UPDATE, writethru: Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level is out in 18 early overseas release markets ahead of domestic next weekend, and in many, the movie is stepping up versus predecessor Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Overall, the Jake Kasdan-directed sequel opened to $52.5M at the international box office, slightly down on the last film’s $54.8M (at historical rates and in like-for-likes) while also lower than where the industry saw The Next Level ahead of the weekend — the culprit here is China.
There were 16 No. 1 openings for The Next Level across Europe and Asia, but rumble was lacking in the jungle in China as the film lags the previous installment with an estimated debut frame of $25.3M. It still topped the Middle Kingdom box office at No. 1 in a market that also had a local pic in the mix with The Wild Goose Lake taking in about $20M. Word of mouth is down on The Next Level, with a 6.2 on Douban and a 7.7 on Maoyan, versus the earlier film’s respective scores of 6.9 and 8.6.
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Dwayne Johnson has a big base in the Middle Kingdom, but the movie didn’t pin audiences down as hoped. Across the board, industry sources we spoke with were seeing The Next Level in China coming in at around $40M before the session began. That led to those projections of a $60M+ overseas opening. But China was ultimately flat from Friday to Saturday with no family bump. It also didn’t help that Sony’s release date changed very close to the last minute. The Middle Kingdom authorities are in charge of dating, and backed The Next Level up from an original December 13 to December 6 which impacted the ability to get Johnson and others to Beijing, particularly as the Thanksgiving holidays were in the mix. A dedicated press day for key Chinese media and social influencers had been handled out of Cabo in November and the team then did a three-city European tour, which has paid dividends so far (France‘s $5.7M weekend is 93% ahead of Welcome To The Jungle, for example).
China repped just 14% of the last film’s overseas gross and is not required to be the major driver on what last time around was a global property that took in nearly $1B worldwide. With domestic still to come next session and many overseas markets to go, it’s early to make a call on this one. The previous film had a wild multiple, playing as counter programming to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This year, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker starts rollout on December 18 internationally.
Numbers elsewhere in Europe and Asia on The Next Level are much better, relatively, than in China. The Netherlands opened 58% ahead of the last film and the Nordics combined outperformed it by 30%. South East Asia as a whole did 47% better than Jungle including Malaysia which scored the 2nd biggest opening of the year and the biggest Sony opening ever for the market.
Given the small share of markets, Jumanji: The Next Level was not expected to lead overseas play, and particularly with the Frozen 2 ice-grip in the mix. That Disney movie added $90.2M this session in 48 offshore markets, retaining scores of No. 1s and seeing soft drops. The international cume is now $582.1M for $919.7M global as it looks towards $1B next weekend, and has helped push Disney past the $10B mark worldwide.
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below.
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
Sony’s sequel to the reboot of the beloved 1995 original didn’t step it up as well as hoped in its early offshore bow, but that’s primarily down to one market. China can be fickle and the family/general audience simply didn’t turn out this weekend.
The Next Level still took in $52.5M from 18 overseas markets, including $23.5M from the Middle Kingdom (which also includes $2.3M from IMAX there). Roundly, industry sources we heard from ahead of the weekend were pegging $40M in China for a $60M+ launch session. Ultimately, the numbers came in lower but with bright points in some areas.
Dwayne Johnson & Co launch next weekend in North America as well as the UK, Germany, Spain, Russia, Korea, Japan and Mexico. The idea is to jump start the holidays before Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker dominates discussion beginning December 18. The last Jumanji worked as leggy counter programming to The Last Jedi, so we’ll see how that pans out this time around. Based on the initial 18 markets, it’s early to make a call — and recalling that China repped only 14% of the earlier movie’s haul.
Diving down, Europe was powered by France where a $5.7M start was 93% ahead of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. The team did local press, which helped, and a nationwide strike on Thursday also appears to have fueled some of the gross. The strikes, such as we are all too accustomed to here, are scheduled to continue next week.
In the Netherlands, The Next Level topped the chart with $1.4M, which is 58% ahead of the last film. The Nordics grabbed No. 1s in all five debut markets for a combined total of $2.4M (+30% vs WTTJ).
In Asia, Taiwan played relatively like China with just $2.3M. However, Malaysia debuted to $4.6M for the 2nd biggest opening of the year and the biggest Sony opening ever for the market. Indonesia bowed to $6.4M, which is the 2nd biggest opening ever for a December release there, and Singapore and Philippines opened to $1.7M and $1.4M, respectively.
Ultimately, the top hubs for Welcome To The Jungle last time around were China, the UK, Australia, France and Russia. The movie played to a high multiple, continuing to beat the drum for weeks until its offshore final of $557.6M and $962.1M global (at historic rates). We’ll obviously keep an eye on this one going forward.
Disney’s winter wonderland continues as Frozen 2 has packed another $90.2M into the sleigh this weekend internationally. That brings the offshore cume to a snow-stopping $582.1M and global to $919.7M with $1B worldwide in reach later this week.
The sequel is about to become the No. 12 animated release of all time overseas, and the 4th Walt Disney Animation Studios movie within that top group.
In IMAX, Frozen 2 this weekend set a new global record as its biggest animated film ever. The global cume is $38.6M to overtake Chinese title Ne Zha in the format.
F2 added South Africa this weekend where $800K gave Disney its best animated opening ever. Elsewhere, there were continued No. 1s in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, UAE, UK, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and every territory released in Latin America. Brazil does not release until January 2.
In holds, the grip is tight. Overall, the drop was 47% overseas. The best holds included Poland (-13%), Spain (-18%), Chile (-22%), Germany (-25%), Israel (-25%), Netherlands (-30%), Japan (-30%), France (-40%), Hong Kong (-43%), Australia (-44%), Korea (-47%), Mexico (-47%), Italy (-48%) and Taiwan (-49%).
Frozen 2 has already become the highest grossing animated title of all time in Korea, Indonesia,Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand as well as the 2nd highest grossing animated title of all time in India and Ukraine.
The movie has further surpassed the original in Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Mexico, Vietnam, India, China, Poland, Hong Kong, Russia, Peru, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Albania, Bosnia/Herz, Croatia, Czech Rep, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hungary, Israel, Kuwait, Macedonia, Oman, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Syria, Turkey, UAE and Ukraine.
Here are the Top 5 markets: China ($104.4M), Korea ($75.5M), Japan ($55M), UK ($43.1M) and Germany ($34.4M).
FORD V FERRARI
Adding Korea and Thailand, notably, Fox/Chernin’s awards-season racer has lifted its international cume to $76.5M. The Disney release picked up $8.3M in 52 material markets this lap, and raised the global total to $167.6M so far.
The Christian Bale/Matt Damon-starrer raced to $3.3M at No. 2 in Korea, behind only Frozen 2. Elsewhere, holds have been strong in Germany (-23%), Hungary (-24%), Austria (-28%), New Zealand (-31%), Australia (-33%), Spain (-36%), Denmark (-37%), India (-39%), Taiwan (-39%), Belgium (-40%), Netherlands (-43%), Brazil (-43%), Hong Kong (-44%), Switzerland (-49%) and Peru (-49%).
Still to come is the Japan release on January 10, and the China date is still TBD.
The Top 5 markets so far are Russia ($9.5M), France ($8.2M), UK ($7.3M), Australia ($5.8M) and Mexico ($4.6M).
Lionsgate’s ensemble thriller is keeping audiences on the edge of their seats offshore with another $18.7M from 68 counter programmed markets this weekend. That cuts a fine figure of $60.6M international for $124.1M global.
Korea this session was the top debut market with a strong $1.7M, ranked No. 4 from 686 locations. Italy and Mexico also kicked off well with $1.2M from 361 locations and $1.1M from 871 locations, ranked Nos 3 and 2, respectively.
China, where the Daniel Craig pic had an impressive start last session, remains the top grossing market with $23.6M to date. In the UK, the gross is $8.1M so far, just a 20% drop from open.
Upcoming major markets include Brazil on December 12, followed by Germany and Japan in January.
Universal’s romantic comedy added $10.9M in 61 markets this weekend, including 22 new outings. The offshore cume is now $51.3M for $84.8M global as play continues through the festive season. Overall overseas, the Emilia Clarke-starrer is tracking ahead of The Intern, Yesterday, Crazy Rich Asians and About Time.
Russia opened at No. 3 with $1.5M, ahead of Yesterday by 224% and About Time by 471%. In Korea, where About Time became a phenomenon, Last Christmas bowed to $1M, better by 29% than CRA. Mexico was also new at No. 3 with $848K two track ahead of The Holiday (+95%) and CRA (+144%).
The UK has now grossed $15.8M, with a 19% drop this 4th session. Australia dipped 22% for a running cume of $6M, while Germany was up 13% for a $5.2M gross so far.
Thailand and Italy are still to bow.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
The Addams Family (UNI): $4.5M intl weekend (includes $4.3M from 41 UPI markets); $88.6M intl cume ($185.1M global)
Joker (WB): $2.4M intl weekend (72 markets); $722.8M intl cume ($1.055B global)
The Good Liar (WB): $2.4M intl weekend (43 markets); $9.6M intl cume ($25.7M global)
Charlie’s Angels (SNY): $1.9M intl weekend (37 markets); $38.4M intl cume ($55.9M global)
Motherless Brooklyn (WB): $1.7M intl weekend (24 markets); $4.2M intl cume ($13.4M global)
Abominable (UNI): $1M intl weekend (includes $500K from 46 UPI markets); $116M intl cume ($176.3M global)
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