UPDATE, WRITETHRU: Propelled by a super strong hold in its second China frame, Warner Bros/DC’s Aquaman has splashed to a running cume of $261.3M at the international box office. Adding 42 markets this session, the full weekend was $126.4M to lead all overseas play. The James Wan-directed standalone is swimming faster than Justice League by 65% and is more than double the DCEU’s previous origin story, Wonder Woman, in like-for-like markets.
The China performance has been a wild wave with just a 42% drop in the sophomore session. That’s tiny for the Middle Kingdom where the weekend was worth $54.2M (RMB 374.8M) to bring the local cume to $189.2M (RMB 1.3B) for WB’s 2nd biggest title there ever and the 4th highest-grossing superhero movie.
Audiences have fallen hook, line and sinker for the Jason Momoa-starrer. He visited the market along with Wan and co-star Amber Heard as soon as Warner got its early release date. Although the studio recoups just 25% of the turnstile take in the Middle Kingdom, the China embrace helps up the curiosity factor elsewhere — domestic goes next weekend — and 25% of $200M+ is quite the catch.
In IMAX, Aquaman has now grossed $23.1M offshore. Of that, $9.7M is from this weekend on 794 screens with 11 markets setting DC franchise records, including Russia, the UAE, Thailand and Malaysia. The China IMAX total is $18.4M after only 10 days of release.
Overall, Aquaman is No. 1 in 42 of its markets this weekend. In Asia (outside China) it had the 2nd best opening for DC behind Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. In Europe, it is tracking on par with Justice League and 40% above Wonder Woman. In Latin America, it’s even with Wonder Woman. Brazil, Russia, Mexico and the UK round out the Top 5 markets below China. Still to dive in next weekend are France, Korea, Germany and Spain.
Back on land, Sony’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse began swinging in 44 overseas markets, grossing $21M. Exits and word of mouth are positive on the domestic champ which is well-positioned to play through the competitive holiday period. China, where the film has a 9 on Douban, opens next weekend.
Meanwhile, Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody is still havin’ such a good time. After crossing $600M worldwide earlier this week, the Rami Malek-starrer has topped $455M internationally. In an amazing feat, it was No. 1 in its 7th Korea frame which is a first for a Hollywood title. Korea has overtaken the UK as the top offshore market at $61.1M. The global total is currently $635M.
Elsewhere, WB’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald is closing in on $600M worldwide while Disney’s Ralph Breaks The Internet should break $300M in the coming week.
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
Sony’s animated take on the Marvel property began international rollout in 44 markets this session with a $21M start on 10,350 screens. Exit polls and word of mouth are strong and the pic should swing well throughout the holiday frame. It’s currently landing between family and general audiences, though as kids get out of school, it should swing in their direction. A big domestic play, the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominee is a hard one to comp overseas given its unique take. It is certainly a hit with critics — including in China where it releases next week and has a 9 score on Douban after limited previews today.
Korea, which continues to be dominated by Bohemian Rhapsody, led all debuts this weekend with $3.3M. Local enthusiasm has given it a Naver score of 9.4. The UK opened to $2.9M (including previews), while Russia and Australia bowed to $2.3M each. France is at an estimated $1.5M and Germany at $750K.
The Bob Persichetti/Peter Ramsey/Rodney Rothman-helmed pic that’s co-scripted by Phil Lord has a big social media universe as it expands its web to 11 new markets, including China and Spain, next frame. Spider-Man in his live-action incarnations has been a huge draw in the Middle Kingdom, as well as Japan where he over-indexes. This film releases in the latter next March. Family-friendly Mexico swings in on December 25, followed by Brazil in January.
The Warner Bros/DC standalone has been riding a wave built from an early debut in China last weekend and added $126.4M this session in 43 total markets. The international cume is now $261.3M with domestic and other key offshore hubs to dive in next frame. As noted above, the Jason Momoa-starrer is surfing 65% higher than Justice League and more than double Wonder Woman at the same stage of play and in like-for-likes.
China is, forgive the reference, a marvel. After the super performance of Sony’s Venom, here’s another standalone superhero pic that has been fully embraced by the market. With an early release date, WB sought to land a big fish by hustling Momoa, James Wan and Amber Heard to the Middle Kingdom and showing off 25 minutes of footage. Social has been strong and even though December is typically a blackout period for Hollywood, local auds and exhibitors are keeping this movie at No. 1. The sophomore session was $54.2M on 25,000 screens for an excellent 42% drop that ranks as the estimated best-ever for a movie that opened to $90M+. Aquaman had 69% of the Top 5 in China this weekend and has now grossed $189.2M there. It has play ahead.
In new markets, Brazil — which leans into DC — made $7.7M (R$ 30.1M) on 1,715 screens with over 80% of the Top 5 films. The results rank as WB’s best for the year and are 18% above Wonder Woman, 60% over Venom and more than double Ant-Man And The Wasp. They are on par with Black Panther.
Russia grossed $7.4M (Rbl 490M) on 3,110 screens to top all newcomers. This is WB’s 2nd best start of 2018 and is more than twice WW and 30% above Justice League while again on par with Black Panther.
Mexico generated $7.9M (Ps 159.2M) on 3,000 screens with a 60% share of the Top 5 five films. That’s 2% over WW. The UK gave WB its 2nd best start of 2018 with $6.5M (£5.1M) on 1,058 screens.
Rounding out the Top 5 markets this weekend, Indonesia was $5.3M (IDR 75.7B) on 1,255 screens and capturing a share over 80%. That was good for the 2nd best bow of a DCEU movie and WB’s 3rd best ever.
In other notables, Taiwan ($4.7M) swam away with the best DCEU and WB debuts; the Philippines ($4.3M) came in as WB’s 2018 top start; India ($4M) had the best December opening ever for a studio pic and is tracking ahead of Marvel comps Ant-Man And The Wasp, Black Panther and Venom; and Thailand ($3.5M) was WB’s highest opening ever, also ahead of the comps above.
France, Korea, Germany and Spain are on deck for Aquaman this coming weekend as he also swims to domestic theaters.
Universal/Illumination’s animated Christmas pic flew its sleigh to China and Japan this weekend for a total 61 markets in play. The frame overall put $23.3M in the stocking for a $133.4M overseas cume to date, and ahead of Korea and Russia bows next session. The worldwide cume, with that great domestic performance, is $372.2M.
Dr Seuss is not a known commodity offshore, and the Christmas holiday doesn’t factor for many markets, so while the Asian hubs look small — China with $2.9M/10,000 locations/No. 4) and Japan ($2.35M/366/No. 5), that was to be expected. What is working in the movie’s favor is the increasingly powerful Illumination brand.
In holdover markets, the drop was just 39%. The top market was Mexico which has now cumed $10.45M to surpass the lifetime of Trolls and Ferdinand. The best hold was the UK — in Week 6 — for a 15% drop to total $27.6M so far, and as it closes in on the lifetimes of Big Hero 6 and Moana. Germany, which is a good Seuss market, held No. 1 in its 3rd session with a total $10.3M so far and exceeding the runs of Trolls and Ferdinand. France ($8.1M) and Spain ($5.3M) round out the Top 5.
It’s a kind of magic that we’re almost under pressure to keep rocking up cute Queen puns to highlight the supersonic performance of Fox/New Regency/GK Films’ biopic. Another $20M in the songbook this weekend from 7,341 screens in 58 markets takes the overseas cume to $455.5M and global to $635M.
To say that the Rami Malek-starrer has struck a chord in Korea would be an understatement. Fueled by singalong screenings, the market climbed back to No. 1 in its 7th weekend — this is a first for a Hollywood studio title. Korea has overtaken the UK as top top overseas market with $61.1M to date and coming off a mere 10% drop from last session. Bo Rhap is now the 2nd biggest studio movie of the year and the 9th ever.
In Italy, which bowed just two weekends ago, the movie retained No. 1 and has grossed $17.4M. Its $2.5M current session is the biggest 3rd frame for a movie in 2018. Bo Rhap is the No. 2 title of 2018 there.
Elsewhere, Japan dipped just 18% for a cume of $47.3M and Australia fell 17% with a $26.8M cume to date while Holland’s $11.3M cume is the industry’s biggest of the year.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD
This weekend, WB’s spinoff sequel conjured $11.8M in 80 markets. The overseas running cume is now $444.2M, and the global tally is $595.9M. The Top markets in the session are Japan ($3.5M/ 861 screens/-36%/$40.6M cume); Germany ($1.9M/1,100/-38%/$35.9M); and France ($1.2M/679/-45%/$30.2M). China, where the movie under-performed, is at $57.3M, followed by Japan and the UK which has grossed $38.9M.
Universal/MRC’s fantasy epic stalled in its domestic opening while overseas the picture is not much brighter. After opening in 43 markets last session, the Peter Jackson-produced film added 11 this weekend for an $11.5M frame and a $34.8M overseas cume. Worldwide, it’s at $42.3M. France was the top opener with $1.64M at 502 locations for No. 3 while the UK followed at $1.59M from 404 dates at No. 5. Russia leads all play with $6M after the second weekend. Mexico and Brazil are due in January, followed by Japan in March, but offshore is not going to be a savior here. Uni reduced its exposure on the reported $110M budget pic to around 30% thanks to participants such as slate financier Perfect World and also Legendary.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
In its 4th weekend of staggered release, Disney’s sequel added $7.9M in 32 material markets. The overseas cume is now $130.7M for $285.2M worldwide. Belgium and the Netherlands were new this weekend with $500K and $300K, respectively.
Notable holds include Portugal (-17%), Colombia (-23%), Bolivia (-31%), Paraguay (-33%), the UK (-40%), Chile (-41%), Trinidad (-41%), South Africa (-42%), Spain (-46%) and Peru (-46%).
Ralph heads to Japan next session which should see a decent start. For now, the Top 5 markets are China ($39M), Mexico ($16.4M), Russia ($12.5M), the UK ($11.9M) and Spain ($6.6M). Still to come throughout this month, January and February are Australia, Italy, Korea, Brazil, Germany and France.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLES
Robin Hood (LG): $2.9M intl weekend (76 markets); $43.7M intl cume
Searching (SNY): $2.7M intl weekend (China only); $47.6M intl cume
Creed II (WB): $2.3M intl weekend (32 markets); $27M intl cume
The Possession Of Hannah Grace (SNY): $2M intl weekend (34 markets); $15.6M intl cume
A Star Is Born (WB): $1.9M intl weekend (55 markets); $177.1M intl cume
Widows (FOX): $1.8M intl weekend (48 markets); $30M intl cume
A Simple Favor (LG): $1.7M (Italy and Korea new); $41.3M intl cume
*Second Act (STX): $1.3M intl weekend (20 non-major markets)
Once Upon A Deadpool (FOX): $1M intl weekend (12 markets); $419M intl cume with original release
Instant Family (PAR): $738K intl weekend (14 markets); $8M intl cume