Final UPDATE, 3:30 PM: Final grosses have been updated for the following films: The Equalizer, The Maze Runner, The Boxtrolls, Annabelle, Lucy, Hercules, Into the Storm, Let’s Be Cops, The Drop, If I Stay, The Dwarf, Boyhood, Get On Up, Sex Tape, horror films The Purge: Anarchy and As Above/So Below, 22 Jump Street, El Nino, Relatos Salvajes, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, and the big U.S. tentpoles Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also added are the thriller about hacking
2ND UPDATE, 6:37 PM PT: Despite the arrival of The Equalizer on 4,994 international screens, for a total take of $19M (including Village Roadshow markets), and the continued effort of The Maze Runner, this was a reasonably quiet overseas weekend whose initial estimates for the Top 10 studio releases are down about 15% on last frame. Those numbers don’t factor in Rentrak estimates for pictures like A Walk Among The Tombstones which has multiple overseas distributors. The Liam Neeson-starrer picked up about $2.1M in its 2nd session in 10 markets. Also on release via multiple partners is Keira Knightley/Mark Ruffalo romcom Begin Again, which Rentrak has adding $2.8M in 12 markets for an overseas total of $37M.
Of the other notables in the Top 20, Neeson was also active again with Non-Stop. The skybound actioner that debuted way back in February, took off in China on September 19 to a No. 1 $7M start and added a further $3M this frame. The movie is the top release ever for a Studiocanal production in the market. It had competition in the Middle Kingdom this frame from new entries Dearest ($13.5M), a child abduction drama, and animated pic Big Head Son & Small Head Dad: The Movie ($2.7M). This coming week, eyes are on Breakup Buddies, the reteam of the stars of 2012’s smash hit Lost In Thailand. It debuts on Monday, a full 11 days before the next big Hollywood picture, Guardians Of The Galaxy, zooms in on October 10. This weekend, GOTG earned another $4.2M to bring its international cume to $326M.
Sunday Box Office: 'The Equalizer' Nabs September Records; 'Maze Runner,' 'Boxtrolls' Take Youth Vote
Looking ahead to next weekend globally, David Fincher’s Gone Girl opens in 50 markets, in the first wide rollout this season of what many see as an Oscar hopeful. It’s also the first non-action drama for adults in the post-superhero-summer-zone. Fincher’s movies roundly do well overseas, whether based on wildly popular novels like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo or slightly less familiar source material. Gone Girl falls into the first camp after Gillian Flynn’s book became the summer read of 2012 and ultimately was licensed in 41 territories, and translated in 40 languages. Dragon Tattoo’s best overseas market was the UK with about $19M in box office; it was followed by Japan, Russia, Germany and Australia. This Ben Affleck/Rosamund Pike-starrer will hit each of those in its first outing, save Japan, which doesn’t open until December. The bulk of the rollout for Gone Girl is throughout the month of October.
Also coming down the pike is Dracula Untold with Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon and Dominic Cooper in the counterprogramming origins tale of Vlad Tepes. Universal is releasing in 25 markets including the UK, France, Germany, Mexico and Malaysia. Notably new in Spain next frame is Torrente V: Mision Eurovegas which Sony is releasing. Santiago Segura’s Torrente movies are habitual blockbusters locally. This one features a turn by Alec Baldwin and should help bring even more heat to an already caliente box office following Universal, Spanish Affairs, and Fox’s El Nino.
Among expansions are horror pic Annabelle in 30 more markets; The Boxtrolls in family friendly Brazil and elsewhere; and The Equalizer in France and more.
In the original posts below are weekend estimates from the studios. Of particular note, the No. 1 film of the weekend, The Maze Runner, is already Fox’s 3rd highest-grossing movie of all time in Malaysia with $5M after three frames, and it’s bested Guardians Of The Galaxy and the first two Hunger Games movies in Korea. Meanwhile, for those keeping score, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is nearing the $500M international mark; Lucy is getting close to $400M worldwide; Warner Bros’ Argentine hit Wild Tales is No. 1 for the 6th straight week; and Sex Tape continues to be a reliable little earner for Sony, with a nearly $80M cume.
1ST UPDATE, 12:37 PM PT: Warner Bros has come in with its numbers for Into The Storm and others, including new release Annabelle, which are updated throughout below. Also of note, Chinese film Dearest, which debuted as a special presentation in Toronto, has opened in its home market. Directed by Peter Chan, the drama earned $13.5M in the Middle Kingdom to rank near the top titles of the weekend internationally. The film draws on true stories of child abduction to tell the tale of a man who will stop at nothing to recover his missing son. Popular actress, and So Young director, Zhao Wei, aka Vicki Zhao, is among the principal cast. More to come…
PREVIOUS, 11:36 AM PT: After topping the box office last frame, Fox’s The Maze Runner continues to outpace other comers abroad. The YA adaptation added $27.52M from 7,044 screens in 62 markets and it retained the top spot for the 2nd consecutive weekend in 10 of those, including Korea, Australia, and Spain. Bowing in about the same number of markets, Denzel Washington-starrer The Equalizer was the major new release this weekend with an estimated $19M across 65 territories. Sony Pictures Releasing International had 62 of them where the film made an $16.4M. Village Roadshow territories earned an estimated $2.6M. There were 137 IMAX dates abroad, which were worth an estimated $1.4M+ for the weekend with several markets expected to deliver record September openings for the format, including the UK, Netherlands, Israel, and Egypt.
The transfer of the 1985 TV series, which is arguably less well-known abroad, scored above Washington’s Safe House debut and is at the top end of his films, Sony says. The Equalizer reteams the Oscar winner with his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua. That earlier collaboration was not one of Washington’s strongest overseas where it ultimately grossed $28.2M. The star is nevertheless a draw in offshore markets, especially in Japan and parts of Europe. The outpeformance of Safe House in some countries bodes well as that film went on to be Washington’s 3rd biggest overseas with $82.4M.
In the UK, The Equalizer was No. 1 with $3.1M from 650 screens. That was 62% above the opening of Taken — which Sony is using as a non-Washington comp — 33% above the actor’s 2 Guns, and in the same range as The Inside Man and Safe House. In the film, Washington’s character takes on the Russian mob. Locals evidently had no problem with their portrayal despite recent rumblings. Russia opened No. 1 with $2.9M from 1,004 screens; Washington’s biggest opening weekend ever there. Brazil was No. 2 debut with $1.2M. Mexico delivered $1.5M from 867 screens. That was a No. 2 start in the country that’s got a hot local film atop the charts. In Asia, the increasingly important Malaysia gave The Equalizer a No. 1 welcome with $655K from 180 screens. That was four times more than Safe House and nine times better than Taken. The Middle East collected approximately $1.6M from seven markets, led by the United Arab Emirates’ $891K from 63 screens, marking Washington’s biggest opening in the UAE, 14% above 2 Guns.
Village Roadshow markets collectively earned $2.6M: Australia $2M, New Zealand $180K, and Singapore $437K. Other openings include Netherlands ($719K, No. 2 and Denzel’s biggest opening), Belgium ($331K, No. 1), Portugal ($259K, No. 1), Ukraine ($258K, No. 1), Greece ($198K, No. 1), Poland ($219, No. 3), Hungary ($142K, No. 1), Romania ($163K, No. 1), Indonesia ($578K, No. 2), Hong Kong ($296K, No. 2), Central America ($224K, No. 1 and Denzel’s biggest there), Israel ($212K, No. 2 and, once again, Denzel’s biggest) and South Africa ($171K, No. 1 for his biggest opening yet again). Scandinavia played above comps with $778K from the four markets.
Also new this week, Warner Bros’ horror pic Annabelle, fittingly starring Annabelle Wallis, debuted in Russia with $2.1M on 793 screens. That ranked it No. 3 behind The Equalizer and The Maze Runner. Annabelle, from director John R Leonetti, hits 22 international markets next week including Australia, Italy, Korea and Taiwan.
Turning back to The Maze Runner, the film added Holland (where Fox’s own Let’s Be Cops had been the top movie for four out of seven weeks) and a handful of Latin American markets where it opened to No. 1s. In Malaysia, The Maze Runner is already the 3rd highest Fox film of all time — behind Avatar and X-Men: Days Of Future Past. With an overseas cume of $92.3M, it will soon pass the $100M mark – still to bow are China, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK.
Among the notable perfs this frame were Korea where the Wes Ball-helmed film fell just 9% and has already bested the lifetimes of Guardians Of The Galaxy and the first two Hunger Games. The cume there is $12.16M. I’m told the success of the film in Korea, along with places like Malaysia and Taiwan, is thanks to the fresh concept, a good release window, and a strong marketing campaign; rather than a necessarily massive awareness of the book. Although Australia is typically a strong Denzel Washington market, The Maze Runner held the No. 1 spot there and now has an $8.1M cume. It fell to Washington’s Equalizer in Russia, however, and was No. 2 for the weekend with a $10.8M cume.
Luc Besson’s Lucy is nearing the $400M worldwide mark with a further $11.1M this frame. Universal’s portion of that is an estimated $10M at 4,535 dates in 56 territories. Besson’s EuropaCorp is releasing in a handful of markets, and those added about $11.1M with the overall international total at $269M ($214.5M for Universal). The worldwide cume is now an estimated $394.4M. The Scarlett Johansson sci-fi shoot-em-up bowed at No. 1 in Italy with 40% of the market share and an estimated gross of $3.3M at 475 dates. Unsurprisingly, Italy continued the trend of making Lucy the best debut ever for a film directed by Besson – and that’s despite the George Clooney nuptials that were captivating the public over the weekend. Lucy held at No. 4 in Russia in week 3 with $1.8M at 769 dates for an 18-day total of $19.6M. The film is closing in on becoming the 10th highest grossing title in Russia this year. It is already hold the distinction as the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time in the market.
Universal’s animated release The Boxtrolls did better than expected as final grosses far outweigh what was estimated yesterday. The stop-motion family film added a final $5.4M this frame at 2,828 dates in 16 territories for an early total of $17.9M. The Laika Entertainment pic opened in Russia at No. 5 with $1.2M at 811 dates. That was 87% above Coraline and 31% above ParaNorman, both of which also hailed from Laika. In New Zealand, it opened on par with those films with $85K at 109 dates. Kiwi kids are off on school holidays from tomorrow. The Philippines bowed to an estimated $46K at 51 dates. In Hong Kong, where a pro-democracy sit-in has brought great unrest, box office was slow with $112K at 30 dates. In holdovers, The Boxtrolls remained near the top of the charts in the UK, landing at No. 2 in its 3rd frame with an additional $1.8M at 503 locations for a cume to date of $8M. Australia, which is in the throes of school holidays, was also a strong holdover with $997K at 246 dates. The total there is now $2.4M. Next weekend, the film opens in Brazil, Chile, Italy, the Netherlands and Panama.
Who Am I – No System is Safe bowed in Germany this weekend to grab the No. 1 spot this weekend over Sony’s Sex Tape (in its third weekend of release). It took in $2M from 496 runs. The film which had its world premiere in Toronto earlier this month is a thriller directed by Baran bo Odar about a group of young hackers who suddenly find themselves in trouble with the German Secret Service and Europol. Distribution for the film is being handled by a number of companies, but is being released here by Sony.
Sony’s Sex Tape keeps rolling with a further $4.6M from 2,305 runs in 43 markets for an overseas cume of $78.1M. In its 3rd weekend of release, Germany fell just 38% to add another $1.6M for a $9.5M cume for a No. 2 slot; France slipped 35% ($637K, cume $3.9M), and the UK fell 38% in its 4th frame ($431K, cume $6.6M). Venezuela, meanwhile, was down just 5% ($44K, cume $1.3M).
Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy added $4.2M from 33 overseas territories this frame as it preps a landing in China on Oct 10. The offshore cume to date is now $326M with a worldwide take of $649.3M.
In the meantime, Divergent ended its international run with China posting a final tally of $12.3M in 21 days. The YA sci-fi thriller ended its domestic run with $150M and its international run with $137.7M for a worldwide cume of $288.5M for Lionsgate Films. The Fault in Our Stars, which also stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, is at $303.5M worldwide, $15M more … and it’s still playing, taking in another $798K in 11 markets this weekend to bring its international cume up to $178.7M.
Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are still strutting at the overseas box office with an added $4M at 2,171 locations in 40 holdover territories. The international total to date is $155.2M. Australia grossed a further $1.7M at 338 sites and dropping only 15% from last week. The cume is now $12.2M. After bowing at No. 1 last frame, week 2 in Italy was worth $954K from 487 locations. The local cume is now $3.7M. The next new openings are Belgium and France on October 15.
Warner Bros’ Into The Storm earned a further $3.2M this weekend from roughly 3,050 screens in 38 markets. The international cume is now $106.2M since releasing in early August. The movie opened in Argentina this frame with $554K on 132 screens. It was No. 2 behind Warner’s own local title Wild Tales which is No. 1 for a 6th straight weekend. That film has become the highest grossing local production ever in Argentina with a cume of $13.5M. Including results for Chile, Peru and Uruguay, the film has grossed $14.7M to date.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is closing in on the $500M international mark with $3.36M more this frame for a current haul of $488.5M. As the Fox movie wraps its run in China, it has cumed $107.3M there. Japan is still performing with a $7.9M cume after this 2nd frame.
Paramount’s Hercules flexed $2.5M worth of muscle at 1,912 locations in the 22 territories where it is still playing. The overseas cume has now risen to $151.1M. Brazil is buying into the beefcake big time with a further $836K in the 4th frame at 321 locations. The local cume is now $12.9M. Also in the 4th frame, Germany grossed $435K from 484 sites where the total is now $7.4M. China looms on Oct 21 with Japan to follow on Oct. 24th.
The final film in the Rurouni Kenshin series, The Legend Ends, held the No. 1 spot in its third weekend in Japan. The local Warner production took an estimated $2.55M from 399 screens. The 16-day cume is $28.6M. Its predecessor, Kyoto Inferno, which was released this summer, has now cumed $49.4M in Japan.
Sony’s Deliver Us From Evil passed the $50M mark with an added $2.7M from 34 territories. The overseas total is now $52.3M. Of note, it fell 33% from its opening weekend in Brazil to gross $797K for a market total of $2.3M.
Warner drama If I Stay added an estimated $1.8M on over 1,675 screens in 44 territories, bringing the estimated cume to $23.1M.
Universal horror pic As Above/So Below has hit $14.9M overseas with an extra $1.6M at 1,573 dates in 41 territories this weekend. Germany was the top holdover with $491K in its 3rd frame for a local cume of $2.6M. Russia bows next weekend.
Let’s Be Cops drove up $1.2M this frame from 698 screens in 27 markets. It had good holds in the UK, Sweden and Holland – although it’s no longer No. 1 now that The Maze Runner has arrived. The international cume is $27.1M.
German 3D animated pic The 7th Dwarf opened in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland to gross a total estimated $696K at 930 dates. Directed by Boris Aljinovic and Harald Siepermann, it’s the story of clumsy Bobo who triggers a major crisis at Fantabularasa Castle that puts the entire kingdom into a deep sleep on the eve of Princess Rose’s 18th birthday. Universal is releasing in German markets.
Fox’s local pic, El Nino, brought in a further $1.2M in Spain in its 5th weekend. The total for the movie, which is holding at No. 3, is now $17.7M. It’s also hovering around the No. 2 movie of the year slot. It will not, however, compete to be shortlisted for the Foreign Language Oscar from Spain — that honor goes this year to 2013 release Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.
The Purge: Anarchy notched up a final $692K at 315 dates in 19 territories and raised the international total to $37.2M. Peru opened to $76K at 33 runs or 20% lower than the original Purge, which took in at $95K on 30 screens last year, and Thailand did 20% better than the first movie with $170K at 40 dates.
James Brown biopic Get On Up began its international rollout this weekend, nearly two months after it bowed in the U.S. It just debuted in France and Switzerland and is screening at a handful of festivals over the next few weeks including Rio and Gent. In France, where Brown is a major icon, the film placed No. 10 with $591K at 364 dates. This is a long release pattern that will go through March next year. Germany and German-speaking Switzerland are due next on Oct 9.
The Drop, which marked the late actor’s James Gandolfini’s last release, brought in $501K on 220 runs in three markets. It opened in Spain to $310K on 159 locales and in Belgium it grabbed $160K in 60 runs.
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood grew by $660K at 396 dates in 22 territories this weekend to take the Universal total to $13.8M. Peru opened with a solid $6K at seven dates with results from Sweden’s bow available on Monday.
22 Jump Street is playing out its 23 markets for another $1.1M on 862 screens in 23 markets. It’s total international cume now stands at $135M. Argentina opened this weekend to $187K, which was 2.6 times higher than 21 Jump Street. Peru gave up $157K and Ecuador offered 73K (both were 2.7 times what the first installment made), while in Bolivia, the R-rated buddy comedy ended up grossing 25K (2.1 times that of 21 JS).
NOTEWORTHY: Billy Elliot: The Musical Live, in a simulcast from London’s West End to cinemas in Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK/Ireland, tapped danced in with a very strong $3.4M. In the UK/Ireland, the local favorite placed No. 1 with $3M from just two shows on Sunday, marking the biggest even cinema opening ever in the UK, besting Doctor Who.
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