UPDATE, WRITETHRU: Sony’s Bad Boys For Life kept the heat on in its sophomore session at the international box office. The weekend was worth $42M in 58 markets for an offshore cume of $95M, bringing global to $215M. The overseas drop was just 39% in the holdover hubs.
Following last week’s debut, the well-received Will Smith/Martin Lawrence threequel collared another record as the biggest opening of the 25-year-old franchise in the new group of 19 markets. Among No. 1 starts were Russia, France and Netherlands. The UK leads all play at $10.7M to date. Brazil, Japan and Italy are still on deck through next month.
Continuing to capitalize on its 10 Oscar nominations (and now a DGA top prize for director Sam Mendes) Amblin/Universal’s 1917 made a collective $23.7M from 50 overseas markets this frame. The offshore total is about to pass $100M while globally the war drama has sped across the $200M line.
The offshore and worldwide standings would have looked a lot different this week, but a shift brought on by the coronavirus epidemic in China shuffled the deck. On Thursday last week, it emerged that all local film releases scheduled for the highly lucrative Chinese New Year period were pulled (both at home and abroad) amid the escalating crisis. That resulted in no record-breaking openings as had previously been expected in the Middle Kingdom. Certainly, the most important thing to consider here is the human factor as Chinese authorities made the prudent decision to shelve the Lunar New Year movies in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease. However, as we detailed last week, this is expected to mean a $1B+ blow to global box office for 2020.
Movie theaters were forced to close this weekend in China and it is not yet known when they will reopen. The impact on Hollywood is also not yet clear. A backlog of local product in the market likely portends a stand-off for screens once things, hopefully, settle. Some studio releases could be shifted while future dates could be shorter in coming so that homegrown titles continue to excel.
It’s understood that this weekend new openings for the studios in SE Asia were pretty much on target with expectations from before the virus news. Holdovers, as noted below, ended up benefiting somewhat as the CNY movies did not release anywhere thus making more screens available. Hong Kong, however, was hit across the board. And Korea had its own homegrown breakout during the holiday with The Man Standing Next.
Last year’s full New Year holiday, which began on Tuesday February 5, brought in about RMB 5.8B ($836M) in China with the month of February achieving a benchmark RMB 11.1B ($1.6B). This year, the holiday frame was to begin on Saturday January 25. So, although the comparison is not apples-to-apples, if we look at just the first full FSS weekend of 2018, the Top 5 CNY entries grossed a combined $345.5M. Through today, collective box office for the Top 5 films that may have screened in a handful of cinemas for at least part of the weekend is unclear. While cinemas had been ordered to close, we are told some independents may have stayed open under threat of losing their licenses. China box office reporting is, understandably, unreliable at the moment and refunds will still need to be issued for pre-sales.
Turning back to the rest of this weekend internationally, Universal’s Dolittle is finding some takers overseas with a $13.2M session in 55 markets for $46.4M to date. The offshore cume is in line with Cinderella, 11% below Maleficent and 61% over Alice Through The Looking Glass at the same point in release. The expensive movie still has several majors to come and has grossed $91.1M globally. Whether Dolittle‘s China date in February (as well as other Hollywood pics) is affected by the coronavirus epidemic is not yet clear.
Elsewhere, Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker crossed $500M domestically, becoming only the 15th film ever to the milestone. With $1.046B global, it is the No. 9 worldwide release of 2019. With $1.419B+ global, Disney Animation’s Frozen 2 has topped Avengers: Age Of Ultron ($1.404B) to become the No. 10 highest grossing release of all time worldwide.
Frozen 2 missed out on an Oscar nomination in the Animated Feature category, but its stablemate Jojo Rabbit from Searchlight, is making hay from the six nods it received. Taika Waititi’s comedy has now grossed $54M globally with several key international markets to come. It dropped just 19% from last weekend in the already opened hubs.
Another Oscar nominee, Sony’s Little Women is marching towards $150M worldwide with 50% of the overseas markets still to come. The global cume is now $147M, of that $53M is from offshore. The weekend was $5.6M in 27 markets.
Also worth a mention, Universal’s screecher Cats snagged older audiences in its Japan opening for a No. 1 $3.54M bow at 379 locations. That’s on par with Les Misérables and ahead of Mary Poppins Returns, A Star Is Born and Mamma Mia 2.
Next weekend, when it seems unlikely Chinese moviehouses will be back in operation, there are expansions of films already on release and a smattering of new limited entries. The next wide day-and-date release is Warner Bros/DC’s Birds Of Prey, beginning rollout on February 5.
Breakdowns on this week’s films above and more have been updated below.
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
Expanding into another 19 markets this session, Sony’s threequel added $42M from a total 58. That’s good for a $95M overseas cume and $215M global. The $90M production held the No. 1 spot internationally and worldwide. Though that would not have been the case had China not shuttered because of the coronavirus, it would still have been tops for the studios. The previous picture finaled at $134.7M (unadjusted) and BBFL still has Brazil, Japan and Italy to go with no major competition until Birds Of Prey in early February.
Russia was the top new start at a clear No. 1 with $4.7M, besting both Mission: Impossible – Fallout (+21%) and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (+17%). France launched No. 1 with $4.1M (including previews), which is 81% ahead of John Wick 3. Other notable openings include: Belgium (No.1/$1.4M), Netherlands (No. 1/$1.5M), Ukraine (No. 1/$1.1M), Colombia (No.1/$1.1M), and South Africa (No. 1/$1.0M).
In the holdover markets, the drop was 39%. Leading all play is the UK with a cume of $10.7M (-29% from last weekend), Germany ($9.6M at No. 1 and off by 31%), Mexico ($8.1M), Australia ($7.6M) and Russia ($4.7M).
Universal/Amblin/New Republic’s 1917 raced to another $23.7M in 50 combined UNI/Amblin markets this weekend, landing at $96.6M so far internationally. The global cume is now $200.5M. Russia and Japan are still to release.
Brazil ($1.53M) was thet top new market, coming in 7% ahead of Dunkirk and more than double Darkest Hour, Bridge Of Spies and The Imitation Game.
France had the best hold at No. 2 with a $7.38 cume to surpass the lifetimes of Darkest Hour and Bridge Of Spies. Germany dipped by only 14% to amass $3.9M so far, and Mexico is down just 27% with a total $2.97M after two frames. This is already over the full runs of Bridge Of Spies, The Imitation Game and Hacksaw Ridge.
Sam Mendes won the DGA’s top prize on Saturday night and the war drama inspired by his grandfather has nine BAFTA nominations heading into next weekend’s ceremony, along with 10 for Oscar the following week.
Universal’s costly Robert Downey Jr/talking animals pic plucked a further $13.2M from 55 offshore markets this session. The overseas cume is $46.4M for $91.1M global. The movie has several majors to come including Germany, Italy, Mexico, France, UK, Brazil, Russia, Japan and China. The latter’s status may be dependent upon the developments with regard to the coronavirus epidemic, however. There is some clear runway ahead in general in the family space until Sonic: The Hedgehog arrives in mid-February, so overseas may help blot some of the red ink.
There were nine new markets in the session, led by Spain at $1.9M and a No. 1 start from 392 sites. Families and kids turned up to put the bow 43% over that of Jumanji and 56% above Night At The Museum 3.
Malaysia ($809K), Taiwan ($798K), Hong Kong ($780K) and Vietnam ($367K) also notably opened Dolittle, some benefited from the lack of Chinese New Year films playing in SE Asia with Taiwan coming in 17% over Maleficent. Hong Kong was down in general as some cinemas were closed and moviegoing motivation zapped by the coronavirus. All save Vietnam were No. 2 launches.
Korea, which opened early and well, is still leading all play at $11.4M after three weeks. Australia was this frame’s best hold with a $5.1M cume to date. Indonesia rounds out the Top 3 at $3.6M.
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
Sony’s holiday holdover still has game overseas with another $9.6M in the frame, taking the international cume to $454M and global to $738M. The Dwayne Johnson-starrer is still playing in 60 markets. Brazil, which bowed at No. 1 last weekend, is in a tight race to hold the spot, grossing an added $2.3M with an $8.7M cume to date.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ sequel passed Avengers: Age Of Ultron this week, skating to the No. 10 spot on the all-time global charts with $1,419.3M so far. The weekend brought Elsa and Anna another $7M in 43 material markets for an international cume of $949.5M. The overall drop was 46% from last frame. The Top 5 markets are China ($122.3M), Japan ($116.8M), Korea ($97.2M), UK ($67.9M) and Germany ($58.8M).
SPIES IN DISGUISE
From Fox’s Blue Sky Studios, the Disney release winged to $6.9M in 41 material markets during the 5th offshore weekend. Overseas the cume is now $85.8M with openings ahead in some of Scandinavia and Latin America, as well as Japan in May. The global total is $147.8M through Sunday.
Korea, Brazil, Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong were new this session. In the former, where local pics were leading, Spies was the No. 1 western release with $1.7M including previews.
Elsewhere in Asia, it opened as the No. 2 western release in Hong Kong ($500K) and No. 3 in both Taiwan ($400K w/previews) and the Philippines ($300K). Again, the lack of CNY movies and the scare in Hong Kong will have had some impact here. Brazil was a soft bow at $600K and No. 5.
China ($15M), UK ($8.2M), France ($7M), Russia ($6.5M) and Australia ($5.4M) are the Top 5 markets.
With still 50% of overseas to release, Sony’s Little Women is going strong at $53M to date, adding $5.6M in a total 27 markets this session. The global cume is now $147M. Holdover hubs dipped just 37%. Mexico was the top new opener at $730K to triple the start of last year’s fellow Oscar nominee The Favourite. Germany and Russia open this week, followed by Korea and China in February and Japan in March. As noted above, upcoming China dates are potentially subject to how the coronavirus epidemic evolves.
The UK leads the international march at $24.1M, followed by Australia ($9M), Italy ($5.4M), Spain ($4.8M) and France ($4.4M).
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLES
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (DIS): $5.5M intl weekend (47 markets); $544.6M intl cume ($1,046.2M global)
Jojo Rabbit (DIS): $5.4M intl weekend (35 markets); $28.1M intl cume ($54M global)
Cats (UNI): $3.8M intl weekend (40 markets); $38.5M intl cume ($65.5M global)
The Gentlemen (MIR): $3.1M intl weekend (23 markets); $22.5M intl cume ($33.5M global)
The Grudge (SNY): $2.5M intl weekend (41 markets); $19.5M intl cume ($40.3M global)
Underwater (DIS): $2.3M intl weekend (25 markets); $17.7M intl cume ($33.6M global)
Knives Out (LGF): $2.2M intl weekend (62 markets); $134.9M intl cume ($286.8M global)
Richard Jewell (WB): $1.6M intl weekend (32 markets); $11.4M intl cume ($33.6M global)
Just Mercy (WB): $1.5M intl weekend (20 markets); $3.4M intl cume ($30.5M global)
*The Turning (UNI): $400K intl weekend (3 UNI markets); $800K intl cume with Amblin hubs ($8.1M global)
Political thriller The Man Standing Next led the Korea box office at $15.8M in its debut. From director Woo Min-ho, the 1970s-set film is based on the nonfiction bestseller Chiefs Of Namsan (KCIA Chiefs) and focuses on a power struggle among then-President Park Chung-hee’s top aides before he was assassinated in 1979. Lee Byung-hun stars.
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