6TH UPDATE, WRITETHRU, TUESDAY AM: International weekend actuals moseyed in late Monday and early Tuesdsay, after a long Oscar Sunday that ended with major prizes going to a handful of movies still in offshore release and rollout. Best Picture winner, Spotlight, finished the weekend with a $24M overseas cume and will see an uptick in business in some key markets where it’s in the early stages of play like Italy and Germany. It still has 10 territories to come including Japan on April 15. Best Actor and Director winner, The Revenant, snared $15M in the frame and has crossed $400M worldwide — before it goes into China or Japan. Best Actress winner Room has a cume of $2.37M in 13 Universal territories with eight more on deck.
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Looking at this weekend’s openings, the major new play was Lionsgate’s Gods Of Egypt whose chariot rolled into 68 markets with $24M. This brand of action tends to score in Russia and as expected that is the top gross this weekend with a No. 1 at $3.8M. That’s lower than a number of comps from before the ruble tanked, but on par with 2015’s The Last Witch Hunter in local currency. Whether the film is facing a similar fate overseas as has befallen it domestically will be borne out in the coming weeks.
The opening is not a surprise — projections I’d heard ahead of the weekend were in the $25M range, while some rival studio execs said they weren’t even tracking it. The genre tends to be more heavily weighted to foreign and an ultimate gross in the neighborhood of Pompeii ($95M) and Last Witch Hunter ($113M) could be on the cards. It’s never good news when a big-budget film starts out weak in the U.S., and harsh word of mouth doesn’t help. But, a low domestic release doesn’t always mean the game is entirely kaput elsewhere, says an offshore exec (see Last Witch Hunter). Local campaigns, competition and dates play a part and mean foreign partners (who are believed to have put up $40M-$50M) will work to adapt ahead of release. This film has a staggered pattern with several major markets to come, including China on March 11, and more later on the calendar.
Deadpool may not make it to the Middle Kingdom, and fans in Japan have to wait until June to get a close-up, but this guy is so slick, he’s already at $609.3M worldwide. Leading the overseas frame at $39.8M, Fox, Marvel and Ryan Reynolds’ red-suited superhero now has a hat trick of No. 1s at the international box office. The major competition in the coming session will be Disney’s Zootopia which should mutiply like rabbits in new plays of China, Germany, Russia and elsewhere. In its 3rd frame this weekend, it grossed a very strong $33M.
Elsewhere, DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 3, has become the biggest animated film ever. Also in the Middle Kingdom, The Mermaid helped February to a $1.05B gross, besting North America for the first time ever in a single month.
International box office this weekend jumped 20% across the Top 3 films versus 2015. A year ago, Ana and Christian were dominating offshore play for the 3rd time in a row with Fifty Shades Of Grey cuffing $36M, followed by Kingsman: The Secret Service with a princely $26M and The Man From Macau 2 at $22M. Across the Top 10 this week, however, the total is down 32% versus last week as films continue to play and new blood has been thin.
Breakdowns on the above films and others at the international box office have been updated below.
Anita Busch contributed to this report
BEST PICTURE OSCAR WINNER
Fresh off a sweep at the Indie Spirit Awards on Saturday, Spotlight added a Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscar on Sunday and wrote in another $2.89M weekend for an offshore total of $24M to date. Worldwide, the film has made $63.18M to date.
New plays were in Germany, Denmark, Greece and Romania. In Germany, the film uncovered $357K on 140 screens, about 40% below comp Birdman. Italy saw a fantastic hold of -10% with $701K on 210 screens. The cume there is $1.6M. After its 5th UK frame, Spotlight now has about $6.6M and Australia was up 5% from its 4th session and has a total $2.6M to date. Other notable cumes include Spain at $2.1M and France with $3.2M. In some cases the film has been in play for five frames and counting. Business will pick up in some of the major markets, and there are 10 still to release including Japan.
GODS OF EGYPT
Opening in 68 international markets, the Alex Proyas-directed swords-and-sandals pic launched with $24M, coming in slightly lower than pre-weekend projections I had heard in the $25M range. Some rival distribution execs, however, told me they weren’t bothering to track it. Still, it has a bit more muscle overseas as is typical with this genre. Gerard Butler is one of the names oft-cited by foreign sales agents who gets deals done in the international space, and the offshore talent here also includes Australia’s Brenton Thwaites and Game Of Thrones‘ hot Dane, Nikolaj Coster-Wadau. The biggest overseas play was Russia ($3.8M) which was expected as auds there tend to go for this sort of fare. But it fell short of comps like 2007’s 300 ($5M), 2010’s Clash Of The Titans ($12M) and 2014’s 300: Rise Of An Empire ($8.4M) and Pompeii ($5.6M).
There has been significant devaluation of the ruble in the past year and a half, and Gods Of Egypt came in at the same level as more recent comp The Last Witch Hunter on a local currency basis. Russia was the biggest market in which the film opened this frame, followed by Brazil with $1.9M. The Philippines was a No. 1 bow. Indeed, the Gods found respect in parts of South East Asia where audiences tend to like their movies heavy on CGI and straightforward action that doesn’t get too cerebral. There were also No. 1s across Central America and Eastern Europe. The rollout on this film is very staggered with Korea coming on March 3, followed by China on March 11, and France and Germany in April to coincide with school vacations. China could significantly help here: Witch Hunter made $27M in the Middle Kingdom and Pompeii erupted to just under $16M. There is currently no UK date.
Worldwide, Gods of Egypt has grossed $38.1M after a disastrous opening stateside of only $14.1M for this $140M budgeted picture (and that’s not counting prints and advertising costs).
THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY
Sacha Baron Cohen is back on screens with Sony’s action comedy that took in $3.7M from 16 markets in its debut on roughly 1,200 screens. Sony is expecting long play with social media generating strong word of mouth. Co-starring Mark Strong, Penelope Cruz, Rebel Wilson, Isla Fisher and Annabelle Wallis, the Louis Leterrier-helmed pic bowed at No. 2 in the UK, behind Deadpool. The gross was $2.7M on 500 screens including previews. Baron Cohen was out in force during BAFTA weekend two weeks ago, attending the nominees’ cocktail at Kensington Palace with wife Fisher and then turning up for a funny presenting gag at the awards the next night. Other notable openings this frame included the Netherlands ($255K), Israel ($157K), Norway ($135K), Finland ($129K), Sweden ($102K) and Poland ($107K). U.S. rollout doesn’t come for another few weeks, but Germany gets in on the joke this week, followed by Russia and Spain in March and Italy, Mexico and France in April.
The Fox anti-superhero juggernaut has crossed $600M globally with an international weekend of a little less than expected $39.8M (down from the estimate of $40.2M). That lifts the offshore total to $324.1M. No. 1 holds were rampant including in the UK, Germany, Australia and Brazil — each for three consecutive weeks — while Korea led the frame’s grosses at $3.7M and No. 2 in the sophomore session. The UK added $3.39M and leads overseas markets with $43.8M to date. Other notables in the $3M+ weekend club were Germany with $3.1M ($18.3M cume); France with $3.2M ($21.8M); and Australia also with $3.1M ($23.6M). Japan is still waiting for Ryan Reynolds and his red suit in June.
Disney’s animated charmer is in its 3rd week overseas with $84M to date. The Byron Howard/Rich Moore-helmed animal tale added another $33M in the frame, a 15% drop from last, with no major market openings. It’s playing in about 42% of its international rabbit’s footprint — 31 territories. France is lapping up the well-reviewed story of a sly fox and a perky bunny who hook up to uncover a conspiracy. The cume there is already $16.6M. In Korea, Zootopia has the No. 3 spot after jumping +28% from last weekend. The cume there is $6.9M. Plays across Europe, South East Asia and Latin America were all strong. Next weekend’s major bows are Germany, Russia and China — and North America where it is highly anticipated.
With three Oscars under its belt, Fox expects to add a fair number of screens to the hefty 4,750 it already has now. Alejandro G Inarritu’s western trapped another much bigger than expected $15M (up from the estimated $14.1M) this weekend, taking the offshore cume to $234.46M and the global haul to $405.1M. And now word comes that it will bow in China.
China’s Bona Film Group posted on the Weibo social media platform that it will open film in the Middle Kingdom on March 18, which means that it might have to be edited a bit for violence before being approved.
After scoring the best Paris start of the year on Wednesday, and the 3rd best opening day of 2016, The Revenant landed $8.2M in France from 618 screens. Even people I know who don’t usually pour over movies are talking to me about this one here with its mix that taps right into the market. India was also a new play for Fox with $662K from 293 screens. Elsewhere, Spain had an excellent 4th weekend dropping only 27% with $1.1M to take its cume to $12.4M. The UK still leads offshore markets at $31.8M after seven frames. It will bow in Japan on April 22.
HOW TO BE SINGLE
With $6.15M added to its dowry, Warner Bros’ comedy now has an offshore total of $34.8M. Australia, the UK and Holland are holding nicely with drops of 25%, 35% and 15% respectively. The UK leads overseas territories at $5.3M, followed by Oz with $4.4M and Taiwan with $3.1M. Brazil was a new opener with $302K, on par with comps like No Strings Attached, New Year’s Eve and Bridesmaids. In Mexico, where it was in its second frame, it grossed $290K from 388 screens for a total cume there of $1.2M. France has a date with Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson next week, and Germany takes its turn on April 7.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP
Rolling right along, Fox’s family comedy saw auds chip in another $5.8M for a cume of $139.4M. There were no new plays, but the UK provided the biggest return in its 3rd week with $1.7M. The lead market, the cume there is $21M. France, in its 4th week, dropped just 32% earning $1.2M with a total of $9.6M.
The Coen brothers comedy pulled another $4.2M out of its teeth in 31 territories in its 2nd trip to the international coliseum. The offshore total is $11.7M to date. There were four new openings this weekend: Australia, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovenia. The Universal release scored the top slot for a debut in Oz at No. 3 with $1M at 238 dates. There are 25 territories to open over the next three months with the UK, Russia and New Zealand among starts this week.
KUNG FU PANDA 3
With an extra 30 days to play in China, Kung Fu Panda 3 was poised to become the country’s highest-grossing animated film ever, said Jeffrey Katzenberg last week. And so it has. It kicked up another $4M this weekend, mostly from the Middle Kingdom and Korea. In the PROC, the total is 975M yuan which translates to $149M, although some dollar conversions have it at $144.2M. It has now overtaken this summer’s Monkey King: Hero Is Back. The total overseas haul to date is $185.3M. Brazil opens next weekend.
Derek, Hansel and Mugatu strutted up a further $3.2M from 46 markets in the frame for an international cume of $21.1M. Mexico and Hong Kong were new plays. The former bowed to $558K at 601 locations, a better start by 338% than Anchorman 2 and 279% above the first Zoolander. Hong Kong took in $219K at 31 sites; 154% above Grown Ups 2 and on par with Dumb And Dumber To. Next week’s key openings are France, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, Poland and Venezuela.
THE DANISH GIRL
The Danish Girl not only picked up a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for star Alicia Vikander, but it also picked up another $2.9M in 43 territories for Universal this weekend. The cume is now $42.8M. Hong Kong opened to $425K at 18 dates, placing No. 4 with the best screen average in the market. Further openings were in Iceland, Paraguay, Trinidad and Venezuela with updates to come tomorrow.
With another No. 1 in Japan, that makes four in a row for Ridley Scott’s box office smash. Oscar nominated tonight in seven categories, the film is approaching an international cume of $400M with $395.7M to date. In Japan, where it added $1.8M this frame, the total is $23.2M. Worldwide, the Mat Damon-starring film from director Ridley Scott has topped $623.5M to date.
In its second weekend in Japan, the film grossed $675K on 540 screens for a running cume there of $3.2M. The highest market for the thriller is Russia with $5.5M followed closely by Mexico with $5.3M. The international cume to date is $23.4M.
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Adding yet another $2M, the Millennium Falcon crew has an international cume to date of $1.122B and a global total of $2.048B. Rankings have not changed, and it’s still playing in 20 territories.
13 HOURS (PAR): $1.2M weekend, $6.6M cume
THE 5TH WAVE (SONY): $1M weekend, $70.2M cume
GOOSEBUMPS (SONY): $1.2M weekend, $75.1M cume
RIDE ALONG 2 (UNI): $1M weekend, $29.4M cume
ROOM (UNI): $858K weekend, $2.37M Universal cume
THE BIG SHORT (PAR): $739K weekend, $55.5M cume
DAD’S ARMY (UNI): $589K weekend, $11.3M cume
DADDY’S HOME (PAR): $531K weekend, $87.4M cume
The unstoppable Mermaid has now grossed about $480M which sets it on a path for another first. It was already the first movie ever in the Middle Kingdom to hit $400M and will cross $500M this week. Outside China, it’s being handled by Sony in several markets. The weekend for SPRI was $1.28M on 375 screens in their six markets for a total $14.6M. It has become the 2nd biggest Chinese language grosser in Malaysia with $6.6M to date. Elsewhere, the cumes are $4M in Vietnam, $2.8M in Singapore and $685K in Australia. The U.S. total is $2M.
Local pic Pattaya released via Gaumont for the No. 3 spot at the French box office with $6.5M, behind Zootopia and Deadpool. This is the second film directed by Franck Gastambide who had a cult hit with 2012’s Les Kaira (Porn In The Hood). He also stars with that film’s Ramzy Bedia, Anouar Toubali and Sissi Duparc as well as Gad Emaleh in a cameo. The story is about two down-on-their-luck friends who dream of a vacation in Thailand and hatch a plan to get there that, natrually, does not go to plan.
Off of a $6.4M debut frame, Spirits’ Homecoming was the No. 1 movie in Korea this weekend. A drama from director Cho Jung-rae, it’s a period story of a girl with the power to communicate with the dead, notably girls who were taken by Japanese soldiers to China during WW II and sexually abused. The market also saw a surge for Disney’s Zootopia which increased 30% over last frame to take No. 2 ahead of Deadpool.
Fox International’s Indian biopic Neerja held the No. 1 spot for a second week with an added $3.15M for a $10.4M cume.
Election Day 2, the Russian comedy that UPI released last weekend was No. 4 in its sophomore frame to pick up another $664K at 1,034 dates. The 11 day total for the film is $3.5M. It surpassed the lifetime box office gross of the first installment in only six days.
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