Sony Pictures Animation’s Peter Rabbit this weekend crossed $200M at the international box office. The bunny has collected $204.2M worth of eggs in his basket at offshore turnstiles with $114.6M domestic for $318.8M worldwide. The Will Gluck-directed take on Beatrix Potter’s classic character still has Korea and Japan on deck next month.
The family film is led by the UK with $55.7M, followed by China ($26.4M), Australia ($19.1M), Germany ($11.6M) and Russia ($9.6M).
Peter started shaking his tail in February when the movie released to a $25M domestic bow. It was former Sony executive Doug Belgrad’s first release under his 2.0 Entertainment production label.
In mid-March, Sony opened the movie in the UK ahead of Easter and was able to nicely tee it up for that holiday and play beyond. It recently became Sony’s biggest non-Bond movie ever in the market.
A beloved property in the UK, the task for the Sony marketing team was to reassure fans that the film would capture the heart of Potter’s stories while also promoting the contemporary tone to a wider audience. The cast, including James Corden, Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson and Elizabeth Debicki attended a family gala premiere there with appearances on popular TV and radio shows.
The cheeky blue-jacketed Peter was the focus of creative that highlighted his values of family and loyalty. Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Mrs Tiggy Winkle were also central to the UK campaign. Because Peter Rabbit is a long-running TV show in the UK, the team also highlighted the must-see theatrical proposition.
Other highlights included themed content developed with Buzzfeed Tasty; Peter Rabbit-branded rewards within Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga games; a livestream of the UK premiere; Key spots in The Voice, Coronation Street and Dancing On Ice; a promotional partnership with Harrods which fully branded its windows to the movie; an Easter campaign through chocolatier Cadbury; and a Happy Meal program featuring Peter.
The movie ultimately held No. 1 for four weeks consecutively in the UK, despite blockbuster newcomers some of those frames.
In the U.S. and overseas, Peter (reported production budget $50M) benefited from the sort of huge 360-fan experience that Sony is known for on its titles like Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sony also has a history for reigniting a children’s classic and successfully turning into popcorn fare: Between two movies, Stuart Little logged $470M worldwide.
In Germany there was a nationwide on-air promotion with ProSiebenSat.1 and a premiere partnership; cooperation with Lufthansa partner airline Sun Express and Total gas stations. The premiere was held in Berlin on March 11 with nationwide coverage and a character tour visited 35 cinemas, shopping malls and special events all over the country.
In campaigns elsewhere, Spain got good play out of entertainment program El Hormiguero which is watched together by families. Another marketing effort was with “Freson de Palos” berries which saw 10M strawberry packs customized with the movie’s image; a national TV campaign; and the promotion expanding to other European countries with over 8M berry packs also customized with the image of the film.
In Italy, a 7-meter tall giant carrot was installed at the Roma Est shopping center with activity books distributed and kids engagements at the weekends. At Porta Di Roma, the largest shopping mall in Italy, kids were invited to extract a big carrot from the ground, à la Excalibur.
Domestically, Corden was the axis of Sony’s campaign. He participated in Blue Jacket Day which was created to draw awareness to the importance of children’s literacy through its beneficiary, Reading Is Fundamental. There was also an epic three-day takeover of The Grove in Los Angeles with Corden, Gleeson, Debicki, Rose Byrne, Margot Robbie and Gluck participating. On Super Bowl Sunday, Sony held a Bunny Bowl event to benefit The Bunny Bunch Rescue charity. Custom TV promos and a vibrant outdoor campaign were also part of the domestic mix.
Here’s the official video for local band Rouge’s “Confia Em Mim (I Promise You)” which was released in Brazil for Pedro Coehlo: