FINAL UPDATE: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 came in with slightly lower international numbers at $144.5M versus the Sunday projection of $146M. While that’s nothing to sniff at for a day-and-date offshore opening, there are some factors at work here which saw it miss the much higher tally that many had predicted. On the one hand, local currency fluctuations are an issue with a 15% across the board devaluation against the dollar since MJ1‘s 2014 release in the comparable period. Also, the recent terror attacks in Paris led to softer moviegoing in France, and Belgium where a state of high alert forced the closure of cinemas for most of the weekend. Italy also got off to a slow start on Thursday, but picked up over the frame.
What’s more, in a disconcerting and increasing trend in China, presumed Hollywood blockbusters are being squeezed by local pictures which have far longer lead time for promotion and whose stars may be more familiar to wide Chinese audiences. MJ2 ultimately came in at $15.8M, $600K off the estimated $16.4M for the Middle Kingdom three-day. MJ1, conversely, did $13.8M in its first two days last February, although that was off of a Sunday holiday release. The MJ2 perf is partially the result of a crowded marketplace. As one distribution exec tells me, local studio teams in general have a lot of intel on the titles coming on the radar and into release, “but like in many markets, some surprise and some shock.” There is also “absolutely no opportunity to do anything about it,” like moving off of a date, “because a greater authority decides all.”
Along with homegrown hit Our Times ($12M) in China, there was another English-language pic that entered the market with a bang. The Luc Besson-produced The Transporter: Refueled, as noted below, hit a $10.75M three-day opening after not having appeared in the international Top 20 since mid-September. Chinese box office tracking service Ent Group had Our Times and Transporter running ahead of MJ2 for the day on Monday.
There’s brighter news in the UK for MJ2. Spectre‘s continued run ($523.2M intl) cut into its performance somwhat, but I’m told by a leading UK exhibitor that word of mouth has been very strong. With a two-week window before any competition surfaces in the demo, it’s expected to have a wide wingspan.
Actuals have been updated for the films above and others in the international marketplace throughout, courtesy of Deadline’s Kinsey Lowe.
3RD UPDATE, SUNDAY 5:43 PM PT: There’s a particularly international flavor to this weekend’s offshore box office as new and holdover local-language entries in Spain, China, Korea and India all figure in the Top 10. The frame is up 15% versus last week across those Top 10 titles, including studio pics and the homegrown fare. While The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 ruled the roost overall, with $144.5M in 87 markets ($247.2M global) , and Spectre was No. 2 with $65.3M in 92 ($677.3M WW cume), the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 titles hailed from or made the bulk of their money in Asian markets. Resurfacing therein is EuropaCorp’s The Transporter: Refueled.
After not appearing in the Top 20 since mid-September, the Luc Besson-produced actioner was in high-gear with a $10.75M gross from six markets — mostly China. Besson’s brand of action excels in the Middle Kingdom and the score reps roughly quarter of the Rentrak reported $42M offshore cume to date. Its performance is particularly notable in China given that the film forms part of a trio along with Taiwan’s Our Times ($12M) and Hong Kong co-pro Return Of The Cuckoo ($3.65M), that ate into some of the Middle Kingdom bounty which might have been expected to go to Katniss or James this frame. This is part of a continuing trend in China where major Hollywood movies are seeing increased squeeze in terms of release dates and competition. MJ2 debuted to $15.8M. Spectre fell 73% from its start last week, but has flown past Skyfall‘s lifetime by 32% aided by Sony’s aggressive marketing campaign. Fox’s The Martian will be next to have a go on Wednesday and a plot point that sees the Chinese help save the day is expected to add some thrust.
Also in the mix of the Top 10 overseas this week are two pics from Korea. Crime drama Inside Men schemed to $11.4M after its debut Thursday, and horror holdover The Priests exorcised another $3.8M moving it to No. 12 on the local charts for the year in what’s been a strong second semester for Korean movies at home. Elsewhere, last week’s smash Bollywood title, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo starring Salman Khan saw an 86% drop from its record-setting opening, but was still the No. 8 movie of the frame in offshore play. And, as noted below, Spain rushed back to the cinemas for Spanish Affairs 2, the sequel to the country’s top local movie ever and set a debut as the year’s biggest opener.
Next week’s notable new releases on the international front will include Fox’s Victor Frankenstein with James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe and Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur which Disney will unleash in most major markets save Brazil, Korea, China and Japan. Notable expansions include Fox’s Bridge Of Spies crossing into 30 more markets including Germany.
Figures for all films reporting have been updated throughout with The Last Witch Hunter‘s $100M worldwide milestone included.
See below the original post for a closer look at this week’s new chart-topping Asian movies. Actuals and more analysis tomorrow.
2ND UPDATE, WRITETHRU 10:54 AM PT:: Numbers are in for the international weekend with newcomer The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 winging its way to a $144.5M bow in 87 markets. The film is No. 1 in 81 of those with the UK leading at a $17.1M debut on 1,560 screens. The $144.5M offshore start is down slightly from yesterday’s projections and is a dip from MJ1‘s $154.3M. But nearly ties MJ2 with Catching Fire‘s start two years ago. Although that film ignited in 63 markets, the majors figured in both debuts with about 20 smaller markets in this batch. Combined with domestic, the worldwide cume in the opening frame for Katniss’ final showdown with President Snow is $247.16M.
James Bond for his part added $65.3M from 28,370 screens in 92 total markets. That takes Spectre‘s offshore cume past the $500M mark after four frames for a total $523.2M to date with many plays outpacing Skyfall. The global total is $677.3M.
Other weekend highlights include a caliente debut for Ocho Apellidos Catalanes, the sequel to last year’s Spanish Affairs; and Everest crossing $200M at overseas turnstiles. Breakdowns are updated below.
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2
Katniss and crew kicked off their final hurrah with a $144.5M start, on par with 2013’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. While the start is down from last year’s MJ1 debut of $154.3M, that film did not leg out as well internationally as Catching Fire, and MJ2 should enjoy some wingspan with no major franchise bows ahead until Star Wars awakens on December 16. Still, there were some offshore ups and downs.
The UK leads with $17.1M, but is down about 10% from MJ1. China follows as the 2nd best ex-U.S. play with $15.8M on 13K screens. That’s lower than the first MJ1 frame, although the comparison is not apples-to-aples as the previous film bowed on a holiday Sunday. Also, in China, MJ2 faced competition from local pic Our Times, and the continued run of Spectre, but did take the No. 1 spot, per Lionsgate.
Germany kicked off to a very strong $15M on 661 screens. Helping it break through was likely its role as a shooting location and that it was the home of the film’s worldwide premiere. Mexico also saw a boost with $8.9M at 3,472. Brazil and other parts of Latin America like Argentina, which saw a 61% increase on MJ1, were also stronger this time around. Also seeing jumps: South Africa, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
The 5th best offshore play was France with $7.1M from 833. The performance is about 34% off MJ1‘s start, although cinemagoing there and in other parts of Europe was affected again this weekend in the wake of the Paris terror attacks and the current heightened state of alert in Belgium. In Belgium, the MJ2 frame was off MJ1 by 19% after opening 3% ahead earlier in the week. The impact was felt after Brussels shuttered its cinemas on Saturday and kept nearly all of them closed through Monday.
Rounding out the Top 10 are Australia ($6.8M/623), Brazil ($6.8M/1,245), Russia ($6.7M/2,400), Venezuela ($5.6%/97) and Italy ($4.3M/400). In the latter, Universal is releasing and says MJ2 is dominating with 40% of the market. After a slow start on Thursday due to security concerns across the country, MJ2 followed the same trend as MJ1, which opened to €4.4M (MJ2‘s local currency number was €4M). In the rest of Europe, Spain opens next weekend as the film was wisely held back there to allow for the debut of Ochos Apellidos Catalanes (Spanish Affairs 2), the sequel to last year’s smash which went on to become the biggest local film of all time.
OCHO APELLIDOS CATALANES (SPANISH AFFAIRS 2)
Indeed, the sequel to last year’s mega-hit comedy was so anticipated that even Katniss Everdeen shied away, preferring to string her bow in Spain next week. Universal released Ocho Apellidos Vascos in 2014 to a debut frame of $4M (€2.8M), going on to a record smashing $77.5M total run. SP2 kicked things off this weekend with $8.6M (€6.9M) in the clear lead at 402 dates. It is dominating the box office with 70% market share. This is Universal’s 8th No. 1 opening in Spain this year and the 18th time the studio has held the top spot in the market in 2015. While the first film played on cultural differences between Andalucia and the Basque region, the sequel plays on the differences with Catalonia. Emilio Martínez Lázaro returns to direct with the original film’s protagonists, Dani Rovira and Clara Lago, also back among others.
Sony/MGM/Eon’s 007 continues to pace ahead of Skyfall in some key markets with China adding $12.5M in its 2nd weekend for a $77.5M total. That raced past the previous film’s lifetime total by 32%. Bond hit the road in only one new market this week, India, with a No. 1 start at $4.8M from 1,250 screens to best the 4-day opening of Skyfall by 4% in just 3 days. This is the biggest opening for the franchise ever in the market. Spectre‘s international cume is $523.2M vs. North America with $154.1M.
The UK remains Bond’s top market with a $130.45M gross to date after adding $5.8M from 1,600 screens. Germany dropped 42% in weekend 3 with $8.03M from 1,389 screens for a $50.7M to-date tally. In its 2nd France session, Spectre picked up $6.35M for a $23.8M cume.
Elsewhere, highlights for SPRI territories are as follows: Australia ($14.77M cume); Netherlands ($14.2M cume – No. 1 for four straight sessions); German-speaking Switzerland ($9.03M cume – No. 1 for 3 weeks in a row); Korea ($11.3M cume); Italy ($12.1M cume); and Brazil ($6.73M cume).
In each of the MGM markets, Spectre’s cumes are running ahead of Skyfall in local currency. Denmark: +19%/$11.8M; Norway: +15%/$8.2M; Sweden: +5%/$10.7M; Poland: +28%/$7.6M; UAE: +20%/$4.8M. Meanwhile, Finland is at $7.1M where the 24th Bond movie has become the 3rd highest grossing title of all time, behind Titanic and Skyfall. It will surpass the latter to snag the No. 2 slot. And, in the Middle East, Spectre’s $9.7M makes it the highest grossing Bond film of all time in the region.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
With Australia and Korea still on deck, Sony’s HT2 added $6.07M this weekend from nearly 5,600 screens in 74 total markets. The international cume has vamped out to $263.9M. In key plays, the UK fell 42% in its 6th frame for a total $29.4M to date and Germany saw a 25% drop for a total $12.4M.
PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO
From Fox International Productions, the Salman Khan-starrer spread the love for another $4.35M. Most of that, $3.5M, came from India where the 2nd frame was No. 2 behind Spectre. The UAE and the UK each added about $330K for cumes of $2.1M and $2.2M, respectively. The global total is $43.5M.
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER
Lionsgate’s Vin Diesel-starrer has tracked down $105.2M globally after an international frame that picked up $3M this trip. Across its 79 markets, Russia is tops with $9.5M after four weekends, followed by Brazil ($7.7M), the UK ($4.3M), the Middle East ($4.3M) and Venezuela ($4M). The estimated offshore tally is now $80M and the domestic take stands at $26.8M.
THE LADY IN THE VAN
Sony is releasing this Maggie Smith drama in the UK where it dropped just 25% in its 2nd frame. Based on a real life encounter of screenwriter Alan Bennett and directed by Nicholas Hytner, it added $2.45M from 542 screens. Acting as solid counterprogramming to Bond and Katniss, the cume to date is $9.8M.
Ahead of its China bow this week, Fox’s The Martian from director Ridley Scott landed another $2.5M in 52 markets. That takes the cume to $274.7M internationally. In week 5, and despite turmoil in the market owing to the recent terrorist attacks, France added $770.7K for a $19.06M total. The UK still leads with $35.6M after eight frames.
Warner Bros grabbed another $1.9M on the Hugh Jackman-starrer for an international cume to date of $89M. Italy was in its 2nd frame with $858K, lifting the local total to $2.5M. Top markets are still the UK ($13.3M), Mexico ($7.2M) and Brazil ($6.8M)
SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
In 24 international territories Par’s zombie comedy livened things up with $1.4M. There were no new openings. The total offshore is now $9.2M. Second frame holdover cumes were tallied in Brazil ($902K), Venezuela ($939K), Taiwan ($659K) and Mexico ($756K). Chile is the last market to open on December 3.
THE PEANUTS MOVIE
In its staggered international rollout, the Fox film scooped up another $1.37M in 13 territories. The offshore total on the Snoopy & Friends animation is $9.9M. The next markets hit in early December.
Danny Boyle’s take on the Apple co-founder has found its best international performance to date in the UK/Ireland. The Universal title placed No. 6 there this frame with $600K at 374 dates for a local cume of $2.7M. In total, it added $1.2M in 16 territories for a $5.17M cume. The worldwide total is now $22.8M with the film in the early stages of offshore release. Egypt and Slovenia debuted this frame with $8K and $7K respectively. Latvia, Serbia and Montenegro are next in line.
The Australian hit comedy has crossed the $10M mark with $10.7M to date. Starring Kate Winslet, the revenge tale is handled by Universal Down Under where it added a total $997K in its 4th frame. Holding at No. 3 in Oz, behind Mockingjay 2 and Spectre, it’s cutting well ahead of all the other films in the market, sewing up a further $894K at 282 dates for a $9.8M cume. The story is similar in New Zealand where it’s also No. 3 behind the same pictures and now has a 25-day total of $941K.
With an additional $630K in 30 territories this frame, Universal’s mountaineering adventure/drama crossed the $200M mark worldwide. The global cume is now $200.6M with an international take of $157.4M. In its last two markets, Everest added $68K from China for a 17-day total of $16M, and Japan grossed $458K from 225 dates for a 16-day cume of $5.1M.
BRIDGE OF SPIES
Egypt was new this session for the Steven Spielberg drama, where it picked up $70.5K for the No. 2 slot on 11 screens. The weekend total of $590K takes the offshore cume to $20.6M ahead of the wide release next frame where Fox will negotiate the release in 30 new markets.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension +$1.1M; intl cume $58.5M
Crimson Peak: +$527K; intl cume $42.5M
By The Sea: +$222K; intl cume $607K
From Taiwan, Our Times entered the Top 10 overall at No. 3 this frame with $12M at the Middle Kingdom box office, per local reporting agency Ent Group. Already the biggest grossing local movie at the Taiwan box office in 2015, it’s a teen romance that follows in the footsteps of 2011’s megahit You Are The Apple Of My Eye. Directed by Frankie Chen and partly set in the 1990s, it taps into the local penchant for nostalgia-themed romance. The film also released Stateside to $216K in 31 theaters. Also hitting the nostalgia nerve, albeit in a different vein, Return Of The Cuckoo clocked $3.65M in its debut. This is a continuation of the popular Hong Kong TV drama that aired in 2000 and followed the story of a mute and abused young man who is taken in by another family and falls for his adopted sister. A co-production from China’s iQiyi and Hong Kong-based China 3D Digital Entertainment, the film got a boost from the recent re-airing of the original series on HK’s TVB. Per China Daily, it drew about 300,000 viewers on the first night. The original broke records and peaked at a nearly 50% share.
Inside Men was the major new local release here this frame where it bested Mockingjay 2‘s start with $9M for the FSS and $11.4M in the 4-day frame. MJ2 by comparison, started at $2.22M for the 3-day and $2.9M with previews. In fairness to Katniss, this has never been a market where The Hunger Games has taken flight. And, with The Priests still going strong at $3.33M for the frame, it fell to 3rd place in the debut. At No. 1 locally and No. 4 internationally, Inside Men is a crime drama/power struggle set against a political backdrop. Woo Min-ho directs based on the webcomic Naeboojadul with Lee Byung-hun (Terminator: Genisys) starring. The Priests is holding tight since its debut earlier this month. The exorcist drama has now grossed $30.27M according to local industry org Kobiz.