UPDATE, WRITETHRU: Last week’s international box office champ, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, roped another win this session, notably holding court in Korea with a royal $16.1M debut. That’s the biggest bow ever for an 18+ rated movie there, and contributes to the $50.5M sophomore outing in 77 total offshore markets for the Matthew Vaughn-helmed sequel. The overseas cume on Kingsman 2 is now $126.2M. Worldwide, the total is $192.9M, putting $200M in sight this week.
Versus Kingsman: The Secret Service, Golden Circle is ahead 53% in the same markets and at current exchange rates, with several majors still to bow. This weekend saw No. 1s hold in 20 markets, and 15 new hubs also grab the top spot.
Chinese New Year Films Shelved Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Ahead Of Key Annual Holiday Period
Those Korea numbers in particular are something to be MARV-eled at: they’re three times better than the start of the first film, as well as bigger than the openings of this year’s Transformers: The Last Knight, The Fate Of The Furious and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2. They also rep Fox’s 2nd best-ever start there after local title The Wailing.
Overall, this was largely an offshore expansion weekend for the studios with New Line/Warner Bros’ It just refusing to quit. The Stephen King adaptation added another $35.6M in the 3rd frame, rising to a $262M overseas tally and $553.1M worldwide.
Pennywise and his prey landed No. 3 for the international session with 2nd place belonging to China’s Never Say Die. The body-switch comedy kicked off the National Day holiday with local estimates at $46.6M (comScore is reporting a $45.67M total in two markets — more to come when the dust settles).
In 2nd place in the Middle Kingdom — and as with Never Say Die, outdistancing a host of new local titles jostling for position — is Jackie Chan/Pierce Brosnan-starrer The Foreigner. An English-language co-production from STXfilms and Chan’s Sparkle Roll Media, it did about $22.13M over the two-day frame to land it 4th overall overseas at a comScore-reported $23.16M (including two more markets).
Both pictures have seen solid critical and audience reaction in China, and should capitalize on Golden Week play in the coming days. A heavily local title from a popular comedy troupe, Never Say Die won’t see much action outside of Asia. The Foreigner, however, is an interesting prospect. While one would hope to see a Jackie Chan movie open closer to the top in China, the revenge thriller is something of a departure for the veteran and is eyeing U.S. release via STX on October 13 as well as wider international rollout.
Sticking in China, War For The Planet Of The Apes is beginning to wind down its run with a cume through Sunday of $108.3M locally and $335M overseas ahead of the October 13 Japan release.
Among new studio plays, Sony/Cross Creek’s Flatliners began soft rollout with a $3.1M start in 21 total markets including the UK and Australia.
Next weekend, attention will shift to replicants and Ryan Gosling when Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic, Blade Runner, races into cinemas worldwide. Blade Runner 2049 is debuting internationally beginning on Wednesday and will be in all major markets save China, Korea and Japan by Friday. We’ll be keeping a close watch.
In the meantime, breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below, along with a look at the major local-language titles spinning international turnstiles.
This English-language co-production from STXfilms and star Jackie Chan’s Sparkle Roll Media grossed $23.16M in China and two smaller markets this weekend, per comScore. Of that, about $22.13M came from the Middle Kingdom ($2M IMAX) in what was a two-day frame to kick off the National Day holiday. The Golden Week that follows should see it play off of a 7.4 Douban critics score and an audience poll of 7.3. (It came in No. 2 in China, topped by comedy Never Say Die which hails from a very popular local troupe — more in local-language round-up below the original post).
Directed by Martin Campbell, The Foreigner was adapted by David Marconi from the novel The Chinaman by Stephen Leather. It follows a London businessman (Chan) whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when his teenage daughter is taken from him in a senseless act of politically-motivated terrorism. In his relentless search for the identity of the terrorists, he’s forced into a cat-and-mouse conflict with a British government official (Pierce Brosnan), whose own past may hold clues to the identities of the elusive killers.
The film was made on an estimated $30M-$35M budget and could be looking at a finish in China around the $80M mark. But, as ever with this wild-card market, a lot depends either way on how things play out in the holiday mid-weeks. There were at least eight new releases this session, and only the Top 2 films cracked $20M (others were expected to clock up there as well, but came in at mid-teens or lower — a change from 2016’s similar frame). The horizon ahead is murky with some more local titles before Kingsman: The Golden Circle arrives on October 20. Results also will depend on screen count going forward. A Foreigner final in the $80M range would be on the lower end of Chan’s recent outings and one would have hoped to see the bow come in a bit higher — although Chan has bucked trends before and this film is seen as something of a departure for the national treasure whose leading roles in action comedies and historical adventures skew higher. (Adding to the situation over the next weeks, it’s worth noting that the National Congress of the Communist Party kicks off October 18 — and is thought to have caused the cancellation of the release of Feng Xiaogang’s Youth this weekend.)
Post-summer, and the gargantuan returns on Wolf Warriors 2 (estimated $868M to date), the Middle Kingdom market was bound to slow. Last session was tepid and while this launch into Golden Week includes four movies in the international box office Top 10, those titles are off from last year’s grouping which was more evenly spread.
This is a strategically important title for STX and the film benefits from official PROC co-pro status. Domestically, it goes out on October 13, and we’ll continue to keep tabs on it.
This reboot from Sony/Cross Creek kicked off its overseas rollout this weekend with $3.1M from 1,400+ screens in 21 markets. Sony notes the start is 14% ahead of last year’s Nerve. The majors undergoing the procedure this session included the UK and Australia.
The latter led all markets with $900K from 228 screens, topping the opening of Final Destination 5 by 19%. The UK launched with $625K from 356 screens.
As my colleague Anthony D’Alessandro has reported, folks have questioned the necessity of reanimating this title, albeit with a modest $20M-ish production cost and a respected director in Denmark’s Niels Arden Oplev. Joel Schumacher helmed the original 1990 thriller that boasted a post-Pretty Woman Julia Roberts.
This time, Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev and James Norton play medical students obsessed by the mystery of the great beyond. They embark on a dangerous experiment by stopping their hearts for short periods of time to trigger a near-death experience. As they up the ante, each is haunted by the sins of their pasts, brought on by the paranormal consequences of trespassing to the other side.
Upcoming key markets include Mexico, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, Russia, Germany and Korea through October and November. Japan goes December 22.
KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
Royally dominating overseas play, Matthew Vaughn’s sequel rounded up $50.5M in 77 markets in its sophomore session, led by a fantastic $16.1M in Korea. That’s the biggest bow ever for an 18+ rated movie there and is bigger than the openings of this year’s Transformers: The Last Knight, The Fate Of The Furious and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2. The numbers also rep Fox’s 2nd best-ever start there after local title The Wailing.
The international box office cume is $126.2M with $192.9M global, meaning Eggsy & Co will cross $200M early this week.
In the UK this frame, the gang held No. 1, dipping 32% with $5.4M to take the local cume to $20.3M. Behind Korea and the UK is Russia with a cume of $10.2M, followed by Australia at $9.7M and Taiwan at $8.1M after two sessions.
Mexico was the top new play this weekend at No. 1 and with $2.5M for a score that’s 76% bigger than Kingsman: The Secret Service.
IMAX play was worth $2.3M, led by Korea with the format’s best September ever of $760K on 18 screens.
In total, Golden Circle is running rings around The Secret Service at 53% ahead in the same markets and at current exchange rates. The film has such majors to go as France, Argentina, China and Japan.
It just will not quit. The New Line/Warner Bros phenomenon dipped 7% in its 3rd frame for $35.6M on 9,865 screens in 64 markets. The film earlier this week floated past $500M worldwide and is now at $553.1M with $262M from overseas. Given It is highly unlikely to see a China release, it’s offshore performance is all the more impressive.
Domestic and international excitement surrounding the Stephen King adaptation is paying off. The Germany debut was a stunning $11.6M/600 screens on the Andy Muschietti-helmed scarer. That includes Wednesday night previews and, much as in several other hubs, is the biggest opening for a horror film ever in the market. It’s also tops for WB in 2017.
Greece likewise took the same records with $756K on 163 screens and 75% of the Top 5. Next up are Italy (October 19) and Japan (November 3).
The Top 5 markets are the UK ($38.6M), Mexico ($24.9M), Russia ($17.8M), Australia ($17M) and Brazil whose $16.6M makes It the biggest horror film of all time.
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE
Adding another 18 markets in its sophomore session, the latest trip round the WB franchise block constructed $10.6M on 10,100 screens with a 37% drop in holdover markets. In 56 total, the running cume is $22.7M. As with The Lego Batman Movie, Ninjago isn’t entirely clicking into place overseas. Brazil was this frame’s top opener at $861K on 785 screens in 3rd place. Mexico follows at $697K on 1,014 for No. 4.
Korea came in about on par with Lego Batman at $508K for No. 4 and Japan fared better, topping the first The Lego Movie by 6% with $248K on 244 screens over the two-day.
Drops on the second weekend were roughly 38% across the bigger plays ranging from -30% in Germany for a $2.6M cume and -53% in Russia, also for $2.6M to date.
Australia vacationers, however, helped boost Ninjago by 19% versus last weekend for a $2.4M running total.
Rolling into its final international markets — Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland — this frame, Disney/Pixar’s threequel was the top choice for families, parking at No. 2 in each. The full weekend was worth $4.8M in 17 markets for an overseas cume of $215.4M and $367.9M global.
In Germany, the $2.6M start ($3M with previews) came in 10% below Monsters University; in Austria, it’s 26% ahead. Lightning McQueen should see enhanced play during the mid-weeks as Germany’s Reunification Day holiday gathers Tuesday.
THE EMOJI MOVIE
Continuing its overseas run, and after crossing $100M last session, Sony’s TJ Miller-starrer applied itself for another $4.8M from 3,200+ screens in 51 markets. The offshore total is now $108.4M. Italy debuted at No. 1 with $1.2M from 432 screens, 62% ahead of Storks and 24% above Smurfs: The Lost Village.
With vacations in swing, Australia increased box office by 44% in the 3rd session. The cume there is $7.2M. The UK saw a mere 3% dip in the 9th frame for $18.8M to date. France, where Miller parachuted in during the Cannes Film Festival last May, is the next market to release (October 18).
Paramount’s divisive Darren Aronofsky allegory birthed another $4M this frame in 39 markets including 10 new plays. The overseas cume to date is $18.5M. Spain was the top opener at No. 4 with $670K at 291 locations. Italy (No. 9/$417K/246 sites) appears to have heard the word from the Lido where the movie premiered and Venice Film Festival audiences were strongly split, despite the positive reviews that followed.
Taiwan and Argentina both bowed at No. 5 with $154K at 81 sites and $102K at 86 sites, respectively.
Horror generally finds favor in Latin America and even though this is not a straight genre pic, mother!’s Brazil hold was just -14% for a cume of $1.5M. Mexico saw a bigger (45%) drop and has also cumed $1.5M. In France, the controversial Jennifer Lawrence-starrer is now at $2.5M while the UK leads all markets at $2.8M.
Sophisticated Korean audiences are next to share their verdict when the movie opens there on October 19.
VICTORIA AND ABDUL
The Universal release of period title Victoria And Abdul put another $3.9M in the royal coffers this weekend in 28 markets. The international total on the strategically slow rollout is currently $19.3M. Worldwide, the Judi Dench-starrer from Stephen Frears has a cume of $20.6M.
Germany was the top opener this session with $731K at No. 6. That landed it at level to Frears’ The Queen and 10% ahead of Frears/Dench collaboration Philomena, as well as Dench’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
In the home counties, Victoria And Abdul was No. 3 in its 3rd week, dropping 30% from last frame — the best hold in the UK Top 10 for a non-animated pic. The 15-day total there is $9.3M.
Joining the court next weekend are France, French-speaking Switzerland, Israel, the Philippines and Trinidad. The film notably travels to India on October 13. After that, there are 30+ markets to come.
The well-reviewed Tom Cruise/Doug Liman reteam will smuggle another $3.8M in 61 markets this frame, lifting the international total to $64.7M for a global $81.7M to date. That’s coming off of a domestic debut that had it battling for No. 2. My colleague Anthony D’Alessandro, here, gets into the nitty gritty of why this picture is softer than it should have been there given it’s roundly seen as one of Cruise’s best of late.
Overseas, it’s neither a big win, nor a big failure for Universal and should land OK when all is said and done. The adult-skewing title has had some great holds and has taken time to build. This is a different kind of Cruise title, not an action pic and not based on any existing IP. As such, it’s a slower burn for folks to find. But, competition is high.
There were four additions overseas this session: India, Paraguay, Trinidad and Uruguay. In the former, the true story of Barry Seal was No. 1 with $280K. The other three performed well, at No. 2 in Trinidad and No. 3 each in Paraguay and Uruguay. France is the top holdover at No. 4 in week 3 for $4M; Spain in week 5 is now at $5.9M.
One Cruise-friendly market that has not shown him the money this time around is Korea where American Made quickly dropped out of the Top 10. That’s unfortunate given Korea was a top player on the previous Cruise/Liman hook-up, Edge Of Tomorrow — but that pic had a great sci-fi premise and this one may simply be too rooted in an American story that is unfamiliar.
There are four more markets to open including Russia on October 12, Japan on October 21 and Argentina on November 2.
A DOG’S PURPOSE
Look who’s back. Universal’s release of Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media’s A Dog’s Purpose got a new leash on life with its final market opening this weekend. In Japan, it grossed $1.9M at 240 locations. That raises the combined Universal, Mr Smith and eOne international totals to $131.9M. Worldwide, it’s at $196.2M meaning it could ultimately leg out to over $200M. Earlier this year, the film had a barking-good run in China with $$88M+.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Despicable Me 3 (UNI): $1.6M intl weekend (40 markets); $760.1M intl cume (Japan $65M cume; WW is $1.022B, close behind Zootopia’s $1.024B)
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (FOX): $1.6M intl weekend (7 markets); $36.5M intl cume
War For The Planet Of The Apes (FOX): $1.4M intl weekend (11 markets); $334.6M intl cume
The Beguiled (UNI): $800K intl weekend (26 markets); $16.1M.intl cume
Hidden Figures (FOX): $602K intl weekend (Japan only); $62.9M intl cume
Girls Trip (UNI): $600K intl weekend (12 markets); $20.6M intl cume
This was an important weekend for the Chinese box office with the National Day holiday today gearing up for Golden Week, a typically lucrative frame. The top local opener, Never Say Die, bowed to a Middle Kingdom estimate of $46.6M. Hailing from the Mahua Fun Age troupe which saw its last outing, Goodbye Mr Loser, gross $$226M+ in 2015, it’s a body-switch comedy about a boxer and a journalist accidentally exchanging places. Song Yang and Zhang Chiyu are co- directors. Stars are Ai Lun, Ma Li, Shen Teng, Tian Yu and Xue Haowen. The film also saw some IMAX play. As noted above, English-language co-production The Foreigner was No. 2 in China this frame with $22.13M. It’s followed by Chasing The Dragon, an action thriller starring Donnie Yen and Andy Lau, with $14M in the Middle Kingdom; and Sky Hunter at $13.1M. The latter, a war film, stars Fan Bingbing.
By comparison, last year’s same weekend in China was more tightly grouped. I Belonged To You led ($33.6M), followed by L.O.R.D.: Legend Of Ravaging Dynasties ($29.2M in 4 markets), Operation Mekong ($23.8M) and Mission Milano ($15.1M).
More local pics are due this week while Kingsman: The Golden Circle gets ready to invade on October 20.
Elsewhere, Judwaa 2, from Fox International Productions and FoxStar, grossed $11.6M on 3,500 screens in India to mark the year’s 4th best start. An action comedy, it stars Varun Dhawan and Jacqueline Fernandez and is directed by David Dhawan. Bollywood superstar Salman Khan also has a cameo. Pic is a reboot of 1997’s original Judwaa and centers on twin brothers separated at birth who reunite to take down an underground smuggling ring. Monday is a holiday in India, boding well for the film.
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