The global box office rode a wave of optimism over the weekend as more major releases made their way back to theaters.
The Eight Hundred, a highly-anticipated domestic title from China, delivered the industry’s first $100M+ launch in the global reopening effort. The film is the first major new release to hit theaters in China, the world’s second-largest market, seven months after cinemas in the country were ordered to close due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The Eight Hundred earned $107 million in the market, counting preview screenings dating back to Monday, including $6.7 million from 637 IMAX screens. Cinemas across China are currently operating at 50 percent capacity.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 3D finished in second place in China over its sophomore frame with an estimated $4.1 million from 5,893 screens. The film has now grossed a total of $23.3 million in the market.
On the domestic front, the North American market (U.S.and Canada) is still lagging behind most major overseas territories in the reopening effort. This weekend’s U.S. expansion of Unhinged from Solstice Studios brought optimism to domestic exhibitors. The Russell Crowe vehicle grossed an estimated $4 million from 1,823 screens in its second overall frame (and first in the U.S.) after opening in 299 locations across Canada last week.
Unhinged registered a $1.4 million bow on Friday followed by a $1.5 million take on Saturday. Solstice is confident the film will cross the $30 million mark in its domestic theatrical run. Polling data provided by the studio indicates an older-skewing audience, 80 percent above the age of 25.
“Our respect for what exhibition has accomplished cannot be understated. Theaters took a monumental task head on and we are proud to be here hand-in-hand with them on this journey,” Shari Hardison, head of distribution at Solstice Studios, shared with Boxoffice.
Drive-ins represented the top five highest-grossing locations for Unhinged in the United States, including two in states where indoor cinemas are still waiting to reopen: The Paramount Drive-In in Los Angeles, California and The Ford Wyoming Drive-In in Detroit, Michigan.
Santikos Casa Blanca in San Antonio, Texas, which first reopened in May, was Unhinged’s top grossing indoor location over its first weekend in the United States. Texas locations led the way among the title’s box office market share; Dallas (5.3%) and Houston (3.6%) were the film’s two highest-earning cities in North America, with Austin (1.9%) rounding out the top ten. Other top earning cities for Unhinged in the domestic market include Chicago (3.5%), Atlanta ($2.6%), Orlando (2.4%), Las Vegas (2.3%), Denver (2.2%), and Cleveland (2.2%).
“We had hoped to go over 2,000 [locations] for next weekend, and as of last night we are already at 2,300,” added Solstice President & CEO Mark Gill. The executive also reported positive weekday figures from the film’s Canadian run, “Weekdays are way better than we expected,” he said. “What it shows you is that people are getting comfortable getting out of the house.”
Elsewhere in North America, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run added $550 thousand from 323 locations in its second weekend of release in Canada. The film has grossed a total of $2 million in the country and is not expected to make a wide release in the United States after going to PVOD earlier this summer.
In limited release, Words on Bathroom Walls opened to $462 thousand from 925 U.S. screens. Distributors LD Entertainment and Roadside Attraction are hoping positive reviews and an ‘A’ CinemaScore help word-of-mouth as audiences return to cinemas in the coming weeks.
Greenland claimed 35 percent of the weekend’s overall market share in Russia with a $394 thousand debut from 488 locations, keeping pace with comps Angel Has Fallen and 67 percent ahead of London Has Fallen. France continues to overperform for the sci-fi title, earning $642k, a 35 percent drop, in its third frame for a $3.45 million market cume. Greenland has grossed a total of $7.8 million overseas ahead of its domestic release, scheduled for September 25.
Scoob! opened in 1,379 screens in Mexico, adding $332 thousand to its global tally. The film, which went to PVOD in the United States, earned an estimated $1.2 million on 3,184 screens in 18 overseas markets, lifting its total earnings to $15.4 million. France is the leading territory with a $5.1 million run, followed by the Netherlands ($2.5 million), Spain ($2.1 million), and Poland ($1.5 million).
The tenth anniversary re-release of Christopher Nolan’s Inception collected $850 thousand from 2,205 screens in 36 overseas markets, taking its total to $3.5 million. Top markets for the title include Japan ($624k), the UK ($566k), and Saudi Arabia (449k).