Lionsgate’s seven-time Golden Globe winner and awards-season darling, La La Land, continues to hit the high notes with bright and shiny bows in key overseas markets this weekend. The offshore FSS frame was worth $17.8M to lift the international box office to $54.8M, including a stellar debut in the UK which topped the opening of Lionsgate’s own The Hunger Games. Domestically, La La is estimated to hit $77.1M through Monday (which includes the MLK holiday). Worldwide, the cume is projected at $132M through tomorrow.
Domestically, La La added $5.8M at 1,848 locations in North America, including 148 Imax screens. The 3-day gross is looking at $14.5M, a 43% increase from last weekend. The 4-day is lining up as $17.5M. It’s notable that the Damien Chazelle-directed song-and-dance love story has not yet gone wide in North America. Once Oscar nominations kick in on January 24, we’ll see an expansion.
Turning back to international, La La is generating jazzy numbers and strong word-of-mouth. It’s not yet open in France, but at the annual Unifrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema this weekend in Paris, one of the most oft-heard refrains from international filmmakers, buyers and sales people was, “Have you seen La La Land yet?”
In the UK, where the contemporary ode to old Hollywood scored 11 BAFTA nominations last Tuesday, it sashayed into the No. 1 spot with a $7.3M debut at 606 locations (including previews). This is Lionsgate UK’s widest release ever and is set to surpass the opening weekend of The Hunger Games by 22% in local currency (£6M vs £4.9M).
Zygi Kamasa, CEO of Lionsgate’s European office said today that the film has “touched audiences in a way that no one could see coming. With sell-out screens country-wide, 5-star reviews across the board and unprecedented exhibitor support, our results show that this weekend everyone wanted to escape to the ‘City of Stars’ that Damien Chazelle and his filmmaking team created so superbly. We couldn’t be happier with what the film has delivered and how UK cinemagoers have responded.”
After releasing early in Korea, where the Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone-starrer has grossed $20.9M after five weeks, the film is now in 50 offshore hubs, including just six majors. Currently behind Korea is Australia with $8.2M, followed by the UK’s first weekend of $7.3M and holdover Taiwan which has now amassed $2.2M.
Other new launches along with the UK this weekend include Spain with a No. 1 of $1.9M from 263 locations, making it the No. 5 offshore market so far. Germany exceeded expectations after opening limited with $1.4M (including previews) from 115 screens. With an estimated 1,097 admissions per theater average, this is the biggest non-blockbuster result since 2008’s Earth and 2006’s Brokeback Mountain. La La will continue to platform out over the next couple weeks in Germany. Russia also opened above expectations to $1M, ranking No. 3 overall.
The next major market releases are Brazil on January 19, followed by France, Italy, Belgium, and Sweden the next week. It will be interesting to see the response in Italy given La La Land kicked off the Venice Film Festival in high-style and amid major local media coverage. Stone won the Best Actress Volpi Cup at the Lido event.
Also to keep an eye on, China will debut on February 14, which is not officially Valentine’s Day in the Middle Kingdom but has grown in popularity as a celebration.