UPDATE, WRITETHRU: Leading the overseas dance for the 3rd frame in a row, and as they approach $900M worldwide, Disney’s Beauty And The Beast clocked a $66.5M overseas frame for a running cume of $480.8M at the international box office. This offshore weekend was a 45% drop from the sophomore session for Belle and her kindhearted captor, with a handful of new No. 1 bows and strong holds in key majors. With domestic, the global total is $876.3M — all before Japan attends the ball on April 21.
New entry Ghost In The Shell came in at No. 2 overseas this weekend, summoning $40.1M in 52 markets. The Scarlett Johansson-starrer from Paramount, DreamWorks and Reliance was No. 1 in 11 plays — notably in South East Asia, and with China and Japan still on deck. The top dollar start was in Russia with $5.3M at 1,100 locations for No. 2. In IMAX, the Rupert Sanders-helmed pic that’s based on the popular manga made $3.3M on 278 screens. Some watchers expected this to come in higher at launch, although Paramount is comping it to sophisticated sci-fi fare like Elysium (+7%), Oblivion (-6%) and Edge Of Tomorrow (-6%). More detail follows below.
DreamWorks Animation/Fox’s The Boss Baby, which came out screaming in just five markets last frame, expanded to 34 playpens this session. The besuited tot added $36.2M to his briefcase including a DWA record opening in Mexico ($6.5M). In Russia, the 2nd weekend has lifted the local cume to $21.5M making it already the 9th biggest animated title of all time there. This Baby is off and running ahead of a bunch of comps through the same point in release and at current exchange rates including +71% on Trolls and 96% above The Lego Movie. Still in its infancy, the Tom McGrath-helmed pic has 44 markets to go through the spring.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros/Legendary’s Kong: Skull Island continues waging war in China with $124M to date. That means it has surpassed the lifetime grosses of all previous WB titles in the market, including Godzilla, Pacific Rim, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Interstellar and The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. It is the No. 3 import so far this year. In a total 67 markets, the full weekend was $34.6M for an offshore cume of $329.5M and a global $477.4M.
In other new plays outside Ghost, Sony Pictures Animation’s Smurfs: The Lost Village opened in 32 markets this frame for $15.1M as rollout continues through the Easter holiday period.
Next weekend will largely be reserved for expansions, notably Ghost In The Shell’s Chinese and Japanese bows, while the world braces for Universal’s global rollout of The Fate Of The Furious beginning April 12. All major markets including China start their engines that frame save for Japan which goes April 28.
Breakdowns on the above films and more have been updated below.
GHOST IN THE SHELL
Paramount/DreamWorks/Reliance’s Scarlett Johansson-starrer generated $40.1M in 52 markets at open this frame. That includes No. 1s in 11 with strong averages — notably Hong Kong ($1.2M/48 sites), Indonesia ($1.1M/200), Taiwan ($1.1M/88), Singapore ($676K/29) and Thailand ($542K/64). China and Japan both go out on April 7. Japan is the source material’s provenance and Johansson traveled to Tokyo for a massive event last November to launch the global trailer. Local son Takeshi Kitano also stars in the film which will have Beauty And The Beast on its heels come April 21. In China, it will have one week before the arrival of The Fate Of The Furious.
Ghost this session opened in the same range as other sophisticated sci-fi films like Elysium (+7%), Oblivion (-6%) and Edge Of Tomorrow (-6%), although it also played a bit more upscale, leaning towards big cities, than might have been hoped. I understand Par feels good about where the $110M picture will end up.
Johansson has become a strong action star via the Avengers movies and her lead role in Luc Besson’s 2014 smash Lucy. That film legged out to $337M overseas. Some international execs today feel Ghost‘s offshore opening is lower than expected and echo the opinion of some domestic folks my colleague Anthony D’Alessandro spoke with. One says Ghost “suffered from an overly complicated concept” that wasn’t helped by a marketing campaign that was too clever for general audiences. That would help explain it not playing to the provinces as noted above. Johansson’s character also didn’t come across like the empowered heroine of Lucy.
Still, reviews in France, a key Lucy market, are good with Ghost being called a strong continuation of the saga. Leading commercial broadcaster TF1 aired Lucy last Sunday night to get folks in the mood and France was the No. 3 market this weekend with $3.1M at 364 locations. But, there was no getting around Boss Baby.
Coming in ahead of France was Russia with $5.3M on 1,100 screens for No. 2 behind that big ol’ Baby, and Korea with $4.2M and No. 3 behind BATB and a local film on 804 screens.
The UK was the 4th biggest opener at No. 2 with $2.8M from 550 and Mexico rounds out the Top 5 with $2.1M at No. 2 from 714 sites. Other bows include Germany ($2M/No. 2/531); Brazil ($1.9M/No. 3/503); Australia ($1.8M/No. 2/242); Spain ($1.3M/No. 3/327); and Italy ($1M/No. 2/401)
In IMAX, the Rupert Sanders-helmed pic that’s based on the popular manga made $3.3M on 278 screens.
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE
Opening in 32 markets this frame, Smurfette and pals tallied up $15.1M on more than 6K screens. The diminutive blue folk have returned to their fully-animated roots after 2011 and 2013’s live-action mash-ups. Those two films legged out to $421M and $277M, respectively, at offshore turnstiles. Major plays included a mix of Germany, China, France, the UK and Brazil. Of those, only the UK has opened so far on Lost Village, generating $1.8M including previews.
Rollout will continue on the Sony Pictures Animation title during the Easter holiday period. It’s crowded, but the little Peyo characters have a giant brand internationally. China moves into the village on April 21.
This week’s openings also included Russia with $2.5M including previews and Spain at $2.1M.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
The tale as old as time added $66.5M in new coin this frame for a $480.8M international cume through Sunday. With $876.3M globally, Lumière will have his hands full with $900M this week. New in the 3rd frame were the Netherlands ($1.8M/$2.3M with previews), Malaysia ($2.4M), New Zealand ($1.4M/$1.7M w/previews) and Chile ($1.5M/$1.6M w/previews). All opened at No. 1.
In the Netherlands, the start is the biggest March bow ever and Disney’s 5th highest opening of all time. It’s also tops for 2017. Same goes for Malaysia and Chile.
Enchanting audiences in 55 material markets, BATB held No 1 in several holdovers despite new arrivals this frame. Among the majors where the Bill Condon-helmed Disney pic is still tops are Germany, Spain, the UK, Brazil, Korea and Australia. Notably, in Europe the regional cume of $188M has exceeded the lifetimes of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Captain America: Civil War and Suicide Squad.
Overall, the Top 5 markets are China ($80.6M), the UK ($64.6M), Brazil ($31.2M), Korea ($30.2M) and Mexico ($27M).
THE BOSS BABY
From DreamWorks Animation, this Fox release put another $36.2M in the pram this frame, taking the international cume to $59M after two weekends. Playing in 34 markets, the movie had already surprised in its offshore birthday suit last session, scoring the best animated opening ever for Fox in Russia. There, the cume has now lifted to $21.5M to make this Baby the 9th biggest animated movie of all time. It’s holding at No. 1.
There are nine other No. 1s this frame including Mexico ($6.5M/biggest DWA opening weekend ever) and France ($5.3M/6% bigger than Sing).
The domestic marketing campaign put star Alec Baldwin at the center — and it’s paying off. Overseas, his profile has certainly risen lately as SNL‘s go-to Donald Trump and that is likely rubbing off on this picture. But internationally, animated films tend to go out dubbed outside major cities and Fox has made good use of local stars. In Russia, actor/director/producer Fedor Bondarchuk (Stalingrad, Attraction) is voicing the Born Leader and upcoming in Spain will be Goya winner José Coronado.
The concept is also relatable and universal and Fox was very aggressive in its release strategy, taking on franchises with a comedy to maximize playtime through the holiday. The UK wah-wahs next weekend as 43 additional markets are bowing throughout the spring.
At the same point in release and at current exchange rates, Boss Baby is running 70% ahead of Wreck-It Ralph, +71% on Trolls, +93% over Despicable Me and 96% over The Lego Movie.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Continuing to romp around the Middle Kingdom, Warner Bros/Legendary’s giant ape has now logged $124M (852M RMB) in China on his way to the 1B RMB milestone. In total this frame, the Tom Hiddleston/Brie Larson-starrer swatted $34.6M into the chest in 67 markets for an international cume of $329.5M and a global total of $477.4M.
In China, the sophomore session was worth $23.7M for a 67% drop from last weekend. There were some new local entries as the Tomb Sweeping holiday gears up, but Kong kept the top spot. It is now the No. 6 movie of 2017 and the No. 3 import. It has also bested the lifetime cumes of all previous WB films in the market including Godzilla, Pacific Rim, Batman V Superman, Interstellar and The Hobbit 3.
In IMAX, Kong generated $2.7M on 388 screens in China for a local $11.1M cume and $29.3M global. In Japan, the film dipped 24% on the 2nd weekend for a total to date of $10.3M.
SABAN’S POWER RANGERS
In its 2nd frame of offshore play, Power Rangers added another $8.1M to lift the international cume to $32.7M. Currently morphin’ in 70 markets, the Lionsgate title is facing stiff competition overseas where it is playing younger than domestic. Mexico added $2M through the week to bring the cume through Sunday to $4.7M; Brazil is the 2nd best play at $4.1M through today (up from the $2.3M start last weekend); and the UK is now at $3.8M (up from $2M at open). Lionsgate mitigates its risk on these with foreign sales and had a very solid $40.5M Stateside start last frame on the pic that’s got an estimated $100M production cost. Combined with the domestic $65M estimated cume, the total is now $98M worldwide.
There are still several majors to come overseas with France, Italy and Spain ahead next weekend followed by Korea on April 20 and the important Japanese opening on July 15.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Life (SNY): $6.3M intl weekend (57 markets); $28.6M intl cume
Sing (UNI): $5.2M intl weekend (29 markets); $343.6M intl cume (No. 1 in Japan for 3 weeks, up 22% over last weekend for $29.1M to date)
Logan (FOX): $5.2M intl weekend (63 markets); $373.5M intl cume
Moana (DIS): $3.8M intl weekend (16 markets/$3.5M from Japan); $378.1M intl cume
The Lego Batman Movie (WB): $2.9M intl weekend (43 markets incl $2.1M Australia opening/$396K Japan); $124.6M intl cume
Split (UNI): $2.6M intl weekend (35 markets); $132.5M intl cume
Get Out (UNI): $2.3M intl weekend (16 markets); $10.3M intl cume
Hidden Figures (FOX): $1.8M intl weekend (17 markets); $56M intl cume
A Cure For Wellness (FOX): $1.7M intl weekend (9 markets); $16.1M intl cume
Chips (WB): $1.4M intl weekend (33 markets); $3.9M intl cume
A Dog’s Purpose (UNI): $1.3M intl weekend (40 markets); $116.4M intl cume ($85M China)
Fifty Shades Darker (UNI): $500K intl weekend (31 markets); $264.2M intl cume
The Devotion Of Suspect X opened in China and some smaller markets this week with $22.2M to land the 5th spot at the international box office. Based on the award-winning 2005 Japanese novel, the thriller is directed by Alec Su and stars Wang Kai, Zhang Luyi, and Ruby Lin. From Beijing Enlight, it’s the story of a physicist who consults for the police and suspects an old friend might be involved in a murder he is investigating.
Extraordinary Mission, from part of the team behind the Infernal Affairs trilogy that was the basis for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, bowed in China with $8.2M this weekend. Alan Mak directs with Anthony Pun (who was DP on Monster Hunt) from a story by Felix Chong. Produced by CMC Pictures, the crime film stars The Great Wall’s Huang Xuan and The Dead End’s Duan Yihong. It follows an undercover cop who attempts to take down a drug trafficking syndicate from the inside.