Update for the latest …: Warner Bros’ hybrid live action / animation feature Tom & Jerry began its offshore rollout in mid-February. This session was the first studio title to appear in China after the New Year celebrations, and it added a number of other new markets. The Hanna Barbera rascals scurried away with another $ 19.4 million from 33 markets at the international box office in the session, which made for a global one $ 33.1 million Weekend including strong domestic start. The full picture gives T&J the third biggest global weekend for a Hollywood movie in the pandemic era (it’s fourth if Croods 2’s 5-day domestic Thanksgiving start is factored in). The overseas cume is now $ 25.1 million to the $ 38.8 million worldwide.
Warners traveled domestically with Tom & Jerry and domestically on HBOMax. As we’ve seen with other family-friendly titles over the past few months, although they’re available for streaming services, they’re less affected by offshore piracy – think Soul and Croods 2, which are over $ 100 million each internationally brought in the box office. Aside from China, the world is still a long way from prepandemic, but Tom & Jerry is another encouraging sign that moviegoers will return to theaters when they feel safe and new products are on sale.
Warner Bros ‘Tom & Jerry’ hits second-best opening during the pandemic at $ 13.7 million
in the China, T&J by director Tim Story, bowed to an estimated RMB 79.8 million (US $ 12.3 million) on 15,960 screens. It ranked 4th among the seven local New Years titles still in the game. The debut is on par with Peter Rabbit and, according to WB, 857% over Sonic The Hedgehog as well as about 2000% better than the Trolls World Tour (although in fairness this opened against The Eight Hundred last August when the market was just coming back) .
Russia was a solid # 1 start at $ 3.3M and both Brazil and Mexico had strong second sessions again, each in first place, for respective holds of -28% and + 9%. The most important markets after China and Russia are the United Arab Emirates (USD 1.1 million), Brazil (USD 1 million) and Mexico (USD 987,000). The offshore rollout will continue in some smaller markets in the coming weeks, while much of Europe will remain closed.
Overall, the time travel comedy Hi Mom was once again the global and international leader, with an additional estimated 345 million RMB (53.2 million USD) to increase sales to an estimated 4.82 billion RMB ($ 744 million). This makes the feature film debut of comedian Jia Ling the third biggest title of all time in the Middle Kingdom as he outperformed Avengers Endgame (4.24 billion RMB) and The Wandering Earth (4.68 billion RMB) on location this week. It lags behind Nezha (RMB 5.03B) and Wolf Warrior 2 (RMB 5.687B). Maoyan predicts a finish for Hi, Mom of RMB 5.21 billion (US $ 804 million), which would put it in second place all-time.
China’s other New Years smash, Wanda Pictures’ Detective Chinatown 3, added another 128 million RMB ($ 19.8 million) in that session, increasing sales to an estimated 4.32 billion RMB ($ 667 million). With DC3, the No. 5 film in China, there are no US titles in the top 5 and Avengers: Endgame remains the only Hollywood picture in the top 10.
On Saturday afternoon, the Chinese box office had topped RMB 15 billion ($ 2.31 billion) for 2021, with Sunday’s numbers increasing that to about $ 2.4 billion. This exceeds the full North American box office of $ 2.2 billion in 2020. It is also larger than the comparable period in China in 2019, accounting for 77% of the total market amount in 2020. At 12.24 billion RMB (1.89 billion USD) February is the single month with the highest sales in the history of the market. And all of this despite 75% capacity restrictions. Again, this is an encouraging sign for global markets as the landscape evolves. However, as we have been warned, it remains to be seen how Hollywood titles will develop in an increasingly independent China.
IMAX has had huge hits in China recently with Detective Chinatown 3 (shot on IMAX cameras), A Writer’s Odyssey, and New Gods: Ne Zha Reborn. This is the second-best Chinese New Years list of the format ever after 2019, when The Wandering Earth contributed $ 48 million to a total of $ 52.5 million that year. In 17 days this month, DC3 grossed $ 35M worth of IMAX, 5.2% of the total, and will soon surpass Ne Zha from 2019 to become the second highest native title in the local language, ever published in IMAX. Alibaba’s A Writer’s Odyssey grossed a total of $ 7.8 million on IMAX, which is 6% of the film’s Chinese box office, and New Gods: Ne Zha Reborn made $ 1.7 million. Here, too, the numbers are all the more impressive as the capacity restrictions in the Middle Kingdom persist.
In other national languages, Konyek Gorbunok (Upon The Magic Roads) of Sony Pictures Releasing International fell 22% Russia to add another $ 3M. Market sales are $ 11.2 million. This is the third highest sum for a local film that has been released there in the past 12 months.
Elsewhere, Disney / Pixar’s Soul got a nice bump in Hong Kong, jumping 36% from its debut last weekend to take first place in the market when it comes back on its feet. Overall, Soul added $ 1.9 million in six material markets for a $ 111.7 million international cume. Russia and Korea continued to play well, falling 40% and 34% respectively in the sixth frame. China was Soul’s largest revenue driver with USD 57.7 million, followed by Russia (USD 17.2 million), Korea (USD 15.8 million), Taiwan (USD 6.5 million) and Saudi Arabia ($ 5.9 million). The Pete Doctor original goes to Poland this coming weekend, although Disney will stop reporting overseas revenue when the run ends.
DreamWorks Animation / Universal’s The Croods: A New Era saw good results in Australia and Spain, with the previous value only dropping 7% to hit $ 16.2 million and exceed the lifespan of Ralph Breaks The Internet. It plays in tune with The Boss Baby at the same time of its release in Oz. The full international cume is $ 103.7 million to the $ 156.1 million global.
Starting this week, Disney’s Raya And The Last Dragon begins rolling out overseas, including on Friday in China. Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking also spans 19 offshore hubs, including Australia, Korea, and Mexico.