3RD UPDATE, MONDAY 3:10 PM PT: All studios have reported actuals for the international weekend with no major discrepancies between the cumulative estimates reported Sunday and what’s come across today. Across the top titles, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was up a tick to $54.84M from an estimated $54.4M; Transformers: Age Of Extinction was slightly lower at $36.9M versus $37.5M; Hercules was smack on with $28.7M; and How To Train Your Dragon 2 was up a whisker at $24.4M versus the $24M estimate.
One notable factoid is that for the 2nd weekend in a row, numbers on Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy Blended are higher than expected. Yesterday, they were estimated at $3.8M in 47 markets. Today, Warner says the actuals are $4.25M. That takes the overseas cume to $66.6M – the domestic cume was $45.4M. In Brazil, the film has been especially strong, adding $1.7M this weekend for a local cume of $6.8M and a slight 18% drop from last frame. When I asked what the deal is with Sandler, Blended and Brazil, I was told that his films are roundly popular there where family fare is also big – and this one is now bigger than Grown Ups, 50 First Dates, Bedtime Stories, Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Chuck And Larry.
Along with the above films, all figures throughout the below have been updated on: Planes: Fire & Rescue, Godzilla, Step Up All In, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, Maleficent, The Fault In Our Stars, Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie, 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, Neighbors, Kick, Edge Of Tomorrow, and Boyhood.
2ND UPDATE, SUNDAY 5:10 PM PT: While Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, newcomer Hercules, and How To Train Your Dragon 2 led the international charge for the studios this weekend, there was local action in Asia. The Continent, a feature directorial debut from author/rally car driver/blogger Han Han, had a $45M cume after opening Thursday. That bested the 2nd frames of The House That Never Dies ($8.7M weekend, $48.5M cume) and Tiny Times 3 ($7.2M weekend, $73.5M cume). Also in China, TAOE added $5.4M to pass $300M with a $301M cume. Its worldwide total is now $966.35M, and with Japan and Spain to come on August 8, that’s the weekend to expect it to tumble over $1B. In Korea, period action film Kundo: Age Of The Rampant made good on its buzz and earned $20.1M. Elsewhere, we’re still waiting on official numbers for Salman Khan’s Kick as it rolled out to several international markets. At home in India, it’s understood to have had the best opening day of the year at about $4.4M.
Among the Top Ten studio releases internationally, there was a 34% drop from last weekend when TAOE added $84.6M and Apes brought in $61.9M as the top grossers. This frame was down 17% compared to the same one last year that saw the release of The Wolverine, and Fast & Furious 6‘s China debut. On deck next weekend is Guardians Of The Galaxy which bows in about 40 markets including Russia, the UK, Korea and Mexico. It also goes out day-and-date in the U.S. on August 1, and my colleague Anita Busch has wondered if the latest from Marvel will help rescue the slumping summer box office domestically. The band of inter-galactic misfits is lesser-known than many of Marvel’s characters, but a sequel was also just dated for July 28, 2017. Overseas, Russia and Latin America are expected to be strong markets in the initial rollout next weekend.
Also coming next weekend in a handful of markets is Luc Besson’s Scarlett Johansson sci-fi action thriller Lucy and the expansion of Hercules, The Purge: Anarchy and Step Up All In. There’s also a potential blockbuster in the wings in China. For more on that one and others, see below after the original posts for key market round-ups.
1ST UPDATE, SUNDAY, 12:24 PM PT: All studios have now reported, with Fox the weekend victor (or Caesar in this case). Swinging on 12,035 screens in 59 countries, the studio’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes grabbed another $54.84M internationally to win the weekend. Notable bows included across Latin America, where the simians had been waiting out the World Cup. A different kind of creature feature, Warner Bros‘ Godzilla, finally hightailed it to his last territory – the old familiar stomping ground of Japan. The film, which is released locally by Toho, was No. 1 with a projected three-day gross of $6.7M on 460K admissions from 427 screens. Warner says that when comparing Saturday/Sunday figures, the results are on par with Transformers 2 and more than double the numbers for Pacific Rim. The film’s international cume is now $299M with worldwide about to cross $500M. Also notable out of Asia are the performances of Chinese romance/drama Continent, which earned $33M over the frame for a $45M cume, and Korea‘s Kundo: Age Of The Rampant which was a clear No. 1 at home with $20.1M. I’ll have more on those later on in the territory round-ups. In the meantime, here’s a look at what else was doing around the globe for the studios. The major new opener was Hercules, and his numbers, along with an update on Transformers: Age Of Extinction, are further below, in the original post.
In Latin America, DOTPOTA was No. 1 in Mexico with $12.94M on 2,230 screens, and in Brazil with $9.2M on 873 where it more than doubled Transformers 4. Across the region, Andy Serkis and company swung from strong perf to strong perf, including in Colombia ($2.36M on 280); Peru ($1.89M on 243); Ecuador ($614K on 80); Bolivia ($199K on 32); and Uruguay ($130K on 13) — and in its 2nd Argentina frame, it dropped just 4% for $1.35M and a $3.57M cume. In other holdovers, the UK was a strong No. 1 with $6.27M for a $28.9M cume; Russia grossed $3.38M with a cume of $17.63M; Korea (where DOTPOTA is now Fox’s 3rd highest grossing film ever) added $2.84M for a total so far of $29.4M; Spain added $2.2M with a cume of $9.78M; and Australia took a further $1.7M for a cume of $14.5M. Next weekend brings the Apes to 11 more markets, including France, Italy and Belgium.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 continued its strong run overseas with $24.4M this weekend for a cume of $260.4M internationally. Debuting in Germany this weekend, it was No. 1 in admissions, and No. 2 in box office earnings with $5.86M on 1,074 screens. In Austria, it outperformed the first film in the franchise by 210%, taking $1.1M on 163 screens. The DreamWorks Animation adventure also took off in Korea, which is a non-Fox market. There, it placed No. 2 behind anticipated local movie Kundo: Age Of The Rampant. Nevertheless, it opened to $7.36M on 828 screens in the fast-burn market. Holdovers saw small drops or improvements, including in Denmark (+15%), Holland (+58%) and Chile (+16%). Spain, Italy and China are next to bow in August.
In its sophomore voyage Planes: Fire & Rescue landed in France, Belgium, Finland, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Venezuela. The addition of $7.1M brings the offshore cume to $21.2M. It’s playing in 30 territories, good for about 55% of its international footprint. The best performances so far have been in Mexico ($3.3M), Brazil ($2.6M) and Spain ($2.1M). The Planes sequel is also zooming around Japan – one of the top markets for the initial flight. Along with Maleficent and Frozen, it’s one of three Disney movies among the top four Western titles there this weekend (Warner Bros’ Godzilla being the 4th). Last year’s first installment of Planes ultimately flew to a $148M overseas cume after opening in mid-August. This year, it’s entered a marketplace with a small selection of kids fare including HTTYD2 and Disney’s own family adventure Earth To Echo.
Step Up All In, the Lionsgate five-quel that sashayed its way onto the overseas stage last week, added 13 new markets and $5.68M for an $18.24M cume exiting this frame. The all-star Las Vegas showdown was No. 1 in South Africa with $447K. Strong results were also recorded in Hong Kong ($766K on 40 screens), and French-speaking Switzerland ($105K from 18 screens). Universal is releasing in 18 territories and contributed $1.4M of the overall weekend gross and $4.5M of the running international cume. The UK bows next week.
Sony’s Sex Tape added $6.2M from 19 markets this weekend, bringing the overseas cume to $10.3M. The Jake Kasdan film was No. 3 in Russia with $2.6M on 961 screens. Here’s an interesting comp in a market known for its love of action: The bow was 64% bigger than Neighbors — a more male-skewing comedy — while it was just about on par (+3%) with The Other Woman, a female-themed laffer that also stars Sex Tape’s Cameron Diaz. Conversely, in Spain, its No. 2 bow of $914K on 348 screens was 15% better than Neighbors and 92% more than The Other Woman. In Australia, which loved TOW a few months back, Sex Tape fell 42% for a $1.3M frame and a $4.5M cume. Other openings included Ukraine (No. 2, $224K on 89), Portugal (No. 1, $239K on 57), Sweden (No. 4, $199K on 114), and Norway (No. 2, $189K on 95).
Horror pic The Purge: Anarchy is playing in 23 international territories and Universal says the early results are good. Performing 22% ahead of its predecessor, the sequel added $6.1M at 1,552 dates for an early international total of $6.83M. The UK and Ireland opened No. 3 behind Hercules with $2M at 382 dates. The title had the biggest bow for a horror/suspense pic this year. France was No. 3 with $1.6M at 200 dates; Italy opened at No. 2 with $1.1M at 248 dates; the James DeMonaco–directed movie about an annual day of sanctioned violence, was No. 3 with $626K at 230 dates on a slow Spanish weekend; Argentina opened No. 7 with $312K at 57 dates; the Netherlands opened No. 7 with $252K at 50 dates; and Chile scared up $106K at 24 dates – more than the lifetime of the initial film.
Adam Sandler-starrer Blended continues to find favor with Brazilians. After becoming Sandler’s best debut ever in the market last weekend, it added $1.7M from 350 screens this frame. The results surpassed all comp titles and the $6.8M cume has outgrossed the lifetime of Grown Ups, 50 First Dates, Bedtime Stories, Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Chuck And Larry. The international take this weekend was $4.25M from 1,800 screens in 47 markets. Its offshore total is now $66.6M (domestic was $45.4M).
Fox romance/tearjerker The Fault In Our Stars, which goosed the overall box office in Brazil during the World Cup (only a 5% drop during the tournament compared to the same period last year), added $536K there in its 8th frame for a $29.99M cume. Overall, the Shailene Woodley movie added $3.55M this weekend for an overseas cume of $135.4M. Tears fell for the first time in Taiwan and Thailand with $307K and $169K, respectively. Germany, which has had the movie for seven frames, was 13% up on last weekend with $519K. Hong Kong opens next.
Sony’s 22 Jump Street added an estimated $2.2M from 41 territories this weekend. That’s inching the international cume closer to $100M. Since bowing in May, the comedy has taken $92.7M in offshore receipts. There are still important markets like Germany, Spain, France and Mexico to open. Italy bowed No. 3 this week with a five-day gross of $282K on 124 screens. That was four times the lifetime gross of 21 Jump Street. Also from Sony, horror pic Deliver Us From Evil delivered $1.4M from 27 markets for an overseas cume of $7.9M. Australia debuted with $951K on 152 screens, well ahead of comps like The Devil Inside, Carrie and Insidious: Chapter 2. Upcoming, Evil heads to Italy, the UK and Russia.
Universal’s frat comedy Neighbors cranked up $1.4M at 1,042 dates in 31 territories and raised the international total to $107.36M this weekend. Belgium opened No. 1 with $506K at 40 dates. Mexico is the top holdover with a 25-day total of $5.2M. Neighbors is next on tap in France, French-speaking Switzerland, Italy and Venezuela throughout August.
Warner Bros’ Edge Of Tomorrow continues to play, adding $1M over the weekend from 1,290 screens in 45 markets, bringing the international cume to date to $264.15M. In its 4th frame in Japan, the actioner added $544K from 678 screens. The total there is now $13.4M – bigger than Tom Cruise pics Jack Reacher and Oblivion.
Universal’s local UK comedy Mrs Brown’s Boys D’ Movie added $384K at 298 dates there for a cume of $22.8M. That makes it the No. 3 comedy of 2014 behind 22 Jump Street and Neighbors. It also bowed Down Under where the TV series has a steady following. In Oz, it opened at No. 2 with $1.8M at 237 dates. It was also No. 2 in New Zealand with $467K at 81 dates.
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is currently playing in five Universal territories where it added $631K at 426 dates this weekend. The early international total is $5.6M. There were no new openings this frame, but Universal added 80 dates in the UK for $475K at 250 dates and a 17-day total of $2.4M. Germany added $103K at 127 dates in its 8th weekend for a 60-day total of $2.5M.
PREVIOUS, SUNDAY 9:37 AM PT: While we wait on all studios to report, the first full-weekend international numbers are in for Paramount and MGM’s Dwayne Johnson-starrer Hercules. The Brett Ratner-directed period actioner bowed in 25 international markets this weekend at 3,364 locations and rocked a $28.7M cume through Sunday. The movie’s biggest bow was in Russia, which continues to serve up strong box office for Hollywood despite diplomatic tensions with the U.S. The film debuted there with $12M at 930 dates and was 23% above comp GI Joe: Retaliation. It’s Johnson’s biggest opener ever in the market and the 4th biggest debut of the year. The wrestler-turned-actor was the No. 1 grossing international star of 2013, but has often been part of an ensemble or an existing franchise and this is his first shot at leading the charge on his own. In North America, the battle-heavy Hercules landed a B+ CinemaScore and skewed 58% male. The three-day take of $29M in the U.S. is on par with the foreign box office over this first day-and-date weekend. IMAX was globally worth $6M with international repping $2M on 114 screens; over $1M came from Russia at a $30K per screen average.
In the UK, where he earned $2.5M at 438 locations, the demi-god appeared in a crowded field of indies, animation and horror. Reviews there have been so-so with critics calling the summer escapism “engagingly preposterous,” and “not as terrible as one might expect.” The film has yet to bow in the other major European markets, but in Australia had a No. 1 with $3.5M at 222 locations. Hercules also journeyed to several Asian territories where it had strong No. 1s including in Malaysia ($1.5M from 110), Philippines ($1.2M from 134), Taiwan ($1.3M from 73) and Singapore ($1.1M at 27).
Paramount has some other bragging rights this weekend with Transformers: Age Of Exctinction officially passing the $300M mark in China – the only film ever to do so. Through Sunday, Michael Bay and the Autobots earned $301M in the Middle Kingdom, having added $5.3M at 3,800 locations this frame. Overall, the international gross this weekend was $36.9M at 14,375 locations. The overseas cume after five frames is now $730M for a worldwide total of $966.35M. Domestically, TAOE had a three-day of $4.6M on about 1/6 of the screens.
In Germany, TAOE had a 2nd weekend haul of $6.4M for a $23.2M cume. In France, TAOE placed No. 1 for the 2nd frame in a row with $3.8M at 901 locations. The cume to-date is $16.1M. In Brazil, the blockbuster was off 42% for $3.4M in its sophomore frame and $22.2M to date. Mexico’s 3rd weekend was worth $2.1M from 630 locations, for a $30.3M run thus far. In the No. 1 slot again, Italy also added $1.9M from 343 locations for a market total of $9.1M. In it’s 3rd UK weekend, TAOE delivered $1.4M from 472 locations and has a cume of $29.7M.
I’ll be back shortly with figures from other studio bows and holdovers.
Key Market Round-Ups
This week’s smash hit in China was The Continent from director Han Han. With a cume of $45M, the movie landed the top spot at home, knocking down holdovers The House That Never Dies and Tiny Times 3. Han is a novelist, rally car driver, blogger and singer who is a contemporary (and apparent rival) of Tiny Times writer/helmer Guo Jinming. The Continent is a road trip comedy about three men whose lives change during the course of the journey. Han has over 38M followers on China’s version of Twitter, and includes Hong Kong action director Johnnie To among his admirers. Tiny Times 3, for its part, grossed $7.2M for a local cume of $73.5M. The House That Never Dies with an $8.7M frame for a cume of $48.5M is now the highest-grossing Chinese horror pic. It’s also in 3D which is a draw for local auds. Chinese animated feature The Magical Brush took $3.8M. The family film tells the story of a boy who finds a brush that makes whatever he paints become real. The next major studio release in China looks to be How To Train Your Dragon 2 on August 14. Otherwise, with the success of Transformers and other big titles giving Hollywood a more than 50% share of the market recently, the focus for right now is on releasing homegrown films to help bump that back up. Next week, The White Haired Witch Of Lunar Kingdom will likely be the top movie. The 3D wuxia martial arts romance/fantasy is based on Liang Yusheng’s novel Baifa Monü Zhuan. Directed by Jacob Cheung, it stars Fan Bingbing. Originally with an April release date, the reported $16M movie was shifted to August 1.
Talking to Hollywood execs, Kundo : Age Of The Rampant was one of the movies they wanted to avoid this weekend in Korea. Set in the 19th century, the film centers on a group of outlaws who act as a sort of Robin Hood band. Directed by Yoon Jong-bin, it grossed a staggering $20.1M this weekend after smashing opening day records with 550K admissions. The previous record holder was Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. WellGo USA acquired the spaghetti western-style pic in Cannes and is prepping a release later this year. DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon 2 did go up against Kundo this weekend, in a stab at counterprogramming. It opened well at No. 2 in its bow with $7.36M.
Godzilla was the big game in town this week as the lizard landed in its final major territory. The Gareth Evans-directed Warner Bros title was released via Toho and earned $6.7M (683.5M yen) on 460K admissions from 427 screens. In IMAX, it’s understood to have done about $700K. Three Disney movies are also still playing near the top of the box office in Japan where summer holidays are underway: Planes: Fire & Rescue (whose first installment was a hit here), Maleficent and the seemingly eternal Frozen. In local titles, Pokemon The Movie: Diancie And The Cocoon Of Destruction is the 17th title in the pocket monster franchise. Last weekend, it bowed with the highest number of admissions, 360K, but was bested by Maleficent in dollar terms. FilmBizAsia reported that Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There was a disappointment with $3.73M in its first two days. The Hiromasa Yonebayashi-directed anime is based on the 1981 Joan G Robinson book about an adopted child who meets a mysterious girl who lives by the sea. His 2010 feature The Secret World Of Arrietty became the top grossing local movie of that year with $91.2M. Next week, Warner Bros Japan’s Rurouni Kenshin sequel Kyoto Inferno opens. Based on a popular manga, the movie series is set in the 19th century and centers on a former assassin who helps people in need. Star Takeru Sato returns for the 2nd installment. The original made about $37M at home. Warner has a third movie in the series, The Legend Ends, cued up for next year.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hercules had a $1.2M debut in the Philippines for a No.1 slot. Playing at 134 locations, it was the 2nd biggest bow for a Paramount film after TAOE. Taiwan was also No. 1 with $1.3M, as was Singapore with $1.1M at 27 locations for a 6% better bow than Paramount’s Noah.
New offerings in the UK this week included Hercules ($2.5M at 438 locations) and The Purge: Anarchy with $2M at 382 dates. In all, according to the UK distributors’ association, there were 15 films released this week. That abundance of films flooding the market each frame was an issue raised when the BFI recently released its statistical yearbook for 2013. Many of the facts and figures were already reported, but one thing that stood out was the fact that an average 13 movies were released per week in 2013. That means that competition for audiences is higher and movies have less of a chance to grow. (This has been a long-running problem in neighboring France.) Ben Roberts, director of the BFI Film Fund told The Independent, “There are too many films being released. That number is ridiculous, and the fact it keeps going up is not sustainable. There’s just too much stuff out there.” In order to combat this, he said the industry should “rally around really great films” and pointed to Boyhood. That film this week expanded to 250 screens and took $475K for a 17-day total of $2.4M.
Salman Khan’s Kick entered the North American Top 20 with $1.07M at 177 locations. The Bollywood action/romance pic was tipped to do big business overseas with Khan returning to his trademark release date of the Eid al Fitr holiday. At home, the movie scored the biggest opening day of 2014 with 26.40 crore or about $4.4M on Friday. The bow was also a 2nd personal best for Khan, just below his 2012 Eid movie Ek Tha Tiger. With an estimated 83.83 crore ($13.95M) over the three-day in India, Kick had the best weekend debut of a film in 2014, but is 6th on the all-time list. One thing that may have dampened the film’s debut is that it actually came out a few days before Ramadan ended – the fasting period whose culmination is celebrated at Eid which this year is officially Monday night. Still, with no major local releases in India until August 8, Kick will have time to build.
Luc Besson’s Lucy is firing away in the States this weekend on about $44M for the three-day. It won’t get to France until August 6, however. Besson directed this film, but it’s also being compared to the Taken series that he wrote and produced but did not direct. The first Taken in 2008 was a big hit in the U.S. but did not click with French audiences. They did turn on to the Olivier Megaton-directed sequel Taken 2 in 2012, and this film could follow a similar trajectory. The movie is already the 2nd biggest French opener ever in the U.S., behind the last Taken film. Meanwhile, after scoring the best opening day amongst newcomers this week, Planes: Fire & Rescue earned $1.8M locally. The Purge: Anarchy had a $1.6M start. Also of note, local comedy Qu’Est-ce Qu’On A Fait Au Bon Dieu?! crossed $100M last week at the international box office with more than $95M coming from its home market. It’s also now playing in a handful of other European territories including Germany where it bowed this weekend at No. 3.
As I noted above, Sex Tape found a voyeuristic audience in Russia. The No. 3 bow was worth $2.6M on 961 screens and was 64% bigger than the male-skewing Neighbors, and 3% bigger than Diaz’s The Other Woman. Hercules was a strong No. 1, however, in this action-loving market. With $12M at 930 dates, it gave star Dwayne Johnson his biggest debut ever there. Russia gets Guardians Of The Galaxy next weekend.