After Earth grossed $1.1 million to take its cume to $4.3 million, a 44% drop from the previous weekend. It might not be a marquee figure for After Earth, but should be considered a strong showing in a market where sci-fi hasn't been a huge draw. Star Trek Into Darkness opened in Brazil this weekend and took in $3.1 million from 407 locations. Paramount is happy with the result, a 70% bump from the lifetime gross of Star Trek's previous outing. Both sci-fi films opened in consecutive weekends and posted very similar opening weekend figures
Epic broke the $8 million mark in Brazil during its fifth weekend in release. The animated film is slowing down its run in Latin America after opening in the region in the first wave of its overseas release.
The Hangover Part III climbed to a $13.4 million cume in Brazil after posting another solid $1.6 million weekend. The comedy has been a big hit in Brazil, making it one of the leading markets for the film's $200 million overseas total.
Juan of the Dead is a rare beast of a movie. It's not only peculiar to find too many genre movies from Latin America find international distribution, it's even harder when the film is one of the few independently produced features to come out of Cuba. Cuban cinema is tightly monitored by the government, making independent productions like Juan of the Dead a risky venture for local producers.The horror-comedy's fresh vision for Cuban cinema raised interest at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. A number of other stops in the festival circuit followed, as the genre flick found itself with several offers for international distribution. The success of Juan of the Dead culminated in February when it was awarded this year's Goya Award (Spain's equivalent to the Oscars) for Best IberoAmerican film of the year.
The film tells the story of a pair of slackers that find themselves in the midst of a zombie invasion in their home country. Faced with a looming crisis of an undead Cuban revolution, the two friends become entrepreneurs and start a zombie-killing business.
The movie's Argentinian director, Alejandro Brugués, spoke to BoxOffice from Cuba about the slapstick splatterfest.
How did you go about making a zombie film for a Latin American audience?
We never really thought about appealing to a "Latino audience." We set out to make a movie for a general public. The film has two principal goals: to be a zombie movie and to be a very Cuban movie. I knew there'd be that only a Cuban audience would understand and other moments that only zombie fans would get, but there is always a common ground throughout the film so no one feels alienated. Some scenes in the film get applause from audiences that are familiar with zombie movies, and those instances are lost with Cuban audiences because the zombie subculture isn't very big here.
Were you inspired by any films or filmmakers for this project?
That's a difficult question because we had to balance so many things to make the movie work, so I tried not to draw too much from any particular influence. We were juggling zombies, Cuban identity, comedy, action, the right amount of gore, and allusions to other films. So I tried to incorporate little bits of everything that's influenced me along the way.
The movie's tone is very specific. I didn't have anything in mind while making it, but I've seen similar films since I finished it. If I had to cite someone I had in mind while making the film, it would be Stephen Chow from Kung Fu Hustle.
Genre films aren't known for being great Latin American exports. What do you think helped Juan of the Dead achieve global distribution?
When we speak of the type of films that Latin America exports, we're also talking about the type of films that are able to get produced. It's significantly easier to get financing for a social drama than for a genre film. And that's something also be true of other regions, but it's bit worse for genre movies in Latin America. Latino cinema has been too influenced by film festivals, specifically the sensibility of the European festivals.
I think there's a number of filmmakers like ourselves here in Latin America that make genre movies, and make them well, and that eventually things will open up a bit for us. We're going to show that we can make these films and at the same time talk about regional topics, talk about our problems, while still bringing audiences to the theaters. In the end, connecting with the audience is the most important factor.
Returning to your question, I think Juan has been successful abroad because of the film's humor and its Cuban identity. It's a sincere movie that makes it clear you're watching a zombie flick with social dialogue, a metaphor for our society that touches on more serious themes. It's more than a zombie movie. It's a film where you can learn a lot about our culture...while having fun watching it.
Juan of the Dead opens in Brazil on June 21. Brazilian distributor Imovision is hosting an advance screening of the film on June 15 with a zombie-themed party in Sao Paulo.
Star Trek Into Darkness opens in Brazil this weekend with its sights set on getting closer to the $200 million overseas milestone. Brazil hasn't been too kind on science fiction in 2013, with Tom Cruise's Oblivion only grossing a $5.9 million cume. After Earth premiered in third place last weekend, scoring a $2.2 million debut that won't get anyone too excited.
The previous Star Trek adventure helmed by J.J. Abrams grossed $1.9 million in Brazil back in 2009. The latest installment has been continuously outperforming the former outing in the franchise, and should already exceed Star Trek's $384.9 million global gross by the weekend. Star Trek Into Darkness has already been a significant improvement overseas for Paramount, bringing in $176.4 million heading into the weekend -nearly $50 million more than Star Trek's final $127.7 overseas tally. Star Trek Into Darkness is looking for a strong push to surpass Oblivion's $191.4 million overseas run and enter the shortlist of 2013 titles to have crossed $200 million abroad.
It's a prime weekend for Star Trek Into Darkness to shine in Brazil. The only other major releases in the country include limited runs of Park Chan Wook's Stoker and Richard Linklater's Before Midnight. As the sole popcorn centered new release to hit multiplexes, Star Trek Into Darkness should be considered a success if it can gross above $3 million in its opening weekend in Brazil.
The Hangover Part III followed up its huge fou-day opening weekend from last week with a solid $2.8 million sophomore frame to lead the Brazilian box office. The comedy's Brazilian title transaltes to "If You Drink, Don't Get Married," and has enjoyed a resounding $10.1 million cumulative gross in the market for the past two weeks. After Earth trailed behind the last part of the adult-themed comedy trilogy, posting a $2.1 million debut on its way to a $45.5 million overseas total. Other top films in the market include Fast & Furious 6, which reached an impressive $18.7 million cume in Brazil, and Epic, which continued its steady pace to reach a $7.7 million total in the market. The opening weekend for The Great Gatsby was a bit more low-key, as the Baz Luhrman film opened in only 162 screens for a $744,000 total. Despite having a limited impact in the market, The Great Gatsby was still strong enough to present the biggest opening of a Baz Luhrman film in Brazil.
A $5.4 million debut saw The Hangover Part III take the top spot at the box office in Brazil. The film grossed 459% ahead of the original and 138% ahead of its previous installment. It was enough of a push to unseat the former #1 film, Fast & Furious 6, which showed a strong hold with a $4.5 million weekend that raised its Brazilian cume to $15.1 million. Epic was another strong hold-over from the majors, falling a mere 19% for a $1.2 million weekend. Epic has now grossed $7.3 million in Brazil.
Check back in the coming days for the full top ten list.