• Box Office

World Box Office, September 19-25

This week’s box office number tell a very interesting story about star power and audiences’ preferences. Domestically, director Antoine Fuqua’s take on legendary 1960 western The Magnificent Seven led the charge with $35 million right out of the gate, easily beating rival openers Storks, Queen of Katwe and The Dressmaker. Internationally, Bridget Jones’s Baby kept its headlining post for the second week in a row with an additional $21.9 million total from 47 territories, for a very healthy cume of $83.6 million.

Magnificent Seven’s performance is no small feat, either domestically or internationally. It marks Antoine Fuqua’s best domestic box office performance ever, and asserts star Denzel Washington’s star power stateside and in several key overseas markets, where the western opened strong. Westerns have been a difficult genre to sell internationally, and, in most cases, domestically. It takes a lot of big names – Quentin Tarantino! Jamie Foxx! Leonardo Di Caprio! – to push a horses-and-guns picture abroad, and Fuqua’s film did very well indeed, aided by Denzel, plus audience favorite Chris Pratt and, in Asian markets, Byung-Hun Lee. An international cume of $24.8 is to be celebrated, and Seven comfortably beat the other worldwide opener of the week, Warner’s animated feature Storks.

The prowess, however, was not enough to topple the clear international favorite, Bridget Jones’s Baby. The Renee Zelwegger's vehicle – and third installment in the franchise launched in 2001 by Bridget Jones’ s Diary – all but fizzled stateside. Overseas, however, it keeps selling tickets, led by the UK, where it took the number one spot for the second week in a row. Eight new markets including Italy, New Zealand and Iceland added to the push – and next week Brazil, Korea and Malaysia will have their Baby.

In a year when all-audiences animation has performed spectacularly – Zootopia, Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets and hybrid The Jungle Book – the disappointing performance of Warner Bros.’ Storks was a surprise. At a production cost of $70 million, Storks – about, yes, the adventures of big magic birds that deliver babies – opened in third place domestically, with $21.8 million. Internationally, the toon took $18.3 million from 33 markets, with Latin America answering for 40% of this total and putting the feathered fellows in the number one spot in several countries, including key LatAm markets Mexico and Brazil. In the highly coveted Chinese market Storks opened in fourth place, behind three local titles: action pics Z Storm II in third, romantic drama Soul Mate in second and epic A Chinese Odyssey: Part Three in the top spot.

Two new entries stateside are still trying the waters in limited release: Disney’s Queen of Katwe, the real-life story of an African chess genius, directed by Mira Nair and starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo and Broad Green/Amazon’s quirky dramatic comedy The Dressmaker, directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and starring Kate Winslet.

Next week brings Tim Burton’s anticipated Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the eco-disaster drama Deepwater Horizon and Cannes darling American Honey – plus the international expansion of The Magnificent Seven.

See the complete box office estimates for this week: