TUESDAY UPDATE after 9:22AM Sunday report, writethru with overall market details: Sony’s Oscar winner, Little Women, originally began offshore rollout back in late December 2019, but continued to show off its grit at the international box office this weekend. The Greta Gerwig-directed update on the classic opened in Japan at No. 1 with $495K. In total, on 440 screens in 13 offshore markets, the film’s weekend was worth $760K for a $99.5M overseas cume through Sunday.
The century mark should be in the offing with strong play continuing in Denmark, and a China release still a possibility. Gerwig’s modern take on the 19th century novel was originally scheduled to hit Middle Kingdom movie theaters on February 14, but was caught in the coronavirus crisis which shuttered all of the market’s cinemas in late January.
In Japan, this is one of the first new titles to release as COVID-19 and its forced restrictions ease (an overall trend in the smattering of cinemas that are open around the globe has seen audiences respond to new product — and fresh re-releases).
In Denmark this weekend, Little Women was No. 1, down 15% from last session (cinemas have been re-opened there since May 21). The sophomore frame was worth $255K for a 10-day cume of $750K which is comparable to pre-COVID levels and ahead of the January releases in Sweden ($568K) and Norway ($694K) for the same point in time.
The Best Picture Oscar nominee, and a winner for Costume Design, has now grossed over $200M at the worldwide box office (Sony co-financing partner New Regency covered a third of the production). It earlier landed at No. 24 in Deadline’s 2019 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament.
Along with the good news from Little Women in Japan and Denmark this weekend, there are other areas heating up at the international box office. But a lack of new releases continues to be a drag on others. The overall lead market again this session was Korea where a mix of local titles and subsidies are helping get folks out to the cinemas.
Also from Sony, Gyul-Baek (Innocence), a local language crime drama from Sony Pictures International Productions, debuted at No. 1 in Korea with a strong Naver audience score of 9.74. The five-day total is $2.4M from 985 screens. Written and directed by Park Sang-Hyun, the film centers on a lawyer who defends her long-estranged mother in a murder trial and in doing so uncovers the secrets of a small village.
Italy re-opens its cinemas this week, and France gets back in the game next Monday. Local distributors org, the FNCF, is running a vast campaign with the hashtag #TousAuCinema (Everyone At The Movies) which will be spread across social media and even partner TV channels — movie trailers and advertisements for individual movies are banned on television in France. Among films already programmed are re-releases of a number of French titles, as well as studio pics like The Hunt, Sonic The Hedgehog and The Invisible Man. On June 24 (the traditional Wednesday opening day for local weekends), another bunch of reprises will join the lineup.
Here’s a snapshot of markets from the past weekend:
KOREA – The world’s fifth biggest box office market is going from strength to strength, in part thanks to a subsidy offered by local body KOFIC which sees normal ticket prices discounted from 60%-70%, and will be applied at all cinemas and on all movies until June 21. There are a little over 1,000 cinemas open and they will see Disney/Pixar’s Onward for the first time beginning tomorrow. The Top 10 titles in the recent session did $4.04M to improve by 27% over the last frame. New local movies have benefitted the most with the debut of Sony’s Innocence in the lead, as noted above, and followed by last week’s champ, Intruder, from Acemaker and BA Entertainment, which has now grossed $3.5M in the market. Adventure pic The Aeronauts was new in 3rd place at $335K and Universal released The High Note this session with $252K in 4th. The Greatest Showman rounded out the Top 5 at $181K. Overall, the market was down 77% versus last year’s comparable frame.
HONG KONG – In the 5th weekend back to business, HK cinemas dipped another 6% across the Top 10 with a cumulative $622K. Local drama My Prince Edward was new to the market after its earlier release was scuttled by COVID. The film grossed $152K from 59 sites and was followed by Onward which was in paid sneaks on Saturday and Sunday, earning $75K from 49. The Dark Knight, Japan’s Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna and Les Misérables round out the Top 5.
JAPAN – As noted above, Little Women marched into Japan this weekend with a $495K start. It was No. 1 above three re-released Avengers movies and Birds Of Prey in the Top 5. The frame grossed $532K across the Top 10 titles, soaring 171% over last session (for the Sat-Sun session). There are only about 300 sites operating in the market which is down 93% versus last year’s comparable frame.
NETHERLANDS – The market saw a 26% drop this session, with the Top 10 titles ringing up $576K. Nevertheless, a new local comedy was again No. 1. This time around, Rundfunk: Jachterwachter from director Rob Lucker took the lead at $159K from 118 sites. Last week’s winner, De Beentjes Van Sint-Hildegard came in 3rd. Helen Hunt horror drama I See You was sandwiched in between in its sophomore session. Rounding out the Top 5 are Onward and La Vérité, similar to last weekend.
GERMANY – There were no new additions to the Top 24 releases in the roughly 130 cinemas open this weekend which was again led by Warner Bros’ local pic Nightlife with a little over $80K at 131 locations. After a full 18 frames, including the rerelease, the Simon Verhoeven-directed romcom has a cume of $10.8M. The Top 10 did a collective $418K, another 16% drop from last session. Comedies, genre and family pics continue to be the titles of choice, however there is a sense audiences are getting antsy for new product. The market overall is down 87% from the same period last year.
TAIWAN – Onward led Taiwan again this frame, the fourth time in a row. The weekend was worth $170K, good for a slight 15% drop. Irish sci-fi/horror co-production Sea Fever swam in at No. 2 with $43K and Disney added Downhill to the mix in 3rd. The Top 10 grossed $344K, a 5% slide from the previous frame.
NEW ZEALAND – Another market showing week-to-week hikes, the Kiwi nation added $183K from its Top 10 releases in the session, up 74%. Now virus-free, NZ has been seen as a shining example in its handling of the COVID crisis. In its first frame of official release, The Trip To Greece traveled to No. 1 with $39K from 74 cinemas for a $57K cume through Sunday. Love Sarah, Sonic, The Assistant and Bloodshot round out the Top 5.
AUSTRALIA – With just about 20 locations open, Oz’s weekend was down versus last session, from $189K to $159K (-16%). Universal/Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man led play again with $37K from 24 cinemas. Sonic, Bloodshot, The Conjuring and Dirty Dancing round out the Top 5.
SPAIN – Still rolling out slowly, Spanish cinemas that are currently open account for just about 5% of the total estate. Onward, which returned to the market last week, is in the lead again, now with a cume of $2M. The Top 10 generated $64K versus just $16K in the previous session, up a whopping 300%.
CZECH REP – Local title Bourak was tops in Czech Republic where the major exhibitors have still not come out to play (though Cineworld is eyeing a July start there). The film did $96K from 209 cinemas, followed by previous No. 1 V Siti, animated adventure comedy Norm Of The North: King Sized Adventure, Onward and local pic Chlap Na Stridacku. The Top 20 were worth $203K, a nice 27% jump.
UAE – Still with just Dubai open among the Emirates, box office remained steady across the Top 10 titles. Bloodshot again led in its 5th weekend and on 34 screens. The local cume is $2.16M. The rest of the chart continues to be populated by studio re-releases. We hear horror pic The Wretched will be new next week.
ICELAND – Local comedy The Last Fishing Trip kept its hook into the No. 1 spot again this weekend, down just 26% to cume a little over $310K to date. A re-issue of The Dark Knight, Norwegian animation Captain Sabertooth And The Magic Diamond and local title Stella On Holiday made up the rest of the Top 5. The Top 15 did $44K, a slight 6% drop versus the previous session.
NORWAY – The weekend saw another big dip in admissions over an extremely hot session for this time of year which sent folks to outdoor activities. In total, there were 6,850 tickets sold versus 29,576 last frame. No new movies released.