MONDAY AM UPDATE, writethru: The Meg figures updated. Warner Bros/Gravity Pictures’ prehistoric shark took a whale of a bite out of the box office in its opening this session as it surprised both at home and abroad. As of this morning, Meg counts $101.5M across 42 offshore markets, The Meg gobbled up a global launch of $146.8M.
Out of the total international box office debut, China turnstiles gave the co-production $50.7M. That’s a good start in a competitive landscape with the Sunday estimate ($17.5M/RMB 120M) increasing on the Friday and Saturday. This may bode well for the midweeks — it helps that iPartment, a local picture above it that had more weekend screens, is dropping fast in a flurry of confusion (see below). But there is competition ahead as major Hollywood movies return to Chinese waters over the next several Fridays. Still, The Meg‘s got an 8.8 on Maoyan and I’m told from the ground that audiences have been pleasantly shocked that a Chinese-U.S. co-production could be so funny — the last big one to come out was The Great Wall which did not inspire giggles.
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It’s notable that recent China-U.S. co-production The Great Wall and China-focused Warcraft (which was a quota film but had four local equity stakeholders) did big business in the Middle Kingdom yet struggled elsewhere, contrary to The Meg‘s $44.5M domestic bow and $47M outside China internationally. Those earlier films catered to a more targeted audience of males and gamers while The Meg may offer a lesson in wide-appeal partnerships. One industry exec says in the current era “it’s the most balanced success I’ve seen. If you can make something work in both (the U.S. and China), the rest of the world will follow. It’s the ultimate venn diagram.”
(Last year’s Jackie Chan-starrer The Foreigner was a strong — and thrifty — example of a co-pro, although it was officially a China-UK effort, and 2016’s Kung Fu Panda 3 was part of an already successful franchise.)
The Meg’s formula of summer fun, the universality of shark tales and a marketing campaign that promised a good time on a movie that does not take itself too seriously found traction in its worldwide openings, surprising the industry. Studios are expected to continue to carry on trying to crack the co-production nut and The Meg, thematically at least, looks on the right track (as Anthony has pointed out, profitability is still to be assessed on the expensive proposition).
The Meg falls under the Flagship Entertainment joint venture formed by Warner Bros, China Media Capital and TVB in 2015. Flagship’s Gravity is releasing in the PROC where WB gets a bigger chunk of the box office because of the co-pro status (43% + ancillary vs 25%-27% full-stop).
This is the first picture to surface from the JV pact to develop and produce Chinese-language titles, including global tentpoles, for worldwide distribution. The Meg of course is in English, but incorporates plenty of Chinese elements.
The Meg played on 12,650 screens in China and topped nearly all comps including Skyscraper, San Andreas and the Jason Statham-led The Mechanic: Resurrection (by 109%). Statham is a big draw in the Middle Kingdom and supported the movie on two recent trips there.
One person who was bullish on the film’s weekend nevertheless cautions that given Donald Trump’s trade policies with China, there may be a slowdown on co-pros in the near future. “The movie business is very high-profile so if it satisfies what the Politburo wants to press, there’s no better way to reach the masses than the publicity of a big movie. But for now, they want to show a lack of help for the U.S. They maybe keep the status quo,” this person opines.
Elsewhere, the Jon Turtletaub-directed popcorn flick was No. 1 in 28 of its opening markets. In Europe, it’s comping well ahead of titles like Rampage, Geostorm, London Has Fallen and Into The Storm. Likewise in Asia (outside China) it’s tops in nearly all hubs while in Latin America it is the No. 1 movie everywhere it’s been released.
IMAX splashed in with $13.6M on 1,074 screens in 46 markets. In China, the shark hooked $7M on 520.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout meanwhile, dipped just 47% in holdover markets overseas with a cume that is now $275.6M offshore for $438M global. The international number is 19% ahead of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. The Meg took a little nibble out of the Tom Cruise smash in overlap markets, but it’s still dominating in majors like France, Germany, Australia and Japan where the shark has not yet surfaced.
Speaking of Japan, moviegoers are still doing the dino dance there as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has climbed to $58.2M, up 8% in its 5th frame.
Also, Incredibles 2 is thisclose to $500M international and has overtaken Toy Story 3 to become the biggest-ever Pixar release worldwide.
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below.
Directed by Jon Turtletaub, Warner Bros/Gravity Pictures’ sci-fi thriller about a prehistoric 75-foot-long predator, the Megalodon, hooked a $101.5M start at the international box office. With its domestic over-performance, the movie swam to $146.8M in the worldwide launch.
Jason Statham stars in the movie that knows it’s a summer popcorn flick and which benefits from a China co-production under WB’s Flagship Entertainment joint venture. China is clearly a key play here (the studio gets a higher return from Middle Kingdom turnstiles as a co-pro) and a $50.7M start is solid in a competitive marketplace. The Meg jumped up to No. 2 on Sunday there as local pic iPartment declined amid controversy and confusion.
The shark has a 6.1 on Douban, but an 8.8 on Maoyan in China. Statham is a big draw locally and Sunday’s number came in higher than the Friday and Saturday. Forward momentum will be something to watch as yet another local title bobs up on Friday (Jingle Ma’s Europe Raiders) along with the arrival of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.
The film comes at a time when talks between the USTR (on behalf of the MPAA) and China’s gatekeepers are at a stalemate due to Donald Trump’s trade war. While some have expressed fears that this could eventually impact Hollywood (which would like to see more favorable terms for movies in China), the Middle Kingdom has recently granted several extensions to studio movies and is letting more in earlier this summer than last. Part of that is believed to be a means to keep box office growth on the fast-track overall. The PROC powers that be recognize the importance of the relationship between the two markets, and hopefully co-productions don’t become entangled in the political mess. Either way, the industries are expected to continue hammering away at a recipe for co-pro success.
Looking elsewhere, The Meg was No. 1 in 34 markets, No. 1 across Europe and Latin America and No. 1 in nearly all Asian hubs outside China. It’s performing very well against comps like Rampage, Geostorm, London Has Fallen, Into The Storm, White House Down, Skyscraper and San Andreas in most plays.
China was the top opening, followed by Mexico at No. 1 with 63% of the Top 5 films. The gross there was $6.3M from 1,936 screens and is the biggest 2018 opening weekend for a WB film.
In Russia, the shark bit into 66% of the Top 5, generating $5.3M from 2,622 screens and topping comps (in both Russia and Mexico, The Meg opened higher than Fallout‘s recent debut) and is the biggest opening for a WB release there to date this year.
Mamma Mia 2 shimmied out of the UK No. 1 slot for the first time since its release as The Meg swam in to replace it with $4.4M on approximately 717 screens. Spain was also a No. 1 bow with $2.4M from 307, surpassing Rampage by 87% and San Andreas by 115%.
In the South East Asian hubs, Malaysia led with $2.4M on 506 and Indonesia reeled in $2.7M from 650 — notably besting Kong: Skull Island by 34%. Thailand also slotted No. 1 with a weekend of $1.7M at 453 screens, which repped 69% of the top 5 films.
Brazil made $2.1M from 882 and the UAE took a fantastic $2.1M from 133 screens.
Germany kept Tom Cruise in control at No. 1 with The Meg at No. 2 on $1.86M from 557. At No. 1 in Italy, The Meg made $1.93M from 363 repping 63% of the box office.
There are still more markets to come with Korea and Australia pushing the boat out this weekend, followed by France on August 22 and Japan on September 7.
Universal released Focus’ Cannes Grand Prize winner — and the latest Spike Lee Joint — in just three markets this weekend. In Finland, Israel and Central America the Blumhouse/Legendary title made $400K. Notable in there is the launch in Finland which is the home country of actor Jasper Pääkkönen. It came in No. 1 with $277K at 76 sites. That’s ahead of new opener Mission: Impossible and sets it tracking ahead of all comps including Straight Outta Compton and Get Out.
BlacKkKlansman follows a black detective named Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, even becoming phone pals with the notorious David Duke (Topher Grace) in order to thwart a suspected attack. Adam Driver plays the detective who subs for Stallworth in his face-to-face meetings with the KKK.
Domestically, the movie’s release was timed to the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville, VA riots. Overseas, it is rolling out over the next few months.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT
Zooming past $400M global, Paramount/Skydance’s summer action hit made $38.4M in 59 offshore markets this weekend. That takes the overseas total to $275.6M for $438M worldwide. In IMAX, the movie has tallied $31M so far.
Internationally, Fallout fell just 47% and continues to track ahead of Rogue Nation (+19%) in like-for-likes. China is still to release the movie, on August 31.
New this session was Poland at No. 1 with $615K from 144 locations. The result is 35% above Rogue Nation.
Slow-burn Japan, a key consumer of the Mission movies, held No. 1 with a 24% drop and a cume of $18.7M. France’s 2nd frame dipped 44% for a $14.4M cume to date, and Germany also held the No. 1 slot on a slight 12% drop and an $8M total so far. Australia’s sophomore session lifted the total to $8.9M as the movie maintained No. 1 and the Netherlands’ second outing saw a mere 2% slide for $3.9M through Sunday.
In 3rd weekend holds, Korea has cumed $46.4M to lead all play; the UK is now at $22.4M; Taiwan has $11.9M; Mexico rose to $10.8M; Brazil’s tally is $9.6M; and the UAE has $6.4M. The total Middle East region has grossed $13.9M.
MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN
Universal’s tuner sequel trouped to another $21.5M in the frame, taking the offshore total to $177M and global to $280.8M. There were six new openings this session inlcuidng Korea, Singapore and Peru.
At 750 locations, Korea had a solid debut in 3rd place behind local juggernaut Along With The Gods 2 and another local title. With $6.6M, the launch is tracking above comps — opening day was 272% bigger than the original film and generated strong word of mouth.
The UK was the top holdover at -22% and lifting the cume to a great $62.5M after four weekends to track 41% bigger than the first movie at the same stage.
Elsewhere, Germany was down 8% ($14.1M cume), Australia dipped 34% ($14M cume), the Netherlands shot up 18% ($5.7M cume)
Germany and Australia are just slightly trailing the first movie while France is down 32% at $4.4M so far. Brazil (+174%), Norway (+101%) and the Netherlands (+70%) are well above.
Still to come are Russia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Japan and Italy.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION
Sony’s threequel sailed to another $17.1M in 58 ports for the session. The international cume is now $231.4M for a global monster mash of $378.3M. In a competitive Korea, HT3 debuted to $3.4M from 500 screens.
Holdover markets were down just 27% including only slight dips in France (-17%), the UK (-4%) and Germany (-11%).
The Top 5 markets to date are Mexico ($25.5M), Brazil ($18M), Russia ($17.7M), the UK ($14.4M) and Australia ($13.5M).
Next weekend adds China.
In the 9th offshore weekend, Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 is kissing $500M internationally. The frame added $14.6M in 34 material markets for $498.6M to date. The global total has risen to $1,088.5M making the superhero sequel Pixar’s biggest release ever worldwide. Also notable, in the UK, Incredibles 2 has passed Toy Story 2 to become the 2nd highest grossing Disney/Pixar animated movie of all time.
Holds are strong, including in Japan where the Parr family jumped up 30% for $19.3M so far.
The UK is the top overseas hub at $58.4M, overtaking China which is now No. 2 with $53.6M, followed by Mexico ($37.2M), Brazil ($36M) and France ($35.5M). Still to come are Italy and Germany next month.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
No new markets opened on the Disney/Marvel sequel this session. In 42, Paul Rudd’s size-shifter tucked another $6.5M into the suit for an overseas running cume of $245.4M and $448.9M worldwide. Next weekend adds Italy with China on deck for August 24 and Japan August 31.
The Top 5 are currently Korea ($42.4M), Mexico ($14.9M), Australia ($14.3M), the UK ($13.4M) and Russia ($12.9M).
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
In 60 markets Universal’s dinosaurs drummed up another $5.1M, led by Japan which is up 8% in the 5th frame for a $58.2M total so far. Overall, the international cume is now $866.8M with $1,276.4M globally.
Germany (-18%) and France (-23%) saw good holds with the German cume at $29.5M after 10 frames and the French total at $30.6M, also after 10.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
The Spy Who Dumped Me (LG): $4.9M intl weekend (52 markets); $7.3M intl come
The Darkest Minds (FOX): $4.8M intl weekend (48 markets); $10.9M intl cume
Disney’s Christopher Robin (DIS): $3.8M intl weekend (25 markets), $12.1M intl cume
Ocean’s 8 (WB): $3.7M intl weekend (43 markets including $2.9M in Japan); $141.1M intl cume
The First Purge (UNI): $2.9M intl weekend (35 markets); $58.7M intl cume
Skyscraper (UNI): $2.6M intl weekend (65 markets); $130.3M intl cume (not including China)
The Equalizer 2 (SNY): $2.1M intl weekend (16 markets); $10.2M intl cume
Teen Titans! Go To The Movies (WB): $1.3M intl weekend (17 markets); $4.5M intl cume
There’s some confusion surrounding China movie iPartment (aka Love Apartment). The new release bolted out of the gate on Friday with a $44M start. But amid reports of concerns over rights and some audience consternation, it quickly plummeted. I’m told by a source in China that the film is an adaptation of novel The Lost Tomb (or Time Raiders which was previously made for the big screen in 2016). But when the film’s poster was released in May, it came with the title iPartment or Love Apartment and a look that resembled a similarly-titled TV series which is known as China’s answer to Friends. Yet the two properties are said to not be connected. I hear there was no trailer, and no press screenings. The film now has a pitiful 2.7 on Douban and dropped precipitously over the rest of the weekend, nevertheless finaling at a comScore reported $80M for the three-day. We’ll follow up on this as it develops.
Also in China, The Island grossed $77M, taking the top spot on Sunday. Starring and directed by Bo Huang (Breakup Buddies), the movie is about a man who dreams of winning the lottery and becomes stranded on an island with his co-workers after a cataclysmic event.
The Korean smash Along With The Gods: The Last 49 Days is still dominating that market with $71M to date after it smashed records last weekend. IMAX added 14 screens for the picture in Hong Kong and Taiwan this weekend to generate over $1M on 31 total in the three hubs. The cume is $2.2M. New Korea entry The Spy Gone North collected about $16M. From director Yoon Jong-bin, the story is set in 1993 as an army major from the south is assigned to infiltrate a North Korean nuclear facility. It debuted as a Midnight Screening in Cannes where it saw strong sales.
El Angel, from Fox International Productions, opened to $1.4M in two markets led by Argentina where its $1.39M is the biggest ever for a local production. Directed by Luis Ortega, it’s produced by the Almodovar brothers (whose El Deseo was also behind 2014 Argentine smash and Oscar nominee Wild Tales). A crime drama/biopic, it debuted in Un Certain Regard in Cannes this year and is based on the life of serial criminal Carlos Robledo Puch (aka Carlitos) who became a celebrity and is now the longest-serving prisoner in the history of Argentina.
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