‘Joker’s Smile Widens To $351M Overseas, $544M Global; ‘Gemini Man’ Expands For $60M WW – International Box Office

Nancy Tartaglione

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UPDATE,writethru: After arriving with a massive jolt last weekend, Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios’ Joker maintained a serious grip on audiences this frame. The sophomore session’s international box office is estimated at $123.7M in 79 markets. That reps a 29% drop from opening, and brings the offshore tally to $351.2M after only 12 days in release. Globally, the Todd Phillips-directed origins story danced past the half-billion mark with $543.9M through Sunday.

In Europe, the Joaquin Phoenix-starrer has already surpassed the lifetime cumes of Logan, Justice League and Wonder Woman. In Asia, Arthur Fleck has flown by Logan, The Dark Knight and It Chapter Two. And, in Latin America, the run is currently on par with Batman V Superman, and over Justice League (+15%), Wonder Woman (+62%) and Venom (+68%) while also more than double The Dark Knight.

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New openers included France which was a $10.3M start from 630 screens and with a 71% share of the Top 5 films. This is the biggest opening of 2019 for WB in the market and the 2nd best ever for DC (behind The Dark Knight Rises). Likewise, Germany hit similar benchmarks with $9.3M from 912 screens.

The top hubs so far are the UK ($36.9M), Mexico ($28.9M), Korea ($28M), Russia ($20.4M) and Brazil ($18M).

Meanwhile, Paramount/Skydance’s Gemini Man added $31.1M in 58 markets after a small early rollout last session. Including the 53 new openings this weekend, the offshore cume is $39M in 85% of the international footprint. The high-frame-rate pic from Ang Lee saw 26% of its grosses come in 3D+ and reps Lee’s best launch result in 25 markets. Globally, the Will Smith-starrer is at $59.5M.

Faced with the zeitgeist-y Joker, Gemini Man came in largely at No. 2s or lower in its debuts this session. Mexico and Russia led with $2.7M each. France, which bowed last weekend, saw a decent hold and leads all play at $5.1M.

While Smith proved again he can be a big draw overseas with this summer’s surprise Aladdin success, the fact that the technologically envelope-pushing Gemini Man is more story-based than action-driven is a hindrance in some offshore markets and the high frame rate is still jarring for some audiences. As Anthony has noted, we’re told the movie would need to gross $275M worldwide to reach break-even, which would occur two years after all material ancillary markets play out. That isn’t looking likely. However, risk was spread with financing between Paramount (35%), Skydance (35%), Alibaba (5%) and Fosun (25%).

Still to come are markets that lean into Lee and Smith including China, Taiwan and Japan. We understand Smith, who has been very active on social with the film, is due to visit China and Japan. In China, where 25% flows back to the production, there will be some competition as Gemini will share screens with Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil next weekend. There are school/national holidays in a number offshore markets this week so we’ll see how Gemini Man holds and expands.

Also of note, DreamWorks Animation/Pearl Studios’ Abominable trekked across the $100M global mark, despite an underperformance in China and with France still to come.

Focus/Carnival’s Downton Abbey hit a new milestone, breaking the $150M barrier worldwide while the UK topped $30M. This is ahead of releases (via Universal) in Italy, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan.

Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below.

HOLDOVERS/EXPANSIONS
JOKER
After breaking out last weekend in serious fashion, Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios’ Joker saw a mere 29% drop in holdover markets. It has grabbed the zeitgeist and become a must-see after its Venice Golden Lion win which helped position the not-quite-a-superhero-movie as an awards-season hybrid. Curiosity is out there.

The sophomore session was worth $123.7M on on 24,149 screens in 79 markets. That takes the overseas cume to $351.2M through Sunday and after only 12 days in release. Globally, this well-priced pic is now at $543.9M.

Joker is not expected to see a China release, though social media there is giving it high scores. How high it goes overall will depend on the continued offshore play. Its must-see factor thwarted Gemini Man internationally as well as domestically. Upcoming next weekend is Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil which targets a different demo but will also take some screens.

In international highlights on Joker, it is the No. 1 Hollywood movie in 73 of the 79 markets in release and was tops in all of its six openings this session. That includes being the biggest DC start ever in Austria and Switzerland.

Regionally, the European drop was 24% and Latin America was 26% off the launch. As noted above, Joker is riding high among comps.

Whereas Korea led all play last weekend, the UK is the top market this frame with a $12M second weekend and a slight 22% slide. The cume there is $36.9M. France was next this session at $10.3M as it kicked off on 630 screens. Germany was also new in the frame with $9.3M at No. 1 (both France and Germany got Gemini Man early last session).

Mexico saw a 37% drop and has cumed $28.9M to date while Brazil slipped only 6% to rake in $18M so far. Korea shed 53% while still holding No. 1 in the second frame to cume $28M. Fast-burn Russia had an even better hold at -36% for a $20.4M cume to date. In Italy, where Joker first launched out of Venice, the dip was just 11% for $16.7M to date.

Australia (-23%/$14.9M cume), Spain (-3%/$13M) and Japan (-51%/$15.4M) are other standouts.

The Top 10 so far are UK ($36.9M), Mexico ($28.9M), Korea ($28M), Russia ($20.4M), Brazil ($18M), Japan ($15.4M), Australia ($14.9M), Spain ($13M), Indonesia ($11.3M) and France ($10.3M).

GEMINI MAN
Ang Lee’s story of an over-the-hill hitman who is being hunted by a younger clone of himself expanded to 53 new markets this session, picking up $31.1M along the way. That lifts the offshore cume on the Paramount/Skydance pic to $39M in 85% of the overseas footprint. International has been expected to carry the bulk of the grosses on this technologically envelope-pushing picture, and a boost from China next weekend — as well as Japan and Lee’s native Taiwan the following session — is hoped for. Boding well for China is that 26% of this weekend’s box office was repped by 3D+. However, there will be competition globally from Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil next session which will also vie for premium screens.

Lee had his biggest opening ever in 25 overseas markets which were led by Mexico with $2.7M fro 863 locations. That was good for No. 2 which is largely where Gemini Man landed in the face of Joker’s stranglehold on the global box office (outside China where local pic The Captain led the frame).

In Russia, Gemini Man was No. 3 with $2.7M from 1,800 cinemas. Likewise, Korea was a No. 3 start with $2.2M from 757. Same goes for the UK at $2.2M from 526. Indonesia landed No. 2 with $1.3M from 348.

Other key markets include Australia (No. 3/$1.2M/271 sites), Spain (No. 4/$1.2M/339), Brazil (No. 2/$1.1M/494), Italy (No. 2/$1.1M/466) and UAE (No. 2/$1.1M/60).

France leads all play with a $5.1M cume after two weekends and a solid hold.

The movie’s offshore promotion tapped into both Smith and Lee with immersive campaigns that introduced the technology and posed the question of Youth vs Experience. In September, before Gemini Man launched early in Germany, the film featured at IFA Berlin, the biggest international Consumer Electronics Show. Lee also did a day of press in Paris before the early French debut. Both Germany and France opened No. 1 last weekend.

Smith and the filmmakers also returned to Budapest, one of the key cities featured in the film, for a big event at Buda Castle and a concert with Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff celebrating the star’s 51st birthday. Viacom International Media Networks further has supported the movie while sporting events pushes included the Rugby World Cup and the Euro Cup Qualifiers. The global press tour continues in Asia this week.

ABOMINABLE
DreamWorks Animation/Pearl Studios’ animated pic added $14.1M from 51 Universal markets for a Universal offshore cume of $46.4M. Including China, where Pearl has the movie (which has underperformed), the full overseas total to date is $60.1M. Globally, the picture crossed the $100M mark, now at $108.1M.

The UK had a decent opening at No. 2 with $2.7M from 549 locations. Spain was also a No. 2 play at 322 for $1.44M. Russia is the top hold with a running total of $7.5M after two weekends and a good 39% drop. France gets the yeti next weekend.

MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Downton Abbey (UNI): $4.1M intl weekend (34 markets); $70M intl cume ($152.7M global)
Hustlers (STX): $3.9M intl weekend (30 markets); $23.6M intl cume ($121.6M global)
The Angry Birds Movie 2 (SNY): $3M intl weekend (45 markets); $94.6M intl cume ($136M global)
Ad Astra (DIS/FOX): $2.9M intl weekend (43 markets); $73.3M intl cume ($120.3M global)
It Chapter Two (WB): $2.3M intl weekend (75 markets); $238.5M intl cume ($445.7M global)
Dora And The Lost City Of Gold (PAR): $1.9M intl weekend (31 markets); $53M intl cume ($113.3M global)
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (SNY): $1.5M intl weekend (48 markets); $227M intl cume ($367M global)
Good Boys (UNI): $700K intl weekend (23 markets); $26.7M intl cume ($109.4M global)
Yesterday (UNI): $500K intl weekend (20 markets); $72.5M intl cume ($145.8M global)

Keeping tabs on China in the wake of the National Day holiday, the local cumes are led by propaganda omnibus My People, My Country now at an estimated $362.6M, followed by this weekend’s leader The Captain at $343M and Wu Jing-starrer The Climbers at an underperforming $138M. Louis Koo-starrer, A Witness Out Of The Blue was new this session at $15.1M. Next weekend sees the return of Hollywood to the Middle Kingdom with Gemini Man and Maleficent 2.

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