UPDATE, WRITETHRU: The international box office got a boost this weekend, jumping 110% from last frame across the Top 10 titles, and dipping just 6% versus the similar session last year. There were two major overseas openings for Hollywood, with a raft of hot local movies in the mix around the globe — many with savvy studio participation. There are also a series of key milestones as Finding Dory finally splashed into Germany and set a new bar for 2016 as well as crossing $500M internationally — putting the $1B worldwide mark within fin’s reach. And, there are no growing pains for Bridget Jones’s Baby with a 3rd straight No. 1 in the UK as it cozies up to $100M overseas.
First up among new titles, Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s Tim Burton-directed Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children was the No. 1 offshore opener at $36.5M in 59 markets. Korea is a highlight where Miss Peregrine has already bested the lifetimes of Alice Through The Looking Glass, Cinderella and Snow White And The Huntsman. Overall, the adaptation is also comping well to Fox’s own Maze Runner. (As with all studio titles, see below for a fuller picture.)
Notably, this was a big weekend for local titles — and Fox, Lionsgate and Sony benefited on that front. Half of the Top 10 grouping was local-language, four of them from China for the National Day Golden Week holiday frame. While China’s been in the doldrums recently, the four movies in this weekend’s Top 10 are just 6% off the four that slotted into the same session last year. (However, it bears noting that last year’s batch included the 2nd frame of Lost In Hong Kong which by that time had crossed $200M in six markets.)
Tops from China was I Belonged To You at $33.6M. The romantic comedy is directed by Yibai Zhang who’s had a hand in such previous youth-targeted hits as Love O2O and So Young 2. Lionsgate got in on the action with Chinese fantasy pic L.O.R.D.: Legend Of Ravaging Dynasties. The start on that one is $29.2M in four markets including the Middle Kingdom. Further contributing to the high end of the Top 10 this week are Operation Mekong ($23.8M) and Mission Milano ($15.1M).
In India and the UK, Fox International Productions and Fox Star, released cricketer biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, batting $14.5M. The India bow is particularly remarkable as the second biggest opening of 2016 — after Salman Khan’s recent smash Sultan. Rather than rely on marquee name Bollywood stars, M.S. Dhoni‘s key attraction is its legendary subject.
For Sony, the local-language play this week was Russia entry The Duelist. From super-producer Alexander Rodyansky, the period thriller bowed at No. 1.
Elsewhere, Korea went bonkers for Kim Sung-soo’s Asura: The City Of Madness ($12.6M) and France was far from stingy over hitmaker Dany Boon’s comedy Radin! ($6.45M).
There’s a fair bit of runway ahead as the next major title to release internationally, The Girl On The Train, travels to just the UK and Australia in the coming week. Otherwise, expansions will see Miss Peregrine enroll in France, Russia and Germany; Deepwater surface in Italy and Australia; Pets stroll to Italy; and Jason Bourne hop a flight to Japan.
More on this weekend’s films in the updated breakdowns below:
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
The Tim Burton-directed adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ novel fared best in Korea, the UK and Mexico and had No. 1 bows most everywhere to amass its $36.5M debut. In the same suite of release markets and at current exchange rates, the opening is 35% bigger than Oz: The Great And Powerful, and 85% bigger than The Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader.
Business picked up over the course of the weekend which could lead the multiple to 3-3.5x. That would land it among Burton’s best overseas performances outside the Johnny Depp canon, although it would top some Depp collaborations. Burton has a certain offshore brand and there are several major markets to come including France, Russia, Germany, Italy and Japan. No word yet on China.
As noted above, Miss Peregrine has already bested the lifetime cumes of Cinderella and Alice Through The Looking Glass in Korea. The start was No. 2 there with $5.2M, behind local blockbuster Asura. In the UK, the peculiar children brought in $4.6M which is 40% bigger than Narnia: VOTDT and 69% over The Maze Runner. The UK was also a No. 2 start as Bridget Jones’s Baby keeps calm and carries on.
Other top openers include Mexico (No. 1/$3.8M/+6% on Oz: The Great And Powerful); Australia (No. 1/$3.1M/+54% on Narnia: VOTDT); Brazil (No. 1/$2.7M/+81% on Maze Runner) and the Philippines (No. 1/$1.7M/biggest Tim Burton opening). At $2M from 438, Spain was notably 50% bigger than Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Malaysia and Indonesia were also all-time tops for Burton.
Miss Peregrine, led by Eva Green, Asa Butterfield and Samuel L Jackson, takes the brood to 20 markets next weekend, including France, Russia, Germany, and India.
L.O.R.D.: LEGEND OF RAVAGING DYNASTIES
Lionsgate has teamed with Le Vision Pictures to release L.O.R.D. globally. Directed by Guo Jingming, the live-action/CGI fantasy was the No. 2 film in China this weekend where it booked over 35% of available screenings. We do not have a confirmed figure out of China, although local reports put it at about $29M. Of that, 325 IMAX plays were worth $2.3M in the Middle Kingdom where 15 of the film’s Top 20 runs were IMAX. The film will continue to benefit from the National Day Golden Week holiday there. Lionsgate is reporting $29.2M in four markets. We’ll have a breakout of the UK, Australia and New Zealand tomorrow.
M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY
From Fox International Productions and Fox Star, this biopic of the eponymous cricket legend became the No. 2 opener of 2016 in India this weekend with $14.26M on 4,200 screens. This is also the 3rd biggest opening ever for Fox Star. The movie’s mass appeal is based on the subject who is a real-life hero at home and across the diaspora. The total frame in India and the UK was $14.52M.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the highest paid athletes in the world and a gentleman cricketer who was captain of India’s team, leading it to World Cup victory in 2011. The film, directed by Neeraj Pandey, recounts his life story from the dusty roads of his origins in Ranchi to the sacred grounds of the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Sushant Singh Rajput, Kiara Advani and Anupam Kher star in the biopic whose trailer generated some 22M views. The film was released in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi versions.
M.S. Dhoni also opened in 256 North American theaters to gross $1.2M there and place 13th among all titles in release.
Lionsgate/Summit/Participant’s real-life oil rig disaster pic opened to $12.4M this weekend in 52 markets. Directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg, it earned an estimated $1M on 119 offshore IMAX screens. With an A- CinemaScore domestically, DH is hitting a similar release corridor as last year’s reality-based Everest ($203.4M WW cume) and 2013’s Captain Phillips ($218.8M). All three scored at fall festivals with Deepwater just bowing in Toronto (Everest opened Venice in 2015 and Captain Phillips was a NY and London premiere).
The major markets to open were the UK, Russia and Mexico. While the UK was the top launch, audiences there are still cooing over Bridget Jones’s Baby in No. 1. Deepwater picked up $2.6M there (including previews), followed by the Middle East with $1.5M and Russia at $1.2M. In the latter market, Deepwater was No. 2 behind local opener The Duelist.
The next majors to open are Australia and Italy on October 6. The rest of the key markets roll out over October, November and December.
A co-production from Sony Pictures International Productions, the local adventure drama debuted at No. 1 in Russia with $2.4M on 1,952 screens. Directed by ,Aleksey Mizgirev it’s set in 19th century Tsarist Russia and revolves around a retired army veteran who makes a living by settling duels for aristocrats, a common practice of the era. Stalingrad and the Yolki franchise star Pyotr Fyodorov plays the titular character. Alexander Rodyansky (Leviathan, Stalingrad) produces.
BRIDGET JONES’S BABY
Universal, Miramax and Studiocanal’s presentation of this Working Title production is growing up nicely. With a $19M 3rd frame, Renee Zellweger and co have cumed $99.9M overseas for $120.9M in the worldwide buggy. By the time it reaches term, Bridget should be looking at around $200M global — a nice bundle for a film that stumbled in the U.S. It’s getting a lot of mileage out of the UK where it is the No. 1 film for a third week in a row with a fantastic $6.7M frame and a 17-day total of $41.1M.
Playing in 50 offshore markets, Bridget slid down the firepole by 15% versus last weekend with key openings in Korea, Brazil and Malaysia. A crowded Korea gave the romcom threequel a No. 3 start with $2.4M at 342 dates. Brazil was No. 6 with $619k at 200 dates and Malaysia bowed on just 20 screens with $31K. Italy held at No. 2 for an 11-day total of $4.3M. Australia stuck No. 5 with an 18-day total of $10.3M. BJB also maintained No. 1 in the Netherlands for the 3rd session with a total of $5.4M to date.
There are 10 openings to come in the next two months including French-speaking Switzerland, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela. Universal does not have distribution rights in France, Germany and Austria.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
Gunslinging in a further six international markets this weekend, MGM/Sony’s sophomore title lassoed $14.8M on over 7,700 screens in 68 total hubs. Mag 7 now has an international cume of $46.5M. Overall, the weekend repped a 23% dip from opening. The oater, made in association with Village Roadshow and LStar Capital, continues to set records for star Denzel Washington, particularly in Australia this week where a $2.8M opening on 374 screens is his best bow ever there. The start in is the same range as Django Unchained and 41% ahead of The Hateful Eights which are Sony’s main comps.
France also opened with $1.9M (including previews) on 400 screens; 4% bigger than the start of Washington’s The Equalizer and with major competition from Radin!. The UK’s second frame takes it to $5.7M while Germany came in No. 3 behind Finding Dory and Bad Moms, but had a strong hold of just -5% for a total $2.9M to date. Russia lifted the cume to $3M, Brazil is at $2.2M and Spain at $2.4M.
Warner Animation Group’s second offspring after 2014’s The Lego Movie delivered $14.6M from approximately 10,000 screens in 47 overseas markets. That reps a 40% drop from last frame and takes the cume to $38.8M. Spain was the key new launch with $1.6M on 405 screens and a No. 2 bow. The opening day results topped Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 1 & 2 by 173% and 99%, respectively; and The Peanuts Movie by 11%.
Storks landed No. 5 in China where the market is rife with local pics during a holiday frame. The total there is now $8.4M. Mexico dipped 37% and stuck No. 2 with a cume of $4.8M. Australia swooped up by 41% with kids’ vacations continuing, although the film is ranked No. 4 and has a total of $3.6M to date. Russia and Brazil had soft drops and have cumed $3.1M and $3M, respectively. France and the UK open next.
In her 15th weekend of overseas play, Disney/Pixar’s Dory had a whale of an opening in Germany. The $8.4M launch is the top industry bow of 2016. Play will continue strongly with tomorrow a public holiday. Disney strategically slotted Dory’s final bow into this German frame with which it’s had success in the past. Last year, Inside Out opened on the same weekend to a joyous $7.1M. Strong No. 1s were also seen in German-speaking Switzerland and Austria. In the former, a 1M Swiss franc bow is the biggest ever in the region.
In Italy, Finding Dory continued to lead the box office by a considerable margin in the 3rd weekend. To boot, in local currency (13.3M euros), Dory is now the No. 1 animated title of 2016 there.
The full international weekend in 17 markets was $13.6M which pushes the forgetful blue tang across the $500M mark internationally with $500.8M. Worldwide, Dory has spawned $985.2M making $1B a foregone conclusion.
Dory has now passed Despicable Me 2 ($971M) to become the 5th highest-grossing animated title of all time globally.
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Scruffing up another $6.9M in 53 territories, the Illumination/Universal doggernaut dipped just 24% from last weekend and raised the international total to $468.8M. Worldwide, Max, Duke and the gang have woffed down $833.7M. South Africa was the major opener at No. 1 with $463K at 96 dates. The debut tops all comps and is Universal’s highest opening of the year. Also significantly, Australia is holding at No. 2 in the 4th frame with schools out. The 25-day cume is $18.5M. Italy is the final release this week.
With a strong drop of 35% in holdover markets, Clint Eastwood’s Tom Hanks-starrer had a $6.6M landing on 2,300 screens in 46 international territories. The overseas cume is now $46.3M. Korea, which had sneaks last weekend, debuted this frame on 565 screens with $2.2M. WB says it’s in a race for 3rd with Bridget Jones’s Baby which is reporting $2.4M locally. Either way, Sully reps the biggest opening ever for Eastwood in the market, and is 219% over Argo and 48% over Hanks’ Bridge Of Spies. Japan was a strong hold at just 17% below last frame for a $6.8M cume and the No. 1 spot among Western titles. Japan is the No. 2 overall offshore market, behind Australia which had a 28% drop from the previous session and has cumed $8.4M.
STX’s comedy added Colombia and Paraguay to the party this frame, doe a total $3M in 60 markets. The international cume has now reached $58M. Worldwide, Mila Kunis and pals have a total $170.5M to date. The sophomore frame in Germany landed No. 2 behind Finding Dory, lifting the cume to $4.65M off of a 7% drop. Austria similarly was No. 2 behind the Pixar fish, drinking up a further $410K from a 10% dip and taking the local total to $1.18M. In the UK, the Moms have now grossed $10.5M; 47% ahead of Sex Tape, 24% ahead of How To Be Single and 110% ahead of Trainwreck. The cume in Australia is $11.5M after eight weekends. Italy bows October 13.
Contracting another $2.5M from 1,150 screens in 41 territories, Jonah Hill and Miles Teller have lifted their total to $37.4M abroad. Germany opened at No. 4 with $1M on just 240 screens. It’s in a close race with local romance pic SMS Fur Dich which is in its 3rd session — and is also from Warner Bros. Tomorrow is a national holiday and War Dogs already is beating comps Argo (+141%), Limitless (+20%) and The Big Short (+4%) there.
MIL JEONG (AGE OF SHADOWS)
Warner Bros’ local-language Korean title added $1.6M to take the total there to $53.8M. The pic dipped to No. 5 this week with the arrival of homegrown crime thriller Asura as well as Miss Peregrine, Bridget Jones’s Baby and WB’s own Sully. It’s now the No. 4 movie of the year and No. 3 amongst Korean pics.
With Dory dominating the market, Italy gave Ben-Hur a tepid reception at 340 locations for $578K; notable given the remake was shot at Rome’s historic Cinecitta which had also played host to the original. A $1.5M total weekend brings the offshore tally to $62.9M. Ben-Hur has a China release set for October 10.
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
Universal’s release of Laika’s latest grossed an estimated $1.4M in 25 territories, -33% from last weekend. The international total is now $14.6M. Combined with Focus’ U.S. tally of $46.7M, the worldwide total is $61.3M. Belgium was a new opener with $55K at 40 dates. France and the UK have now cumed $1.7M and $3.5M respectively to date. Up next are Mexico, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTEWORTHY
Pete’s Dragon (DIS): $2.8M intl weekend; $52.6M intl cume
The Purge: Election Year (UNI): $1M intl weekend (12 markets); $37.6M intl cume (final market — Brazil — opens next week)
Jason Bourne (UNI): $300K intl weekend (20 markets); $237.4M intl cume ($399.1M WW; final market — Japan — opens next week)
The BFG (DIS): $300K intl weekend (6 markets); $50.1M intl cume (Disney markets only)