International Box Office: Disney/20th Century Studios’ Free Guy led the game at global turnstiles this session with a $51M worldwide debut. That includes domestic’s over-performance of $28.4M, and a $22.5M start in 41 material markets at the international box office — the latter in line with pre-weekend expectations.
The offshore debut on the Shawn Levy-directed pic was 9% above Cruella and 18% below Jungle Cruise in like-for-like markets. This is a solid start for this original piece of IP, and particularly as overseas hubs are still struggling with shifting Covid restrictions. There’s runway ahead, and strong word of mouth should give Free Guy some legs. Think: a potential 4+ international multiple.
The Ryan Reynolds video game-inspired romantic comedy took No. 1s in the UK and Russia as well as Belgium, Israel, the Middle East, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and more. It opened at No. 2 in Australia and Mexico, among others, and was the top new Hollywood title in Korea where local comedy Sinkhole ruled the frame.
Given the variables, markets that opened well on Free Guy should continue to see strong play-through. Cruella and Jungle Cruise are the main comps here, despite the fact that they also bowed simultaneously on Disney+ in markets where the service is available. Pre-pandemic, we’d have been looking more at Ready Player One. That’s not currently a factor as it made 49% of its overseas box office in China. However, given the recent dating of Disney/Pixar’s Luca in China, and that market’s need for new product, it’s quite possible that a date for Free Guy materializes.
Overall, the Top Five markets for Free Guy this weekend were the UK ($3.4M), Russia ($2.9M), Korea ($1.4M), Japan ($1.3M) and France ($1.1M). Next weekend notably adds Spain and Brazil. The latter having been held to avoid The Suicide Squad. That Warner Bros/DC movie this weekend held No. 1 in Brazil with a drop of just 22% ($3M cume). In 70 overseas markets, The Suicide Squad took about a 50% dive to $17M for the sophomore session. The international cume is now $75.2M for $118.1M global.
The Suicide Squad came in ahead in its opening face-off with Free Guy in Japan, bowing to $1.9M (12% above Birds Of Prey), and was also No. 1 in Australia with a 3% drop for a cume of $2.1M.
Important to note, as always in these times: overseas markets are in a continual state of flux. Australia has regions representing 65% of the box office in lockdown. Japan, Mexico and Korea have all-time highs of Covid cases and France and Italy are still dealing with the health pass (or negative test) requirement to attend cinemas.
Still, France definitely turned up for Paramount/Nickelodeon/Spin Master’s Paw Patrol: The Movie which took $2.3M from 610 locations. In six total markets the team took a fierce $5.8M (including paid previews). The UK led at No. 2 with $3.2M from 582 locations. The current frame reps 22% of the total international paw-print as 33 markets are set to go next weekend including Germany, Mexico, Korea, Japan and the Middle East
Universal’s F9 for its part crossed $500M international, becoming the first Hollywood title to do so since 2019 and only one of three (including two Chinese movies) to get to the mark in 2020 and 2021. The international weekend was good for $8.1M in 61 markets which included the opening in Taiwan. There, the movie muscled to $1.8M to best all recent openers. After a strong start in Japan last session, F9 had a slight 24% drop to cume $20.1M. The offshore cume is now $509.3M — in line with Hobbs & Shaw at the same point — and $681.4M global.
Disney’s Jungle Cruise saw a 57% drop (to $6.7M) in the third offshore session in 49 markets and posting good mid-weeks. It has now grossed $72.2M internationally and $154.3M global.