UPDATE, MONDAY, with Kong & Logan actuals: Warner Bros/Legendary’s Kong: Skull Island stomped into offshore play this weekend, pounding out an $85.1M opening at the international box office. That’s $3.5M better than Sunday’s $81.6M forecast. The screen count on the giant ape was also bigger with 20,900 versus 20,400 in 65 offshore markets. WB is attributing the higher climb to jumps in all regions, including 5% across Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and 3% in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Ranking No. 1 in most majors, the lead plays are the UK, Korea and Russia. The global cume is now $146.1M.
The gorilla faced off with the Wolverine in most markets as last week’s champ Logan shredded another $69.1M for an overseas cume of $284.4M ($435.8M worldwide). The sophomore offshore frame reps a 56% drop from open with Fox/Marvel’s well-reviewed R-rated pic tracking nicely versus other X-Men titles.
The $85.1M debut for Kong edges just over the $65M-$85M range that we saw ahead of the weekend, and factoring in unusually clement weather in parts of Europe, WB is happy with this start overseas as word of mouth looks to work in favor of the positively-received adventure.
At least one rival distributor on Sunday called it a “very good launch” considering Logan‘s sharp claws. However, some saw it opening higher, saying it’s “good, not great.” That $185M production budget and estimated $136M P&A are casting a cloud on potential profitability, as my colleague Anthony D’Alessandro has noted.
While both Kong and Logan should have muscular legs, the hirsute duo will be joined by a Disney-haloed Beauty And The Beast in global play next frame. Different demos, but the anticipated live-action pic is expected to be a monster and is opening in most majors, including China, but not France and Japan. Kong doesn’t beat his chest in China and Japan until March 24 and 25, respectively. Those were the top plays on 2014’s Godzilla, and Kong has comped well against that film in some markets already.
Logan, which is waiting until June for Japan, is currently in 84 markets with an overall 2nd frame that’s 20% bigger than X-Men: Apocalypse and 10% behind X-Men: Days Of Future Past at current exchange rates. With $5.8M in Brazil this session, Logan provided Fox with its biggest second weekend ever in the market. In China, the James Mangold-directed threequel is headed towards a phenomenal $90M. But it did lose some ground this frame to Amblin’s A Dog’s Purpose which overtook the No. 1 slot in its 2nd walk around the Middle Kingdom block.
Huaxia is releasing Dog’s Purpose in the PROC with a 25% increase over last session for a 10-day total of $52.7M. This is Amblin’s first movie in China since Alibaba Pictures took a stake in the company last year. The e-commerce giant’s subsidiary used its marketing and promotional muscle in China to position the film to pet-owners with huge audience reaction on its Tao Piaopiao ticketing platform.
In other notable performances, Lionsgate’s La La Land broke the £30M milestone in the UK this weekend to become bigger than three of the Twilight movies and two of the Hunger Games films. Also, Sony’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter crossed $300M worldwide and Disney’s Moana opened in Japan, getting ready to sail across $600M global.
Breakdowns on the above and more are below. Actuals are updated for Warner Bros, Universal and Fox; more to come.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Warner Bros/Legendary’s Kong: Skull Island launched to an $85.1M start at the international box office with the Great Ape roaring onto 20,900 screens in 65 markets. With the better-than-expected North American debut of $61M, the worldwide bow is $146.1M. That tops the $135M projected global high-end, largely due to the domestic performance. Internationally, the range ahead of the weekend was $65M-$85M. Some had it higher, and rivals are calling the start “very good,” “OK” and “good, not great.” The film comes with a hefty $185M pricetag plus an estimated $136M in P&A.
In IMAX, Kong grossed $12.4M globally from 674 screens in 63 markets. It’s the 2nd biggest global March opening ever in the format without China. With $4.8M internationally, Kong is the 4th all-time biggest March bow and the 2nd highest sans the Middle Kingdom.
Overall, despite competition from last week’s champ, Logan, Kong ranked No. 1 in most majors including the UK, Korea, Russia, France and Germany. Logan retained No. 1 notably in Brazil.
Looking back, 2005’s King Kong minted more than $332M abroad, opening to $83M in a December bow (the UK, France and Korea led markets); and 2014’s Godzilla debuted to $103M abroad and finaled at $328.4M overseas led by China, Japan and the UK. Another major offshore comp title is 2013’s Pacific Rim which made about 36% of its full $309M overseas gross in China with Russia and Korea also big fans. WB is also pointing to its own Mad Max: Fury Road which in 2015 grossed $225M overseas led by Korea, the UK and Australia.
This weekend, Kong landed on top of Pacific Rim and Fury Road in Europe. In Asia, where the Jordan Vogt-Roberts-helmed movie has resonated with audiences, Vietnam scored the biggest opening weekend of all time (the film was partially shot there as well). Despite coming in at No. 2 behind Logan in Brazil, Kong topped comp Godzilla in nearly all Latin American markets. As a region, the Tom Hiddleston/Brie Larson-starrer bested Pacific Rim and Fury Road.
The top offshore market on Skull Island is currently the UK with $7.6M on 1,200 screens and 50% of the Top 5 market share. WB has the action adventure tracking 17% ahead of Godzilla, 59% ahead of Mad Max: Fury Road and triple the opening weekend of Pacific Rim. All percentage comps are versus local currency at the time of release, I’m told.
Korea opened to $7.4M on 984 screens, more than doubling the opening of Logan and coming in 90% higher than Godzilla. At $6.2M, Russia bowed 19% bigger than Pacific Rim and 16% over Godzilla. This was a top market on Pac Rim. Mexico opened with $5.7M on 2,726 screens, outperforming Pac Rim by 54% and even with Godzilla. In France, Kong scaled $4.1M on 541 screens, capturing 33% of the Top 5 films.
In Taiwan, the gorilla saw a 101% increase from Friday to Saturday and ended the weekend with $3.6M on 249 screens, outperforming all comps. Australia has a holiday coming up in several areas and started off with $3.6M on 524 screens. Germany saw $3.4M turn up on the Island with 792 screens generating 40% of the Top 5 and double the start of Pac Rim.
Malaysia gave the ape a $2.65M welcome on 576 screens, topping all comps and making for WB’s 2nd biggest opening ever behind Batman V Superman. It’s also the top start of 2017. In Brazil, Logan dug its claws into the top spot with Kong at No. 2 on 915 screens for $3.4M. It’s 11% ahead of Godzilla there.
Also notable, Vietnam, which figures in the pic, gave Kong the biggest opening weekend of all time with $2.5M on 392 screens. Spain bested Godzilla by 60% with $1.6M on 413 and Italy had the highest per-screen average on 491 for $1.6M.
China and Japan are due next on March 24 and 25, respectively. In the next frame, the major competition comes from another hairy player with Beauty And The Beast debuting day-and-date.
Retaining the No. 1 position in eight countries, Fox/Marvel’s Logan carved out another $69.1M in 84 markets. That’s a 56% drop from the record opening last frame with competition coming from another grumpy beast in the form of Kong: Skull Island. Logan is comping well against X-Men titles with a second frame that’s 20% bigger than last year’s Apocalypse and just 10% behind Days Of Future Past in the same bucket of markets at current exchange rates. The international cume is $284.4M with $435.8M global. As for IMAX, Hugh Jackman’s final turn as the X-Man added $1.8M on 438 screens including $1.4M in China for a cume of $27.1M.
Despite 14 minutes of cuts and a parental advisory, Logan is nearing $90M in China. The 2nd frame saw it dip to No. 2 as Amblin/Universal’s A Dog’s Purpose benefited from the involvement of Alibaba Pictures locally — and the market’s love for canines — and pawed its way to No. 1 this session. Nevertheless, Logan added $18.5M for an $87.5M cume that’s 17% bigger than Days Of Future Past at the same point. That film ended at $116.5M in the Middle Kingdom.
In Brazil, Logan held his grip on No. 1 with $5.8M and Fox’s biggest second weekend ever in the market. The cume there is $18.15M. The UK added $4.8M for $21.1M to date and with a 2nd frame that’s 11% bigger than DOFP. Korea dipped 35% for a total $13.1M with Australia now at $11.3M. Russia is another top play with $14M to date and running 31% bigger than DOFP and 34% better than Apocalypse.
Next weekend will see increased competition from newcomer Beauty And The Beast while Kong looks to keep beating the drum. Japan bows Logan on June 1.
A DOG’S PURPOSE
Amblin/Walden Media/Universal’s Lasse Hallstrom-directed A Dog’s Purpose wagged its way to the No. 3 slot at the international box office again this weekend, coming off a barking-good 2nd session in the Middle Kingdom. The film, which faced controversy at the time of its domestic opening after a TMZ video showed a German Shepherd being forced to perform against his will in artificial rapids, took a total $22.1M this weekend to bring its international cume to $79.6M.
Of that, an estimated $21.1M comes from China. That’s a 25% increase over last frame and lifts the total in the market to $52.7M. Released locally by Huaxia, it’s also the first film from Amblin since Alibaba Pictures took a minority equity stake in Steven Spielberg’s company. Under the deal, the production arm of Jack Ma’s China e-commerce giant will team with Amblin to co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese audiences, and collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin’s movies in the PROC.
Chinese audiences love dogs and movies about dogs — Hallstrom’s 2009 film Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (never released theatrically in the U.S.) is very popular there and this film was marketed direct to pet owners both on- and offline. Alibaba’s Tao Piaopiao is the principal ticketing platform for the film, and the company organized a series of dog adoption activities in cinemas and shopping malls across the country. There were also special screenings with audience members bringing along their pets to watch the movie together. This echoes screenings of The Secret Life Of Pets in Tel Aviv last year which were also attended by furry companions. Word of mouth spread to give the film the highest scores this year on Tao Piaopiao and Maoyan.com.
The modestly-budgeted ($22M before P&A) film has now reached $141.4M worldwide, despite the disturbing video and fallout earlier this year. Universal is distributing in 20 territories and Mister Smith has the rest of offshore. There are three more releases: Trinidad March 15; Russia March 30 and Japan September 23.
LA LA LAND
Lionsgate’s six-time Oscar-winner passed $400M global last week and this frame added $6.8M in 75 markets. The Damien Chazelle-directed film has now reached $268.4M overseas and $417M worldwide. Notably, it topped £30M in the UK this frame to best three Twilight movies and two Hunger Games films. It was already the biggest Lionsgate release locally outside those franchises. The UK gross is $37.4M after 9 weeks. Japan has jumped up to become the film’s 4th biggest grossing market with $20.8M after three sessions. China is the No. 2 market at $35.4M and Korea is No. 3 with $24.4M. France is 5th at $18.3M.
Disney’s Moana landed in her final market this weekend with Japan sailing to $6.3M and a No. 1 debut. This is the 3rd biggest opening frame for any Disney Animation title ever, behind only Frozen (-21%) and just below Big Hero 6. The session was worth a total $7M offshore in 29 markets and lifts the Polynesian princess to $348.8M internationally. Moana will soon cross $600M worldwide with a current cume of $596.3M. The Japan bow was notably above the 2nd session of the latest Doraemon pic. Moana dominated an estimated market share of 78% of the western titles in the market.
RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER
Passing $300M worldwide, Screen Gems/Constantin’s sixth franchise installment delivered $6.5M this weekend from over 4,200 screens in 34 markets. That lifts the international cume to $280.2M for a global total of $306.9M.
Illumination and Universal’s Sing put another $6.1M in the coffers from 43 territories this weekend, for an international total of $309.5M. Worldwide, the animated pic is now at $578.2M. In the 2nd frame, Russia held at No. 3 for an 11-day total of $14M. In China, the pic is No. 5 in week 4 with a 24-day total of $29.4M. Japan releases this Friday to close out the show.
FIFTY SHADES DARKER
With another $5.1M in the playroom, Universal’s S&M fest now has a $256M cume in 57 territories. Globally, it’s cuffed $369.1M. There were no new openings this weekend while Germany continues to show its affinity for Ana and Christian with a total $30.3M to date and a No. 3 hold. Behind Germany in the Top 5 are the UK with $28.4M, France at $23.2M, Brazil’s $20.6M and Italy’s $15.8M. Still to come are the UAE on March 23 and Japan on June 23.
Fox’s Hidden Figures launched in France, Italy and Holland this frame and took a total $5.2M from 2,376 screens in 45 markets. The overseas cume has lifted to $43.3M. France was the top opener at $1.35M in 4th place and 18% bigger than The Help. In Italy, the women of NASA calculated $905K for No. 3, and in Holland the No. 5 debut was worth $289K. Australia continues to see strong holds with a $10.4M cume to date while the UK is at $6.6M.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
The Lego Batman Movie (WB): $5M intl weekend (59 markets); $116.3M intl cume
Split (UNI): $4.2M intl weekend (49 markets); $112.2M intl cume (Russia coming this week)
John Wick: Chapter 2 (LGF): $2.5M intl weekend (80 markets); $65.6M intl cume (Italy up this week)
The Great Wall (UNI): $2.2M intl weekend (42 markets); $283.4M intl cume
T2: Trainspotting (SNY): $2.1M intl weekend (38 markets); $33.2M intl cume
Assassin’s Creed (FOX): $695K intl weekend (5 markets); $186M intl cume
Manchester By The Sea (UNI/SIERRA): $894K intl weekend; $25M intl cume
Fox International Productions and Fox Star’s Bollywood romcom Badrinath Ki Dulhania opened in India and the UK this session with $8.74M from 3,064 screens. In India, the Shashank Khaitan-helmed pic is the biggest local opener ever in March. The film has solid reviews and stars Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt who previously teamed for 2014’s Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. It hails from powerhouse producer Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions.