TUESDAY AM UPDATE, with actuals: While many in the moviegoing galaxy hold their breath as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story begins international rollout tomorrow, this past weekend’s offshore star story was the performance of Hacksaw Ridge in China. Mel Gibson’s pacifist WW II drama defied expectations to wrestle with Japanese juggernaut Your Name for the No. 1 spot, ultimately beating it on Sunday. The comScore reported weekend was $13.6M for the FSS.
Monday, local reports have it also topping Your Name and Zhang Mo’s Suddenly Seventeen. The cume to date is $19.8M, according to local distrib Bliss Media which built a strong campaign. Cuts are believed to have been made for the violent second act, but the war scenes are resonating with locals. Gibson’s return to directing after a decade is succeeding overall in global markets, but is in a staggered release pattern to capitalize on awards season. Yesterday, it received three Golden Globe nominations and already scooped nine prizes from the Australian Academy. More detail has been added in the breakdowns below the original post.
Elsewhere, offshore leader Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them came in bigger in the actuals with a $34.1M weekend to send the international tally to $483.3M. With play reduced by the arrival of Jyn Erso and the Rebellion, it should still crack the $500M mark — Japan, notably, has seen incredibly low drops and is a major Wizarding World market.
UPDATE, 2:44 PM PT: The international box office this weekend saw varied new titles look to lay groundwork before the arrival of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and others begin to wind down their runs. Overall, sales were off 25% on last weekend, but up more than 40% from the similar frame last year across the Top 10. At No. 1 again this session is Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them with a global gross that’s headed past $700M. Four straight frames in first place have nicely set up the JK Rowling Wizarding World spinoff franchise.
New pics that planted a flag this frame include Paramount’s Office Christmas Party which is off to a good $16.4M and looking for the comedy corridor during the holidays. Illumination/Universal’s Sing had a good $3.9M start in Germany which tunes it up nicely for the next several weeks (see more below) and as it continues staggered rollout. The UK doesn’t hit until later in January, and Japan lands in March. The main family competition in the holiday session is Disney’s Moana, which is also rolling out over several weeks and months and is nearing $100M international. It’s doing terrific business in France while some other plays need to warm up; but it’s all about the multiple on these pics.
Currently in China, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge is off to a dramatic start. The WWII pacifist tale that’s based on the true story of Desmond Doss has clearly resonated with audiences locally. ComScore is putting Hacksaw at $13.6M versus Your Name’s $14.3M.
This coming Friday, Legendary/Universal’s The Great Wall moves into the Middle Kingdom where it’s destined for the kind of business you can see from space.
No bones about it, though, beginning Wednesday, Jyn Erso and those Death Star plans become the main event at worldwide turnstiles. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn’t land in China until January 6, but by Friday this week will be in every other market in the world save Korea. We’ve reported the worldwide opening is on course for $280M-$350M. Last night’s LA world premiere was met with raves, boding well for the latest from Disney which has set a series of industry box office records over the past several months.
See below the original post for breakdowns on all films reporting.
PREVIOUS, 10:03 AM PT: As Rogue One: A Star Wars Story prepares to awaken across the globe on Wednesday, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is still stuffing cash into Newt Scamander’s case. The Warner Bros title held the No. 1 slot at the international box office for the 4th frame in a row with a 46% drop to $34.1M. The worldwide cume is now $680M. Up next, Disney’s Moana is closing in on $100M international with a $26.1M third session.
The only wide new opener for the studios was Paramount’s Office Christmas Party which started swinging with $16.4M in a total of 49 markets (31 of which are not handled by Par). Illumination and Universal’s Sing also raised the curtain internationally with $8.7M in 12 openings — Germany the only major.
In other notable starts, La La Land kicked off its shoes in Korea. That marks the beginning of offshore play with a jazzy $4M in the market that fell hard for Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash last year. In China, Japanese juggernaut Your Name led the Friday and Saturday, but Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge moved up to No. 1 on Sunday with an unofficial total of $16.7M in what is a strong start in a crowded Middle Kingdom. And, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back has topped $100M at the international box office.
Breakdowns on those films and more are updated below:
OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY
Paramount released the R-rated ensemble comedy in 18 PPI markets for an $8.9M debut; 147% above comp Horrible Bosses (the first), and 69% above We’re The Millers. With a further 31 non-Par releasing territories, the weekend cume is $16.4M.
Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, the raunch-fest had solid openings that were largely ahead of those two comps in most markets. Comedy is hard, especially in translation but both Horrible Bosses and We’re The Millers had good overseas runs with $92M and $120M, respectively and at over 40% of their global box office. Those were summer releases.
Last year’s Horrible Bosses 2 started its run in late November and got a big demotion with only $53M offshore. Another holiday entry last year, The Night Before, couldn’t get started. That was of course partly down to the fact that Star Wars: The Force Awakens sucked pretty much all the air out of every market in the world last December. With Rogue One on deck, the $45M comedy will look to tickle offshore funny bones in the counterprogram slot.
Office Christmas Party has the star pairing of Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman and folks with rising international profiles like Kate McKinnon and TJ Miller. Rollout will continue throughout December with France still to come.
In the offshore openings, Russia bowed at No. 2 with $2.3M at 1,000 locations — 199% above Horrible Bosses and 31% above We’re The Millers. Mexico launched No. 2 with $855K at 594 cinemas to double Horrible Bosses and land 43% over We’re The Millers. Italy came in 3% below Horrible Bosses at $648K in 200 locations. Family-minded Brazil bowed at No. 4, 27% above Horrible Bosses with $620K from 277. Panama debuted at No. 1 with $269K at 106 locations (+25% on Horrible Bosses). Peru was worth $202K at 66 (+59% on HB and +50% on WTM); Colombia mined $222K at 124 locs (+66% on HB); and Argentina scored $184K from 104 sites (+135% on HB/+112% over WTM).
The latest from hit factory Illumination Entertainment puts animals front and center again after this summer’s smash The Secret Life Of Pets. The original toon, directed by Garth Jennings, finds koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey in the English-language original dub) putting on a singing showdown open to one and all in a bid to return his downtown theater to its former glory. The opening was worth $8.7M in 12 markets total.
Anthropomorphic animals were all the rage in Disney’s Zootopia earlier this year and Sing, which mixes in the global phenom of singing competition series, played fantastically in Toronto. Previous footage screenings in Europe also had folks dancing in the aisles.
Rollout began slowly this weekend with Germany the only major. Sing tuned up a very good $3.9M at 657 dates there with Austria also bowing at No. 1 for $716K. Other launches include Norway ($764K), Indonesia ($626K), Malaysia ($472K), Singapore ($520K) and Taiwan ($617K).
The curtain rises over the next few months offshore with a host of territories going during the Christmas frame as Universal also opens domestic on December 21. Sing should be whistling a happy tune during holiday play, wrestling only with Moana in the kids space, and looking to hit a chord in the aspirational biz.
In comps, Zootopia cumed $682.5M offshore/$1.024B global; Illumination’s Secret Life Of Pets, which ran well past the summer, scratched out $507M international/$875M worldwide; and the currently poppy Trolls has made $172M offshore/$308M global to date.
LA LA LAND
In its first offshore play, Damien Chazelle’s festival phenom tapped out a $4.6M start in six markets. The Lionsgate title wisely kicked off its shoes in Korea this weekend. This is a market that is primed for the story’s romance and charm — and was also the biggest overseas home for Chazelle’s Whiplash in 2015. That film opened to $1.7M in March last year while La La Land just did $4M this weekend, landing No. 2 behind the local debut of Korean thriller Pandora. The Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling-starrer outperformed not only Whiplash, which ultimately cumed $11.4M, but all of Lionsgate’s comps. Elsewhere, Taiwan opened to $381K; Israel was $152K; and Singapore grossed $70K.
The next markets to go on the love letter to Los Angeles and Hollywood and international musicals of yore are the Netherlands on December 22, followed by Australia on December 26. Most other markets then traipse aboard in mid-January.
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
In its 4th offshore session, Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts led the box office again with $34.1M on 14,400 screens in 67 markets to take the cume to $483.3M. The top play is China with $82.3M to date. The market’s been crowded, and dominated by Japanese smash Your Name, meaning Beasts won’t get to $100M in Middle Kingdom dollars. However, the movie is well above all Wizarding World titles and has bested comps Maleficent and the first two Hobbits: An Unexpected Journey and Desolation Of Smaug. The UK is running No. 2 at $52.8M and Japan is No. 3 with 37.6M, followed by Korea ($32M) and Germany ($27.6M).
Disney’s pint-sized Pacific princess fished $26.1M out of international waters in 32 material markets this frame. That takes the overseas cume to $96M for a $238.8M global total.
This weekend saw no new major markets opening while holds were strong at an overall 31% drop from last frame. In Europe, the dip for the Dwayne Johnson-starrer was just 24%.
China remains the lead market, although heavy competition is keeping the plucky navigator from soaring. Still, a hold of -32% is impressive given the volume there, and the total is now $26.2M.
France is the next best play with $11.5M, down just 22% on its record-breaking opening last weekend. Despite new local titles, Moana was No. 1 again and tracks ahead of both Frozen and Tangled.
In Russia, Moana was No. 1 for the 2nd weekend and has a total $9M there. The UK fell 15% and again came in behind Fantastic Beasts. The total there is $6M. Spain has grossed $5.4M and is tracking 15% behind Frozen.
In Latin America, the 21% overall drop is reflected by No. 1s again in Mexico ($6.2M cume), Colombia and Venezuela.
Moana still has a lot of surfing to do with such majors as Germany, Italy, Australia, Brazil and Korea to come through January. Japan opens March 10.
Opening in China this weekend with a fantastic $13.6M, and winning Sunday over Japanese smash anime Your Name, Mel Gibson’s war drama continued its strong play on Monday. It has now grossed $19.8M (RMB 137.4M) to top comps Fury and War Horse in the market. The film, which includes a latter half that’s heavy on action and gore, will have faced cuts in the Middle Kingdom to tone some of that down. However, those scenes are proving a big draw. The online ratings site Douban has it at 8.8 out of 10 with over 56K people weighing in.
The Lionsgate film was 60% backed by IM Global which handled offshore sales. Bliss Media had pre-bought China rights in 2015. If Hacksaw continues to play strongly in the mid-weeks, some believe there is a chance it gets to $50M. But that’s a bit ambitious given The Great Wall opens Friday and other big-ticket local pics are coming in meaning screens will be an issue.
The story of hero Desmond Doss is doing great business in general in the markets where it has released and could be on pace to outperform domestic. Gibson’s Apocalypto did 57.8% of its $120.6M global business offshore a decade ago while The Passion Of The Christ did 39.4% of its $612M worldwide tally in 2004.
Rollout is staggered, hoping to benefit from awards season with plays the UK and Germany going later. In Russia, BVI has already cracked the $1M threshold and is on track to more than double the performance of comps like American Sniper and Sicario. In France, Metropolitan has grossed around $4M to date. In Australia, after Hacksaw won nine AACTA Awards last week, it’s at $6M and counting.
Warner Bros’ Clint Eastwood/Tom Hanks pairing landed another $13.6M from approximately 8,125 screens in 23 markets to lift the international cume to $94M. China opened this frame (once again, a very crowded landscape) with $5.5M from about 4,349 screens. The debut is almost five times bigger than recent WWII drama Allied and 53% bigger than Deepwater Horizon.
Italy, a big Eastwood market, dropped 12% from last week’s opening and has now cumed $5.1M in No. 1, ahead of local title Non C’e Piu Religione. The UK dropped 30% for a $5.4M cume. France has grossed $4.9M and Mexico is now at $2.2M. Japan ($13.2M) and Australia ($9.9M) remain the Top 2 plays.
UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS
The Kate Beckinsale-starrer added four markets this frame to gross $9.2M in 55 total. The international cume on the Sony release now stands at $34.7M. Thailand bowed No. 1 with $760K from 213 screens, setting a new franchise record there. In holds, Brazil has cumed $3.3M; Mexico now has $2.6M; and Australia has dealt up $2.1M. Indonesia notably held No. 1 for the sophomore session with a cume of $2.4M. New majors begin rollout in mid-January.
With another $5.76M this weekend, Denis Villeneuve’s emotional sci-fi story has cumed $48.4M in total overseas. That’s a split between 37 Sony releasing markets where the weekend was $4.7M for an offshore tally of $28.1M; plus FilmNation markets where there’s $20.3M in the pods.
SPRI releases in France where the Amy Adams-starrer debuted to $1.8M (including previews) from 280 screens, slightly edging out the openings of both Bridge Of Spies (+6%) and The Imitation Game (+2%). Off only 25% in its 3rd frame, Germany inked $765K on 469 screens for a $3.9M total to date. Brazil’s cume is $2.3M. Getting out of the path of Rogue One, the next releases are Italy on January 19 and Korea on February 2.
Paramount’s Robert Zemeckis drama was in 35 markets this weekend for a $4.8M session. The international cume is $33.9M on the Brad Pitt/Marion Cotillard-starrer. France, Cotillard’s home turf, is the top market with $5.8M to date, followed by the UK at $4.6M; Spain at $3.9M; and Russia with $3.3M. Germany and Australia release before the end of the year.
Poppy and Branch bopped their way to another $4.5M this weekend in 66 markets. The offshore cume on the DreamWorks Animation title is now $171.9M. Australia in the sophomore frame has cumed $5.5M, after a 13% week-on-week drop. The Fox release is led by the UK ($28.3M), followed by France ($18.3M), Russia ($12.7M), Spain ($9.9M) and Germany ($8.7M).
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
After a $1.9M weekend in 30 markets, Paramount’s Tom Cruise sequel has passed the century mark at the international box office. The total is currently $101.6M. Korea was the final release market last weekend and the cume there is now $3.74M.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (FOX): $2.1M intl weekend (15 markets); $191.2M intl cume ($16M China)
Nocturnal Animals (UNI): $1.3M intl weekend (28 markets; $503K in Russia start); $10.3M intl cume
Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall opens in China on December 16, but in the meantime, audiences spent $10.5M to see the first film from his daughter, Zhang Mo. Body-swap romance Suddenly Seventeen was the No. 3 movie in the Middle Kingdom this frame. Ni Ni, Wallace Huo and Darren Wang star. Grossing $6.76M this weekend in Korea, Park Jung-woo’s Pandora nabbed the top spot in the market where La La Land bowed at No. 2. The disaster pic is set at a nuclear power plant. Sony’s Die Vampirschwestern 3 sunk its teeth into Germany and Austria this weekend. The popular Vampire Sisters saga marks its third and final installment with the pic. The weekend sucked up $710K from 555 screens.