After a long six weeks during which the Chinese market was cordoned off from imports, this was the frame that marked the return of foreign movies to PROC screens. They include the session leader Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets ($29M), as well as Cars 3 ($10.8M) and Baby Driver ($10.5M).
Elsewhere, while there were no major wide releases at the international box office this weekend, Universal’s Tom Cruise-starrer American Made flew off to $6.7M in 21 markets. It scored 11 No. 1s in all — the UK and Australia are the only major hubs to roll out this frame.
In milestones, Warner Bros/DC’s Wonder Woman hasn’t been far from the headlines this week and has now hit the $400M threshold overseas. That’s thanks to a strong start in Japan. A $3.4M bow there is bigger than several male-dominated superhero movies. WB’s Annabelle: Creationalso conjured enough cash to rock past the $200M global box office line.
However, eyes were largely on China this frame. The estimated $29M start on Luc Besson’s expensive gamble Valerian is better than his 2014 sci-fi actioner Lucy which bowed to $20M and ultimately strutted to $45M in the Middle Kingdom. The opening also helps push Valerian across the $100M mark internationally ($124.1M per comScore), but including that dismal domestic performance, China is not expected to be the savior on this $180M+ budgeted epic.
The performance did handily knock Chinese phenom Wolf Warrior 2 off of its No. 1 perch with an estimated $15.8M for the FSS and a stunning $810M (including online ticketing fee) in China alone. WW2 will start to slow now as Hollywood muscles back in. Indeed, none of the movies this weekend have much runway ahead.
Up next in China is Dunkirk on Friday, with Christopher Nolan recently having done some local promotional work. His movies tend to do solid business there — Inceptiontook $68M way back in 2010 and Interstellar made a stellar $122M in 2014. Overall, Dunkirk also just hit $70M in IMAX worldwide.
There’s precious little else opening offshore next weekend, as films continue to expand. But it will be world-premieres-a-go-go at the Venice Film Festival where we’ll get a first glimpse into the fall festival season.
Breakdowns on this week’s titles have been updated below.
NEW AMERICAN MADE
The well-reviewed reteam of Cruise and his Edge Of Tomorrow helmer Doug Liman confiscated $6.7M with No. 1s in 11 out of 21 hubs and took the crown from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk in the UKwhere that film has been tops for five weeks in a row.
Cruise has made headlines recently after suffering an injury on the set of Mission: Impossible 6, although I understand he banked publicity for this film during The Mummy promotion. Based on a true story, American Made doesn’t have the sci-fi intrigue of EOT which was also liked by critics and scored strong showings in China and Korea. This film does allow Cruise to play off his world-famous charm and sees him as a pilot recruited by the CIA to fly covert operations into Central America where he ultimately turns smuggler for drug lord Pablo Escobar.
The No. 1s include Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Indonesia, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Taiwan.
Australia was tops with $1.7M, followed by the UK at $1.4M (tomorrow is a bank holiday there). There are 44 hubs to open over the next three months. Up next weekend is Spain, notably. Domestic rolls out on September 29.
TADEO JONES 2
Paramount is releasing the animated adventure sequel with Spain opening this session to $2.8M at No. 1. That’s the best start of any Spanish movie since December 2015.
Back in 2014, Par boarded worldwide distribution on the film from Spanish director Enrique Gato. It’s the follow-up to 2012’s Tad, The Lost Explorer for which Gato won the Best New Director Goya. It’s a wink to the Indiana Jones series and the original had a worldwide haul of about $45M. It played particularly well in Latin America and Europe.
The next major markets to release include Russia on October 26, Brazil on December 28 and Mexico on January 5.
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
We are waiting on full details for Valerianthis weekend internationally, but for now we know that the China number is an estimated $29M. Besson recently traveled to Beijing to help promote the movie which is the leader there, knocking local juggernaut Wolf Warrior 2 off the No. 1 weekend spot for the first time since its release in July. It also scored $3M in IMAX in the market on 431 screens.
The start is better than Besson’s previous directorial outing, Lucy, which opened to $20M in the PROC and went on to about $45M. Valerian has a decent 7.2 rating on Douban, but not much leg room ahead as Dunkirk sails into China next week, followed by Spider-Man: Homecoming.
ComScore is reporting an overall international weekend of $32.8M in 32 markets for a $124.1M offshore cume. Worldwide, that puts it at $163.8M. We’ll update with more information as it comes.
WB’s spinoff sequel dropped by about half this weekend, grossing an estimated $22Mfrom about 10,500 screens in 61 markets. The offshore cume is now $137.2M with $215.1M worldwide.
The main new plays for this doll were Germany ($1.5M) where it was 74% higher than The Conjuring and 36% bigger than Annabelle; and the Philippines, also with $1.5M and topping the full run of The Conjuring. The bow is the 3rd best ever for a horror title.
Key running cumes include Korea’s $13.5M, Mexico’s $13.3M, Indonesia’s $9.2M, India’s $8.4M and the UK’s $8.3M.
Sony/MRC’s Baby Driver revved up another $15.3M in 50 markets — widely dominated by China. The Edgar Wright pic rounds out the trifecta of new titles playing the Middle Kingdom this weekend and started its engines there with $10.5M on 12K screens, topping comp Now You See Meby 41%. It was No. 4 behind Valerian, Wolf Warrior 2 and Cars 3.
Russia also pressed play with $2.5M from 922 screens, 19% above Hitman: Agent 47. Upcoming key market releases include Italy on September 7 and Korea on September 14.
The international cume currently stands at $90.9M.
Disney’s Cars 3 looks to be nosing out ahead of Baby Driver in China with $10.8M over the FSS. That’s bigger than the lifetime of Cars the first and 164% higher than the sequel’s Middle Kingdom bow. Growth in the market will have helped with those numbers while there’s been no significant kids fare since Despicable Me 3released as the final Hollywood film of the season on July 6.
The full weekend was $13.7M in 27 markets for an offshore cume of $175.7M and a worldwide total of $324.8M.
The China start is the 3rd biggest FSS launch for a Pixar release in the market where the brand isn’t as ingrained as it is elsewhere. Malaysia was also new with $300K, 31% ahead of its predecessor.
Next weekend adds Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Singapore ahead of Italy on September 14 and Germany on September 28.
DESPICABLE ME 3
Illumination/Universal’s threequel grossed an estimated $12.6M in 58 territories for an international total of $717.2M. Worldwide, it’s at $971.7M. Italy was a key start this session at No. 1 with $6.3M. That’s the best animated launch of the year in a market that likes Illumination movies. It’s the second best bow for the brand there behind only Minions.
Turkey also had a strong opening with $777K and 50% of the market. It landed No. 1 and is Illumination’s best-ever debut.
After its 6th week in Japan, where films tend to build slowly, DM3 now has a total $56.2M.
There is one more territory to go with Greece opening this coming frame and as the movie sidles up to the $1B worldwide mark.
THE DARK TOWER
The Stephen King adaptation added $9.6M from 7,520 screens in 57 markets this session. From Columbia and MRC, the Idris Elba/Matthew McConaughey-starrer now has an international cume of $43.7M. The weekend was led by openings in Brazil ($1.5M/691 screens/No. 2), Mexico ($1.3M,/1,115/No. 2) and Indonesia($900K/200/No. 1).
THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD
We are waiting on a breakdown on the action comedy that stars Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson, but the weekend’s domestic winner has a comScore-reported $9.13M this session in 22 markets. That takes the overseas cume to $21.3M. Millennium will give us an updated picture tomorrow.
THE EMOJI MOVIE
Sony’s animated title clicked another $7.2M on 7,650 screens in 55 markets for an international cume of $67.7M. Russia added $1.1M in its 2nd session for a total $4.6M to date and the UK dropped 33% in its 4th frame for a cume of $13.7M. There are several key markets to come including Brazil (August 31), Australia (September 14), Italy (September 28) and France (October 18).
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
Fox’s third in the Apes trilogy swung to another $7M in 47 overseas plays. The well-reviewed film added $1.75M in a competitive Korea where it is the No. 1 western film and has a cume of $14.3M after two weeks. France has maintained the No.1 slot for four consecutive frames and has $20.4M on the vine. The international cume is now $217M with China and Japan still to come on September 15 and October 13, respectively.
With just a few days to go before it docks in China, WB’s Dunkirk from Christopher Nolan continues to solid results in 61 overseas markets. The weekend was $5.6Mfor an international cume of $239.7M. The top play is the UK with $67.2M to date, followed by Korea at $21.5M and France at $19.1M. China will be one to watch as Nolan’s movies have historically performed there. Also opening this next session will be Italy, while Japan is on deck for September 9.
Dunkirk has reached $70M in global IMAX. The portion of IMAX play in China will be 437 screens.
It’s been quite a week for Diana Prince whose movie has been the subject of an online trading of words between James Cameron and WW director Patty Jenkins. At the box office, the Amazonian has hit the $400M mark internationally after adding $3.5M in the frame. Of that, $3.4M came from Japan on 598 screens, narrowly ranking No. 2 behind the opening of a local title.
Japan is a leggy market which builds slowly, and one where women tend to make the movie-going decisions in the family. The start there is more than double Captain America: The First Avenger, Avengers and Thor. It also topped Winter Soldier by 86%, Ant-Man by 84%, Guardians Of The Galaxy by 64%, Logan by 32%, Man Of Steel by 19% and GOTG2 by 11%.
The Charlize Theron-starrer is looking at a $3.5M weekend in 50 Universal and Sierra/Affinity territories to raise the international total to $31.9M. Globally, the film is at $81M. Germany came in 3rd despite the actioner having filmed in the market and the support of a local premiere. The score was $1.1M. Austria was also a No. 3 start with $135K as was Central America with $289K. France added $652K in its sophomore session for a $2.4M running cume. There are eight more territories to open over the next two months.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Spider-Man: Homecoming (SNY): $2.8M intl weekend (58 markets); $418.2M intl cume
The Beguiled (UNI): $1.6M intl weekend (16 markets); $8.3M intl cume (France best screen average at opening)
Logan Lucky (var): $1.57M intl weekend (comScore reporting in 8 markets); $2.85M intl cume
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (FOX): $1.5M intl weekend (15 markets), $27.4M intl cume
Transformers: The Last Knight (PAR): $811K (20 markets); $473.8M intl cume
Girls Trip (UNI): $600K intl weekend (5 markets); $12M intl cume
A Gentleman from directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna Dk stars Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez. The Fox International Productions title opened in India this session at No. 1 with $2.5M on 2,555 screens. It’s the story of Gaurav, a man content with his routine and dreaming of settling down with the girl of his dreams. Kavya on the other hand prefers someone more risky and adventurous. When a case of mistaken identity rocks Gaurav’s life, he stands to lose everything he has worked so hard for. Malhotra plays dual roles in the action/comedy/love story.
Sony released horror pic Veronica in Spain this weekend to $750K on 289 screens for the No. 2 slot. From directors Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez-Beltran, it centers on a female psychologist who has stopped practicing medicine, but decides to take the case of a young woman whose previous therapist has mysteriously disappeared.
by Nancy Tartaglione