Refresh for latest…: Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil came within, but on the low end, of pre-weekend industry projections with $117M at the international box office. Counting the disappointing domestic opening of $36M, the global debut is $153M.
Heading into the launch session, the industry was seeing a $115M-$125M overseas start for the Angelina Jolie sequel. The result is above the original’s 2014 opening of $109M in like-for-like markets and at today’s rates — just a roughly 7% bump.
The film did see upswings in weekend play and with good audience scores — plus, there’s nothing in the way in the coming weeks, apart from local product, until Disney’s own Frozen II in November. Disney’s President Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management and Business & Audience Insights, Cathleen Taff tells Deadline the film, which saw piçk-up on Saturday and Sunday, “seems to be connecting with fans and we are looking to have word of mouth propel a good run.”
But there are some problem areas here. In Japan, a mixture of factors worked against the picture this weekend. First and foremost is Joker which provided villainous competition, jumping 36% from last session to become the No. 2 DC movie ever in the market at $25.3M.
Japan was the top overseas hub for Maleficent, and in 2014 took over No. 1 from Disney’s own Frozen which had held the spot for 16 weeks at the time. This weekend, Joker gave the evil mistress a run for her money. Other factors in Japan this frame include lingering effects from last weekend’s devastating typhoon, and today’s Rugby World Cup quarter final which was played this evening local time with the home team in contention.
While China was a tangled web this weekend with local title The Captain and Japanese entry One Piece: Stampede making a run, and Gemini Man having a longer lead-time to market, Maleficent did come in No. 1 at $22.4M. That’s 15% above the original, but a finish just on par with that film is portended. Maleficent 2 has a 6.2 on reviews aggregator Douban, though a better 9.1 on Maoyan. China was No. 2 on Maleficent The First.
As we noted in our global preview, the first Maleficent finaled at $517M abroad, although translated to today that would be about $380M given currency swings in the intervening period. (That movie also had benefited from counter programming agains the soccer World Cup.)
Maleficent did scrum strong in Russia with $10.7M for the second highest ever Disney Live Action opening, behind only The Lion King. Largely across Europe (outside Italy among majors), Mistress Of Evil was No. 2 behind Joker.
Looking more closely at Joker, the Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios’ origins story just will not stop laughing. The drop overseas this weekend was 37% for another $77.8M. The offshore cume is now $490.3M for $737.5M global. Todd Phillips’ zeitgeist-grabbing movie is headed to the $900M zone — and all the more remarkably, without China.
Joker is now the 4th highest grossing DC film ever overseas and the biggest DC pic in 17 markets including Italy, Spain, Russia, Argentina and Mexico. Other moves on the chart include being the 3rd highest grossing DC film in Europe and Asia, and the 4th best in Latin America.
In key markets, the drops were less than 50% including that 36% increase in Japan. The UK currently leads at $50M.
As for Gemini Man, the Will Smith-starrer bowed at No. 2 in China with $21M. Chinese company Fosun has rights there and had extra lead time to market the picture which has a 7.1 on Douban and an 8 on Maoyan. The full international cume after three weekends is $82.2M.
Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap was new overseas this weekend with $5.3M in 17 early markets to track 41% ahead of the original at current exchange rates in like-for-likes.
Breakdowns on the titles above and more are being updated below.