2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 1:31 AM PT: Figures below on Happy New Year have been confirmed by Mumbai-based production company Red Chillies Entertainment.
1ST UPDATE, 11:59 PM PT: Official distributor figures have not yet been released for Shah Rukh Khan’s Bollywood heist pic, Happy New Year, which opened in several markets on Friday. However, reports out of India are setting it on its way to all-time blockbuster status there. I’ve confirmed with Yash Raj Films that the Farah Khan-directed action comedy broke the record for an opening day on Friday. According to Bollywood Hungama, it did so with 44.97 crore or $ 7.35M. Importantly, the site says it had the biggest opening weekend ever, besting 2013’s Dhoom 3 with 108.86 crore ($ 17.8M) — although it appears to be a tight race given Dhoom‘s 107.61 crore opening last December. It also means Happy New Year passed the coveted 100 crore mark in just three days, on par with Dhoom 3. The score further gives both Shah Rukh Khan and co-star Deepika Padukone their biggest openers ever. Previously for both it was 2013’s Chennai Express. I’ll have full confirmed numbers later on Monday when Yash Raj serves them up. In the meantime, Bollywood Hungama is reporting that Happy New Year sold $ 806K worth of tickets in overseas markets, although not all of them were accounted for in the site’s breakdown.
In other parts of the world, this weekend did not have much going on in the local picture game. China’s Breakup Buddies added $ 4.4M to take its total to $ 173M. (Lucy and Hercules joined Guardians Of The Galaxy in release there this week with the former taking the Middle Kingdom crown on a strong $ 19M — see earlier report below). Gaumont’s Samba added $ 4.1M in France for a cume of $ 12.5M, although it did not maintain the No. 1 position which went instead to The Maze Runner after an 8% jump this frame.
Annabelle was the clear winner for the international weekend with an impressive $ 26.5M in 62 markets. In one notable turn, Warner Bros Lebanon tells me that in its 3rd week, the pic crossed the $ 200,000 mark, making it the biggest horror film ever in the territory. This comes after topping the weekend box office for two frames in a row. Overall, the offshore weekend saw a minimal drop from last with a 13% jump over the same frame in 2013. At that time, Gravity was exerting its pull around the globe while toons Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 and Turbo were bustling.
Next weekend sees the addition of a handful of homegrown films in their own territories and elsewhere. They include Donnie Yen’s Kung Fu Jungle which goes out in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia among other markets. Monkey King and Special ID star Yen is currently shooting Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend and is a consistent draw at home. Kung Fu Jungle will face off with The Maze Runner as it begins zig-zagging across the market on Tuesday, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which soups up in China on Friday.
Elsewhere, Spain and parts of Latin America will get [Rec] 4: Apocalypse next week. The horror thriller is helmed by Jaume Balagueró and stars Manuela Velasco in a return after sitting out the third installment of the franchise. Cannes favorite Mr Turner will paint itself into theaters in the UK. Timothy Spall stars in Mike Leigh’s biopic of the famous artist which is drawing awards attention for the lead turn – it won Spall the Best Actor prize in Cannes last May. Also in the UK’s crowded week, another specialty title, Daniel Radcliffe’s Horns, will sprout up; Jake Gyllenhaal in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler will sign in; and Ouija will spell out its future there. In other expansions, Fury rolls into Russia while Keanu Reeves in John Wick heads to France and Australia; and Nicole Kidman/Colin Firth/Mark Strong thriller Before I Go To Sleep awakens in the fast-burn Russian and Korean markets in what’s been a slow-burn release pattern. The film opens in the U.S. on Halloween Friday. The Boxtrolls visits Spain where the Latin-themed animation should find takers; Dracula Untold will debut in Italy and Japan, and The Expendables 3 is also going to Japan, its last market, after playing the Tokyo Film Festival this week. Stay tuned for updated figures later today.
PREVIOUS SUNDAY: Of the big openers this weekend internationally, Sony’s Fury was among the most anticipated. Having just made its European premiere at the London Film Festival, the Brad Pitt WWII movie ended up with $ 11.2M from 1,975 screens in 15 markets. Predictably, the UK was a No. 1 grab with $ 4.2M from 680 screens. Sony puts that at par with 2013’s Captain Phillips (which opened the LFF last year). In France, Fury rolled to $ 2.1M from 415 screens, good for a No. 5 slot. Australia debuted #1 in the market with $ 2.2M from 336 screens.
Nevertheless, it was a scary doll who had another good weekend overseas. Annabelle grossed an estimated $ 26.5M off the back of 5.8M admissions from over 6,900 screens in 62 territories. The international cume to date now stands at $ 126.7M for a worldwide cume of $ 206.2M. A record-breaking weekend in Mexico scared up the biggest opening ever for a horror film and the best 2D opening of 2014.
The Warner Bros release also scored the 3rd best opening for the year, behind The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Transformers: Age Of Extinction. It took 59% of the market share and beat all comps. In Argentina, it was notably the movie that unseated local hit Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales), moving in to the No. 1 slot with $ 1.2M and 213K admissions from 180 screens. Elsewhere in horror-hungry Latin America, Annabelle set a record for the biggest horror opening in Peru with $ 1.34M; that’s also Warner Bros’ 2nd biggest opening weekend of all time
In China, the win this week goes to Luc Besson’s Lucy which bowed in the Middle Kingdom on Oct 24 and was the No. 1 film this weekend. Besson was on hand recently in Beijing to help sell the Scarlett Johanssen-starrer. The film took an estimated $ 19M. With Universal’s international territories having all been released, the studio’s own weekend estimate is $ 510K at 700 dates in 36 territories for a total of $ 230.8M. Combined with the EuropaCorp territories, the international weekend estimate is $ 19.6M for a total of $ 307.6M. That puts the worldwide cume at $ 434M. This is just following Europa’s closing on a $ 450M+ credit facility that will go towards English-language productions.
Fox’s Gone Girl, meanwhile, opened in the competitive Korea market this weekend at No. 1 with $ 3.8M. The overall offshore cume for the frame was $ 18.4M, taking the total to $ 118.3M. In holdovers the UK dropped 34% with $ 2.5M bringing the local total to $ 27.45M. A marginal 6% drop in France led to $ 1.9M for the weekend and a cume of $ 9.15M. Australia’s weekend haul was $ 1.9M for a cume to date of $ 17M; and in Germany the lady bagged $ 1.25M towards a cume of $ 8.97M.
Recent Univeral release Dracula Untold opened in another four markets this weekend and grossed an estimated $ 14.7M at a total 7,400 dates in 59 territories. All of the new bows were No. 1s including Brazil ($ 2.7M, 430 dates); Spain ($ 1.8M, 312 dates); and Hungary ($ 238K, 49 dates). The international total is $ 117.7M.
The Maze Runner, from Fox, scrambled to a further $ 12.6M this weekend lifting its cume to $ 179.2M. The only new opening was in Finland where it was No. 1 with $ 241K. In France, TMR jumped 8% to nab the No. 1 slot in a week that saw the continued release of Samba, the follow-up to global hit The Intouchabes. An amazing Maze Runner haul of $ 5.3M brought the French cume to $ 12.7M – worth noting this movie is being marketed to the hilt here on radio and elsewhere and we are in full throttle school holidays. Germany had a small decrease of 13% with $ 1.6M and a cume of $ 3.9M. The UK also had a good hold with $ 1.4M and a cume of $ 9.4M. There are three markets yet to release including China on Halloween and Japan next year.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles held well across Europe with a total estimated weekend of $ 10.8M from 2,661 locations in 32 territories. The Jonathan Liebesman-helmed pic has crossed theh $ 200M mark with an offshore cume of $ 201.9M. In France, the Paramount Turtles were off 15% from the opening with $ 3.3M at 565 locations. The total in the market is $ 9.4M. The UK added $ 3M on its 2nd weekend from 522 sites for a cume of $ 12.6M. The Ninjas on the half shell continue to perform in Germany with a 2nd straight No. 1 and $ 2.1M from 539 locales. The total there is $ 6.6M. The Turtles sidle up to China on October 31, followed by Japan on Feb 7.
Guardians Of The Galaxy is still playing in China as other U.S. movies start to seep in. It earned another estimated $ 6.5M in the Middle Kingdom this weekend to take its estimated cume there now to $ 84.4M. It also opened in its final international territory, Italy, where it grossed an estimated $ 3.4M. That was good for No. 1 and is 29% above Captain America: The First Avenger, 8% above X-Men: Days Of Future Past and 13% below Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This week/weekend GOTG passed the lifetime gross of X-Men: Days Of Future Past which makes it 3rd highest grossing film of 2014 globally, behind Transformers: Age Of Extinction and Maleficent. The current global cume is $ 753M.
Paramount’s Hercules was the other big film in China this week, having opened on the 21st. It delivered a $ 9.6M opening weekend from approximately 4,700 sites. The Dwayne Johnson-starrer also opened in Japan where it was the top foreign film to enter the market with $ 1.2M at 337 locations. The international cume is now $ 165.5M.
The Fox-released The Book Of Life earned $ 7.8M bringing its cume to $ 18M. Mexico kept things alive earning $ 2.5M taking its cume to $ 6.9M. The UK opened at No. 4 with $ 1.5M at 850 locations.
Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall added an impressive $ 6.9M to the docket this weekend with nearly 1.1M admissions from 3,903 screens in 47 markets. The international cume for The Judge is now $ 19M. Warner says that Italy debuted with $ 1.05M from 282 screens; Mexico opened with $ 820K from 384 screens; France took $ 491K on 183 screens; Spain was worth $ 328k from 205 screens and Greece gave $ 161k from 45 screens. In holdovers, Russia added $ 1.1M for a $ 3.3M cume (impressive for a straight drama in the market); Taiwan added $ 548K for a $ 1.5M to-date total and Brazil grossed an estimated $ 443K for a cume of $ 1.4M.
Sony’s The Equalizer grossed an estimated $ 5.7M from 74 territories this weekend. The cume is now $ 77.7M. Japan opened with $ 735K from 183 screens. That’s a No. 5 debut which Sony says is nevertheless 80% bigger than the bow of 2 Guns and on par with Safe House. Germany fell 18% in its 3rd frame, grossing $ 1.2M for a cume of $ 6.3M.
Disney Animation Studios’ Big Hero 6 opened the Tokyo Film Festival last week and has now been released in Russia, two weeks ahead of the U.S., in order to take advantage of two weeks of school holidays starting there. The story of the special bond that develops between inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, bowed on Saturday and the estimated two day cume is $ 4.8M ($ 5M including Ukraine). Disney puts that 63% above Wreck-It Ralph, 30% above Monsters University and on par with Tangled.
Boxtrolls added an estimated $ 3.7M at 3,400 dates in 47 territories and raised the international total to $ 41.5M. Germany opened with $ 326K at 356 dates and is likely to benefit from the continued school holidays; the UAE opened with $ 225K at 32 dates – the biggest Laika opener ever in the market. The UK, where the film has found much favor, now has a cume of $ 12.4M, passing the lifetime of Coraline.
Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day opened in the UK, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Trinidad and Uruguay this weekend. The international take was $ 2.5M. In the UK, the Steve Carell family pic earned $ 1M with school holidays afoot. Mexico remains the strongest ex-U.S. market at $ 3.8M.
Universal’s Ouija moved into five territories outside the U.S. this weekend and grossed $ 1.3M at 234 dates in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Poland and Slovenia. In Malaysia, it was No. 2 with $ 545K at 60 dates. Taiwan opened No. 4 with $ 331K at 63 dates; Singapore had a No. 2 bow with $ 238K at 14 dates; and Poland opened to $ 137K at 89 dates for a No. 4 berth.
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood grossed $ 710K at 370 dates in 17 Universal territories and raised the Universal international total to $ 16.4M. In Korea, it placed No. 8 with the 3rd highest per-screen average of the Top 10 factored out of $ 368K at 178 dates.