UPDATE,writethru: Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil came within, but on the low end, of pre-weekend industry projections with $117M at the international box office. Counting the disappointing domestic opening of $36M, the global debut is $153M.
Heading into the launch session, the industry was seeing a $115M-$125M overseas start for the Angelina Jolie sequel. The result is above the original’s 2014 opening of $109M in like-for-like markets and at today’s rates — just a roughly 7% bump.
The film did see upswings in weekend play and with good audience scores — plus, there’s nothing in the way in the coming weeks, apart from local product, until Disney’s own Frozen II in November. Disney’s President Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management and Business & Audience Insights, Cathleen Taff, tells Deadline the film, which saw piçk-up on Saturday and Sunday, “seems to be connecting with fans and we are looking to have word of mouth propel a good run.”
But there are some problem areas here. In Japan, a mixture of factors worked against the picture this weekend. First and foremost is Joker which provided villainous competition, jumping 36% from last session to become the No. 2 DC movie ever in the market at $25.3M.
Japan was the top overseas hub for Maleficent, and when it opened in 2014 took over No. 1 from Disney’s own Frozen which had held the spot for 16 weeks at the time. This weekend, Joker gave the evil mistress a run for her money. Other factors in Japan this frame include lingering effects from last weekend’s devastating typhoon, and today’s Rugby World Cup quarter final which was played this evening local time with the home team in contention.
While China was a tangled web this weekend with local title The Captain and Japanese entry One Piece: Stampede making a run, and Gemini Man having a longer lead-time to market, Maleficent did come in No. 1 at $22.4M. That’s 15% above the original, but a finish just on par with that film is portended. Maleficent 2 has a 6.2 on reviews aggregator Douban, though a better 9.1 on Maoyan. China was No. 2 on the original Maleficent.
As we noted in our global preview, the first Maleficent finaled at $517M abroad, although translated to today that would be about $380M given currency swings in the intervening period. (That movie also had benefited from counter programming agains the soccer World Cup.)
Maleficent did kick off strong in Russia with $10.7M for the second highest ever Disney Live Action opening, behind only The Lion King. Largely across Europe (outside Italy among majors), Mistress Of Evil was No. 2 behind Joker.
Looking more closely at Joker, the Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios’ origins story just will not stop laughing. The drop overseas this weekend was 37% for another $77.8M. The offshore cume is now $490.3M for $737.5M global. Todd Phillips’ zeitgeist-grabbing movie is headed to the $900M zone — and all the more remarkably, without China.
Joker is now the 4th highest grossing DC film ever overseas and the biggest DC pic in 17 markets including Italy, Spain, Russia, Argentina and Mexico. Other moves on the chart include being the 3rd highest grossing DC film in Europe and Asia, and the 4th best in Latin America.
In key markets, the drops were less than 50% including that 36% increase in Japan. The UK currently leads at $50M.
As for Gemini Man, the Will Smith-starrer bowed at No. 2 in China with $21M. Chinese company Fosun has rights there and had extra lead time to market the picture which has a 7.1 on Douban and an 8 on Maoyan. The full international cume after three weekends is $82.2M.
Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap was new overseas this weekend with $5.3M in 17 early markets to track 41% ahead of the original at current exchange rates in like-for-likes.
Breakdowns on the titles above and more have been updated below.
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
Disney’s sequel to the 2014 hit spinoff landed within pre-weekend projections, but at the low end and with just a small bump from the previous movie. The $117M international debut frame included No. 1s in a handful of key markets around the world like China, Russia, Italy, Brazil and Mexico. But Maleficent 2 also fell victim to Joker in a large swath of Europe as well as Japan which had been the major hub for the original.
The China start is inauspicious at $22.4M, though, as elsewhere, there was significant Saturday/Sunday pick-up, demonstrating family support. In the Middle Kingdom, Disney had what I understand to be one of the shortest windows ever to market a film at just 10 days and also ended up playing on a smaller percentage of screens than would be the norm. The sequel will likely come close to matching the previous movie’s $48M.
As noted above, Japan was a problem area with a number of factors contributing to a lower-than-expected bow and notably with Joker continuing to make a killing.
Across Europe, MMOE was No. 1 in Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, Middle East, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine while No. 2 behind Joker in most other markets including the UK where Maleficent did just $4.3M. Russia was tops at $10.7M for the second highest ever Disney Live Action opening, behind only The Lion King (Michelle Pfeiffer had recently traveled to Moscow in support). Overall in the region, it was 3% off the previous movie on Saturday and Sunday and with school holidays coming up.
In South East Asia, Indonesia was the standout at $4.8M for the second highest ever Disney Live Action opening. Thailand’s $3.7M marked the highest ever Disney Live Action bow. Overall, across the whole region, the film opened 14% ahead of the original Maleficent at current rates.
Across Latin America, the sequel was No. 1 in 9 of the 13 released markets, including Brazil and Mexico. At $4.5M, family-leaning Brazil was 35% above the original Maleficent at current rates.
The Top 5 overseas markets are currently China ($22.4M), Russia ($10.7M), Mexico ($7.8M), Indonesia ($4.8M) and Italy ($4.7M). IMAX brought in $5.2M from international.
The previous film counted the ultimate Top 5 as Japan, China, Mexico, Russia and Brazil.
Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios’ phenomenon is headed towards a potential $900M+ global tally which would make it the highest grossing R-rated U.S. release of all time. That’s all the more impressive because it could do it without the benefit of a China release (although the movie is actually boasting a 9.2 on local reviews aggregator Douban).
This weekend, Joaquin Phoenix’s social outcast was embraced to the tune of $77.8M on 18,978 offshore screens. The drop was just 37% from last session and brings the overseas cume to $490.3M for $737.5M worldwide.
In new benchmarks, Joker is the 4th highest grossing DC movie ever, and the top DC title in 17 markets including Italy, Spain, Russia, Argentina and Mexico.
Arthur Fleck held sway again at No. 1 across Europe with a 34% regional drop this frame. In Asia, he has surpassed Batman V Superman to become the No. 3 DC film ever and in Lat Am is the No. 4 DC movie for the region.
Germany, which got in on the Joker last weekend, held to a 14% drop to cume $20.5M so far. The UK’s 3rd weekend saw a 42% dip for a terrific $49.9M to date. In France, also a sophomore session, the slide was 33% for $19.2M thus far. Brazil too had a 33% drop and has cumed $25.5M while Mexico is now at $36.4M.
Japan, where Joker has a tight grip, saw a 36% increase in ticket sales this weekend and has now grossed $25.3M to become the 2nd biggest DC title ever.
The Top overall markets are the UK ($49.9M), Mexico ($36.4M), Korea ($32.9M), Brazil ($25.5M) and Russia and Japan (tied at $25.3M).
In IMAX, Joker has now cumed $30M worldwide.
Paramount/Skydance’s Gemini Man added another $33.4M this weekend in 59 markets, including China where Fosun distributed. The Will Smith movie came in at No. 2 in the Middle Kingdom on $21M at 7,071 locations. The full-frontal competition with Maleficent did not help either film. Gemini Man is carrying a 7.1 on Douban and an 8 on Maoyan.
The full overseas cume on the $138M production is now $82.2M for $118M global.
Outside China, the top market is France with $6M, followed by Germany at $5.7M (both opened early), Mexico ($5.1M), Russia ($4.3M) and the UK ($4.1M).
Japan and Taiwan open this coming weekend.
DreamWorks Animation/Pearl Studios’ Abominable packed in another $9.2M from 58 markets (including $8.2M from 57 Universal hubs). The offshore cume is now $74.8M with only $14.6M of that from China where the movie failed to snowball. Globally, the total is $128.7M with France among the majors going next session.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
*Zombieland: Double Tap (SNY): $5.3M intl weekend (17 markets); $5.3M intl cume ($32M global)
Hustlers (STX): $3M intl weekend (34 markets); $28M intl cume ($129.9M global)
Downton Abbey (UNI): $2.5M intl weekend (32 markets); $75.5M intl cume ($164.1M global)
The Angry Birds Movie 2 (SNY): $2.3M intl weekend (40 markets); $98M intl cume ($139.5M global)
Ad Astra (DIS/FOX): $900K intl weekend (31 markets); $75.1M intl cume ($123.8M global)
Yesterday (UNI): $700K intl weekend (14 markets); $74.8M intl cume ($148.1M global)
Good Boys (UNI): $300K intl weekend (14 markets); $27.2M intl cume ($110.2M global)