China’s National Day holiday officially ended last Thursday, with takings for the October 1-8 period at an estimated RMB 3.95B ($589M) as the market continues to close the 2020 gap with domestic. This weekend saw continued play for the key titles, led by patriotic pic My People My Homeland which added another $42M (-65% for the FSS) to bring the local cume to about $321M. Jiang Ziya: Legend Of Deification had a steeper drop (-89%) to $11.3M for a local estimated total of $217M.
Both films helped IMAX score a record-breaking National Day holiday week in the market with its box office up 23% versus the same period in 2019, and despite 75% capacity restrictions in theaters throughout the country. Jiang Ziya has grossed $13M in IMAX through today while My Country, My Homeland has a $7.5M cume in the format.
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IMAX has also had a strong run with Tenet with a $30.1M offshore cume, representing 11% of the total on the Christopher Nolan time-twister. Japan, which is now the No. 4 overseas market on Tenet, has reached $5M in the format to become the 2nd biggest WB IMAX release ever there, behind only Gravity. It is also Nolan’s highest-grossing IMAX title in Japan, surpassing Dunkirk.
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Tenet’s full take in its 7th global weekend was $9.8M. The overseas cume is now $275M for $323.3M worldwide. The international box office drop was 35% including solid holds in Japan (-19%), Australia (-22%), Germany (-31%), Mexico (-34%), France (-38%), and Italy (-41%). After slight dips in the UK in recent weeks, this session was off 48%, likely due in part to Cineworld’s closures.
There were three smaller openings this session, in Bolivia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua where the movie was No. 1 in each. Still to come are a further 21 international markets including Brazil, Argentina, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Top 5 offshore hubs are now China ($66.2M), UK ($21.8M), France ($21.4M), Japan ($19.2M) and Germany ($17.2M).
In other play, STX’s Greenland added three new markets in the frame. Italy took an estimated $803K from 378 locations at No. 1 and with an over 30% share. New Zealand also debuted atop the charts with $227K from 89 locations. Including those bows, the Gerard Butler pic has scored No. 1 starts in 24 markets since it began rollout. The full international weekend is an estimated $2.84M from 2,715 locations and the cume to date is $28M. Next week sees releases in Czech Republic and Romania.
Voltage Pictures’ After We Collided has crossed $40M internationally with $42.5M ahead of its domestic October 23 release. The current weekend was good for $2M in 34 markets. The Netherlands opened No.1 with $820K (including previews). Germany leads all play with $8.5M to date, followed by Italy ($4.9M), UK ($4.7M), Russia ($3.8M) and Spain ($3.8M). Belgium opens next weekend on the YA romance that hails from Anna Todd’s bestselling novels.
Looking back at China, and as noted on Friday, the National Day titles have helped to significantly shrink the gap between the world’s second biggest market and North America. It now appears only a matter of time before the Middle Kingdom overtakes domestic for this COVID-pummeled year given that New York remains closed and the studios have moved virtually all major Hollywood movies into next year and beyond — as well as Regal having temporarily shuttered the majority of its sites in the U.S.
Of course, 2020 will get a pandemic asterisk, but China is also now expected to begin 2021 in force with word that Detective Chinatown 3 has been set to release on February 12, kicking off the Chinese New Year after having been shelved when cinemas were forced to close and kiboshed the lucrative holiday earlier this year.
Coming up this week, Liam Neeson-starrer Honest Thief will open in such majors as France and Mexico.
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