UPDATE, writethru: As with domestic, a pair of new studio offerings opened at the international box office this weekend. However, the biggest grosses came from local pics in China where upcoming release dates for Hollywood continue to be a frustrating question mark.
Getting to the studios first, in a 23-market rollout, Universal’s M Night Shyamalan time-twister, Old, grossed $6.5M for a $23M global debut. Paramount’s Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins for its part rolled a $4M start from 37 markets which rep 29% of the overseas footprint. The global total on Snake Eyes is $17.4M through Sunday.
Another snake led the international box office overall, however, as Alibaba’s animated sequel White Snake 2: The Tribulation Of The Green Snake (aka Green Snake) grossed an estimated $29.8M in its opening Middle Kingdom frame. The film, centered on an ancient Chinese legend, included $2.6M from IMAX which was 9.1% of the national total and the highest IMAX indexing ever for a local animated film in the market. Green Snake was followed by Chinese Doctors at $17M for a $176M cume to date.
While there is market upheaval around the globe — from closures in South East Asia to France’s requirement of vaccination status and Australia having a gigantic swath of shuttered cinemas — Chinese movie theaters have remained essentially unscathed since reopening last year. And yet, of late the market is rather more confounding than usual. Uni’s F9 and Par’s A Quiet Place Pat II were given May dates, while Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2 joined in June — since then, bupkes. July was expected to be a blackout period for imports, and we had heard that could stretch into August which now appears to be the case. There are no major Hollywood movies on the docket — and a date for Black Widow seems ever more elusive; a real shame for a market that loves Marvel. We understand that importation certificates have been scarce for studio movies and there is, as yet, no clear plan ahead for such films as Warner Bros’ Space Jam 2: A New Legacy or Disney’s Jungle Cruise — both of which having aspects that would lend themselves to appeal in China.
July has not been a banner month for Chinese movies — propaganda films released for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the communist party underwhelmed — and the market surely needs, and benefits from, its local hits. But, to maintain its growth (Covid or not), it also needs studio muscle. There are a handful of homegrown titles coming up which have recently been added to the calendar including action/crime pic Raging Fire starring Donnie Yen on July 30, and youth drama Up Coming on August 13.
Still, those titles were confirmed rather suddenly and this has got to be difficult for local exhibitors who have had release dates sprung upon them willy-nilly in recent months. One movie that was expected this summer, The Battle At Lake Changjin, with The Wandering Earth and Wolf Warrior movies’ Wu Jing, we hear, has been moved off the summer slate.
It’s not clear what’s next, but certainly even if the studios recoup only 25% of the box office from China, it seems a waste for both parties to have a shut-out on Hollywood.
Turning back to the overall weekend numbers: Old was the biggest new opener for Hollywood this session overseas with $6.5M from 23 markets and including a strong No. 1 start in Russia at $2.1M and well above comps. Snake Eyes was No. 3 in Russia at $685K, while No. 1 in the UAE and Singapore.
In holdovers, Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow held well during the mid-weeks, although it is suffering from a lack of South East Asian markets. The total 3rd weekend drop was 52% internationally for a $14.5M take in 48 markets. The international total is now $160.1M for $315M global.
Warner Bros’ Space Jam: A New Legacy, which, like Black Widow; should normally have a China date by now, added $12.6M from 66 markets. The overseas cume is $42.6M with $94M worldwide. The holdover drop was terrific at -37% and in like-for-likes the film is tracking 74% over Tom & Jerry which also released during the pandemic.
And then there’s stalwart F9. Universal’s latest entry in the saga drove well past $600M worldwide this session to cume $621.3M. That’s the first Hollywood movie to the mark since 2019 Christmas release Jumanji: The Next Level got there in January 2020. The offshore weekend was $11.6M, hampered in part by the health pass requirement in France. The overseas total is $457.9M.
This week, Disney’s Jungle Cruise starts overseas rollout in essentially the same suite as Black Widow a few weeks ago. The Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt-starrer will be playing on 750 IMAX screens in 65 markets, including North America, UK, Russia, France, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil. Warner Bros/DC’s The Suicide Squad is going early in some offshore markets including the UK and France.
Breakdowns on this weekend’s films above and more have been updated below.
M Night Shyamalan’s latest did $6.5M in 23 new markets this session, taking a total $23M in its global opening. The Universal release was No. 1 in Russia, coming in at $2.1M, seven times bigger than The Visit and three times above The Happening. The UK was next best at $1.1M for third place, followed by Mexico at $800K and Italy’s No. 1 $600K repping the second best start for a pandemic-era horror title. France rounds out the Top 5 with $500K. The market is in severe upheaval as it last week became mandatory to show a health pass proving vaccination status in order to attend cinemas. Brazil, Germany, Spain, Korea and Japan are still to release Old. Shyamalan’s films tend to perform best in the European majors as well as Mexico, Australia and Brazil.
SNAKE EYES: GI JOE ORIGINS
Paramount’s Henry Golding-starrer launched in just 29% of the offshore landscape with Russia leading at $685K for third place. In total, the Robert Schwentke-directed spinoff grossed $4M from 37 markets including a No. 1 in the UAE at $512K from 68 locations and a No. 1 in Singapore with $110K from 33. Australia, which is hampered by more than 60% of cinemas being closed, came in at $230K from 139. Mexico, which typically leans into this type of fare, grossed $330K from 829 including previews. A number of states moved to a higher Covid alert in Mexico over the weekend which has impacted moviegoing.
Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow has now grossed $315M globally with a 52% drop in 48 international markets. Mid-weeks were solid (Monday-Wednesday were flat) and the weekend drew $14.5M for an overseas cume of $160.1M. Korea, where the film is only available in cinemas, is the top overall market at $23.1M. It’s still No. 1 there. In the UK, the drop was 24% for a $19M cume. Affecting all play, South East Asia remains closed outside Singapore. Rounding out the Top 5 are France ($12.9M), Mexico ($8.9M) and Australia ($8.6M). Disney is still listing China as TBD, although as noted above, it’s still anybody’s guess if the movie gets a release there. The IMAX cume for Black Widow is $19.1M global.
SPACE JAM 2: A NEW LEGACY
The Warner Bros sequel (also awaiting a China date) added $12.6M from 66 overseas markets for a $42.6M international cume and $94M worldwide. The drop was just 37% while the UK saw a 3% increase (last weekend having been impacted by nice weather). In new play, Spain debuted Space Jam 2 at No. 1 with $1.3M to land well ahead of such comps as Croods 2, Lego Movie 2, Tom & Jerry and Peter Rabbit 2. France was also a launch market with $1M, although the health pass introduction was a factor. Australia currently leads all play with $7.3M, followed by Mexico ($5.6M), UK ($5M), Russia ($2.6M) and New Zealand ($2.1M).
In like-for-likes, the LeBron James-starrer is running 74% above WB’s pandemic-era release Tom & Jerry. Still to come are such markets as Japan and Italy.
Universal’s F9 crossed $600M worldwide this session, becoming the first Hollywood movie to do so since 2019 release Jumanji: The Next Level got there in January 2020. The overseas weekend was good for $11.6M (-56%) and lifts the international cume to $457.9M, globally the Vin Diesel-starrer is at $621.3M.
Chile and Uruguay scored the biggest openings of the pandemic while Germany had a -42% second weekend hold and is running above Hobbs & Shaw at the same point of release with $12.1M to date. The 84% second week France drop highlights the issues caused by the health pass requirement. The cume there is $12.5M. Japan is still to come on August 6 while 11 markets have surpassed the lifetime of Hobbs & Shaw including Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Russia.
THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS
Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s sequel took in $7.2M from 18 markets, a slight 16% drop from last session. The offshore cume is now $11.2M for $61.3M global. Korea was the best new hub at $2.9M, which was good for No. 2 behind Black Widow, although it was tops in admissions. This is the second best debut for an animated title in the market during the pandemic. Schools are out from this week, setting the pic up for a strong run. Mexico bowed at No. 2 with $1.17M and Hong Kong grossed $1M with the best opening day of the year for a Hollywood animation and the fifth biggest opening weekend across all genres. There are several markets on deck for the next weeks and months including Spain, Brazil, France, Russia, Australia, Italy, Germany, the UK and Japan.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
The Croods: A New Age (UNI): $3.8M intl weekend (57 markets); $139M intl cume/$197.5M global
Tokyo Revengers (WB): $3.7M intl weekend (Japan only); $20.7M Japan cume
The Forever Purge (UNI): $2.3M intl weekend (39 markets); $17.2M intl cume/$57.5M global
Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions (SNY): $2M intl weekend (18 markets); $8M intl cume/$24M global
A Quiet Place Part II (PAR): $1.6M intl weekend (36 markets); $133M intl cume/$290.5M global
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (WB): $1.4M intl weekend (55 markets); $129.1M intl cume/$194.1M global
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (SNY): $1.3M intl weekend (32 markets); $108.7M intl cume/$148.7M global
Spirit Untamed (UNI): $801K intl weekend (29 markets); $13.7M intl cume/$31.3M global