Disney/Pixar’s Soul continues to shine overseas with a $96.2M cume after seven frames. In 11 markets this session, the Pete Docter-helmed original added $6.9M to its international box office kitty with No. 1s again in Russia and Korea. In China, it has surpassed Incredibles 2 to become the market’s 2nd highest-grossing Pixar title ever.
China in general had a soft session as the market looks forward to the Lunar New Year releases which begin rollout on February 12. Detective Chinatown 3 will storm the box office there next weekend, having hit over RMB 350M ($54M) in overall pre-sales, per Maoyan. Pre-sales for the full roster of this year’s New Year titles through opening day February 12 are estimated at over RMB 400M ($62M).
Imax Q4 Sales Slump On Covid Theater Closures But Robust Asia Box Office Bodes Well For Moviegoing
China last year missed out on the Lunar New Year period owing to Covid closures (and this year will face 50% capacity restrictions in Beijing across the week). But the market has greatly bounced back with 2021 grosses estimated at about $526M ahead of this weekend. DC3 will have an important IMAX component, as will A Writer’s Odyssey (formerly Assassin In Red) — both were shot with IMAX cameras. This weekend, IMAX held sneak previews of Alibaba’s New Gods: Nezha Reborn on Saturday, generating $270K with another round of previews scheduled for Tuesday. It officially opens on Friday.
Turning back to this week’s holdovers, positive social reactions are giving Soul added life in Russia and Korea where the drops were a respective -21% and -25%. The Russia gross is now $11.6M, the third-best total for a Pixar release. In Korea, Soul added $2M for a $10.1M cume to date. China added $1.8M in the 7th session, for a $55.8M (RMB 362M) total.
China was led this session by Shock Wave 2‘s $4.7M. The Andy Lau actioner has grossed RMB 1.27B ($196.4M) to date, including $22.6M from IMAX.
There was further good news for IMAX which scored a record-breaking opening in Korea with Japanese smash Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train. The anime sensation had released on January 27 in the market, but this weekend brought 17 IMAX screens into the fold. The performance was good for $330K, marking the format’s best bow for a non-English-language animated release, topping Weathering With You and Your Name. In total, Demon Slayer has grossed $3.7M in Korea (and an estimated $358M in Japan). The IMAX global total is $25.2M.
Warner Bros’ Denzel Washington-starrer The Little Things picked up $1.4M in 21 overseas markets during the sophomore session. Russia is the only major in the mix and dropped just 29% from opening. Ukraine launched this frame at No. 1, though there was no holdover business in Saudi Arabia where cinemas shut for 10 days beginning this past Thursday. The offshore total is now $5.2M for $13M worldwide. Australia is the next major, on February 18.
DreamWorks Animation/Universal’s The Croods: A New Age added $800K in 17 markets to lift the offshore cume to $101.7M. Globally, the sequel has now grossed $147.7M with more markets to come once cinemas reopen in Europe. The top play is still China with $53.7M, followed by Australia’s $15.6M.
Through Sunday, WB/DC’s Wonder Woman 1984 has an international running cume of $114.2M with $154.5M global after a $653K overseas weekend.
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