EXCLUSIVE: Following a strong start at the international box office last weekend, Voltage Pictures’ After We Collided had another passionate run overseas this session. In 21 markets, the sequel to 2019 $70M worldwide hit After added $4.2M this weekend to reach a running tally of $21M. The film will continue overseas rollout through September while Open Road launches it domestically on October 23. Two further sequels were announced last week.
Overseas, the UK is particularly notable. After bowing last weekend on just 59 screens via Shear Entertainment, theaters rallied to up the count to 380. The current weekend, which had good weather working against it, jumped 18% for a cume there of $947K cume to date. The first film was not released theatrically in the market, selling instead to Netflix, but an online push asked fans to let exhibition know how much they wanted to see the movie in a cinema.
Says Voltage President and COO Jonathan Deckter, “Our success in the UK is a testament to the power of a strategic grassroots social campaign that spoke directly to our film’s target audience in the forum they prefer. Traditional release marketing will always have its place, but as far as Afternators are concerned, they live and breathe social.”
Cruel Intentions’ Roger Kumble directs the follow-up to Tessa and Hardin’s story that’s based on Anna Todd’s bestselling YA novels, which started out on the fan-fiction website Wattpad. The thriftily-priced teen romance has been a pandemic era breakout — and that’s despite not being able to do a similar offshore push with Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Josephine Langford and Todd traveling extensively last year to big fan events, book signings, premieres, Q&As and photo calls in several markets. Todd has a highly-engaged base that turned out in the thousands at appearances and helped boost social with the global #aftermovie hashtag. Dylan Sprouse joined the cast for the sequel which Todd wrote with Mario Celaya.
Germany (via Constantin) has $5.24M to date, leading all play and tracking 10% above the first movie. It’s followed by Italy (via Leone) where After We Collided opened No. 1 last weekend and has now grossed $4.24M. During an event in Milan last year near the Duomo, Deckter tells me the entire square was “full of screaming kids” and Hero and Josephine were “like the Beatles. People were camped outside the hotels in every country for hours and in the rain in some cases just hoping to get a glimpse of them both.”
Other highlights include Spain where After We Collided has exceeded After in 10 days with a current cume of $3M. Austria has topped After while Norway bowed 156% bigger than the original. Hungary is more than double the first movie at the same point in release.
In a world where capacity restrictions are still in force during the COVID era, the performance is impressive. Deckter explains that the film was originally eyeing an April/May overseas release, but then pushed to October 2 before shifting that scenario when Wonder Woman 1984 took the same date (the WB film moved again just yesterday). “We had a group Zoom with the European distributors in late June — just after Wonder Woman declared October 2 — and we had a big decision to make, push back or move forward. All of the European distributors saw a gap in the market and made the case to go early September and we agreed. The release pattern on this film was always to have international lead the charge since the first film out performed the U.S. by 400%.”
After We Collided sees Hardin Scott (Fiennes Tiffin) and Tessa Young (Langford) go through the aftermath of their break up. While Hardin falls into some bad habits, Tessa, armed with a new confidence, lands the internship of her dreams at Vance publishing company and grabs the attention of her handsome new co-worker Trevor (Sprouse), who is exactly the kind of guy she should be with. However, Tessa cannot get Hardin out of her head. She wishes she could walk away, but it’s just not that easy. Through all their ups and downs, the wrongs and rights, Hardin and Tessa will fight to be together — even if the universe wants them to be apart.
The next two films, After We Fell and After Ever Happy are going into production. Castille Landon will direct both.
The tales of first love hail from Todd’s series of five books that have been read more than 1.9B times on Wattpad. Simon & Schuster imprint Gallery Books has published five titles in the series that are now available in over 35 languages.
After We Collided producers are Mark Canton, Jennifer Gibgot, Courtney Solomon, Todd and Aron Levitz.