SUNDAY UPDATE, Refresh for latest…: There was simply no clowning around for Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios Joker which has grossed a phenomenal $234M worldwide in its first weekend out. Of that, Todd Phillips origins story made $140.5M from 73 markets at the international box office. The figures set a new October record, topping last years Venom which previously held the months mantle for best domestic, overseas and global openings.
The results on the Joaquin Phoenix-starrer are simply staggering, particularly versus what sources saw as a dicey movie to call and one with starkly lower predictions. It was considered a difficult one to read in offshore markets where there was concern that Joker risked to be frontloaded by fanboys during early play (which began on Wednesday, see previous posts below) and perhaps not perform like a superhero movie since it doesnt fit the genre to which weve become accustomed. Ultimately, Joker was so in the zeitgeist, aided in part by its mass coverage coming out of the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion win, that people turned out.
Thats perhaps nowhere more surprising than in Korea which was considered a swing. The market is sophisticated and discerning, but wasnt seen as a slam-dunk on this super dark pic. And yet, it is the biggest hub overseas with $16.3M for the best WB opening ever.
Korea even topped the UK which came in with $14.8M. Mexico, which was expected to be strong, rounds out the Top 3 at $13.1M for WBs 2nd best debut ever, behind Batman V Superman. Japan is also a notable market, and one that was also expected to be significant. We do not have exits yet on the $7M start from 360 screens there, but given that females tend to drive theater-going decisions, we will keep an eye out on how the demo stacked up.
In other international highlights, Joker is the biggest WB opening weekend of the year in 39 markets including UK, Russia, Italy, Spain, Poland, UAE, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico and Australia.
It is WBs best October launch ever in 21 markets including Spain, UAE, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. Further, its DCs best in six markets including Holland, Italy, Japan, Korea and Chile.
Joker is the No. 1 film in Europe and WBs best opening weekend regionally for the year (France and Germany open next week). Ditto in Latin America where there was some concern that the family nature of audiences (despite also having an attraction to horror) would not lean into Joker. Some of the smaller Asian markets, which go for action, were also thought to perhaps drop off quickly since this may not have been the film they were expecting. Indonesia and Taiwan, nevertheless, were quite keen at $5.9M and $2.9M, respectively. We will see about frontloading as the midweeks roll forth.
In IMAX, Joker also scored a new milestone for the month internationally with $9M from 367 screens in 67 markets to best the record held by Doctor Strange ($7.6M) since 2016.
IMAX next week puts Paramounts Gemini Man on 704 screens in 63 markets. This session, the Ang Lee-directed pic opened in regular release in five hubs. It was No. 1 in each of France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Israel and grossed $7M. The result is notably 54% above Edge Of Tomorrow and 29% over Will Smith-starrer After Earth. A further 54 markets go this coming week.
DreamWorks Animation/Pearl Studios Abominable was the top Hollywood holdover at $13.4M, $11.2M of that coming from China where Pearl is handling. The offshore cume in all markets combined is $38.5M for $76.3M global.
Abominable, however, got stuck in a snowdrift of Chinese movies in the Middle Kingdom during the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Republic celebrations. Three local pics debuted last Monday (September 30) and have overshadowed all play. They are led by My People, My Country at about $299M over seven days and followed by The Captain (estimated $261M) and The Climbers, starring Wu Jing and Jackie Chan, which has grossed $111M. Combined, the three titles set a National Holiday IMAX record with $16.4M over the 7-day period.
Breakdowns on the films above and more are being updated below.
Debuting in 73 offshore markets and blowing away projections, Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios Joker danced off with a happy face full of $140.5M from 22,522 screens. This is a new international October opening record, besting Venoms $127M from last year. The Todd Phillips-directed origins story is also the best domestic October start and same goes for worldwide at $234M to also top Venom.
The curiosity factor after huge build-up clearly worked in Jokers favor, but still startled prognosticators who saw it coming in lower given the violence and non-superhero nature despite the titular Batman villain as focus. Internationally, however, there was less concern over incidents at moviehouses. How much of this is frontloaded will bear out during the midweeks and next weekend, which still adds powerhouse hubs France and Germany. It is not currently expected to get a China date.
As noted above, the Joaquin Phoenix-starrer set a host of records for WB, it was also the No. 1 U.S. title in all release markets this session.
Breaking down the markets, Korea leads at $16.3M on 1,418 screens for WBs best ever opening. This was a surprise to many who considered Korea a swing. More will be known about exits on Monday.
The UK grossed $14.8M from 669 screens to take 75% of the Top 5 films. Mexico did $13.1M from 4,684 screens, dominating with 86% of the Top 5 and setting WBs 2nd biggest opening weekend of all time, behind another DC film, Batman V Superman.
In Russia, the gross was $10M from 1,907 screens for the 2nd best DC opening (behind Suicide Squad) and the 2nd best October start (behind Venom).
Brazil brought in $7.3M on 1,606 with a 79% share of the Top 5. Latin America was also a concern going in give the family-leaning audiences. They do like superheroes and horror, so it could be that combination worked in favor of Joker.
Japan saw the best October and WB start ever with a fantastic $7M from 360 screens. This was one market that folks believed would lean into Joker.
Italy, where the origins story kicked off in style at the Venice Film Festival (winning the Golden Lion), made $6.8M from 780 screens. Australia was good for $6.6M on 556.
Indonesia spent $5.9M on 1,190 screens, with a remarkable 89% share of the Top 5 films and coming in as the 3rd biggest opening ever for a DC title and the 4th highest debut weekend ever for WB.
Spain offered $4.6M from 658. India, where a big local film was in play, made $3.9M from 461 screens to track as the 2nd best launch weekend ever for DC. Taiwan contributed $2.9M from 221 and the UAE added $2.7M on 85 for the 2nd best WB start ever.
In IMAX, Joker set a new October record globally with $16.5M. It also hit a new high internationally with $9M from 367 screens in 67 markets (over 30 of those also scored new records including India, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy and UAE).
Paramount/Skydances Will Smith vs Will Smith sci-fi thriller began rollout in just five markets this session, grossing $7M and landing No. 1 spot in each hub. There are another 54 markets to go next weekend including the UK, Russia, Australia, Korea, Brazil and Mexico. That will represent 85% of the overall international footprint. Critics over at Rotten Tomatoes have so far not been kind to Gemini Man, though Smith remains a draw internationally.
For this opening frame, the Ang Lee-directed pic about an over-the-hill hitman who is being hunted by a younger clone of himself, came in 54% ahead of Edge Of Tomorrow and 29% above Smiths After Earth. 3D+ box office was 49% of the total weekend.
In France, the high-frame-rate pic grossed $3M from 513 locations while Germany also brought in $3M, from 550 sites. Switzerland made $434K at 83, Austria did $262K at 61 cinemas and Israel gave Lee his best opener ever with $259K at 47 locations.
DreamWorks Animation/Pearl Studios Abominable added $13.4M in 43 Universal markets and another $11.2M in China via Pearl for a combined overseas weekend of $24.6M. The running cume is $38.5M in what is a staggered offshore release. Globally, the Jill Culton-directed movie is at $76.3M.
Russia was a strong No. 2 opening behind Joker with $3.8M to land inline with Trolls as school holidays begin this week. The rest were a mix of No. 2s and 3s with Italy at No. 3 ($872K/380 locations). Among other debuts, Indonesia was a No. 2 with 342 from 250.
In holds, Australia and Germany saw bumps of 47% and 25%, respectively thanks to local holidays. The grosses there are $4.2M and $1.8M. Mexico has a running cume of $4.1M after two weekends.
Still to come are France, Spain, UK, Japan and Korea. Finance sources tell us the picture should end up being profitable when all markets play out. Although China was a disappointment given the themes, animation can have a rough time there (Ne Zha notwithstanding) and it simply got buried by a host of propaganda titles that dominated the National Day holiday. As a Chinese co-production, the recoup is bigger than usual at about 43% versus the standard 25%, ancillary is also shared in one pot by the production companies.
Fox/New Regencys Ad Astra added another $7.3M in its third frame, lifting the offshore cume to $67.7M from 47 markets. The global tally is $111.4M in the Disney territories. The studio is not handling distribution of the film in China, Taiwan or Hong Kong.
Holds on the Brad Pitt-starrer were good in Germany (-12%), Switzerland (-37%), Italy (-43%), Spain (-47%) and Chile (-49%).
The current lead markets is the UK at $6.9M, followed by France ($6.8M), Japan ($5.5M), Russia ($4.7M) and Spain ($4.6M) to round out the Top 5.
Focus/Carnivals invitation to the estate was worth another $6.6M in the session. Offshore the cume on the Universal release is $61.8M for $135.4M global. The UK continues to lead play at $27.7M after a 45% drop in the frame and landing at No. 3. Australia has now grossed $7.7M after a slight 37% dip and Germany also saw a strong hold (-6%) for $4.4M to date. Still to come are Italy, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan (there is no China date yet).
SATURDAY UPDATE: The performance of Warner Bros/Village Roadshows Joker is no joke as the Todd Phillips-directed origins story continues to outperform comps and projections at the international box office. With a $32.7M Friday, the cume through three days is $57.2M in 73 markets. The Joaquin Phoenix-starrer is now looking at a possible offshore weekend bow of $110M+. If that holds, along with domestic expectations, it is also looking at a $200M+ global opening, and further has a shot at overtaking Venoms 2018 record October global debut. As we have noted throughout, sources agree Joker wass a tough one to call because of its hard-R nature and the fact that its not a straight-up superhero pic.
The final numbers this weekend will depend on the Friday-to-Saturday bump overseas and how heavily — or not — the film is frontloaded. Regardless, there is plenty of reason for Warners and the filmmakers to put on a happy face.
The major openers on Friday were the UK, Mexico, Japan and Spain. And, as expected (see below), they were each strong. In the UK, Joker had a 77% share of the Top 5 films with an estimated $4.7M from 669 screens. This is ahead of nearly all comps and is by far the biggest WB launch day of 2019.
Mexico generated an estimated $4.2M from 4,344 screens, dominating with 81% of the Top 5 and ranking as the 2nd biggest opening day ever for a WB film (behind only Batman V Superman).
Japan, which is typically a slow-burn market, took in an estimated $1.9M from 360 screens, taking the top spot and ranking as the biggest opening day for a WB film in 2019 as well as the biggest opening day of all time for a DC title.
Spain debuted to an estimated $1.4M from 658 screens, good for 71% of the Top 5, tracking ahead of nearly all the comps and taking the biggest opening day for a WB film this year.
In holds, Korea has cumed $9.2M through Friday. With todays local estimate (not included in any of the figures above), the total through Saturday in that market is $12.9M at a dominant No. 1.
Russia added $2M from 1,907 screens on Friday for a running two-day tally of $3.9M. Australia has grossed $3.1M; Italy is at $2.5M after two days and has Joker at a cleaRead More – Source