UPDATE, writethru: Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald cast a $191M spell at the international box office this weekend for a global launch of $253M. The opening in 79 overseas markets is within the range that we were seeing ahead of the bow and surpasses the start of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by 2.7% when using historical rates on the previous movie. In 43 individual markets, Newt Scamander and crew opened bigger than their earlier outing, and set a series of offshore milestones — but they got licked by Venom in China where the Sony pic has become the 3rd biggest superhero title of all time.
Spinoff sequel FB2, directed by David Yates and scripted by JK Rowling, set record openings for the entire Wizarding World in 18 markets. Warner itself logged its best starts of 2018 in 30, namely some of the key European majors like France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
Ron Sanders, Warner’s President, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution, tells Deadline, “The films are building one after another and internationally it’s particularly very gratifying to see the strength.” It helps that so much of the plot revolves around iconic overseas locations and the audience reaction is helping to stem some of the harsh critiques. “The fans are so enthusiastic and supportive, we expect it to continue very strongly,” Sanders says.
In the EMEA region, the movie is playing 9% ahead of FB1 and is the second biggest opening in 2018. The UK was soft, however, compared to the first movie, dipping by 17% and impacted by a much more competitive landscape than two years ago (and the weather has been great). Despite that poor critical reaction, core fans are spreading word of mouth and the Saturday to Sunday momentum was better. There is hope that FB2 can leg out a bit with little upcoming competition. The UK and Japan (the latter opening next weekend) are typically the biggest hubs for Harry Potter, and on FB1 finaled behind China.
That market was a big swing factor this frame and is one where the Beasts came in lower than pre-weekend estimates which were in the $40M+ range. FB2 did $37.5M (RMB 261M) over its 3-day, faced with a voracious Venom who crossed $200M today.The Tom Hardy-starrer added $51.2M (RMB 355M) in China to claim the best sophomore session ever for a superhero film (in local currency) and the 4th highest for an import. The Middle Kingdom cume is $207.1M. That gives the symbiote bragging rights to China’s 3rd biggest superhero pic ever behind Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. The global cume has lifted to $780.5M with $570.5M from offshore.
Elsewhere, Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody just won’t stop. The Queen biopic did another $45.5M in 78 markets to see a terrific drop of just 29% and jumps in both Korea and Japan. The overseas cume is now $256.4M.
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD
There were several milestones on the spinoff sequel: Best Wizarding World openings in 18 markets, including Russia, Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil; biggest WB opening of the year in 30 markets including France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Russia, Spain, the UK, Korea, Taiwan and Australia; topped FB1 in 43 markets, including France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
Notably also, the EMEA region bested FB1 by 9%. Europe is a big Harry Potter area and the Beasts rank as the 2nd biggest opening of the year. The title is also No. 1 among U.S. pics in each market — coming in below some local competition in a handful. It’s notable, however, that the UK, while a No. 1 bow, is down 17% on the first film in local currency. There is a lot of competition in that market with Bohemian Rhapsody still stomping across the stage and The Grinch holding at No. 2. Given the provenance of the IP, the UK has been a force on all things Wizarding World and so we’ll see what the midweeks bring. The Saturday-Sunday momentum was solid.
Excluding China, FB2 was No. 1 in its Asian play and is on par with the previous film. China, however, came in lower than hoped as Venom held sway. There’s a theory out there that Stan Lee’s death may have encouraged more people to see Venom, but really the movie has performed incredibly in the Middle Kingdom (more on that below).
Latin America is likewise on par with the earlier Fantastic Beasts movie with the sequel No. 1 in all markets.
Overall, China led play at $37.5M (RMB 261M). It is followed by the UK’s $16.3M (£12.7M) on 1,823 screens; Germany’s $12.8M (11.3M euros) on 1,461; Russia with $12.1M (820M rubles) from 3,554 and commanding 84% of the Top 5 for WB’s biggest opening weekend ever; and Korea’s $11.8M (KRW 13.4M) on 1,600 screens.
France, where the film held its world premiere and where some of the action takes place, grossed $11.7M (10.4M euros) for 1.1M admissions on 903 screens and 60% of the Top 5 films. That’s not bad given a nationwide road blockage on Saturday as people protested against rising fuel costs.
Further key bows include Italy ($6.9M/832 screens); Brazil ($6.9M/ 1,474); Australia ($6.7M/500); Mexico ($6.2M/3,747); and Spain ($4.7M/626).
In IMAX’s widest day-and-date release ever, FB2 made $20.1M global which is 31% bigger than the earlier movie and the 2nd biggest Wizarding World bow behind only Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Internationally, IMAX grossed $12.6M on 906 for the best Wizarding World debut ever and setting records for biggest November openings in 19 territories. Standout IMAX per-screen averages came from Sweden ($116K), Norway ($99K), Denmark ($70K), the Netherlands ($56K), Saudi Arabia ($45K), Korea ($45K), Hong Kong ($41K), France ($37K), Taiwan ($34K) and the UK ($26K). In China the film earned $4.5M from 557 IMAX locations.
Next week Grindelwald travels to Japan.
Bonding with the China box office, it added $51.2M there this session. The sophomore RMB 355M is the best ever for a superhero film and the 4th of all time for an imported movie in the market. The cume is now $207.1M to make the symbiote’s origin story China’s 3rd biggest superhero pic ever, behind Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Already last weekend, the movie was the 2nd best bow there ever for a superhero title, the 5th best for an imported film and Sony’s biggest China launch of all time.
The full current weekend in 65 markets on the Tom Hardy-starrer was $55M for a $570.5M international cume and $780.5M worldwide. China leads, followed by Russia ($32.4M), Korea ($30.1M), the UK ($26.1M) and Mexico ($24.2M).
There were some very strong holds this frame, including another uptick in Korea where the 3rd session was $7.3M, up 50% on its opening. The cume there is $24.5M. Japan also increased, by 11%, and has taken $11.76M to date, still at No. 1.
In total, the holdover drop was just 29%. The UK leads play at $45.3M (now bigger than La La Land), followed by Korea, France ($18.38M), Australia ($16.8M) and Mexico ($15.5M). Italy is the next market to launch, on November 29.
Brazil saw a hike of 16% that was aided by a national holiday. The total there is $3.1M. Drops elsewhere were minimal including in the Nordics and the UAE.
There are still 49 markets to open on the holiday Dr Seuss adaptation, including such majors as France, Australia, Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Korea, China and Russia.
THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS
China, where the movie is low on the chart but still in the Top 10, has grossed $16.2M to lead all markets. Rounding out the Top 5 are Italy ($9.7M), Germany ($6.2M), the UK ($5.5M) and Mexico ($5M). Due next weekend are Australia/NZ with France and Japan at the end of the month. Korea and Russia go in December.
A STAR IS BORN
The UK leads all play on the romancer, followed by Australia, France ($13.6M), Germany ($8.9M) and Italy ($7.7M). Japan, the last key hub, opens on December 21.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
The Girl In The Spider’s Web (SNY): $2.8M intl weekend (52 markets); $13.3M intl cume
Overlord (PAR): $2.6M intl weekend (52 markets); $15M intl cume
Halloween (UNI): $1.9M intl weekend (62 markets); $92.2M intl cume
First Man (UNI): $1.6M intl weekend (41 markets); $52.3M intl cume
Johnny English Strikes Again (UNI): $1.3M intl weekend (47 markets); $125.2M intl cume
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (SNY): $1.3M intl weekend (40 markets); $45.3M intl cume
Night School (UNI): $1.2M intl weekend (22 markets); $22.9M intl cume
Mile 22 (STX): $501K intl weekend (65 markets); $30.2M intl cume
Boy Erased (UNI): $200K intl weekend (3 markets); $700K intl cume
Peppermint (STX): $133K intl weekend (60 markets); $13.4M intl cume