UPDATE, MONDAY AM PT, Writethru with actuals: Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them cast a $145.5M opening spell at the international box office this weekend in 63 markets — higher than the $143.3M estimated on Sunday and on 24,050 screens. This bests the projections we’d heard ahead of the debut which had it closer to $125M. Significantly, the Eddie Redmayne-starring Beasts topped all Harry Potter openings in 16 markets versus the estimated 11 from yesterday. They include Korea, Russia, Brazil, the UAE and Indonesia. The confirmed numbers also rank as the best industry November openings in five markets, Korea and Hong Kong among them.
By industry accounts, this is a solid offshore start for the new Wizarding World franchise as hatched by Harry Potter creator JK Rowling, director David Yates and producer David Heyman. Rival distribs are saying they’d be very happy with the overseas debut and some are projecting an ultimate shot at upwards of $700M global. International execs agree that based on this first offshore weekend, the wizards and witches are teed up nicely for the franchise’s next installments.
Domestically, Beasts has the long Thanksgiving weekend ahead, but that’s not a celebration outside America and there are no major holidays in play overseas. The thinking here is that Fantastic Beasts needs to stuff as much cash into Newt Scamander’s magical case before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story begins international rollout in mid-December. Importantly, China and Japan are on deck for the coming frame.
In comps, it’s notable that the Fantastic Beasts bow topped both Maleficent and the Hobbit trilogy overseas. Bearing in mind, however, that the bucket of markets on each varies. Maleficent launched in just 47 markets from the get-go in 2014 and Warner Bros’ own Hobbit movies, respectively, hit 56, 49 and 37 markets each in their international bows. Like Beasts, none had China or Japan from the start (save Hobbits 1 and 3 which opened day-and-date in the latter).
Meanwhile, Smaug from the middle pic of those Hobbit movies, Benedict Cumberbatch, had another good weekend in the guise of Doctor Strange (also up in the finals to $26.4M this weekend vs Sunday’s $26M estimate). The film has proven China’s not totally in the doldrums with the Disney/Marvel pic passing $100M after just two sessions. However, it was Feng Xiaogang’s I Am Not Madame Bovary which won the Middle Kingdom frame with a comScore reported $28M.
The over/under on last weekend is +60% with Fantastic Beasts leading, followed by Madame Bovary and Doctor Strange. On last year, it’s 9.6% down. At the time, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 flew into 87 markets, while Spectre was still bonding with audiences.
Coming next frame, Disney’s lauded Moana takes to some global waters, notably China, before hitting many more majors the following weekend. Paramount’s Brad Pitt/Marion Cotillard-starrer Allied also begins unspooling, notably in France and the UK.
Breakdowns on all films reporting are updated below, with some actuals still to come…
PREVIOUS, : Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them let loose on the international box office this weekend with a $145.5M start in 63 markets. Blowing past projections, Warner Bros’ David Yates-directed franchise-starter broke Wizarding World opening records in 16 markets, including Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Russia and Brazil. In the UK, where the movie bowed to $19.15M, it is the biggest opening weekend of the year (close with WB’s own Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice). On 276 offshore IMAX screens, the Beasts captured $7M.
JK Rowling’s first time as screenwriter is also the top launch of 2016 in Germany Sweden, Belgium and Switzerland; and the biggest WB bow in those along with France, Holland and Denmark. In terms of the Potterverse, Fantastic Beasts topped Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber Of Secrets, Goblet Of Fire and Prisoner Of Azkaban. Against non-Potter comps, it exceeded the debuts of The Jungle Book, Maleficent and each of the three Hobbit movies.
The UK leads overseas markets at $19.15M on 1,210 screens to best all Potter pics save the final two. Korea is the other double-digit market with $14.2M on 1,433 screens. That’s WB’s 2nd highest opening weekend ever. China and Japan are on deck next weekend.
Muggles also had a date with Doctor Strange as the Disney/Marvel blockbuster careened past Ant-Man at the global — and Chinese — box office this weekend. Benedict Cumberbatch’s surgeon-turned-Sorcerer Supreme has grossed $572.1M worldwide to date, and $390.4M international after a $26.4M 4th offshore frame.
Doctor Strange is closing in on Iron Man‘s $585M global and in China has crossed the $100M threshold to become only the 6th Hollywood movie to crack the century mark this year (8th if we count Warcraft and Kung Fu Panda 3). The Middle Kingdom cume to date is $103.2M, giving the good Doctor a leg up on Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice there. This is all before Japan bows on January 27.
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Coming into the weekend, international projections on Warner Bros’ first film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise were ranging from $90M on the low end to a top of $125M. With a $145.5M start, the latest entry in JK Rowling’s Wizarding World blew past those and still has China and Japan to launch next weekend. Typically, the UK and Japan have been the biggest offshore plays for Harry Potter, and this frame the UK bow was indeed strongest amongst the 63 opening markets.
That’s to have been expected with Britain the birthplace of all things Potter-related, although FB takes place in New York about 70 years before the Boy Who Lived was rescued from life in the cupboard under the stairs on Privet Drive.
Reviews have been magical on the movie that stars Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Samantha Morton, Ezra Miller and Alison Sudol. This new IP is part of a five-movie series that Rowling has conjured with David Heyman producing.
In IMAX, Beasts was unleashed on 276 screens for a $7M haul. That’s the 2nd highest grossing international IMAX opening in the Wizarding World — in 33 markets it was No. 1 for the Potterverse including the UK, Russia, Korea, German and Brazil. It’s also the 3rd highest grossing November international IMAX opening ever, and the No. 1 start for IMAX in November in 19 hubs including the UK, Russia, Germany, and the Netherlands. Fantastic Beasts gets 26 IMAX screens in Japan beginning Wednesday and 337 in China on Friday.
As noted above, several other records fell. Here’s the market-by-market breakdown:
In the UK, the start was $19.15M on 1,880 screens; topping all Potters save the two Deathly Hallows pics.
In Korea, the market is loving itself some No-Majs with a $14.2M start on 1,433. This is the biggest opening ever for the Wizarding World and WB’s 2nd best ever. It was a five-day start, but is notable given that Korea came in at No. 10 in overseas markets on Deathly Hallows.
Germany grossed $10.2M on 1,271 screens for the industry-high of 2016.
Russia brought in $9.8M on 2,613 screens to surpass all Potters and also ranking as WB’s 3rd best highest opening weekend of all time.
France sought out Les Animaux Fantastiques to the tune of $10.2M and broke the 1M admissions barrier out of the gate on 805 screens. Again, WB’s best opening of 2016.
Australia debuted to $7.4M on 705 screens and Italy packed $6.6M into Newt Scamander’s case on 786 screens to rank as the highest launch of a U.S. title in 2016; Brazil’s $6.4M on 1,311 screens gave WB it’s 3rd best bow ever. Mexico ($5.8M/3,460) and Spain ($4.5M/613) round out the majors.
Disney/Marvel’s marvel cast a $26.4M spell in offshore markets this weekend — its 4th. That takes the international cume to $390.4M and the worldwide tally to $572.1M as the film closes in on Iron Man’s $585M global. The Sorcerer Supreme has already bested a host of stablemates as noted last week, and this week squished Ant-Man’s global $520M. One of the key highlights this frame is that the film has crossed the $100M mark in China, an increasingly rare feat in 2016.
The dip in China was 50% for a $103.2M cume, taking out Ant-Man, Guardians and Batman V Superman in the market. That was a solid hold given the arrival of Feng Xiaogang’s I Am Not Madame Bovary with an estimated $29M and a lot of screens. Korea remains the No. 2 market with $39.6M, landing in 2nd place this session behind the opening of Fantastic Beasts and above local title Vanishing Time.
Overall, the weekend drop was 59% with great holds in Finland (-32%), Peru (-40%), Switzerland (-44%), South Africa (-45%), Germany (-46%), Israel (-46%), Chile (-48%) and Brazil (-50%).
In IMAX, Doctor Strange added $2.34M from 344 screens in China to bring that total to $15.4M. The global IMAX cume on the Scott Derrickson-helmed pic is $60M.
With an $12.5M weekend in 66 markets, DreamWorks Animation’s peppy Poppy has grossed $146.2M overseas. The overall session was 42% down with good holds in the UK, Spain, Germany and Mexico. The UK leads overseas at $26.2M, followed by France with $17.4M and Russia at $12.2M. The China run ended with $7.8M. There are seven markets to come for the Fox release.
Lionsgate’s oil spill disaster pic made its China debut this week with a six-day $7.9M start to become the pic’s lead offshore market. In 26 total, it made $8.2M for the session to bring the cume to $52.4M. The China debut landed it No. 3 behind local pic I Am Not Madame Bovary and the continuation of Doctor Strange. The next major markets to roll out this week are Germany (11/24) and Spain (11/25).
The Denis Villeneuve sci-fi drama added $6.41M in combined Sony and Film Nation markets in its 2nd outing. In five FNE hubs, it beamed up $2.91M and in 22 for Sony, it garnered $3.5M. The total offshore cume thus far is $21.8M. In the UK, the Amy Adams-starrer dipped 45% for a $7M cume and landed No. 2 behind Fantastic Beasts. It’s now topped Villeneuve’s Sicario in the market. In Australia, the lyrical movie has passed Villeneuve’s Prisoners with a $3.2M cume; and in New Zealand its $542K tally is above the lifetimes of Sicario, Prisoners and Incendies. Sony added Spain this weekend for a No. 2 start at $975K. Arrival will have landings in Brazil and Germany next weekend.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
The Universal release of DreamWorks’ thriller grossed an estimated $1.6M in 14 territories with Mister Smith markets adding $2.56M for a $4.16M weekend. The Unviersal cume is $12.6M overseas. Globally, the adaptation of the bestselling book has grossed $161.1M. Argentina was new this frame at No. 2 with $464K at 111 dates, topping comp Gone Girl. Japan welcomed the girl with $96K on 15 screens.
BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK
Sony’s Ang Lee drama added $3.9M this frame in nine markets for a $22.6M cume to date. About $20M of that comes from China where the movie is in its 2nd frame. Rollout continues with Australia next weekend, followed by majors Brazil, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Japan, Korea and Russia throughout the early part of 2017.
Sony’s Inferno fired up another $3.8M in 59 international hubs for a $178.5M cume. France was a big portion of the weekend with $1.2M in the 2nd session for a $4.8M cume. Japan is currently at $12.6M.
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
Tom Cruise ran up a further $3.8M in 45 markets this weekend for an overseas cume of $80.2M with no new openings. Notable holds in Japan and Germany bring the respective cumes to $5.3M and $3.1M. Brazil, Mexico and Korea are coming up later this month for Paramount.
OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL
Universal’s horror sequel from Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes played to another $1.7M in 48 territories this frame for an international total of $44.6M. Turkey was a new market with $41K at 73 dates. Belgium this week is the final offshore theatrical release.
Focus’ Tom Ford-helmed thriller added eight markets this session for $1.6M in 11 total. The early international cume on the Venice prize winner is $5M. Italy opened Thursday to place No. 2 behind Fantastic Beasts with a solid $778K at 270 dates, that’s bigger than most comps including Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Nightcrawler and Ford’s A Single Man. After launch at the Stockholm Film Festival, Animals picked up $73K at 42 dates in Sweden. After three weekends in the UK, the total is $3M. International dates roll out over the next several months.
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY
Adding Paraguay, the final theatrical release, this weekend’s gross in Universal and Studiocanal markets is $1.5M. The combined offshore total on the threequel is $185.8M for a $209.9M global haul. In key plays, the Netherlands has grossed $11.2M and the UK, where Bridget is the No. 1 movie of the year, is now at $60.8M.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLES
The Accountant (WB): $3.3M intl weekend (62 markets); $57.7M intl cume
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (FOX): $707K intl weekend (44 markets; France’s passes $20M); $174M intl cume
A Monster Calls (UNI): $474K intl weekend (Spain only); $27.5M intl cume
The Secret Life Of Pets (UNI): $533K intl weekend (33 markets); $506.1M intl cume
Keeping Up With The Joneses (FOX): $789K intl weekend (22 markets); $12.3M intl cume