Magazine article Screen International

‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Battles Quentin Tarantino, ‘Nezha’ for International Box Office Crown

Magazine article Screen International

‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Battles Quentin Tarantino, ‘Nezha’ for International Box Office Crown

Article excerpt

The Angry Birds Movie 2 flies into Russia, China.

Universal’s Hobbs & Shaw is expected to coast past $400m at the worldwide box office this weekend, although the action saga faces a battle royal for the international crown against current champion Nezha from China, and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood via Sony.

All three films appeal to different demographics, and all three are expected to prosper in the coming days in a rare session when Disney does not have a release that threatens to dominate the competition. There could even be a challenge from Sony’s The Angry Birds Movie 2.

Hobbs & Shaw has amassed $254.2m internationally after two weekends in release and will get a boost from its debut in South Korea, where it should perform well after Furious 7 opened on $6.9m in April 2015 and The Fate Of The Furious debuted on $8m in April 2017.

Then comes China on Aug. 23 in what studio executives hope will be a heavy-hitting launch that should propel Hobbs & Shaw comfortably past the $500m global mark, given that the two previous instalments generated roughly $180m apiece when they opened there.

On a more modest scale for Universal, albeit one that has delivered impressive results, Danny Boyle’s musical fantasy romance Yesterday starring Himesh Patel and Lily Collins has grossed a handy $55.6m internationally. It will be intriguing to see how much this weekend’s China debut can move the dial on a $126.6m worldwide running total.

Chinese audiences will still be enthralled by Nezha, the adventure that ranks as the highest-grossing animation of all time in the territory and crossed the half-billion global mark last weekend. After grossing $64.5m last weekend, it should have enough left in the tank to trouble Hobbs & Shaw, which earned $60.8m from its international markets in the same session.

And then there is Tarantino, whose latest film Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood scored the filmmaker’s best debut in Russia last weekend on $7.7m, and will be looking to make a lot more noise in a handful of major markets through Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI).

Standing at an early $10.2m from Russia, Tarantino’s ode to Hollywood past ventured into the UK, France and Belgium on Wednesday (14), followed by Australia, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Netherlands on Thursday. …

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