UPDATE, MONDAY 12:39 PM PT: Actuals from the overseas weekend box office are starting to roll in with Universal among the first to report. Despicable Me 2‘s China opening weekend ended higher than the studio had predicted with $14.4M as opposed to the estimated $13.8M. The original estimate was based on a screen count of 3,000 and ultimately, Universal is now reporting the movie played at 4,500 dates, including all 141 IMAX screens, as previously noted. (It’s not unusual for screen counts to shift so drastically in China from what’s expected at the outset to what becomes reality.) In any case, DM2’s opening is the 3rd biggest ever for an animated film (on regular and IMAX screens) behind Kung Fu Panda‘s $16.2M in 2008 and Ice Age: Continental Drift‘s $19.4M in 2012. The gross in China, which is DM2‘s last international territory, brings the overseas cume to $567.8M and the worldwide cume to $935.8M. Today, DM2 will pass Finding Nemo to become the third highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide. As for other notable updates, The Wolf Of Wall Street, which Universal has in nine territories, upped its score in Denmark in the actuals with $1.1M versus a previous estimate of $961K at 74 dates; it’s the best opening ever for a Martin Scorsese film in the country. Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug offically passed the $800M mark with a worldwide cume now at $808.6M. It added $21.9M this weekend from 9,400 screens in 62 markets, for an international total of $566.3M. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire added another $3.6M from 55 territories to bring its international cume to $432.1M. Other figures are updated as they come in below:
PREVIOUS, SUNDAY PM: The opening of Despicable Me 2 in China (where it’s known as Super Thief Nanny 2) is among the big international stories this week. The Universal and Illumination Entertainment film, which had previously been on release for at least six months the world over, has an estimated weekend gross of $13.8M there and is the No. 1 title in the territory, the studio says. The international total is $567.1M with an estimated worldwide cume of $935.1M, putting it ahead of Universal’s top-grossing film ever, Jurassic Park ($921M) – but not with that movie’s 3D re-release factored ($1.1B+). In other animated news, Disney’s Frozen will cross the $700M mark globally today to become the 4th biggest non-sequel animated film of all time, the studio says. Frozen added an estimated $27.8M this weekend at the international box office where its top market is still the UK with a cume of $53.4M. The UK is followed by Germany, France and Russia. In the latter market, it is Disney’s No. 1 animated release of all time at about $31.8M. It has yet to hit China, where it’s scheduled for February 5th during the Chinese New Year celebration. Local pics normally flood the market during such a period, but I understand that Frozen will be released three days before the holiday ends, and 10 days before kids return to school. Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, which bows in China on February 21st, fired up an estimated $22.2M more this weekend from about 9,300 screens in 62 markets and now has an overseas cume of $566M. It will cross the $800M worldwide mark today, Warner says. Paramount’s Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continued its international career adding $15.5M from 4,140 dates in 40 territories, 16 of which were new this weekend. In the UK, 12 Years A Slave was No. 1 while Spain dove into The Book Thief, Denmark howled for The Wolf Of Wall Street and Germany paid a visit to The Physician. Overall, the weekend was down about 36% from last year when Life Of Pi was the top international ticket. To keep an eye on next week: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit opens in 31 territories day-and-date on Friday including China, Russia and Australia. Here’s a breakdown of the major activity this weekend:
Despicable Me 2 had an opening day on Friday of $4.13M for an estimated weekend take of $13.8M at 3,000 dates including all 141 IMAX screens. It was the highest opening weekend for an animated film in China since 2012′s Ice Age: Continental Drift. The weekend helped DM2 pass Finding Nemo and The Lion King to become the 4th highest grossing animated film of all time overseas, Universal says. The studio worked a clever local campaign to get folks into movie theaters despite the fact that many may have already seen a pirated version given the nearly seven month lag-time between the start of its international roll out and this weekend’s bow. It will have a few weeks before the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations and the arrival of Disney’s Frozen on February 5th. In the meantime, Paramount’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit opens locally next Friday (January 17th). In Korea, Richard Curtis’ About Time continues its love affair with audiences, grossing an additional $770K at 172 dates. The cume is $22.8M in the territory with admissions now slightly outstripping Gravity at the local level, according to Universal figures. Frozen will open in Korea next weekend. Meanwhile, the sun shone on Sony’s Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 in Thailand with an opening of an estimated $240K, 2.5 times biger than the original and about 85% of that film’s lifetime gross in the territory in four days.
In its 3rd frame, Smaug finished No. 2 with an estimated $2.7M from 574 screens and a cume of $28.1M. It’s tracking slightly behind The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but should benefit from the month-long school holidays. Fox’s The Book Thief was the next film in the market with $2.3M from 249 screens. Hometown actor Geoffrey Rush stars in the film which also debuted at No. 3 in neighboring New Zealand with an estimated $315K on 71 screens. The Book Thief opens in 14 new markets next weekend including Russia and Mexico. Paramount’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues has an estimated Oz total of $15M after this weekend having added $1.1M from 256 screens in its 4th frame to outperform the original Anchorman seven-fold. 47 Ronin opened at No. 4 with $291K at 69 locations in New Zealand. It bows in Australia next week along with Iceland and Slovenia.
France was the best holdover for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones with an estimated $1.4M on 238 screens for a total to date of $4.5M. Fox’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty now has a $5.15M cume after adding $1.5M in its second frame. Big openers this past week in France included biopic Yves Saint Laurent and the Pathé-backed Philomena.
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug was No. 2 this weekend adding an estimated $3.6M on 1,178 screens. The cume to date now stands at $81.4M with Germany continuing to be the strongest ex-U.S. territory for the movie. The Hobbit sequel fell behind Der Medicus (The Physician), the Engish-language Universal adventure drama that moved up to No. 1 in its 3rd weekend with $4.7M at 748 dates for a 19-day total of $28.1M. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was down 50% for $1.4M at 292 dates, after last week’s strong opening of $3M beat the original film by 274%. Walter Mitty was No. 4 in the territory with $1.54M for a $5.4M cume in its second frame.
The latest Paranormal Activity, which has a Latino bent, scared up an estimated $2M in Brazil on 311 screens in its debut. That beat all previous Paranormal movies locally and was 11% higher than Paranormal 4. Colombia brought in $319K from 105 dates. Argentina dropped 35% in its second frame for an estimated $401K and a cume of $1.5M. In Peru, Fox’s Walking With Dinosaurs opened at No. 1 with $594K on 144 screens; and in Chile it was No. 2 with an estimated $320K on 91 screens. Argentina was more curious than ever about a Keanu Reeves film giving the actor his best opening with 47 Ronin and $694K at 96 dates. The film has an international cume of $69.87M after this weekend.
The Wolf Of Wall Street, released locally by Universal, was No. 1 in Denmark with $1.1M at 74 dates earning Martin Scorsese his biggest ever opening in the territory, the studio says. It was also the 2nd biggest bow for a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio after Inception. Sweden opened with $821K at 155 dates. Also in Sweden, Anchorman 2 grossed an additional $102K from 55 screens for a local estimated total of $1M.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opened with an estimated $4M from 700 locations and taking the No. 1 slot. It’s the biggest opening for the franchise in the market and the biggest January horror release ever. Universal’s 47 Ronin, in its 2nd weekend, had $3.7M at 892 dates for a 12-day total of $22.4M. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty stayed in the top 10 with $1.97M for a cume of $8.72M over two weeks. Frozen maintains its status as Disney’s top animated release of all time in Russia, now with a cume of $31.8M.
The Book Thief was the No. 1 film this weekend with an estimated $1.2M from 327 screens. Its total haul in openings this weekend was $3.8m on 628 screens from 5 territories. The latest Paranormal Activity added $344K in the weekend following the Epiphany holiday for a $1.6M cume to date. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 earned an estimated $415K in the end of the holiday period for a $5.4M total so far.
The heavily BAFTA-nominated 12 Years A Slave, directed by British helmer Steve McQueen and released locally by eOne, opened at No. 1 with an estimated $4.2M on 208 screens. It had an international weekend gross of $5M from 16 markets and is yet to bow in Germany, France, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and Japan among others. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug was 3rd in the market in its 5th weekend with an estimated $2.46M from 730 screens and a local cume of $65.7M. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones held for $1M from 335 cinemas and a drop of 38%. Local cume is now $4.3M. Anchorman 2, in its 4th weekend, took $1.5M from 446 dates. The UK cume is now $22.3M.