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‘Godzilla X Kong’ Reigns With $194M Worldwide Bow; ‘Dune 2’ Rises To $626M & ‘Oppenheimer’ Opens In Japan – International Box Office

SUNDAY UPDATE: Warner Bros/Legendary Entertainment’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has roared to a $194M global opening, of which $114M is from 63 international box office markets. The monster mash exceeded expectations, with over-performance in several offshore areas as well as domestic.

In like-for-like overseas markets at today’s exchange rates, the film is tracking 30% ahead of Godzilla, 25% higher than Dune: Part Two, 17% over Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, 16% above Meg 2: The Trench, 6% over Godzilla vs Kong and on par with Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

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Before we dig into the latest from the Monsterverse, let’s note some other weekend highlights. Kung Fu Panda 4 kicked up another $43.7M offshore to near the $200M milestone (it’s at $347M global); Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire crossed $100M worldwide, Germany has a big local hit in Chantal in Fairyland and Best Picture Oscar winner Oppenheimer opened strongly in Japan.

About the latter, the release date came eight months after initial rollout given sensitivities to the subject matter. The opening is impressive and has driven discussion. The weekend estimate is $2.6M and has logged the biggest IMAX opening in Japan for a Christopher Nolan film. We hear that even though IMAX is a naturally big draw, the film broadened out over the weekend to more general audiences. Oppenheimer is set to become the biggest studio opening weekend of 2024 to date in the market.

The movie, which had a three-day bow in Japan whereas rollout often starts on a Saturday there, is comping above such Nolan titles as Interstellar (+109%), Batman Begins (+39%), Dunkirk (+24%) and The Dark Knight (+21%); and just behind The Dark Knight Rises (-10%), Tenet (-11%) and Inception (-48%).

The IMAX portion is $810K on 50 screens which reps a strong 30% of the overall opening weekend total. The global IMAX total for the film now stands at $188.7M.

Turning back to GxK before we get into holdovers, the Adam Wingard-directed pic tore up predictions. Latin America and India were standouts while China leaned in. The latter led all markets with $44M and ranked a dominant No. 1.

As we’ve said throughout the past few days, the China start is notable given the inward shift in that market. GxK has bragging rights to the fastest U.S. film to surpass the RMB 300M milestone since January 2023. It’s also the 2nd highest-grossing foreign film of 2024, trailing only behind Dune: Part Two.

Elsewhere, Mexico delivered a huge $12.8M for the biggest opening weekend of the Monsterverse and the top start of 2024.

India surprised at No. 1, ahead of the opening of three Bollywood films and logged the best start ever for a WB movie, best of the Monsterverse and tops for Hollywood and IMAX this year.

The UK and Australia ranked No. 1 with $5.3M and $3.7M, respectively. Also notable, Indonesia gave the fellas an 80% share for the biggest Hollywood opening weekend of 2024 and best of the Monsterverse.

Overall, Latin America overperformed with a 65% share of the total and the biggest industry opening weekend in 2024 as well as best of the Monsterverse. GxK has already surpassed the lifetime gross of King of the Monsters in the region.

Strong starts were also seen in Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

There are still 15 markets to come including the Middle East, France, Germany and Japan.

Punching up another big number was Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 with $43.7M from 73 offshore markets. This takes the overseas cume to $195.6M and global to $347.3M. Excluding China, performance through Sunday is well above Kung Fu Panda 3 and above HTTYD3 at the same point.

The UK was the top opener this weekend, playing across 1,600 screens and grossing $6.5M including $1.4M of previews on Thursday. The title ranked at No.1 and the bow is above Zootopia and well above KFP3. This was the 4th highest post-pandemic animation opening, behind three of Uni’s own titles: Super Mario BrosMinions: The Rise of Gru and Sing 2, and the 2nd highest opening of the franchise behind KFP1.

France debuted to $4.9M, the No.1 film in the market. Korea is still due to bow on April 10.

Meanwhile, Dune: Part Two spiced up another $18.4M on 18,437 screens in 73 international markets this weekend, representing another good drop of 41% (-36% excluding China). The international total now stands at $373.7M and the worldwide tally is $626.1M through Sunday. The IMAX total is now $133.7M global, including $72M from overseas.

Sony’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire in its sophomore frame added $11.2M from 27 overseas markets as it continues a staggered release. The international cume is now $35.1M for $108.5M global. The offshore holdovers were down just 38%. New this weekend was Japan with $1.1M, 29% above the launch of Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Still to come on the sequel are Netherlands, Poland, France, Brazil, Italy, Korea and Saudi Arabia.

As we noted coming into the weekend, Constantin Film has a hit on its hands in Germany with Chantal in Fairyland. A spinoff of the hugely successful Fack Ju Göhte movies, the time-travel comedy led play in the home market with 577K admissions through Saturday for about $6.24M. The bow is running 5% above the start of Barbie which did not have a holiday weekend. Given Easter Sunday is a family affair, and the clement weather following a long winter, full weekend estimates are tough, but we are expecting a debut around $7.6M and will update accordingly.

MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Migration (UNI): $1.3M intl weekend (80 markets); $165M intl cume/$292.2M global
Bob Marley: One Love (PAR): $700K intl weekend (40 markets); $79.5M intl cume/$175.8M global

PREVIOUS, SATURDAY: Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire continues to show gusto at the international box office, coming in with an added $31.2M on Friday for a three-day running cume of $47.9M in 62 markets. Not included in that total is the China Saturday which added an estimated $18M – that’s a good sign in the Hollywood-tepid market and portends a $40M+ opening session there. Domestic is also psyched on the sequel – and if the numbers hold through Easter Sunday GxK will top $175M.

As noted yesterday (see below), China opened on Friday to $13.4M for the beasts. They dominated the market with an 80% share on 35,698 screens. This puts the opening day there on par with Jurassic World Dominion, 51% ahead of Godzilla, and more than double the opening days of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Warner Bros/Legendary’s own Dune: Part Two. This is a great start in the current China climate and bodes for a $100M+ final — basically a bonus these days in China.

Elsewhere, and through true Friday play, the UK opened to $2.4M on 1,080 screens and ranked No. 1 ahead of fellow opener Kung Fu Panda 4. Premium formats are performing very strongly with IMAX at 11% of the total box office, both 3D and 4DX at 5% apiece and Screen X capturing 2%. These results are the biggest opening day for a Monsterverse film as well as higher than several comps.

India on Friday had a notable opening taking in $1.9M on 2,882 screens and ranking No. 1 ahead of the opening of three local titles. This marked the biggest opening day for a WB Film, the best of 2024 for a U.S. title and tops for the Monsterverse. IMAX represented 9% of the total box office from 29 screens.

The top markets through Friday outside China are Mexico ($7.2M), UK ($2.4M), Spain ($2.2M), Australia ($1.9M) and India ($1.9M)

Updates to come…

PREVIOUS, FRIDAY: Warner Bros/Legendary Entertainment’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is out and roaring at the international box office, generating $15.9M from 49 markets through its first two days overseas (Wed/Thurs). Not included in that total is the strong China opening day today which came in at an estimated RMB 96.9M ($13.4M).

Among highlights through Thursday, Latin America gave the beasts the biggest opening day of the year and the best ever for the Monsterverse. In Cambodia, the Adam Wingard-directed pic scored the best opening day of all time for a Warner Bros movie.

The top overall market on Thursday was Mexico with $4.1M including previews and a 69% share of the Top 5 films. That’s the best start of the year and is above all comps.

Australia debuted to $782K on Thursday, ranking No. 1 with a 50% share of the Top 10 titles. The result is above Godzilla Vs Kong (+11%), Mission: Impossible 7 (+45%), Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (+115%), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (+170%), Meg 2 (+188%) and Kong: Skull Island (+523%).

Spain, which bowed on Wednesday, held the No. 1 landing, now with $1.4M through two days.

Overall, the Top 5 markets to date (and excluding the China Friday as noted above) are Mexico ($4.1M), Spain ($1.4M), Indonesia ($881K), Taiwan ($819K) and Malaysia ($797K).

As regards China (where Legendary East distributes its modern monster series), the film has a 9.4 from audiences on Maoyan which is currently forecasting an RMB 781.3M ($108.2M) total run. It’s early days and these projections do tend to fluctuate, but the Friday start bodes well given that Hollywood films have been doing far less business in the market of late and means that GxK could get to a very solid $40M opening frame.

We’ll have more updates through the weekend.

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