3RD UPDATE, MONDAY, 2 PM PT: Actuals have rolled in from the studios with some (very) slight shifts afoot. Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man dropped its opening overseas final to $55.4M from a projected $56.4M, giving it a weekend total of $112.6M, off slightly from the $114.4M estimated on Sunday. Still, it’s the No. 2 movie worldwide behind Universal’s mighty Minions which now has a confirmed offshore frame of $66.1M and a domestic haul of $49.2M for a global tally of $115.3M. The henchmen nevertheless had to settle for No. 2 internationally given China’s monster Monster Hunt which took $109M in its Thursday-Sunday opening session ($72M as reported by Rentrak for the F-S-S). For Universal, this is the 11th weekend in 2015 that the studio has had the No. 1 movie. Elsewhere, Ted 2, Terminator: Genisys and Magic Mike XXL dropped a touch, while Inside Out jumped for Joy with another $1M and The Gallows hung on for a bit more. Those titles, along with the other studio offerings and offshore local hits Monster Hunt, Pancake Man and Bajrangi Bhaijaan are updated throughout the below.
2ND UPDATE, 6:10 PM PT: Ant-Man proved himself a fourmi-dable competitor at the international box office in his debut frame, coming out mightier than Marvel brethren Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger in the same batch of territories. With $55.4M, the Paul Rudd-starrer was the No. 2 studio title in the overseas marketplace, behind the mighty Minions and their $66.1M ($66.2M in the estimates). But it was China’s Monster Hunt that led the F-S-S frame across the board with $72M for the family fantasy adventure from Shrek franchise veteran Raman Hui and legendary producer Bill Kong. It’s now understood to have clocked $109M in the four-day.
China has seen homegrown titles consistently figure in the international Top 10 for the past five frames, thanks largely to the unofficial blackout period that shunts studio pictures aside in favor of local fare looking to build Middle Kingdom market share. This weekend was no different, but for the first time a Chinese movie dominated at No. 1. Monster Hunt was followed by comedy Pancake Man at No. 3 ($61M per Rentrak) and Monkey King: Hero Is Back ($22.5M) at No. 5. (See round-ups below the original post for more on what China’s digging.) Also notable from overseas this frame, Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan gave the Bollywood superstar his best opening ever at home and abroad.
Across the Top 10 grouping of studio releases in the overseas marketplace, this weekend was down about 21% versus last frame. When factoring international local-language movies into the Top 10 mix, the landscape shifts to about a 3% increase this week.
As the summer continues to look bright — and despite a European heatwave — this frame also enjoyed a small 2.4% uptick across the Top 3 titles compared to last year. At this time in 2014, Transformers: Age Of Extinction was still the prime movie overseas, followed by Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes in its 2nd frame and China’s Tiny Times 3. This year, that’s reversed with two Chinese movies bookending a strong studio player in Minions — on which we are still awaiting a China date to be set.
In the meantime, next weekend sees Sony’s Pixels beam down in about 40 markets including Brazil, France, Mexico, Russia and Spain. The Adam Sandler-starrer began its international rollout in Korea this frame where local estimates put it at about $3.3M in a good start behind a local hit and a pumped up Inside Out. Also coming up is the wider release of Paper Towns, Fox’s John Green adaptation which hits 32 more markets after a soft launch that began last week. To date, the cume is $6.75M in five plays including Brazil where the transfer of Green’s The Fault In Our Stars did stellar 2014 business. Elsewhere, Ant-Man will grow to Germany, Spain and the Netherlands among others while France gets Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Southpaw and the UK gets a long-awaited look at Inside Out.
Rundowns of all the major studio titles are below; check out the China and India snapshots after the original post. We’ll have actuals on Monday.
1ST UPDATE, WRITETHRU 12 PM PT: Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man was the new studio critter scurrying around foreign markets this frame, springing into action in 37 offshore territories. The shrinking superhero pic colonized $55.4M, $1M down from Sunday’s call, which nevertheless falls in line with expectations in the $55M-$60M range. Contrary to the Stateside bow, Ant-Man is currently tracking ahead of previous first-installment Marvel movies including Thor (+23%) and Captain America: The First Avenger (+44%). In Asia, it’s outpacing Guardians Of The Galaxy. With the domestic debut, the Peyton Reed-helmed Ant-Man has a global tally of $112.6M after its first session.
But this was a big weekend at the international box office for new local-language offshore titles with Chinese movies again doing remarkable business, much as they did last frame. In fact, local fantasy adventure Monster Hunt was the No. 1 movie internationally with a $72M weekend according to Rentrak (and a new IMAX record). Also, Chinese comedy Jianbing Man (aka Pancake Man), came in at No. 3 for the offshore frame with $61M and a cameo by Jean-Claude Van Damme. That turned up the volume on Middle Kingdom box office during the ongoing (and unofficial) blackout period which excludes Hollywood movies from the mix. Up to now, there had been no hands-down mega-success, but this weekend has set some records. In India, and across the diaspora, Bollywood’s Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan is also off to a strong start. I’ll have more on those as usual in the round-ups to come.
In holdovers and expansions, Minions won the studio race with another $66.1M (a little yellow fellow-sized drop from the projected $66.2M) in 56 overseas territories, taking it past $400M internationally. Universal’s other movie, Jurassic World, crossed $900M international, leap-frogging The Avengers to become the 6th-highest-grossing film of all time at the international box office. Oh, and it also lapped the studio’s own Furious 7 to become the 4th-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide with $1.513B. Paramount’s Terminator: Genisys is approaching $200M off of another $21.5M, and Inside Out is on an emotional high with $22.3M more.
Among the most significant territories kicking off the $56.4M debut weekend for Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stall and Evangeline Lilly were the UK, Mexico, Russia, France, Australia, and Brazil. Along with the rest of debut plays, Ant-Man is currently covering about 50% of the offshore footprint.
The top play thus far is the UK with $6M at No. 1 and +28% over the first Cap. That was followed by Mexico at No. 2 with $5.6M; good for 1% above GOTG and 8% over Thor. Russia was a strong No. 1 with $4.9M and in line with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. France, which uncharacteristically opened last Tuesday (taking advantage of the Bastille Day holiday but still amid a stifling heatwave) tied Australia at $4M. Each are tracking ahead of the first Cap at +53% and +18%, respectively. Brazil opened at No. 1, knocking Minions off its perch and playing even with Guardians and well above Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor.
In Asia markets, A-M opened No. 1 and was the biggest bow ever for a first-installment Marvel Cinematic Universe title in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. The biggest of those for the tiny superhero were Taiwan with $3.7M, Malaysia with $2.8M, the Philippines with $2.7M and Thailand at $2.6M.
IMAX magnified Ant-Man to a global weekend of $9.1M in 36 territories. Of that, 182 overseas screens produced $3M with per-screen averages of $58K in Hong Kong and $47K in Taiwan.
Disney’s Dave Hollis tells me, “Overall, there wasn’t a place where it didn’t perform.” Domestically, the film had an A Cinemascore, and while there’s no exact comparison for that ranking overseas, the audience response was in line with how A-M was received in the U.S. in terms of exits, or moving from Friday to Saturday and bumps during the week in places where the film opened earlier. Notably for a relatively obscure hero, families turned out in bigger numbers than for any other Marvel movie Disney has released thus far — a sign of the brand’s increased reach to come?
Next weekend’s key openings include Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
Universal and Illumination’s henchmen juggernaut has taken its global cume to $625.7M after a little more than four weeks now in release. The international total on the Despicable Me 2 spinoff is $410.4M with current plays in 56 offshore markets where it added $66.1M in the session. Openings included the UAE where Minions grossed $1.3M to track 20% over DM2, and elsewhere in Middle East where it took $758K for a 21% bigger start than the previous film. There are eight more markets to release over the next two months — with China still to set a date.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Connors, et al, added $21.5M (down from Sunday’s $22.5M) in 64 international territories this frame; taking the offshore cume to $196M. There were four Middle East markets to open including the UAE where it was No. 1 at 38 locations and $1.2M. In comps, it’s an 80% increase on Pacific Rim and 7% above Lucy. As it has elsewhere, T:G kicked off as the biggest opening in the Terminator franchise and the biggest opening for Schwarzenegger.
In holdovers, Japan, which was massive for previous Terminator pics, added a better-than-estimated $2.8M in 338 locations. The cume there is now $11.4M, down 34% from the opening. Korea grossed $2M from 470 cinemas on its 3rd weekend for a cume of $22.7M; Germany delivered $1.6M for a $5.9M total after two frames; the UK added $1.3M for a three-week $14.4M tally; and Russia made $935K at 1,390 cinemas on the 3rd weekend, lifting the local cume to $21M. Cumes elsewhere are as follows: Mexico ($11.1M), Brazil ($10.1M), Australia ($9.4M), France ($8.8M), Argengtina ($4.1M), Spain ($2.9M) and Italy ($2.1M).
Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out opened in Japan this weekend, along with the Netherlands and Spain. In its 5th offshore frame of mind, the well-reviewed charmer added $22.3M in 61% of its international footprint. Pete Docter’s emotional pic has yet to open in China, Germany, Italy and the UK and already has an international total of $183.8M. Globally, it will soon pass $500M; currently tallying $490.16M.
Playing in a total of 48 territories this weekend, Inside Out notably opened as the top Western film in Japan, with an estimated $3.3M. Pixar typically does great business in Japan, but this opening did come in lower than 2009’s Up. There is local competition in the marketplace, however and Disney family titles tend to have legs there. In Korea, IO previously set the biggest Pixar opening last weekend, and this frame posted a 45% increase — the cume there is $14.5M. Spain also saw a great start with an estimated $3M and a No. 1 opening. The UK, Czech Republic and Hong Kong are up next weekend.
Dinosaurs continue to roam the earth with $12.2M in (pre)historic coin this frame. At a global total of $1.513B, Universal’s latest raptor chapter is now the 4th biggest movie ever worldwide, surpassing even the studio’s own Furious 7. Indominous Rex & Co have now also crossed $900M at the international box office to become the 6th-highest-grossing film ever in that domain. Currently in 63 territories; JW has an offshore total of $902.3M. Japan is the next and final release on August 5.
Universal’s Ted 2 grossed an estimated $7.1M, down from $7.5M, in 43 territories for an international total of $66.2M. The worldwide grab is now $143.5M. The 2nd weekend estimate in the UK/Ireland is $2.1M for a 10-day total of $10.9M. Twenty more markets have yet to cozy up to the foul-mouthed bear.
MAGIC MIKE XXL
Warner Bros’ Magic Mike XXL danced up a further $5.4M, a thong’s throw from the Sunday estimate of $5.8M, in 39 territories. There were 848K admissions on about 3,200 screens for an international cume of $30.5M. The sequel had a 2nd weekend in Australia worth $1.7M to take the cume to $6.7M. In the UK, Channing Tatum & Co added $814K in bills for an $8.5M cume after three frames. That’s the top ex-U.S. play for the boys with key releases to come in Germany this week, followed by Brazil on July 30, Mexico on September 18 and Italy on September 24.
Fox’s Paper Towns, which began a soft rollout last frame, added four more markets this weekend ahead of a substantial increase in play next session and took a total $3.4M. In Brazil, the John Green adaptation held with another $1.17M to take the cume to $4.5M in the market that gobbled up last year’s The Fault In Our Stars. In openings, Australia was a strong $1.53M. On 1,021 screens in five markets, Paper Towns has a $6.75M cume.
In 10 territories for Universal, Unfriended had a few more likes than projected with $2.7M worth of moviegoers. Germany opened at No. 2 behind Minions for $1.8M, and Spain palled around with the best non-animated movie opening of the weekend at $576K. U’s international total is $18.33M. There are nine more territories to release. Next up is New Zealand on July 31.
Horror pic The Gallows opened in four more markets during its staggered release for Warner Bros. Hanging around with $2.2M in 18 territories, the cume is now $4.3M overall. Countering a holiday market filled with family and action pics, The Gallows bowed to a better $764K on 385 screens in Mexico, exceeding many comp titles including The Purge: Anarchy, Sinister and Oculus. The UK opened to $522K on 316 screens, and Argentina had a fantastic hold at $383K on 91 screens for a total to date of $984K. Upcoming releases include France, Australia, Russia and Brazil this weekend.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
Avengers: Age Of Ultron is still hammering out box office overseas with $2M in this frame. The international total is now $937.7M for a global haul of $1,393.5M.
Spy now has a total $120.3M internationally for Fox with $1.9M extra this frame. The Melissa McCarthy comedy opened in Italy to $681K on 290 screens.
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
From Fox Searchlight, Carey Mulligan-starrer Far From The Madding Crowd brought in $617K, mostly from new openings, including Germany where it herded $160K on 178 screens. The cume is $15.6M with six markets yet to release.
ALSO, The Weinstein Co’s Woman In Gold had a great opening in France with $543K on 181 screens. It came in 2nd amongst new openers for the weekend behind Ant-Man and scored the best opening day of new plays. SND handles locally.
Monster Hunt is a monster hit in China. The Edko Films CGI/live-action family fantasy film opened on Thursday, scoring the biggest opening day and biggest single-day gross ever for a local title. According to FilmBizAsia, it boasted 171 Rmb ($27.5M) including previews and midnight shows. The film also set a new IMAX record for a locally-produced movie with $9.1M on 216 screens. That bested — and more than doubled — the previous record held by The Monkey King and also includes a single-day record for a local prod with $2.7M on Saturday. Rentrak puts the weekend haul at $72M for a $99M cume while local reports say it made $109M in the Thursday to Saturday frame. The film is directed by Raman Hui, whose credits include work on DreamWorks’ Shrek franchise.
Another major Chinese pic in the mix this week is Jianbing Man, or Pancake Man. A superhero spoof written, directed by, and starring Dong Chengpeng, (NB: updated with new info) it follows a disgraced TV personality making a movie on the cheap about an alien who recruits a pancake street vendor to be his sidekick. Hijinks ensue as the team attempts to get the film made with cameos from various Hong Kong personalities, and Jean-Claude Van Damme. It gobbled up $61M over the weekend, per Rentrak, for a $62.4M cume to date and a $70.5M weekend per local estimates.
Rounding out the big China movies this week, Monkey King: Hero Is Back returned to the charts at No. 5 with $22.5M in its 2nd frame for a $70M cume. The 3D animated spin on the age-old tale hails from first-time helmer Tian Xiao Peng.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan gave star Salman Khan his 2nd best opening day ever in India. Coming off strong reviews heading into the Eid period that marks the end of Ramadan, BB grossed 27.25 crore ($4.3M) on its first day, behind Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger which opened at Eid in 2012 and was also directed by BB’s Kabir Khan. BB is now the 7th best Bollywood opening day ever in India, according to local reports. The three-day cume is 102.6 crore ($16.7M). The film also opened in North America, landing at No. 11 for the frame with a $2.4M haul. Other openings included Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the UAE. There’s more on BB and Khan’s records, here.