MONDAY UPDATE, writethru after 8:47AM Sunday post: DreamWorks Animation/Universal’s The Croods: A New Age led the weekend in China with a $19.2M debut, outpacing local titles One Second and Caught In Time as it got a huge Saturday boost. This is the third best bow for a studio movie in the Middle Kingdom during the pandemic era — behind Tenet (which topped $300M overseas this session) and Mulan. In total, the sequel opened in seven offshore markets for a combined $20.8M at the international box office. There were also No. 1 starts in Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and the UAE. The worldwide opening estimate including domestic is $35M.
This is a solid start for the animated film that comes seven years after the original. Directed by Joel Crawford, it has strong word of mouth in China (9.1 on Maoyan and Taopiaopiao and 8.2 on Douban). Play increased by 191% from Friday to Saturday when it took in more than one-third of the market’s box office. Sunday saw just a 15% decrease from the previous day.
The weekend is three times the original movie’s 2013 launch. That film was a bonafide hit, going on to gross $63.3M in China at the time (before its extended run was cut short). The second prehistoric toon could get up to that neighborhood when looking at a few factors. Namely, there are a number of movies that have done a three multiple since cinemas reopened in the Middle Kingdom, and the social scores and word of mouth are there for A New Age. It is currently dominating midweek pre-sales, however, there is expected to be competition for screens in the coming frames.
In IMAX, Croods 2 grossed $2M from 671 China screens, good for 10.5% of the gross.
IMAX is also still playing runaway success Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train in Japan where a confirmed overall box office total of 27.5B yen ($264M), makes it the No. 2 highest-grossing film of all time in the market (IMAX’s portion is $17M). The figures set the anime adaptation above Titanic (26.2B yen) there and leave about 3.3B yen separating it from Japan’s biggest title ever, 2001’s Spirited Away. Demon Slayer, which will release in the U.S. early next year, is expected to overtake Spirited Away sometime during the next month.
Promotional giveaways for the Toho/Aniplex/Ufotable title have helped bring moviegoers back to cinemas for repeat viewings. Total admissions through Sunday stand at more than 20.5M. Directed by Haruo Sotozaki, the sequel to 2019’s TV series is based on the the manga series by Koyoharu Gotoge, and has been in cinemas for 45 days. It remains the No. 5 biggest movie worldwide for 2020 and the No. 3 biggest at the international box office.
Elsewhere, Warner Bros’ Tenet has crossed $300M at the international box office with a $300.4M total through Sunday. Offshore has been the key driver of the Christopher Nolan time-twister, with 84% of the gross from international markets. The worldwide cume is $357.8M. This is still with 15 markets yet to release, including Argentina, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Also in WB news, The Witches added $1.2M in 28 overseas markets on 2,328 screens. Holland was a new start with $514K at No. 1. The offshore cume to date is $16.9M.
Universal/Blumhouse’s Freaky opened in another five markets this session, taking $870K from a total 29. The offshore cume is now $4.87M for $11.9M global. Tops this frame was Korea with $269K at No. 4. That market was led by local comedy/drama Best Friend, however restrictions tightened in Seoul last week, further limiting cinema capacity, which is dinging performances. Australia is Freaky’s best hub overall at $1.05M through Sunday. There are plenty of major dates to come through January.
In new play, Warners released Melissa McCarthy comedy Superintelligence in nine markets for a $750K debut on 1,852 screens. Russia led play with $395K on 1,400. The next major to go is the UK on December 11.
Focus’ crime drama Let Him Go grossed $278K from nine offshore markets and has cumed $612K internationally. On Saturday, the Kevin Coster/Diane Lane-starrer saw a 95% bump over Friday in Australia. The weekend was worth $242K there, on par with Hell Or High Water. There are also further majors to go throughout the coming months overseas.
Next weekend will see the China release of Constantine’s Monster Hunter. There will be an IMAX component there, as well as in Taiwan, Holland and the Middle East. Also coming in China is local pic Soul Snatcher. These are in advance of Wonder Woman 1984 on December 18 in China (and December 16 in some other key offshore markets).
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