UPDATE, writethru…: Thrashing to a massive China start, Sony’s Venom has reclaimed the No. 1 spot at the worldwide and international box office this weekend. Chomping on $111M in the Middle Kingdom, the Tom Hardy-starrer is the 2nd best bow there ever for a superhero title, the 5th best for an imported film and Sony’s biggest China launch of all time.
As we noted on Saturday, the China performance was powering Venom across the $600M mark globally, and with $673.5M through Sunday, Ruben Fleischer’s take on the Marvel property will soon see the other side of $700M. The overall overseas session was worth $118.2M on 44,700+ screens in 66 markets for an offshore cume of $467.3M.
The China debut makes Venom just the second superhero movie ever to hit the century mark during a 3-day Middle Kingdom bow, behind only Avengers: Infinity War. Audience reaction has been great, including a Maoyan rating of 9.4. The symbiote’s start topped recent comps including Ant Man And The Wasp (+64%), Black Panther (+78%) and Wonder Woman (+185%). It’s already entered the Top 20 of the year in the market, and on Sunday was down only slightly from Friday despite today being Singles Day which is a massive online shopping event.
Friday’s $34.9M was China’s top opening day for any single-character Marvel title ever. The film also benefited from the marketing muscle of its Chinese partner, internet behemoth Tencent, and scored the best November opening ever for IMAX in the market at $10M on 553 screens (also the 8th best all-time start for the format there).In new entries, Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch came out of his Mount Crumpit cave to No. 1 in the UK — ahead of Frozen, Coco and Moana — to knock Bohemian Rhapsody off the perch it held for the previous two weekends. With a staggered release, The Grinch cashed in on $12.7M worth of green in 23 markets (only two of which are majors). This is above where we were seeing it ahead of the weekend. With domestic, the global start is $78.7M. Despite dropping to No. 2 in the UK, last week’s champion, Bohemian Rhapsody, is not under pressure. The second wide weekend overseas did the fandango to $63.1M for an international cume of $185.3M in 78 markets. The overall drop was less than 15% and the worldwide total is now just above $285M.
Fox’s biopic maintained No. 1s in 35 markets and saw the Mercury rise in Korea by 44% over last session’s debut. The total there is now $14.6M while the UK dipped just 16% and has grossed an outstanding $38.17M to date. Japan was the new opener with $4.4M at No. 1 to top Les Misérables by 30%.
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below.
Dr Seuss is a much bigger brand domestically, and familiarity offshore is somewhat limited to English-speaking markets while Germany is also a fan (in part thanks to the Ron Howard-directed 2000 movie that was led by Jim Carrey). With a typically thrifty production cost of $75M before P&A, Illumination should be able to tap into its own brand, and the holiday theme, even if it can’t fully rely on the IP being the major offshore draw. One of the film’s most successful trailers, at 2.5M YouTube views, was the one where the Minions actually watch The Grinch trailer in a theater. The film’s three trailers gained 262M views globally.
(In a smart move, and before it goes wide in key Illumination hub France, The Grinch starts a two-week engagement at the famed Grand Rex in Paris. That’s the holiday spot that’s typically reserved for a Disney movie.)
Benedict Cumberbatch voices the green grouch in this animated offering directed by Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier. The UK start at 559 locations is in line with Paddington, and ahead of Frozen, Coco and Moana. In Brazil, at 571, the Whoville gang came in above Sing and landed No. 2. Scandinavia did solid business with a No. 1 in Norway and $747K at 150 to track ahead of The Secret Life Of Pets, Trolls, Coco and Sing.
The Grinch will expand throughout the rest of the year with France, Australia, Italy, Germany and Spain at the end of the month. A December 14 China date has also been confirmed.
To wit, results this weekend include Russia opening at No. 3 with $1.4M from 1,200 sites; Indonesia’s No. 2 at 280 for $709K; Taiwan’s No. 1 at 88 with $437K; Malaysia (No. 2/$420K/104 locations); Hong Kong (No. 1/$387K/52); and Thailand (No. 2/$174K/64).
The European and Latin America majors didn’t have it high on the must-see list with the UK opening to No. 6 for $855K at 421; Mexico at No. 4 with $638K from 665; Brazil at No. 7 for $400K from 288; Spain at No. 5 from $374K at 274; Italy with $357K for No. 8 from 237; and Germany giving the movie a No. 11 start with $338K from 273. Australia and France are still to release.
The UK debut came in above A Star Is Born, which Fox is offering as a comp. Next weekend, it releases in 19 markets including domestic as well as Italy and Sweden.
China fueled Venom way across the $600M global mark, helping lift it to $673.5M through Sunday. The next milestone will fall this week with $700M. Can the Tom Hardy-starrer get to $800M worldwide? If China throws off a typical superhero multiple, it’s doable. However, there is an onslaught of Hollywood movies there over the next few frames including Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, Ralph Breaks The Internet and Aquaman.
Venom benefited from being the first major Hollywood movie in a while in China as well as the first superhero flick since Ant-Man And The Wasp. Word of mouth and audiences propelled it with a 9.4 on Maoyan and top marks on other platforms. The fact that Chinese internet behemoth Tencent also has a significant stake in the pic further helped with marketing muscle.
Thursday sneaks came in at $2.37M to give Venom the No. 4 slot on the list of all-time superhero midnights. Avengers: Infinity War ($9.31M), Age Of Ultron ($4.76M) and Captain America: Civil War ($2.61M) are the Top 3. The opening day Friday came in at $34.9M (including midnights) and was the best for any single-character Marvel movie. Saturday then became the second biggest for an imported film in 2018 (behind Infinity War).
China instantly becomes the No. 1 offshore hub, and is followed by Russia ($32.3M), Korea ($30.1M), the UK ($26M) and Mexico ($24M).
This was the final market to launch, but Venom still has some juice elsewhere. It made $118.2M overall internationally in the session to cume $467.3M overseas so far.
The new opener this frame was Japan where it took the stage at No. 1 on $4.4M from 469 screens and scored 30% higher than Les Misérables. In holds, Korea had an incredible 44% jump from last weekend, sending the Mercury to $14.9M. Spain (+1%/$9.9M cume), Indonesia (+19%/$2.4M cume) and the Philippines (+9%/$2.16M) also saw notable hikes. So did Holland which thrust up 2% over last session — itself already Fox’s biggest opening frame of all time. The total there is $4M.
The UK continues to lead all play at $38.17M after three weekends and on a mere 16% dip. France falls in line behind Korea in the Top 3 with $14.3M to date. In other major cumes, Mexico held No. 1 for $12.5M so far and Australia fell by 5% to take $12.45M through Sunday.
Upcoming bows include India, Italy and South Africa this month.
THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS
There were some decent holds for what has been a disappointing start overall. Europe was down 48% as a region while Latin America was off 50% from opening last frame. Argentina led drops at -15%, followed by Israel (-18%), the Netherlands (-19%), Spain (-31%), Austria (-36%), the UK (-37%), Germany (-38%), Poland (-39%), Portugal (-40%), Singapore (-40%), Malaysia (-45%) and Mexico (-47%).
Italy, which debuted well last weekend, cracked the No. 1 spot again and has now passed the total cume of Alice Through The Looking Glass with $8.2M to date. China is the lead market, though the number there is just $15.8M. Germany ($4.7M), the UK (a disappointing $4.4M) and Mexico ($4.2M) round out the Top 5.
There is still some play to come with Australia, France and Japan going before the end of the month while Korea and Russia will be unlocked in early December.
A STAR IS BORN
The UK, Australia and France are followed by Germany ($8.6M) and Italy ($7.5M) to round out the Top 5. Japan is still on deck on December 21.
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB
Helmed by Fede Alvarez, this one’s based on the novel by David Lagercrantz, who continued Stieg Larsson’s Millennium legacy with the bestseller. Steven Knight and Alvarez and Jay Basu wrote the screenplay. Foy’s take on Lisbeth Salander, aka ‘The girl who hurts men who hurt women,’ was hurt domestically with an $8M opening amid some audience confusion. As my colleague Anthony D’Alessandro has reported, despite a $43M production cost that’s lower than the 2011 U.S. remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a trusted finance source says, “Even if this film grosses 70% overseas, it’s hard to see it breaking even.” Dragon Tattoo did 55% of its business offshore, led by the UK, Japan, Russia, Germany and France.
There are still some key overseas markets on deck including France, the UK, Germany and Korea.
Warner’s animated pic crossed $200M worldwide this session, after adding $4.9M in 66 markets. The international cume is $123.6M for $203.9M global. The Top 5 hubs are the UK ($13.8M), France ($10.8M), China ($10.5M), Mexico ($9.3M) and Russia ($9.2M).
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE (*Denotes new)
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (SNY): $3.2M intl weekend (43 markets); $43.6M intl cume
Johnny English Strikes Again (UNI): $2.8M intl weekend (55 markets); $122.1M intl cume
25 KM/H (SNY): $1.2M intl weekend (Germany only); $3.9M intl cume
*Boy Erased (UNI): $300K intl weekend (Australia only, tracking above Boyhood, Call Me By Your Name; rollout continues through early 2019)
Peppermint (STX): $194K intl weekend (59 markets); $13.2M intl cume
Mile 22 (STX): $106K intl weekend (64 markets); $29.7M intl cume
The Happytime Murders (STX): $47K intl weekend (51 markets); $6.8M intl cume
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