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AUSTRALIA: 'Wolverine' Opens Big as 'The Heat' and 'The Conjuring' Post Strong Holds on July 31, 2013

wolverinestill.jpgHugh Jackman's latest outing as The Wolverine was met with a warm reception in the actor's home country. The latest installment in the X-Men franchise brought in $5.6 million from its opening weekend in Australia, the highest opening weekend in the series featuring Jackman in the role. Jackman's previous opening weekends in Australia as the clawed superhero included a $4.7 million opening for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, $5.05 million for X-Men: The Last Stand, $3.76 million for X2: X-Men United, and $2.1 million for the original X-Men.

The Heat broke the $10 million mark in Australia with a solid $1.6 million hold in its third week. Australia continues to be The Heat's biggest overseas market. The Conjuring scared up the weekend's highest per-screen average with at $10,681 and a $1.4 million weekend after a terrific hold that saw its grosses drop 9%. The Conjuring $3.7 million has earned in its Australian theatrical run.

Top Ten Films in Australia. July 27-29

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UPDATED GLOBAL: 'The Wolverine' Posts $141M Opening; 'Fast 6' Breaks $500M Overseas on July 28, 2013

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Monday: 

Adjusted grosses are coming in throughout the day. Here's a breakdown of Monday's box office actuals by studio:

FOX

The Wolverine: $87,212,126 Overseas Total
Epic: $140,185,262 Overseas Total
The Heat: $29,092,012 Overseas Total
The Internship: $30,389,449 Overseas Total
Turbo: $43,533,426 Overseas Total

UNIVERSAL

Fast & Furious 6: $503,684,005 Overseas Total.
Despicable Me 2: $355,218,385 Overseas Total.
R.I.P.D.: $12,582,966 Overseas Total.
The World's End: $8,804,601 Overseas Total.
Now You See Me: $3,893,975 Overseas Total.
The Purge: $14,153,567 Overseas Total.

WARNER BROS.

Pacific Rim: $140M Overseas Total
The Conjuring: $12.5M Overseas Total
Man of Steel: $357.05M Overseas Total

THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY

Scary Movie 5: $43,787,750 Overseas Total
Quartet: $39,594,402 Overseas Total
Escape from Planet Earth: $13,881,176 Overseas Total
Only God Forgives: $7,098,871 Overseas Total
Unfinished Song: $5,338,686 Overseas Total

Sunday: The Wolverine posted the highest opening weekend overseas in the X-Men franchise with an $86.1 million take from 15, 152 screens around the world. The 3D version accounted for around half of the film's overseas cume. The Wolverine performed 51% above the overseas debut of X-Men: First Class, 30% higher than X-Men: Origins - Wolverine, and 13% bigger than X-Men: The Last Stand. The Wolverine closed out its opening weekend with a $141 million worldwide total. 

The Wolverine took in $40.4 million from Europe. The top markets in the region include Russia ($10.5M), France ($7.4M), the United Kingdom ($7.1M), Germany ($3.3M), Spain ($2.8M), and Italy ($2.1M).

Asia/Pacific accounted for $26.9 million of the overseas total. Top markets include Australia ($5.6M), South Korea ($5M), and Taiwan ($1.4M).

Hugh Jackman's clawed superhero brought in $18.8 million from Latin America. Brazil is the top market in the region ($6.5M), followed by Mexico ($6.3M), and Argentina ($1.7M).

The Wolverine will release in an additional 25 territories throughout August, closing its overseas run with a September 13 premiere scheduled in Japan. 

Fast 6 broke Universal's opening day record in China on Friday. The film went on to become the market's second biggest Hollywood release of 2013, behind Iron Man 3. Fast 6 sped through a $24 million opening weekend in China and is expected to cross the half-billion overseas mark today. BoxOffice predicted a $500 million overseas run for the sixth entry of the Fast & Furious franchise back in May. China is the last market for Fast 6, which is currently the second-highest grossing film of the year with a $503.5 million overseas total and a $741.1 million worldwide cume.

Despicable Me 2 ranks third among this year's highest grossing titles at the global box office. The animated sequel has taken in $354.5 million from 50 territories overseas territories, bringing its worldwide total to $660.9 million. That number is expected to receive a boost from its opening in Russia on August 15. Despicable Me 2 was recently denied a release in China, an unfortunate development for Universal taking into account the box office success that The Croods had in that market earlier this year.

Not everything on Universal's slate has had the same luck. R.I.P.D. continues to be the only sour spot for the studio's summer. The metaphysical action flick has flopped hard in North America, taking in a poor $24.4 million over two weeks. The film has gone on to gross $12.7 million from 11 overseas territories, including a $10.9 million performance in Russia since its day-and-date premiere. The $130 million production budget doesn't take into account the film's P&A costs, which seem to have been scaled back in comparison to the summer's other costly flops.

The Lone Ranger didn't have any new openings this weekend, a factor that makes its $5.1 million weekend overseas less damaging. The Disney film is sure to be among the biggest flops of the year, derailing any hope of a new franchise for Pirates of the Caribbean director/star duo Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp. The film's box office woes present a setback for Armie Hammer, who appears in the film's title role. Hammer joins Taylor Kitsch's unfortunate turn in John Carter as actors whose A-List potential has been sidetracked by an expensive wannabe franchise flop from Disney. The Lone Ranger has grossed $78.6 million from 42 territories (about 40% of the total marketplace) and posts a $163.9 million global cume. The film is only a certified hit in Russia with $15.5 million and has posted modest numbers in Australia ($9.1M), Mexico ($7.1M), and Argentina ($6.1M). Look for a big push in early August as The Lone Ranger opens in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom for August 7-9.

Pacific Rim reached the $140 million mark in its third weekend overseas. Guillermo del Toro's high concept "Robots vs. Monsters" romp has been a disappointment in North America but is on pace to perform respectably well in the overseas marketplace. Top holds for Pacific Rim include France ($1.2M Weekend / Week 2 / $6.5M Cume), Russia ($1.3M Weekend / Week 3 / $19.5M Cume), the United Kingdom ($1.1M Weekend / Week 3 / $10.6M Cume), South Korea ($1M Weekend / Week 3 / $17.2M Cume), and Mexico ($984K / Week 3 / $13.8M Cume). Pacific Rim should get a big bump from its Chinese release on July 31 and could clear the $200 million overseas mark by mid-August following upcoming releases in Spain, Japan, and Brazil.

Paramount's distribution plan with Star Trek Into Darkness meant to get the most out of the revitalized sci-fi franchise in the global marketplace through a strategic release that would span throughout the summer. The film's $224.6 million overseas total has already beaten its predecessor's $127 million lifetime gross overseas. That translates to a massive 76% improvement with Japan, Argentina, and Chile still to come in August. The film opened in Venezuela to $500K, 560% above the opening weekend of Star Trek in the same territory. Star Trek Into Darkness has grossed $450.2 million worldwide, 17% ahead of its predecessor's lifetime global gross.

Paramount has had similar success overseas with World War Z. The international zombie thriller reached the $280 million overseas mark this weekend. World War Z posted strong holds in France ($1.2M Weekend / Week 4 / $17.6M Cume), Germany ($420K Weekend / Week 5 / $16.8M Cume), and Mexico ($410K Weekend / Week 5 / $22.7M Cume).

No new openings for Monsters University as the Pixar prequel added another $15.6 million to its $321.6 million overseas total. The animated film has grossed an impressive $576.9 million worldwide. An August 23 opening in China should push the film past the $600 million global mark. Top markets for Monsters University include Japan ($46.2M), Mexico ($38M), the United Kingdom ($23.2M), Argentina ($23.2M), Australia ($21.8M), and Russia ($20.8M).

The Conjuring continues to thrive in North America, where the low-budget horror movie is clawing its way toward the $100 million mark. The film has had a positive run in its limited overseas release thus far, earning $12.1 million from 7 territories. Low budget thrillers have posted a high ROI for studios this summer, with fellow genre flick The Purge posting a similarly successful $14.2 million run in its limited overseas release.

Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more news on the global box office.

 

CRETORS INTRODUCES TWO NACHO CABINETS on July 26, 2013

C. Cretors and Company, the leading designer and manufacturer of food processing and concession equipment for more than 125 years, introduces the Nacho Alto and Nacho Pequeno nacho cabinets for use in concessions stands, convenience stores, stadiums and theaters. Both cabinets keep product fresh while being easy to clean and easy to maintain. They feature corrosion-resistant frames, a heated deck, interior lighting, non-skid rubber feet, and tempered safety glass that prevents scratches and discoloration.

The Nacho Alto has a lighted sign and six adjustable wire racks to accommodate different package sizes. Cretors' exclusive Cornditioner system reduces energy consumption while maintaining the temperature of the product. A 50 watt bulb provides interior lighting and a 50 watt pad provides heat. The Nacho Alto is available with a single door or with two doors in a pass-through design.

The smaller Nacho Pequeno has two wire racks and a 40 watt bulb and pad.

 

GLOBAL PREVIEW: Can 'The Wolverine' Help the X-Men Become the Next Billion Dollar Franchise? on July 26, 2013

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By Daniel Loria

The Wolverine is the only film premiering on a wide global scale this weekend, finding a rare window in this summer's otherwise packed release calendar. Expectations are high for Hugh Jackman's sixth big-screen appearance as the clawed crime-fighter, returning to the title role after a star-making turn in the original X-Men trilogy, the X-Men Origins spin-off, and a cameo in X-Men: First Class.

Marvel's The Avengers redefined the box office potential of superhero ensemble films, proving that studios can develop a billion-dollar global hit by fostering an audience throughout a series of films. The X-Men franchise is the ideal platform for Fox to replicate the inter-locking storylines built around the success of The Avengers. Fox realized it had gone down the wrong path with X-Men after two critically panned entries, X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins - Wolverine, devalued the brand and introduced a decline in global grosses for the franchise.

The property is too valuable to leave alone. The Wolverine looks to revitalize the series and serve as the link between the franchise's First Class installment and the continuity established by the original trilogy ahead of next year's X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Here's a look at the global totals of the X-Men franchise:

X-Men (2000) 

$296,339,528

X2: X-Men United (2003)

$407,711,527

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

$459,359,888

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

$373,058,714

X-Men: First Class (2011) 

$352,597,895

X-Men: Days of Future Past, is already in production and looking at an upcoming 2014 release. The Wolverine will therefore set the stage for the ensemble picture that will unite fan favorites like Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen with the exciting young First Class cast led by Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence. Even if The Wolverine fails to rebound the X-Men franchise, its effect shouldn't be directly associated with what is essentially a different product for 2014's Days of Future Past. The Wolverine is not the billion-dollar designated hitter for Fox. Strategically, The Wolverine will be a success as long as it can pass the $500 million global mark, a feat no other X-Men picture has accomplished, and put the franchise in scoring position when Days of Future Past comes up to the plate in 2014. 

It's been a solid summer for superheroes at the overseas box office. Iron Man 3 is the top film of the year after grossing over $800 million overseas and $1.2 billion worldwide. Superman finally connected with audience after a multi-decade/generation dry streak. Man of Steel has taken in $350 million overseas and currently boasts a $635 million global total.

The Wolverine will have no excuse if it can't connect with audiences around the world. Hugh Jackman is as recognizable in the title role as Robert Downey Jr. is in the Iron Man franchise, with both actors headlining their respective franchises for over three films. We must also consider this weekend's empty release window in a global market where a superhero film hasn't premiered since June's Man of Steel. The stage is set for The Wolverine to be one of the global success stories of 2013, but are audiences ready to return to a franchise that has posted diminishing returns since 2009?

Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more news on the global box office.

NORTH AMERICA: 'The Wolverine' Carves Out $55.0M Debut; 'The Conjuring' Holds Up Well with $22.1M; 'Fruitvale Station' Solid with $4.66M (7th Update) on July 26, 2013


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Sunday Update: It was a bit of a mixed bag for The Wolverine at the box office this weekend. The sixth installment of Fox's X-Men film franchise easily led the weekend box office with an estimated debut of $55.0 million. On one hand, that was significantly below pre-release expectations for the film, which ranged anywhere from $60 million to $80 million. But on the other hand, The Wolverine still delivered this July's second largest debut (behind only Despicable Me 2) and performed reasonably well with its price tag in mind (which was significantly lower than those of each of the previous three X-Men films).

The Wolverine debuted 35 percent below the $85.06 million start of 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine and just below the $55.10 million start of 2011's X-Men: First Class. That The Wolverine was not able to outpace First Class was underwhelming, especially since First Class didn't have the advantages of higher priced 3D admissions or of having Wolverine in a key role.  In addition to the mostly negative reception towards X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine may have also been somewhat limited by having a storyline that appeals more so towards die-hard X-Men fans.

Going forward, The Wolverine will obviously hope to display holding power more along the lines of X-Men: First Class than that of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The film's A- rating on CinemaScore is a promising early sign in that direction, as is the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.62 to 1, which (if the estimate holds) is a bit stronger than the 2.57 to 1 opening weekend to Friday ratio registered by First Class. The Wolverine took in $21.0 million on Friday (which included an estimated $4 million from late night Thursday shows that began at 10 p.m.), fell 12 percent on Saturday to gross $18.43 million and is estimated to fall 15 percent on Sunday to take in $15.58 million.

On the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected start, Warner's The Conjuring held up very nicely for a horror film in its second weekend. The modestly budgeted James Wan directed film grossed an estimated $22.1 million to place in second. That represented a 47 percent decline from last weekend. With a tremendous $83.87 million in ten days, The Conjuring has already zoomed past the respective $71.63 million and $64.26 million total grosses of this year's Mama and The Purge. The Conjuring is having the type of performance we don't see very often from horror films (especially in recent years) and will surpass the $100 million domestic milestone before much longer. The Conjuring should continue to hold up well going forward thanks in part to strong word of mouth and a lack of new horror films entering the marketplace over the next few weeks.

Also holding up nicely this weekend was Universal's Despicable Me 2. The computer animated blockbuster from Illumination Entertainment fell 36 percent from last weekend to place in third with an estimated $16.0 million. In the process Despicable Me 2 surpassed the $300 million domestic milestone this weekend, making it just the second release of 2013 to do so thus far (the other being Iron Man 3). Despicable Me 2 has grossed $306.39 million in 26 days. The film will soon face new competition for family audiences, with Sony's The Smurfs 2 arriving on Wednesday, and Fox's Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Disney's Planes both arriving the following week.

Fellow computer animated film Turbo followed in fourth place with an estimated $13.3 million. The Fox and DreamWorks Animation release was down a very solid 37 percent from last weekend. Turbo has grossed $55.77 million in twelve days of release. That places Turbo 16 percent ahead of the $48.84 million twelve-day take of last year's Rise of the Guardians. However, given the already mentioned new family films on the near horizon and the holiday boost experienced by Rise of the Guardians later in its run, Turbo will be hard pressed to remain ahead of the pace of Rise of the Guardians.

In other box office news, Sony's Grown Ups 2 surpassed the $100 million domestic mark this weekend. The Adam Sandler led comedy sequel placed in fifth for the weekend with an estimated $11.5 million. Grown Ups 2 was down a solid 42 percent from last weekend and has now grossed $101.66 million in 17 days. That places the film 8 percent behind the $110.72 million 17-day take of 2010's Grown Ups.

In its first weekend of wide release, The Weinstein Company's Fruitvale Station took in an estimated $4.66 million from 1,064 locations to place in tenth. That gave the early awards season hopeful a good, but not great per-location average of $4,377. Given its per-location average this weekend, Fruitvale Station will likely need to depend more so on strong word of mouth and awards buzz than further theatre expansions going forward. The film's estimated weekend to Friday ratio of 3.22 to 1 is a promising early sign. Fruitvale Station has grossed $6.34 million to date, which is already a strong showing given the film's ultra-low budget.

Performing fairly similar upon expanding this weekend was Fox Searchlight's The Way, Way Back. The ensemble comedy drama featuring Steve Carell placed in eleventh with an estimated $3.3 million. The Way, Way Back earned a per-location average of $3,725 from 886 locations for the frame. The 24-day total for the film stands at $8.93 million. The Way, Way Back registered a healthy estimated weekend to Friday ratio of 3.40 to 1.

On the platform front, Sony Pictures Classics' Blue Jasmine was off to a very strong estimated start of $612,767 from six locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the Woody Allen directed film starring Cate Blanchett a massive per-location average of $102,128 for the frame. If the estimate holds, Blue Jasmine will just outpace the $599,003 six location platform launch of Midnight in Paris back in May of 2011. Blue Jasmine will expand into additional locations next weekend and throughout the month of August.

Saturday Update: Fox reports that The Wolverine grossed $21 million on Friday, including $4 million from Thursday night shows. Based on that figure, BoxOffice projects the Hugh Jackman sequel will bank $54 million over opening weekend.

Those numbers are solid especially at the tail end of a very busy summer, but The Wolverine is falling short of most expectations. By comparison, Captain America: The First Avenger debuted with a $25.7 million opening day as part of a strong $65.1 million weekend on the same weekend two summers ago.

More close to home, The Wolverine's first day take couldn't quite keep pace with the $21.4 million generated by X-Men: First Class--and that film didn't have 3D or large format theaters to boost ticket revenue.

Few expected this latest franchise entry to reach the $34.4 million opening day and $85.1 million weekend of 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but the 39 percent gross decline in first day business is notable given that it was the last time Wolverine led a film. In terms of attendance on opening day, The Wolverine declined a massive estimated 50 percent from the 2009 prequel and marks the least-attended X-Men franchise film to date.

While it is likely that some fatigue is responsible for the softer demand (this is Wolvy's fifth turn as the lead character, after all), the good news is that word of mouth appears much stronger out of the gate for this entry. Flixster users currently give the film an 80 percent approval rating. On top of that, buzz for next year's X-Men: Days of Future Past has been steadily growing over the last few months as one of the most discussed films across social network platforms. Fans are clearly still excited for the future of the franchise, albeit with some cautious optimism. The Wolverine simply seems to have failed to connect with the general audience as strongly as previous series entries, likely thanks to the film's fan-centric premise (based on a popular comic book storyline) and a "been there, done that" vibe.  Nevertheless, chalk up an otherwise solid opening to the enduring popularity of Jackman and his interpretation of the character.

Meanwhile, TWC's Fruitvale Station posted an impressive $1.45 million on Friday after expanding into 1,064 theaters. Buzz around the film continues to grow, especially in the wake of this week's news that its directing and acting team of Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, respectively, will pair up for the Rocky spinoff, Creed. BoxOffice projects a $4.5 million weekend for Fruitvale Station. Word of mouth should continue to spread as one of 2013's early Oscar buzz generators.

Friday Update #4: The Wolverine now appears headed for a $22 million opening day. Topping the $55.1 million opening weekend of 2011's X-Men: First Class could be a challenge if that number holds with official studio estimates on Saturday morning.

Friday Update #3: Sources tell BoxOffice that The Wolverine is now looking closer to $23-24 million for Friday. That may yet change depending on West Coast business later tonight, but for now, the film looks to be heading toward a $60 million opening weekend.

Stay tuned to BoxOffice for studio estimates and our updated weekend projections on Saturday morning.

Friday Update #2: Early grosses indicate that The Wolverine is headed for $25 million on Friday, which would put it on pace for a $64 million debut frame. 

The Wolverine will have no problem topping the $55.1 million debut of X-Men: First Class. It's clear that fans are slowly starting to forgive the franchise after being disappointed by 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand and 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This bodes well for 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, an effort that will combine the new cast from First Class and the old cast from the original X-Men trilogy. 

The Wolverine has solid word of mouth in its corner. The 20th Century Fox release boasts an 81% approval rating on Flixster, and a respectable 67% approval rating on RottenTomatoes. 

Friday Update #1: Fox reports that The Wolverine snagged a healthy $4 million from Thursday evening shows. The action flick only started at 10 p.m., so it didn't benefit from earlier screenings like other releases this summer.

The Wolverine topped World War Z's $3.6 million haul on Thursday. That's a promising sign for the Fox release considering that WWZ kicked off its theatrical run with an impressive $66.4 million debut frame. World War Z started showing at 8 p.m. on the Thursday before hitting theaters. 

Thursday Update: Fandango reports that The Wolverine is outpacing 2011's X-Men: First Class by an impressive 39% margin at the same point in the sales cycle. First Class debuted to a healthy $55 million in June 2011, so the strong sales bode well for The Wolverine. Hugh Jackman's latest take on the iconic character also accounts for 51% of daily sales on Fandango. 

A Fandango survey of 1,000 Wolverine ticket buyers reveals the following:

91% have seen the previous X-Men and Wolverine movies
73% would not want to see a Wolverine film without Hugh Jackman in the title role
70% say the exotic setting has increased their interest in seeing the movie
A whopping 95% cannot wait to see the follow-up film, X-Men: Days of Future Past

Check back tomorrow morning to see how much the film rakes in from Thursday evening shows.


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