cinemaworld2ND UPDATE: 12:35 PM PT MONDAY: Actuals are starting to roll in for the weekend’s movies. Holdover 300: Rise Of An Empire was slightly up from estimates, taking $41.6M versus $41.3M from 62 markets for an international cume of $159.6M. Russia remains its top territory with $14.6M. Its worldwide chest is now at about $237.7M. Universal released local romantic comedy 8 Apellidos Vascos in Spain to a better-than-estimated $3.93M at 321 dates. The Emilio Martínez Lázaro-directed movie opened No. 1 on Friday and had a mega 105% bump on Saturday. Its previous estimate was $3.8M for the weekend. Putting that in perspective, its opening was 150% bigger than The Hangover and 43% over the studio’s own Ted in 2012. Local movies were strong this weekend with five titles in Rentrak’s Top 18. The biggest was Dany Boon’s Supercondriaque which continued its run in France adding $4.5M for a $35M cume. Also in France, comedy Fiston scored $4.25M for SND. Movie attendance will get a boost this week as the annual Printemps du Cinéma promotion kicked off yesterday and runs through Tuesday; ticket prices are slashed to 3.50 euros ($4.87) for all showings of all films throughout the country. Along with the above, the other local pics to break into the top group were Korea’s Elegant Lies with $3.5M, and Fox International Productions’ El Crimen del Cacaro Gumaro which took $2.2M in Mexico. Liam Neeson actioner Non-Stop, in its 3rd frame in the UK, added $1.5M for a local haul of $11.49M. Further numbers will come later for Non-Stop in the rest of its markets, although Rentrak estimates it added $12.5M for a $59M cume internationally, and a worldwide take of $127.8M. Figures are adjusted below, and UK grosses have been added for Non-Stop and Scarlett Johansson-starrer Under The Skin.

1ST UPDATE, 1:00 AM PT: After the $88.8M international debut of 300: Rise Of An Empire last week, business was down this frame by about 20% across the top titles. Need For Speed was the top movie, opening in 40 markets for $45.6M. Still, this weekend was a 30% improvement over the similar period last year. This same weekend in 2013 saw Oz, The Great And Powerful continue at No. 1 and A Good Day To Die Hard opened in China to $16M+. As ever, China figures heavily in this week’s box office: About half of Need For Speed‘s overseas haul came from the booming country. (Territory breakdowns are after the original post below.) Next weekend sees the international rollouts begin for dystopian young adult actioner Divergent, the latest from Kermit and crew, Muppets Most Wanted; animated sequel Rio 2; and Paramount’s Noah which will sail to Mexico and Korea.

Highlights: Need For Speed (Dis/various) accelerates to $45.6M international; 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB) brings its cume to $158M with an additional $41.3M; Frozen (Dis) skates to $9.4M Japanese opening, boding well for an historic outcome; Mr Peabody & Sherman (Fox) adds $15.3M; Robocop (SPRI/MGM) opens in Japan; Universal’s Spanish romcom 8 Apellidos Vascos breaks local records; The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox) crosses $20M in strong Euro holds; Wolf Of Wall Street (Uni/various) now at $260M international; solid legs for Oscar pics…

PREVIOUS SUNDAY 12:29 PM PT: Car race actioner Need For Speed opened in 40 international territories this weekend nabbing an estimated $45.6M in the process. That’s more than two and a half times its lower-than-expected domestic estimate of $17.8M. The worldwide tally is now an estimated $63.4M for a picture budgeted at $66M+ — and there are some hefty markets to come including Germany, Korea and Japan. Based on the super popular Electronic Arts videogame series, the DreamWorks picture is handled by Disney in the U.S., Asia Pacific and Latin America, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa are overseen by Mister Smith Entertainment. Unsurprisingly, China accounted for the bulk of the movie’s international take this weekend with an approximate $21.2M. That was good for a No. 1 at the finish line. Also, it set a new March record for IMAX in China: At 138 dates, Need For Speed is projected to have revved up $2.4M in large format takings over the weekend.

need for speedThe China perf of Need For Speed is no surprise given the overall performance of U.S. movies there, but also because comparison title Fast & Furious 6 was a hot property in China last year. The territory went on to be its top overseas market and the film ended up with $550M internationally, more than double its domestic run. Earlier installments of that franchise were exceedingly popular in the UK, which is Need For Speed‘s 3rd biggest opening market overseas at $3.5M. There, it may help that Aaron Paul is known to audiences from Breaking Bad and Dominic Cooper is actually English. Need For Speed was also a No. 1 opener in Russia ($5.5M) and Malaysia ($1.9M), among others. Russia is the No. 2 market outside China for the movie. In one other comp: The last three Fast & Furious movies have been internationally top-heavy at the box office, largely outgrossing the ultimate domestic take.

300-Rise-of-an-Empire-2Last week’s No. 1 international title 300: Rise Of An Empire seized another $41.3M in 62 international markets for an estimated overseas cume of $158M. The lifetime cume of the original 300 was $245.5M. ROAE is playing on 12,500 screens with Brazil overtaking Russia as the top weekend market in its 2nd frame. In Brazil, the Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures title grossed an estimated $3.5M at 776 dates for a $10.9M cume. In Russia, the pic dropped to No. 2, falling in behind Need For Speed with an estimated $3M from 1,399 screens for a cume of $14.6M. Mexico (+$2.9M), Korea (+$2.8M), France (+$2.6M) and Italy (+$1.7M) continue to perform strongly.

FROZENMeanwhile, Disney’s Frozen, which held its Top 10 position at the domestic box office for the 17th straight weekend, is now open in all markets. It cast a spell in Japan this weekend to give Walt Disney Animation Studio its biggest opening of all-time there with an estimated $9.4M. That’s 13% off Monsters University’s opening last year – the film went on to be the No. 2 movie of 2013 in Japan with over $90M. I’m told that multiples for opening weekend in Japan can sometimes be as high as 15. If Frozen has legs there, it could potentially overtake Toy Story 3 as the biggest animated movie of all time. Disney’s Dave Hollis says the studio “couldn’t be more pleased with the starts out of Japan. It puts us on a path to challenging the all-time animation record,” which of course is also held by a Disney movie. Frozen’s total cume is now $1.026B, and Toy Story 3‘s was $1.063B. The latter film ultimately made $126.7M in Japan.

Japan was also a new precinct for MGM and Columbia’s Robocop. The movie, which has been doing strong business in China, opened in Japan this weekend to an estimated $1.4M on 310 screens. That was 57% bigger than the opening of Captain America: The First Avenger and in line with expectations. Overall, the movie added an estimated $5.5M including $2.3M in its 3rd frame in China, for a cume of $177.2M.

peabody-shermanAt No. 1 in the U.S. this weekend, holdover Mr Peabody & Sherman is also continuing its strong run overseas. The movie travelled to another $15.3M from 10,340 screens in 61 markets. The international cume is now $85.6M for the Fox release. In Germany particularly this week, the movie saw a 9% bump, adding a further $1.5M. It’s still got Australia, China and Korea to go. Similarly, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was also up 11% in its 2nd German frame with an extra $1.1M. The charmer added a total estimated $6.7M in 13 markets and now has an overseas cume of $20.1M.

In other big holdovers, Warner Bros’ The Lego Movie added $5.2M in 53 markets for an international cume of $142.1M. Upcoming releases include Australia on April 3 and Germany on April 10. Also from Warner, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug fired up an extra $2.3M overseas for a cume to date of $686.4M.

Ocho_apellidos_vascos-758602439-largeUniversal had a big local hit in Spain with 8 Apellidos Vascos (8 Basque Surnames). The romantic comedy opened No. 1 on Friday for a weekend estimate of $3.8M at 321 dates. That makes it the biggest original Spanish comedy opening of all time and the top debut of all films in Spain in 2014.

Also from Universal, Ride Along grossed $923K at 467 dates in 10 markets. Its international cume is now $11.45M. The movie moves next to Australia and Hungary on March 20. The Wolf Of Wall Street scored an extra $873K at 649 plays in Uni’s nine territories. It now has an international cume of $109.44M which, when added to non-Universal markets, jumps to an estimated $260M. It’s Martin Scorsese’s biggest hit internationally ever. A different kind of film, Endless Love, opened in Korea timed to the local White Day celebration for young couples. It grossed $125K at 195 dates and now has a cume of $8.1M across 14 territories. Oscar winner Dallas Buyers Club added $185K from 94 screens in the nine Latin American markets where Universal is handling it.

12 Years A SlaveOscar’s Best Picture 12 Years A Slave added an estimated $6.5M this weekend in 66 markets for a cume of $116M. Territories continuing to strongly embrace the movie this frame include Mexico (+$601K), Korea (+$488K), Italy (+$484K), Germany (+$392K) and the UK (+$314K).

book thiefGeorge Clooney’s The Monuments Men (Fox) opened at No. 3 with $3.2M in France where local comedies are dominating the box office. It also bowed No. 1 in Australia with $2.3M. Overall, it added an estimated $8.2M from 49 markets for a cume of $54.2M. Also from Fox, The Book Thief, which has World War II Germany as a backdrop, opened in that country this weekend in 9th place with an estimated $484K on 224 screens. The subject matter can be challenging in the local marketplace and the opening was somewhat disappointing. But, I’m told the older target audience should help it continue to play. It’s nearing the $50M overseas mark with a current cume of $46.7M. Meanwhile, Fox International Productions’ local comedy El Crimen Del Cacaro Gumaro opened No. 2 in Mexico on 1,092 screens for $2.2M.

I’ll be back later with more numbers and territory breakdowns.

CHINA
800px-Flag_of_the_People's_Republic_of_China.svgThis weekend’s big opener was Need For Speed. The day-and-date method paid off with the car race movie making more in China than it did domestically. The DreamWorks pic took an estimated $21.2M versus about $17.8M in North America. It also set an IMAX record for a March release in China. This was coming off of a handful of weekends that have seen strong debuts and holds. Robocop is in its 3rd frame in China where it just added an estimated $2.3M for a terrific cume of $48.8M. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug has been the other big title there and last week passed the lifetime haul of the first Hobbit movie in the territory.

JAPAN
robocop-2014Frozen charmed Japan this weekend with an estimated $9.4M. The juggernaut gave Walt Disney Animation Studio its biggest opening of all time in the market. As noted above, that’s 13% off Monsters University’s opening last year – a film which went on to be the No. 2 movie of 2013 at more than $90M. Opening weekends in Japan are not always as indicative of a film’s future performance as elsewhere. I’m told that multiples for openings can be six or nine or even 15 times the debut. If Frozen stays strong in Japan, it could top Toy Story 3 as the worldwide biggest animated movie ever. TS3‘s ultimate global tally was $1,063,171,911. But Frozen wasn’t the only movie to open in Japan this weekend, Robocop also visited with a solid $1.4M which was in line with expectations. In local titles, the latest installment of the popular Doraemon series, Doraemon: New Nobita’s Great Demon – Peko And The Exploration Party Of Five, continues to play after topping the box office last weekend. The Lego Movie opens next weekend.

ELSEWHERE IN ASIA
thread of liesOther notable performances in the region included Need For Speed’s No. 1 debut in Malaysia with $1.9M; ROAE’s $2.8M sophomore frame in Korea for a local cume of $10.6M; and Endless Love’s start in Korea with $115K at 188 dates in a tie-in with local young love celebration White Day. Holdover 12 Years A Slave also added a strong $488K in its 3rd frame there for a $3M cume. In new local releases, Thread Of Lies (aka Elegant Lies) was a big hit with $3.5M. Distributed by CJ Entertainment, the movie is based on the 2009 book Wooahan Geojitmal by Kim Ryeo-Ryeong. It follows family members and friends dealing with the aftermath of a young girl’s suicide. Lee Han (Punch) directs the movie that was No. 16 on the global chart this weekend.

RUSSIA
Outside China and the U.S., Russia was the biggest market for Need For Speed this weekend with an estimated $5.5M. ROAE, which went big in Russia last weekend with an opening of $9.2M, grossed an estimated $3M in its 2nd frame at 1,399 screens for the No. 2 position and a cume of $14.6M. Mr Peabody & Sherman had a strong hold of $2.04M from 2,016 screens. Endless Love added $110K at 278 dates for $639K in the market. The cume in 17 territories is $8.1M.

UK
grand-budapest-hotelNeed For Speed, via eOne, was the only major entrant this week in the UK where it opened on Wednesday and took an estimated $3.5M. The market is the 3rd biggest for the film which stars Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul and British actor Dominic Cooper, recently seen in Sky’s biopic about James Bond creator Ian Fleming. In its 2nd frame, Rise Of An Empire took $2.2M from 795 screens, down from $4.8M last weekend, for a local cume of $8.9M. Preliminary figures match up for The Grand Budapest Hotel which took an estimated $2.18M at 367 dates, down 15% off its 1st frame last week, but good for a No. 2. Non-Stop was in 5th place with $1.5M for a local haul of $11.49M. Universal’s Ride Along downshifted one notch to 6th place with $708K at 348 dates in its 3rd frame and with a 17-day total of $5.9M. Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave added an estimated $314K in its 10th week in the UK for a $32.3M cume. Amongst other openers this week, in either limited or key city release, included Warner Bros’ Ironclad 2: Battle For Blood and Veronica Mars; Australia’s The Rocket; Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem; and Scarlett Johansson-starrer Under The Skin. The latter had a three-day total of $343,168. Its per-screen average was a market-leading $7,300 on the back of strong reviews. Director Jonathan Glazer is English.

SPAIN
8-apellidos-vascos-imagen-7Universal’s local romantic comedy 8 Apellidos Vascos (8 Basque Surnames) entered the record books this weekend. The Emilio Martínez Lázaro-directed movie opened No. 1 on Friday and had a mega 105% bump on Saturday. The weekend estimate is $3.8M on 321 screens for an $11,838 per-screen average. The movie is the biggest original Spanish comedy opening of all time and the biggest debut for all films this year in Spain. It’s the story of rigidly Andalusian stud Rafa who falls for a Basque woman and plays the part of a local to win her over. The movie opened against Dallas Buyers Club, Christophe Gans’ La Belle Et La Bête, Venezuelan drama Pelo Malo and Labor Day. Rise Of An Empire was No. 2 with $1.6M at 590 dates. Its cume there is now $6.5M. Mr Peabody & Sherman continues its run in Spain with an extra $1.52M, down only 19% in its 2nd frame and good for a No. 3 position this week.

GERMANY
non stopFinal numbers are not yet in, but actioner Non-Stop is expected to lead the box office in Germany this weekend in its 1st frame. Rentrak puts the total overseas take for the film in the period at $12.5M for a $59M overseas cume and $127.8M worldwide. In the No. 2 spot is 300: Rise Of An Empire with $2.8M on 624 screens for a $9.2M cume. Mr Peabody & Sherman took an estimated $1.46M at 982 locations in its 3rd week, an increase of 9% over last weekend for a Teutonic cume of $6.1M. Grand Budapest Hotel had a nice bump, up 11% for an estimated $1.1M in its 2nd frame. A third Fox title, The Book strombergThief, was an underperformer with an estimated $484K at 224 dates in the market which can be a challenging one for World War II related subject matter. It’s expected, though, that a 40+-skewing demographic will help it to a durable run. In the strong homegrown market, Stromberg – Der Film, a spinoff of the local TV series that’s based on The Office, has become the 4th film of the year, and the 3rd German title, to cross the 1M admissions mark. Another title doing well is Pettersson & Findus based on the Swedish kids’ book series about a farmer and his cat. In U.S. titles, Wolf Of Wall Street added $334K at 197 dates for a 60-day total of $30M. Oscar title 12 Years A Slave picked up an estimated $392K for $6.3M in its 9th frame. Need For Speed pulls into Germany next weekend.

FRANCE
fistonStarring comedic actor Franck Dubosc, local comedy Fiston, from SND, was the big debut on the first day of release Wednesday with 156,506 tickets sold on 454 screens. But in Paris, the first Wednesday showing of The Monuments Men was double the take of Fiston‘s first screening. Still, the market continues to be led by Dany Boon comedy Supercondriaque and the George Clooney period pic ended up at No. 3 overall for the weekend. The movie took an estimated $3.2M on 524 screens. Also from Fox, Grand Budapest Hotel was down just 30% for an estimated $1.1M take. Rise Of An Empire grossed an additional $2.6M at 453 dates for a cume of $10.9M. In its 8th frame, 12 Years A Slave added an estimated $267K for a $14.3M cume.

ITALY
300_rise_of_an_empire_posterNeed For Speed hit the road in Italy with an estimated $1.1M at its debut. That wasn’t enough gas, however, to knock Rise Of An Empire from its No. 1 perch. In its 2nd frame, ROAE took $1.7M at 496 dates for a local cume of $6.2M. Also opening this weekend was 47 Ronin which landed in 5th place with $764K at 259 dates. The movie now has an international total of $109.27. It has yet to open in Belgium, France and French-speaking Switzerland. 12 Years A Slave added an estimated $484K in its 4th week for a cume of $5.7M.

LATIN AMERICA
El crímen del cácaro gumaro300: Rise Of An Empire was No. 1 again in Brazil where it took an estimated $3.5M on 776 screens for a local cume of $10.9M. The movie was also tops in Mexico with $2.9M at 1,540 dates for a $10.5M total there. Just behind ROAE in Mexico was Fox International Pictures’ El Crimen Del Cacaro Gumaro at No. 2 with $2.2M at 1,092 locations. The irreverent comedy pokes fun at Mexican cinema and is from director Emilio Portes. Also in Mexico, Need For Speed opened to an estimated $1.3M; the same tally came from Brazil.

OZ
Walkabout without a compass … Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson in TracksThe Monuments Men trooped into Australia for a No. 1 debut with $2.31M on 323 screens. The No. 2 position should be clarified later today when more concrete numbers come in. For now, Rise Of An Empire and Need For Speed are both reported as taking $1.4M in the market this weekend. In its 7th frame, 12 Years A Slave added an estimated $364K for a $5.9M total. Also playing in Oz is John Curran’s Venice debut Tracks starring Mia Wasikowska and Girls‘ Adam Driver. It’s taken about $1.46M after two weeks. Local horror sequel Wolf Creek 2 has about $4.46M after four weeks.