UPDATE, writethru: In a weekend dominated by holdovers and expansions, Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald leads the international box office for Hollywood in its third session in a row, conjuring $40.2M in 80 markets. That brings the overseas cume to $385.3M and global across the $500M mark to $519.6M. At the other end of the spectrum, WB’s Crazy Rich Asians was dead on arrival in China, mustering just $1.2M over the opening frame.
The China performance of Crazy Rich Asians, which began global rollout in August, is not wholly unexpected. Middle Kingdom authorities took their time giving the pic a slot, waiting until mid-October to set its bow on November 30. A cultural phenomenon domestically, and already a profitable proposition at $238M worldwide box office, CRA’s all-Asian cast is not a novelty in China.
As we’ve previously noted, the market, like other majors in Asia, has its own solidly performing homegrown romcoms. Did folks there really need to see a Westernized version of a genre that is already tailored to their tastes? Turns out, not so much (and for those whose curiosity was piqued by the huge North American success, it’s likely the film was sought out by other means duirng the lengthy interim). Overall, Hollywood romantic comedies are hit-and-miss abroad and the last one in recent memory to gain access to China was Bridget Jones’s Baby which did just about $750K.
A source on the ground in China says of CRA, “Nobody cares about it.” I hear folks aren’t talking about it, or even criticizing it (it has a 6.2 on Douban). “Most just don’t even know of it’s existence,” I’m told. Warner is understood not to have spent big on the pic in the Middle Kingdom, and has rather been pulling out the stops for next week’s early bow of Aquaman.
Does this affect CRA sequel China Rich Girlfriend? There’s been some talk of it potentially shooting in the Middle Kingdom, although I understand a script has yet to be turned in and any decisions about locations will come much further down the line.
Before turning back for the moment to FB2, there’s an Indian film that looks to be doing bang-up business internationally. Numbers out of India are routinely difficult to assess, and particularly when a film does not hail from Bollywood. Based on local information, Tamil sci-fi actioner 2.0 is looking at a 400 crore ($60.1M) global weekend gross. Starring Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar, the south India film is directed by S Shankar and instantly joins the Top 20 of all-time local titles worldwide.
Back to Grindelwald. The movie is currently running on par with the original Fantastic Beasts in both the Europe/Middle East/Africa and Latin America regions. China leads all play at $56.2M (about $16M down on the first movie at the same point in release), followed by the UK (which is also soft compared to FB1), Germany, Japan and France. Both Germany and Japan held their No. 1 rankings this session.
Twentieth Century Fox/New Regency/GK Films’ Bohemian Rhapsody, meanwhile, keeps strutting its stuff across the global stage with a $37M weekend to bring the international box office to $375.1M. This is after the worldwide cume surpassed $500M on Friday, boosted by tiny drops in major markets. Korea is still up (+51%) over its opening weekend with the Freddie Mercury biopic now becoming the market’s all-time top musical. Japan increased 22% from last session and the UK has topped Les Mis at $54.7M. The full weekend was down just 19%.
Disney’s Ralph Breaks The Internet was the big UK newcomer this frame, taking a clear No. 1. The sequel overall is tracking well ahead of its predecessor and still has about half the overseas footprint to come. The full weekend was worth $33.7M in 27 material markets for an international cume of $87.7M after two frames and a global haul of $207M so far.
In other family fare, Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch stole into a further 20 markets to lift the offshore cume to $64.8M with Mexico, China, Japan, Korea and Russia still on deck. The global gift box counts $268.3M to date.
In its 4th China weekend, Sony’s Venom held the No. 2 spot there to cume $262M as its run is expected to now wind down (unless it’s granted a last-minute extension). The full overseas total to date is $631.7M for $844M worldwide.
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below.
THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE
Screen Gems’ horror pic kicked off its overseas rollout this weekend with $4.1M from 2,200+ screens in 17 markets. Mexico led all play with $1M from 467 screens, besting The Gallows by 60%. Spain launched with $675K from 266 screens, more than twice the opening of The Gallows. With a $6M production cost, the film currently has a global cume of $10.6M.
Sony is using 2015’s New Line pic The Gallows as a comp here. That movie did $20.2M offshore when all was said and hung. In comps for Screen Gems titles, this summer’s Slender Man finaled at about $21M overseas, with the best scores following the general horror line of Latin America and English-speaking hubs. Don’t Breathe the year before did $68M offshore, on a similar pattern but notably hitting in Korea and some of the other SE Asian markets.
Upcoming key market releases for Hannah Grace include France this week, Germany and Italy in January and Russia in February.
Paramount’s Mark Wahlberg/Rose Byrne-starrer began overseas rollout this weekend, welcoming $3.4M in 12 markets. The overseas cume is $3.5M to date. The markets in release, which include Mexico, Brazil and the Middle East, rep 17% of the international footprint. On a like-for-like basis and excluding previews, the start is almost double Life As We Know It, 59% above Parental Guidance and 41% above Marley And Me. Those are older comps. Looking at 2015’s Daddy’s Home, which finaled at $92.4M (unadjusted), the best offshore markets were ultimately the UK, Australia and Mexico. Comedies tend to work best in the English-speaking markets while Latin America leans into family fare.
Mexico was the top opener for Instant Family, at No. 2 with $1.8M at 807 locations. Brazil was a No. 5 bow with $532K at 373 and the Middle East kicked off at $595K.
Domestic release began a few weeks back with glowing audience scores (A CinemaScore, 83% overall PosTrak positive). The holiday comedy has a $48M production cost and is playing in a crowded family landscape. There are 40+ hubs to come throughout March including Australia, Germany, Russia, Spain, the UK and France.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD
With another $40.2M from 17,565 screens in 80 markets, FB2 topped the international chart again this weekend — among studio titles as India’s 2.0 is understood to have outpaced it globally. The overseas running cume is now $385.3M with global waving its wand past $500M for $519.6M through Sunday.
In Europe and Latin America, FB2 is tracking on par with the previous film, although it is softer in the UK than that pic (current cume: $33.8M). That’s notable given the provenance of the stories, and the spinoff sequel is also running lower than Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them in China where it has now grossed $56.2M.
Japan, a key hub for all things Harry Potter, is about on par with a running cume of $25.4M after a 43% drop for weekend 2 and a hold on the No. 1 slot in the market. Germany in its 3rd session held No. 1 and is dominating the Top 5, dipping just 40% to cume $29.2M so far — ahead of the previous movie in unadjusted figures. Similarly, France is now at $24.4M.
Rounding out the Top 10 are Russia ($22M), Korea ($18M), Italy ($13.5M), Australia ($13.9M) and Brazil ($13.4M).
The truly royal performance of Fox/New Regency/GK Films’ Freddie Mercury biopic continued this weekend as the pic crossed $500M worldwide on Friday and added a total $37M internationally over the frame in 72 markets. The offshore cume is now $375.1M for $539.5M global. Overall, the Queen faithful gave the movie just a 19% drop in holdover hubs. (See here for more about how Fox marketed the movie globally.)
Italy was new this session and rocketed to an outstanding $6.1M in first place. This is the best opening of 2018 for a non-franchise title. Meanwhile, Japan and Korea are having such a good time. Korea’s weekend was just 14% off last frame, but still 51% above the debut five weeks ago. Singalong screenings are adding to the fever there with Bo Rhap now the No. 3 Fox film ever in the market and the No. 1 industry musical/music film of all time, topping Les Misérables.
In Japan, the Rami Malek-starrer is up 22% from last weekend (and 31% bigger than the opening in this slow burn market). The total to date is $29.3M. The UK leads all play at $54.7M after six sessions and saw just a 29% drop this weekend.
Then there’s Holland which slid by only 1% to reclaim the top spot. In Brazil, the supersonic pic is the biggest biopic-music film ever with $11.7M.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
Disney is on a slow rollout internationally with Ralph Breaks The Internet, adding majors all the way through early February. For now, the sequel is tracking well ahead of its predecessor and has an offshore cume of $87.7M after two weekends. Globally, it’s already crossed $200M with $207M through Sunday. Looking at the markets that opened strongly last weekend, the overall drop was 41% (36% when excluding China which leads all current play at $34.2M).
Adding $33.7M in 27 material markets this frame, Ralph had a strong start in the UK. He muscled his way to No. 1 with a $5.2M three-day that’s 75% ahead of Moana, 16% over Zootopia, 11% above Coco and 16% behind Frozen. The opening was also 16% behind the original Wreck-It Ralph, which bowed during half-term school holidays.
In Asia, Ralph saw No. 1 openings in both Taiwan and Thailand. In the former, it is the highest grossing Disney Animation opening ever with $1.6M including previews. In the latter, it took $1.1M including previews for the 2nd best Disney Animation/Pixar opening ever. Ralph is also expected to be tops for the 2nd consecutive weekend in Russia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore.
Mexico held No. 1, dipping 31% from last weekend’s strong opening. This is the No. 2 overall market so far, behind China. Rounding out the Top 5 are Russia ($10.2M), the UK ($5.2M) and Indonesia ($3.1M). Up ahead this month are Japan and Australia, followed by Italy, Korea, Brazil and Germany in January, and France in February.
Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch added 20 markets this session for a $27.1M weekend. That lifts the overseas cume to $64.8M and worldwide to $268.3M as it continues to steal hearts domestically.
Offshore, Dr Seuss is not as well known outside English-speaking markets. However, Germany is an outlier. The movie debuted there this session with $3.75M at 656 locations to double Moana and come in ahead of Boss Baby and Coco.
Also new was France with a No. 1 bow of $3.7M to track above Big Hero 6. In Australia, the start was tops, in line with Trolls and above Coco with $2.9M from 279 locations. Italy ($2.1M/452), Spain ($2M/339), Poland ($992K/212), Belgium ($808K/157), Central America ($739K/155), Austria ($625K/76) and New Zealand ($570K/98) were all No. 1 bows.
The top holdover markets include the UK at -33% for a $21.7M total to date, followed by Brazil with $4.9M so far. The Nordics also continue to be aboard the sleigh with Sweden ($2.2M cume) and Norway ($2.2M) seeing slight drops.
Coming next are Mexico this week, followed by China, Japan, Korea and Russia later this month.
Lionsgate’s Robin Hood reboot, starring Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx, added 34 markets this session for a total 67 to date. The take-up was $15.1M to bring offshore to $26.3M. As noted last weekend, the near-$100M production was covered about 60%-65% via foreign sales and is looking to the more action-focused markets internationally. Russia bowed with $2.2M at No. 2. Latin America grossed a combined $3.3M ($1.1M in Brazil and $1M in Mexico) and Korea launched to $1.6M. France chipped in $1.3M for its part. The UK remains the top market overall at $2.9M after two weeks. The next major to release is Spain this week.
As its China run will begin to wind down (save for a possible extension by Middle Kingdom authorities who have been looking to pad out year-end box office — and why not with such a massive, unexpected performer?), Sony’s Venom has thrived locally to $262M through this weekend. Overall, the symbiote took $13M in 53 markets this session. That lifts the international cume to $631.7M and worldwide to $844M.
Now released in 29 overseas markets, Creed II grossed $10M this weekend from roughly 2,600 screens via Warner Bros. The spinoff sequel was earlier released in eight MGM markets for an overseas running cume of $11.4M. The previous movie did best in the mature European majors that have a history with Rocky, as well as Brazil and Mexico.
This weekend’s highlights include the UK at $3.9M to track 40% ahead of Creed; Australia’s $2.2M No.1 on 245 screens (+75% on Creed); and the UAE with $932K on 80, ranking tops and more than double the opening of the previous movie.
The Top 5 is led by those three above plus Romania’s $438K, which is double the lifetime of Creed, and Poland’s $401K.
The remaining key markets start in January and include Mexico, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Brazil and Spain.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Widows (FOX): $5.5M intl weekend (60 markets); $20M intl cume (10 markets on deck this coming weekend)
Johnny English Strikes Again (UNI): $5.5M intl weekend (34 markets incl China at $21.1M); $149M intl cume
A Star Is Born (WB): $3.1M intl weekend (60 markets); $168.6M intl cume
Crazy Rich Asians (WB): $1.2M (China only); $64M intl cume
First Man (UNI): $600K intl weekend (33 markets); $55.2M intl cume (crossing $100M worldwide Monday)
The House With A Clock In Its Walls (UNI): $400K intl weekend (9 markets); $26.3M intl cume