MONDAY UPDATE, writethru after Sunday 10:49AM post: With cinemas in the bulk of the European majors now dealing with a second wave of closures amid the COVID-19 crisis, international box office is again led by Asia this weekend — and should continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
Japan’s runaway smash Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train is still racing along at No. 1 with a cume approaching $200M in Japan after 24 days. The total through Sunday is 20.48B yen ($197.9M).
The Toho/Aniplex anime adaptation has become the No. 5 highest grossing film ever in Japan, where Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away remains the top all-time pic with 30.8B yen. Demon Slayer is also the No. 5 biggest title at the international box office for 2020, as well as the No. 8 biggest worldwide for the year so far based solely on Japan (when factoring in Taiwan estimates, it bumps up to No. 7). Funimation releases domestically in early 2021.
In IMAX, Demon Slayer dropped just 23% in Japan, adding another $1.44M for a $12M total to date. The movie is closing the gap with all-time IMAX Japan record holder, Bohemian Rhapsody ($13.4M). IMAX also debuted Demon Slayer in Taiwan this weekend, which was the film’s second overall frame locally. The IMAX opening yielded $343K from only 9 screens, a per-screen average of $38K — the format’s best opening of the year in the market (15.5% ahead of Tenet), despite beginning rollout during the sophomore session.
In China, The Sacrifice is still leading play after its third weekend, grossing another estimated $14.4M this session and taking RMB 888.2M to date ($134.4M). Maoyan is predicting a finish of RMB 1.08B ($163M). IMAX’s portion is now $7.1M.
Millennium’s 2019 Hellboy releases in China via JL Vision on Monday after a few days of previews. On deck in the coming Middle Kingdom weeks are Amazon’s The Aeronauts (specially formatted for IMAX screens) on November 13, followed by DreamWorks Animaion/Universal’s The Croods: A New Age on November 27 and Zhang Yimou’s One Second that same day. That’s before an onslaught of local titles timed to the holidays.
Elsewhere, Korea saw a new local title top the charts as Collectors grossed $4.7M from Wednesday-Sunday. Director Park Jung-bae’s crime pic centers on a hunt for an ancient royal treasure in the heart of Seoul.
On the studio front, there’s not much happening, particularly given the lack of European majors. In all, European markets now shuttered for the next weeks include France, Germany, Italy, UK, Austria, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Netherlands, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia. There are also renewed regional closures in Spain and Denmark.
Warner Bros’ The Witches conjured $3.5M in 26 offshore markets this weekend, bringing the international cume to $10.1M. Russia continues to be the lead play at $3.3M after two frames while Taiwan opened at No. 2 with $491K and behind Demon Slayer. Thailand was a new launch, landing No. 1 with $273K. The next major market to open will be Brazil on November 19.
Also from WB, and after its late-August release, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is approaching $300M internationally ($295.6M estimated through Sunday). Solid market drops were seen in Brazil (-27% in the sophomore session), Russia (-20%), Netherlands (-28%) and Japan (-33%). A further 16 markets have yet to go, including Argentina, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. The worldwide total is now $350.8M ($40.3M from IMAX).
Focus/Amblin’s PG-13 horror movie Come Play, which debuted last weekend, scared up an estimated $609K from nine markets, including openings in the Middle East The international cume now stands at $1.36M, from 15 markets. Come Play will resume its run begun in markets last session that have subsequently re-closed when safety restrictions are lifted.