UPDATE, TUESDAY AM with actuals: Studio actuals show the usual ups and downs across the weekend’s international box office, although Mechanic: Resurrection came in notably higher than local Chinese estimates had it on Sunday. The Jason Statham-starrer holds the distinction of winning the Middle Kingdom frame with $28.2M versus the debut of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back at $5.6M.
Statham, whose history with the Fast & Furious and Expendables franchises serve him well in China, is a big action star in the market — and that makes him a strong bet for Warner Bros’ upcoming mega sci-fi shark tale Meg which is being made with Chinese partners.
Millennium Films’ Resurrection this weekend also crossed $100M in global box office with $101.1M. Dennis Gansel directs the movie that also stars Chinese action star Michelle Yeoh along with Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones — and boasts many South East Asian locales. Le Vision handled locally.
While Never Go Back was expected to do better in China, rival execs weren’t necessarily pointing fingers over the outcome. Certainly no one blames Cruise who remains a huge and willing star. With the downturn in the market amid constant shifts; plus younger, more discerning audiences, China is becoming tougher for Hollywood to crack and this franchise just hasn’t clicked with Chinese audiences.
In total, Never Go Back bested the Sunday estimate with $31.5M in 42 markets and was the weekend leader (more detail below).
Actuals have been updated throughout.
UPDATE, SUNDAY PM: Tom Cruise-starrer Jack Reacher: Never Go Back led the international box office this weekend with a $31.5M debut in 42 markets, including a soft start in China. Accompanying the ex-military policeman at the top of the charts are Tom Hanks holdover Inferno with $28.9M ($94.8M intl cume) and Jason Statham sequel Mechanic: Resurrection with $28.2M in the Middle Kingdom ($50M intl cume). Across the Top 10 titles there was a 3% jump from last week when Inferno debuted in a pre-domestic release pattern that will see it hit $100M international before getting to North America later this week. Versus last year, this weekend is up 8% across the Top 10. At this time in 2015, Fox’s The Martian, Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 2 and Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man were in charge and nearing major milestones.
Next week sees the release of the latest Marvel movie as Doctor Strange starts offshore rollout in 32 markets ahead of domestic. Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular (and erstwhile) neurosurgeon is hitting such majors as the UK, France, Australia, Germany, Mexico and Korea. The movie travels to China on November 4 in a day-and-date release with the U.S.
This current weekend in China saw a lackluster start for Jack Reacher with $5.6M in 4th place. The $60M budgeted movie has significant Chinese investment from Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group who are acting as marketing partners — and Cruise earlier this month engaged in a local promotional push. But the character doesn’t seem to have resonated with local audiences the way some of Cruise’s other movies do. The first one made just $15M locally and this one is playing similarly.
Competition was also tough, especially from Mechanic: Resurrection in first place with a $24M start. That performance tops the Jason Statham-starring pic’s entire domestic run which began in August and comes despite a 26% rotten score on the Tomatometer.
The first Mechanic rolled into China after the summer blackout of 2012 and action fans who’d been deprived of Hollywood movies flocked to see it. Statham’s star has continued to grow in South East Asia owing to his various action franchises and this movie dominated screens with about double the daily showings of Jack Reacher.
The Middle Kingdom market is about to become very crowded. With box office having slowed its massive upswing there this year, the powers that be are being a bit more lax about the number of Hollywood movies that will get in under the 2016 wire. Along with Doctor Strange, pics set for release before December include Inferno, Trolls, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Keeping Up With The Joneses and Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, among others.
Breakdowns have been updated below the original post.
PREVIOUS: Paramount and Skydance’s Tom Cruise sequel, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, was this weekend’s major wide opener overseas where it punched up a $31.5M start in 42 markets — 20 of which were No. 1s. Combined with the domestic opening, the global bow is $54.3M. That’s 28% bigger than the original 2012 film whose worldwide launch was $42M in like-for-like markets, per Par. In IMAX, the overseas action is $2.6M on 526 screens. Of that, $1M came from 327 in China.
China was challenging, however. It’s the film’s top opening market this weekend at $5.6M, but the sequel came in 11% below the original and landed in 4th place. Facing Never Go Back was heavy local competition and the release of Jason Statham-starrer Mechanic: Resurrection. That actioner had about double the screenings of Never Go Back and dominated the frame at $28.2M. The first Jack Reacher went on to gross $15M there.
Cruise did a three-day/three-city China tour recently to promote the film in which Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group have a significant investment. The companies are also acting as marketing partners on the title. But while Cruise resonates with local audiences in the Mission: Impossible movies and other pics, the Reacher character hasn’t made a similar connection.
In 30 other markets, the Ed Zwick-helmed film came in higher versus Jack Reacher the first. Russia was a No. 1 opening at $2M (+52%) and the UK landed at No. 2 with $3.3M (+22%), for example. The first movie went on to gross 63% of its overall box office overseas with $140M+.
Also debuting abroad, Ouija: Origin Of Evil got off to a $7.7M start with strong numbers out of Latin America for Universal. Elsewhere, and after a soft launch last week, DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls combed out $17.4M in 14 Fox markets with No. 1s in nine. The offshore cume is $20.5M with 70 bows still to come.
In milestones, Uni’s The Girl On The Train has traveled past $100M at the worldwide box office; Fox’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children has topped $150M overseas; and Sony’s Inferno is on its way to $100M internationally — crossing the threshold ahead of the domestic opening.
Here’s how the weekend shaped up:
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
With openings in 42 markets, Paramount/Skydance’s latest Tom Cruise-starrer soldiered to $31.5M internationally. The follow-up to 2012’s action thriller saw a 28% increase globally with a $54.3M start, cuffing No. 1s in 20 offshore markets. It faced tough competition in China, however, where Mechanic: Resurrection and two local films nabbed the top three slots. The launch was $5.6M for 4th, despite the muscle of local companies Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group. Although Cruise excels in the Middle Kingdom in the Mission: Impossible franchise and other films (Rogue Nation last year grossed about $136M to become the biggest 2D release ever and Edge Of Tomorrow made $66M there in 2014), the Reacher character hasn’t resonated as strongly with Chinese audiences — the first film made $15M.
The indefatigable Cruise brought his star-wattage to China recently for a three day/three city tour (along with co-star Cobie Smulders), but Jason Statham-starrer Mechanic had an estimated $24M start per local reporting. Statham has the Expendables and Fast & Furious franchises behind him which are popular in the Middle Kingdom, and Mechanic: Resurrection has the added value of Michelle Yeoh in the cast and several South East Asian shooting locations.
In total, Jack Reacher made 63% of its box office overseas in 2012. Never Go Back opened bigger than that film in 30 markets. Outside China, the UK was tops with $3.3M for No. 2 at 518 cinemas and 22% above JR — Cruise and Smulders recently appeared on The Graham Norton Show there and walked the red carpet for the London premiere.
Russia was a No. 1 start with $2M at 54% over the previous film. Among other No. 1s were the UAE ($1.3M/+97%), Taiwan ($1.6M/+33%), Indonesia ($1.9M/+115%), Hong Kong ($927K/+189%), Malaysia ($910/+193%), India ($702K/+83%), Singapore ($638K/+87%) and the Netherlands ($516K/+26%).
Australia came in at $2M, -11% from JR, and France scored $2.8M, down 23%. Both of those markets opened during a holiday period on the first film.
The Ed Zwick-directed Never Go Back was made on a $60M budget, per Paramount, and still has major markets like Japan, Korea, Germany and Mexico to come. Cruise is due to visit both Japan and Korea ahead of those releases. Both markets were big on M:I5 and Edge Of Tomorrow with Korea particularly welcoming to the latter.
The DreamWorks Animation title actually opened last week in Denmark, Holland and Israel although Fox is providing first numbers this weekend. Playing in 14 markets, the film spread $17.4M worth of happiness for a $20.5M cume. There were No. 1s in nine markets ahead of the North American release.
Based on the dolls created by Danish fisherman and woodcutter Thomas Dam in 1959, the Mike Mitchell-directed movie was partially screened at an event in Cannes last May where stars Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake performed. Kendrick plays the eternally optimistic Poppy who teams with Timberlake’s curmudgeon Branch to save their home. Footage played to great response from European exhibitors this summer in Barcelona.
The UK was the top opener with $6.9M to best The Croods by 1%. In Denmark, the movie held No. 1 for the second week in a row, jumping by 150% over the debut frame. It has a $2.2M cume and has surpassed the lifetime of Despicable Me there. With kids on vacation, France opened to $4.4M and Germany bowed to $1.9M.
There are 70 markets still to come.
OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL
From Blumhouse Productions, Platinum Dunes and Hasbro, the $9M budget sequel opened in 22 territories via Universal this weekend for $7.7M. Combined with its domestic debut, the worldwide total is $21.8M. Ouija 1 was a $103M+ winner in 2014 and the sequel is off to a good start with all Latin American markets opening bigger than the previous film.
Mexico led on the first movie and is the top opener this weekend with $2.2M at 723 dates. Latin America overall saw No. 1s in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Paraguay. Peru debuted at No. 2 with $296K at 90 and is U’s biggest launch of a horror film there. Brazil kicked off at No. 3 with $724K at 370 dates.
The UK, which was the No. 2 market on Ouija 1 put $944K on the board at 401 dates and Germany scored $673K at 272. In Australia, where the first film was not released, OOOE took 5th place with $697K at 166 dates. Horror sequels tend to increase internationally versus their predecessors.
This Mike Flanagan-directed pic has an 81% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and still has 29 ports to come with Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain on deck next weekend.
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES
Fox bowed the domestic disappointment in 22 markets for a $2.5M start. Australia got off to a No. 3 launch with $847K on 234 screens. That decent start was offset by a soft UK debut at No. 10 on 291 screens and $345K. The next key markets to release are China on November 8 and Russia on November 10.
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s re-team with Tom Hanks for the Dan Brown adaptation is closing in on $100M at the international box office after two frames — and before domestic opens this coming weekend. With an added $28.9M from 58 offshore markets, the thriller dropped by a collective 49% from its debut last session. The cume is currently $94.8M.
Korea had a good start at No. 2 behind local hit Luck-Key. The debut was worth $3.5M on 750 screens, including previews. Germany, which was the lead ex-U.S. market on Angels & Demons, dipped 27% for a local cume of $8.2M and the No. 1 spot, again. Italy likewise held No. 1 for a total $9.3M to date. Also a repeat for No. 1, Brazil has a $6.6M cume. Other top markets include Russia ($7.6M), the UK ($7.1M) and Mexico ($4.9M).
Up this coming weekend are China and Japan. On the last two pictures, Japan has been a lead market although there was a 41% drop between The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. China will also see the debut of the differently-skewing Trolls next weekend as the market becomes increasingly crowded with Hollywood pics.
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY
The Renée Zellweger threequel delivered a further $4.8M this frame in 56 Universal territories. That takes the studio’s total to $143M internationally. Studiocanal’s estimate for the weekend is $10.6M in France, Germany and Austria which then lifts the offshore cume to $156.2M, and global to $180.1M. Openings on the Working Title comedy include Germany with $3.4M at 603 dates; Austria at No. 2 with $400K at 82; Indonesia ($107K/120 dates) where it topped the previous two pics; and German-speaking Switzerland ($493K/84). Including French- and Italian-speaking Switzerland, the total is $1.1M for No. 1.
In the 6th UK weekend, Bridget has taken the total to $56.8M. In the Republic of Ireland and after five weeks in release, Bridget Jones’s Baby is now the No. 1 film of the year. The Netherlands also continues its great run with a 39-day total of $9.2M. After three weeks in France the total is $9.4M. Colombia and Japan rock the cradle this weekend.
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
Tim Burton’s YA fantasy has crossed the $150M mark at the international box office to double the domestic take to date. Another $13.9M this weekend lifts the total to $150.5M in a total 64 hubs. France, where kids are on vacation and screens are crowded, dipped just 3% for a $12.9M cume thus far. Germany likewise fell a scant 27% to exceed the lifetimes of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and The Maze Runner with $7.1M. Korean audiences have squired Miss Peregrine over Alice In Wonderland to make it Burton’s biggest movie ever there with $19.3M. In three weeks of Russia play, the cume is $14M. Still to come are Italy, Japan and China.
Warner Bros’ animated family pic swooped in on another $7.8M in 60 international territories this weekend on 5,600 screens. The offshore bundle has risen to $84.2M. Italy was the only new delivery with $720K from 381 screens. Elsewhere, France bounced up 10% with kids on vacation and has now cumed $2.3M. The UK is at $4.3M after two frames and Spain has $5.4M after three. Next up are Germany on October 27 and Japan on November 3.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
Universal put an extra $155K in the wagon this weekend in seven territories while Mister Smith Entertainment’s 32 markets added another $6M. That takes the international cume to $45.1M combined. Worldwide, the total is $104M with U’s portion $61.5M. The major opening was Spain where the Emily Blunt thriller came in behind local smash A Monster Calls, and beat Inferno in its sophomore frame. Brazil is next up this week.
Ben Affleck tallied up $5.6M on 2,272 screens in 20 plays overseas. The total after three frames is $10.3M. Germany topped comps with a $1M start on 351 screens. That’s 135% bigger than Argo and 66% over The Town. Brazil kicked off with $1M on 316 for No. 2 and blasted past the comps, per WB, at 534% bigger than The Town and 260% more than Argo. Also, it bested Gone Girl by 47% there. In Spain, the bow is roughly on par with Argo at $715K on 299. In holds, Taiwan dipped just 18% for a total $1.9M to date. Coming up over the next two frames are powerhouse markets Russia, Italy, France, Australia, the UK and Mexico.
With another $4M this weekend, Finding Dory has lifted the international cume to $532.1M and the worldwide total to $1,017.7M. The Disney/Pixar title is still swimming up a storm in Germany where the frame saw a 28% dip for a $29.4M total after 25 days.
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Max, Duke and the gang are getting closer to $500M international with a $4.1M weekend taking the total to $498.1M. Globally, the cume on the Illumination/Universal pic is $864.3M. Italy was the top holdover this weekend with $1.8M at 452 dates for an 18-day total of $12.1M. With school holidays underway in parts of Europe, Pets is holding strong there: Belgium +8%; Denmark +218%; Hungary -11%; the Netherlands +245%; Romania +3%; Spain -15%; Sweden -10% and the UK/Ireland -16%.
A MONSTER CALLS
Scoring a hat trick of No. 1s, Focus’ JA Bayona creation leads the Spanish box office again, adding $2.9M this frame. The family film held off newcomers including The Girl On The Train and The Accountant. Still dominating turnstiles with 33% market share, the film’s 17-day total is $17M. It’s now the 4th biggest title of the year behind The Secret Life Of Pets, Finding Dory and The Jungle Book.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTEWORTHY
Heartfall Arises: $8.8M intl weekend (3 markets, mostly China); $11.8M intl cume
Operation Mekong: $8.1M intl weekend (7 markets, mostly China); $157.6M intl cume
Brice 3 (GAU): $6.1M in France only; sequel to 2005 smash starring Jean Dujardin and directed by James Huth
Deepwater Horizon (LGF): $2.3M intl weekend (74 markets); $40.3M intl cume
The Magnificent Seven (SNY): $1.6M intl weekend (57 markets); $66.5M intl cume
Pete’s Dragon (DIS): $1.5M intl weekend; $63.1M intl cume
Sausage Party (SNY): $1.5M intl weekend (26 markets); $37.8M intl cume
Don’t Breathe (SNY): $1.4M intl weekend (32 markets); $61.3M intl cume
Bad Moms (STX): $1.33M intl weekend (61 markets); $68.2M intl cume
Kubo And The Two Strings (UNI): $1.2M intl weekend (27 markets, including great Russia opening of $587K at 530 dates); $19M intl cume
Jason Bourne (UNI): $995K intl weekend (13 markets); $250M intl cume
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (FIP): $383K intl weekend (India only); $25.6M intl cume
American Honey (UNI): $146K intl weekend (4 markets); $677K intl cume
Miss Saigon: 25th Anniversary Performance (UNI): $13K intl weekend (1 market); $2.6M intl cume