The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were flooded with films. Many of those pictures opened to less than stellar numbers in the U.S. and are all but forgotten as box office reporting goes onto the new openers. But, some of those holiday films are doing well overseas, and worth noting like the Fox marketed/distributed The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty which has grossed $161.2M worldwide to date. So, I’m compiling a few of the more interesting holiday openers just to revisit where they are in their worldwide runs. This is not to say that they are profitable films, only to note that their total worldwide cumes are rather surprising. Mitty and Walking With Dinosaurs are but two of these films. Mitty opened at Christmas and has grossed a total U.S. of $55.7M to date but has received roughly 66% of its entire box office from international markets with $106.2M. Meanwhile, the kid-friendly dinosaur film that got stuck in the sludge in the domestic marketplace when it opened on December 20, Walking With Dinosaurs at $106M has grossed roughly 67% of its worldwide cume overseas with $72.2M for a worldwide total (as of last Sunday). The overseas figure is more than double Dinosaurs domestic box office to date of $34.4M.
Christmas Box Office Update: Last Weekend Of 2013 Up 8.1% On More Movies In Marketplace, ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Frozen,’ Together Take 34% Out Of Weekend, ‘Anchorman 2,’ ‘Hustle,’ ‘Wolf’ Follow
CHRISTMAS DAY OPENERS: The Wolf Of Wall Street (Paramount, wide) sliding down to No. 5 in 3-day, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (Fox, wide), 47 Ronin (Universal, wide) bomb, Grudge Match (Warner Bros, wide), Justin Bieber’s Believe (Open Road, moderate), The Invisible Woman (Sony Pictures Classics, ltd), Lone Survivor (Universal, 2 runs), August: Osage County (The Weinstein Co, ltd on Friday) $35,000 per screen wknd.
UPDATE: MONDAY, 2:42 PM: Year-to-date industry box office numbers are in, showing a slight increase of less than one percentage point from last year, or about $90M difference. Specifically, 2013 grosses rose .8% to $10.763B for the year ending 12/29/13 vs. $10.674B for the year ending 12/30/12 (as previously reported it would be less than 1%). When you just look at the Top Ten films in the marketplace over the last weekend of 2012 vs 2013, there was an overall increase this year of 8.1% in grosses, according to Rentrak. In analyzing these numbers, one must take into account that this year there were simply more movies in the marketplace. We must also look at attendance and ticket prices increases or decreases. But those specific attendance figures and average tickets prices, which will round out the big picture, won’t be released by the National Association of Theater Owners for another few weeks. In the meantime, here are the 3-day and 5-day Christmas holiday box office weekend numbers from Rentrak. These are the best estimates available, given that the studios only reported their estimates and the actuals won’t arrive until Thursday.
1). The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (WB), $29,040,000 (3-day), $48,870,000 (5-day), 3,928 locations, $189,494,000, Wk 3.
2. Frozen (DIS), $28,596,319 (3-day), $44,059,244 (5-day), 3,335 locations, $248,117,795, Wk 6.
3). Anchorman 2 (PAR), $19,662,000 (3-day), $35,126,000 (5-day), 3,507 locations, $83,180,000, Wk 2.
4). American Hustle (SONY), $18,701,000 (3-day), $32,451,000 (5-day), 2,507 locations, $59,185,000, Wk 3.
5). The Wolf Of Wall Street (PAR), $18,360,000 (3-day), $34,151,000 (5-day), 2,537 locations, $34,152,000, Wk 1.
6). Saving Mr. Banks (DISNEY) $13,453,533 (3-day), $23,261,566 (5-day), 2,110 locations, $37,276,150, Wk 3.
7). The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (Fox), $12,765,508 (3-day), $25,360,468 (5-day), 2,909 locations, $25,360,468, Wk 1
8). The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (LGF) $10,061,479 (3-day), $15,629,461 (5-day), 2,315 locations, $390,985,322, Wk 6
9). 47 Ronin (Uni) $9,910,310 (3-day), $20,612,531 (5-day) 2,689 locations, $20,612,530, Wk 1.
10). Walking With Dinosaurs (Fox) $7,276,172 (3-day), $11,151,353 (5-day) 3,243 locations, $20,944,478, Wk 2
11). Grudge Match (WB) $7,015,000 (3-day), $13.4M (5-day), 2,838 locations, $13,140,000, Wk 1
12). Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (LGF) $6,887,194 (3-day), $12.4M (5-day), 1,788 locations, $43,206,270, Wk 3.
BOX OFFICE FINAL: All Totals In But Paramount Gives Only Estimates; Overhype Comes Back To Bite Them, ‘Hobbit’ No. 1,’Frozen’ Slides Past Over-Estimated ‘American Hustle’ For Third Spot; ‘Thor 2′ Crosses $200M
8th UPDATE, MONDAY PM: Here are today’s final Top 10 studio-reported actuals for the December 20-22 box office frame, courtesy of Rentrak. Paramount Pictures is the only studio to report estimates to Rentrak on Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Go figure. Disney’s Frozen did slip past Sony’s American Hustle to take the No. 3 spot with $19.6M (see below). Sony is reporting $19.0M, down from an over-estimation. Yes, Paramount wasn’t alone, but at least the other distribs thought Hustle could be higher, too. The Christmas crunch comes on Wednesday. Final numbers (except for Paramount estimate on Anchorman 2). See the full Top 20 at the bottom of the file.
2. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Paramount, $26,234,000, 3,507 locations, $7,480 average, $39,457,000, Week 1. (ESTIMATE)
3. Frozen, Disney, $19,642,107, 3,540 locations, $5,549 average, $192,034,117, Week 5.
4. American Hustle, Sony, $17,901,068, 2,507 locations, $7,140 average, $19,014,436, Week 2.
5. Saving Mr. Banks, Disney, $9,344,381, 2,110 locations, $4,429 average, $9,969,867, Week 2.
6. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate, $8,764,479, 2,949 locations, $2,972 average, $371,718,275, Week 5.
7. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, Lionsgate, $8,384,980, 2,194 locations, $3,822 average, $28,155,257, Week 2.
8. Walking With Dinosaurs, 20th Century Fox, $7,091,938, 3,231 locations, $2,195 average, $7,091,938, Week 1.
9. Dhoom 3, Yash Raj Films, $3,152,590, 239 locations, $13,191 average, $3,422,590, Week 1.
10. Thor: The Dark World, Disney, $1,341,763, 1,116 locations, $1,202 average, $200,779,871, Week 7.
OPENING: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount, wide after Wed. opening) Paramount says $40M for 5-day; others estimates well under, and in fact it looks like $39.4M, American Hustle (Sony, wide) great set up for Christmas week, Saving Mr. Banks (Disney, wide) respectable, Walking with Dinosaurs (Fox/Reliance/IMG Global, wide) in the tar pits, Dhoom 3 (Yash Raj Films, ltd) Top Ten surprise and record breaker. Her (WB) is strong and The Past (Sony Pictures Classics) is in the past. NOTEWORTHY: Disney’s Thor: The Dark World goes over $200M mark.
7th UPDATE, MON. 7:45 AM: Paramount finally came to its senses this morning, downgrading its Sunday overstatement that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues would gross $40M for the three-day — an overhype that had everyone rolling their eyes. This morning, it has a new number: $34.2M for the five-day. The Paramount brass ordering up this over-inflated nonsense should take a breath. Still, $34.2M is nothing to sneeze at guys. The sequel took in $26.2M for the three day weekend pre-Christmas.
In addition, when the dust cleared this morning, it appears as though Disney’s Frozen slid passed Sony’s American Hustle to take 3rd place this weekend.
International Box Office Update: ‘Desolation Of Smaug’ Adds $97.4M To Edge Ahead of First ‘Hobbit’; ‘Anchorman 2′ Nearly Triples 1st Pic’s Total; ‘Dinosaurs’ Roam; ‘Dhoom’ Vrooms; ‘About Time’ Record; More
International box office highlights: Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug added $97.4M in its second outing for a $278.4M cume; now running neck-and-neck with An Unexpected Journey. The studio had a record opening in Russia and has been given a China release date of February 21st. Paramount’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was the biggest overseas opening weekend ever for a Will Ferrell movie with $13.4M in six territories, almost tripling the first movie’s $5M international career total. Fox’s Walking With Dinosaurs landed $13.8M in 40 markets on its debut. Universal’s 47 Ronin bowed No. 1 in Malaysia for an estimated $1.1M at 91 dates, beating its Japanese start two weeks ago of $1.05M at 333 locations. The same studio’s About Time is now the biggest foreign romantic comedy ever in Korea and the studio’s biggest film in the territory this year. India’s Dhoom 3 broke records at home and abroad.
UPDATE: MONDAY, 12:30 PM: Final numbers are arriving to show that The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug actually brought in a higher gross than estimated with a total haul of $97.4M from 16,840 screens in 56 markets, representing a drop of -42% from last weekend’s opening. The international cume to date is now $278.4M and it has edged ahead of the first Hobbit (in the same markets at the same point in release). The worldwide cume is now $406M. Studio expectations are that the sequel will ultimately gross very close to the first Hobbit when all is said and done. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ended with a total international cume of $714.M. The other WBros.’ title in the marketplace, Gravity, also ended up slightly more — $4.1M from 1,769 screens in 32 markets. The international cume to date of $398.8M for Desolation of Smaug now stands just a smidgen higher than its weekend estimate. It currently ranks number one in the UK, Germany, France and Spain in its second weekend. It is still yet to open in Australia (Dec. 26), China (Feb. 21) and Japan (Feb. 28). Totals for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire were higher than estimated. In 86 markets, it took in another $12.2M for a total cume of $394.5M.
The weekend overall was down across distributors by about 27% versus last weekend, but only 9% versus last year, data indicates. According to international estimates, Warner Bros‘ The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug was the big performer overseas in its 2nd frame, adding $96M on 16,830 screens across 56 markets. The estimated haul was a 43% drop from last weekend’s opening and gives the film a $276.3M cume for parity with 2012′s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the same point in release in the same markets.
Among the new openers, Paramount‘s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues had the biggest debut weekend internationally for a Will Ferrell movie. The sequel to 2004′s Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy opened in six territories outside North America and brought in an estimated $13.4M. That’s kind of a big deal when compared to the first film whose career total overseas was $5M. Ferrell is better-known now outside the States than in 2004, and with the promotional push the movie has gotten this time around, it was a safe bet the follow-up would outperform. Its five-day opening gross in the UK is estimated at $7.4M, or 725% better than the first installment, Paramount says. Australia opened at No. 1 with $5.2M from 243 theaters, nearly seven times the first Anchorman. In New Zealand, the film opened at 64 locations for $480K, slotting in at No. 2 behind the homegrown The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. With $200K at 54 locations in Sweden, Anchorman 2 bested the entire $24K lifetime gross of the first film on its opening day (does it help that Ferrell’s wife is Swedish?). The next international territory to open will be Germany in late January. Latin America opens in early February.
Fox‘s Walking With Dinosaurs roamed for the first time this weekend, breaking into 40 markets for a total estimated haul of $13.8M from 7,576 screens. Of those 40 markets, six are non-Fox distributed. Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale directed the CG/live-action movie that’s based on the 1999 BBC miniseries and a live touring show that was seen by more than 8 million people around the world. The 3D movie was originally financed by Reliance, and Fox picked up U.S. and other international rights back in 2010. The story is set 70 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period and follows the adventures of an underdog dino named Patchi. The voice cast includes John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Tiya Sircar and Skyler Stone. This weekend, the film claimed the No. 2 or No. 3 market share position in most bows.
‘Walking With Dinosaurs’ Adds John Leguizamo, Justin Long; Keith Robinson Joins James Brown Pic ‘Get On Up’; Rutger Hauer To Aid John Cusack In ‘Kickback’
Fox‘s Walking With Dinosaurs 3D has added a quartet of thesps to its voice cast. John Leguizamo joins the BBC Earth production as the Alexomis bird Alex, with Justin Long leads a trio of Pachyrhinosauruses as Patchi, Alex’s symbiotic host pal. Tiya Sircar will voice Juniper and Skyler Stone will voice Scowler rounding out the dino threesome. Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale are helming the CG/live-action December 20 release based on the 1999 BBC miniseries. Leguizamo is a client of UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment. Long is repped by ICM Partners and Intellectual Artists Management. Sircar is repped by Talent Works and Elevate. Stone is repped by DPN, Buchwald, and Luber Roklin.
Universal‘s James Brown biopic Get On Up has found another castmember to back Chadwick Bozeman’s Godfather of Soul. Keith Robinson will play Baby Roy, one of the original members of Brown’s band, joining Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in the Imagine Entertainment, Jagged Films, and Universal pic from The Help‘s Tate Taylor. Robinson, an actor and singer, showed off his pipes in Dreamgirls and also appeared in This Christmas. He’s repped by APA and D2 Management.
Rutger Hauer is set to star …
20th Century Fox has set A Good Day To Die Hard for a February 14, 2013 release, the highlight of several pictures the studio has just dated on its release calendar. Bruce Willis is set to reprise his role as John McClane in the John Moore-directed film, and casting is just getting underway for the role of his son, John McClane Jr, which has the agencies abuzz because of the opportunity for a young actor to make a mark.
Fox has dated the Liam Neeson-starrer Taken 2 to open Columbus Day weekend, on October 5, 2012; the Curtis Hanson-directed surfing film Of Men & Mavericks will open October 26, 2012 with Gerard Butler starring; the Billy Crystal/Bette Midler comedy Parental Guidance will bow November 21, 2012 for Thanksgiving; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters will open March 27, 2013, which is the Wednesday leading into Easter weekend; and Walking With Dinosaurs has moved to the Columbus Day weekend and will open October 11, 2013. The 3D film was originally scheduled to open December 20, 2013.
20th Century Fox has dated the 3D Walking With Dinosaurs to open Dec. 20, 2013. The film, directed by Neil Nightingale and Pierre De Lespinios and scripted by John Collee, is based on the live touring show and the TV show, and the goal is to create an immersive experience with 3D to re-create an epic prehistoric world where an “underdog dinosaur triumphs to become a hero for the ages.” The film’s produced by Reliance, BBC Earth Films, Evergreen, IM Global and Jinko Gotoh.
EXCLUSIVE: Capping off a weekend where it surprisingly emerged as one of the hottest title at AFM with huge foreign territory asks, Walking with Dinosaurs is at the center of a big deal with 20th Century Fox. I’m hearing Fox is acquiring U.S. distribution rights and several international territories. The film is directed by Neil Nightengale and Pierre De Lespinois and the script is being written by John Collee, whose credits include the Peter Weir-directed Fox pic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World as well Happy Feet and Creation. The $65 million budget CG/live-action family film is a co-production between BBC Earth and Reliance Big Pictures, and based on BBC Worldwide’s franchise. BBC Earth and Evergreen Films produced and Reliance Big Pictures financed it. The film will use live-action footage of scenery and CGI creatures. In addition to U.S. distribution rights, Fox picked up rights in a number of key international markets, including the UK, France, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Latin America.
BBC Earth and Reliance Big Entertainment will be partnering on a trio of film titles including the $65 million-budgeted Walking With Dinosaurs 3D, a continuation of the popular series that was first broadcast in 1999. The film will be co-directed by Pierre De Lespinois of Evergreen Films. Reliance’s international arm IM Global will come on board to distribute on all three titles. The second project is Africa 3D, also in partnership with Evergreen Films, which will be filmed alongside the upcoming TV series Africa. The third is Life, currently in post-production and slated for release in 2011. Life is inspired by the TV series of the same name which has already been broadcast in 50 countries. BBC Earth is the global brand for all the BBC’s natural history content. Reliance Big Entertainment has amassed partnerships with several marquee Hollywood names, including Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Chris Columbus, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Jay Roach, Brett Ratner, Julia Roberts and Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment. IM Global was founded in March 2007 by former Miramax International head Stuart Ford.