‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ Zaps $86M In Debut; China’s ‘Dying To Survive’ Prescribes $200M – International Box Office

TUESDAY AM UPDATE, writethru with actuals: Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man And The Wasp took flight in 41 offshore markets over the weekend session, supersizing to $85.9M for its international box office bow. The Paul Rudd/Evangeline Lilly sequel buzzed in about 45% ahead of the first film and landed above Sunday estimates as well as industry expectations, despite the lack of some key markets in this early mix.

Spreading its wings across Latin America, mostly smaller hubs in Europe and some Asian markets outside of China, AM&TW got off to a strong Korea start, leading play at $20.9M (including previews), 78% ahead of the original.

Asia-Pacific as a region came in 51% above Ant-Man, with the insects No. 1 in all releases save New Zealand. China’s not part of this suite and will come after the summer blackout. The Middle Kingdom currently has its hands full with black comedy Dying To Survive thriving. Local figures have it at $152M for the three-day and $200M including previews ($5.7M from IMAX). Monday, the movie didn’t stop, adding another estimated $31M. It was the No. 1 movie overseas this weekend, and producers have said they will donate part of the proceeds to leukemia charities (see more below & here).

For the studios, the Peyton Reed-helmed Ant-Man And The Wasp was tops on the international chart, and also tuned its antennae to $17M across Latin America with a leading $6.7M in Mexico (+25% on the original). Brazil was soft in a competitive landscape, battling it out with World Cup play on Friday and as holidays begin.

Overall, in the same bucket of markets and current exchange rates, the estimated $85M opening is also 28% ahead of Captain America: Winter Soldier and 24% ahead of Thor: The Dark World. The global IMAX take was $10M. Still to come in the staggered rollout are France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Japan through the summer (and China).

In 2015, Ant-Man finaled with $339M overseas (unadjusted), led by China (at $105M), the UK, Korea, Mexico, France and Brazil. It’s early to call a final on this one, the Middle Kingdom being so unpredictable, but there is potential to get to the $400Ms. As noted, finance sources believe the Marvel sequel will profit by a potential $100M off its estimated $162M production cost. A worldwide finish of $600M is foreseeable.

Disney’s Cathleen Taff, who recently took over as President of Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management and Business & Audience Insight, tells Deadline the Marvel Studios team has “delivered another movie that seems to be resonating.” While Korea is over-performing, overall Taff adds, “The size over the first one is spectacular, but not surprising because Marvel has such affinity in the markets.” Indeed. The weekend’s results lift the MCU’s combined global box office to $17.06B across 20 films.

As for Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2, the 4th offshore session powered up $35.9M in 39 markets for an overseas total of $268.5M and $772.8M worldwide. Kids and families took their eye off the World Cup to kick in a $10.6M start in France — the 2nd best ever debut for Pixar behind Finding Nemo in that market. There are still several majors to come including the UK next weekend.

Elsewere, Universal/Blumhouse’s The First Purge killed off $11.8M in 26 debut markets to best its estimates. Excluding previews, it’s the biggest of the franchise in 16 markets.

And, after crossing $1B worldwide earlier this week, Universal/Amblin’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom raised its offshore cume to $727.6M for $1.061B global – better than the Sunday estimates.

Next weekend Dwayne Johnson scales Skyscraper for Universal/Legendary in most of the world, except China where it’s got a plum July 20 release there in the middle of the blackout period. In the meantime in the Middle Kingdom, Jiang Wen’s anticipated Hidden Man releases this Friday as Dying To Survive continues its breakout play. Also, Hotel Translyvania 3: Summer Vacation cruises into Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Spain among others.

Breakdowns and actuals on this weekend’s films above and more have been updated below.

Ahead of the weekend, industry sources were giving Disney/Marvel’s insects a $50M-$70M range. We believed the lower number was conservative and that $75M+ was more likely. Ultimately, the sequel sized up, landing $85.9M in 41 material markets (48% of the international footprint). The overall bow is 45% ahead of the original film with Asian markets leaning in.

Korea was the biggest play with $20.9M including previews. Excluding the sneaks, AW&TW bowed to $15.5M to become the No. 6 Marvel debut in the market, and the 2nd best of the year behind Avengers: Infinity War as well as 78% better than the original. Overall, Infinity War is believed to have increased Ant-icipation a tick — the film’s epilogue contains a nod to that pic.

The Latin American region posted $17M with Mexico in the lead at $6.7M, aboutu 25% above Ant-Man. As noted above, Brazil was soft at $3.5M, but has lots of play to come through the holidays. In Europe, the smaller markets that opened took in $10M. Several big guns are still to come with France next weekend followed by Germany, then the UK. China will buzz in after the summer blackout.

Overall, when looking at the same suite of opening markets and at current exchange rates, the $85M bow is 28% ahead of AM&TW‘s other close comp, Captain America: Winter Soldier. The top hubs behind Korea and Mexico were Indonesia ($5.6M), Russia ($4.9M) and Australia ($4.7M). A visit to Taiwan by Rudd and Lilly — a first for Marvel talent — paid off with $4.6M.

In 2015, Ant-Man cumed $339M overseas (unadjusted), led by China and its supersized $105M (although the film released in October, well after the rest of the world). The UK, Korea, Mexico, France and Brazil made up the rest of the top plays. It’s early to call a final on AM&TW with the Middle Kingdom being so unpredictable, but there is potential to get to the $400Ms. Finance sources believe the Marvel sequel will profit with a potential $100M at the end of the day and overseas better than expected. A worldwide finish of $600M is foreseeable for these big-hearted bugs.

Universal/Blumhouse’s The First Purge cleaned up $11.8M in 26 markets this weekend, including No. 1s in the UK, Germany and Italy. Horror is a good counterprogrammer and this one, from director Gerard McMurray, beat the weather and the soccer.

With the sneaks, it came in over The Purge by 95%, The Purge: Anarchy by 30% and The Purge: Election Year by 16%. Excluding previews it’s the biggest opening of the franchise in 16 markets. Twenty-two are better than the first, 19 are over Anarchy and 17 have more votes than Election Year. The latter film’s top overseas markets were Germany, France and Mexico with a $39.4M final. On this one, there was extended footage screened at the CineEurope exhibitors conference in June. The thrifty $13M fourthquel has a global total of $43.1M.

The UK this session was rife with competition from the footie and record temperatures, but pulled in $2.36M at 483 locations. In France, the No. 2 bow was worth $2.3M at 265. Germany’s No. 1 at 571 sites was $1.61M. At 257 locations, the Spain opening was bigger than Ant-Man with $1.13M — the best of the franchise and 25% over Happy Death Day as well. Argentina was also above all comps, and the Netherlands gave Blumhouse its 3rd best start ever. Still to come are Mexico, Russia and Brazil.

In the 4th weekend of a staggered release pattern, Disney/Pixar’s sequel added $35.9M in 39 material markets. That’s just 59% of the offshore footprint with the UK up next weekend, followed by Korea, Japan, Spain, Italy and Germany through late September. The international total is currently $268.5M for $772.8M worldwide.

France welcomed the family back with open arms, scoring $9.9M ($10.6M with previews) to land the 2nd highest opening ever for Pixar, behind only Finding Nemo. This weekend was busy with football and hot weather as the first of the so-called “grand départs” for summer vacation began. Elsewhere, Hungary scored the biggest Disney Animation/Pixar opening ever.

In holds, the Netherlands climbed 5% while superpowers were also on display in Belgium (-3%), Australia (-7%), Israel (-14%), Venezuela (-20%), Brazil (-27%), Argentina (-27%), Colombia (-35%), Chile (-38%), South Africa (-42%) and Portugal (-42%).

China is still the top market as play winds down. The Middle Kingdom total is $48.7M to put Incredibles 2 behind Coco as the 2nd highest Pixar release of all time there. It’s still not a patch on Coco‘s incredible $189M+, but speaks to a hint of local advancement for the Pixar brand. In Singapore, it’s the top Disney Animation/Pixar release ever, and across Latin America, Baby Jack has taken in $101.8M (that includes Colombia where I2 is the highest grossing animated film in history).

Behind China in the Top 5 are Mexico ($33.8M), Australia ($24.6M), Brazil ($15.4M) and Russia ($14.3M).

The international leader for four straight frames, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom passed $1B worldwide on Thursday, and upped its global cume to $1.061BM this weekend. Offshore, the Universal/Amblin sequel added $28.8M in 68 markets for a $727.6M running total overseas and with Japan ahead next session.

JWFK has now passed the lifetime of the previous film in 17 markets including Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. Despite the arrival of some heavy local hitters, China was good for another $5.4M to take the total there to $251M.

The UK meanwhile held No. 1 as it nears $50M on $48.8M through Sunday, and despite the footie action and sky-high temps. Australia also had a solid hold (-37%/$19.6M cume), as did Germany (-24%/$24.3M cume), Brazil (-41%/$16.1M cume) and France (-14%/$25.6M cume)

The ladies lifted another $7.8M this weekend in 64 markets, taking the overseas cume past $100M with $110.9M to date. The global tally for Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett & Crew is $237.5M. Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s heist pic had solid holds in some majors where it’s been nice summer counterprogramming. The UK dipped 35% for an $11.3M cume; Germany dropped just 23% to reach $4.8M; Australia, in the 5th frame, lost 31% for a leading $12.3M to date; and France slipped 23% for $5.6M so far. The Top 5 are Australia, the UK, Korea ($10.7M), Mexico ($6.2M) and Russia ($5.7M). Italy and Japan are still to come in July and August.

Combining Sony and Lionsgate markets, Stefano Sollima’s Sicario sequel absconded with another $3.97M this weekend in 71 markets. The total overseas cume is $15.84M to date.
The UK (via Lionsgate) is the top release market so far with $1.9M, followed by Austalia with $1.7M. Korea has passed the lifetime of the original film. The gross there is $1.6M after two frames. The next majors to come for Lionsgate are Germany and Denmark.

Still open in just one market, Sony’s HT3 increased 26% this session in Australia as school holidays kicked off in part of the country. The weekend was worth $2.2M to cruise the offshore total to $5.7M. Genndy Tartakovsky’s threequel has taken 76% more than HT2 in its first 11 days Down Under. Next week sees expansion with Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Spain hopping aboard.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (DIS): $3.5M intl weekend (19 markets/No. 1 Western movie in Japan for 2nd frame/$11.4M to date); $168.8M intl cume
Tag (WB): $2.6M intl weekend (47 markets); $12.2M intl cume
Adrift (STX): $2.4M intl weekend (42 markets); $8.8M intl cume
Deadpool 2 (FOX): $1.82M intl weekend (54 markets); $412.8M intl cume
Love, Simon (FOX): $819K intl weekend (24 markets); $23.8M intl cume
A Quiet Place (PAR): $662K intl weekend (7 markets); $143.9M intl cume

China’s Dying To Survive, directed by feature first-timer Muye Wen and starring (and exec produced by) Zheng Xu (How Long Will I Love U, Lost In Thailand), was the No. 1 movie internationally this weekend — playing only in the Middle Kingdom. It grossed a locally-reported $152M for the three-day and $200M through Sunday (plus another $31M on Monday). Also according to local reports, the RMB 1,005.6M intake across three days makes it the 4th biggest opening weekend ever in China. On Saturday, it set a single-day gross record of RMB 383M ($57.8M).

The social drama/black comedy is a winner in more ways than one: It marks a sort of pivot for the Middle Kingdom where July blackout breakouts lean towards fantasy and patriotic action; and its producers have said they are donating a part of the proceeds to leukemia charities.

As I wrote on Saturday, Dying To Survive is loosely based on the true story of Chinese merchant and leukemia patient Lu Yong who rose to a sort of hero status after importing and selling less expensive generic anticancer drugs from India to Chinese mainland patients suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia. He helped fellow sufferers access the cheaper medication and was charged with promoting counterfeit drugs in 2014, ultimately seeing prosecutors drop charges amid a groundswell of support.

The movie’s story twists the real tale a bit, making the lead an indebted shopkeeper who profits from the sales only to be set on a course for salvation. The film has been compared to Dallas Buyers Club and spurred renewed debate over the cost of much-needed drugs, and their less expensive imports.

The next July blackout pic with big expectations is Jiang Wen’s period crime drama Hidden Man on July 13.

Fox Star’s Sanju, a biopic of star Sanjay Dutt, added $11.84M in its 2nd frame in two markets. The international total is now $51M. In India, the Rajkumar Hirani-helmed film has grossed $49.7M and was No. 1 again for the 3rd highest sophomore session ever after Baahubali 2 and Dangal.

Warner Bros’ The Witch in Korea added $4.1M in the second frame, taking the overseas cume to $13.8M.

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