UPDATE, WRITETHRU: Bridget Jones’s Baby leads the international weekend frame with a terrific $29.9M including No. 1s in 24 offshore territories out of a total 39 openings. That’s contrary to the unfunny domestic debut of $8.24M, but “domestic” on this movie could almost be considered the UK given the franchise’s culture, pedigree and history. The $11.3M debut in the UK was a record-setter after great test screenings, sold-out shows and strong word of mouth. At 641 dates, Bridget had a per-screen average of nearly $18K.
The UK has historically been the top grossing offshore market on the franchise and bested the U.S. on the last film, Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason, to be the No. 1 market worldwide. Universal, Miramax and Studiocanal’s presentation of Working Title’s threequel is looking at the same phenomenon here with a well-reviewed film that is clearly playing to offshore auds.
In other good news for Universal, Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life Of Pets crossed $800M at the worldwide box office this frame. That brings the total on all titles hailing from Chris Meledandri’s animation studio across $4B global.
Pets hi-tails it to Italy, its last market, on October 6. In the meantime, Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory just splashed up a couple of milestones there, including the biggest four-day opening weekend of 2016.
After Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad smashed past $700M worldwide last frame, it has now rounded up $400M+ international and cumed $718.9M worldwide. Also smashing it for Warner Bros, local Korean pic, The Age Of Shadows, went UP 55% in its sophomore session as the Mid-Autumn Festival provided three national holidays during the week. The cume on the Oscar submission is $45M. Paramount’s Ben-Hur too got a boost in Korea, lacing up a fantastic $7M opening.
The Mid-Autumn Festival also saw China debut A Chinese Odyssey: Part III to $17.3M according to comScore. The full five-day frame is $35.8M.
Breakdowns on the above films and more have been updated below.
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY
Opening in 39 territories overseas, the third installment in the Bridget Jones franchise cradled $29.9M including No. 1 openings in 24. Combined with the North American debut, the global total for the birthday weekend is $38.1M on a production cost of $35M.
The Sharon Maguire-directed return of Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth, along with series newcomer Patrick Dempsey, played to sold-out shows in the franchise’s native Britain and dominated the market with a 57% share. An $11.3M bow at 641 dates is the biggest romantic comedy opening weekend ever in the UK; the biggest opening weekend ever for Working Title; and the biggest September launch weekend of all time. Universal is expecting a long run with solid mid-weeks.
The UK was the top international market on the previous two films with $60.3M for Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2001 and $68.2M for Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason in 2004. The UK was also the best market worldwide on BJ2, dwarfing the Stateside take of a little over $40M for the less well-reviewed film.
Baby has fared much better with critics at 78% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Test screenings in the UK and the London premiere had audiences doubled over with laughter for a film that plays closer to the first installment.
In Australia, audiences cooed for a No. 1 with $4.2M including previews at 298 dates. The Netherlands was also No. 1 with $1.9M at 133 dates and a 38% market share. It is the biggest opening for the franchise in this market. Spain similarly was a No. 1 play with $1.7M at 385 dates. Bridge is running three times ahead of the No. 2 film at the box office there. Russia gave the threequel a No. 2 opening of $1.4M at 900 dates – comparing well to other romcoms.
Further No. 1s came in Poland, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa and Ukraine with many of them setting the record as the biggest film in the franchise. The Latin American starts in Mexico, Panama and Peru are likewise the biggest of the series.
There are 21 territories to open over the next two months. Next weekend includes Egypt, Iceland, India, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, Thailand and Trinidad.
Arriving 17 years after The Blair Witch Project ushered in a new twist on the horror genre, Lionsgate’s stealthily revealed revisit to the franchise scared up an estimated $4.9M in 27 offshore markets this frame. The overseas opening was led by the UK ($1.5M) and Brazil ($1.2M) which both landed it at No. 2. The Adam Wingard-directed film still has several majors ahead of it, including France and Italy this week. In comps, the original film made about $108M offshore in 1999 with the sequel, Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 brewing up just $21.3M. Significant drops were also seen from Cloverfield ($90.7M intl box office in 2008) to 10 Cloverfield Lane ($36.2M this year). Domestically, Blair Witch got burned at the stake and is similarly coming into international play after a strong horror summer that embraced high concepts and genre auteurs.
THE AGE OF SHADOWS (MIL-JEONG)
With Korea off for a three-day national holiday this week, Warner Bros’ local title saw a 55% uptick in its 2nd frame. The weekend was worth $21.5M at No. 1. The cume on WB’s first foray into Korean co-production is $45M. A period drama about the history of the Organization of Righteous Bravery, Korea’s Oscar entry recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival and is directed by Kim Jee-woon. It opens domestically next weekend via CJ.
MGM/Paramount’s Ben-Hur also benefited from the Korea holiday this frame, picking up $7M at 707 locations locally. The start is 1315% above 2014’s Hercules (yes, you read that right); 25% over Immortals and 14% above Exodus: Gods And Kings. In total, the chariots rolled to $11.3M this weekend in 47 markets — that’s about on par with the opening frame back in August. Holdovers included France ($2.4M cume), Russia ($3.7M cume) and the UK ($2.5M cume). Italy, where Cinecitta hosted the production, opens September 29.
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Audiences continue to be barking mad for Pets with the Illumination/Universal animation crossing $800M worldwide this frame after adding $9.6M in 60 territories. The offshore total is $441.6M through Sunday for a global cume of $805M. The only opening this session was New Zealand where the No. 1 bow was worth $777K, ahead of both Inside Out and Zootopia. Australia held well in the sophomore session which was dominated by Universal’s Bridget Jones’s Baby. The cume there is $8.5M. Staggered school holidays begin this week in 50% of the country. Pets maintained No. 1 in Brazil for the 4th frame in a row and a $15.8M total. Still to come are Poland, South Africa and Italy.
The fish that just won’t quit swam to another $8.3M in her 13th weekend of overseas play. It was a lucky frame for the Disney/Pixar charmer which set new milestones at the box office in Italy with $5.8M for the biggest four-day MPAA opening of the year and the top bow for an animated title in 2016. Dory has now accumulated $477.1M offshore and $961.1M worldwide. Germany is still on deck for the forgetful blue tang who’s swimming closer and closer to the $1B high-water mark.
Inhaling $7.2M in 33 total markets, Sony’s horror winner has taken the offshore cume to $31.7M. There were three new plays this frame including Mexico with $1.2M on 945 screens — triple the opening of Unfriended and 150% ahead of The Visit. Germany was down just 2% for a total $2.6M; the UK has cumed $2.9M; and Brazil is at $2.4M.
Auds held their breath in Latin America with minimal dips (Central America -8%, Colombia -15%, Uruguay -18%, Ecuador -21%, Argentina -36%, and Chile -38%). France and Korea are next among majors, opening October 5 and 6, respectively.
STAR TREK BEYOND
With a host of local movies moving into China, Star Trek Beyond was the top western title with $4.8M for a $63.3M cume after three weekends. The Middle Kingdom was the bulk of the frame which was $7M total in 30 markets. China, where the Skydance/Paramount pic had local investment and has well topped Star Trek Into Darkness, has been instrumental in helping boost the international cume to $175.6M. Japan is the final market on October 21. STID did about $11M there.
Clint Eastwood’s Miracle on the Hudson drama landed in Hong Kong this weekend to take advantage of the local Mid-Autumn Festival. The start was $773K on just 46 screens to top newcomers Bridget Jones’s Baby and local action crime drama S Storm. Eastwood and lead Tom Hanks outdid themselves with Sully 23% ahead of the director’s American Sniper and double the star’s Bridge Of Spies. In total, Sully flew to another $7M in the sophomore frame in 44 markets. The total on Warner Bros’ staggered rollout is currently $23.4M. In IMAX, the global cume is now $10M through Sunday.
In holds, Australia lost 29% in altitude for a total $4.7M; the UAE, which was a big play last frame, now has $2.4M; and Russia has cumed $1.9M. Japan and Korea are due on September 24 and 28, respectively.
Grossing $5.8M this weekend, Warner Bros’ DC superhero adaption climbed past the $400M mark with a $405.1M overseas cume. The biggest play of the frame was Japan with a sophomore hold of $2.3M on 682 screens. The total there is now $9.4M. All markets are open with play currently in 62. The worldwide cume is now $718.9M — with no China release — and overtaking Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Disney’s Dragon had a solid $5.2M 6th weekend, hitting No. 2 in Mexico with a $2.1M start behind local pic No Manches Frida. Elsewhere in Latin America, the live-action/CGI mix bowed to No. 1 in Ecuador, Bolivia and Central America; and held the top spot in Chile for Week 2. Pete picked up $700K in Australia, just ahead of school vacations. The international cume is now $40.2M for a global total of $113M. Korea, Brazil and Japan are still on deck.
Warner Bros’ War Dogs bit into $3.6M this weekend in 48 territories to take the international cume to $31M. Star Jonah Hill last week endured an odd interview on Canal Plus’ Le Grand Journal newsmag at the hands of Miss Metéo (aka comedienne Ornella Fleury) who later apologized. But, it was more likely the French premiere of the movie at the Deauville Film Festival that helped it open at No. 2, narrowly behind local title Victoria. The frame was worth $1.4M on 306 screens. Italy also debuted this weekend with $976K on 255 and ranking No. 2 behind Finding Dory. The Dogs will face off with the fish again for their final international opening in Germany on September 29.
THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR
Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes’ horror hit added $2.8M in 13 Universal territories this weekend and raised the international total to $34.3M. The global cume is now $113.3M. Germany opened No. 1 with an excellent $2.2M at 381 dates. That’s bigger than many comps including Conjuring 2 and Don’t Breathe and it’s the biggest opening of the Purge franchise in the market. In Austria, where it bowed at No. 7, the pic had the best per-screen average with $84K at 10 dates. Switzerland (German-speaking) voted for No. 1 with $231K at 27. Hong Kong and Brazil will be the final markets.
ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE
An additional $2.3M in 19 markets takes Manny and the gang to a $339.2M offshore cume. China was the top hold in the Fox movie’s final frame there. The total is $66.6M.
Putting $2.1M in the grocery basket, Sony and Seth Rogen’s fiesta has rung up $24.2M so far overseas. The weekend was in 27 markets with Portugal the highlight at $125K from 50 screens. The UK is the top offshore play with $8.6M after three frames. There’s lots more to chew on here with Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Japan and France still to come.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTEWORTHY
Jason Bourne (UNI): $1.9M weekend (41 markets); $235.4M intl cume
The Shallows (SNY): $1.8M weekend (48 markets); $61M intl cume
Bad Moms (STX): $1.7M weekend (54 markets); $47.9M intl cume
Kubo And The Two Strings (UNI): $1.3M weekend (26 markets); $10.4M intl cume
The BFG (DIS): $1.3M weekend (12 markets); $46.6M intl cume
Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates (FOX): $1.2M (14 markets); $29.8M intl cume
Me Before You (WB): $920K (Italy only); $149.3M intl cume
Independence Day: Resurgence (FOX): $736K (Italy only); $284.4M intl cume
Morgan (FOX): $662K (19 markets); $3.4M intl cume