‘Wonka’ Sweet With $43M Overseas Debut; ’Migration’ Swoops Into First Markets; IMAX Tops $1B Global For 2023 – International Box Office

Refresh for latest…: There were two new Hollywood entries at the international box office this weekend as both Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Heyday Films’ Wonka and Universal/Illumination’s Migration began early offshore rollout, though on different patterns.

It was good news all around with Timothée Chalamet-starrer Wonka launching to $43.2M in 37 markets, well ahead of pre-weekend projections. The Paul King-directed origins story/musical ranked No. 1 in 32 markets. In like-for-likes and using today’s exchange rates, the film is tracking 95% above Paddington, 77% over Mary Poppins Returns and 50% over The Greatest Showman.

In Latin America, Wonka was tops for the region with 63% market share, surpassing the above comps by 232%, 145% and 129%, respectively. In Europe, the film was No. 1 in each of its launches.

As expected, the UK was the lead play at $11.1M, boasting a 73% market share of the Top 5. This will be the 2nd biggest opening for a Warner Bros film in 2023, behind Barbie, and the 4th biggest 3-day industry opening of the year. Results are ahead of all comps.

Wonka dominated Mexico with $5.2M and a nearly 70% share of the Top 5. The start is roughly on par with Jumanji: The Next Level and well above all comps noted above. 

Spain’s $4.4M 5-day opening ranked at No. 1 with a 34% share of the Top 5 and is the 5th biggest industry opening of 2023. In comparison to other 5-day openings, Wonka came in 15% ahead of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny as well as 337% over Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and 214% ahead of Sing 2 (the latter two both Christmas releases). It also topped Paddington’s 6-day opening by 391%.

In Germany, Wonka’s No. 1 $3.6M start had a 34% share and performed well against the comps. China rounds out the Top 5 with $3.2M, ahead of fellow U.S. opener Migration. The flu and a cold front across most of China continues to impact the market, affecting families directly. Opening weekend results are over The Little Mermaid by 29% and Dial of Destiny by 41%. Word of mouth and ratings are very positive (Maoyan 9.3, Taopiaopiao 9.3, Douban 7.6). IMAX generated 16% of the total opening weekend grosses from 737 screens.

In total IMAX, Wonka kicked off with $2.3M from 846 screens. 

Speaking of IMAX and highlighting audience tastes for premium experiences, the company has passed the $1B mark at the global box office for 2023. This is the third time the large format outfit has ever reached the milestone, joining 2019 ($1.11B) and 2018 ($1.03B). Significantly, 2019 had nine titles cross $1B worldwide versus just two in 2023. The top performers worldwide for IMAX this year have been Oppenheimer ($185M) and Avatar: The Way of Water ($110M in the calendar year). 

While Wonka is on an essentially two-pronged schedule with domestic and another 40 international markets going next weekend (Korea follows in late January), Migration is on a very staggered flight pattern with just 18 markets in the initial frame. Second, third and fourth waves of markets will be added through December. Brazil and Korea go in January, the UK in February and Japan in March. 

The strategy on Migration is similar to the launch pattern for Uni/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish which legged out to a $481M+ global gross. Both that film and Disney’s Elemental have shown multiples are strong for animated films at the post-pandemic box office.

Migration grossed $6.5M in its first opening markets, just off Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Reviews and word of mouth are strong – in France, it’s got four stars from audiences and a 3.8 from critics. That market was the top launch with $2M including wide paid previews. Italy grossed $1.8M, in line with Puss 2 and more than double Sing 2. On Friday’s bank holiday, it beat the result for Puss 2 on the same holiday last year. 

China opened across 9,000 screens and 7,500 locations in a crowded market, grossing $1M but with good upward trajectory on SaturdayAudiences are giving it a high 9.4 on Maoyan as well as on TPP. Belgium bowed to $400K, ahead of Elemental and Puss 2 and boosted by a successful school screening program during the end-of-year holiday period, as well as a family event at Kinepolis this weekend. A long run through the Christmas holiday period is expected. The UAE and Saudi Arabia round out the Top 5 debuts with $200K each. 

Next weekend adds seven more markets including Mexico. 

In holdovers, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, the Apple Original Films produced/Sony Pictures distributed epic added another $16.1M from 64 markets this session. That lifts the international cume to $117.7M and global to $170.8M. Korea was new for the frame, with a $1M start, more than double the opening of Killers Of The Flower Moon and House of Gucci. 

The Top 5 to date are the UK ($14.4M), France ($12.2M), Spain ($8.7M), Germany ($8.2M) and Italy ($7.8M).

Disney’s Wish dipped 34% in the third frame (-30% excluding China). The weekend was good for $12.1M in 37 markets. Strong holds were seen in Germany (flat), Spain (-7%) and France (-23%). Denmark was new, with a No. 1 start of $700K, 92% over Elemental (+114% including previews) which had the benefit of summer holidays.

Markets still to come include Italy, Australia, Japan, Korea and Brazil.

The international cume is $56.1M for $105.5M global. The Top 5 markets to date are France ($7.1M), UK ($7M), Germany ($5.8M), China ($5.7M) and Mexico ($4.3M).

Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes slithered to another $11M for an offshore cume of $143.3M and lifting global to $279M.

Trolls Band Together (UNI): $2.7M intl weekend (73 markets); $90.7M intl cume/$173.8M global
Thanksgiving (SNY): $2.5M intl weekend (55 markets); $11.8M intl cume/$42.3M global
Five Nights at Freddy’s (UNI): $1M intl weekend (78 markets); $151.4M intl cume/$288.6M global
Killers of the Flower Moon (PAR): $400K intl weekend (44 markets); $88.6M intl cume/$155.5M global
Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie (PAR): $300K intl weekend (39 markets); $130.4M intl cume/$195.6M global


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