The numbers we’re seeing internationally are in line with where Sony had BR2049debuting ahead of the weekend. Predictions from outside the Culver City lot’s gates were pegged closer to the mid-$50Ms. But industry sources see the $50.2M bow as pretty good internationally, particularly the UK and Australia figures which are higher than expected given the U.S. opening.
The top market was the UK with an $8M launch, on par with comp Interstellar and ahead of Mad Max: Fury Road (+15%). Prior to release in the UK last week, folks at industry gatherings were buzzing about the fantastic reviews on the Ryan Gosling/Harrison Ford-starrer, particularly The Guardian’s 5-star praise party. The film, however, did not score No. 1s in all markets this session, notably France where a local title from the Intouchables guys landed on top, and in other hubs where IT refuses to quit.
Despite all this activity, the No. 1 international movie this session hails from Chinawhere the National Day holiday period has wrapped. Leading proceedings is Never Say Die from the Mahua Fun Age troupe with about $66M for the FSS. The movie crossed $220M on its second Sunday in the Middle Kingdom.
Turning back to BR2049, Asian play will be key for the film. The best markets ultimately should include a mix of the UK, Korea, Japan, China and France. China is dated for November 10 while Japan, a huge market for Blade Runner 2049, is going October 27. Korea is October 12 and in Europe, it will have a chance to build if it can keep screens — the next major release on the horizon is Thor: Ragnarok starting October 24.
Next week is about expansion internationally. There are a number of film festivals running and so awards season movies are getting a push, but there is no major wide rollout. Blade Runner heads to Korea, notably, while Kingsman: The Golden Circlewill bow in France and Fox’s War For The Planet Of The Apes finally hits Japan. Universal/Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day gets a head start in such markets as Brazil, Taiwan and the Netherlands and STX’s interplanetary adventure The Space Between Us lands in China just as its Foreigner bows Stateside.