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China’s ‘The Sacrifice’ Bows To $53M; ‘Demon Slayer’ Tops $100M In Japan – International Box Office

Nancy Tartaglione
·4-min read

MONDAY UPDATE, writethru after Sunday 9:43AM post: To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Volunteers Army entering the Korean War, the Middle Kingdom released epic The Sacrifice this weekend. The locally-titled Jin Gang Chuan grossed an estimated $53M in its three-day bow. While not a record start for the year in the market, the actioner could hold well for the next weeks that currently see no major new releases.

The Sacrifice boasts a strong pedigree — it’s co-directed by The Eight Hundred’s Guan Hu, The Wandering Earth’s Frant Gwo and Brotherhood Of Blades‘ Lu Yang and stars Wu Jing of Wolf Warrior fame. The launch was somewhat lower than expected given all that talent. It’s carrying a 9.4 on ticketing platform Maoyan, and a 6.7 on Douban.

Before diving deeper into China, we must look at Japan and phenom Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train which last weekend shattered all-time opening records in the market with a $44M three-day bow. According to Toho, the Japan cume through Sunday is now 10.75B yen ($102.5M). The estimated second 3-day weekend is $37M (-16%) — simply remarkable.

In IMAX, the anime adaptation from Toho and Aniplex grossed $2.04M from 38 screens, to rep a per-screen average of $54K and a drop of only 9% from last weekend’s high bar. In its 2nd Sunday of release, Demon Slayer set a new IMAX record for the format’s biggest single box office day ever in the market, posting $832K from 38 IMAX screens. This surpasses the Haruo Sotozaki-directed pic’s record set last Sunday ($812K), an unprecedented feat in the sophomore session.

What’s more, the IMAX 2nd weekend result for Demon Slayer is 6% above Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’s opening weekend, and 59% higher than local hit Weathering With You’s debut. The total IMAX cume after 10 days is $5.7M.

Demon Slayer has runway ahead of it, as well as an early November holiday in Japan, so this will continue to be one to watch. Funimation releases domestically early next year.

The news out of Japan, as well as the continuing strong performance of Chinese titles, comes at a time when European majors are attempting to put the brakes on a new wave of COVID-19. France has imposed a curfew across a huge swath of the country while Italy from tomorrow will re-close cinemas and Spain has declared a new state of alarm.

As for The Sacrifice, the effects-driven picture — set during what China refers to as “the war to resist U.S. aggression” — has all the earmarks of a hit, but is predicted to finish at $226M according to Maoyan. That would land it closer to Jiang Ziya: Legend Of Deification rather than the heights of other patriotic pics My People, My Homeland ($388M through Sunday), or The Eight Hundred ($463M through Sunday).

In IMAX this weekend, The Sacrifice grossed $3.2M from 672 screens. This is 6% of the overall weekend and on just over 1% of screens playing the movie. With this weekend, IMAX has now reached a new October box office record in China, despite capacity restrictions of 75% across the country and six days remaining in the month.

In continued play, Warner Bros’ Tenet now has grossed $289M at the international box office for $341.4M global. The overall overseas hold was -37%. IMAX’s share of the gross is 11% or $32.7M. Brazil opens this coming week with another 18 markets still to follow.

Despite the near nationwide 9PM curfew in France, DreamWorks Animation/Universal’s Trolls World Tour has been enjoying a solid run in the market where the family title is less affected by the lack of evening screenings. We’re in the full swing of school vacations here and the movie this weekend came in at No. 2 with an estimated $2.3M, up 82% versus the debut session last frame. The cume to date is $5.4M after 10 days. A long run is expected with the lifetime eyeing $8.8M-$11M.

Greenland from STX, debuted in Germany and South Africa at No. 1. The full weekend is $1.94M from 2,161 locations for an estimated international cume of $33.6M. Germany took to the Gerard Butler-starrer with $949K (including previews) from 517 locations. That’s 7% ahead of Angel Has Fallen, on par with London Has Fallen, and 46% ahead of Olympus Has Fallen. In South Africa, the $68K debut is tops since cinemas reopened in the region.

And, Voltage Pictures reports that After We Collided had a $1M weekend in 36 markets including a No. 1 start in Iceland. The overall international cume on the YA pic is $47.5M.

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