UPDATE, 1:36 PM PT: Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange remained atop the international box office for the third frame in a row as it nears $500M in worldwide returns. The offshore total is $339.6M with $492.6M globally. This 14th MCU entry is running above its top comps Ant-Man (+37%) and Guardians Of The Galaxy (+34%) on an overseas basis. It needs $520M to squish Ant-Man worldwide.
Getting hands-y in China, Doctor Strange has now grossed $83.5M and will have room to keep making magic this week until new titles enter the market on Friday. The main Hollywood movie coming in is Deepwater Horizon, while Feng Xiaogang’s I Am Not Madame Bovary is a key local title. But we’ll keep an eye on The Warrior’s Gate, a French/Chinese co-production from Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and Fundamental Films. The pic sees a teenager magically transported to China where he learns to convert his video game skills into those of a Kung Fu warrior.
Also in China this current frame, the major opener was Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk which walked away with $11.7M there and $13.2M across nine Asian markets. Arrival, from director Denis Villeneuve, invaded 21 Sony territories and a handful for Film Nation to land $10.2M in a solid start for the pic which has a long rollout.
The weekend overall was down 29% from last session and 35% from last year. At this time in 2015, Spectre had a phenomenal $155M+ third frame thanks to the addition of China and Korea while Salman Khan’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo kicked off with $30.1M.
Next week, all eyes will be on Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. The Warner Bros continuation of JK Rowling’s Wizarding World hits 63 markets day-and-date with the exception of China and Japan.
All of this weekend’s titles have been updated below, although we are waiting on detailed numbers for Hacksaw Ridge (comScore is reporting $3.73M for a $6.08M cume after two frames of overseas play).
PREVIOUS: International audiences continued to marvel at Doctor Strange this weekend with the Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer raking in $60.2M in its third session. Combined with domestic, the 14th MCU pic has a global cume of $492.6M. In worldwide returns, it has out-Hulked The Incredible Hulk ($263M), Captain America: The First Avenger ($371M) and Thor ($449M). It will next squash Ant-Man ($520M).
The offshore portion is $339.6M meaning Scott Derrickson’s take on the Sorcerer Supreme has already topped the overseas lifetimes of Hulk ($129M), Cap 1 ($194M), Iron Man ($266M), Thor ($268M), Iron Man 2 ($310M) and Ant-Man ($339M).
At current rates, and in overseas plays, Doctor Strange continues to track 37% ahead of Ant-Man, 34% bigger than Guardians Of The Galaxy, 27% above Thor: The Dark World and is 25% more fit than Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The international drop-off was just 48% this frame, with a 50% dip in China. The Middle Kingdom remains the top dimension for the Strange and Ancient Ones at $83.5M — a healthy tonic in the saggy market.
The global IMAX cume for Doctor Strange now stands at $54M; international markets generated another $6.6M this frame with $3.5M from China.
New titles this weekend include Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The Ang Lee-directed drama notably opened in the PROC, placing second behind the good Doctor. Arrival, which Sony and Film Nation are handling overseas, also landed in key plays like the UK, Russia, Australia and Mexico. It scored the best openings for director Denis Villeneuve in several plays.
In notable holds, Warner Bros’ Storks crossed $100M overseas and the studio’s The Accountant calculated past the $50M mark.
Breakdowns on those and more are being updated below:
BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK
Ang Lee’s latest, based on the bestselling novel, opened in nine offshore markets across Asia this weekend. Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing International and Bona Film Group, the first frame was worth $13.2M. The majority of that came from China ($11.7M).
The film is the story of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad. Lee famously used new technology to shoot at an ultra-high frame rate and create an immersive digital experience. Some audiences have found the result jarring, yet revolutionary.
The key opening market this weekend was China where only nine cinemas were able to show the 120/fps 3D/4K version. It was the top new opener and fell in line at No. 2 behind Doctor Strange. Lee is a hero in China with his last film, Life Of Pi rowing to over $90M in the Middle Kingdom in 2012.
The majority of the overseas rollout begins in January led by Brazil, Mexico and Spain. France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Japan open in February followed by Korea and Russia in March.
Sony’s TriStar Pictures has a number of financing partners on the $40M pic. Presented by TriStar Pictures with Studio 8 in association with LStar Capital, Film4 and Bona Film Group, the movie also stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Makenzie Leigh, Vin Diesel and Steve Martin.
Denis Villeneuve’s lyrical sci-fi drama world premiered to a warm reception — and five-minute standing ovation — at the Venice Film Festival in September with critics praising the film’s emotional and cerebral twist on the alien invasion genre. The movie, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, is being released domestically by Paramount with Sony picking up some offshore territories and the rest handled by Film Nation Entertainment partners (particularly the UK and Australia). The total overseas weekend was $10.2M, all combined.
For FNE markets, the weekend estimate is $5.6M. EOne opened Arrival at 561 UK locations for $3.1M, a career best for Villeneuve whose last pic was last year’s Oscar nominated Sicario. In Australia, Arrival grossed $1.6M from 268 locations for No. 2 behind Doctor Strange and his stranglehold on No. 1. This is also a best-ever for Villeneuve. In New Zealand the total is $293K at 90; similarly a record for Villeneuve. In Israel, Arrival landed $113.5K.
Sony is in the mix here in Russia and elsewhere, as part of a strategic and opportunistic move on a high-profile property with both critical and commercial appeal. The 21 SPRI markets grossed $4.6M from 2,200 screens. The film showed great strength as it played through the weekend everywhere, suggesting it’s set up for a long, successful run. Among highlights, Russia launched to $1.8M from 925 screens, which is on par with District 9 for the FSS comparison. Mexico debuted to $665K from 362 screens, 49% ahead of District 9.
Related: Denis Villeneuve Talks ‘Arrival’, “A Vacation From Darkness” & The “Berserk” Risk Of ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel – Venice Q&A
International promotion on the pic included in Venice with both Adams and Renner, as well as Villeneuve who jetted in for the day from the Budapest set of Bladerunner 2049. Other festival berths included San Sebastian, Sitges, London, Morelia, Rio, Busan, Tokyo and Leiden. The trailer ran internationally with Inferno and Doctor Strange. And, a screening was held for SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence Institute) with Spanish language testimonials broadcasting in Mexico.
Rollout continues throughout November in Spain, Brazil and Germany with France in December, Italy in January and Korea in February.
As it approaches $500M worldwide, Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange keeps making magic in offshore territories. The $60.2M weekend was a 48% drop versus last frame and sees the Doctor maintain the No. 1 international spot in a trifecta. As noted above, the movie is besting comps — particularly Ant-Man which it has already squashed overseas. Running 37% hotter, DS will soon overtake A-M‘s $520M global. DS is also out-tracking Guardians Of The Galaxy by 34%. Last week, the film helped propel Disney across the $6B worldwide threshold.
The EMEA region this eekend was especially strong with an overall estimated drop-off of just 37%. Doctor Strange has held the No. 1 spot for three consecutive weekends in Denmark and the Netherlands and is in a close race to do so in the UK too. In Latin America, the overall estimated dip was 46%. Monday and Tuesday are holidays in Brazil so strong mid-week numbers are expected there.
In fast-burn Asia-Pacific, the drop was 52%. Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange has now held the No. 1 spot for three consecutive frames in Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore as well as for two consecutive weekends in China and Russia. The Sorcerer Supreme is already the highest grossing original MCU release in India, Hong Kong, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Top 5 markets cumes are: China ($83.5M), Korea ($37.1M), the UK ($24.2M), Russia ($20M) and Germany ( $13.9M).
DreamWorks’ Animation’s Fox release went to an $18.3M happy place in 68 markets this frame. It held No. 1s in Spain, Mexico and Argentina kept dancing with soft drops in the UK, France, Germany and Italy. The top play is the UK at $24.7M after four sessions, followed by France with $16.4M. The overseas cume is $128.3M with eight markets to come.
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
Bursting into eight new markets this frame, Tom Cruise cuffed $8.6M in a total 54 for Paramount. The international cume is now $73M. Japan was a No. 3 opening with $2.6M at 343 for a 16% dip on the original movie. Germany was also No. 3 with $1.8M for a 21% discrepancy with JR1. Spain, which is dominated by local titles, added $784K to the overall total; 37% below…