UPDATE, WRITETHRU: International weekend estimates are in this Oscar Sunday with Deadpool leading the studios overseas at a $40.2M frame. That gives the Fox fiend a hat trick of No. 1s at the international box office and a global cume of $609M — international is $324.2M of that (more below). In more good news for Fox, Oscar nominations leader The Revenant has crossed $400M worldwide, just as The Martian approaches $400M offshore thanks to a continuing strong run in Japan.Related 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Becomes China's Top-Grossing Animated Film Ever
In China, DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 3, meanwhile, has become the biggest animated film ever. Also in the Middle Kingdom, The Mermaid is closing in on $500M which it should pass this week — a first.
Looking at this weekend’s openings, the major new play was Lionsgate’s Gods Of Egypt whose chariot rolled out of the gate in 68 markets with $24.2M. This brand of action tends to play in Russia and as expected that is the top gross this weekend with a No. 1 at $3.5M. That’s lower than a number of comps from before the ruble tanked, but on par with 2015’s The Last Witch Hunter in local currency. Whether the film is facing a similar fate overseas as has befallen it domestically will be borne out in the coming weeks. The opening is not much of a surprise — projections I’d heard ahead of the weekend were in the $25M range, while some rival studio execs said they weren’t tracking it. The genre tends to be more heavily weighted to foreign and an ultimate gross in the range of Pompeii ($95M) and Last Witch Hunter ($113M) could be on the cards. In a staggered release, it has several major markets to come, including China on March 11.
Elsewhere, Disney’s Zootopia had a very strong $33M 3rd frame as it gets ready to be uncaged in North America later this week. Breakdowns on the above and others are updated below.
GODS OF EGYPT
Opening in 68 international markets, the Alex Proyas-directed swords-and-sandals pic launched with $24.2M, coming in slightly lower than pre-weekend projections I had heard in the $25M range. Some rival distribution execs, however, told me they weren’t bothering to track it. Still, it has a bit more muscle overseas as is typical with this genre. Gerard Butler is one of the names oft-cited by foreign sales agents who gets deals done in the international space, and the offshore talent here also includes Australia’s Brenton Thwaites and Game Of Thrones‘ hot Dane, Nikolaj Coster-Wadau. The biggest overseas play was Russia ($3.5M) which was expected as auds there tend to go for this sort of fare. But it fell short of comps like 2007’s 300 ($5M), 2010’s Clash Of The Titans ($12M) and 2014’s 300: Rise Of An Empire ($8.4M) and Pompeii ($5.6M). There has been significant devaluation of the ruble in the past year and a half, and Gods Of Egypt came in at the same level as more recent comp The Last Witch Hunter on a local currency basis. Russia was the biggest market in which the film opened this frame, followed by Brazil with $1.9M. The Philippines was a No. 1 bow. Indeed, the Gods found respect in parts of South East Asia where audiences tend to like their movies heavy on CGI and straightforward action that doesn’t get too cerebral. There were also No. 1s across Central America and Eastern Europe. The rollout on this film is very staggered with Korea coming on March 3, followed by China on March 11, and France and Germany in April to coincide with school vacations. China could significantly help here: Witch Hunter made $27M in the Middle Kingdom and Pompeii erupted to just under $16M. There is currently no UK date.
THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY
Sacha Baron Cohen is back on screens with Sony’s action comedy that took in $3.7M from 16 markets in its debut. Sony is expecting long play with social media generating strong word of mouth. Co-starring Mark Strong, Penelope Cruz, Rebel Wilson, Isla Fisher and Annabelle Wallis, the Louis Leterrier-helmed pic bowed at No. 2 in the UK, behind Deadpool. The gross was $2.7M on 700 screens including previews. Baron Cohen was out in force during BAFTA weekend two weeks ago, attending the nominees’ cocktail at Kensington Palace with wife Fisher and then turning up for a funny presenting gag at the awards the next night. Other notable openings this frame included the Netherlands ($240K), Israel ($170K), Norway ($140K), Finland ($135K), Sweden ($130K) and Poland ($110K). U.S. rollout doesn’t come for another few weeks, but Germany gets in on the joke this week, followed by Russia and Spain in March and Italy, Mexico and France in April.
The Fox anti-superhero juggernaut has crossed $600M globally with an international weekend of $40.2M. That lifts the offshore total to $324.1M. No. 1 holds were rampant including in the UK, Germany, Australia and Brazil — each for three consecutive weeks — while Korea led the frame’s grosses at $3.82M and No. 2 in the sophomore session. The UK added $3.4M and leads overseas markets with $43.9M to date. Other notables in the $3M+ weekend club were Germany with $3.3M ($18.5M cume); France with $3.2M ($21.8M); and Australia also with $3.2M ($23.7M). Japan is still waiting for Ryan Reynolds and his red suit in June.
Disney’s animated charmer is in its 3rd week overseas with $84M to date. The Byron Howard/Rich Moore-helmed animal tale added another $33M in the frame, a 15% drop from last, with no major market openings. It’s playing in about 42% of its international rabbit’s footprint — 31 territories. France is lapping up the well-reviewed story of a sly fox and a perky bunny who hook up to uncover a conspiracy. The cume there is already $16.6M. In Korea, Zootopia has the No. 3 spot after jumping +28% from last weekend. The cume there is $6.9M. Plays across Europe, South East Asia and Latin America were all strong. Next weekend’s major bows are Germany, Russia and China.
As it heads into Oscar night with the most nominations of any film, Alejandro G Inarritu’s western trapped another $14.1M this weekend, taking the offshore cume to $233.5M and the global haul to about $404M. After scoring the best Paris start of the year on Wednesday, and the 3rd best opening day of 2016, The Revenant landed $7.75M in France from 618 screens. Even people I know who don’t usually pore over movies are talking to me about this one here with its mix that taps right into the market. India was also a new play for Fox with $667k from 293 screens. Elsewhere, Spain had an excellent 4th weekend dropping only 28% with $1M to take its cume to $12.4M. The UK still leads offshore markets at $32M after seven frames.
HOW TO BE SINGLE
With $6.1M added to its dowry, Warner Bros’ comedy now has an offshore total of $34.7M. Australia, the UK and Holland are holding nicely with drops of 24%, 34% and 13% respectively. The UK leads overseas territories at $5.3M, followed by Oz with $4.5M and Taiwan at $3.1M. Brazil was a new opener with $296K, on par with comps like No Strings Attached, New Year’s Eve and Bridesmaids. France has a date with Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson next week, and Germany takes its turn on April 7.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP
Rolling right along, Fox’s family comedy saw auds chip in another $6.1M for a cume of $139.7M. There were no new plays, but the UK provided the biggest return in its 3rd week with $2.1M. The lead market, the cume there is $21.4M. France, in its 4th week, dropped just 32% earning $1.1M with a total of $9.5M.
The Coen brothers comedy grossed an estimated $4.2M in 31 territories in its 2nd trip to the international coliseum. The offshore total is $11.7M to date. There were four new openings this weekend: Australia, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovenia. The Universal release scored the top slot for a debut in Oz at No. 3 with $1M at 238 dates. There are 25 territories to open over the next three months with the UK, Russia and New Zealand among starts this week.
KUNG FU PANDA 3
With an extra 30 days to play in China, Kung Fu Panda 3 was poised to become the country’s highest-grossing animated film ever, said Jeffrey Katzenberg last week. And so it has. It kicked up another $4.5M this weekend, mostly from the Middle Kingdom and Korea. In the PROC, the total is 975M yuan which translates to $149M, although some dollar conversions have it at $144.2M. It has now overtaken this summer’s Monkey King: Hero Is Back. The total overseas haul to date is $185.8M. Brazil opens next weekend.
Derek, Hansel and Mugatu strutted up a further $3.2M from 46 markets in the frame for an international cume of $21.1M. Mexico and Hong Kong were new plays. The former bowed to $558K at 601 locations, a better start by 338% than Anchorman 2 and 279% above the first Zoolander. Hong Kong took in $219K at 31 sites; 154% above Grown Ups 2 and on par with Dumb And Dumber To. Next week’s key openings are France, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, Poland and Venezuela.
THE DANISH GIRL
The Danish Girl not only picked up a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for star Alicia Vikander, but it also picked up another $2.9M in 43 territories for Universal this weekend. The cume is now $42.8M. Hong Kong opened to $425K at 18 dates, placing No. 4 with the best screen average in the market. Further openings were in Iceland, Paraguay, Trinidad and Venezuela with updates to come tomorrow.
Fresh off a sweep at the Indie Spirit Awards on Saturday, Oscar contender Spotlight shone on a $2.16M weekend for an offshore total of $22.65M to date. New plays were in Germany, Denmark, Greece and Romania. In Germany, the film uncovered $429K on 140 screens, about 31% below comp Birdman. Italy saw a fantastic hold of -15% with $656K on 205 screens. The cume there is $1.6M. After its 5th UK frame, Spotlight now has about $6.6M and Australia was up 5% from its 4th session and has a total $2.6M to date. Other notable cumes include Spain at $2.1M and France with $3.2M.
With another No. 1 in Japan, that makes four in a row for Ridley Scott’s box office smash. Oscar nominated tonight in seven categories, the film is approaching an international cume of $400M with $395.7M to date. In Japan, where it added $1.8M this frame, the total is $23.2M.
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Adding yet another $2M, the Millennium Falcon crew has an international cume to date of $1.122B and a global total of $2.048B. Rankings have not changed, and it’s still playing in 20 territories.
13 HOURS (PAR): $1.2M weekend, $6.6M cume
THE 5TH WAVE (SONY): $1.2M weekend, $70.4M cume
GOOSEBUMPS (SONY): $1.2M weekend, $75.2M cume
RIDE ALONG 2 (UNI): $1M weekend, $29.4M cume
ROOM (UNI): $858K weekend, $2.37M Universal cume
THE BIG SHORT (PAR): $739K weekend, $55.5M cume
DAD’S ARMY (UNI): $589K weekend, $11.3M cume
DADDY’S HOME (PAR): $531K weekend, $87.4M cume
The unstoppable Mermaid has now grossed about $480M which sets it on a path for another first. It was already the first movie ever in the Middle Kingdom to hit $400M and will cross $500M this week. Outside China, it’s being handled by Sony in several markets. The weekend for SPRI was $1.3M for a total $14.6M. It has become the 2nd biggest Chinese language grosser in Malaysia with $6.6M to date. Elsewhere, the cumes are $4M in Vietnam, $2.8M in Singapore and $685K in Australia. The U.S. total is $2M.
Off of a $6.4M debut frame, Spirits’ Homecoming was the No. 1 movie in Korea this weekend. A drama from director Cho Jung-rae, it’s a period story of a girl with the power to communicate with the dead, notably girls who were taken by Japanese soldiers to China during WW II and sexually abused. The market also saw a surge for Disney’s Zootopia which increased 30% over last frame to take No. 2 ahead of Deadpool.
Fox International’s Indian biopic Neerja held the No. 1 spot for a second week with an added $3.2M for a $10.7M cume.
Election Day 2, the Russian comedy that UPI released last weekend was No. 4 in its sophomore frame to pick up another $664K at 1,034 dates. The 11 day total for the film is $3.5M. It surpassed the lifetime box office gross of the first installment in only six days.