‘Doctor Strange’ Makes Magic With $325.5M WW; Gives China Shot In The Arm – Intl Box Office Weekend Update

Nancy Tartaglione
Deadline

UPDATE, TUESDAY AM PT, writethru with actuals: Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange continued to boost the overseas fall box office with a $118.9M 2nd frame. That was a slight bump from the Sunday estimate of $118.7M and levitates the magic show to a $240.7M offshore cume. With domestic included, there was $325.5M in the global bag of tricks through the frame. The Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer is holding above its main comps when considering like-for-like markets, boding well for the coming weeks as it adds dimensions before Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them apparates globally beginning November 16.

In China, the Scott Derrickson-directed Doctor Strange was a hit with audiences who have recently been très blasé about Hollywood fare. The $44.4M weekend bow is the best of the season and topped the Middle Kingdom starts of recent comps Ant-Man (+5%) and Guardians Of The Galaxy (+49%).

Through Monday, the Sorcerer Supreme was closing in on $50M in the PROC, per unofficial numbers. The Doctor adds to Disney’s fortunes in the market this year. The Mouse has three films in the Top 10 (Zootopia, Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book) which account for upwards of $575M in box office. Still to come from the studio this year is Moana which sets sail on November 25. China was also good to IMAX with the No. 1 November 3-day debut ever for the format. (See more detail below.)

China flooded the market with local releases this week, but none could keep pace with the Doctor who widely dominated play. The next several frames are loaded with Hollywood movies in an effort to boost box office before 2016 is over and that, as ever, means there’s a risk of cannibalization. A-M ($105M) and GOTG ($96M) had good legs and while the Middle Kingdom is less than predictable these days, DS has those mind-bending visuals, solid reviews for the increasingly discerning audience — and Cumberbatch’s immense Sherlock following.

Next week sees Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk from Ang Lee enter the market on Friday. The Sony pic has the involvement of China’s Bona Film Group and China-backed Studio 8 and is expected to perform there. Lee’s Life Of Pi made over $90M in the Middle Kingdom in 2012. Co-star Vin Diesel will also be a major draw.

Overall, there were a number of milestones reached this weekend with Disney right in the thick of it. The studio crossed the $6B mark at the global box office for the first time in its history, becoming only the second ever to pass the threshold after Universal did so last year. In the mix, Zootopia moved up to No. 2 for 2016 worldwide.

In other key stats Bridget Jones’s Baby crossed $200M worldwide; Inferno passed $150M international; and Trolls popped over the $100M offshore line.

Across the Top 10 titles this weekend, the frame is roughly even with last session. Compared to last year, it’s about 8.6% off. At this time in 2015 it was all about Spectre with the 24th James Bond pic playing in 77 offshore markets.

Up next weekend, Denis Villeneuve’s Amy Adams-starrer Arrival — a hit on the festival circuit earlier this fall — notably begins overseas rollout.

See below for much more on Doctor Strange plus breakdowns on all films including limited newcomers Hacksaw Ridge and Nocturnal Animals.

PREVIOUS, SUNDAY AM PT: Doctor Strange continued on his magical overseas journey this weekend, conjuring a $118.9M 2nd session at the international box office. That brings the Disney/Marvel title to an offshore cume of $240.7M and — with this frame’s $85M domestic opening — a global prescription of $325.5M after just 13 days in release.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s cocky neurosurgeon-turned-sorcerer added 22 offshore markets in the session for a total of 53, notably entering China with a very strong $44.4M to make Doctor Strange the highest 3-day opening weekend for an original IP/first installment superhero film of all time. The start is also The Walt Disney Studios’ 3rd highest 3-day Middle Kingdom launch for an MCU pic, behind Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.

The Scott Derrickson-helmed Doctor Strange is levitating against its comps. In the same suite of markets, it’s showing an overall 2nd frame drop of 38%. That’s better than those of Cap3 (-41%), Ant-Man (-42%), Guardians Of The Galaxy (-44%) and Thor: The Dark World (-46%).

With the Doctor in the house, there were no wide offshore openers this weekend. There were some milestones for existing pictures, however, with Bridget Jones’s Baby crossing the $200M mark at the worldwide box office. Finding Dory also finned it past Zootopia to become the No. 2 release of 2016 at global turnstiles and the No. 4 animated release ever.

Trolls expanded significantly, taking the international total past $100M. The Accountant also saw healthy growth in wider play, and Inferno has crossed $150M overseas. In Spain, A Monster Calls is now the No. 1 movie of 2016, after just 31 days.

In soft launches, Mel Gibson’s praised action drama Hacksaw Ridge debuted notably in Australia, and Nocturnal Animals flipped open a page in the UK — both were major world premieres at the Venice Film Festival and are beginning their awards season runs. Also new in the UK is A Street Cat Named Bob released by Sony and based on the bestselling book by James Bowen.

Breakdowns on the above and more have been updated below:

NEW
HACKSAW RIDGE
Mel Gibson’s return to directing after a decade has been hailed as a triumph since it first premiered to a 10-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. The WWII action drama about Desmond T Doss (Andrew Garfield) the conscientious objector who saved 75 men at Okinawa without ever firing or carrying a gun, opened this weekend in a handful of offshore markets, notably Australia. ComScore has the weekend at $1.65M. Of that, $1.3M came from Oz.

Lionsgate releases domestically with offshore sold by co-financier IM Global (Cross Creek and Demarest Films also financed). Many are comping the film to Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken ($48M intl cume), but as momentum gets going this $40M-budgeted film could well out perform it. It’s got a leading 13 nominations from the top Australian awards body, AACTA, and is very likely to figure in the Oscar race. Reviews are stellar with an 87% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. It started off to a great $14.5M in North America this weekend with a 16% Friday to Saturday uptick in ticket sales, meaning word-of-mouth is working.

A STREET CAT NAMED BOB
The adaptation of the book by James Bowen about a recovering drug addict who gets a new lease on life after he meets a support worker and a stray ginger feline grossed $1.1M on 440 screens in the UK this weekend via Sony. The true story was a bestseller with the film version directed by Roger Spottiswoode. Luke Treadaway and Joanne Froggatt star, Bob plays himself. Rollout continues over the next few months with domestic release via Cleopatra Films on November 18.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS
Tom Ford’s stylish noir was the subject of a $20M world rights deal in Cannes last year with Focus Features taking domestic and Universal handling overseas. The thriller, Ford’s sophomore directing effort, made a big impact when it world premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, drawing raves, and just had its first official release in the UK this weekend before continuing offshore rollout and hitting U.S. theaters later this month in a limited run.

Starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, the pic drew an estimated $842K at a carefully selected 242 locations. It placed No. 5 and has the 4th best screen average in the market. Its best plays are in London where Ford has long been a fixture. More screens will be added next weekend and a long run is expected. Uni notes the opening is just behind Zodiac and comping higher than Ford’s own A Single Man.

The movie is based on Austin Wright’s novel Tony And Susan, which Ford adapted, and focuses on Susan (Adams), an art gallery owner who is haunted by the novel her ex-husband Edward (Gyllenhaal) has written and unexpectedly sent to her. Unhappy in her present marriage and vacuous life in Los Angeles, she reads the violent thriller over a handful of nights. The audience follows along with the novel’s gritty West Texas story playing out on screen and with Edward as the lead character, Tony. He has titled the book Nocturnal Animals and dedicated it to Susan who, when not reading, revisits her relationship with him in flashback.

HOLDOVERS/EXPANSIONS
DOCTOR STRANGE
Great word-of-mouth is encouraging folks to make an appointment with Doctor Strange as the film continues to conjure mystical numbers in its 2nd frame. The sophomore weekend was worth $118.9M in 53 material territories. The overall international cume is now $240.7M after 13 days and $325.5M globally with the terrific $85M domestic opening included this weekend.

The film has one hour of exclusive IMAX expanded aspect ratio footage and the 380 overseas IMAX locations helped convert into the format’s biggest November weekend ever internationally ($12M), domestically ($12.2M) and globally ($24.2M), overtaking previous record holder Interstellar.

All markets this frame were led by China with a fantastic $44.4M for what is the best opening since the summer on a Hollywood title. In IMAX plays, Doctor Strange is the top November 3-day debut ever with $6.3M from 336 screens. There are 17 IMAX screens among the Top 20 grossing sites in the Middle Kingdom. (IMAX also set November opening records in India, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.)

There’s no question the fantasy elements and cutting-edge visuals are drawing auds to this supremely well-reviewed pic, but it also bears noting that China — along with No. 2 market Korea ($30.4M cume) — are major Cumber-hubs with Sherlock a massive hit in both.

The China opening hit several milestones including setting Doctor Strange as the highest 3-day debut weekend for an original IP/first installment superhero film of all time and the 3rd highest 3-day opening weekend for the Walt Disney Studios on an MCU film. DS also had the 2nd biggest 3-day November launch weekend behind last year’s Spectre.

Also in China, 100% of the gross came from 3D plays. The format was highly sought out in other markets as well: Germany (89%), Brazil (80%), Russia (68%) and France (39%). In total, about 45% of the cume has come from 3D.

Among the other new plays for Cumberbatch and co-stars Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and Mads Mikkelsen were Russia (now in wide release), Brazil and further hubs in Europe and Latin America.

In Brazil the five-day opening weekend is $7.9M for No. 1 and 57% of the market. The bow is 39% more rock-n-roll than Guardians and 36% taller than Ant-Man.

Russia opened wide on Monday after an initial IMAX-only frame last weekend. The total cume to date is $15.4M. Looking at the standard day weekend, Dis puts Doctor Strange 98% ahead of Ant-Man, 92% ahead of Winter Soldier and 15% bigger than GOTG.

Holds across the board are bigger than the comps. In the same markets, DS has a -38% grip versus Cap3 (-41%), Ant-Man (-42%), GOTG (-44%) and Thor: The Dark World (-46%).

European holds include Germany (-12%), Austria (-19%), Belgium (-19%), the Netherlands (-20%), Italy (-25%), Denmark (-29%) and Sweden (-30%). Asia-Pacific markets also kept the Doctor busy: Australia (-33%), New Zealand (-36%), Korea (-37%), Taiwan (-41%), Malaysia (-42%), Singapore (-43%) and Hong Kong (-43%).

The Top 10 markets to date are: China ($44.4M), Korea ($30.4M), the UK ($18.9M), Russia ($15.4M), Germany ($11M), France ($10.7M), Mexico ($10M), Australia ($9.5M), Brazil ($7.9M) and Taiwan ($7.2M). Japan is still to come in January

TROLLS
DreamWorks Animation’s Fox release keeps dancing with a $30M weekend to bring the offshore total to $104.8M. Poppy power was in force in 69 markets including the top new play of Mexico with a $2.6M start for No. 1 to best The Lego Movie by 2% and Home by 12%. The holdover plays dropped by less than 22% with eight seeing week-on-week increases, including Spain (+18%/No. 1), Germany (+8%), Italy (+28%), Belgium (+221%/No. 1) and Sweden (+56%/No. 1).

The major hubs so far on the Anna Kendrick/Justin Timberlake-starrer are the UK ($21.9M cume), France ($14.9M), and Russia ($9.7M). There are 11 markets still to come for the Mike Mitchell-directed pic including Australia on December 1.

THE ACCOUNTANT
Ben Affleck loaded another $13.1M onto the abacus this weekend in 63 markets with a great dip of just 37% in the holdover plays. The international cume on the Warner Bros title is now $38.5M. The UK was the major new opener with $2M including previews, from 497 screens, and ranking No. 3. Affleck was on Graham Norton’s couch on Friday night to help energize the locals and results came in 42% ahead of Argo and The Town. Mexico also ranked No. 3 with $1.5M on 720 for +378% on The Town, +288% on Argo and +117% over Gone Girl. Australia counted $1.2M from 293 for a No. 3 start. Holland was also a new play with $467K on 78, also surpassing all comps including Gone Girl (+9%).

INFERNO
The Sony pic added $11.4M this weekend for an international cume of $159.3M as the Tom Hanks-starrer continues to play with international auds. The latest in Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Dan Brown franchise is currently in 61 total markets and has France on deck next weekend. China leads offshore with $20.1M after two frames — it faced a tough weekend there with the debut of Doctor Strange and the introduction of several local titles. Elsewhere, Germany has cumed $12.7M and Japan has deciphered $8.5M.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
Universal put The Girl on the tracks in Russia, Chile and Bolivia this session for $2.6M in a total 12 territories. In the markets handled by Mister Smith Entertainment, the weekend rolled to $5.9M for a $63.1M cume. Combined with Universal’s overseas total of $6.74M the international cume is $69.9. Worldwide, there’s $140.6M waiting at the station.

New openers in MSE territories were Belgium, Denmark and Italy. Denmark bowed No. 1 and in Italy, Emily Blunt’s Girl is tussling with Doctor Strange for No. 1. For Uni, Russia was a strong No. 3 start at $1.9M from 721 dates. That lands it at the same level as Gone Girl and bigger than Bridget Jones’s Baby. Chile opened No. 4 with $103K from 41 and ahead of the comps.

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL
Universal’s release of the Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes sequel put another $8M on the board in 48 territories. That’s a 5% dip from last weekend for an international total of $32.9M. The worldwide total is $64.2M. There were six new plays added this frame which all opened bigger than the first movie. They include Indonesia’s $1.5M No. 2 start at 220 dates and France’s $1.1M bow at 172. Malaysia and Singapore were No. 2 bows with $686K at 119 dates and $361K at 29, respectively. There are four more releases planned including Korea and Russia next weekend.

BRIDGET JONES’S BABY
Earlier this week, Universal Pictures, Miramax and Studiocanal’s presentation of this Working Title threequel became the No. 1 movie of 2016 in the UK. It has now crossed $200M at the worldwide box office with a total $202.2M. The weekend was worth $4.8M in 48 markets (Universal and Studiocanal combined). The international cume is $178.1M. Argentina debuted at No. 2 with $206K at 115 dates; Japan is at $2.4M after a 9-day gestation and in the UK, Bridget has now grossed $60M (£47.1M). The SC markets are France ($13.2M), Germany ($8.6M) and Austria ($1.2M). The next release is Paraguay on November 17.

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
After crossing $100M at the worldwide box office this week, Paramount’s sequel added $4.3M in 46 markets for an offshore total of $62.7M. The Tom Cruise-starrer saw no new openings this frame, but travels to Germany, Japan and Spain next weekend ahead of releases to come in Korea, Brazil and Mexico. Cumes to date include $8.5M in the UK, $6.3M in France and $4.3M in Australia.

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
A futher $3.65M for the Fox release of Tim Burton’s fantasy pic brings the total to $170.2M overseas in 59 markets. The total offshore has surpassed the lifetimes of Snow White And The Huntsman and Oz: The Great And Powerful in the same bucket of markets and at current exchange rates. In France, the $18.8M gross has bested Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by 14%. Holds were strong in Germany and the UK; the latter is the No. 2 market thus far at $15.2M. There are still 12 markets to go with China on December 2.

AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL
The Karan Johar-directed Bollywood pic that stars Ranbir Kapoor added $3.6M this weekend in two markets. In India, it is No. 1 again with a total $19.9M. The offshore cume for Fox International markets is $21.3M. The full overseas gross, per local reporting, is $10.2M, making it the 5th biggest Bollywood performer abroad of 2016.

STORKS
Warner Bros’ animated pic hatched $3.6M this weekend in 59 markets for a $99.3M offshore cume. Japan was a new opener with $478K on 220 screens. The start bested Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 1 & 2 by 49% and 230%, respectively. It’s 40% above Hotel Transylvania.

SULLY
Clint Eastwood’s drama opened in Spain this weekend with $1.4M from 309 screens and a No. 3 ranking. The results double Argo and top Flight by 40% and Captain Phillips by 36%. The total frame was $1.6M for a $61.9M cume. Japan is the lead offshore market at $13.1M while France, Italy, Brazil, the UK, Mexico and China are still due to land.

A MONSTER CALLS
Universal’s release of JA Bayona’s fantasy pic continues its great run in Spain with a $1.5M weekend. The film is No. 2 in its 5th week and has now become the No. 1 movie of the year with a 31-day total of $25.2M.

MISC UPDATED CUMES
Finding Dory (DIS): $1.8M intl weekend (10 markets); $538.2M intl cume
The Secret Life Of Pets (UNI): $1.5M intl weekend (41 markets); $504.2M intl cume
Keeping Up With The Joneses (FOX): $869K intl weekend (20 markets) $6.34M intl cume
Kubo And The Two Strings (UNI): $648K intl weekend (30 markets); $21M intl cume

LOCAL-LANGUAGE
Hide And Seek: The top new opener in China grossed $5.75M to land a distant No. 2 behind Doctor Strange. The thriller from Village Roadshow Pictures Asia is a remake of the 2013 Korean pic about a family that becomes paranoid when they believe someone else is living in their home, leading one man to follow a string of odd clues, according to Kobiz. The original grossed about $35M in Korea and was directed by Huh Jung. Liu Jie helms the remake.

Willkommen Bei Den Hartmanns: Warner Bros’ local German title had a strong opening with $4.7M from 586 screens. It was a definitive No. 1 ahead of the 2nd session of Doctor Strange and came in on par with recent hit Vaterfreuden. The Simon Verhoeven-directed comedy about an affluent family that takes in a refugee is a production of Wiedemann & Berg Film and Sentana Filmproduktion.

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