2Nd UPDATE: : International actuals are in from most of the studios with a few figure shifts. The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies came in higher than projected with a total $54M weekend and a cume of $504.65M. Disney’s Into The Woods, previously at a projected $1M for the weekend, nearly doubled that to take a confirmed $1.7M. In Italy, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper was above its estimated record-breaking haul with $7.1M on 425 screens and the best per-screen average in the market. There’s also a new local movie record in fast-growing Vietnam — see the key market round-ups below for more on that one.
Figures have been updated throughout for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Exodus: Gods And Kings, Penguins Of Madagascar, Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, Big Hero 6, Into The Woods, Seventh Son, Taken 3, American Sniper, The Water Diviner, The Theory Of Everything, Unbroken, Gone Girl, Honig Im Kopf, Horrible Bosses 2, Gloria, Ouija, Dumb And Dumber To, Birdman, and Boyhood.
1ST UPDATE, SUNDAY, 3:15 PM PT: As with many recent weekends, this one resembled the comparable period in 2014 when a Hobbit ruled the day at the international box office; a Disney animation was performing strongly; Ben Stiller had a movie in many markets; and an anticipated horror franchise installment made its debut. Notably, just like in the beginning of 2014, this was the weekend that a Hobbit big-footed it over the $500M mark. Last year, The Desolation Of Smaug finished the frame at $527M while this year’s Battle Of The Five Armies is now at $504.65M with China still on the horizon. The frame is off slightly versus last year, and last week, with the other studio movies leading the pack including Exodus: Gods And Kings, Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, Penguins Of Madagascar and Big Hero 6.
Last week’s session included some strong local-language pics like The Taking Of Tiger Mountain in China; Bollywood’s PK; and Korea’s Ode To My Father. This frame saw the addition of animated entry 10,000 Ways To LMAO (aka 100,000 Bad Jokes) and Italy’s Si Accettano Miracoli. It was also a good weekend for British-minded fare. New entry The Woman In Black 2 Angel Of Death scared up a UK opening while The Theory Of Everything got off to a fantastic start, Paddington crossed $100M worldwide, and The Imitation Game is looking at a $33M international gross after expanding this frame.
While next weekend doesn’t see any major wide debuts, one of this week’s new entries, Taken 3, will expand, looking to abduct grosses in myriad territories including the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. Universal’s Seventh Son will also rollout wider as will Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Disney’s Into The Woods. China, for its part, gets Annie, along with The Grandmaster 3D.
For more on local titles, see the round-ups after the main story. Actuals on all studio titles to come tomorrow.
PREVIOUS, 12:42 PM PT: A strong post-New Year frame internationally has many of the major holdover titles either punching above their weight or passing milestones as they play on and hit new markets. Notably, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies crossed the $500M mark and India’s PK became the biggest Bollywood grosser ever at home, and in North America. Among new entries, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper set a personal best for the director in Italy; The Woman In Black 2 Angel Of Death haunted the UK with a nearly $4M bow; and Taken 3 showed off special skills in Korea and Hong Kong. Below are studio reported numbers on all the major titles. More on local films and territory round-ups to come a bit later.
In its first international releases, Taken 3 brought Liam Neeson’s special skills to Korea and Hong Kong, kidnapping $9.34M from 706 screens. The $8M opening in Korea was 28% above Taken 2 and gave Neeson his biggest bow in the market where it is the No. 1 MPA title while local pic Ode To My Father still dominates. Hong Kong’s No. 1 debut of $1.27M was 40% better than the last installment. Fox has 27 more international markets to release next weekend on the Olivier Megaton-helmed pic.
Clint Eastwood and American Sniper killed in Italy with a $7.1M opening weekend. Playing on 425 screens, the Bradley Cooper-starrer has the best per-screen average in the market and surpassed all comp titles according to Warner Bros. It is Eastwood’s best debut of all time here and WB’s 2nd best bow for a non-franchise U.S. pic ever. The next key market openings for the drama are the UK on January 16 and Australia on January 22.
The Woman In Black 2 Angel Of Death was released on January 1 in the UK by eOne. The take was about $4M (£2.55M) versus $4.75M (£3.1M) for the original film which went on to be the biggest horror film ever in the market. The latest installment of the creepy goings-on at Eel Marsh House is directed by Peaky Blinders’ Tom Harper. The lower opening on the sequel was to be expected: the first movie boasted Daniel Radcliffe in his first major post-Potter role and also had a 12 rating, while Angel Of Death was slapped with a 15 certificate. The movie rolls out internationally over the next couple of months with openings in France and Russia in mid-January.
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies continued to wage war on the international box office with $54M in its 4th frame. Showing at 14,086 dates in 65 markets, the Orcs, Elves and Dwarves have now amassed $504.65M. The final installment of Peter Jackson’s trilogy still has China to release on January 23. Among new openers, Argentina set the record as the biggest Warner Bros opening of all time with $2.1M on 397 screens. Results are 108% above The Desolation Of Smaug, and double An Unexpected Journey. In holdovers, Australia added $5.2M to remain No. 1 with a $19.6M cume; Germany gave Bilbo pride of place once again with a 4th consecutive No. 1 and a $68.9M total to date; the UK has also been No. 1 for four frames with a $57.4M cume. In Korea, a running cume of $21.2M makes HBOTFA the biggest film in the franchise. (Same goes for Russia, but given the ruble’s devaluation against the dollar, that’s in local currency terms.)
Parting the Red Sea once more, the Moses-led Exodus: Gods And Kings grossed $30.6M from 58 markets. That’s largely down to six new markets which included Russia with $8M from 1,026 screens, and Central America at $1.2M for Fox’s 3rd biggest opening weekend of all time. Biblical holdovers included Brazil at No. 1, down 26%, with $4.46M; France at $3.4M, down about 30%; the UK with $2.47M, down around 35%; and Germany with $2.42M for a slight drop. The international cume is now $141.5M, with six more markets to release in January including Italy and Japan.
Fox’s final installment in the Night At The Museum franchise, Secret Of The Tomb, picked up $26.2M from 6,955 screens in 61 markets in its 3rd history lesson. That’s a healthily small holiday drop from last week’s $31.2M which was earned on just about 200 fewer screens. Brazil ($3.1M), Colombia ($1.22M), and Peru ($1M) opened at levels significantly higher than Night 1 & 2, while Mexico held at No. 1 for the 2nd frame with $3.97M and a cume of $11.46M. The UK jumped in its 3rd session, digging up $2.72M for a cume of $15.2M. Australia ($2.1M/$6.9M cume) and Germany ($1.7M/$7.3M cume) also held well. The early international cume is now $92.9M with five of the Top 10 international markets yet to release. That includes China which released today.
The Penguins Of Madagascar spied their way to another $23.1M this week, in yet another example of how extended release patterns benefit these DreamWorks Animation titles. This week’s haul is up over last frame’s $16.1M and came from 6,991 screens in 55 markets — comparable to last week. Australia opened at $3.6M, 27% over spinoff comp Puss In Boots, and Korea had a great $6M start — it’s released locally by CJ. Notable holds included the UK which was up 33% in its 5th frame for a cume of $11.1M; Mexico ($3.24M/$16.15M cume) and France ($3M/$14.M cume). The international total is approaching $200M with $193.9M ahead of releases in an additional 14 markets through February.
Big Hero 6 opened in Taiwan this weekend where it posted $1.9M, the second highest all-time debut weekend for an animated release and biggest ever for a Disney Animation studio title. With an extra $21.2M this frame, Baymax inflated numbers from last weekend and now has an international cume of $166.5M. Predictably, Japan is now the major ex-U.S. market — increasing 38% over last frame and 17% higher than its opening — with a gross of $34.6M to date. It has been the No. 1 Western release in Japan for three weekends in a row. In total, the heart-warmer is playing in 53 territories representing approximately 58% of the international marketplace. Hong Kong this session helped Big Hero 6 surpass Frozen to become the highest grossing Disney Animation release ever. Next up are Korea and Germany on January 22, followed by the UK, France and China — which now has a February 28 release date set.
Fantasy pic Seventh Son, which Universal is distributing worldwide, grossed an estimated $18.4M at 2,698 dates in 24 territories for an early total of $21.7M. It’s No. 1 in Russia, Romania, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The former had an $8.6M bow; with the fast-burn market on holiday until January 11, Son is eyeing a strong run — and helmer Sergei Bodrov also happens to be Russian. Universal had its biggest opening ever in Ukraine with the Kit Harrington-Julianne Moore-Jeff Bridges pic with $697K at 135 dates. In Spain, it was No. 5 at the start with $1.2M at 296 dates. Other bows, the studio says, were in line with or better than expected. International dates roll out over the next few months including nine territories next weekend.
The Imitation Game is projected to gross upwards of $7.4M this weekend from its existing overseas markets like the UK, plus six new territories. The Benedict Cumberbatch-as-Alan-Turing drama, which FilmNation Entertainment has internationally, opened in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Bulgaria bringing the total number of theaters from 376 to more than 1,086. The offshore cume is north of $32.9M and the worldwide total should soon cross $60M. Among openers, Australia earned $3.36M, well above comps like The Butler (+524%), 12 Years A Slave (+330%) and Philomena (+183%). Italy scored $1.96M at opening, again well above comps; Spain is estimated at $807K (67% above The King’s Speech); and New Zealand had a $376K opening weekend, placing it above Russell Crowe’s Water Diviner in the market. In the UK, it has become the 2nd highest-grossing Studiocanal title ever — behind Paddington and ahead of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -– with a $22.1M cume. In Norway, the cume is expected to be $1.47M after two frames.
The Theory Of Everything unspooled in the UK/Ireland with $5.7M at 533 dates for a No. 1. The bow is similar to other awards season contenders like War Horse, and is Working Title’s 7th best opening ever in its home market. The Eddie Redmayne-starrer had a full weekend estimate of $7M at 913 dates in nine territories. The early offshore total is $12.17M. The film still has 46 territories to release over the next few months. Next weekend, it opens in Mexico, Malaysia and Singapore.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is closing in on a global cume of $700M, with a current estimated total of $695.5M. The international weekend was worth and estimated $5.3M for an overseas cume of $371.6M.
Paddington added an estimated $4.82M in its 5th UK frame, bringing the market cume to $47.7M. The David Heyman-produced title still has grosses to come fro Studiocanal, as schools are still off tomorrow and the next major family films are not until Big Hero 6 on January 30 and the company’s own Shaun The Sheep on February 6.
World War II Brad Pitt drama Fury grossed an estimated $4.5M on 780 screens for an offshore cume of $110.1M. Sony’s cume is $65.2M while QED International’s haul is $44.9M. This was one of the initial films leaked during the Sony hacking debacle, but overseas markets are still releasing with Germany landing a No. 4 berth for the movie at $1.9M on 296 screens. Mexico also opened to $1.9M on 366 screens for No. 3, and Austria was also No. 3 with $375K on 65 screens. German-speaking Switzerland collected $350K on 39 screens, good for No. 2. Upcoming openings include Spain (January 9) and Brazil (February 5).
The Annie update grossed an estimated $4.2M on 1,171 screens in 21 territories this weekend, bringing the overseas cume to $16.9M. Sony Pictures Releasing International’s total is $12.8M and Village Roadshow’s total is $4.1M. Despite the film’s leak during the Sony hacking, the family title held well in major markets with the UK up 33% in its 2nd frame for $2.3M and an $8.6M cume. The Netherlands fell 4% in the 3rd session for a $1.4M cume, and Belgium now totals $740K.
Horrible Bosses 2 landed $3.3M more this weekend in 40 markets, boosting its total to $47.5M. Italy is up next on January 8.
Gone Girl connived its way to a further $2.6M for Fox on 1,174 screens in 16 markets. As she approaches $200M internationally, holds were firm in Italy ($7.6M cume) and Japan ($7.6M cume). The overseas tally is $196.1M.
Fox Searchlight’s awards season candidate Birdman earned $2.4M in the UK on 262 screens for its first session. No. 1 at many of its locations, it had an approximately $10K per-screen average. The overseas cume is now $2.45M.
In Russia, Fox International Productions’ local comedy Yolki 1914: Tsar Christmas was No. 5 in its 2nd frame with $2.4M at 1,100 dates. The Timur Bakmembetov-directed (in part) movie was up 10% in its sophomore outing, taking the cume to $5.3M.
Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner had a great second weekend Down Under, grossing $2.3M at 338 dates for a total of $7.2M. In Australia, it added $2.2M at 253 dates for a 10-day total of $6.8M. In just five days, it is already the highest grossing local film of 2014. In director/star Crowe’s homeland of New Zealand, the epic war drama held at No. 7 and grossed $130K at 85 dates for a 10-day total of $373K.
Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken added more markets this frame courtesy of Universal, grossing $2.4M at 990 dates in 11 territories. The cume to date is $6.98M. The drama opened in several Middle East and European markets this weekend with figures to come tomorrow. In holdovers, the UK/Ireland placed Unbroken at No. 11 with a gross of $713K for a 10-day total of $2.9M; Spain held strong at No. 6 in its 2nd session with $766K at 365 dates for an 11-day total of $3.1M. The film has 52 territories still to release over the next few months. Korea and the Netherlands are up next frame.
Dumb And Dumber To, which Universal is distributing in 7 territories, grossed $1.2M at 423 dates in five of those markets. The studio total is now $17.8M. Australia and New Zealand, the film’s final two releases, open this Thursday, January 8.
Gloria, the biopic about the controversial Mexican superstar Gloria Trevi, opened through Universal in Mexico on Thursday, placing No. 5 with $1.27M at 662 dates. Also in Mexico, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood opened to $88K at a limited 25 playdates. The film now has a $20.6M cume in Universal markets.
With additional markets this frame including Hungary and South Africa, Disney’s Into The Woods now has an international cume of $6.6M. The Stephen Sondheim musical transfer added $1.7M in 10 markets with Korea still leading the pack at $2.3M. Next weekend sees openings in Australia and the UK as well as Croatia and New Zealand.
Still on the playing board, Universal’s Ouija added $1.1M at 289 dates in nine territories. The international total is now $27.2M with Mexico and Italy to open this week, among others.
Boyhood opened in Mexico to $81K at 25 playdates. The film took in $163K in 10 Universal territories to hit a $20.6M cume. Hong Kong opens on January 8.
In the burgeoning Vietnamese market, homegrown title Let Hoi Decide (De Mai Tinh 2) has been crowed the biggest local earner ever. The CJ E&M co-production reached $3.85M on December 30, 2014, beating the record of the previous megahit film Teo Em. Let Hoi Decide is a romantic comedy about a guy who loses his fortune whenever he falls in love with a woman. Charlie Nguyen, who’s doing second unit on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, is director.
After the underperformance of end-of-year titles like The Crossing Part 1 and Gone With The Bullets, China nevertheless closed out the year 36% up on 2013. Box office did not reach the hoped for 30B yuan, but did come in at 29.6B or about $4.84B, according to SAPPRFT. Domestic films dominated with 54.5% of the market as screens now total 23,600. This week, in its 2nd frame, Tsui Hark’s The Taking Of Tiger Mountain was the 4th biggest title internationally with an additional $23.75M. The cume is now $97.25M. Also in its 2nd session, Love On The Cloud, by Gu Changwei, added $6.5M in six markets for a $37M cume. Animated pic 10,000 Ways To LMAO entered the charts with a $12.5M cume. That pic, a fantasy comedy about internet subculture, hails from directors Lu Hengyu and Li Shujie and was released on December 31. It helped push China’s New Year’s Day box office to a new record, breaking 183M yuan, about $29.5M.
In Korea, Ode To My Father kept the tributes going with another $18.5M for a cume of $55.75M to date. Also opening in Korea, but outside the Rentrak chart, was How To Steal A Dog, a family comedy based on the 2007 Barbara O’Connor book about a young girl who sets out to “borrow” dogs from wealthy families to obtain reward money and help her own family get back on its feet.
Alessandro Siani’s comedy Si Accettano Miracoli was a huge hit for 01 Distribuzione in Italy with a $7.6M opening. Writer, director, star Siani’s Il Principo Abusivo was the No. 2 local hit in 2013. Miracoli follows three brothers who reunite after a miracle. In Germany, meanwhile, Honig Im Kopf, Til Schweiger’s Warner Bros release, was back in the charts again with an added $8.8M and a cume of $20.5M. France’s feel-good family drama La Famille Bélier has now earned $27M after tuning up another $6.5M this frame. While it’s the No. 2 British film in the UK for 2014 with $47.7M to date, Paddington is also playing in 23 other markets and now has a $105M cume, per Rentrak. It opens Stateside via The Weinstein Co, on January 16.