Sony’s Bad Boys For Life kept the heat on in its sophomore session at the international box office. The weekend was worth $42M in 58 markets for an offshore cume of $95M, bringing global to $215M. The overseas drop was just 39% in the holdover hubs.
Following last week’s debut, the well-received Will Smith/Martin Lawrence threequel collared another record as the biggest opening of the 25-year-old franchise in the new group of 19 markets. Among No. 1 starts were Russia, France and Netherlands. The UK leads all play at $10.7M to date. Brazil, Japan and Italy are still on deck through next month.
The offshore and worldwide standings would have looked a lot different this week, but a shift brought on by the coronavirus epidemic in China shuffled the deck. On Thursday last week, it emerged that all local film releases scheduled for the highly lucrative Chinese New Year period were pulled (both at home and abroad) amid the escalating crisis. That resulted in no record-breaking openings as had previously been expected in the Middle Kingdom. Certainly, the most important thing to consider here is the human factor as Chinese authorities made the prudent decision to shelve the Lunar New Year movies in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease. However, as we detailed last week, this is expected to mean a $1B+ blow to global box office for 2020.
Movie theaters were forced to close this weekend in China and it is not yet known when they will reopen. The impact on Hollywood is also not yet clear. A backlog of local product in the market likely portends a stand-off for screens once things, hopefully, settle. Some studio releases could be shifted while future dates could be shorter in coming so that homegrown titles continue to excel.
It’s understood that this weekend new openings for the studios in SE Asia were pretty much on target with expectations from before the virus news. Holdovers, as noted below, ended up benefiting somewhat as the CNY movies did not release anywhere thus making more screens available. Hong Kong, however, was hit across the board. And Korea had its own homegrown breakout during the holiday with The Man Standing Next.