Intl Box Office Final: No. 1 Bragging Rights In China Too Close To Call As ‘Storm,’ ‘Expendables 3’ And ‘Apes’ Fight It Out

cinemaworld4th UPDATE, Monday, 2:43 PM PT: Who was No. 1 this weekend in China? It’s just not clear. Although Warner Bros reported $7.7M this afternoon for Into The Storm, Fox reported $7.64M for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and it looks like Expendables 3 ended up with $7.5M (according to Rentrak). But China reporting on box office is always a bit sketchy and numbers tend to fluctuate, which may be why another final total for Into The Storm shows it pulled in only $7.16M. Warners is sticking by its $7.7M number (which includes previews). So, to be fair to both parties, it’s really too close to call.

Final grosses are in for Guardians Of The Galaxy and other films including The Maze Runner (which bows in the states next weekend), The Boxtrolls (which won’t bow until September 26 in the U.S.), Dolphin Tale 2Lucy, Finding Fanny (which had its Stateside debut this past weekend), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Hercules, The Fault In Our Stars, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Let’s Be Cops, Boyhood, The Purge: Anarchy, As Above, So Below, Sex Tape, 22 Jump Street, Deliver Us From Evil, El Nino (in Spain), Doktorspiele, Guten Tag Ramon, Pride (in the UK) and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (which debuted in Japan).

lucy3RD UPDATE, Sunday 6:50 PM PT: Continuing from last weekend, the current frame’s overseas total across the Top 10 studio titles is up over last year. This frame, while down from last weekend, is about 10% higher than the comparable period in 2013. The weekend was led again by Luc Besson’s Lucy, which saw Russia pump in $9.6M to set a 2D 2014 opening record. That contributed to a final $24.8M overall weekend, a little less than half the next movie at the top of the charts, Into The Storm, which whipped up $14.4M overall, thanks in part to a China debut (but bragging rights for No. 1 in that market are in dispute).

Also finding notable favor overseas this weekend were Sex Tape, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hercules and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. With the exception of Sex Tape, which was heady this frame thanks to strong bows in Western Europe, those films have been the usual suspects over the past few weeks as summer gives way to fall.

Looking back to 2013, it’s notable that Korean historical drama The Face Reader (Gwansang) was a big local opener with nearly $13M and went on to be the No. 4 movie of the year there. The market has had a bevy of hot local titles over the past several weeks with pictures like Roaring Currents and The Pirates making waves. The Korean summer was a strong one and continues to have a homegrown hit at the top of the box office with sequel Tazza: The Hidden Card adding $5.5M this frame for a cume of $15M.

The coming week will see Liam Neeson again look to strong-arm the international box office with A Walk Among The Tombstones rolling out day-and-date in about 20 markets. Among the majors are the UK, Mexico, Korea, and the increasingly notable Malaysia. (Coincidentally, Neeson’s last action outing, Non-Stop, will be released in China on September 19.) Expanding is The Maze Runner which hits 48 markets along with the U.S. during the next week. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes opens in Japan, its final market, on Friday.

dolphin tale 22ND UPDATE, 1:20 PM PT: Warner Bros. has chimed in with its weekend estimates for overseas, including new entries Dolphin Tale 2 and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, as well as Into The Storm‘s first crack at China. In the latter, the top rankings are a bit foggy for now with three films jockeying, according to studio and Rentrak estimates.

New: Family sequel Dolphin Tale 2 launched in seven international markets this weekend for a slightly better than expected $1.5M on over 1,400 screens. Russia, which was the 2nd-biggest market for the 2011 original, opened to $588K. The first film ultimately cumed $2.6M in Russia, but it was the UK which was the top overseas territory with $3.9M. DT2 swims over to the UK in early October and rolls out elsewhere over the next few weeks, first in France, then Italy and Mexico starting on September 24.

The third and final installment of Warner Bros’ successful franchise Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends bowed in Japan this weekend. Its launch followed closely on the 2nd pic, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, and scored a No. 1 with a better than expected $8.7M from 718K admissions at 434 screens. The threequel’s opening is 130% and 51% above the first two pics, respectively.

Notable: Disaster thriller Storm improved on last weekend with $14.4M across a comparable 44 markets, but on nearly double the screens with 9,100. The playdate increase was thanks to China where the film is estimated to have picked up about half of its weekend haul. Warner Bros is reporting $7.7M for the Middle Kingdom three-day. The studio says it expects to be No. 1 when the dust settles, but Fox also has Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes at $7.64M and I’m hearing that Expendables 3 — whose overall overseas weekend estimate is $11.5M per Rentrak — could also eke out a No. 1 or 2 as it has $7.5M. Expendables 3 total box office take is $58.3M.

In its 3rd frame in Korea, Into The Storm dropped 11% for a $2M hold on 428 screens and a local cume of $14.5M. The box office in Korea has been top-heavy with homegrown titles but has become the top-grossing ex-U.S. market for Storm. Mexico’s 2nd outing earned $1.9M from 1,057 screens for a cume of $6.5M and Australia has Storm at No. 2 for the 2nd frame with an additional $1M from 336 screens and a to-date total of $3.4M. The estimated international cume is $87.7M.

Figures for If I Stay are added below. More to come…

Maze Runner1ST UPDATE 10:40 AM PT: Interesting doings in China as Fox and Lionsgate have now weighed in with their respective weekends for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and Divergent. Also in from Fox are figures on new entry — and Divergent comp title — The Maze Runner. Other holdovers from Fox have been added to the original post below.

New: Ahead of its U.S. bow next week, The Maze Runner beat a path to Mexico, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Central America with $8.5M at 1,300 dates. Each start was a No. 1 with Mexico the leader at $2.7M from 753 screens. Mexico is followed by Taiwan ($2.2M from 135), Malaysia ($1.9M from 270) and Singapore ($1.4M from 57). Those are 307% , 291% and 140% of the opening of Divergent, the studio says. Central America ($258K from 85) exceeded Divergent by 20%.

That film had its last opening this frame, in China. There, Divergent had seven-day gross of $9.96M from an estimated 2,504 screens. Lionsgate says that’s a No. 5 ranking. The total overseas cume is now $135.4M.

Notable: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes has climbed back to the No. 1 spot in China where it now has an outstanding $95.2M final cume that puts it in the 2014 Top 10. This frame, its 3rd in the Middle Kingdom, was worth $7.6M from 4,000. In total, DOTPOTA added a final $9.5M from 5,149 screens in 35 markets for an international cume of $463.9M. The Apes swing to Japan on Friday for their final bow.

See below for more Fox titles and previously reported weekend figures; Warner Bros is still to come.

PREVIOUS, 8:47 AM PT: International estimates are rolling in for what was another weekend without a wide overseas studio rollout. Numbers are expected shortly for Warner Bros’ Dolphin Tale 2 which swam to 7 markets, and Fox’s The Maze Runner which also began its offshore career. In holdovers, meanwhile, Lucy continued to exert muscle as it expanded into further markets, Guardians Of The Galaxy crossed some new milestones in its 6th frame, and Sex Tape unspooled in Europe. Results for those films and others are below with more to come as further studios report.

Lucy‘s combined gross this frame from both Universal and EuropaCorp territories is an estimated $24.7M – just a notch off last week. Universal’s portion is $23.1M at 5,744 dates in 55 territories for a studio total of $179.5M. The full international total is now $230.6M. Lucy opened No. 1 in Russia, Norway, Colombia and Ecuador this weekend. Russia was a record-breaker with $9.6M at 1,014 dates in what is the biggest 2D bow of the year, and the second biggest 2D non-franchise start of all time. The Scarlett Johansson sci-fi actioner had an impressive 75% market share.

In its 2nd frame in Korea, the Luc Besson-directed pic held at No.3 in a strong local field with $2.3M at 321 dates and an 11-day total of $14.7M. After holding the No. 1 spot in the UK for three consecutive weeks, Lucy dropped to No. 2 behind Universal’s new entry The Boxtrolls. It added $1.3M at 445 dates for a 24-day total of $19.8M. Lucy also opened in Norway with $441K in 108 runs; the actioner has five markets yet to open including Argentina and Venezuela on Sept. 18th, followed by Italy, Paraguay and Uruguay on Sept. 25th.

guardiansMarvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy hit a pair of milestones this frame, crossing $300M at both the domestic and international box offices. The global cume is now estimated at $611.5M with domestic ($305.9M) and overseas ($305.6M) running basically neck-and-neck. The total offshore weekend final of $10.5M was better than the Sunday estimate of $9.3M in 42 territories; globally the weekend was worth $17.3M. GOTG is the biggest film of the year domestically, the first to cross $300M in 2014, and the 11th Disney release and 5th Marvel release ever to do so. Importantly, overseas, China and Italy are still to bow in October. Japan was the big new market this weekend with a No. 2 bow of a better than estimated $2.3M over two days. (I expect it fell in line behind the opening of the 3rd film in the local Rurouni Kenshin series; we’ll find out when Warner reports later today.) The debut was 15% ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 22% ahead of Thor: The Dark World.

Sony’s Sex Tape tickled fancies to the tune of $11M from 52 markets this weekend with notable starts in Western Europe. Germany was strongest for the Cameron Diaz pic with a No. 1 debut of $4.1M on 628 screens, 71% bigger than the opening of We’re the Millers (Sony notes). France also opened tops with $1.5M on 376 screens and Italy launched at No. 2 with $1.3M on 305 screens. Austria recorded $900K on 73 screens, Switzerland looped $653K on 80 screens for a No. 1 opening; Hong Kong drew $309K on 77 screens and Thailand attracted $145K on 91 screens – the latter two were both good for No. 2 berths. In its 2nd frame, the UK dropped 32% for $1.1M and a cume of $4.4M. The full overseas cume is $61M.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are still kicking it overseas with another $10.5M from 49 territories and 3,332 locations this frame. The international total to date is $138.9M. The highlight for the Paramount title was a $6.3M debut at 254 locations in Australia for a strong No. 1. Major European markets as well as Japan and China are still to come. Italy bows next for the Italian-named reptiles on Sept. 18.

Hercules lifted its offshore cume to $138.8M off of this frame’s extra $9.8M in 45 territories and at 3,166 locations. Brazil was a mighty hold with $2.7M at 434 sites and a total $8.8M. Germany fell 40% for $1.7M from 407 dates with a $5.4M cume. In Spain, the total is now $3M. China and Japan are still on deck and will bow next month, Oct. 21 and Oct 24, respectively.

Fox International Productions opened FoxStar’s Finding Fanny to $4.7M on 1,169 screens in India, the U.S. and the UK this weekend. The Arjun Kapoor/Deepika Padukone-starrer is a road trip pic that’s gotten good reviews at home. In English and Hindi, it’s directed by Homi Adajania and took the No. 1 spot in India with $4M. Meanwhile, FIP’s El Nino has now held the No. 1 spot for three consecutive weekends in Spain, adding $2.1M this frame from 555 screens. The cume is now $13.5M. In Germany, Doktorspiele added $928K from 529 locations and in Mexico, Guten Tag, Ramon greeted a further $471K from 336.

As noted, The Boxtrolls was No. 1 in the UK in its debut frame, taking in $3.2M at 504 dates including last weekend’s paid previews. This was Universal’s 5th No. 1 opening of the year in the market. Overall, the animated picture earned an estimated $5.5M at 1,466 dates in eight territories. Mexico is expected to finish up the weekend at No. 3 with $1.7M at 620 dates, which is 30% above Coraline in 2009 and 22% below Paranorman in 2012. Denmark opened No. 5 with $100K at 56 dates and Sweden opened at No. 4 with $156K at 127 dates. This is the biggest opening for Laika Entertainment in both of these markets, well ahead of both Coraline and Paranorman. Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi’s Here Be Monsters adaptation has 49 territories to open over the next few months. Next weekend, they open Down Under.

In 42 markets, Deliver Us From Evil added $4.7M for an overseas total of $41.8M. The Sony release traveled to Mexico this weekend for a No. 4 start of $1.2M on 899 screens. Other openings included Greece ($111K on 43 screens and also No. 1) and Belgium ($127K in 19 runs for No. 4). Holdovers included Germany which fell only 41% from its opening weekend for a $581K take and a cume of $.2.1M; France off only 34% in its second frame for a $629K more for a cume of $1.8M; Spain dropped only 46% in its second weekend to take $573K for a cume $2.4M; and Russia added $620K in its third weekend to hold its No. 2 spot; the cume  in the market is now $8M.

Tearjerker If I Stay opened in 13 smaller markets this weekend, grossing an estimated $3.4M from over 1,800 screens in 32 territories now in release. The offshore cume is now $15.7M. Australia ($2.3M), Russia ($2.2M), the UK ($2.3M), Mexico ($2.05M) and Brazil ($1.9M) are the overseas leaders. It next bows in France (9/17), Germany and Italy (9/18) and Spain on 9/19).

Underground horror pic As Above/So Below snaked into 14 more territories this weekend excavating $3.2M at 1,675 dates in 32 markets for a total of $8.68M. Germany (where the local title is Katakomben), is the top opener at No. 6 with $1.1M at 303 dates. With 18 territories still to open, the horror film heads into seven markets next weekend which will include Mexico and Spain.

The Fault In Our Stars added $3.1M more from 2,072 screens in 21 markets. The international cume for the Fox movie-that-could is now $175.2M. There were no new openings this frame, with only small drops seen in Italy ($1.5M from 441, -34%), France ($660K from 348, -23%) and Venezuela ($284K from 58, -11%).

Fox’s Let’s Be Cops had no new openings but added $2.8M from 1,343 screens in 29 markets, driving the international cume to $22.6M. The UK held well with $804K from 458, as did Sweden ($335K from 105) and Holland ($243K from 65). In the latter two, the movie is No. 1 – it’s notably had a fantastic run in Holland where it’s held the top spot for the full five-week run.

22 Jump Street is still playing in 27 territories and added an estimated $2M for an overseas cume of $131.7M. Brazil fell off 45% from its opening weekend, grossing $494K for a total $1.7M to date, and France registered $532K in its 3rd frame, for a $3.8M cume.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 sparked up an additional $2M from 2,638 screens in 33 markets, lifting the international cume to $435.9M. Germany saw a 4% jump this frame with $564K at 791 locations. The cume there is $25.4M.

Transformers: Age Of Extinction added $1.2M from 21 territories at 612 locations. Total international box office stands at $835.7M.

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood continues its growth overseas with an estimated $1M at 437 dates in 19 territories, just a touch off of last weekend. Universal’s total on the film is now $11.4M. Spain kicked off with $317K at 106 dates and the 2nd best per-screen average in the market. Australia had a great second frame hold with $216K at 56 dates for an 11-day total Down Under of $758K, marking the best holdover of any other title playing.There are still 19 markets to go.

The Purge: Anarchy added an estimated $611K at 338 dates in 22 territories this weekend, raising the international total to $35M. Hong Kong had a No. 4 opening with $166K at 20 dates. That was three times bigger than the original film’s debut. The James DeMonaco-helmed sequel should benefit from the Independence Day holiday tomorrow in Central America where it just opened this weekend to $185K at 60 dates. Bolivia opened strong wtih $12K at 6 venues, which is almost double of the opening of the first installment. It has seven more markets in which to open next weekend.

NOTEWORTHY: Pride, the British film written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus that was part of the Director’s Fortnight at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, bowed in 492 theaters in the U.K. over the weekend to take in $1.2M.

Anita Busch contributed to the Monday report.

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