UPDATE, WRITETHRU, TUESDAY AM: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story continued to lead the international box office in its second frame with an offshore cume of $237.4M through Sunday. The worldwide total is $523.8M as holiday distractions give way this coming week. Korea is the next overseas market to open on the Gareth Edwards-helmed spinoff after smartly steering clear of some local titles. That’s ahead of the China bow on January 6 which should be helped by increased awareness in that market after last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the presence of local stars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen as part of the Rebel Alliance.
Keeping in the Middle Kingdom, three of the Top 5 offshore movies this frame made their money there including the Wong Kar-wai-produced See You Tomorrow and the Jackie Chan-starrer Railroad Tigers (see more in the local-language round-up below). China-U.S. co-production The Great Wall, with another $26M in the PROC, now has a cume of $120.1M. The rest of international play will be telling on this title and release outside China begins this week.
There were several new openers this frame including Sony’s Passengers with $16.5M; Fox’s Assassin’s Creed at $14.2M; and Aamir Khan’s Dangal which gave the Bollywood star a new personal best for a worldwide debut at $32.9M.
Also of note, Sony opened Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in Japan, well ahead of the rest of the world, and grabbed the No. 1 slot with $9.65M for the four-day on 786 screens. That bests the recent start of Rogue One and is the highest-ever debut for a Resident Evil movie in Japan (+112% over Retribution/+110% over Afterlife). The franchise typically overindexes there, particularly thanks to Japan being the IP’s provenance. This is the top market on each of the previous installments. Further rollout begins January 25 in Korea.
Despite the past weekend falling smack on Christmas, with cinema closures throughout the world in observance of the holiday, this frame was down just a little over 8% versus last week. Versus last year, when there were likewise three Chinese titles near the top of the pack, the session was down 24.7%.
The coming frame sees expansion on existing titles, but no major new releases. Breakdowns have been updated on all films reporting, and local-language pics are highlighted below the original post.
PREVIOUS, 9:08 AM: Disney/Lucasfilm’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made off with a $47.1 million three-day sophomore weekend at the international box office, lifting the overseas cume to $237.4M through Sunday. With a domestic total of $286.4M, the Rebel Alliance has now amassed $523.8M worldwide. The stand-alone spinoff was No. 1 for the second frame in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Hong Kong and more, despite several new entrants. Importantly, Jyn Erso and the gang now head into what is a very lucrative holiday week internationally.
The drop from opening weekend was 65%, but that should be taken with a Death Star-sized grain of salt. With Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday and Christmas Day on a Sunday, steeper-than-normal dips were expected. Many movie theaters in Europe and Latin America are closed on the former, and in the UK that’s the case on the latter. Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year saw a weekend-to-weekend drop internationally of 53% with Christmas Day having fallen on the second Friday.
In Imax, the Gareth Edwards-helmed Rogue One played to $16.1M globally from 709 screens over the four-day holiday weekend. The worldwide cume is $56.8M, with $20.3M abroad. Overall, the top ex-North America plays continue to be the UK ($42.1M), Germany ($21.8M), France ($19.6M), Australia ($18.2M) and Japan ($16.7M).
In other major titles screening around the globe, new entry Dangal, from Bollywood icon Aamir Khan, opened to $31.2M globally, including $21.9M in India and set a new worldwide record for the megastar. See my separate report here. In China, Legendary East’s The Great Wall has now built a $120.1M (RMB 835M) warchest following solid mid-weeks. Illumination/Universal’s Sing is whistling a happy tune with $54M offshore through today after expanding Friday and putting $130.7M in the worldwide kitty. Lionsgate’s La La Land is still delighting audiences after three frames in Korea where it has surpassed the lifetime of Damien Chazelle’s own Whiplash with a local cume of $14.1M.
Breakdowns on those films and more have been updated below:
Sony began international rollout on the Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt-starrer in Russia, the UK and some smaller markets on Wednesday. Mexico opened yesterday for Christmas and more plays were added today. We do not have a full breakdown on the weekend, however, it came in at a $16.5M start so far. Russia opened No. 1 with $5M, ahead of Rogue One and local pic Yolki 5; Taiwan also landed No. 1 with $1.1M, outpacing the Rebels and all newcomers. The staggered release on the Morten Tyldum-directed sci-fi pic will come into more rounded play as next weekend falls into place and all majors will be open save Brazil, Germany, China and Japan.
Fox released Assassin’s Creed, the adaptation of Ubisoft’s popular video game, in 22 offshore markets this weekend. The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard-starrer is directed by their Macbeth helmer Justin Kurzel and grossed $13.3M from 2,878 screens in the Fox markets. Including non-Fox market Hong Kong, the total is $14.2M. France opened at No. 1 on Wednesday and rode out the five-day to take sescond place behind Rogue One with $5.15M on 543. That’s twice Edge Of Tomorrow and 20% up on this summer’s vidgame adaptation Warcraft. Spain ($2M) was a No. 1 launch as were Indonesia ($1.65M) and Thailand ($899K/50% market share).
The game has sold more than 80M units and centers on Cal Lynch (Fassbender), who discovers he’s a descendant from a society of 15th century assassins, a group whose foes are present in the modern day. The film is positioned to play bigger internationally than domestic where it also opened this weekend.
In 16 opening markets, Fox’s James Franco-Bryan Cranston R-rated comedy Why Him? brought home $2.2M on 929 screens. With $668K at No. 5, Mexico was the top play on the John Hamburg-helmed pic about a man with serious concerns about his daughter’s billionaire boyfriend. The film topped We’re The Millers by 13% and Meet The Parents by 30% there. Israel scored a No. 1 with $239K and Taiwan popped the question with $229K to top the recent start of Office Christmas Party.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
The Rebel Alliance continued to storm international play this weekend with a $47.1M frame that fell directly across the Christmas holiday. That takes the international total to $237.4M through Sunday for a $523.8M total worldwide. As noted above, the frame-to-frame drop was sizeable but comes with a big asterisk given many cinemas are closed overseas on Christmas Eve (this past Saturday) and in the UK particularly on Christmas Day (Sunday).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year had a second weekend that began with Christmas Day on the Friday. Rogue One is currently playing at about 43% of TFA at the same point in release (although TFA also had Korea in the mix whereas Rogue One doesn’t land there until later this week). This is where the Disney/Lucasfilm pic was hoped to be. It held several key No. 1s this weekend and is turning a corner into a very lucrative holiday week with play in 54 markets.
After last weekend’s fantastic $134.9M blast-off, the mid-weeks were strong with this one, showing day-to-day increases in many offshore markets and setting up nice extended play.
The UK currently leads at $42.1M, followed by Germany ($21.8M), France ($19.6M), Australia ($18.2M), Japan ($16.7M), Brazil ($8.7M), Russia ($8.5M), Spain ($8.2M), Mexico ($8.1M) and Italy ($5.8M).
In IMAX this frame, the Felicity Jones-starrer picked up $5.5M on 308 screens. That takes the overseas cume in the format to $20.3M.
After Korea this coming weekend, China will be next on January 6.
Illumination and Universal’s animated show opened in 35 offshore territories for a total of 50 now in release. The international weekend through Sunday was $27M, lifting the overseas cume to $48M. With Monday included, the frame was $33M to take offshore to $54M through today. Worldwide, the gross through today is $130.7M.
In new bows, Korea placed No. 2 behind new local title Master. The take there was $3.8M at 364 dates including previews. In Mexico, Sing raised the curtain at No. 1 with $3.5M; word of mouth is strong and Uni is anticipating good play throughout the rest of the holiday frame. Family-friendly Brazil launched at No. 3 with $3.3M at 550 dates, pacing with comps and starting out ahead of Tangled and Big Hero 6. Summer holidays continue there through January. Spain clocked the 3rd best start for an animated title this year, behind Illumination/Universal’s The Secret Life Of Pets and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory, with $2.1M. Other No. 1 openings were in South Africa, Peru, Venezuela and Vietnam among others. In Germany the cume is now $9.6M after three sessions. Rollout continues over the next few months.
THE GREAT WALL
Legendary East’s The Great Wall added $26M this weekend to place No. 3 in China behind the openings of See You Tomorrow and Railroad Tigers. The film held well during the week and now has a total $120.1M in the Middle Kingdom. The Matt Damon-starrer likely won’t hit the highs that had been expected, but the jury will remain out on this one until international play begins elsewhere. Some more markets go this week, via Universal, building up to the North America bow in February. In China, the RMB 835M so far has landed The Great Wall as the No. 12 movie of the year, topping the local currency cumes of such pics as Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Doctor Strange and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. IMAX this frame was good for $4.7M on 373 screens. The format’s cume is $13M.
Disney’s Polynesian navigator found her way to another $14.9M in 32 material territories for an international cume of $144.5M. The worldwide total is now $325M. Germany and Italy were among the major new openers across the Christmas holiday. In Italy, Moana topped her stablemate Rogue One with a No. 1 launch of $1.8M while she placed No. 2 behind Rogue One in Germany with $1.7M. China, where play has ended, leads offshore markets at $30.4M, followed by France with $22.7M, the UK at $12.7M, Russia at $12.3M and Mexico with $10.1M. Australia opens today with Brazil, Korea and Japan still to set sail.
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Another $8M got stuffed into Newt Scamander’s case in 62 markets this frame, taking the offshore cume to $528.8M. Worldwide, the cume is $744.6M on Warner Bros’ Wizarding World spinoff franchise-starter. Behind China, where the creatures have packed up with $85.2M, the lead markets are the UK ($58.7M), Japan ($48.1M), Korea ($33.2M) and Germany ($31.4M).
LA LA LAND
Lionsgate’s awards-season darling crooned out another $4.3M in 19 markets for an early offshore cume of $17.7M. Korea continues to be the star with a total $14.1M to date, slipping just 16% from last frame. This was the top market on Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash and La La has now sashayed past its $11.4M. Debut markets this frame included the Netherlands at $233K. Australia opens today with most major markets releasing in the mid-January/February award season window.
With a further $3.6M in 29 markets, Warner Bros’ Will Smith-starrer now has an international cume of $11.5M. Spain was a new play with $647K, about on par with Birdman and 9% higher than New Year’s Eve. Mexico is the top offshore market at $3.1M, followed by Russia with $2.6M and Taiwan at $1.2M. The UK bowed today for the Boxing Day holiday.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTEWORTHY
Hacksaw Ridge (var): $4.7M intl weekend (15 markets); $69.5M intl cume ($45M+ in China)
Allied (PAR): $1.7M intl weekend (35 markets); $41M intl cume
Trolls (FOX): $1.6M intl weekend (18 markets); $180.3M intl cume
Sully (WB): $1.4M intl weekend (22 markets); $108.2M intl cume
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (FOX): $1.1M intl weekend (3 markets); $195.1M intl cume
Nocturnal Animals (UNI): $500K intl weekend (30 markets); $12.1M intl cume
Doctor Strange (DIS): $300K intl weekend (15 markets); $427.5M intl cume
Produced by Wong Kar-wai, comedy See You Tomorrow kicked off at No. 1 in China with $37.9M. Zhang Jiajia directs the pic that stars Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Angelababy. Alibaba Pictures provided backing to the movie about a married painter who has an affair with a younger woman. Zhang adapted her own short story from the collection I Belonged to You. Audiences gave it a 4.9 rating on social media.
Moviegoers were kinder to Jackie Chan’s Railroad Tigers with a 5.7 rating on Douban out of about 12K people commenting. The opening was lower, however, at $29M and a No. 2 China launch. Ding Sheng directs the period action comedy about a railroad worker in 1941 who leads a team of freedom fighters against the Japanese in order to get food for the poor.
In Korea, Cho Ui-seok’s Master led the frame with $18.15M. Lee Byung-hun leads the cast of the crime actioner about an investigation into a massive cyber fraud. Lee is a major draw in Korea and has been booking Hollywood films including recently taking part in The Magnificent Seven reboot. CJ releases.