SUNDAY UPDATE, writethru: During a busy post-holiday holdover/expansion frame overseas, Warner Bros’ Aquaman showed his muscle again, cruising well past the $900M mark globally as he charts a course for $1B. After holding the No. 1 spot at the international box office for four straight weekends, however (and as expected), he ceded the slot to Paramount’s Bumblebee which buzzed into China on Friday.
The yellow Bug grossed $82.7M in 63 markets this session, including China where it revved up with a No. 1 start of $59.4M at 9,180 locations. With $6.1M from 584 Middle Kingdom IMAX screens, Bumblebee logged the format’s 3rd best January start there ever.
Transformers movies are typically strong in China, although 2017’s The Last Knight didn’t catch fire the way Age Of Extinction had in 2014. Bumblebee is a different kind of Transformers and is connecting with local audiences giving it positive word of mouth. The Hailee Steinfeld-starrer has Chinese behemoth Tencent as an investor and co-marketing partner. It will cross $200M offshore this week and is approaching $300M global.
Behind Bee, Jason Momoa’s heir to Atlantis added $56.2M at the international box office this weekend, swelling the worldwide cume to $940.7M. Of that, $681M is from overseas where the James Wan-directed origins story topped The Dark Knight Rises on Friday to become the biggest DC movie ever abroad.
The offshore drop on Aquaman this session was 41% across 79 markets. Warner Bros’ fish guy is on course for the $1B global milestone, very possibly getting there next weekend. In Asia, Aquaman is WB’s highest-grossing movie ever and has taken $282.8M from China where it’s the No. 2 superhero pic of all time.
Elsewhere, Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns swept past $250M global and $100M internationally, led by the UK and Italy. In the former, Emily Blunt’s version of the magical nanny has been No. 1 for each of its 17 consecutive days of release.
Also from Disney, Ralph Breaks The Internet broke into some more key markets during its continued staggered release and had great results in Italy, Korea and Brazil. The global cume has now topped $400M.
Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch is closing in on $500M worldwide this week while Uni/DreamWorks Animation’shad a terrific launch Down Under. The $5.3M debut came in ahead of Madagascar 3 (+68%), How To Train Your Dragon 2 (+83%), How To Train Your Dragon (+141%) and Kung Fu Panda 3 (+141%).
And juggernaut Bohemian Rhapsody has now crossed $550M overseas to become Fox International’s 6th highest grossing movie ever.
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
Under its new home at Universal, DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World took off internationally in Australia and New Zealand this weekend to take advantage of the peak summer holiday season. The Dean DeBlois-directed film adds offshore markets throughout the month and opens in the U.S./Canada February 22.
The Oz/NZ weekend was worth $5.3M, a great start that ranks ahead of Madagascar 3 (+68%), How To Train Your Dragon 2 (+83%), How To Train Your Dragon (+141%) and Kung Fu Panda 3 (+141%).
At 287 locations in Australia, the $4.74M launch is DWA’s 2nd best ever, behind Shrek 2, and the 7th best for an animated film. The session has HTTYD3 tracking above Frozen (+12%), Tangled (+17%), The Secret Life of Pets (+41%), Sing (+52%), Moana (+70%), Madagascar 3 (+71%), How To Train Your Dragon 2 (+94%) and Kung Fu Panda 3 (+164%).
In New Zealand, $521K from 95 sites is above The Secret Life of Pets (+8%), How To Train Your Dragon 2 (+34%), Madagascar 3 (+58%), Kung Fu Panda 3 (+60%) and Tangled (+95%).
The animated feature is also timed to the summer holidays in South America, and the Lunar New Year holiday (February 5) in Korea and South East Asia. European early dates are timed to half-term school holidays. Hidden World teed off in Brazil with an activation at the São Paulo Comic-Con, where a standing room only crowd of more than 3.5K fans were treated to exclusive clips from DeBlois.
The franchise through two movies counts $1.11B globally and three Oscar nominations. Both the 2010 and 2014 installments earned noms in Oscar’s best animation category.
Paramount’s well-reviewed origins story reboots the Transformers franchise with humor and an emotional connection that’s got good word of mouth in its China debut. A $59.4M Middle Kingdom launch, where it has help from behemoth Tencent, pushed the overseas weekend to $82.7M in 63 markets. The international cume is now $192M for $289.1M worldwide with new milestones in store this week.
In other new openings outside China, Colombia kicked off with $1.1M from 201 sites for No. 2; India opened at No. 3 (No. 1 Hollywood title) with $1M at 1,042 cinemas; Norway ($428K/116) and Finland ($243K/125) were No. 1 starts; and Denmark bowed at No. 3 with $267K from 66.
The Top cumes outside China are in the UK ($11.6M), Korea ($11.2M), Mexico ($10M), France ($7.6M) and Germany ($6.7M).
Japan is the final market to release on March 22.
Splashing past $900M globally, Warner Bros/DC’s Aquaman is now at $940.7M with a strong shot at crossing the $1B milestone next weekend. The current session added
$56.2M in 79 offshore markets. That’s a 41% drop as the movie continues to rank No. 1 in Europe and Latin America. In Asia, Aqua is WB’s biggest movie ever. The he running overseas cume is $681M.
Italy bowed on January 1 and took $7M through the session on 533 screens, coming in No. 2 behind Disney’s opening of Ralph Breaks The Internet. This is the 2nd best debut weekend for DC in the market and is tracking more than double the launches of Ant-Man And The Wasp, Black Panther and Justice League. It’s also ahead of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice by 17% and 64% over Venom.
China leads all overseas cumes with $282.8M (RMB 2B) after five weekends. It’s followed by Korea ($35.3M), Brazil ($28.4M), Mexico ($26.6M) and the UK ($23.2M). Japan dives in on February 8.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
Aided by strong openings in Italy, Korea and Brazil, Disney’s animated sequel added $25M across 32 markets this session. That lifts the offshore cume to $217.6M and global to $404.8M.
Ralph broke into Italy on January 1 and grossed $8.2M through the first six days. That makes it the highest ever opening ever there for any Disney Animation or Pixar release. The standard 4-day weekend ($4.8M) also places it above the Aquaman bow. In Korea, the first four days rolled up $5.5M, almost 93% of the lifetime of the original. The opening reps the 3rd best bow for Disney Animation. Elsewhere in Asia, Ralph Breaks The Internet is now the 2nd highest-grossing Disney Animation Studios release ever in both Thailand and Hong Kong.
In Brazil, the film took $4.8M at No. 1 to become the highest opening ever there for a Disney Animation title and the highest ever industry animated opening during the summer season. The launch was more than double the first movie.
Elsewhere, strong holds include the UK (-12%), Belgium (-16%) and Japan (-17%).
China leads all markets at $39M, followed by Japan ($24.5M), the UK ($20.1M), Mexico ($17.4M) and Russia ($12.6M). Key majors still to release include Germany on January 24 and France on February 13.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
In her 3rd weekend overseas, Mary Poppins conjured $23M from 47 markets. The offshore cume is $119.2M for $257.9M worldwide. Europe has always been the key play for this update and the solid run there continues. Mary dropped by 43% across the region this session and has been the No. 1 movie for all of its 17 consecutive days of release in the UK.
There, Mary is the 10th highest grossing release of 2018 with an estimated $43.7M to date. Italy has also been strong with $14M so far and more than tripling the lifetimes of The Greatest Showman and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.
Australia opened on January 1 with $5M through the weekend, running ahead of both Into The Woods and La La Land. In Russia, the start was $2.2M to top the lifetime of Into The Woods.
Solid holds include the Netherlands (-17%), Belgium (-24%), Switzerland (-24%), France (-28%), Austria (-30%), South Africa (-31%), Germany (-34%), Sweden (-35%) and Israel (-40%).
Behind the UK and Italy, France ($9.5M), Germany ($8.3M) and Spain ($7.7M) round out the Top 5. Key future openings are in Japan and Korea in February.
Another great weekend for Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody tuned up $16.9M in 43 markets to take the overseas cume to $550M. The Freddie Mercury biopic is now Fox International’s 6th highest-grossing title ever. The global cume is $743.6M.
Japan’s incredible hold continues as the movie jumps up a percentage point to cume $75M. In Korea, Bo Rhap has become the 4th highest-grossing Hollywood movie of all time. The total there is $74M. France dipped just 3% for a $34.1M cume. And the UK, which is the 3rd biggest market on the movie, again was up, by 21%, to become Fox’s 5th biggest title there ever and cume $62.9M.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
In 61 markets, Sony’s animated charmer swung another $11.7M for a $141.5M international cume. In China, Spider-Verse closed out 2018 as the highest-grossing Hollywood animated film of the year. The webslinger now has a total there of $59.5M.
Holds ahead of Brazil’s bow this week (and Japan’s on March 8) were strong, including in France (-8%), Germany (-12%), the UK (-14%), the Philippines (-14%), Chile (-24%), Russia (-29%), Poland (-30%), Spain (-31%), Sweden (-35%), Egypt (-36%), and India (-40%).
Universal/Illumination’s The Grinch sacked away a further $11.1M in 62 markets for an overseas cume of $227.6M. The worldwide gross on the Christmas animation is $497.2M, so $500M is in the bag. Holds include a 68% increase in Russia which was the top weekend market thanks to local holidays. There, the movie has topped Angry Birds, Coco, Finding Dory, Monsters University and Rio. The UK leads markets in play at $35.3M, followed by Germany at $19.2M, Mexico with $17.4M, France with $16.1M and Russia.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD
With a 28% drop from last weekend, WB’s spinoff sequel added $6.3M in 57 markets to lift the running cume to $484.1M. Globally, the wizard-verse pic is at $642.2M. Japan has now cumed $53.8M, down 17% in its 7th frame. Germany, in its 8th, has now conjured $42.8M.
Fox Searchlight’s awards season hopeful from Yorgos Lanthimos and starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, opened in the UK with a strong $5M from 581 screens. It was No. 2 in the market and overall grossed $6.1M from five markets. The early offshore cume is $7.5M.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Creed II (WB): $5.5M intl weekend (35 markets, excluding China’s $1.7M); $37M intl cume
Mortal Engines (UNI): $4.5M intl weekend (48 markets); $53.8M intl cume
Der Junge Muss An Die Frische Luft (WB): $4.2M intl weekend (Germany only); $13M German cume
Dragon Ball Super: Broly (FOX): $3.3M intl weekend (5 markets); $32.3M intl cume
A Star Is Born (WB): $2.3M intl weekend (42 markets); $194.7M intl cume
Holmes And Watson (SNY): $1.7M intl weekend (14 markets); $7.1M intl cume
Second Act (STX): $1.4M intl weekend (6 new markets); $9.9M intl cume
*Welcome To Marwen (UNI): $800K intl weekend (3 markets)
PREVIOUS, SATURDAY: Starting the New Year off in swimming fashion, Warners Bros’ Aquaman has topped The Dark Knight Rises to become the highest-grossing DC Universe title ever at the international box office. The fish-guy has now caught $649.3M overseas for an $887.6M worldwide cume through Friday.
The $900M global mark is well within the Trident of Neptune’s grasp today, and $1B is certainly a possibility in the coming weeks, depending on how screens hold offshore. Japan is still to open on February 8. Aided by Aqua, Warner is coming off its best year ever at the overseas and worldwide box office with $3.62B and $5.57B for 2018, respectively.
Including the New Year’s holiday, the James Wan-directed origins story averaged about $16.9M during the midweeks, and added $12.4M yesterday in 79 markets. Since surfing into China on December 7, Aquaman has been on a tear as the No. 1 movie overseas in each of its four frames, but could cede the top spot to Paramount’s Bumblebee this session as that Transformers spinoff is seeing a solid Middle Kingdom start.
Aquaman’s top Friday play was Australia with $16.7M to date and ranking No. 2 yesterday as Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World zooms around the market. Germany has now grossed $15.8M while France gave Jason Momoa No. 1 again on Friday to lift the total to $19.5M. Italy, which opened on January 1, has cumed $4.6M and the China cume is now $279.4M.
China, where Aquaman this week became the 2nd highest-grossing superhero movie ever, leads all markets. Rounding out the Top 5 are: Korea ($32.1M), Brazil ($26.4M), Mexico ($25.3M) and the UK ($21.6M).
We’ll be back on Sunday with a full update.