Warner Bros. had a great weekend at the overseas box office. A great opening for Gravity in 27 markets and two major milestones for The Conjuring and We're the Millers are sure to leave executives happy at WB; the studio is coming off a summer where even moderate hits in North America have been able to perform well overseas.
Gravity launched overseas with a strong $28.4 million take from 27 markets, $1 million more than originally estimated on Sunday, collecting 2.8 million admissions from over 4,700 screens. The 3D format of the film accounted for approximately 70% of the box office take.
The sci-fi spectacle opened with $7.5 million in Russia, notching 752k admissions from 1,215 screens with 3D accounting for 75% of the share. Germany brought in $3.9 million, amounting to 276k admissions from 629 screens and a fantastic 97% share for 3D. Australia opened to $3.3 million, approximately 264k admissions from 469 screens and a 56% 3D share. Gravity pulled in $2.8 million from Italy, 204k admissions from 4377 screens with a strong 95% of the share coming from 3D. Spain collected $2.3 million, 224k admissions from 328 screens and a 53% share from 3D.
A $55.7 million opening weekend in North America pushes the film's global total to $83.9 million. Gravity will open in Brazil next weekend, South Korea on October 17, and director Alfonso Cuarón's home country, Mexico, on October 18. Gravity will expand to France on October 23, the United Kingdom on November 8, and Japan on December 13.
The Conjuring broke a major milestone, crossing the $300 million mark at the global box office. The low budget horror film added $4.7 million from 54 markets over the weekend to take its overseas cume to $168.6 million. The global total for The Conjuring is $305.6 million.
We're the Millers hit another big mark for Warner Bros. overseas, crossing the $100 million milestone/ The raunchy ensemble comedy generated $5.1 million from 56 markets over the weekend to take its overseas cume to $103.6 million. We're the Millers has grossed $248.5 million worldwide.
Despicable Me 2 posted the fourth biggest opening weekend of all time for an animated film in Turkey as the Minions continued their terrific run in the overseas box office. The animated sequel also posted first place debuts in Serbia & Montenegro and Slovenia, along with a third consecutive weekend atop the Japanese box office. Despicable Me 2 outgrossed the original's $14.9 million lifetime total in Japan with a $2.5 million take that boosts its cume to $17.3 million. The film will open in its final two territories, Greece and Italy, next weekend. Despicable Me 2 has grossed $510.4 million overseas and $872.8 million worldwide.
The Lone Ranger took in $7 million over the first two days of a long weekend in China, the final overseas territory for Disney's box office fiasco. It's expected that The Lone Ranger will finish its Chinese debut with a $10 million total, not a bad boost for a film that is currently reporting a $165.9 million cume. The Lone Ranger has grossed $255.2 million worldwide.
Prisoners held on to the top spot in the United Kingdom, adding $1.9 million to take its cume in the market to $5.6 million. The film took in $900k from 297 screens in its South Korean debut. Prisoners has grossed a total of $14.1 million from 32 markets, with France and Germany to open next weekend. Prisoners has grossed a total of $61.9 million worldwide.
Runner Runner struggled to get off the ground in North America but is being buoyed by respectable overseas numbers. The film has grossed $23.6 million from 52 markets, including strong runs in Russia ($4.8M), the U.K. ($2.7M), Australia ($2.4M), and France ($2.2M). Runner Runner is set to open in Mexico, Taiwan, and four additional markets next weekend.
Ron Howard's F1 biopic, Rush, led the way in its Austrian debut, notching a $675k bow in Niki Lauda's home country with double the per-screen average of Turbo and Gravity combined. Rush has grossed $34.9 million overseas and $53 million worldwide.
Turbo opened in second place in Germany with a $2.9 million bow. Australia reported a strong hold for the animated film, where it collected $2.1 million to bring its Australian cume to $9.5 million. Turbo has earned $112.7 million overseas and $194.7 million worldwide.
The Wolverine will be hoping for a strong push from China, its final overseas market, on October 17 to push its total outside of North America past the $250 million mark. The Wolverine has grossed $244.4 million overseas and $376 million worldwide.
The Heat is still playing in about a dozen markets overseas and added $1.1 million over the weekend to reach a $68.4 million overseas total. The Heat still has Spain left in its release schedule and is currently reporting a $227.4 million global total.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters has three markets left to its overseas run, including Japan. The family-oriented adventure sequel has grossed a total of $121.9 million overseas and $187.8 million worldwide.
Riddick is nearing the $50 million overseas mark and will look to surpass that milestone when it opens in Brazil next weekend. The latest installment of Vin Diesel's sci-fi franchise has collected $48 million from 55 overseas markets. Riddick has grossed $89.2 million worldwide.
R.I.P.D. continues to stagger along overseas. The film opened in seventh place in Mexico with a $480k bow. It took third place in its Peruvian premiere with $179k. R.I.P.D. has grossed $41.6 million overseas and $75.2 million worldwide. The film will open in Japan, its final territory, on October 18.
Planes has its sights set on the $100 million overseas mark and still has two key markets to achieve it. The animated film has $92.3 million in the bank from 46 territories and will open in Italy on November 8 and Japan on December 21. Planes has grossed a total of $180.4 million worldwide.
Rush is raking in serious money overseas. Ron Howard's F1 drama has already grossed $30 million outside of North America, with exit polls coming in around the 90s in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and France.
Rush will go into Italy as the #1 film in its third week of release, already enjoying a $6 million showing in the territory. Distributor StudioCanal is expecting a long run in the United Kingdom after the film broke $11.5 million in its third week. Rush opened in France last weekend and is currently reporting a $1.3 million cume. The film is expected to surpass $1 million in Mexico over the weekend.
Rush kept the #2 spot in New Zealand for a $500k cume. The film opened in Australia on Thursday with a $300k bow. The Middle East territories combined for a $600k cume.
Rush will open in the Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Peru, Colombia, South Africa, Pakistan, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Indonesia this weekend.
Gravity is taking off overseas with a $3.8 million Thursday performance. The space flick took in $1.4 million from Thursday shows in North America, driving the single-day global debut of Alfonso Cuarón's sci-fi flick to $5.2 million.
Russia is claiming $1.2 million of that figure, ranking first ahead of competing releases Insidious: Chapter 2 and the local comedy Vsyo Vklyycheno 2. The 3D share in the market is 76%, with IMAX contributing 15%. Germany reports a $925k debut, well ahead of fellow openers Turbo and Rush. The 3D share is 97% in the market, where the format is playing in 88% of the film's screens. Italy also posted a first place debut with 3D claiming 97% of the take from 90% of the screens. Australia brought in $651k with 3D accounting for 57% of the take from 47% of the screens. Gravity is projected to finish the weekend in first place, overtaking the first place finish posted by Turbo on Thursday.
Sci-fi has posted mixed results at the global box office this year. Oblivion posted a $286.3 million global total; After Earth relied on the overseas markets to salvage a $243.8 million performance; China helped catapult Pacific Rim to $407.4 million worldwide; Paramount strategically expanded Start Trek Into Darkness throughout the summer for a $466.9 million take; and Elysium has grossed $263.9 million globally.
BoxOffice is projecting that the film could hit anywhere between $40 to $45 million in its North American opening weekend. If the early overseas numbers are any indication, Gravity, the year's least high-concept sci-fi release, might turn out to be one of the genre's biggest hits of 2013.
Sunday Update: Warner's Gravity broke out this weekend with an estimated first place take of $55.55 million. The Alfonso Cuarón directed sci-fi drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney set a new unadjusted opening weekend record for the month of October, which was previously held by 2011's Paranormal Activity 3 with $52.57 million. When adjusting for ticket price inflation, 2003's Scary Movie 3 is still on top with an adjusted debut of $65.11 million (from an actual gross of $48.11 million). Thanks in part to a growing number of strong critical reviews, expectations had been rising for Gravity in the weeks leading up to its release. The film ultimately soared above those rapidly rising expectations this weekend, with the mentioned strong reviews, a strong marketing campaign, Sandra Bullock's presence (which helped the film's audience expand beyond that of many other sci-fi films this year) and very strong sales in the higher priced 3D and IMAX formats all being major factors in the film's opening weekend success.
IMAX grosses were responsible for $11.23 million (20.2 percent) of the overall grosses for Gravity this weekend. Meanwhile, 3D grosses accounted for a very strong 80 percent of the film's overall weekend gross. Gravity skewed towards male moviegoers (54 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 35 (59 percent). In addition to setting an unadjusted opening weekend record for the month of October, Gravity also represented the largest unadjusted debut ever for both Bullock and Clooney.
Moving beyond this weekend, early signs are very promising for Gravity going forward. Gravity opened with $17.53 million on Friday (with just an estimated $1.4 million of that figure coming from late night Thursday shows), increased a very strong 31.5 percent on Saturday to gross $23.05 million and is estimated to fall 35 percent on Sunday to take in $14.98 million. That gave the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.17 to 1, which is especially encouraging for an opening weekend performance of this size. Gravity received an A- rating on CinemaScore and in general Bullock's recent films have a strong history of holding up well at the box office. Continued IMAX grosses, skewing towards older moviegoers and the relatively short running time of the film will also help the holding power of Gravity.
Gravity represents another strong performer for Warner Bros. in recent months. After a rough start to 2013, the studio has rebounded in a big way with the domestic performances of 42, The Great Gatsby, Man of Steel, The Conjuring, We're the Millers and now Gravity.
Sony's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 fell to second place with an estimated $21.5 million. The 3D computer animated sequel was down 37 percent from last weekend. While that was a solid second weekend hold in its own right, the decline was significantly larger than the 17 percent second weekend decline of 2009's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The film's decline was much more in line with the 36 percent second weekend decline of last year's Hotel Transylvania. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 has grossed $60.56 million in ten days. The film is currently running 20 percent behind the $76.11 million ten-day start of Hotel Transylvania and nearly on par with the $60.47 million ten-day take of Cloudy 1. With no new competition for family audiences throughout the rest of October, expect Cloudy 2 to hold up stronger going forward.
Runner Runner landed in third place with a disappointing estimated debut of $7.6 million. The crime thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck opened below pre-release expectations, which had already been scaled back due in part to very poor reviews and in part to the growing pre-release enthusiasm for Gravity. In addition to opening against Gravity, Runner Runner also wasn't helped out by the number of other films aimed at adult moviegoers in recent weeks. Runner Runner debuted 37 percent below the $12.05 million start of In Time, which also starred Timberlake and was released by Fox in October of 2011. While Affleck didn't direct or produce Runner Runner, the film's performance is obviously still especially disappointing given that it was Affleck's first wide release following Argo.
Runner Runner grossed $2.75 million on Friday, was up 9 percent on Saturday to gross $3.00 million and is estimated to fall 38 percent to take in $1.85 million on Sunday. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.76 to 1. In addition to the negative reception from critics, audiences don't appear to be warming up to Runner Runner either, as the film received a C rating on CinemaScore.
With the breakout performance of Gravity this weekend, holdovers aimed at adult moviegoers understandably didn't hold up very well. Warner's Prisoners fell 48 percent to take fourth with an estimated $5.7 million, Universal's Rush fell 56 percent to place in fifth with $4.41 million, Relativity's Don Jon was down 52 percent to finish in sixth with $4.16 million and Fox Searchlight's Baggage Claim declined 54 percent to land in seventh with $4.13 million. Respective total grosses stand at $47.88 million for Prisoners, $18.09 million for Rush, $16.08 million for Don Jon and at $15.19 million for Baggage Claim.
On the limited front, Lionsgate's Pulling Strings grossed an estimated $2.5 million from 387 locations. That gave the comedy from Pantelion Films a per-location average of $6,460 for the frame. On the heels of the recent breakout success of Instructions Not Included, the opening weekend performance for Pulling Strings was a solid one, as it represented the second largest debut to date for Pantelion Films. Like Instructions Not Included, Pulling Strings also received an A+ rating on CinemaScore. With the added competition from Pulling Strings, Instructions Not Included did take a hit this weekend. The Eugenio Derbez comedy vehicle fell 47 percent to gross $1.85 million. The 38-day total for Instructions Not Included stands at $41.27 million.
Saturday Update: Warner Bros. reports this morning that Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity debuted to an impressive $17.525 million on Friday, including Thursday night's $1.4 million grosses and $3.61 million from IMAX. That puts the dramatic sci-fi pic on pace for $52 million this weekend--topping 2004's Shark Tale ($47.6 million) as the best October debut for an original film. Overall, Gravity is aiming for the best October weekend, currently held by Paranormal Activity 3's $52.6 million.
WB's aggressive marketing succeeded in spades for the Sandra Bullock-George Clooney flick, both of whom claim new career highs with the film (topping $42.9 million for Clooney's Batman & Robin and $39.1 million for Bullock's The Heat). The studio pitched the groundbreaking visual effects-driven film as a fall event for audiences in the wake of phenomenal critical responses out of last month's film festivals. Early word of mouth among regular moviegoers appears strong, too: CinemaScore came in at a strong "A-" while the film's Flixster user rating has risen from 90 to 91 percent over the past day. With awards buzz assured to follow at this point, Gravity is poised to enjoy a healthy box office run throughout the fourth quarter.
The weekend's second opener, Runner Runner, struggled to gain in traction in the shadow of Gravity. The Justin Timberlake-Ben Affleck thriller pulled a tepid $2.75 million on Friday (including $200k from Thursday night). Poor critical reviews may have contributed to this disappointing opening, but overall general audiences didn't seem interested in giving Affleck a chance as the villain of a film. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake's drawing power at the box office again proves minimal. Runner Runner is on track to bank just $7.7 million this weekend--marking Affleck's lowest debut for a wide release since 2006's Hollywoodland ($5.9 million) and falling well short of Timberlake's In Time ($12.1 million). The film's CinemaScore is "C", while Flixster users have voted the flick down to a dismal 37 percent score.
Friday Update #3: Sources now tell BoxOffice that Gravity could end up with as much as $48 million this weekend. Meanwhile, Runner Runner seems poised to end up slightly below $10 million.
Official estimates coming tomorrow morning...
Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Gravity is headed for an opening north of $40 million based on the strength of early Friday grosses. That's an excellent start for the space thriller. Gravity is already beloved by critics, but now paying audiences are falling for it as well. If word of mouth explodes this weekend, then don't be surprised if Gravity hits $45 million.
Runner Runner looks poised for an underwhelming debut somewhere between $10 million-$12 million. That's a poor start for a film that boasts the combined star power of Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck.
Check back tomorrow for official studio estimates and updated weekend projections.
Friday Update: Warner Bros. reports that Gravity took in a healthy $1.4 million from Thursday evening shows.
The opening marks a promising start for a film that isn't part of an established franchise. It's clear that enthusiastic reviews from the majority of critics--Gravity currently boasts an impressive 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes--is having a positive impact. Warner Bros. couldn't get better reviews if they hired someone to write them.
Nearly 52,000 Flixster users have combined to give the space thriller an impressive 90% approval rating--an early sign that word of mouth is going to be strong. We expect Gravity to start off well on Friday and then really surge on Saturday. Our weekend forecast is $42 million.