut of $18.1M.
In other key openings, Doctor Strange entered the international dimension this session in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Australia. It played on 213 IMAX screens with over an hour of footage formatted for IMAX 3D screens which helped set a new October record for the format with $7.8M.
In IMAX, the per-screen average was $36K. Along with the Korea record (topping Avengers: Age Of Ultron for best-ever bow), IMAX had its biggest Saturday gross for a Marvel title in Russia (previews) and the 2nd biggest all-time Saturday there behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ultimately, Strange will be the widest IMAX release ever globally and the first time a film will play on more than 1,000 IMAX screens. The effects are playing fantastically with overseas audiences and IMAX is a key element.
In all, DS was the No. 1 movie in all the territories in which it opened this weekend except Lithuania and Finland where a local film, Tatu And Patu, scored the top slot.
Cumberbatch’s arrogant neurosurgeon who suffers severe damage to his hands in a car accident, embarked on a journey of healing to become a powerful sorcerer under the tutelage of The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) with a score that topped comps Ant-Man (+49%), Guardians Of The Galaxy (+37%), and — given the fall release corridor — Thor: The Dark World (+1%) in the same batch of markets and at today’s f/x rates.
Here’s a look at the Top 10 market-by-market breakdown (plus some other notables) on Doctor Strange — which also stars Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen and Chiwetel Ejiofor:
Korea ($18.1M): Biggest opening weekend for a Marvel original IP release, topping lifetime cumes of GOTG, Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad
UK/Ireland ($11.1M including previews): The opening weekend is 33% taller than Ant-Man and 4% more out of this world than GOTG
France ($5.7M): With kids on vacation, the opening weekend is 39% more grande than Ant-Man and just 3% behind GOTG
Australia ($4.9M): 18% above Ant-Man and 3% below GOTG
Germany ($4.8M): A whopping 180% ahead of Ant-Man; while 17% behind GOTG
Mexico ($4.6M): Slightly tighter with a 4% increase on Ant-Man and a 2% dip vs GOTG
Taiwan ($4.3M): A tick above Ant-Man at +1%; already has topped the lifetime cume of GOTG
Hong Kong ($3.2M): 85% market share; biggest opening weekend for a Marvel original IP release and 135% ahead of GOTG; 36% bigger than Ant-Man
Indonesia ($3.1M): Conversely, +38% on GOTG and 3% below Ant-Man
Philippines ($2.7M): Again, 27% ahead of GOTG while 3% on top of Ant-Man
NB: Russia‘s IMAX-only previews ahead of wide release equal $2.5M; Thailand ($2.5M), Malaysia ($2.4M) and Singapore ($2.2M) are all the best opening ever for an original Marvel IP title.
AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL
From director Karan Johar, Fox International Productions and Fox Star’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil opened to $9.1M from two overseas Fox markets reporting. It was No. 1 in India with $8.3M on 3,200 screens and scored the 2nd biggest Bollywood opening of the year in the UK with $816K. ComScore has it at $10.7M in 14 markets for a $12.8M worldwide estimate (that includes a $2.13M start domestically). The film has been the subject of some controversy as tensions have mounted between Pakistan and India. Released to coincide with the Diwali holiday, the romance film stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Fawad Khan (with a cameo by Shah Rukh Khan). Fawad Khan is a Pakistan-born actor and recently broke out in this year’s hit Bollywood family drama Kapoor & Sons.
Strife has intensified between the neighboring countries over attacks in the disputed Kashmir territory and India’s right-wing Maharashtra Navnirman Sena party earlier threatened to attack cinemas screening Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (Difficulties Of The Heart), given the inclusion of Fawad Khan. Johar recently vowed not to work with Pakistani talent going forward. Check out my story here.
DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls put $30M in the happy place in 40 markets for a $61.7M cume ahead of the U.S. release. With No. 1s in 13 markets including Russia ($3.3M) and Brazil ($1.7M), the animated Fox release held well in France ($4.7M, up 13% for an $11.6M cume) and the UK ($4.1M, up 8%, $17.8M cume). Released by Oriental DreamWorks in China, the opening was $5M for the No. 5 slot below, notably, Inferno and last week’s winner, Mechanic: Resurrection. With Doctor Strange on his way to the Middle Kingdom this Friday, the prospects don’t look hair-raising there. Next weekend adds over 30 more markets.
Although it didn’t start a fire domestically, the international elements of Sony’s threequel are continuing to play offshore. The adult thriller picked up $29.1M in 61 territories this weekend for a cume of $132.7M — it crossed $100M earlier this week. China was a new play with $13.3M. That was a No. 1 for the market which has seen a sharp downturn in fortunes for Hollywood movies (see Trolls above). In Japan, which was one of the biggest overseas markets on Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, the start was $3.3M from 593 screens. Germany’s cume has climbed to $10.4M; Brazil is at $8.3M; and Italy leads outside China with $11.4M. In IMAX plays, Inferno grossed $3.3M worldwide from 844 screens for a $7.8M global cume. This puzzle looks headed to ultimately be deciphered at around $200M.
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
In its second offshore frame, Paramount’s Tom Cruise-starrer added $11.6M to bring the international cume to $54.2M. After stalling in China last weekend, the sequel now has an $8.7M cume to lead all markets. The UK follows with a cume of $6.9M and France is at $5.2M. No majors open next frame, with Germany, Japan and Spain on deck the following weekend.
OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL
Halloween has been good to Blumhouse Productions, Platinum Dunes and Habsro’s sequel with Universal adding 20 territories this weekend for an $8.7M frame in a total 42. The international total is now $19.5M for $44.2M worldwide. Spain was the top opener with $982K at 252 dates. Italy boarded the film at No. 2 and $703K at 180 dates. The Philippines ($412K) and Vietnam ($540K) bowed bigger than most of the comps including the first Ouija. In holds, the UK now has a 10-day total of $2.3M; Germany is at $1.2M after 11 days and Mexico gave the movie a No. 3 second weekend for a 10-day total of $4M. Next weekend Ouija takes its evil to France, French-speaking Switzerland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Warner Bros tabulated an extra $8.7M on the Ben Affleck-starrer in 46 markets for a $21.3M international cume. Openings included Russia with $1.2M on 902 screens for a No. 3 debut. The start comes 266% ahead of The Departed, 200% ahead of both Argo and The Town and 41% over Bridge Of Spies. The UAE opened to a strong No. 1 with $713K on 66 screens. Results almost double The Girl On The Train and are 89% better than The Town and 45% bigger than Gone Girl. Italy opened to $606K on 304 screens. The top market cumes to date are Taiwan ($2.5M), Brazil ($2.3M), Spain ($1.9M), Germany ($1.8M) and Indonesia ($1.2M). Heavy-hitter France opens this week along with Australia, the UK and Mexico.
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
Welcoming $7.5M to the home, Fox’s Tim Burton fantasy pic now has an international cume of $163.6M in 45 markets. In France, where even master macaron makers La Durée have showcased the movie in their windows, the hold was -27% for a $16.7M cume after four frames. Other key grosses include Russia ($14.9M), the UK ($14.7M), Mexico ($10M) and Brazil ($9.9M). China debuts December 2, followed by Italy and Japan.
Warner Bros’ animated comedy flapped up another $4.9M in 62 markets as it approaches the $100M mark with a current $92.8M. With kids off from school, France dipped 3% below last weekend for a cume of $4.1M. The UK dropped just 7% for $6.5M in the next and Germany opened to $513K on 470 screens.
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY
Universal Pictures, Miramax and StudioCanal’s presentation of Working Title’s hit Baby grossed an estimated $3.6M in 44 Universal territories this weekend for a total of $149.2M. The weekend box office including France, Germany and Austria, where the film is handled by Studiocanal, is $7.M for an international total of $168.2M. Combined with the domestic haul, the worldwide total is getting closer to $200M with $192.3M to date. Colombia and Japan were new this frame with $74K and $687K, respectively. The Renée Zellweger threequel is in its 6th weekend in the UK where the 45-day total is now a bouncing $58.8M (£46M). In Studiocanal’s territories, France has now grossed $11.7M followed by Germany with $6.3M and Austria at $887K. The next releases are Argentina on Nov. 3 and Paraguay Nov. 17.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
Combining Universal and Mister Smith Entertainment territories, the weekend for this Girl was $7.18M. The Universal portion is $1M in eight markets and a Uni worldwide total of $69.4M. In 35 markets on the MSE side, the weekend was $6.18M for a $52.9M international total. The full global number is now $122.3M. Uni opened Brazil at No. 3 with $911K at 245 dates — 39% bigger than comp Gone Girl.
A MONSTER CALLS
After three weeks at No. 1 in Spain, Focus’ JA Bayona fantasy is now the highest-grossing local film of 2016 and the No. 2 movie of the year there behind The Secret Life of Pets. The total in Spain is now $22M after slipping to No. 2 behind new opener Doctor Strange.
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures’ Pets woofed it past $500M internationally earlier this weekend and over the frame added $2M in 38 territories. That takes the offshore cume to $501.6M and the worldwide total to $868.1M. All territories have released.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTEWORTHY
Death Note: Light Up The New World (WB): $4.4M intl weekend (Japan only); latest in Death Note franchise is No. 1 in Japan at 12% above Death Note 1 and 13% over WB’s own Rurouni Kenshin
Brice 3 (GAU): $3.18M (France only); intl cume $13.1M
Finding Dory (DIS): $2.1M intl weekend (13 markets); intl cume $535.4M
Keeping Up With The Joneses (FOX): $1.4M intl weekend (24 markets); $5.1M intl cume
Deepwater Horizon (LGF): $799K intl weekend (70 markets); $42.2M intl cume
Kubo And The Two Strings (UNI): $755K intl weekend (29 markets); $20M intl cume
El Jeremias (SNY): $600K (Mexico only); family comedy directed by Anwar Safa and produced by Monica Lozano (Instructions Not Included)
American Honey (UNI): $78K (6 markets); $842K intl cume Uni only