UPDATE, WRITETHRU: Blade Runner 2049, the Denis Villeneuve-helmed sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic took flight in 63 overseas markets this weekend, hunting down $50.2M at the international box office. Sony co-financed the pic with Alcon and is releasing outside North America where the weekend is coming in lower than expected, with declines across the three-day. Offshore, Saturday business saw good increases.
The numbers we’re seeing internationally are in line with where Sony had BR2049 debuting ahead of the weekend. Predictions from outside the Culver City lot’s gates were pegged closer to the mid-$50Ms. But industry sources see the $50.2M bow as pretty good internationally, particularly the UK and Australia figures which are higher than expected given the U.S. opening.
The top market was the UK with an $8M launch, on par with comp Interstellar and ahead of Mad Max: Fury Road (+15%). Prior to release in the UK last week, folks at industry gatherings were buzzing about the fantastic reviews on the Ryan Gosling/Harrison Ford-starrer, particularly The Guardian’s 5-star praise party. The film, however, did not score No. 1s in all markets this session, notably France where a local title from the Intouchables guys landed on top, and in other hubs where IT refuses to quit.
Overall, there were No. 1s in 45 of 63 markets for BR2049. In some cases, the replicant saga was topped by the continued cuckoo run of Pennywise the clown whose IT has now become the highest grossing horror film of all time internationally. In 64 markets New Line/Warner Bros’ Stephen King adaptation has grossed $298.8M and taken the global total to $603.7M.
In other milestones, Illumination/Universal’s Despicable Me 3 has passed Zootopia to become the 5th biggest animated film ever worldwide. The global total is currently $1.025B and Finding Dory is in Gru’s sights at No. 4 with $1.028B. Universal’s American Made, for its part, is nearing $100M worldwide with $98.5M through Sunday.
And, last week’s champ, Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle, has rocked up $173.6M overseas through its 3rd Sunday. That’s 45% bigger than The Secret Service in the same group of markets at current exchange rates. The worldwide tally-ho is $253M.
Despite all this activity, the No. 1 international movie this session hails from China where the National Day holiday period has wrapped. Leading proceedings is Never Say Die from the Mahua Fun Age troupe with about $66M for the FSS. The movie crossed $220M on its second Sunday in the Middle Kingdom.
Turning back to BR2049, Asian play will be key for the film. The best markets ultimately should include a mix of the UK, Korea, Japan, China and France. China is dated for November 10 while Japan, a huge market for Blade Runner 2049, is going October 27. Korea is October 12 and in Europe, it will have a chance to build if it can keep screens — the next major release on the horizon is Thor: Ragnarok starting October 24.
Next week is about expansion internationally. There are a number of film festivals running and so awards season movies are getting a push, but there is no major wide rollout. Blade Runner heads to Korea, notably, while Kingsman: The Golden Circle will bow in France and Fox’s War For The Planet Of The Apes finally hits Japan. Universal/Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day gets a head start in such markets as Brazil, Taiwan and the Netherlands and STX’s interplanetary adventure The Space Between Us lands in China just as its Foreigner bows Stateside.
Breakdowns on the films above and others have been updated below.
BLADE RUNNER 2049
In 63 markets repping 64% of its offshore footprint, Blade Runner 2049 bowed to $50.2M. That’s straight down the middle of where Sony (which co-financed with Alcon and is releasing internationally) saw it ahead of the debut frame. The return of Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard, along with Ryan Gosling on board as K, played on 15,500 screens and was No. 1 in 45 hubs.
In IMAX, the sequel grossed $9.1M from 669 screens in 65 markets for the 2nd biggest global October IMAX opening ever, behind Gravity. Internationally, the IMAX portion was $4.1M on 282 screens which is the 3rd best October start for the format outside North America.
The UK led all markets with $8M for the weekend. That came in on par with Interstellar’s FSS and was 15% above Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015. Australia took a great $3.6M, topping both Interstellar (+9%) and Gravity (+28%); and Russia scored $4.9M, ahead of Gravity (+16%) and Mad Max (+1%). Other top markets include: France ($3.6M), Germany ($3.3M), Spain ($2.6M), Italy ($2.5M), Brazil ($1.8M), and Mexico ($1.6M).
Pre-weekend, sources indicated the frame would come in a touch higher at about $54M-$55M. But none are slagging off the $50.2M perf. One cautions BR2049 will lose money with domestic unlikely to get to $100M.
Warner Bros is distributing for a fee in North America while Sony also gets a distribution fee, and a share in global profits. It has no equity in the reported $155M+ budgeted BR2049. Alcon took advantage of foreign credits and rebates, shooting the movie in Hungary.
Reviews have been glowing while one of the overriding concerns has been the pic’s 163-minute running time, which limits the number of screenings in a given day. It also puts more pressure on the film to perform so it can hold screens. A nice multiple is the hope here and the $50M start puts the film in the vicinity of pics like Gravity, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian which also had strong reviews, and continued to play.
Sony has used a couple of different comps including Mad Max: Fury Road, a critically acclaimed new entry in a decades-old franchise that opened to $64M in 68 markets in 2015. Translated to today and using like-for-like markets, that figure would be $52.4M (at current rates). However, Fury Road released in May with a simultaneous worldwide showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s also a shorter film. It went on to $379M global, of which $225M was from international markets, and scored multiple Oscars. Two high-concept Christopher Nolan pics also work as comps. Interstellar, had similar response to BR2049, and an even longer runtime in 2014; it finaled at $487M international/$675M global. Inception in 2010 did an amazing $533M overseas. It was led by China, the UK, France, Japan and Korea.
Asia will be the key BR2049. China opens on November 10 with a significant screen count and Korea goes this Thursday. Japan (October 27) is a big focus as the IP is popular there and inspired the film’s aesthetics. A premiere will be held in Japan in late October with Ford, Villeneuve and Cuban actress Ana de Armas strolling the red carpet.
THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US
Fox launched Hany Abu-Assad’s The Mountain Between Us in 11 offshore markets this session, tracking down $3.6M. The key debuts for this survival tale starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba came in Mexico ($1.1M, +42% on The Impossible); the UK ($1.1M, +24% ahead of Unbroken); and Russia ($536K, +19% over The Impossible).
Abu-Assad is an Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning director, and the film has an A- CinemaScore domestically, but a 51% RT note. It’s a bit of déjà-vu, but was attractive to audiences at CineEurope in June where Fox showed a behind-the-scenes look at the film. Next weekend, it opens in Belgium and Australia, notably.
MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE
Lionsgate/Hasbro’s kids movie rode to an estimated $3.8M from 49 markets for its initial international session. Voiced by Uzo Aduba, Ashleigh Ball, Emily Blunt, Kristen Chenoweth and Taye Diggs, the flick is directed by Jayson Thiessen. As a dark force threatens Ponyville, the Mane 6 embark on a journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home. Germany was the top debut with $676K, followed by Mexico ($533K), Poland ($411K), the Middle East ($220K) and Denmark ($213K). Aimed at little girls, it’s next up in Russia, France, the UK, Australia and Italy.
KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
After two weeks atop the international box office, the Kingsman sequel made way for some new titles this session, and lands at No. 3 for the weekend. With a fresh $25.5M in 69 markets, the cume has risen to $173.6M overseas and $253M worldwide. In the markets abroad, it is pacing 45% bigger than the original film, The Secret Service, was at this same point in release.
Holds are great, particularly in Korea where they love these spies. The film added another $8.2M, down 41% from its debut and at No. 3 behind two local pics. The cume there is $32.5M so far. In the UK, Golden Circle is No. 2 after three weekends and has tailored $25.4M to date. Germany fell just 6% this frame for an $8M cume and Australia has tallied up $12.7M. Other key plays include Russia ($11.8M) and Taiwan ($9.6M).
Next weekend, The Golden Circle opens in France and Argentina. China goes October 20, followed by Japan on January 5.
Congratulations, Pennywise: New Line/Warner Bros’ genre juggernaut IT has become the highest-grossing horror movie ever internationally. With an additional $19.8M this session on 7,020 screens in 64 markets, the running offshore total is now $298.8M for $603.7M worldwide. That a movie gets to these numbers without China involved is quite a feat.
A highlight of the weekend was Germany where the movie is still No. 1 in the sophomore session with a 50% share of the Top 5 films in the market. It added $6.8M on 710 screens to drop just 37% from its record breaking opening. That lands it within the Top 5 of all markets on the pic from Andy Muschietti. They are: the UK ($40.7M), Mexico ($26.5M), Germany ($24.7M), Russia ($18.3M) and Brazil ($18.2M). Italy and Japan are still to come.
STXfilms and Sparkle Roll Media’s co-production added another $17M in 7 offshore markets this weekend, as reported by comScore. Unofficially, $15.22M comes from China where the movie fell to third place in its 2nd frame which closes out the so-called Golden Week period that’s timed to the National Day Holiday. Starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan, the English-language thriller had a good 31% drop in the Middle Kingdom where it has grossed about $67M to date. Chan is a national treasure there, but the serious revenge thriller has played in the shadow of local comedy Never Say Die, and this weekend jockeyed with the Andy/Lau/Donnie Yen-starring action/crime pic Chasing The Dragon. The Foreigner has grossed $4M in China IMAX so far. The U.S. release of the Martin Campbell-directed pic is this coming Friday.
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE
There were no new markets on Warner Bros’ third Lego franchise installment, although it blocked out another $6.9M on 7,765 screens in 61 markets. That takes the offshore cume to $33.6M. Germany and Australia are leading play with small drops in the 3rd frame and with totals of $4.1M and $3.8M, respectively. The remainder of the key markets to release include France, Italy and the UK this week.
Another $3.3M across 10 markets for the Disney/Pixar entry brings it to $221.5M overseas and $374.1M worldwide. In Germany, where Lightning McQueen is in his sophomore spin, the movie dipped just 25%. In Austria, that drop was only 12% as offshore play begins to wrap up.
VICTORIA AND ABDUL
Stephen Frears’ charmer opened in four more territories this weekend for a total of 32 in release. Adding $3M, the international total on the Universal release is now $25M for a global $31M. France opened with $394K (No. 8 in the country, No. 5 in Paris), followed by French-speaking Switzerland and the Philippines. Also notable, in the UK, the film added $648K for a total of $11.1M. (Deadline hosted Shrabani Basu, author of the movie’s source material novel, and cinematographer Danny Cohen, at the inaugural Contenders London event on Friday where they talked about bringing the story to life.) India, Pakistan and Thailand are up next.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLES
The Emoji Movie (SNY): $3.3M intl weekend (47 markets); $114.7M intl cume
Judwaa 2 (FOX): $3.2M intl weekend (2 markets); $22.3M intl cume
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (FOX): $2.2M intl weekend (7 markets — great -8% hold in Oz); $40M intl cume
Mother! (PAR): $1.6M intl weekend (37 markets); $21.8M intl cume (UK tops at $3M, followed by France with $2.8M and Germany, Mexico and Brazil each at $1.9M)
Flatliners (SNY): $1.5M intl weekend (21 markets); $6M intl cume
War For The Planet Of The Apes (FOX): $1.1M intl weekend (5 markets); $338.3M intl cume — Japan opens Friday
A Dog’s Purpose (UNI): $1M intl weekend (Japan only); $134.1M intl cume
Despicable Me 3 (UNI): $1M intl weekend (40 markets); $762.2M intl cume — $1.025B worldwide to become the No. 5 animated movie ever globally
Also, Universal opened the animated/live action comedy Woody Woodpecker in Brazil this session. It took the No. 2 spot behind Blade Runner with $1.5M and is No. 1 in admissions. Directed by Alex Zamm and starring Brazilian actress Thaila Ayala, it should benefit from the Kids Day holiday this week on Thursday. The film is only being released in Latin America with the rest of its rollout in January 2018.
Le Sens De La Fete, from Intouchables filmmakers Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, opened last Wednesday in France with $4.53M in ticket sales through the weekend, topping the start of Blade Runner. The film is titled C’est La Vie! in English and played both the Toronto and Zurich Festivals. Jean-Pierre Bacri stars as a caterer prepping an extravagant wedding party in an 18th century castle. A feel-good comedy, it’s handled internationally by Gaumont and does not yet have U.S. distribution.
Korean period thriller The Fortress opened on a non-traditional Tuesday and has grossed $21M to date, according to Kobiz. Of that $14.4M, per comScore, is from this weekend. The film entered the market ahead of another local pic, The Outlaws, which debuted to $13.1M through Sunday (FSS: $9.7M). The Fortress is set during the Qing Invasion of Korea when the king and the court take refuge in a mountain fortress. Stranded and surrounded by the enemy as people start to die from cold and hunger, the king must make a grave choice. This is a CJ Entertainment pic that’s directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk and stars Lee Byung-hun who’s had crossover roles in such Hollywood titles as The Magnificent Seven and Terminator: Genisys. The Outlaws, from Megabox, is a police thriller based on the “Heuksapa Incident” and follows a turf war between a local gang and a new group from China. The movie’s director is Kang Yoon-sung.