UPDATED, 6:45 PM Monday: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 pulled off a surprise of its own when international box office figures were retallied today. MJ2 reclaimed the top spot following an unexpected two-day “preview” surge by the Chinese title Surprise that appeared to give it the lead over Katniss and company on Sunday. Lionsgate reported that MJ2 grosses rose to $17.4M from Sunday’s estimated $15.4M, enough to put the franchise finale back on top for its fourth consecutive weekend offshore. The shuffle resulted in a short reign for Surprise (aka Surprise You’ll Never Think Of: Journey To The West, or Surprise: Journey To The West), whose $17M Saturday-Sunday figures from some 35K preview showings (compared to about 25K regular screenings for Point Break) initially appeared to best all other overseas titles for the weekend. The Surprise maneuver came on the first official weekend of the Chinese box office blackout for new releases. Disney’s The Good Dinosaur claimed the No. 3 spot internationally with $15.3M (up from $14.3M estimates Sunday), with In The Heart Of The Sea in fourth place with $13.65M. Spectre rounded out the international top 5 with $13.25M (up from $12.9M Sunday estimate). The four Hollywood studio titles all performed a little better than Sunday’s preliminary weekend estimates.
PREVIOUSLY, 1:15 PM PT Sunday: Some late-breaking info showed that the first official weekend of the Chinese box office blackout resulted in the No. 1 film internationally. Surprise (aka Surprise You’ll Never Think Of: Journey To The West, or Surprise – Journey To The West) made $17M on the Saturday/Sunday according to Rentrak data. It was reportedly due to be in previews this weekend ahead of its wide release on December 18, but I’ve heard the fantasy comedy was expanded at the last minute. Data from local reporting service Ent Group shows that on Saturday it had nearly 35K showings as compared to about 25K for Point Break in its 2nd Middle Kingdom session. That’s an awful lot of previews, so, Surprise indeed.
PREVIOUS, 12:25 PM PT: There were no mega studio grossers this weekend, but that was to be expected as holdovers move much further into their runs and with no new openers. Twas the weekend before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, after all. The top three studio films are down 42% from last week, collectively pulling in $42.6M. Compared to last year when the final Hobbit installment bowed, we are 73% down on the top trio. Things will change dramatically next week when Star Wars begins global domination; international rollout starts Wednesday, notably, here in France.
In the meantime, the Top 3 this week (prior to the unexpected surge from China’s Surprise that shifts everything down a notch) were the same as last week, albeit in different order. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 held the No. 1 spot for the 4th session in a row and now has a global cume of $564.6M. The 3rd frame of The Good Dinosaur leapfrogged James Bond to take the No. 2 spot among studio films. With big holds in some of its major plays, the Disney/Pixar title now has a worldwide total of $169.3M. The family creature feature still has room to grow overseas, especially when it hits Japan, and perhaps China. In 3rd, Spectre‘s worldwide tally is now $820.6M after seven sessions.
Down in 6th place, but worth pointing out, is the strong China performance of Point Break whose early release experiment is paying off for the 2nd frame in a row. And that’s despite some tinkering with release dates that saw local movies move onto this weekend at the very last minute.
Elsewhere, In The Heart Of The Sea had some decent holds in its sophomore stint in overseas waters, and a leaky start Stateside. As with pretty much everyone, there are gale Force winds ahead of it this week.
Breakdowns on the studio titles in the international marketplace are below.
(Figures throughout have been updated where appropriate by Kinsey Lowe.)
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2
In its 4th weekend, MJ2 held No. 1 among U.S. studio releases — something MJ1 did not manage last year, even if MJ2 is trailing that film in some key markets. It flapped up another $17.4M in 92 markets. That takes the international total to $326.4M. The worldwide cume is $571M. The UK remains the lead market for MJ2 at $38.7M to date. That’s a little more than $10M off MJ1‘s lifetime in that market, while Germany’s $36.2M on MJ2 has overtaken the previous film’s gross there.
THE GOOD DINOSAUR
Disney/Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur took in $15.3M over the weekend, bringing its offshore tally to $79.3M for a worldwide cume of $169.3M. Animated films have long tails and big multiples internationally and while this won’t be Pixar’s highest-grossing movie ever everywhere, it’s not likely to be the lowest, either. I’m cautioned by rival distributors that it’s early to call this dinosaur extinct, despite some reports to the contrary. It’s particularly important that Australia, Japan and Brazil are still to come. The southern hemisphere markets will be on summer vacation when the Peter Sohn-helmed film stomps into town while Japan has the same March release date as Frozen did two years ago and TGD is expected to play in that dino-loving market. China remains a question mark, however, with a release as-yet unconfirmed and that could mean a potential swing of about $40M with a final global take of anywhere from $385M-$425M, per our sources.
This 3rd weekend offshore was worth $15.3M in 47 territories representing approximately 61% of the international marketplace. The top overseas play is the UK ($10.1M) which dropped 22% in the 3rd frame to capture No. 1 on Saturday and put it in good stead to hold for the FSS versus MJ2. Other holds include Germany (-12%/$3.5M cume), France (-15%/$8.1M) and Mexico (-29%/$8.7M cume). Latin America has cozied up to Arlo and Spot, keeping the movie in the No. 1 slot across the region; and South East Asia remains a hot play with TGD the highest grossing Pixar release ever in Vietnam.
James Bond spied a further $12.9M in the 7th offshore weekend for an international cume of $629.8M. Globally, 007 has stuffed $820.6M into the Aston Martin glovebox. Highlights this frame include a 2nd weekend at No. 1 in Japan with $2.3M on 588 screens, down just 22% for a $12.5M total. Elsewhere, holds are quite solid indeed: Germany (-28%/$63.9M cume); France (-43%/$34.7M); the UK (-37%/ $141.8M); and Australia (-20%/ $22.7M). The Netherlands cannot quit Bond, however, holding Spectre at No. 1 for seven consecutive weeks and bringing the cume to $18.1M (ie, better than Italy, Russia and Korea among others).
IN THE HEART OF THE SEA
After bowing in 38 international markets last frame, Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s whale tale picked up slightly better-than-projected $13.65M in 52 on the sophomore voyage. The offshore cume is now $41M with a worldwide haul of $52M including the disappointing domestic debut. There were some solid holds internationally like Korea where a 25% drop resulted in a cume of $5.3M and about 15% of the market. Russia also maintained No. 1 for a cume of $3.9M; Mexico came in No. 2 with a total $3.9M to date; Italy also harpooned No. 2 again with a cume of $3.9M; Malaysia stuck No. 1 with a 13% drop for $470K and $1.2M. The rest of the market cumes break out thusly: Brazil $2.9M, Australia $1.4M, and Spain $1.5M and Taiwan $1.3M. The UK opens on Boxing Day (December 26) and Japan bows January 16.
Looks like the Point Break experiment is paying off. The Alcon/DMG/Warner Bros action remake grossed $12.3M this frame from eight Asian markets. The international total after 10 days is $34.5M. That includes $30.3M in China where it went out on December 3, taking advantage of the last slot for a Western film ahead of the blackout period. It was also three weeks before PB surfs to the States on Christmas Day and in the wake of Star Wars. China was particularly notable for the film this weekend where the new Johnny Utah and Bodhi added $10.2M just -14% from their debut which is believed to be the lowest weekend-to-weekend drop of the year. Great word of mouth has contributed to the success here, although it looks like the Chinese authorities were keen to keep it out of the No. 1 spot for a second weekend in a row. Comedy Surprise was not due to open wide until December 18, but I understand was instead dropped in this weekend at the last minute and ended the FSS at No. 1. The Master, which was due to release Friday, was also evidently backed up by a day and fell in line behind The Martian at No. 4.
Speaking of The Martian and China, the Fox pic continued its red-hot run in the Middle Kingdom with a weekend figure of $7.7M and market cume of $86.8M in 19 days. In total, Ridley Scott’s Golden Globe nominee brought home another $8.1M from 2,967 screens in 27 markets. The international cume is now $366.3M as this one adds to the record books for Scott.
Director Todd Haynes’ Golden Globe multi-nominated drama is in only three offshore markets. In its third weekend in the UK, Carol added $366KK (-30% from prior weekend) for an international cume of $2.96M. German-speaking Switzerland joined the UK and Greece in this session with respective grosses of $86K and 63K (-11%). Still early in its runs and with Oscar nominations to come, Carol has a global cume just shy of $4.2M.
BRIDGE OF SPIES
Trading with audiences in 49 markets, Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies spooked up another $7M from 4,068 screens in its third Fox frame. The international total is now $53.6M with strong holds in several key markets. Spain led with $1.3M, down 32% ($4.75M cume); followed by the UK with $1.2M (-27%/$8.3M cume); and France with $1.1M (-32%/$3.1M cume). Bridge Of Spies will take its chances against the Empire next week when it bows in Italy.
In its second frame, Legendary and Universal’s Krampus scared up $3.7M in 38 territories, a 4% increase on last week and good for an international total of $8.8M. The worldwide total on the $15M budgeted pic is $37.3M. The holiday horror added 14 territories this session with Venezuela the top opener at No. 3 and $747K at 45 dates. Mexico came down the chimney next with $265K at 251 dates. Krampus visits the rest of its plays throughout the month with Belgium, Estonia, Lithuania and Vietnam bowing next weekend.
THE PEANUTS MOVIE
Japan did a Snoopy dance again this week, delivering $991K on 660 screens for a 22% drop from last week’s opening and bringing the cume to $3.16M. That gave Hollywood movies the top two spots in the market with Spectre at No. 1. In total, Charlie Brown and the gang added $2.7M from 2,066 screens in 22 markets. The international cume is now $16.75M. In a bold move, the beagle/Flying Ace zooms into 36 new markets in two weeks, one frame after Star Wars bows. Those include majors like France, Germany, Russia, Korea and Mexico.
Resurrecting $2.85M from 2,826 screens in 39 markets, Fox’s VF is hardly a monster overseas, but kicked up a bit of life in some holds this frame. The international cume is $25M thus far with Venezuela leading the charge. That market, in fact, was up 40% in the 3rd session with $707K from 39 screens for a $4.2M cume. Mexico and Brazil also did decently with cumes of $4.25M and $1.93M, respectively. The UK on the other hand has not turned on to this pic that’s led by a British cast. The sophomore session is down 57% from last week’s “poor” open, per Fox. The next wave of releases is scheduled for February and March.
Coming off of one of the best starts for a local film in France this year, Babysitting 2 added $3M from 518 dates for Universal this frame. After the comedy sequel’s sophomore session, the cume is $8.6M and it is holding at No. 1.
SPANISH AFFAIRS 2
Universal’s other sequel stocking stuffer, Spanish Affairs 2, is continuing its muy caliente run, becoming the biggest grossing movie of the year in Spain. That takes it past Uni’s own Minions and Jurassic World. At No. 1 again in its 4th weekend, SA2 added $2M at 370 dates for a 24-day total of $28.9M.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
Also checking in with $2.2M this weekend, Sony’s HT2 took its cume to $277.9M overseas. With kids getting out of school, Australia was down just 1% for a $1.1M 3rd frame and a $4.7M cume. Korea is up next on December 24.
Sony’s Jack Black/RL Stine comedy scarer sent shivers down the spines of $1.1M worth of viewers in 52 markets over the frame. The international cume is now $38.3M with major market releases to come in the new year including Korea, Italy, Spain, Germany, the UK and France
Ryan Coogler’s Rocky-inspired drama grossed $1.4M from 603 screens in 10 markets. Overseas cume for the Warner Bros./Roadshow picture is $7.6M. Australia continues with strong holds in the 3rd weekend, grossing $800K from 225 total to lift the cume to $3.7M. Major markets to come for Creed include Japan (12/23), France (1/13), Germany, Italy and Russia (1/14) and the UK (1/15).
BY THE SEA
Angelina Jolie’s intimate drama expanded in nine territories (limited release) this frame, adding $560K in a total of 23. France led on the Universal release with $111K at 78 dates followed by Argentina’s $105K at 51 dates and Germany’s $64K at 140. The international total is now $2M with nine more territories still to come.
Last week’s Australian Academy Award laureate got a box office bump from its five wins, adding $450K at 280 dates in Oz and New Zealand. The total on the Kate Winslet comedy is $13.4M. for Universal