While Universal’s Dolittle and Warner Bros’ reissue of Interstellar were the big kahunas in China this weekend, Russell Crowe-starrer Unhinged hit the road in 19 new markets over the session. Among them, the UK, Australia, Netherlands and New Zealand where the Solstice Studios pic was No. 1. They joined Germany which kicked off two frames ago. In total, Unhinged took the No. 1 position in 11 markets this weekend which overall was worth $2.17M in 20 for a $2.9M international box office cume to date.
As one international exec recently told me, “We are definitely in need of new and attractive content.” That’s been the refrain across the past several weeks as cinemas in Asia and Europe have reopened, and it’s been borne out by the performances of fresh fare. While numbers may seem meager, they are significantly affected by capacity and screening limits. There is certainly hope on the horizon as we only have three weeks to wait before WB starts international rollout on Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.
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It’s hopeful/possible China gets Tenet that same week, though a date has yet to be confirmed. In the meantime, the market was again overall the most active offshore this weekend with a $17.6M cume across all titles (+35% from the previous frame) and led by Dolittle which has a shot at becoming the top Hollywood film of the year so far if it can get past the RMB 101 of Spies In Disguise which is currently No. 1 for the studios in this crippled 2020. Dolittle through Monday has grossed RMB 91.9. Interstellar led play again on Monday and Tuesday with an added $2.63M to go with its Sunday take of $2.8M. China has about 60% of its cinemas currently open.
Turning back to Unhinged, highlights for the Derrick Borte-directed thriller include Australia with a four-day rollup of $570K from 214 locations. Studiocanal releases locally where cinemas remain closed in metropolitan Melbourne. Overall, the market was up 36% across the Top 10 titles compared to last weekend.
In the UK, Altitude drove Unhinged to a No. 1 start with $226K from 250 sites. Less than half of the market’s cinemas are currently operating. At $567K from the Top 10 titles, this was the UK’s best week back to the movies with a 70% increase.
Netherlands, via distributor The Searchers, gave Unhinged the top opening for an adult-skewing film so far post-COVID with $204K from 150 screens. That rises to $362K when including previews.
Taiwan (Movie Cloud) saw a No. 2 debut behind Korean hit Peninsula, with $363K; and New Zealand’s 50 sites that were showing Unhinged locked up $101K. The market, which had been on an upward swing for several weeks, dipped last frame and then rebounded a bit across the Top 10 in this session.
In holds, Unhinged remained at No. 1 for the third week in Germany via Leonine. At 470 locations, it added $141K for a $744K cume to date. Germany’s weekend overall was off by 25%, likely affected by hot weather and a lack of new titles.
Still showing its strength, Korea saw a 49% hike versus last frame to $9.1M across the Top 10. That’s thanks to new local release Steel Rain 2: Summit at No. 1 and the continued play of Peninsula at No. 2. Both dominated the market.
In Europe, France, which is essentially 100% open, but with limitations in place, saw a 16% drop in admissions in part owing to a heatwave hitting much of the country. Pathé’s comedy T’as Pécho? was new, selling 71K tickets and knocking WB’s Scoob! to 2nd place in the fourth frame. The latter’s cume is now $3.8M in France.
Spain got a great 197% boost across the Top 10, and despite the hot weather. This is thanks to Sony Pictures International Productions’ sequel Padre No Hay Mas Que Uno 2 which had a terrific $2.6M across five days. This is the biggest opening of the year in the market while the film is playing on par with the 2019 original which was that year’s top local title at nearly $16M. The filmmakers moved to get the film into cinemas on what worked as an optimum date identified by comScore partner Gower Street’s proprietary analytics. Santiago Segura directs and stars in the comedy of a father rearing his five children, while also preparing for a new addition to the family and a visit from his mother-in-law.
Saudi Arabia had its best week since reopening with essentially all fresh titles in the Top 10, led by My Spy with $224K at 15 sites. Universal’s Trolls World Tour was also new with $117K from 16. The chart was up 85% from last session, helped by the Eid holiday. In the UAE, play was up significantly to $394K from the Top 10, a 135% jump, also largely thanks to the new release of My Spy.
Also notable, Russia, where more cinemas recently opened in Moscow, saw a massive 525% increase from the Top 10, including Escape From Pretoria and My Spy (which were both in previews last session). It gets Unhinged on Thursday. Japan, which is fully open, saw local Toho title From Today, It’s My Turn! cross $20M during the week. Italy remained essentially flat with no new movies. And in Norway, there was a third consecutive weekend drop to 25,329 admissions. Local pic Twigson And The Sea Monster is still No. 1, while Unhinged took the 2nd place spot.
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