UPDATE, WRITETHRU: Two months after beginning global rollout, Fox’s War For The Planet Of The Apes planted its foot in China. The debut of $62.3M on 30,000 screens scored the studio its biggest opening weekend ever in the Middle Kingdom. The result also pushed the Matt Reeves-directed threequel from Chernin Entertainment across the $400M global mark where the total to date sits at $432M. The international box office cume is now $287.9M.
With a full weekend of $62.9M in 21 markets, the Apes topped the sophomore session of New Line/WB’s hit Stephen King adaptation It which fell a modest 37% from last weekend’s debut to $60.3M in 56 hubs. That includes a phenomenal start in Mexico where there was no clowning around. It scored the biggest opening weekend ever for a horror title and WB’s best of 2017. The overseas cume is $152.6M and the worldwide tally is $371.3M.
Elsewhere, this weekend saw the launch of Venice charmer Victoria And Abdul ($4.7M/10 markets) and Venice divider mother! ($6M/16 markets), as well as the start of American Assassin. And, Alien: Covenant made it to Japan with a good No. 1 start.
Turning back to the China bow on WFTPOTA, it was up 42% on Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and is 20% higher than Logan, another well-reviewed recent Fox title. Dawn finaled north of $107M in the PROC in 2014 while Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes rose to $31M in pre-boom 2011.
WFTPOTA was dominant at 65% of local turnstiles, crimping the swing of last week’s champ, Spider-Man: Homecoming — the latter was on far fewer screens. The webslinger, however, crossed the $100M threshold in China. (NB: China grosses on Hollywood pics include the ticketing fee.)
In other milestones, Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 crossed over the $200M line internationally; Universal’s American Made is nearing $50M and Sony’s The Emoji Movie is closing in on $100M.
Fox should have another big session next weekend as Kingsman: The Golden Circle rounds the globe. It’s hitting most majors save China, Korea, Russia, France and Japan. The previous film grossed $286M overseas, led by China, Korea and the UK. This one’s ramped up action sequences will be on 628 IMAX screens in 53 markets from the outset. There is no China date yet on the sequel. Hitman’s Bodyguard will be new in the Middle Kingdom next frame. Also looking to click with international auds in the coming session will be Warner Bros’ The Lego Ninjago Movie which is going out in several majors.
Breakdowns on the above films and others have been updated below.
CBS/Lionsgate’s Michael Cuesta-directed counter-terrorism movie opened to $6.2M in 41 markets during its initial run overseas. The UK and Australia were the only two majors in the mix with $960K on 433 screens and $944K on 232, respectively. The UAE saw a No. 1 start and the Middle East ranks as the top play so far with $1.1M. Key shots to come this week include France, Mexico and Brazil. This one’s rolling out slowly offshore with releases through November.
After dividing audiences at the Venice Film Festival, and as it pulled an F CinemaScore domestically despite solid response from critics, Darren Aronofsky’s mother! set up house in 16 offshore markets with $6M. It’s coming in on par with Changeling and 20% below Prisoners (on a like-for-like basis). The play is best in major cities, particularly in upscale theaters.
France, where auteur pics find favor, opened to $1.3M on 350 screens in 3rd place. There, the movie has the press liking it slightly better than moviegoers with a bout 2.7 stars out of five. The UK and Russia each brought in $1.1M (at 467 and 994 cinemas, respectively). The Russia bow was good for No. 2. In the UK, the Jennifer Lawrence-starrer debuted at No. 3. Germany was next with $799K at 351 locations for No. 4, and Australia birthed $584K at 214 in 5th.
The thinker of a film world premiered on the Lido earlier this month and after the early morning press screenings saw a mix of reaction, Aronofsky said, “This is a roller coaster ride, only come on it if you’re prepared to do the loop-the-loop a few times.”
The next offshore plays are Brazil and Mexico this week.
VICTORIA AND ABDUL
Another Venice world premiere, the Universal/Focus period pic from Stephen Frears debuted in 10 markets this weekend with $4.7M. The Judi Dench-starrer about the eponymous queen and her relationship with an Indian clerk (Ali Fazal) rated No. 2 in the UK with a solid $2.6M, performing well against comps like Danish Girl and Atonement. Australia also landed No. 2 with $1.5M, at the same level as Dench’s Philomena. Rounding out the Top 5 starts are New Zealand ($276K), Poland ($128K) and the UAE ($87K).
When it launched out of competition in Venice, notices were positive and awards chatter began for Dench. Based (mostly) on the real-life story which had been buried until 2010, the film’s central relationship — while one of “poetic love, friendship love, mother and son love” rather than romantic love, Fazal said in Venice — scandalized the royal household as the queen neared the end of her life.
Next weekend, the film opens with the U.S. and Canada in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Serbia/Montenegro and Slovenia.
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
Finally riding into China, Fox/Chernin’s well-reviewed threequel saw a $62.3M opening there, a strong start that is Fox’s best-ever weekend bow in the Middle Kingdom. The full frame was worth $62.9M and sees the Apes top the international chart. In IMAX in China, WFTPOTA picked up $5M on 437 screens. The full global box office is $432M with $287.9M overseas so far.
The Matt Reeves-directed film captured a China start that was up 42% on Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and is 20% higher than Logan. Dawn made it to north of $107M in the PROC in 2014. Star Andy Serkis worked the Middle Kingdom via press phoners and recording greetings for this pic while WETA Digital made the trip to China.
These Apes have some runway ahead as next weekend, The Hitman’s Bodyguard takes aim at China as do a host of local titles but no major Hollywood tentpole. The following weekend, Jackie Chan-starrer The Foreigner gets its passport stamped in the Middle Kingdom.
War still has Japan to release. Its offshore rollout pattern and strategy were different versus Dawn and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. And, while roundly lauded, it might have benefited from a later release date rather the initial middle of July launch. It should finish its run sandwiched between Dawn and Rise.
Continuing to break records after its mega global opening last weekend, New Line/WB’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It added 10 overseas markets this session for another $60.3M. That takes the offshore cume to $152.6M in 56 international hubs. The worldwide cume is $371.3M. This weekend’s drop was just 37% abroad.
The Andy Muschietti-helmed scarer had a fantastic bow in Mexico where it dominated 90% of the Top 5 movies with $13.85M on 4,300 screens. This is the biggest opening weekend ever for a horror movie there, WB’s best of 2017 and the studio’s No. 3 all-time biggest in the market. The film also set a new record as the biggest September and R-rated IMAX opening ever in the market. (The global IMAX cume is $18M).
Likewise, Sweden’s bow ($2.6M/186 screens) set records for the best horror launch and WB’s top 2017 debut frame. Further creating new thresholds for the biggest horror launch ever are Israel, Portugal, South Africa and Turkey.
In holds, It dipped just 38% in the UK for a cume of $27.7M to lead all markets. Australia floated its cume up to $11.8M. The movie stayed No. 1 and fended off four new opening pics for the honor. It also held No. 1 in Russia with $13.8M to date. Further No. 1s were in horror-friendly markets Brazil ($10.9M so far) and Spain ($7.2M to date).
Indonesia meanwhile dropped by just 1% to lift its cume to $4.1M and Holland deflated by only 15% for a $3.3M total so far.
There are still several markets to go with France and Argentina launching next weekend and benefiting from the great momentum.
Sony/Marvel’s reboot kicked up another $15.1M this session in 43 markets. They were led by China where Peter Parker swung the corner on $100M for a cume of $105M to date. The weekend was worth $14.7M in the Middle Kingdom for a 79% drop — the Apes dominated play on 30,000 screens versus Spidey’s 18,200.
The international cume on SMH is $531M. At $861M+ worldwide, it will pass Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 this week to become the top superhero movie of the year so far.
Universal’s Tom Cruise-starrer is looking at $12M in 53 markets this frame as it gets up to $48.8M in overseas sales so far. The real-life tale added 10 hubs this session including No. 1 bows in France and French-speaking Switzerland. France grossed $1.8M to open at the same level as American Hustle and The Equalizer.
The top performer was Korea with $1.9M at No. 3. There’s a local movie sucking a lot of air out of that market which is a big Cruise play, although this film is a different sort of offering than his last hook-up with director Doug Liman on sci-fi pic Edge Of Tomorrow.
Italy debuted No. 4 with $1.1M; Brazil landed No. 3 with $1.1M (bigger than both Jack Reachers, Edge Of Tomorrow and American Hustle); Mexico scored a No. 2 start with $441K while It was overwhelmingly the dominant title there; and Switzerland’s take was $122K, topping Argo, Jack Reacher and EOT.
Other openings include the Philippines ($373K/No. 2/above comps) and Central America ($247K/No. 2). In the latter, the story is well-known and that bodes well for next weekend when American Made opens in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Further markets continue to roll out over the next three months.
Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 rode into Italy this session, helping to push the international cume over $200M to $204.6M. In total, the weekend was worth $6.1M in 18 material markets for a global cume of $359.6M. Revving engines in Italy, Lightning McQueen rolled to No. 1 with $4.1M, a start that is 8% behind Monsters University. Still to come is Germany on Septemeber 28.
Christopher Nolan’s epic sailed to $5.7M in 48 markets this session. The total offshore box office on the Warner Bros hit is $323.2M and the worldwide cume is now $508.3M. Japan is in its 2nd session with a cume to date of $7.8M. The weekend was a slight 37% drop at No. 2. The Top 5 markets are the UK ($72.8M), China ($50.2M), Korea ($21.7M), France ($21.1M) and Australia ($18.3M).
Careening to its final markets this session, Sony/TriStar/MRC’s Baby Driver raced off with another $5.1M in on 1,900 screens in 50 hubs. The Edgar Wright picture now has an international cume of $113M. Korea was a solid start at No. 2 with $3M on 600 screens (including previews) and behind local title Memoir Of A Murderer.
THE EMOJI MOVIE
As it approaches the $100M international mark, Sony’s The Emoji Movie applied itself with $4.9M more in 53 markets this session. The overseas cume is now $95M. Australia debuted at No. 2 with $1.8M (including previews) on 328 screens. That doubled the opening of Smurfs: The Lost Village. Still to come are Italy and France on the title that now has a worldwide cume of $178.9M.
DESPICABLE ME 3
Illumination/Universal’s animated hit keeps on going, adding another $4.2M in 44 markets this session. That takes the overseas total to $753.8M and the global kitty to $1.015B. Italy was the top holdover this session with a total of $20M after four weekends, and Japan, where it was No. 3 in the 9th frame, is now at $63M. DM3 is the No. 6 animated movie ever at the worldwide box office. To top the No. 5 movie, Zootopia, it would need another $8.8M.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLES
Annabelle: Creation (WB): $4.1M intl weekend (60 markets); $191.2M intl cume
Alien: Covenant (FOX): $2.6M intl weekend (Japan only/8% bigger than Mad Max: Fury Road); $162M intl cume
The Dark Tower (SNY): $1.2M intl weekend (53 markets); $60.3M intl cume
Girls Trip (UNI): $1.1M intl weekend (11 markets); $18.5M intl cume
The Beguiled (UNI): $600K intl weekend (25 markets); $13.2M intl cume
Atomic Blonde (UNI/SA): $600K intl weekend (21 markets); $43.9M intl cume