UPDATE, writethru: As we first reported yesterday, James Cameron’s Avatar is again king of the all-time worldwide box office, having snapped the title back from Avengers: Endgame thanks to a very robust China reissue this session. The full three-day frame in the Middle Kingdom is estimated at $21.1M, also giving the sci-fi epic bragging rights to being the weekend’s global and international box office leader. The overseas gross is now an estimated $2,050.3M with $2,810.8M worldwide.
Avatar was originally released in China in January 2010 and made $203M, a huge sum at the time before the market’s exponential expansion. That the current weekend generated such activity — particularly given authorities decided to release it with only a few days’ advance notice — bodes well for the continued current run as well as the upcoming sequels which Disney has scheduled beginning with Avatar 2 in December 2022.
The current China re-release represents the highest reissue opening weekend in the market since movie theaters returned last July. While Friday’s gross was $3.5M, Saturday jumped a massive 161% with Sunday dipping just 2% from there. Avatar currently leads pre-sales in China through next Thursday. Maoyan is predicting an RMB 398.2M ($61.2M) run for the reissue, which would bring it close to Tenet’s China gross last year. Also in China, New Year hits Hi Mom and Detective Chinatown 3 have respectively cumed $807M and $687M.
In IMAX, Avatar grossed $6.2M, accounting for 30% of the nationwide weekend from only 1% of screens (nine of the top 10 cinemas showing the movie were IMAX locations). This extends Avatar’s lead as IMAX’s biggest movie ever with $249.5M. Back in 2010, the IMAX 3D release of Avatar made $24M from 14 China screens.
IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond noted today, “Avatar changed everything for IMAX — catapulting our brand into the stratosphere and putting us on the map in China — and we’re grateful to help James, Jon (Landau), and this watershed film further cement their place in cinematic history. Yet again, Chinese moviegoers are demonstrating the pent-up demand for theatrical blockbusters that awaits cinemas around the world as they reopen, and IMAX continues help lead the recovery of the global movie business.”
Also big for IMAX this session was Japanese anime Shin Evangelion which set a new opening day record for the format in Japan last Monday. Across the first seven days, the franchise-ending film grossed $3.4M to place as the 2nd highest IMAX opening week for a local title in the market, behind the recent Demon Slayer. The full week was $30.6M (3.34B yen) with just this Saturday/Sunday repping $10.8M (1.18B yen) of the total.
Elsewhere, Disney’s Raya And The Last Dragon added $11.5M from 44 offshore markets for a $36.8M overseas cume and $52.6M worldwide. The international weekend drop was 39%. Reviews and social scores remain positive, although major chains in Latin America are still not showing the film and it continues to struggle in China where the cume is $14.6M after two frames. In other play, it opened No. 2 in Saudi Arabia with $500K (ahead of both Soul and Croods 2), and at No. 3 in Hong Kong with $300K including previews.
The animated adventure posted increases over its launch last session in Vietnam (+16%), Malaysia (+15%), New Zealand (+4%) and UAE (+3%). Holds were strong in such markets as Singapore (-4%), Australia (-7%), Thailand (-10%), Spain (-16%), Ukraine (-17%), Japan (-19%), Ecuador (-21%), Russia (-25%), Taiwan (-26%) and Indonesia (-33%).
Raya held No. 1s in Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Trinidad and Uruguay.
The Top 5 markets are China ($14.6M), Russia ($7.4M), Australia ($2.5M), Korea ($1.8M) and Japan ($1.4M). Upcoming tentative releases include Germany on April 1, Italy on April 8 and France on April 14.
Warner Bros’ continuing Tom & Jerry snatched $2.6M in 37 markets this session, lifting the offshore running total to $38.7M and global to $66.9M. Hong Kong opened with $176K to land on par with Sonic The Hedgehog and 296% over Trolls World Tour. Argentina also debuted, at No. 1, with $127K, topping Scoob! by 120%. After three weekends, China leads all play at $15.6M, followed by Russia ($7M), Mexico ($2M), UAE ($1.7M) and Brazil ($1.2M). This week adds five more markets including Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking strutted to another $1.6M in 33 markets for an overseas cume of $5M. Australia had a -32% hold and took the No. 2 spot with $621K from 278 locations. Mexico dipped just 25%, also in 2nd place, with $200K from 814 screens.
Also notable, A24’s Minari was No. 1 again in Korea this weekend, grossing a further $1.08M during the FSS frame and now with a running cume of $3.97M.
MISC UPDATED CUMES
The Little Things (WB): $722K intl weekend (29 markets); $12.7M intl cume/$27M global
The Croods: A New Age (UNI): $224K intl weekend (17 markets); $104.4M intl cume/$158.7M global
Judas And The Black Messiah (WB): 168K intl weekend (11 markets); $300K intl cume/ $5M global