1ST UPDATE, WRITETHRU: Cinderella took to the international dance floor this frame, kicking up a fantastic $132.45M global opening. The international portion of that is an estimated $62.4M with nearly half of it coming from China ($25M). That makes the new spin on the classic fairy tale the biggest March opening and the top Disney Live Action production debut ever in the Middle Kingdom. For the domestic weekend, Cinderella came in right on target with $70.1M.
Russia is the No. 2 market for the Kenneth Branagh-helmed charmer with $7.3M, followed by Mexico ($5M), Italy ($4.6M) and Germany ($2.1M) to round out the Top 5. Russia and China are notoriously keen on 3D, making Cindy’s 2D performance there all the more impressive.
The best international comp for Cinderella going into the weekend was Oz, The Great And Powerful. That movie opened two years ago in essentially the same frame with $69M in 46 markets. Disney says Cinderella’s waltz this weekend was 17% higher than Oz’s start in the same suite of markets. That film ended up with $258.4M internationally. Disney’s Dave Hollis points to Oz as well as Alice In Wonderland ($691M international) which also released in this corridor in 2010. “We have what we think is going to be a strong-legged movie. Part of the benefit of releasing now is that there’s a little more runway space.”
Cinderella came in 30% below Maleficent. That film had the Angelina Jolie effect, but Lily James as Cindy was more powerful in China, besting Maleficent’s 2014 debut by 13%. Russia was in line with both Oz and Maleficent.
In all, Cinderella opened in 31 territories which is 55% of its glass-slippered footprint.
Openings were very strong across Asia with No. 1s in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and possibly Taiwan where it’s in a close race. In Indonesia, it was the biggest ever opening weekend for a Disney Live Action production and the 2nd highest Disney Live Action production opening in the Philippines and Vietnam as well as the 3rd highest Disney Live Action production opening in Malaysia.
In five Latin American territories Cinderella was No. 1. The notable Mexico bow was three times bigger than the No. 2 movie for the weekend and 16% over Oz, The Great And Powerful. Tomorrow is a national holiday there.
In Europe, Cinderella posted No. 1 openings in 12 of the 19 territories where it bowed. Dante Ferretti’s sets were eagerly checked out by his compatriots with Italy leading the European grosses at $4.6M — 44% better than Oz. Still to come are openings in Korea, France, Brazil, Australia, the UK, Spain and Japan.
Hollis says, ” There’s something about Cinderella from a classic standpoint that has an ability to transcend borders and culture.” He also reserves special credit for the marketing and production teams. The marketing group “created urgency for people to see a movie they could have thought they had already seen… They had to come to see it on opening weekend.” The production folk, meanwhile, said, per Hollis, “‘If we’re going to adapt a classic, we’ll remain true to the essence, but man do we have to find an original angle.’ They’ve really done that.” Hollis adds that the brand is “definitely on a roll” internationally. “A movie like this is so perfectly timed to really be taken to another level with the synergy the company affords it” at Walt Disney outposts in each individual market. “If Frozen taught us anything, it’s the way the company can get behind things.”