2ND UPDATE, TUESDAY 4 AM PT: Actuals are in for the international weekend with no major discrepancies save for a big drop on Taken 3. After Sunday’s report of a $57.2M total in non-Fox markets, the confirmed total came in at $39.8M. The difference was down to an incorrect cume provided to Fox by EuropaCorp for those territories. The overseas total is now a corrected $134M. In new pics, both JLo-starrer The Boy Next Door and Johnny Depp’s Mortdecai saw small bumps (up a respective $23K and $70K). American Sniper reloaded to $18M from a previously projected $17.6M.
Updated below are final numbers on those films along with: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, Penguins Of Madagascar, The Theory Of Everything, Unbroken, Seventh Son, Exodus: Gods And Kings, Into The Woods, Ouija, The Imitation Game, Birdman, Ex Machina, Blackhat, The Water Diviner, Boyhood, John Wick, Let’s Be Cops, Gangnam Blues, 20, Once Again! and Gone Girl.
1ST UPDATE, SUNDAY 7:10 PM PT The holdovers had it at this weekend’s international box office. The frame was up roughly 11% from last weekend across the Top 10 studio titles playing overseas, largely thanks to the China performance of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. That film now has an international cume of $617.1M and a worldwide total of about $866.5M. That’s a little less than $100M off the $960M with which The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug ended its run in 2014. However, an apples-to-apples comparison would be difficult to make at this juncture given currency fluctuations. Nevertheless, the China bow of Five Armies nearly bested the entire Middle Kingdom run The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in local currency terms. The earlier film traveled to a total 315.9 yuan while Five Armies grossed 307 yuan in its first three days. Smaug’s three-day was just 198M yuan in February on 2014. On just under 200 plays, IMAX added $6.8M to Five Armies‘ China arsenal, setting a record for a non-summer release. It also places Five Armies just below Transformers: Age Of Extinction’s nearly $10M all-time record in the format.
The next big China release for Hollywood is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 on February 8. This coming weekend, two local animated pics will go head-to-head when Boonie Bears: Mystical Winter faces off with Pleasant Goat And Big Big Wolf: Amazing Pleasant Goat. Reality TV spinoff Running Man also bows there on the 30th (more on those below in the key market round-ups).
Elsewhere, Taken 3 continued its rollout, heading notably to France where it gave Liam Neeson his best-ever opening at $8.2M. American Sniper put a further $18M into the chamber, repping only a 24% drop from last frame and as the Clint Eastwood-directed movie continues to rack up records for the helmer in its overseas opens. With over $200M in North America, it is also approaching $50M internationally and has France, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Japan and Germany all on deck throughout February.
Of the new films that bowed this frame, Johnny Depp-starrer Mortdecai stole its way to $5.27M in 33 markets and Jennifer Lopez opened a window on $583K with The Boy Next Door in six, repping a $3,408 per-screen average. Locally, Gangnam Blues made its debut in Korea on $6.4M.
Last year at this time Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street was the No. 1 movie, continuing to set best-ever debut frames for the helmer — not unlike Eastwood’s current run with Sniper. In another mirror to 2014, Disney’s Frozen was still merrily skating along, much as Big Hero 6 grosses continue to grow.
Next week, the Michael Bay-produced time machine thriller Project Almanac goes day-and-date in about a dozen markets including Russia and Malaysia. Dean Israelite makes his feature debut with the Paramount release. It made the Air Force Times last week when Bay apologized to the families of victims of a 1994 crash for the inclusion of real air crash footage instead of a VFX shot. The two-second shot is being removed ahead of the film’s release next week.
Also from Paramount, this time Paramount Animation, is The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water. Directors Paul Tibbitt and Mike Mitchell mix animation and live action to send the Bikini Bottom dweller into the world above sea level in the Netherlands, Mexico and a handful of other markets before going to North America and several other overseas lands the following frame.
In expansions are recent titles including Into The Woods which goes to Brazil in what is a wildly crowded week there (it also welcomes Birdman, The Imitation Game, Big Eyes, The Interview, and The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death). Night At The Museum 3 opens its doors in Korea; the UK gets Kingsman: The Secret Service, Inherent Vice and Big Hero 6; and, in Italy, husband and wife Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will face off with their respective Fury and Unbroken.
Key market breakdowns for this frame are below the original post. We’ll update actuals as they arrive.
PREVIOUS, 12 PM PT: HIGHLIGHTS: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (WB) plants $49.3M footprint in China debut; American Sniper (WB) picks off more records for Clint Eastwood as it approaches $50M; Mortdecai (LGF/VAR) is less with lackluster start; Taken 3 (FOX/EUR) sets Neeson milestone; Big Hero 6 (DIS) still big in Japan; Penguins (FOX) holds fast to Latin American No. 1s…
With a record-breaking China bow of $49.3M, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies was the top movie this frame internationally, followed by Taken 3, American Sniper, Big Hero 6 and Penguins Of Madagascar. New were day-and-date releases of Johnny Depp-starrer Mortdecai and Jennifer Lopez vehicle The Boy Next Door; as well as the debut of Alex Garland’s Ex Machina. Below are the weekend estimates on each of those along with The Theory Of Everything, Into The Woods and more. I will be back a bit later with a fuller weekend picture, including the lowdown on local titles and key markets.
Compared to its $4.1M domestic debut, Mortdecai had a slightly higher $5.27M overseas bow — from 33 markets. The Johnny Depp-starrer notably opened in the UK, France and Germany. The latter was its best market with $1.2M from 487 screens, landing it in about 6th place. The $60M comedy that co-stars Gwyneth Paltrow, was the 2nd biggest newcomer in France on its first day of release, stealing that spot just behind Taken 3. Posters were plastered all over Paris, reviews were mixed and Depp is well-liked here — even Lone Ranger sold about two million tickets — but last year’s Transcendence failed to crack the one million barrier. Lionsgate’s exposure internationally may be somewhat mitigated off of pre-licensing and a financing partnership with Odd Lot. Meanwhile, with the participation of China’s Huyai Brothers in Mortdecai, it would seem likely the film will ultimately be released there, although no date has been set. It continues to roll out into March.
Alex Garland’s Ex Machina had its first international releases via the UK and Korea this session. The British writer of Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later makes his directorial debut with the sci-fi thriller that stars Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac. The story of a programmer who wins the chance to join his genius, but reclusive, boss and work on an experiment in artificial intelligence, earned $2.03M in the frame. In the UK, it bowed No. 5 with $1.6M at 433 dates. In Korea, the start was $411K at a limited 171 dates. Universal will roll Ex Machina out over the next several months. The next major openings are Spain on February 27 and Australia on March 5.
Jennifer Lopez-starrer The Boy Next Door opened in six territories: Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Singapore, Trinidad (No. 1) and Ukraine which was its biggest bow with $147K at 77 dates . It grossed an estimated $583K at 171 Universal dates over the weekend. The Rob Cohen-directed thriller from producer Jason Blum puts Lopez back into territory she hasn’t visited since 2002’s Enough – she plays a woman going through a divorce who has a one-night stand with what turns out to be a dangerous neighbor. The day-and-date release has an estimated $15M domestic debut, which, when added to its international take, is just about four times the $4M budget. It played above expectations in each of the markets where the Blum effect coupled with JLo’s superstardom drew auds. Universal has 44 more territories to release in the coming months; key markets start releasing at the end February.
Warner Bros says that with a three-day $49.3M China start (307M yuan), The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is the studio’s best-ever opening weekend in the market. In local currency, it’s nearly the entire four-week run of An Unexpected Journey, which made 315.9M yuan. The Desolation Of Smaug last year opened in the Middle Kingdom in late February to a three-day take of 198M yuan, or $32.7M, on about 5,500 screens. Five Armies is playing on 8,076 screens. The full Five Armies weekend was worth $54.1M to take the international cume above $600M — $617.1M to be precise.
Taken 3 tracked down $26.2M from 6,667 screens in 63 markets including France where it bowed to $8.2M. The action thriller is released there by producer Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and gave Liam Neeson his best opening ever in the market. Elsewhere, Fox territories include Brazil, which bowed this frame to $2.19M at 411 dates for a debut that is 2.6 times bigger than Taken 2. In Brazil, Taken 3 came in at No. 2 behind what has been a strong run for Penguins Of Madagascar. There are good holds on Taken 3 in the UK (23.34M cume) and Australia ($10.39M cume). The total offshore take is now $134M, of which $39.8M is from non-Fox markets. Mexico opens next week.
Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper took aim in 17 new markets this weekend, landing $18M with 1.8M admissions on 2,700 screens. Holdover markets on the domestic blockbuster dropped a slight 24%, bringing the overseas cume to $48.95M. After setting records in several territories for his best-ever opening, Eastwood added Australia to that holster with $4.3M on 298 screens and 50% of the top five films in the market. Including sneaks, the total there is $4.6M. (There were similar records in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Romania, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay and Puerto Rico.)
In holdover markets, the UK added $3.8M from 499 screens to jump 4% over last weekend. The $10M cume already exceeds the lifetime cumes of all previous films by the Man with No Name – except Gran Torino. Speaking of Sergio Leone, Italy has now served up $21.05M of American Sniper’s overall haul.
Big Hero 6 continued its rollout with a Baymax-sized start in Korea where it took $5.1M ($6.4M cume including previews). That’s the 2nd-biggest opening ever there for a Disney Animation/Pixar movie. There are currently some very strong local titles in Korea (new opener Gangnam Blues is expected to have made about $6M this weekend) and this will have acted as family counterprogramming. In Germany, Big Hero 6 bowed to $3.9M ($4.4M cume with previews). In Japan, San Fransokyo fans kept Big Hero 6 in the No. 1 spot for the fourth consecutive weekend, taking the cume to $58.7M. In Australia, the film is holding well with a $16.2M cume. In Finland, meanwhile, the Oscar-nominated Big Hero 6, opened bigger than Frozen. Overall, this session was worth $15.8M. In its 15th frame next week, Big Hero 6 rolls into the UK and the rest of Scandinavia. The international total is now $239.5M.
The Penguins of Madagascar have shifted their way to another $9.65M from 5,156 screens in 51 markets. Performing particularly well in Latin America, Penguins saw six markets across the region keep it in the No. 1 position for the second consecutive weekend (Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Central America, Chile, and Ecuador). Argentina opened to $1.16M with 30% of the market this frame. There were no other new openings. The international cume now stands $241.6M with five more markets to go.
Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb dug up another $9.26M from 7,053 screens in 44 markets. In its 3rd China session, the Ben Stiller comedy earned $2.53M for a local stockpile of $44.23M. Venezuela opened No. 1 with $1.03M — 2.5 times bigger than the opening of Night At The Museum 2. The offshore total is $193M. Italy opens next weekend, followed by France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark.
The Imitation Game played to another $7.8M with releases in nine more markets including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Iceland, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa and Uruguay bringing the total number of theaters from 1,757 to 1,937. The offshore cume for the Oscar-nominated pic that’s handled by FilmNation is $61M. The worldwide total is now upwards of $121M. Key holdover markets include Australia ($11.3M), Italy ($8.2M), Spain ($3.3M), and the UK ($24.5M).
The Theory Of Everything is now playing in 25 international territories with a cume of $41.08M. The Eddie Redmayne/Felicity Jones Oscar nominee added $6.6M this frame with new plays in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia and Hungary. The Stephen Hawking biopic landed at No. 7 in France with $520K at 213 dates and held on to the No. 3 spot in the UK where Universal reports a further $2.3M at 533 dates and a 26-day total of $22.3M. Holdovers are strong in most territories, notably Italy with an 11-day total of $3.5M, and Spain where the film jumped up to No. 1 in its 2nd week with $811K at 250 dates for a $2.1M cume. With 33 territories still to bow, Theory takes its notions to Australia and Brazil next frame.
As the domestic release of Seventh Son approaches, Universal added five overseas territories this weekend for a total of 45 in release. The frame was good for $4.7M, taking the international total to $76.1M. That includes China where the sci-fi fantasy has now grossed $24M after two weekends and is being released by Legendary East. Also in Asia, Indonesia and Vietnam opened at No. 1 this weekend. India, Turkey and Venezuela are on deck for next frame.
Exodus: Gods And Kings’ chariot keeps rolling with a further $5.43M from 3,695 screens in 45 markets. After knocking American Sniper from the catbird seat last frame, Exodus was tops in Italy for the 2nd weekend in a row with $1.92M on 712 screens. The cume there is $5.92M. Brazil ($913K) and Venezuela ($545K) also had strong holds in their 5th and 3rd weekends, respectively. In France, the $13.34M total is 29% bigger than the lifetime of last year’s other biblical epic, Noah. The international cume is over $189.64M with Japan set to release next weekend.
Into The Woods added $5.3M this frame for an overseas cume of $34.2M to date and a worldwide haul of $155.49M. In its 5th weekend of release, the Disney musical expanded into Spain with a No. 1 opening of $800K. Word of mouth is helping the film in holdovers; in the UK there was a 35% drop, after a +196% Friday-Saturday bump. The movie tuned up $2M there this frame for a local cume of $10.9M. Australia is the 2nd biggest ex-U.S. market with a cume of $8.1M after a $900K weekend. Into The Woods builds on its current 49% international footprint with openings next frame in France and Brazil.
Flying high after its PGA win on Saturday night, Birdman expanded into nine new markets including Russia, Hong Kong, Holland and Denmark. Playing in 26 total, Alejandro G Inarritu’s comedy/drama earned $4.42M from 1,993 screens. The UK ($7.17M) is the biggest ex-U.S. market thus far, followed by Australia and Spain, each with about $2.8M. The international cume is now $19.3M. A week before the BAFTAs and two ahead of the Oscars, Fox opens Birdman in 20 overseas markets next weekend, including Germany and Brazil.
Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken is preparing for battle in China next weekend, along with Mexico, Italy and Venezuela, among others. This frame, it added $3.9M in 35 territories for a total of $28.2M.
The DVD of Universal’s Ouija releases Stateside on February 3, but the Michael Bay/Jason Blum-produced scarer is still opening theatrically over the next several weeks. Bowing in Germany at No. 4 this frame, it earned $1.2M at 259 dates. The full pull was $3.1M in 14 territories for a total of $44.37M this weekend. There are seven more markets to go including France on April 22.
Reese Witherspoon’s Wild trekked to $1.93M this frame on 927 screens in nine markets. Australia opened at No. 10 at $780K on 178 screens. The offshore cume for Fox is now $5.02M.
Lionsgate’s John Wick grossed $1.85M from 19 markets over the weekend for an overseas cume of $33.15M. Opening in Italy, the weekend came in at $907K from 223 screens. Korea was a soft open; with so much competition in the market, it took $686K from 307 screens. The top-grossing play is France at a cume of $3.2M.
Let’s Be Cops is still on duty in five markets, booking $1.6M from 705 screens this frame. In Germany, where Cops is in its 3rd session, the film has a $5.05M cume — 68% bigger than the total run of 21 Jump Street in the market. France, where local comedies have dominated recently, gave Cops a No. 9 opening slot with $489K. The international cume is $53.1M.
After last week’s disappointing start both domestically and internationally, Blackhat didn’t fare much better. Hacking into $1.5M in 30 territories, the Michael Mann thriller now has an international total of $4.3M.
Paramount’s The Gambler opened this weekend in the UK and Russia. The Mark Wahlberg-starrer is playing in a total of seven markets and has an international cume of $3.2M after adding $1.3M this frame. Australia is set for release on February 5.
Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner found another $539K at 332 plays in Australia and New Zealand; the cume is now $12.2M.
Boyhood may not have scooped the PGA’s top prize on Saturday, but it did add $321K in 20 territories for a total of $22.1M. Debuts and re-releases continue throughout awards season. The next openings via Universal are Malaysia on February 5 and Bulgaria and Romania on February 6.
Gone Girl connived a further $258K from 10 markets. Japan and Italy are running about neck and neck with $9.6M and $9.4M respectively. The international total is now $200.85M.
As noted above, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies had a big weekend in China with 307M yuan, or $49.3M, from 8,076 screens. A very dominant No. 1, it opened well above holdover 20, Once Again! which took $5.56M in the frame for the No. 2 spot. Five Armies is Warner Bros’ highest-ever opening in China – besting the other Hobbit films as well as Interstellar and Gravity. Warner also says it is the industry’s best three-day opening ever outside of a holiday period. Movies like Transformers: Age Of Extinction and Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons each earned more than $90M at open but the former fell on the eve of summer holidays and the latter was a Chinese New Year title.
Coming up next weekend, Chinese 3D animated film Boonie Bears: Mystical Winter will face off with Pleasant Goat And Big Big Wolf: Amazing Pleasant Goat. Boonie Bears last year set records for a domestic animated feature at the local box office. Based on the popular TV series, it grossed $16.69M in its opening three days, becoming the first Chinese animated film to reach the 100M yuan mark in the short period, and also besting a previous opening-day record set by Pleasant Goat And Big Big Wolf. Per FilmBizAsia, it earned $622K in early previews. Amazing Pleasant Goat is the latest in that series and opens on January 30. The same day, Running Man will release in the hopes of recreating the success of last year’s Dad, Where Are We Going? Both are feature spinoffs of popular reality TV shows. Dad last year grossed more than $100M. Running Man revolves around celebrity teams who compete against one another in the jungle. The cast includes stars of some of China’s biggest recent hits with Lost In Thailand’s Wang Baoqiang, Aftershock’s Li Chen, So Young’s Zheng Kai and Love On The Cloud’s Angelababy, joined by Korean singer and TV personality Kim Jong-kook and Chen He (Back In Time). China Lion recently acquired it to release in North America day-and-date with China.
Last week’s big Korean films, Ode To My Father and Love Forecast, dropped off of the Rentrak Top 20 this frame with Gangnam Blues stepping in. The gangster pic is the story of two childhood friends who end up on opposite sides of the 1970s construction of the eponymous neighborhood. It earned $7.64M in its first five days. Next week sees the release of Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb and local pic Shoot Me In The Heart. Set in a psychiatric hospital, it’s the meeting of a young man suffering from guilt over his mother’s suicide and another who has been forcibly hospitalized due to a fight over his wealthy family’s inheritance. Baek Seung-Bin directs the film that’s based on Jung Yoo-Jung’s novel Nae Simjangeul Sswara.
Germany is looking at a busy weekend next frame with the bows of Birdman and John Wick. Local title Honig Im Kopf continues its strong run in the market where local comedy franchise Fünf Freunde gets its 4th installment this coming frame. This is also the last session before Germans begin to be focused on the Berlin International Film Festival which kicks off on February 5 -– the same day that Sony is releasing The Interview into local theaters, something that caused a bit of confusion for the North Korean government last week.
This past frame, there was another new local family comedy in the mix with Frau Müller Muss Weg! The Sönke Wortmann-helmed pic sees parents trying to convince a teacher to leave their children’s school after the kids get a series of bad grades. It finished in the Top 5. Johnny Depp’s Mortdecai, meanwhile, drew its best numbers in Germany in its debut frame. It earned $1.2M of its $5.2M international heist here.
Indie distributor Square One was celebrating today with its German and Austrian openings of The Imitation Game. For the weekend it is looking at 109,391 admissions $1.02M putting it ahead of other recent awards season films like The Artist, Lincoln, 12 Years A Slave and Philomena. The film has resonance in Germany as its subject, Alan Turing, was responsible for designing the machine to crack the WW II Enigma Code. In total, Imitation Game earned another $7.8M for a $61M offshore cume.