BoxOffice, Breaking News, Exhibition, F9, Free Guy, International Box Office, Luca, novid, PAW Patrol: The Movie, Reminiscence, The Suicide Squad

‘Free Guy’ Banks $112M Global; ‘Paw Patrol’ Collars $35M – International Box Office

Refresh for latest…: Disney/20th Century Studios’ Free Guy leveled up to take the No. 1 spot at the international box office in its sophomore session with $17.1M from 46 markets for a $53.1M cume to date. The overseas drop was a very strong 26%, with some markets seeing increases and amid No. 1 openings in Brazil and Spain. The worldwide gross, including domestic‘s great hold, has topped the century mark with $112M through Sunday.

As we noted last weekend, reviews and word of mouth are propelling Free Guy
as well as a turn in the weather in some parts of Northern Europe — and overseas legs can be expected with an ultimate multiple well above 4. What’s more, Free Guy on Friday scored a China release date (August 27), meaning it will be only the second Hollywood title to enter the market after this weekend’s Luca (more on that below). Disney has also kept spending on Free Guy and targeted a campaign to disrupt against Warner Bros’ The Suicide Squad. As a piece of new IP and with some markets still in flux and some folks still wary of heading to the cinemas, Free Guy was not anticipated to be a rush-out. We should look forward to strong holds.

The Top 5 markets to date are the UK ($9.8M), Russia ($6.1M), France ($2.7M), Japan ($2.7M) and Saudi Arabia ($2.3M). The IMAX total is $5.7M global.

Normally, we’d expect one of the bigger markets on Free Guy to be Korea, but there’s a phenomenon there that’s impacting Hollywood titles. This session, two studio entries trailed three local pictures (one new and two holdovers). In fact, no new Hollywood movie has taken a No. 1 spot across any weekend in August, which is highly unusual — even with the undeniable strength of Korea’s homegrown industry. However, the Korea Theater Association, which includes top exhibition chains CGV, Lotte and Megabox, has incentivized distributors to release big-budget titles as the market hit a lull. Instead of the normal 50/50 split between theaters and distributors, cinemas are not taking any proceeds until the box office reaches 50% of a film’s production budget. The Korea Herald reported this was the case with recent hits Sinkhole and Escape From Mogadishu (No. 2 and 3 this weekend, respectively), while it is not clear if it applies to this frame’s top draw, action thriller Hostage: Missing Celebrity which opened at No. 1 with $3.8M. Korea is particular in that studios/distributors also own theater chains. For example, Mogadishu is released by Lotte and Sinkhole by Showbox, which owns Megabox.

Turning back to overall action, Paramount/Nickelodeon/Spin Master’s Paw Patrol: The Movie had a fierce early showing in six markets last session and kept up the overseas momentum this weekend, dropping by just 18%. This session added 33 new markets and wagged up a further $12.8M for a $21.5M offshore cume to date. The like-for-like result is 23% above My Little Pony and 102% over Playmobil: The Movie. Globally, the pups have grossed $34.5M.

In other highlights, having scored the first release slot for a Hollywood movie since June, Disney/Pixar’s Luca settled for a second place $5M start in China, behind local holdover Raging Fire. The market is experiencing some closures and capacity restrictions and Pixar pics can be hit and miss there, although last Christmas’ Soul started out soft and held very well to final at RMB 376M ($58M). Luca’s opening is 9% below Soul and 83% ahead of Onward.

Meanwhile, Universal’s F9 is closing in on the $700M mark at the global box office with $696.4M through Sunday.

In new play, Warner Bros future romance noir Reminiscence (which also went out on HBO Max domestically), debuted in 48 offshore markets which rep 30% of the landscape. The start was $3M with the best results coming from the Middle East. Along with the soft domestic start on this adult-skewing Hugh Jackman-starrer, the global cume is $5M. There are 18 more markets to come next session including France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and Korea.

Here’s a closer look at holdover play through this weekend:

FREE GUY

Free Guy

As noted above, the Ryan Reynolds-starrer from Shawn Levy added $17.1M from 46 markets for a $53.1M cume to date. The overseas drop was a very strong 26% and with domestic’s strong hold, the worldwide gross has topped the century mark, landing at $112M through Sunday.

Regionally, Free Guy dropped 22% in Europe and 26% in Latin America. The Netherlands was up 14%, Singapore (the only South East Asian market currently open) increased 5%; France dropped just 2% and Germany was off by a slight 10%. Germany has rebounded well of late, although on Monday it adds the health pass requirement which we’ve seen negatively impact box office in France and Italy in the past few weeks.

Free Guy is still No. 1 in the UK and Australia (the latter with about 65% of the country’s box office shut down), and in Brazil bowed 26% ahead of Jungle Cruise and 79% above Cruella.

The Top 5 markets to date are the UK ($9.8M), Russia ($6.1M), France ($2.7M), Japan ($2.7M) and Saudi Arabia ($2.3M). The IMAX total is $5.7M global.

PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE

Paramount/Nickelodeon/Spin Master’s feature transfer also showed great staying power with an 18% drop in markets that opened last frame and adding $12.8M from a total 39 for a $21.5M offshore cume to date. In highlights, Germany opened at No. 1 with a fantastic $2.6M (including previews) at 578 locations. Netherlands gave the pups a No. 2 start with $1.1M at 133. Mexico was a No. 1 bow-wow with $864K at 785. Following its No. 1 launch in France last weekend, Paw Patrol (or La Pat’ Patrouille as it’s known locally), dropped by just 21% for a $4.9M cume to date. The UK also dipped by just 21% for a $6.1M cume. Majors to come next week are Russia and Spain, followed by Brazil and Australia in September.

THE SUICIDE SQUAD
Warner Bros/DC’s The Suicide Squad added $8.7M in 73 markets for a $91.5M overseas cume and $140.8M global. The UK by far leads all play at $17M, followed by Russia ($8.4M), France ($5.2M), Germany ($4.9M) and Mexico ($4.3M). There are five markets to go.

THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS
Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby: Family Business added $8.4M across 27 markets this weekend, notably bowing in Russia and France. In the former, the No. 1 $5.3M start, including strong previews, is the best animated opening of the pandemic. France, which has shown that it’s keen on family films right now (Paw Patrol had a great No. 1 start there last session), welcomed Boss Baby 2 at No. 2 with $2M, behind local opener Bac Nord. The offshore cume is now $35.6M for $92.1M worldwide. Australia, Italy, Germany, the UK and Japan are still to come.

F9

F9

F9 is now thisclose to topping $700M at the global box office with $696.4M through Sunday. The latest in the Universal saga finally motored its way to Italy with a No. 1 $3.1M bow, above Hobbs & Shaw (including previews). However, the introduction of the health pass in the market is still impacting ticket sales overall, and particularly in the demo. Japan was the top holdover, showing great tenacity after three weekends with a $25M cume. Germany had a terrific 26% drop, and has grossed $20.7M to date, surpassing Hobbs & Shaw. The overseas weekend was $7.3M for an international cume of $524M.

LUCA

Luca kicked off in China at No. 2 with $5M in the first Hollywood showing since June. Social and critical scores are a 9.1 on Maoyan (versus Soul’s 9.2) and a 7.3 on Douban (Soul was an 8.8). As noted above, Pixar can be hit and miss in China. Luca is currently No. 2 in presales for Monday and Tuesday and school vacations continue until September 1 while Covid cases are dropping (about 30% of sites are currently closed). Maoyan upped its final projection on Luca throughout the weekend, but is still calling it low at RMB 86.5M ($13.3M).

JUNGLE CRUISE
Disney’s Jungle Cruise again posted good mid-weeks and saw a 41% drop from its third session to $4.1M from 49 markets. A shift in the weather helped Netherlands (+10%) and Belgium (+6%) increase. The Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt-starrer has an international cume of $81.2M and a global total of $173.7M to date. The Top 5 are the UK ($13.9M), Russia ($8M), Japan ($6.8M), France ($6M) and Saudi Arabia ($3.6M).

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