WRITETHRU, 11:20 AM Monday: Universal Pictures’ Fifty Shades Darker opened to less than the estimated $100 million-plus take with a $97.7M international debut, the fourth-biggest opening ever for an R-rated film behind its predecessor Fifty Shade Of Grey, Deadpool and The Matrix Revolutions. And it’s headed into Valentine’s Day tomorrow in Europe and elsewhere which should give it an extra kick mid-week.
If you look at just three-day weekend numbers, it was the China bow of Paramount Pictures’ xXx: Return Of Xander Cage that dominated, grossing more than $69.3M in 53 markets thanks to its Middle Kingdom debut as it accounted for the bulk of the gross. Warner Bros’ The Lego Batman Movie, which debuted in 60 territories, did slightly better than what was estimated yesterday and now sits at $37.2M. As expected, it was disrobed by Fifty Shades in almost every country where they went head to head.
Last week it was three Chinese New Year releases that stepped into the top 3 spots internationally, including xXx; that has changed with newcomer Fifty Shades Darker which landed a No. 1 spot in 51 markets. The other newcomer was John Wick: Chapter 2 which only opened in Russia but nabbed the No. 2 spot this weekend there, behind only xXx. A strong showing also for Jolly Llb 2 in India, the courtroom dramedy written and directed by Subhash Kapoor.
Here’s a look at the three new openers, xXX‘s bow in China and the other top holdovers from around the globe. We will update as we receive the numbers. So far, both Universal, Warner Bros., Fox and Lionsgate have reported final grosses:
FIFTY SHADES DARKER
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we can expect another great bump from the second installment of the Universal Pictures’ franchise internationally. With only four more markets left to open, Fifty Shades Darker enjoyed a salacious $97.7M (down from the estimated $100.1M) in its 57 territories to become 2017’s biggest international opening — hey, the year is early — but what the heck. It opened to No. 1 in 51 markets and globally debuted to new $144.3M. While The Lego Batman movie dominated Fifty Shades stateside, internationally the young couple whipped the caped crusader with a vengeance.
The last time around Fifty Shades of Grey was No. 1 in 54 markets and set a record for the biggest overseas February bow and the biggest weekend for an R-rated film. 71% of its gross came from abroad so the rollout of Fifty Shades Darker is being carefully watched and because of Valentine’s Day falling on a Tuesday could easily play out as a five-day opener.
The international promotional tour of its stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson helped propel the Universal Pictures sequel to an excellent opening Germany and U.K. and fan anticipation was evidenced in the massive views of the trailer, which broke industry records with 76M views in the first 24 hours internationally.
In 2014, the biggest markets for the film was the U.K. and Germany (in that order) and this time around, it’s Germany and the U.K. Germany topped the markets with a solid $10.5M opening followed by the U.K. and Ireland with $9.4M.
In descending order next comes France with $8.3M, Brazil took in $7.3M; Russia grabbed $6.5M to come in third behind xXx: Return of Xander Cage as well as the debut of John Wick 2; Italy dished up $6.9M; Australia came up with $5.8M; Spain $5M; Mexico $2.7M; Poland garnered a strong $2.7M; Argentina chimed in with $2.2M; Netherlands garnered a strong $2.2M; the Philippines pulled in $1.8M; Sweden grossed $1.7M; Belgium came in with $1.8M; Denmark $1.7M; Austria culled $1.4M; Norway grossed a strong $1.4M; Switzerland $1.4M; Czech Republic $1M and Panama saw $1.1M.
The last four markets to open are Egypt on Feb. 15, the Middle East and United Arab Emirates on March 9 and Japan on June 23.
Opening in 60 international markets this weekend, the Warner Bros. animated film grossed a strong $37.2M from approximately 14,970 screens around the globe. In 2014, The Lego Movie garnered $18.7M in 34 markets and ended up with $211M-plus all in. Expect this one to do much better. Europe is getting ready for further expansion of school holidays and the studio expects a strong run during this time period, particularly in the UK, Germany, France and Spain. In Asia, the film capitalized on the Chinese New Year sneaks which came early in 2017 so with good word-of-mouth building, the film was able to find an audience in such territories as Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. As with any sequel, the IP is now known and so its been outperforming the first installment. In Latin America, Lego Batman has basically little to no competition from family titles in these markets so the date was well chosen.
In marketing the picture internationally, Warner Bros. was able to secure Lego Batman covers in such print outlets as Blocks with a 26-page feature, Esquire in Mexico (where it also did a Top Chef show integration), and tons of publicity came in the UK from a number of outlets. In addition, the studio created an extensive Lego Batman Chinese New Year campaign for several Asian markets (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia) with a custom Year of the Rooster greeting.
Market by market, the UK opened to $9.9M, which included previews, from 1,546 screens. It ranked No. 2 behind the debut of Universal Pictures’ Fifty Shades Darker. With two-thirds of the market on mid-term school holidays which start on Monday, the studio expects Lego Batman to have strong legs over the coming weeks.
Mexico grossed $2.5M on 1,839 screens for another No. 2 slot behind Fifty Shades; it logged a 4% higher than the 2014 opening of The Lego Movie. Germany ran in with $2.3M on 895 screens (also No. 2), for an 8% climb over the debut of the first installment. Here, school holidays will take hold in the coming weeks as well.
Russia opened to $2.1M on 1,962 screens, ranking No. 3 behind Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick 2, but it outperformed the debut here of the first movie by 31%. Brazil debuted with $2M on 777 screens, another step behind Fifty Shades Darker for a No. 2 slot. Results here are 37% ahead of the 2014 installment.
France was the next highest territory for Lego Batman, bringing in $1.65M from 245K admissions on 549 screens and ranking in the Top 5. Similar to UK and Germany, this country is expected to enjoy an uptick from kids being in the marketplace from school holidays. Meanwhile, Spain opened to $1.5M on 406 screens (again No. 2). And Italy opened to a $1.3M on 448 screens only behind Fifty Shades Darker.
There was a cold snap in Korea this weekend which affected the country’s overall box office, but Lego Batman still came in about 9% ahead of The Lego Movie. This sequel grossed an estimated $750K from 430 screens. And Argentina grossed $707K, ranking No 2 behind Fifty Shades but almost tripling the opening of The Lego Movie.
Up next will be China on March 3rd, followed by Australia on March 30 and then Japan on April 1.
JOHN WICK 2
The second in the Lionsgate franchise grossed an estimated $11.4M from 41 markets for its initial international rollout this weekend, with Russia being the only major territory release. There, the Keanu Reeves shoot-em-up debuted with $2.7M which is 200% over the first installment’s opening and will surpass the lifetime gross of John Wick in one week. The first grossed a total of $2.6M.
Of the other 40 markets, here are the highlights: Opened in the Philippines with $968K (+362% over the first installment), Taiwan $775K (+26%), Malaysia, $773K (+310%), and Hong Kong $581K (+69%). The Middle East and Turkey opened to excellent results with $2M and $883K, respectively.
The next major markets will be in only four days when it steps into Brazil and Germany on Feb. 16 and the U.K. a day after that. The actioner has made $41.88M worldwide.
JOLLY LLB 2
Fox is handling distribution on this sequel to the popular 2013 Indian black comedy. The courtroom dramedy is written and directed by Subhash Kapoor and stars Akshay Kumar, Saurabh Shukla and Annu Kapoor. It opened in India with a big $9.6M on 3,471 screens. It also bowed in the U.K. with $169K on 71 screens. The film satarizes the Indian justice (or non-justice) system and because of its irreverance has gotten in trouble with the courts. It is also banned in Pakistan. Nevertheless, Indian audiences warmed to this film which also includes a snappy soundtrack from a number of popular local artists.
Lion, a U.S./Australia co-production that is nominated for Best Picture for distributor TWC has been tearing it up Down Under. It has become the first Australian film in over 30 years to be No. 1 for three weeks in a row; the last one to do this was Crocodile Dundee in 1986. It ranks as the No. 12 box office grabber of all time in the market so far.
xXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE
The Vin Diesel action sequel, boasting a strong international cast, grossed $69.3M this weekend in 61 markets, with $62.99M of that coming from its debut weekend in China where it opened on 6,600 screens, according to Huahua. Its international cume is now $186.5M.
The actioner ended up becoming the biggest opening for a Hollywood film that bowed during February for this three-day number and also the 2nd biggest Imax February debut in China, behind only the 2014 film and local sensation The Monkey King 2. Eight of the top 10 theaters in China were Imax where the film earned $6M. xXx grossed $1.6M from 242 Imax screen in 54 markets.
For the last 30 days or so, the studio focused on a local beloved talent in the film — Donnie Yen — to appeal to local audiences to drive ticket sales on local websites which was thought to have given the film a boost in the market.
The film also opened this weekend in Korea — where residents are enduring a cold snap — and was able to launch with $2.6M at 589 cinemas, to take the No. 3 spot in the market. Next up for the Paramount Pictures’ film is Japan on February 24.
LA LA LAND
The Oscar front-runner will bow in China on Valentine’s Day, so as we wait to see if the Chinese embrace the Lionsgate/Black Label Media film. Do they celebrate Valentine’s Day? Not really, although it is recognized by some of the younger crowd there and that is who this movie hopes to appeal to. China’s own ‘Valentine’s Day’ holiday is called the Qixi Festival and that takes place this year on August 28th. So this weekend, with 73 markets in play, La La Land grossed a nice $11.2M for a total of $167.6M internationally — so far. Globally, it is reaching for $300M and will get there as it is dancing around with $293.6M. So with China coming this week and Japan on Feb. 24, it will dance over the milestone. Market by market, the U.K. remains the top-grossing territory with $32.6M after five weeks of play. In Australia after seven weeks in release, it has a total tally of $13.2M to become distributor eOne’s highest grossing film ever locally. In France, it has cumulated $11.3M in three weeks. Spain comes next with $11M in 31 days; it is being handled by Universal there.
With nine new openings this weekend, the drama/thriller from Paramount Pictures grabbed $9.6M in 44 markets for new international cume of $30.5M. Spain, where these kind of films traditionally do well, collected $677K at 226 sites while the opening for the film in Malaysia grossed $461K at 118 locales. The UAE pulled in $285K at 42 locations; the total Middle East region now has a tally of $725K. Another launch in the Netherlands garnered $212K at 57 cinemas. In its second weekend in Brazil, Rings grossed another $1.4M at 506 sites to bring its running cume up to $4.9M. Mexico’s sophomore frame collected $8453K from 686 cinemas to bring the total to $4.3M and its second weekend in France added another $719K at 225 locales for for a country cume of $2.4M. The next big releases for Rings comes nearer the end of the month in Australia on Feb. 23 and Italy on March 16.
Packing in audiences both domestically (where the film already crossed $100M) and internationally, the James McAvoy psychological horror thriller Split had another fantastic weekend, scaring in another $8.3M in 41 markets to bring its total to date to $57M. Combined with the stateside gross, its worldwide number now sits at $169.4M. There were no new opening markets this weekend, so let’s take a look at its many holdover territories: Germany continues to perform well in its third weekend of release $1.7M for a total gross so far of $7.7M. It sits comfortably at at No. 3 behind the two newcomers Fifty Shades Darker and Lego Batman. Down Under in Australia, it is also No. 3 with a weekend take of $1.3M and a total of $7.3M. Spain grossed $1M for a total there of $5.7M and in Taiwan, Split is holding onto its No. 1 position for the second weekend in a row with $863K, down 50% from its opening for a total to date of $3.3M.
This film still has a lot of play in it as it hasn’t even opened yet in Mexico, which it will next weekend along with France and South Korea. In addition, it still has another 24 markets that it has yet to release into.
It just sailed over the $500M mark globally and has yet to open in China and Russia and Japan, so expect this Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures’ animated family film to keep going and going and going. With another $8M take internationally this weekend in 61 markets, its overseas tally is now $236.5M. Combined with the domestic haul of $265.4M, it just tip-toed over the milestone with $501.9M. There were no new openers this weekend but the U.K. and Ireland marketplace is holding strong for the animal crooners, having pulled in $2.6M over the three-day for a total gross so far of $21.2M. School holidays are underway, so we expect Sing to keep singing in Europe. In France, where it is No. 3 in its third week of play, it danced in with another $2.9M for a total take of about $13.2M. Winter school holidays are already underway in parts of the country and will continue for three more weeks. It opens in China next weekend.
RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER
The Sony Pictures film pulled in $6.5M this weekend from 4,100 screens in 58 total markets, raising the international cume to $110.4M. Next weekend, the film bows in Russia and Italy — but China, its final market comeson February 24. Asia’s regional cume has reached $69.6M, including Vietnam’s No. 1 debut this weekend with $490K from 133 screens; that set another record for the franchise as the biggest opening for the market.
Disney’s animated film Moana which co-stars the voice talent of Auli’l Cravallo and international favorite Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, continued to hold strong in Australia, France, Germany and the U.K. while stealing the thunder away from The Lego Batman Movie.
In its 2nd weekend of release and with the benefit of school holidays, it held tight to the No. 1 spot in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, besting the Warner Bros. film. Next weekend, it will bow in Finland with positive word of mouth coming from all the surrounding countries.
Moana captured $5.7M in 34 markets bringing its international cume up to $322M. When you add in the domestic number, the family film has grossed $566M globally. The top markets for the film is France ($34.6M), China ($32.7M), the UK ($23.4M), Brazil ($21.6M) and Australia ($18.5M). After bowing in Finland next weekend, the next territory for the film is Japan on March 10th. Japan is a big lover of all things animated from Disney.
With another $2.6M coming in for this Academy Award nominated Best Picture, Fox is now looking at a total international cume of $12.5M. Leading the charge on this film is Germany, which was down only 10% from the previous weekend for a total take there of $1.3M. The Ted Melfi-directed film is No. 1 in Israel and No. 2 in New Zealand right now. It opens in NZ’s neighboring country Australia next weekend along with the big markets of the UK and India. Stateside, Hidden Figures just keeps kicking and has a domestic tally to date of $131.4M which means its global box office take is about $144M.
THE GREAT WALL
With a China total of $171M, the Universal Pictures/Legendary Entertainment title starring Matt Damon, took in another $2.5M in its 33 markets to bring its international total up to $224.5M. Outside of China, the total is $53.4M. The film opens in North America and 21 other international markets next weekend, including the big territories of Australia, South Korea and Russia. Although there were no new openings this weekend, there is one noteworthy market. Mexico is in its second weekend of play and dropped 52% from last weekend’s holiday to bring its 10-day total to $5.1M after a three-day take of $486K. It’s No. 4 in the market.
T2 Trainspotting (SONY), $1.7M weekend; $16.9M total
A Dog’s Purpose (UNI), $1.4M weekend, $56.4M total
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (FOX), $1.3M weekend; $205.5M total
Dr. Strange (DIS), $1.4M weekend; $441.2M total
Arrival (PAR), $1.4M weekend, $55.8M total
Manchester by the Sea (handled by UNI in 11 markets), $1.2M weekend; $11M total
Allied (PAR), $1.1M weekend, $75M total
Rogue One (DIS), $1M weekend, $520.9M total