SUNDAY UPDATE, writethru: Disney/Marvel’s long-awaited Black Widow began weaving its web in 46 material offshore markets this session, ending the weekend with an international box office debut of $78.8M. That’s above conservative pre-weekend projections which had risen to $70M+ as we noted on Friday (see earlier posts below). Including domestic’s $80M launch, the global theatrical box office take is $158.8M.
In a curveball, Disney also provided Disney+ Premier figures for the first time with this day-and-date release, and said Black Widow generated $60M in consumer spend worldwide. That makes for what Dis called a total $218.8M global launch. The studio keeps all that Disney+ cash which we understand is weighted to the U.S. Still, sources we’ve spoken to today feel that pandemic and complicated comps notwithstanding, some of the individual offshore theatrical grosses don’t feel like Marvel numbers. To be sure, there are bright spots, particularly in non-Disney+ markets Korea and Hong Kong which demonstrate what Black Widow might have done had other Asian markets, notably the SE Asia hubs and China, been in this opening suite.
While the North American opening set pandemic era records, overseas did not have China or South East Asia in the mix and thus did not hit a new overall benchmark. Combined, Asia Pacific as a region grossed $26.6M. The movie opened No. 1 in each of the debuts there save Japan where a local film, Warner Bros’ Tokyo Revengers, dominated at $6.3M.
China is a massive Marvel market and hubs like Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Philippines and Vietnam are also mad for Marvel, so their absence is felt. Korea led all play at $12.7M while Hong Kong achieved a new high with the top Covid era launch at $3.2M. Those figures indicate that had the rest of the region been playing Black Widow, and as we noted coming into the weekend, the opening cume would have been significantly higher.
Korea, a great tastemaker, is an interesting market to consider this weekend. BW’s opening day there was the 2nd best of 2021 and the full frame is the 3rd best of the pandemic for Hollywood titles. But the government is also implementing stricter measures from Monday due to a spike in Covid cases. This means that films can’t play after 10PM. So, was Korea frontloaded because fans raced out to see the movie before the alert level rises? Time will tell, but the holds throughout the weekend (+109% Friday-Saturday, -19% Saturday-Sunday) and social sentiment are encouraging.
It’s as-yet unclear when the other Asia markets will open. Some are still scheduled for later this month but it’s really a week-by-week waiting game. And there’s the potential that some don’t open Black Widow theatrically at all — it depends on how much later into the run a viable date materializes and what local competition will look like. Disney+ operates in a few of them, so there is that option, but even though the $60M in Premier streaming this weekend leans towards domestic and Disney recoups all of that, exhibition misses out on a percentage of those dollars, and the internet gets a pristine pirated copy.
Meanwhile, China still has yet to be dated, but the film is already carrying a low 6.6 critics score on Douban, from about 36K reviews. Local drama Chinese Doctors launched there with $53.6M this session to claim the No. 2 spot at the international box office for the weekend.
Overall, Black Widow opened at No. 1 in nearly all markets. It grossed $42M across Europe and was the top pandemic opening weekend in 15 markets including the UK ($9.7M including previews, and notable given competition from Euro 2020 on Wednesday and today) and France ($6.9M).
Soccer also impacted Brazil and Argentina with the Copa America final. The region came in at $10.2M with No. 1s in all markets. Again, it will be interesting to see how Latin America lands after the football.
The Top 5 markets this weekend are Korea ($12.7M), UK ($9.7M), France ($6.9M), Australia ($5.3M) and Mexico ($4.8M). Russia was No. 6 at $3.9M (Disney movies held the top three spots at the box office there with Black Widow followed by Luca and Cruella).
In IMAX, Black Widow did $12M global including $4.8M from 315 offshore screens in 59 countries. Eleven of those set pandemic era opening weekend records including Brazil, Austria, Germany and Korea. In Japan, IMAX results indexed at 18% of the country’s total box office.
Elsewhere, a trio of studio films hit new milestones with Universal’s F9 crossing $400M internationally. The weekend was good for $13.6M in 51 markets to lift the offshore cume to $400.5M and global to $541.8M. Netherlands was a new hub, landing No. 1 with $3.1M (including seven days of previews). This weekend sees F9 surpass the lifetime of Hobbs & Shaw in Mexico, Australia, Russia and Saudi.
Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway topped the $100M mark overseas, adding $4.8M from 38 markets. The offshore cume is $101.7M. Global rises to $139.4M with Spain, Brazil and Korea still ahead.
Miramax’s Wrath Of Man for its part topped $100M global. It’s the highest-grossing Hollywood indie of the past year with a total $100.6M, of that $72.6M is from the international box office. The Top 5 hubs are China ($25.5M), Russia/Ukraine ($14.3M), Middle East ($10.5M), Australia/NZ ($6.5M) and France ($3M). Overall in like-for-likes, the Guy Ritchie film is tracking 11% ahead of Angel Has Fallen, 16% ahead of The Gentlemen and 118% ahead of John Wick 2. This weekend added $447K from 44 markets. Germany releases July 30.
In other play, Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age added five markets this session including France ($2.7M) and Germany ($1.5M) for a $6.6M frame. The cume overseas is now $123.4M and $182M worldwide. The film first began release in November 2020 and still has Italy and the UK to come.
New Line/Warner Bros’ The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It had another solid hold, down 41% to add $4.1M in 64 markets. Germany, which is still getting back on its feet, had a 15% increase this session. The offshore total is $119.7M for $185.3M worldwide. There are nine markets to go, including Japan on October 1.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Cruella (DIS): $3.7M intl weekend (37 markets); $136.1M intl cume/$216.9M global
A Quiet Place Part II (PAR): $3M intl weekend (47 markets); $128.3M intl cume/$279M global
Luca (DIS): $1.8M intl weekend (13 markets); $21M intl cume
The Forever Purge (UNI): $1.77M intl weekend (28 markets); $7.4M intl cume/$34.9M global
Godzilla Vs Kong (WB): $1.1M intl weekend (Germany only); $353.1M intl cume/$453.7M global
In The Heights (WB): $866K intl weekend (24 markets); $10.7M intl cume/$39.1M global
The Boss Baby: Family Business (UNI): $500K intl weekend (8 markets); $2.5M intl cume/$37.2M global
*International box office has been slightly abridged today owing to the Cannes Film Festival.
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY UPDATE, writethru: Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow expanded its offshore rollout on Thursday, lifting the international box office cume to $22.4M in 41 material markets. Together with domestic‘s $13.2M Thursday night, the running global tally is $35.6M through yesterday. Coming into the weekend, industry estimates forecasted that the standalone MCU title starring Scarlett Johansson could reach a height of $140M global. While the domestic range is in the $80M-$90M universe, a projected floor of $50M from the international box office is expected to rise significantly with our estimates now at $70M+ through Sunday.
The top overseas market so far is Korea, and it’s one element of the potential swing. Social scores are encouraging and reviews are excellent. But while 96% of the market is open with capacity restrictions at 70%, the government on Friday said it will tighten restrictions as of this coming Monday, notably in Seoul where there has been a significant Covid spike. From then, movie theaters will not be able to operate after 10PM. So, the question is: are folks reticent to get out, or do they make an extra rush this weekend before restrictions tighten? Friday’s estimated box office is 17% above Thursday’s takings.
The other mitigating factor is the soccer on Sunday, with both the Euro 2020 and Copa America finals being played. There is little doubt these will have an impact, particularly in England, Italy and Brazil.
Either way, Black Widow‘s numbers so far are further good news for the industry and for the cinematic experience. Of the Top 5 markets to date, two will also have the origins story on Disney+ from today. There will of course be a pesky pristine pirated version available everywhere as well.
The current rank through Thursday is: Korea ($3.3M), UK ($3.1M), France ($2.9M), Australia ($1.7M) and Italy ($1.2M).
Below is a closer look at how things went down on Thursday when the Cate Shortland-directed movie debuted in 30 additional material markets, including Germany (which reopened just last weekend), Russia, Australia, Japan, Korea, Brazil and Mexico.
Korea debuted to No. 1 with the second-highest opening day of 2021, behind F9, which launched on a national holiday. The total through Thursday (including previews) is $3.3M. Friday, which is not included in the figures above, added an estimated $1.84M to lift the cume to $5.14M.
In Australia, Natasha Romanoff debuted to No. 1 with $1.7M for the 3rd highest pandemic era opening day despite cinemas in New South Wales (which rep a third of the country’s theaters) being closed due to lockdown. There are also restrictions on capacity in Victoria (33% of market) with auditoriums capped at 70% to a max of 300 people. Opening day is only 6% behind F9 which opened when the market was operating at 100%.
Russia was also No. 1 at $1.1M with 80% market share. Thursday’s debut was 110% ahead of Thor: Ragnarok. The market currently has 98% of cinemas open with 50% capacity restrictions.
Black Widow was No. 1 in Mexico on Thursday with $1M for the 4th highest pandemic era opening day and a strong 65% of the market where 88% of cinemas are open at 60% capacity restrictions.
Hong Kong bowed to $900K at No. 1 with the highest non-holiday pandemic era opening day. Early movie scores are above average at 4 out of 5. All cinemas are open in Hong Kong with 85% capacity restrictions.
Black Widow also conquered Japan with $700K on Thursday and positive media reviews/audience reaction. There are no late shows in 70% of the market due to Covid restriction (cinemas close at 9PM). In response to the rise of cases, the government will place Tokyo under the 4th State of Emergency from July 12-August 22.
Johansson’s MCU Russian spy was also tops in Germany with the highest pandemic era single/opening day. Germany just came back online last weekend and has 98% of cinemas open with effectively 30-50% capacity.
Other hoorays: Black Widow was No. 1 in Austria, Bahrain, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, UAE, New Zealand, Singapore, Brazil, Argentina and smaller Latin American territories.
Black Widow also posted the highest pandemic era opening day in Austria, Czech Republic, Qatar and Slovakia. In Saudi Arabia, Black Widow scored Disney’s highest opening day ever.
Anthony D’Alessandro contributed to Friday AM Update.
PREVIOUSLY, Thursday: Disney/Marvel’s long-anticipated Black Widow began offshore rollout on Wednesday in 11 material markets including France, Italy and the UK, grossing an estimated $4.9M for the day and setting new pandemic era benchmarks. While pre-weekend projections were conservative at a floor of $50M, the Cate Shortland-directed origins story is poised to aim higher at the international box office.
Not included in the total above are Korea previews of $1.8M yesterday. Early social sentiment there is strong (Naver 9.22/CGV 96%) and with today’s estimated gross of $1.6M the cume in Korea is already $3.3M. Concerns over a spike in Covid cases, notably in Seoul, have led to speculation that the government may impose tough restrictions as early as tomorrow in the area so this will be a market to watch.
In the UK and despite competition from over 26M people watching the England vs Denmark Euro 2020 semi-final last night, the Scarlett Johansson-starrer kicked off with $1.7M and 70% market share. The No. 1 start is the highest opening day since the start of Covid and was 1% ahead of Fast 9 and only 5% below Captain America: Winter Soldier. The market has 85% of cinemas open with 50% capacity restrictions.
France launched atop the box office with the highest pandemic era
single/opening day at $1.6M. This is also the biggest debut excluding previews since Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker in 2019. Opening day was 21% ahead of Ant-Man And The Wasp (including previews) and 2% above Black Panther (including previews). All of France’s cinemas are back in operation with no capacity limitations.
Italy‘s $700K launch was No. 1 with the 2nd highest pandemic opening day and 80% market share. This is 11% ahead of Ant-Man 2 (which bowed on a Tuesday) and 54% over Thor: Ragnarok. There are 55% of cinemas open in the market with 50% capacity restrictions.
In further debuts, Netherlands grossed $300K on Wednesday for the top spot and best result during since Covid began. Black Widow bowed 8% above Doctor Strange and 4% below Ant-Man 2. Sweden also took in $300K on its opening day, at No. 1 and good for the biggest post-Covid single/opening day. The launch is 46% ahead of Captain America: Winter Soldier and 33% above Ant-Man 2.
Other markets including Belgium, Finland, Norway and Switzerland were No. 1 launches.
Black Widow continues rolling out this weekend and will be open in all of the material international markets by Sunday except for China, Taiwan, India, SE Asia, South Africa, Uruguay and Peru. Today sees further openings in Germany, Russia, Australia, Japan, Korea, Brazil and Mexico, among others.