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JAPAN: 'Oblivion' is #1 with a Moderate Debut on June 03, 2013

obl.pngOblivion enjoyed a nice boost in its overseas run with a $4.4 million ($3.4M weekend) debut in Japan. The late premiere for the Tom Cruise sci-fi spectacle in Japan gets Oblivion one-step closer to a $300 million global total, but it won't be enough for the film to make it. The $4 million debut represents a moderate opening in a market where it could have made a bigger impact. Oblivion could have potentially reached the $300 million milestone with a bigger push from Asia and North America. Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster premiered in 284 screens but was unable to replicate the overwhelming success it had in China, failing to hit the $1 million mark in its first week.

Box Office Results for Japan. May 30-June 2, 2013.

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NORTH AMERICA: 'Now You See Me' Edges Past Disappointing 'After Earth', 'Fast 6' Repeats At #1 on June 02, 2013

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Sunday Update: Universal reports that Fast & Furious 6 is headed for a solid $34.5 million sophomore frame. That will put the action extravaganza's North American total at $170.4 million. 

Summit estimates that Now You See Me is headed for an excellent $28.05 million debut. The magic-themed flick snagged an impressive A- CinemaScore rating. Expect Now You See Me to hold up well in the weeks to come. 

Sony has After Earth pegged at $27 million for the weekend. This marks a new low for star Will Smith. Even Wild Wild West, a film widely regarded as the weakest of Smith's career, managed $27.7 million in 1999--and that's without adjusting for inflation.  

Fox is now estimating $16.4 million for Epic, which represents a respectable 51% drop from last weekend. 

The Hangover Part III will drop at least 60% this weekend. Estimates from WB put the comedy on pace for $15.9 million. Moviegoers simply aren't responding to this trilogy-capping dud. 

Check out more studio estimates here

Saturday Update #2: Sony's After Earth grossed $9.8 million on opening day. The film is on pace for a disappointing $27.3 million debut weekend. AE really needs to step it up overseas now in order to make up for this lackluster debut. It's important to remember that while star Will Smith's drawing power might be waning in North America, he remains one of the most trusted stars globally. Case in point: Men In Black 3 made $446 million overseas vs. $179 million in North America.

While Smith should be able to bounce back, it will be difficult for director M. Night Shyamalan to shake off this failure. Shyamalan's reputation has been in steady decline ever since The Village was hit with a wave of audience scorn back in 2004. Shyamalan has been talking about sequels to Unbreakable and The Last Airbender in interviews while promoting After Earth, but it might be an uphill battle for him to get anything made at a major studio now.  

AE will also hurt the budding career of Jaden Smith. Even a tweet from Jaden's pal Justin Bieber couldn't help After Earth:

The young actor better hope that The Karate Kid II happens soon. 2010's Karate Kid reboot--which featured J. Smith opposite Jackie Chan--earned a healthy $359 million globally. 

Now You See Me took in $10.05 million on Friday, according to Lionsgate. The flick is on pace to upset and grab second place for the weekend, although it could be a close finish with After Earth. Count this as a major victory for Lionsgate. The distributor successfully made their ensemble thriller stand out in a market full of more high-profile efforts. It's clear that with the success of The Great Gatsby and Now You See Me that moviegoers are hungry for alternatives to action tentpoles. 

Universal reports a $10.5 million second Friday for Fast & Furious 6. That puts the film on pace for another #1 finish this weekend with a projected $35 million, down 64% from last weekend. A steep drop is nothing to be overly concerned about considering that the film shattered expectations last weekend. Overseas expectations remain bullish: F&F 6 should have no problem hitting $500 million outside of North America. 

Fox's Epic should take in $15.7 million this weekend following its second Friday gross of $4.15 million. The animated flick continues to be a solid alternative for families with young children. Epic should do steady business right up until the release of Monsters University on June 21.

The Hangover Part III took in $5.23 million for its second Friday. The second sequel is on pace for a dismal $15.5 million sophomore frame. WB will be looking to overseas grosses to make up for the underwhelming domestic reception. 

Saturday Update: After Earth did surge a bit on Friday night, and it's now looking like it will end up in the range of $25 million-$28 million. Now You See Me is set for around $22 million-$24 million. 

Friday Update #3: Revised numbers are helping out After Earth and Now You See Me. AE is now looking at $21 million-$22 million, while Now You See Me could hit $24 million. 

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that early numbers are not promising for After Earth. The sci-fi flick could end up with around $7 million on Friday, which means it might struggle to hit even $20 million during its debut frame. AE will need to do well with families on Saturday if it wants to post a stronger opening weekend. These are VERY early numbers, so a surge is still a real possibility. 

Now You See Me should hit $7 million on Friday, and it's looking at a $20 million start. That would be a solid result for the magic-themed flick considering that the market is full of spectacle films right now.

Fast & Furious 6 will have no problem repeating as the #1 film this weekend. The same sources tell us that it is "way out in front." No numbers are available yet. 

Check back later for more updates. 

Friday Update: Sony reports that After Earth made $1 million from Thursday, 9 p.m. preview shows at 3,401 locations. That's a respectable start for Sony's sci-fi flick. The real concern now is going to be whether or not audiences agree with the harsh reviews from professional critics.

Lionsgate estimates that Now You See Me took in a solid $1.5 million from Thursday preview shows at 2,925 locations--nearly 500 less than After Earth. Now You See Me benefited from having shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., while After Earth was only playing at 9. 

More coming soon...

GLOBAL: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' China Opening Boosts to $328.8M; 'Hangover 3' Posts $110.7M Expansion; 'Fast 6' Reaches $480.6M on June 02, 2013

STID2.jpgStar Trek Into Darkness enjoyed a bigger boost than anticipated with its Chinese premiere, grossing $25 million over the weekend -nearly three times the previous installment's total gross in China. The opening weekend easily overtook the $22.29 million that Oblivion grossed after 17 days in China. The Star Trek sequel also premiered in South Korea, where it walked away with a $5 million opening weekend -more than double the opening weekend gross of its predecessor. The other leading markets for Star Trek Into Darkness are the United Kingdom ($2.2M Weekend / $35.2M Total), Germany ($1.6M Weekend / $18.5M Total), and Australia ($1.1M Weekend, $14.2M Total). There are still numerous key territories left to open for the sci-fi sequel, including Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, and Spain. The film has already surpassed the $127 million overseas cume of its predecessor. Star Trek Into Darkness has a $147.4 million overseas total and a $328.8 million global cume.

The wide overseas expansion of The Hangover Part III brought in $82.3 million from 54 markets over the weekend, reaching a $110.7 million overseas total that made it the weekend's highest-grossing overseas release. The global cume stands at $198.79 million after a lackluster performance in North America. The top performing new markets include Germany ($15M), Russia ($9.3M), Italy (7.6M), France ($6.6), and Brazil ($5.4M). Hold-overs in the UK and Australia saw the film reach $20.7M and $15.2M totals respectively.

Fast & Furious 6 grossed $75 million from 62 territories over the weekend, bringing its overseas total to $310.2 million. The film's global total now stands at $480.6 million. The film opened in two new territories: New Zealand, where it took the top spot with a $1.3 million gross, and Trinidad, where it became the country's top non-3D opener of all time. The top hold-over territories for Fast 6 are Mexico ($7.2M Weekend, $25.6M Total), Germany ($6.8M Weekend / $22.1M Total), Russia ($5.4M Weekend / $28.5M Total), Brazil ($4.5M Weekend / $15.1M Total), and the United Kingdom (3.3M Weekend / $32.7M Total). Upcoming key markets for Fast 6 include Australia (June 6), Japan (July 6), and an unconfirmed roll-out in China tentatively scheduled for July.

Epic brought in $28.5 million from 56 markets to reach an $86.3 million overseas cume. The film benefitted from a big $7.9 million opening weekend in Russia to post its strongest weekend numbers to date. Spain, Australia, and South Korea are still on the horizon for the animated film. The film's global cume stands at $151.4 million.

A $6.7 million opening weekend in Australia led the charge for The Great Gatsby, bringing its overseas cume to $120 million from 55 territories. The film also opened in Mexico, where it grossed $1.9 million. The Great Gatsby has grossed a global total of $248.2 million. 

Iron Man 3 is days away from reaching the $800 million milestone in overseas grosses, adding $9.9 million from 55 territories over the weekend to reach a $795.2 million overseas total. The film is the #5 highest grossing film of all time globally with a $1.18 billion cume after six weeks in release.

A $4.5 million opening weekend in Japan helped Oblivion reach an overseas total of $186.5 million this weekend. The slow North American performance, however, has the film outside the $300 million global range, currently posting a worldwide cume of $274..6 million.

The Croods added $3.7 million from 22 markets, inching its way to the $400 million overseas milestone with a $391.2 million overseas total. The global total for the film is $571.7 million.

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

Universal Hits $1 Billion Overseas Faster Than Ever Before on May 31, 2013

Fast6.jpgThe official release from Universal:

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA -- Universal Pictures International (UPI) today announced that the studio has reached $1 billion at the international box office. This is the earliest the studio has reached that milestone in history, besting a previous record set on July 17, 2012 through the performance of such global hits as Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, American Reunion, Snow White and the Huntsman and Ted. 2013 marks the seventh year in a row that Universal has reached $1 billion internationally. In 2012, the studio enjoyed its highest grossing year at the international box office with $1.794 billion in total grosses.

Universal's early success in 2013 has been fueled by a winning slate of diverse films across multiple genres including Les Misérables ($238.9 million), Mama ($74.9 million), Identity Thief ($39.8 million) and Oblivion ($180.4 million). Fast & Furious 6 pushed the international grosses over $1 billion with its record breaking opening last weekend and terrific midweek performance. In just over a week, Fast & Furious 6 has grossed $259.4 million at the international box office.

There is still much to look forward to in 2013 with Fast & Furious 6 opening in six more international markets; the first micro-budget film under the studio's production partnership with Jason Blum, The Purge; Chris Meledandri and Illumination Entertainment's 3D-CG comedy adventure Despicable Me 2; the 3D supernatural action-adventure R.I.P.D., starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds; the third installment of director Edgar Wright's trilogy of comedies starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, The World's End; the new chapter of the action-comedy Kick-Ass 2 from director Jeff Wadlow; a romantic comedy from Working Title and writer/director Richard Curtis, About Time; the long-awaited next chapter to the film that ushered in a new era of comedy from writer, director and producer Malcolm D. Lee, The Best Man Holiday and the epic 3D feature starring Keanu Reeves in his explosive return to the action-adventure genre, 47 Ronin.

GLOBAL PREVIEW: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Opens in China, Faces Off Against 'After Earth' in Korea on May 30, 2013

intodarkness.jpgStar Trek: Into Asia.

Paramount's overseas release strategy for Star Trek Into Darkness is a long-range bet, spanning out throughout the summer on a weekend-by-weekend basis in each territory. The strategy has proved successful so far; Paramount's approach to the global market takes into consideration the nuances of each territory in an attempt to get the most out of the film by working around the summer's packed release schedule.

Star Trek Into Darkness avoided the day-and-date juggernaut release of Fast & Furious 6 last weekend with no new openings. This week brings three more territories into the fray: Poland, China, and South Korea. The Chinese premiere could potentially bring a welcome boost for the sci-fi sequel. Chinese audiences have responded to Tom Cruise's Oblivion with a $22.29 million gross after 17 days in release. Oblivion never had it easy in China, uncomfortably sandwiched between the blockbuster premiere of Iron Man 3 and the rescheduled opening of Django Unchained. While Oblivion's take in China does not match the $50 million-plus performances from The Croods or G.I. Joe: Retaliation, it does present the potential for a high-budget sci-fi film to succeed against difficult odds.

It's ironic that Star Trek Into Darkness will avoid release traffic in China to instead find it in South Korea this weekend. South Korea has two of the summer's biggest sci-fi spectacles going up head-to-head against each other with the release of After Earth. Sony will be rolling out After Earth overseas throughout June but has selected South Korea as the only market to go day-and-date with North America. It's a costly decision for both Paramount and Sony, as they look to split their take in the world's seventh largest film market outside of North America.

Gatsby Expands to Mexico and Australia.

No Fast & Furious leaves the Australian market for the taking this weekend, and Warner Brothers is ready to take it with the release of The Great Gatsby. Gatsby's closest competitor will be The Hangover Part III, coming off a huge $9 million weekend in Australia. Word of mouth might prevail in the battle, considering the weak reception that has hit the last two Hangover films.

The Great Gatsby will have to rely on Leonardo Di Caprio's star-power in Mexico to turn an unfamiliar property into a hit for the local audience. Gatsby also benefits from enough breathing room in the Mexican market to be able to make a splash. Mexican audiences have shown their loyalty for hold-overs, however, sticking by more action-adventure and family-oriented fare after their opening weekends. Gatsby will likely come out on top in Australia, but might come up short in Mexico with the continued success of Fast & Furious 6 and Epic, not to mention the premiere of Now You See Me.

Hangover Goes Wide.

The Hangover Part III will see its first major expansion, opening in key markets like Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. North American numbers have been disappointing for the comedy, but a solid $19.2 million performance from three overseas markets last weekend raise the possibility that the overseas market can mitigate the film's domestic shortcomings. That $19.2 million came from English-speaking territories, however, and its success in other overseas markets is anything but guaranteed. Expect the film to take the top spot in Brazil, where a strong marketing campaign and few comedy options can see it dethrone Fast & Furious 6 for first place. The Hangover Part III will compete against the opening of Epic in France and Italy, but shouldn't be affected directly by the animated film.

The Purge Premieres in the U.K.

The Purge will open in the U.K. this weekend, a week ahead of its North American release. The early release date can give The Purge a push in the United Kingdom, going up against a Fast & Furious 6 that fell 60% in its second week and a Hangover 3 that can suffer a bigger slide through negative word of mouth. Star Trek Into Darkness, The Great Gatsby, and Iron Man 3 all fell to mid-table positions last weekend, giving The Purge the space it needs to open big in its first market.

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


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