UPDATED GLOBAL: 'Frozen' Breaks 'Hobbit' Streak, Crosses $700M; Big China Debut for 'Despicable Me 2'; '12 Years a Slave' #1 in the UK on January 12, 2014

frozen.jpgFrozen dethroned The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug from the top spot at the overseas box office and finished the weekend well above the $700 million mark. The latest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios finished its seventh weekend with a $394.6 million overseas cume and a $712.2 million global total to become the fourth highest non-sequel animated release of all time. Frozen is Disney's #1 animated release of all time in Russia, Ukraine, Malaysia, and Singapore, as well as the biggest Walt Disney Animation Studios release in the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Norway.

Frozen collected $27.8 million in its most recent tally overseas. The film's top overseas markets include: the United Kingdom ($53.4M), Germany ($44.8M), France ($42.2M), Russia ($31.8M), Italy ($26.4M), Mexico ($22M), and Australia ($20.2M).

Frozen will open in South Korea and Turkey next weekend. China is due for a February 5 release and Japan is on deck with a March 15 premiere.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug finished its #1 streak at the overseas box office after four weeks despite crossing the $800 million global milestone, falling short of Frozen with a $21.9 million weekend take from 62 markets. Sunday estimates for Warner Brothers had originally put the film's overseas weekend total at #$22.2 million.

Smaug relinquished the top spot in its fifth weekend in Germany, where it finished in second place with a $3.6 million take. The film has grossed a whopping $81.4 million total in Germany, its biggest overseas market. Other top markets for The Hobbit sequel include: The United Kingdom ($65.7M), Russia ($48.3M), Australia ($28.1M), and Spain ($22.2M).

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has grossed a total of $566 million overseas and $808.2 million worldwide. The film will debut in China on February 21 and Japan on February 28.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is making its mark around the world. The horror film took first place in Russia with a $4 million opening weekend, the largest debut of franchise history in the market. Brazil took $2 million from 311 screens in an opening weekend that marked the biggest franchise opening and second highest 2D horror debut of all time in the market. The horror sequel earned a total of $15.5 million from 40 territories over the weekend to reach a $34.6 million overseas cume.

France and Germany both added $1.4 million respectively in their first holds. The Marked Ones has grossed a total of $4.5 million in France and $4.7 million in Germany. Mexico contributed $1.3 million in its second weekend to bring the local cume up to $3.9 million. The United Kingdom reached a $4.3 million total after a $1 million weekend from the market.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones has grossed $63 million worldwide.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty posted strong holds across all its markets for a robust $14.2 million hold, slightly below Fox's $14.4 million Sunday estimate. The film is on the verge of the $100 million milestone overseas with a $93.8 million cume. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has grossed a total of $145.9 million worldwide.

Despicable Me 2 enjoyed a surprising $15.3 million opening weekend in China. It's a strong debut considering the first installment of the franchise was never released in the country and that the current film has already been in release around the world for over eight months. Universal's original estimate of $13.8 million was revised to $14.4 million on Monday before Entgroup confirmed the $15 million bow.

The $15.5 million bow is the biggest animated premiere in China since 2012's Ice Age: Continental Drift. Last year's animated hits all opened below the DM2 debut, with Monsters University opening to $13.2 million, The Smurfs 2 to $10.1 million, and The Croods to $6.4 million. Despicable Me 2 ranks as the third biggest animated debut of all time in China behind Ice Age: Continental Drift ($19.4M) and Kung Fu Panda ($16.2M).

The Chinese premiere lifts Despicable Me 2 to a $567.8 million overseas cume. It has now surpassed Finding Nemo ($555.9M) and The Lion King ($564.7M) to become the fourth biggest animated film of all time overseas. Despicable Me 2 has grossed $935.8 million worldwide.

Walking with Dinosaurs opened in five new markets this weekend to post a $6.3 million take in its latest overseas frame. The film has grossed a total of $64.6 million outside of North America, with four additional territories set to release later this month. Walking with Dinosaurs has grossed a total of $98.2 million worldwide.

12 Years a Slave took the top spot in the United Kingdom this weekend with a $4.2 million bow. The historical drama has grossed a total of $12.7 million from 16 markets overseas and $51.7 million worldwide.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire grossed $3.6 million from 55 markets to reach a $432.1 million overseas cume. Lionsgate had originally estimated a $4.2 million hold overseas for the sequel.  The Hunger Games sequel has now grossed a total of $847 million globally. Top markets for the film include: the United Kingdom ($54.2M), Germany ($42.6M), Australia ($36M), China ($27.8M), and France ($27.4M).

The Book Thief took a $3.9 million debut from its first 6 markets overseas, slightly above the studio's $3.7 million estimate. A $1.1 million bow in Spain put the film in first place while Australia recorded a $2.2 million debut that put it in third place down under. The Book Thief has grossed $23.5 million worldwide.

Anchorman 2 hit a $40 million overseas total after adding $3 million from 7 territories in latest frame. The comedy took another $1.5 million from 446 locations in the U.K., a 39% drop, to reach a $22.3 million cume in the market.

Australia dipped 45% in its fourth weekend for a $1.1 million take from 256 screens, bringing the film's Australian total to $15 million - seven times the lifetime gross of the original. Anchorman 2 has grossed $158.5 million worldwide.

Saving Mr. Banks took a $2 million debut in Australia to help the Disney-approved biopic reach a $9.1 million overseas total. Saving Mr. Banks has grossed $78 million worldwide.

Thor: The Dark World has grossed $428.4 million overseas and $632.3 million globally. The superhero sequel will open in Japan on February 1.


'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Passes 'Iron Man 3' To Become 2013's Biggest Domestic Hit on January 10, 2014

SANTA MONICA, CA, and VANCOUVER, BC, January 10, 2014 - Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire became the highest-grossing film released at the domestic box office in 2013 as it grossed an estimated $493,000 last night for an estimated domestic cume to date of $409.4 million in its first 49 days of release, the Company announced today.

Catching Fire, which set records for the biggest November opening weekend of all time ($158.1 million) as well as the biggest three- and five-day Thanksgiving box office totals ever, has already become the 13th highest-grossing North American release in history and remains in wide release. It passed the first Hunger Games film, which grossed $408 million at the domestic box office, on Tuesday and is the fifth fastest film ever to reach the $400 million mark at the domestic box office.

The success of Catching Fire marks the first time the first two installments of a franchise have each topped $400 million at the domestic box office, and both films now rank among the top 15 domestic film releases in history. Catching Fire has also grossed $428.8 million internationally for a worldwide box office total of $838.2 million in its first seven weeks of release compared to $691 million worldwide box office generated during the entire run of the first Hunger Games film. The Company noted that Catching Fire is the first 2D film to become the top-grossing film of the year since 2008.

"The Hunger Games franchise continues to evolve into a truly global phenomenon," said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. "The success of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a testament to the vision of author Suzanne Collins, the sure hand of director Francis Lawrence, the brilliant performances of a remarkably talented cast led by the amazing Jennifer Lawrence and superb execution by our motion picture production, marketing and distribution teams. We will continue to grow the transformative Hunger Games franchise in the years to come even as we continue to develop a dynamic portfolio of premium new brands."

The next two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, are currently in production for release on November 21, 2014 and November 20, 2015, respectively.

NORTH AMERICA: Studio Weekend Estimates: 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' Delivers Modest $18.2M Debut; 'Frozen' Reclaims First Place with $20.7M (3rd Update) on January 03, 2014


Sunday Update: In its sixth weekend of wide release, Disney's Frozen returned to the top of the box office this weekend with an estimated $20.72 million. This weekend marked the second time that Frozen has led the weekend box office (the other frame being the film's second weekend of wide release over Dec. 6 - Dec. 8). Frozen was down just 28 percent from last weekend. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Frozen claimed the third largest sixth weekend performance ever for a film in wide release (behind only Avatar and Titanic). Frozen has grossed a massive $297.84 million to date, placing the film on the brink of reaching the $300 million domestic milestone. When Frozen reaches the milestone, it will become the fourth release of 2013 to do so (joining Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Despicable Me 2.)

Paramount's Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones debuted in second place with an estimated $18.2 million. While the spin-off to the high-profile horror franchise opened an underwhelming 37 percent softer than the $29.00 million debut of 2012's Paranormal Activity 4, The Marked Ones had been widely expected to display a drop-off from Paranormal Activity 4 due in part to its spin-off nature. The film is also still performing relatively well with its reported $5 million production budget it mind. In recent years, early January has proven to be a good time of year to open horror films, with recent examples including 2012's The Devil Inside and last year's Texas Chainsaw 3D. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opened 16 percent below the $21.74 million start of Texas Chainsaw 3D.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opened with $8.74 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.2 million from late night Thursday shows), fell 25 percent on Saturday to take in $6.52 million and is estimated to fall 55 percent on Sunday to gross $2.94 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.08 to 1. That represents less initial front-loading than Paranormal Activity 4 experienced, which had a ratio of 1.92 to 1. With that said, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is still extremely likely to be very front-loaded going forward. The film's soft C- rating on CinemaScore and upcoming direct competition from Fox's Devil's Due won't help long-term prospects for The Marked Ones either.

After leading the box office for each of the past three weekends, Warner's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was down two spots to place in third this weekend with an estimated $16.25 million. The three Lord of the Rings films and last year's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey all experienced declines of at least 40 percent the weekend after New Year's Day and that trend continued with The Desolation of Smaug, as it fell 44 percent this weekend. The Desolation of Smaug has grossed a very solid $229.63 million through 24-days of release. That places the film 13 percent behind the $263.83 million 24-day take of An Unexpected Journey (which fell 45 percent in its third weekend to gross $17.55 million).

Paramount's The Wolf of Wall Street and Sony's American Hustle found themselves in a close race for fourth place this weekend. The Wolf of Wall Street currently has the slight edge with an estimated $13.4 million while American Hustle is estimated to finish in fifth with $13.2 million. Both films held up nicely this weekend, as The Wolf of Wall Street was down 27 percent and American Hustle was down 29 percent. Respective total grosses for the awards season hopefuls stand at $63.29 million for The Wolf of Wall Street after 12 days and at $88.72 million for American Hustle after 17 days of wide release. It should be noted that American Hustle was significantly less expensive than The Wolf of Wall Street was.

In other box office news, Paramount's Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues surpassed the $100 million domestic mark this weekend after placing in sixth with an estimated $11.1 million. While the long-awaited comedy sequel starring Will Ferrell hasn't quite been the holiday season break-out many thought it could be, the film has still grossed a solid $109.18 million through 19 days of release. That places Anchorman 2 12 percent behind the $123.69 million 19-day take of 2010's Little Fockers.

Saturday Update: Paramount reports that Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones drew an estimated $8.74 million opening day yesterday. That figure includes Thursday night's $1.2 million jump start on the weekend. Based on these figures, BoxOffice projects the horror franchise spin-off will take in $17.5 million for its opening weekend. By comparison, The Marked Ones posted 42 percent less opening day business than 2012's Paranormal Activity 4 ($15.11 million toward a $29 million opening frame).

Paramount's strategy of appealing to Latino crowds only partly paid off this weekend. Chalk it up to several factors, including the crowded holiday holdover slate, declining interest in the over-exposed franchise, and a glut of horror flicks over the past year. The good news for Paramount is that the low $5 million production budget for The Marked Ones means the film will easily be profitable after domestic and overseas earnings are accounted for. Still, the film's early word of mouth appears mixed with 66 percent of Flixster users approving of or still anticipating the film (down from 80 percent entering Friday). Critical response has been fairly poor with a 45 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Unfortunately for Paramount, The Marked Ones will not claim the top spot this weekend and will instead be in a close race with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for second place, the latter having grossed $5.12 million on Friday. Peter Jackson's Middle-earth prequel-sequel has amassed $218.5 million domestically so far and will relinquish the top spot after three weeks with a projected $17 million weekend.

Disney's Frozen, which earned another $6.75 million in second place on Friday, will recapture first place with a projected $22.5 million in its sixth weekend of wide release--representing the third best ever (behind Avatar's $34.9 million and Titanic's $25.2 million). The animated phenom is on pace to surpass Disney/Pixar's Up ($293 million domestic) as the highest grossing non-sequel animation since 2003's Finding Nemo next week.

Friday Update: Paramount reports that Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones took in a modest $1.2 million from Thursday evening shows. That puts it behind the $2 million haul that The Devil Inside managed in January 2012. Poor weather in New York and Boston can certainly be blamed for The Marked Ones' relatively slow start. Paramount projects an opening weekend in the mid-teens.

More coming later...

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