SUNDAY UPDATE, writethru: Legendary Entertainment/Warner Bros’ Pokemon Detective Pikachu took the No. 1 spot at the international box office this weekend with a $103M start in 62 markets, just edging the third frame of Avengers: Endgame per today’s estimates. Along with the early release in Japan, Pikachu‘s offshore cume is $112.4M through Sunday, and the global total with the strong domestic bow is $170.4M.
By a hair of his lightning tail, Pikachu topped the third overseas session of Disney/Marvel’s Endgame which added $102.3M in 55 material markets (globally the MCU pic won the weekend with $165.4M to the little critter’s $161M). Last session, Endgame sailed past Titanic to become the No. 2 movie of all time both offshore and worldwide. Its cumes currently sit at $1.762B international and $2.486B global. Endgame remains the No. 2 film of all time behind Avatar with about $302M now separating them on a worldwide basis.
Turning back to the Rob Letterman-helmed Pikachu, the $103M overseas launch is in line with pre-weekend projections and reps No.1 starts in some key markets where he went up against the continued play of Thanos and company. Within Europe, the Ryan Reynolds-starrer topped the charts in the UK, Italy, Spain and Holland. In Asia, it was No. 1 in Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand. There are further markets to release including Russia this week.
In China, Pikachu grossed $40.8M on 20K screens, dominating the market even as Endgame crossed the $600M mark there this session. The MCU series-ender is the biggest non-local pic ever in the Middle Kingdom and also became the biggest movie of all time in many more markets this weekend, including Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay.
In IMAX, the mighty heroes now boast the biggest score ever in 25 markets including China, Italy, Mexico, India, Belgium and Argentina. The international cume in the format is $135.6M with $76.2M of that from China. Globally, the total is $193.6M, the No. 3 all-time IMAX release.
In other new play aside from Pikachu, MGM’s The Hustle, which Universal released in 27 overseas markets this session, had a strong $12.5M debut. It landed well ahead of comps as it rolls out over the next few months. Also from Universal, Us has topped Jordan Peele’s own Get Out offshore with a running cume of $79.1M. Uni further has a local hit on its hands with French comedy Shiny Shrimps which opened to $1.6M in market. And, in China, Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum continues its winning run via Road Pictures with a nearly $42M local gross through Sunday.
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below; box office is slightly abridged today owing to the Cannes Film Festival.
POKEMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU
Together with partners at Legendary East in China and Toho in Japan, WB’s live-action hybrid came in at $103M in 62 international markets this weekend. Added to the Japan early opening from last week, the current cume is $112.4M overseas and $170.4M worldwide. Pikachu performed in line with expectations overseas and skewed to family and an older male demo that’s fans of the game/IP. Given next week’s John Wick 3 isn’t out in all markets and that the audience is different, WB is optimistic on holds — and very happy with this weekend’s results.
Overall, the film came in on par (Ready Player One) or above comps in Europe: +37% on Angry Brids, +39% on Shazam! and +44% on Bumblebee in like-for-likes. In Asia, and excluding China, Pikachu was above Angry Birds by 43%. In Latin America, where Mexico had a No. 1 start, the comps are closer at even with Bumblebee and Angry Birds. Endgame continues to dominate the region.
China was the best start with $40.8M, but the fickle market has only so-so word of mouth despite a big commitment from Legendary owner Wanda.
The UK took in a strong $6.6M from 1,027 screens at No. 1 while Germany (which likes its Pokémon) grossed $5M from 1,220 to top all comps at No. 2.
Mexico ($4.97%/ 2,686 screens) won the top spot and bested comps. France gave the little yellow dude a No. 2 start at $4.8M, also above all comps.
The rest of the Top 10 is rounded out by Australia ($3.5M/412 screens/No. 2), Korea ($3.2M/ 697/No. 4), Japan ($3M/500/$12.9M cume), Italy ($2.8M/485/No. 1) and Spain ($2.2M/454/No. 1)
The Hustle, fueled by Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson’s press tour, beat tracking domestically and came in with a solid $12.5M in Universal’s 27 offshore markets. Comedy is hard overseas, but the girls brought in a solid start (including $1.2M non Uni markets the opening total is $13.7M).
Overall, the debut is over How To Be Single (+24%), The Heat (+36%), Identity Thief and Game Night (+71%), The Spy Who Dumped Me (+127%) and Rough Night (+145%).
Russia’s $2.4M landed it at No. 2 and in line with Spy and Ocean’s 8 while Germany’s No. 3 at $1.8M is also on par with comps (Germany is often the best offshore market for Hollywood comedy outside the English-speaking hubs). The rest of the major openings this weekend were largely No. 3 debuts with Endgame and Pikachu occupying the top two slots. In Ukraine, The Hustle hustled to No. 1, knocking out the Avengers.
Play continues this month in some smaller markets with Mexico, France and Brazil joining in June and July.
Continuing its world domination, the MCU pic now has a global gross of $2,485.5M. It won the weekend worldwide, but came just short of Pikachu internationally with $102.3M in the 3rd go-round (Monday actuals will shake things out either way). The mighty heroes are now at $1.762B overseas. Globally, there’s $302M separating Endgame from Avatar. Folks remain cautious the gap closes enough to push Endgame past the James Cameron film. It will be close.
Along with the new milestones noted above, Endgame is now the highest grossing all-time industry release across Latin America ($238M), joining Asia-Pacific ($1.057B), and the No. 8 release ever in Europe ($467M).
Strong holds this weekend included Vietnam (20%), Israel (-40%), Japan (-42%), Argentina (-46%), Brazil (-47%) and Uruguay (-49%).
The Top 5 offshore markets are as follows: China ($610.1M), UK ($104.9M), Korea ($96.6M), Brazil ($72.5M) and Mexico ($69.7M).
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
The Curse Of La Llorona (WB): $3.5M intl weekend (75 markets); $62.2M intl cume
Pet Sematary (PAR): $2.4M intl weekend (29 markets); $54.9M intl cume
Wonder Park (PAR): $2.2M intl weekend (40 markets); $70.2M intl cume
Dumbo (DIS): $2.1M intl weekend (34 markets); $233.1M intl cume
Shiny Shrimps (UNI): $1.63M intl weekend (France only)
Us (UNI): $600K intl weekend (23 markets); $79.1M intl cume
SATURDAY UPDATE: With 62 offshore markets now open, Legendary Entertainment/Warner Bros’ Pokemon Detective Pikachu lifted its cume to $43.4M at the international box office through Friday. That’s after adding $23.1M yesterday which included the China opening at a confirmed $11.5M. Not included in the total above is the early Saturday Middle Kingdom turnstile take which is estimated at $16.4M. This portends a roughly $40M China launch weekend. Overall, Pikachu should land within our pre-weekend projected range for overseas, now looking tighter at $90M-$100M.
This is a solid opening in the wake and face of Avengers: Endgame. While industry sources expected Pikachu to surprise, it’s doing that more so domestically where the film is coming in ahead of projections.
Of all international play on Friday, Pikachu had its best result in China and continues to rank No. 1 with an estimated $28M through today. A $40M (give-or-take) three-day start has Maoyan projecting an RMB 600.6M ($88M) ultimate; social scores have dipped a bit with Maoyan now at 8.6 and Douban at 6.9.
Outside China, the UK had a solid No. 1 $1.6M start on Friday with 44% of the Top 5 films. It’s hitting above comps like Ready Player One (+63%) and Bumblebee (+40%) while more than tripling The Angry Birds Movie, per WB.
Mexico generated $1M from 2,655 screens to place No. 2 and track well above comps. Spain’s launch was $683K on 454 screens at No. 1 and also strong against comps.
Pikachu on Friday held No. 1 in Italy with a running cume of $790K. It was also tops in Thailand (two-day cume $828K) and Holland (three-day cume $725K). In Indonesia, it moved up to No. 1 and has uncovered $855K to date.
The Ryan Reynolds-starrer is at No. 2 in Germany with $1.7M after two days as well as Australia with $1.2M, Taiwan ($704K) and Brazil ($494K).
Although the gross is the highest outside China, France has Pikachu at No. 3 against the continuing run of Avengers: Endgame. The cume there is $2.7M through Friday.
Korea has Pikachu at No. 4 behind Endgame and a couple of local titles. The running total there is $1.8M — which includes about $1.3M in previews.
More to come on Sunday.
FRIDAY UPDATE: Adding a further 31 offshore markets on Thursday, Legendary Entertainment/Warner Bros’ Pokemon Detective Pikachu picked up $5.8M across 10,150 screens yesterday. With the early Japan release last weekend, plus this week’s Wednesday openings and sneaks (see previous update below), the current cume is $20.7M at the international box office. Based on what we are seeing from early play, and the China opening day estimate which is not included above (also more below), full international debut weekend projections are now homing in on the $90M-$100M range for the Ryan Reynolds-starrer.
Now playing in 38 markets, and before adding another 24 today, the tiny sleuth is the first wide release to take on the mighty heroes of Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. In some cases, it’s landing No. 1 opening day starts (Australia, Thailand, Italy, Taiwan), and in most is faring well against its own comps (Endgame is of course not a comp as it is a force unto itself at this point).
Not included in the above international cume is the Friday Pikachu estimate in China which has come in at $11.5M (RMB 77.7M) on about 20K screens. That launch is 46% ahead of The Angry Birds Movie (which had a $76M final in the market) and 80% over 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($62.1M final, both unadjusted). As of late night local time in China, Maoyan, which can be quite fickle, was predicting a $91M ultimate for Pikachu.
Although Pikachu’s China social scores are not massive (8.7 on Maoyan/7 on Douban), interest in the launch was enough to put the opening day ahead of Avengers: Endgame’s third Friday.
The MCU entry did hit a new milestone in the Middle Kingdom today, however, crossing RMB 4B to become the first Hollywood movie ever to the benchmark. Maoyan has again updated its final projection in the market to about $617M.
Before we look more closely at Pikachu’s off-the-block performances, Endgame helped establish a couple of other milestones through Thursday. Domestically, it passed Titanic to become the No. 5 movie ever with $660.4M. Offshore, it has pushed The Walt Disney Studios across the $3B mark to $3.011B for 2019. Globally, Disney has also now topped $4B ($4.3B) for the year to date. (And talk about the Magic Kingdom: if Fox titles are included in those totals, it becomes $3.768B international and $5.249B worldwide.)
While Endgame has certainly eased, it is still adding cash at a clip in its third go-round. The overseas take on Thursday was $17.6M. That lifts the international cume to $1.668B and the global tally to $2.328B. Ahead of the weekend, and without the China Friday estimate, there’s now about $460M separating it from all-time worldwide champ Avatar.
Despite the might of Endgame, Pikachu and his family demo have come on strong in some markets. For example, in Australia, the Rob Letterman-directed live-action hybrid bowed No. 1 with a 42% share of the Top 5 films to surpass Ready Player One by 8%, Shazam! by 22% and to more than triple Angry Birds, per WB.
Pikachu also took the No. 1 slot in Thailand ($404K/560 screens), over most comps and on par with Shazam! Italy gave the little yellow guy a No. 1 launch ($370K/485) above comps. Likewise Taiwan ($319K/248) and Ukraine ($288K/376) which more than doubled the comps.
Korea is coming in soft against the continued reign of Endgame and a new local title. The opening yesterday yielded $207K from 697 screens per WB. When included with previews it’s at $1.5M through Thursday. Local estimates through today bump that up to $1.77M in 4th place.
Opening at No. 2 in Germany, Pikachu uncovered $424K on 1,220 screens. This has been a big Pokémon market for the previous WB iterations. It’s well above the comps and has a running cume of $891K including sneaks.
After two days, Pikachu in Indonesia has pocketed $533K and in France $2.3M.
Markets other than China that officially join the investigation today include Spain, the UK and Mexico. Sneaks from Thursday in the latter came to $233K while Brazil is at $215K, both ranking No. 2.
PREVIOUS, THURSDAY: Legendary Entertainment/Warner Bros’ Pokemon Detective Pikachu began sleuthing around the international box office on Wednesday, picking up $3.8M from about 2,500 screens in six markets. Including the early opening in Japan last weekend, and sneaks in a handful of other hubs, the running offshore cume through yesterday is $14.8M. Domestic previews kick off later today.
Pikachu also launches in 31 more overseas markets today including Germany, Italy, Korea, Brazil and Australia. Another 24 go tomorrow including China, the UK, Mexico and Spain.
It is the first wide release in the wake of — and amid the continuing run of — Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame which through Wednesday has grossed $1.65B internationally and $2.303B worldwide. The MCU title is expected to see a solid overseas hold this coming weekend (projected to be down by about 55%-60% for a $115M-$130M third frame) after a 56% dip in the sophomore session.
Industry projections on the overseas opening for Pikachu have a wide range, coming in from $90M-$120M with fluctuation possible depending on how China responds. There, early unofficial estimates see $430K from tonight’s previews (Thursday night local time). Social scores are not yet available.
Highlights on the Ryan Reynolds-starrer from Wednesday include the France debut at $1.6M on 467 screens to land No. 2 for the day and No. 5 on the list of 2019 starts. In comps, Pikachu topped the opening days of Ready Player One, Bumblebee, Shazam! and Angry Birds. The local cume including sneaks is $2M. Also in France on Wednesday, Universal’s local comedy Shiny Shrimps had a solid debut.
In Indonesia, Pikachu pocketed $271K on 593 screens at No. 2. This is 93% over Ready Player One and double Angry Birds, per WB. Holland was a No. 1 launch on Wednesday with $266K from 327 screens and topping all comps. Belgium further bowed No. 1 with $153K. In Japan, which last weekend grossed $6.9M, the current cume is an estimated $10M.
More to come through the weekend.