Box Office

‘Tenet’ Tops $250M WW, Takes Japan By Storm; ‘Mulan’s Uphill Battle Continues In China – International Box Office

Refresh for latest…: Christopher Nolan’s Tenet handily passed $200M overseas this weekend with a $25M offshore frame to bring the overseas box office to $214M. Including domestic, the global cume is now $250.1M. Boosting play overseas, as we noted yesterday, was the Japan bow which came in a a strong $4.3M in the No. 1 position and ahead of both Dunkirk and Interstellar (the latter recently playing in re-release locally) across a three-day debut. This comes as the Silver Week holiday begins this week.

During a three-day Japan launch (rather than the typical Saturday/Sunday in Japan), IMAX Tenet screens accounted for a 27% market share. The $1.15M generated from only 38 IMAX screens is the biggest ever bow for Warner Bros and Christopher Nolan in the format.

Mexico, with 88% of the market now re-opened, was a clear number one for Tenet with $850K. This is the first Latin American market to open the film.

Holds were strong in ongoing markets including France (-14%), Germany (-25%), Italy (-24%), Russia (-28%), Spain (-11%), UK (-35%) and Korea (-26%). There are still 25 offshore markets to release Tenet which will go once cinemas are back up and running.

Meanwhile, Disney’s Mulan saw a 72% drop in its sophomore China frame, adding $6.5M to bring the local cume to $36.2M. The live-action update on the 1998 animated classic was No. 2 for the weekend there, where it has been battling piracy, a low reviews score and poor word of mouth. It came in behind local juggernaut The Eight Hundred which is now at about $424M, likely soon to overtake Sony’s Bad Boys For Life ($430.3M) as the No. 1 movie worldwide of this unprecedented year.

China will up its cinema capacity level to 75% next weekend as Leap (Duo Guan), about the Chinese women’s volleyball team, will start previews ahead of National Day celebrations which will see a host of local titles enter the mix. We are likely to be looking at more and more success stories out of the Middle Kingdom in the coming weeks.

Turning back to Mulan, which debuted on Disney+ September 4th in markets where the streaming service is available, it has grossed an estimated $57M through Sunday in its international box office theatrical plays.

The full weekend from 20 markets added $10.9M. New hubs included Korea where Mulan did $1.2M from Thursday through Sunday. It is in a neck-and-neck race with Warner Bros’ Tenet for No. 1 across the weekend. The Chuseok holiday is coming up in Korea on September 30, which could give Mulan a boost, though the market has been hobbled. Hong Kong also opened, but given the backlash against the film last year when star Liu Yifei prompted the #BoycottMulan furor over controversial statements she made on social media, we hear the bow was slight.

Elsewhere, the Niki Caro-directed pic retained No. 1s in the Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore. There were good holds in Poland (-21%), Middle East (-39%) and Russia (-42%). Despite the difficulties in China, it remains the top market on the film, followed by the collective Middle East ($5.1M), Russia ($3.5M), Thailand ($2.7M) and Taiwan ($2.2M). Israel, where a new lockdown has been implemented, is due to open next weekend, though that may change.

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