The Best Movies and TV Shows New in Streaming and Cinema in October and November 2021: Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Eternals, No Time To Die and Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings.
‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Tears Past $400M At Global Box Office
Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage Movies 2021 has crossed the $400M worldwide mark, grossing $191.6M domestically and $212.5M at the international box office for a $404.1M cume through Tuesday. This makes the Andy Serkis-directed sequel the fifth Hollywood movie to top the four-century worldwide milestone since the beginning of the pandemic — and it still has major markets to come.
The Tom Hardy-starrer has been on a rampage ever since it debuted domestically on October 1, going on to a $90.1M opening weekend which is the second best ever for the month of October.
Overseas that same weekend, Let There Be Carnage went out early with Russia devouring a $13.8M start— the market’s best debut of any film during the health crisis, and Sony’s biggest opening ever there. The current Russia gross is $31.4M, making Venom 2 the No. 8 film of all time.
The following weekend, the symbiote traveled to Latin America where a $20M start was the best for the region during the pandemic. And then a week later, when offshore rollout was expanded to 41% of its international footprint, Venom set more pandemic records in Spain and Italy, while it also energized Korea with the second best bow for a Hollywood title in the pandemic era. In total, it has launched at No. 1 in 39 markets.
In other notable achievements, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the second biggest movie of the pandemic era in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Colombia, Ukraine, Central America, Argentina and Ecuador.
As of this past Sunday, Venom 2 was tracking ahead of pandemic-era comps Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (+80%), Black Widow (+67%), and F9 (+13%) at the same point in release in like-for-like markets.
The Top 5 overseas markets to date are Russia ($31.4M), Mexico ($22M), UK ($20.7M), Korea ($17.2M) and France ($10.8M).
There has been no official word on a China release, though the last film gobbled up $269M in the market. Australia is the next major on November 25, followed by Japan on December 3.
‘Eternals’ Amasses $7.6M On First Day Of Overseas Play – International Box Office
Debuting in an initial 14 international box office markets on Wednesday, Disney/Marvel’s Eternals Movies Online opened to an estimated $7.6M with No. 1s across the vast majority. First-day results on the Chloe Zhao-directed pic put it 85% ahead of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings and 20% ahead of Black Widow on a like-for-like basis. Wednesday previews not included in the total above out of Mexico ($500K) and Brazil ($400K) place the film at No. 1 in each.
As we reported yesterday, Korea banked $2.6M (including midnights) on Wednesday to lead all play and score the second highest opening day during the pandemic era (behind only F9 which opened on a holiday). On Thursday, Eternals added an estimated $1.54M in the market (not included in the total above) and maintained the No. 1 slot.
Eternals’ first day of play in Korea was 125% ahead of Shang-Chi, 68% above Black Widow and 6% higher than Doctor Strange. Current social scores are lower, however, with Naver at 6.95 (vs Black Widow 9.03/Shang-Chi 7.76) and CGV at 75% (Black Widow 96%/Shang-Chi 87%).
A big Marvel market, Korea is key hub to watch this weekend as restrictions ease and as it enters a new phase of its virus response with the so-called “living with Covid” strategy.
The full overseas projection start in 93% of the international footprint is pegged in the $60M-$75M range. Shang-Chi, which likewise was original Marvel IP, did $53M in like-for-like markets
Other key markets that opened Wednesday include France, Italy, Taiwan, Germany and Hong Kong.
France scored a strong No. 1 opening with $1.6M, 66% ahead of Shang-Chi and 12% below Black Widow. The early Allociné audience score is 3.8, higher than Black Widow’s 3.3, and below Shang-Chi’s 4.2.
Italy’s $700K opening Wednesday was 78% above Shang-Chi and even with Black Widow. Eternals took the No. 1 spot with more than seven times the box office of the No. 2 film.
Taiwan gave Eternals the biggest opening day since May at No. 1 with $600K. That’s 315% higher than Black Widow and 103% above Shang-Chi. Germany likewise grossed $600K at No. 1, +39% on Shang-Chi and +20% on Black Widow.
Hong Kong’s Wednesday was good for $500K at No. 1, giving Eternals the second best launch day of the pandemic (just 1% behind No Time To Die). The start is 26% ahead of Shang-Chi and 14% ahead of Black Widow. Sweden’s debut was the second biggest opening day of the year at $300K (+109% Shang-Chi/+8% Black Widow)
Today sees further openings in Australia, Brazil and Mexico as well as Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Portugal, Ukraine, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Argentina and all of the smaller Latin American territories.
We’ll have updates throughout the weekend.
‘No Time To Die’ Reels In $600M+ Global As ‘Venom 2’ Licks At $400M & ‘Dune’ Has Eyes On $300M – International Box Office
UPDATE, writethru: Powered by the international box office, and in a continued sign that overseas audiences are eager to return to cinemas for event fare, this was yet another weekend of milestones. MGM/Eon/Universal’s No Time To Die Movies Online Streaming, as projected, crossed the $600M global mark this session, leading offshore play with an additional $51.9M from 72 combined Universal and MGM markets. That lifts the offshore cume to $472.4M and worldwide to $605.8M.
The bulk of the weekend’s business came from China where 007 debuted to an estimated $28.2M, repping the third best start for a Hollywood title in the market this year. While this is slightly lower than projections coming into the weekend, a contributing factor has been the Covid escalation over the past several days. As previously noted, social scores are the best on this Bond of any prior film in the franchise, and we’ve seen that when a Hollywood movie in China has had a high rating and a decent competitive environment, it doesn’t immediately get played off (Free Guy is a recent example). Maoyan is now projecting an RMB 436.3M ($68.2M) full run for NTTD. How things go with the latest Covid outbreak will be a factor, however, as 14 provinces are affected and there have been cinema closures in Beijing.
Elsewhere, holds have been strong with already opened markets dipping just 33% in the session. Notable performances this weekend include NTTD’s return to No. 1 in the UK as it becomes the sixth highest grossing film of all time in the market, surpassing both Titanic and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Cary Joji Fukunaga’s take on Bond also broke another record this week after consecutively grossing over £1M for 30 days since release. The UK cume is now $116.4M, in line with Spectre and Skyfall at the same point.
NTTD also had a muscular hold in Germany, down 28% for a $62M cume to date, and France got a boost from school holidays with a 15% dip to cume $26.1M through the fourth frame. In the Netherlands, No Time To Die has become Universal’s biggest release of all time at $18.4M through Sunday.
Nearing global benchmarks, Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Warner Bros/Legendary’s Dune came in neck-and-neck in the Sunday offshore estimates.
Venom 2’s continued rampage saw it dip just 41% to add another $21.4M in 53 overseas markets. That brings the Tom Hardy-starrer across the $200M mark internationally with $205.4M through Sunday. The global cume is now approaching $400M with $395.8M to date. The sequel still has 49% of its offshore footprint to come, and is currently tracking ahead of pandemic-era comps Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (+80%), Black Widow (+67%), and F9 (+13%) at the same point in release in like-for-like markets. The top plays to date are Russia ($31.2M), Mexico ($21.5M), the UK ($20.2M), Korea ($16.8M) and Brazil ($10.1M).
Dune also added $21.4M for the weekend, in 75 offshore markets. This brings the overseas cume to $222.7M as global nears $300M with $292.1M through Sunday.
The overall drop for the Denis Villeneuve-directed sci-fi epic was 54% (34% excluding China). France saw a 3% increase while Korea was off by a slight 14%. In China, where Legendary East releases, Dune has now grossed $33M, making the Middle Kingdom the lead offshore market, followed closely by France ($29M) with Russia ($21M), Germany ($19.9M) and the UK ($18.1M) rounding out the Top 5.
In like-for-like markets and using today’s rates, Dune is roughly on par with Tenet, while ahead of recent comps Shang-Chi (+56%) and Black Widow (+59%). It’s also running 84% hotter than Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049.
All in all, numbers on the major titles are encouraging and turnstiles are spinning better than they did during summer. Certainly, there are still areas of concern as markets are on a long road to recovery, and it remains to be seen what will become of mid-range fare — something that’s on a lot of studio exec’s minds.
Meanwhile, local juggernaut The Battle At Lake Changjin this weekend became the second highest grossing movie ever in China, surpassing Hi, Mom with RMB 5.49B ($858M). Its weekend was RMB 1.227M ($19.2M) with Maoyan predicting a full run of RMB 5.7B ($890M) which would make it the biggest movie ever in the market, overtaking Wolf Warrior 2 (RMB 5.69B). A sequel to Lake Changjin, Water Gate Bridge, is expected to come out in winter 2022.
In total through Wednesday this past week, China’s box office reached RMB 42B ($6.56B).
In other news, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch (Disney/Searchlight) opened in France this week with a solid $1.1M. Its best hub is the UK now at $2.7M after just 10 days while across 16 markets, the film has grossed $7.3M so far. And, word out of Australia is that Shang-Chi has now logged nine weekends at the top of the chart with this past Saturday accounting for the film’s biggest day so far.
‘Shang-Chi,’ ‘Free Guy’ Lift Imax Earnings to Pandemic Era High
Marvel movies like “Black Widow” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and populist crowd-pleasers like “Free Guy” propelled Imax to its best quarter since COVID-19 altered the landscape of the movie business.
Revenues for the three-month period, ending on Sept. 30, surged 51.9% to $56.6 million. That compared favorably to the $37.3 million in revenue that Imax reported in the year-ago period. Imax didn’t make a profit during the quarter, but its losses shrank, coming in at $8.4 million compared to the $47.2 million in losses that the big screen company logged in the same frame from 2020. Adjusted net losses per share came in at 8 cents, down from 75 cents in the same period in 2020.
The global box office has been slow to dig out from the pandemic, but Imax has fared better than other exhibitors. Its premium formats have resonated with blockbuster hungry crowds, with Imax contributing a significant share of ticket sales to recent releases such as “No Time to Die” and “Dune,” both of which fell outside of this quarter.
Imax said it made more than $142 million for the quarter, a sign that ticket sales are rising. That pales in comparison to its October results, which will set a record for the company, with more than $100 million in sales.
“The world is back,” Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond told Variety. “October has alleviated all my doubts. When you look ahead to some of the movies coming out, it’s hard not to get excited.”
Those films include not only sequels to “Spider-Man” and “The Matrix,” but also “Eternals,” another Marvel adventure, and “Ghostbusters Afterlife,” which Gelfond told investors had played well at CinemaCon (the annual exhibition confab is not exactly a tough crowd. Aspiring Pauline Kaels these theater owners are not).
Studios have been experimenting with shorter theatrical windows during coronavirus, with some, such as Warner Bros., releasing movies simultaneously on streaming services. Warner will soon embrace a 45 day exclusive release beginning in 2022 joining other major studios. Gelfond doesn’t sound too worried about all the tinkering.
“We don’t prefer the simultaneous release because it leads to piracy,” he said. “But if you’re going to leave your home for a premium experience, we’re able to provide a unique option.”
Imax reported $193 million of cash on its books, with debt of $233 million, leaving it well capitalized.