• Industry

World Box Office

Strong international numbers made this a very good week for several major studios.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s foreign-first strategy paid dividends as the film opened to a tidy $75.2 million. Starring Chris Evans in the title role, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel Jackson, Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford, Marvel Studio’s sequel has yet to open in key markets China, Russia, Australia and of course North America. The star studded thriller has been very well received in its 32 opening territories and managed $10.9 million in South Korea, $10.7 million in the UK, $6.4 million in Mexico, $6.4 million in France, and $3.9 and $3.8 million in Italy and Germany.
The weekend has provided another reason to celebrate for Captain distributor Disney International: Golden Globes and Oscar winner Frozen has become the biggest animation movie of all time. It continued to set the global box office alight, adding a further $8 million to bring its international total to $674 million. This weekend’s haul takes the total gross to $1.072 billion which means the global phenomenon has now overtaken Pirate’s of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Toy Story 3 to claim number ten in all time box-office income. It held the top spot in Japan where it has reached a total of $50,5 million and among its top markets it lists South Korea ($77.1 million) the U.K. ($64.6 million) and China ($48.9 million) followed by Germany, France, Russia, Australia and Italy. There was also good news for Warner Bros and Village Roadshow as The Lego Movie cruised past the $400 million mark to become the first release of 2014 to reach this target. With over 150 of those millions coming from overseas, the animated crossover hit directed by 21 Jump Street duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller and starring among others the vocal talents of Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman
has demonstrated its international appeal. It has yet to open in key markets Germany
and Australia.
Back in the live action arena, Darren Aronofsky’s controversial bible drama Noah opened to $51million in 20 international markets. It did particularly well in Russia, where its $17 million debut generated the biggest opening ever for a non-sequel. It seems that despite a President Vladimir Putin led initiative to impose a 50% cap on foreign releases, Russian filmgoers still have a hearty appetite for Hollywood fare. A $44 million North American gross brought the Aronofsky helmed epic, which features heavyweights Russell Crowe, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson and Jenifer Connelly, to a cumulative opening of $95 million. Unlike last month’s Christian release Son of God which opened at $26.5 million domestically, Noah has been well received by both religious and secular audiences in the U.S. and elsewhere. In Australia, the Biblical epic has produced $4.3 million, finishing comfortably in this week’s number one spot. It continues to do well in Mexico and South Korea, where it has reached $11.3 and 12.4 millions respectively and is set to open in the U.K., Germany, Brazil and Spain, followed by France, Italy and Japan in the coming weeks.
Last week’s international champion Need For Speed brought in another $13.3 million to climb to a total of 130 and Brazilian audiences flocked to Rio 2 in droves, bringing a record $7.5 million opening for the animated release. The 3D tropical adventure has netted a respectable $29.7 international cumulative from only three markets in its first two weeks.
Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, starring an impressive cast of Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Owen Wilson, Jude Law,
Jeff Goldbloom and Jason Schwartzman, continued its good run. A hearty $7.5 million take
from 28 territories brought the cult director’s number one international hit to a
$45.1 million total.
It was not a good weekend on the other hand for Arnold Schwarzenegger as his latest attempt to revive his acting career, Sabotage, opened to just $5.3 million in a massive 2,486 theatres. A major disappointment, as his other recent films The Last Stand and Escape Plan also turned out to be flops at the box office. For the 66-year old former Governor, it may be time to consider whether moviegoers still take him seriously as an action star.
Lorenzo Soria [gallery:3394]