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‘Smile’ Giddy With $37M Global Bow, China Returns At $60M Local ‘Home Coming’; Keep A Bag Packed For ‘Ticket To Paradise’ – International Box Office

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It was a varied offering at the international box office this weekend with newcomers from Hollywood and offshore markets, as well as notable holds, as we inch closer to full-on action later in October. 

Landing the top offshore debut for the studios was Paramount’s Smile with $14.5M from 58 markets, and $36.5M globally. The horror audience grinned in all areas with good word of mouth for the Parker Finn-directed movie that was also tops domestically

Reinforcing that audiences want to go back to the cinema for something fresh, on a like-for-like basis, the offshore start on Smile is 18% above Truth or Dare, 55% ahead of Hereditary and on par with The Black Phone. Smile, whose first footage intrigued exhibition at CineEurope earlier this year, was led by the UK with $2M from 520 locations at No. 2. France was also a No. 2 debut with $1.4M from 303 sites. In horror-leaning Mexico, the movie scored a No. 1 start of $1.1M from 855 locations. Rounding out the Top 5 were Germany ($1M from 316) and Australia ($800K from 206).

Still to come are Korea, South Africa and Vietnam next week. 

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Last frame’s champ, the rerelease of James Cameron’s Avatar, took the Na’vi to Spain where they had a No. 1 $1M opening while holdovers were down 45%. The sophomore session for the remastered version, which acts as a table-setter for sequel The Way of Water in December, was $12.3M in 51 markets. The reissue has now added $58.1M globally, of which $39.5M is from offshore. As a sign of things to come, 3D accounted for 81% of ticket sales in Asia, 76% in Europe and 70% in Latin America. 

France held the No. 1 spot in the second weekend, and leads all play at $5.8M. It’s followed by Germany ($2.9M), UK ($2.6M), Italy ($2.6M) and Korea ($2.3M).

In IMAX, the rerelease cume is $10.7M worldwide, taking the lifetime of the sci-fi epic to $268.6M in the format. 

Now, let’s talk about Universal/Working Title’s Ticket to Paradise and the  ‘older’ female audiences who have been amongst the most difficult to return to cinemas. In the fitting words of Eddie Money, they  have “waited so long” for a new romcom to keep that momentum going (at least since The Lost City, but in general over the pandemic years).

This is one of the standouts of the past few weeks. Well before its domestic bow on October 21, the Julia Roberts/George Clooney romcom added $9.4M this session and has already amassed $45.3M in 59 offshore markets which lands it 16% ahead of The Lost City at the same point.

The Ol Parker-directed island romp is helping to bring back this underserved demo, who, yes, still want to go to the movies when the alchemy is there. The movie is headed for a $90M+ international cume (which, given exchange rates, would have looked a lot higher several months ago).  And, again, North America has not yet released.

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Next up for the studios, New Line/Warner Bros’ Don’t Worry Darling added $6.4M for a 40% drop in holdover markets after its debut last session. The international cume is now $21.9M in 63 markets for $54.7M worldwide. This sophomore frame had a continued No. 1 in the UK where the gross is $6.9M to date. There were solid holds in some markets including Germany (-11%), Switzerland (-15%), Denmark (-29%), Austria (-30%), Poland (-31%), UK (-33%), Holland (-33%), Brazil (-35%), France (-36%), Norway (-36%) and Mexico (-39%). 

In like-for-likes, Don’t Worry Darling is running 41% above A Simple Favor and 69% ahead of Where the Crawdads Sing.

Huzzahs for DC League of Super-Pets which has crossed $100M internationally. The Warner Bros title added $3.4M from 70 overseas markets this session to reach $101.6M.  The global cume to date is now $193.3M.

Now, let’s look at what was happening non-studio wise overseas: India’s Tamil-language Ponniyin Selvan: I from Lyca Productions and featuring Aishwarya Rai, bowed as the biggest International IMAX opening ever for an Indian title, including the biggest IMAX local title opening ever in UK, Malaysia and Singapore, and 4th highest in India.

As I have previously noted many times, it is extremely difficult to get precise figures out of India given the reporting system varies. We are hearing that PSI did significant numbers and will update accordingly. We do know that it earned $2.1M from 121 IMAX screens, becoming the 3rd highest global IMAX opening weekend ever for an Indian title.

This leads us to China which had the biggest movie of the weekend with Rao Xiaozhi’s nationalistic Home Coming break far from the pack to lead all newcomers. At an estimated RMB 430M ($60M) through Sunday and a 9.6 on Maoyan, it was the clear frontrunner. Filmed for IMAX and starring veteran actor Zhang Yi and heartthrob Wang Junkai, originally of boy band TFBoys, the Huace Pictures title follows two unarmed Chinese diplomats who lead 125 Chinese citizens on an exodus to return to China from a fictional country in North Africa. It’s inspired by a real evacuation event in Libya in 2011, when the Chinese embassy evacuated more than 30,000 nationals over 12 days. 

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There are echoes of Wolf Warrior 2, China’s second biggest local movie ever at $850M+, as well as Operation Red Sea, however Rao recently noted that the diplomats in Home Coming “are also ordinary people; they are fathers, husbands, and sons, but they need to get to the frontline as their professional ethics and responsibilities demand,” according to local media. The Wandering Earth director Frant Gwo served as executive producer.

 IMAX screens repped over 5% of the nationwide weekend box office for the movie, despite IMAX screens representing less than 2% of all showtimes for the movie.

Other China newcomers including Steel Will, Ordinary Hero and New Happy Dad and Son 5: My Alien Friend had severely lackluster openings. To confuse matters, tomorrow will see the release of rescue thriller Come Back Home which revolves around attempts to rescue a young boy after he is lost during a family trip into the Changbai Mountains in northeastern China’s Jilin province. Donnie Yen stars in the pic that began production before Covid.

But let’s be honest, these movies don’t tend to travel. The market recently kiboshed the release of Born to Fly, which might have been its local stab at Top Gun, and yeah, It is good to see the market springing back during the National Day Holiday, nevertheless

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FIFA Fever In Bollywood: Madhuri and Aishwarya also danced together after a long time in the song ‘Waka Waka’

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Madhuri and Aishwarya also danced together after a long time in the song 'Waka Waka'

Who is not a fan of the football world cup? It is said that eight to eighty are overcome by the fever of the FIFA world cup this time. If you keep an eye on social media, you will see just a small clipping all over social media—a flood of troll memes about the World Cup game. And, like Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai Bacchan will triumph over World Cup fever this time. These two “Devdas” movie heroines collaborated on the “Waka Waka” song!

A few days ago, a video went viral on social media, which will be seen by everyone. In that video, a scene from the film ‘Devdas’ is seen. The two actresses danced together on the once-popular song ‘Dola Re.” The song ‘Waka Waka’ has been removed and placed there! The unusual dance posture and rhythm are also appropriate for this song! Social media is now abuzz with this funny video.
If you look at the comment box of this video, you will understand how enthusiastically the viewers are enjoying the video, the viewers have filled the comment box with jokes and fun. The caption of the video is also quite funny. Social media is flooded with troll memes but this video caught everyone’s attention. The first song ‘Waka Waka’ was released in 2010. This song in Shakira’s voice captivated everyone.

Read: Fifa World Cup Knock Out Line-up: USA takes on Senegal and the Dutch in the World Cup knock-outs against England
On the other hand, Amazon Prime Video (Amazon Prime Video) has now brought their first Indian original film which you can watch on Amazon Prime Video OTT Platform (OTT Platform). The name of the film is ‘Maja Ma’. Madhuri Dixit will be seen in the lead role. Bandish Bandits fame director Anand Tiwari is in charge of this film.

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‘A Little Life’: James Norton To Star In West End Adaptation Of Hanya Yanagihara Bestseller

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James Norton has been set to lead the West End stage adaptation of Hanya Yanagihara’s bestselling novel A Little Life. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2015, the emotional story follows four college friends in New York City. Ivo van Hove (Network, Hedda Gabler) is directing the 12-week run at the Harold Pinter Theatre which begins on March 25.

Also starring are Bridgerton’s Luke Thompson, Omari Douglas (It’s A Sin), Zach Wyatt (The Witcher), Elliot Cowan (The Crown), Zubin Varla (Tammy Faye), Nathalie Armin (Force Majeure) and Emilio Doorgasingh (The Kite Runner).

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 12: Hanya Yanagihara author of A Little Life, at a Photocall for the Man Booker Prize 2015 Shortlisted Authors, at the Royal Festival Hall on October 12, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)

The quartet of friends is made up of aspiring actor Willem (Thompson), successful architect Malcolm (Wyatt), struggling artist JB (Douglas) and prodigious lawyer Jude (Norton). As ambition, addiction and pride threaten to pull the group apart, they always find themselves bound by their love for Jude and the mysteries of his past.  But when those secrets come to light, they finally learn that to know Jude St Francis is to understand the limitless potential of love in the face of life.

This will be the English-language premiere of the play; van Hove previously staged it in Dutch.

“The book is a kind of a mystery, because it became a huge bestseller,” van Hove told BBC News. “It’s a little bit strange because it talks about cruel things, about a traumatic experience that haunts somebody for the rest of his life.” He also told the BBC that the runtime will be shortened to three hours and 40 minutes.

Sales of the novel were modest following its publication, but word of mouth spurred it to over 2.5 million copies. Ticket sales for the Harold Pinter production are on sale from today. 

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Sam Mendes Casts Johnny Flynn, Tuppence Middleton & Mark Gatiss As Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor & John Gielgud In Hot New Play

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EXCLUSIVE: Sam Mendes has picked Johnny Flynn (Emma, Beast), Tuppence Middleton (Downton Abbey, Mank) and Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss to portray legendary stars Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and John Gielgud in The Motive and the Cue, a mouth-watering new play by Jack Thorne that explores how acting giants Burton and Gielgud staged Hamlet on Broadway in 1964.

Burton, newly wed to Taylor after their affair on the set of epic film Cleopatra, signed on to play the Danish prince in a fabled production directed by Gielgud in New York.

On opening night in April, 1964, scores of police hemmed in crowds who were as eager to catch a glimpse of Taylor entering the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre as they were to see her husband as the depressed Dane.

Oscar-, Tony- and Olivier-winning Mendes will direct The Motive and the Cue at London’s National Theatre where it will open at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre in May, 2023. Mendes secured Flynn to play Burton and Gatiss to take on Gielgud several months ago, but his search for an actress to portray Taylor was interrupted due to him launching his acclaimed new film Empire of Light at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.

Taylor was the biggest movie star in the world in 1964, said Caro Newling, who founded Neal Street Productions with Pippa Harris and Mendes. “She was a huge star and so were Burton and Gielgud,” Newling told us.

Mendes and Newling originated the project during lockdown with Newling later turning detective to track down out-of-print books, and archive material about the 1964 Hamlet. Neal Street, the All3Media-owned indie founded nearly 20 years ago, then commissioned Thorne, writer of His Dark Materials and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, to pen The Motive and the Cue — its title is taken from a passage in a soliloquy in Hamlet. The play’s been developed and co-produced by the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions.

Flynn, adept on stage as he is on screen, was marvelous in the original Royal Court and West End productions of Martin McDonagh’s play Hangmen. “This feels like a beautiful story to tell now about why we tell stories and why we revisit certain stories,” Flynn told Deadline in a statement regarding The Motive and the Cue.

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Gatiss, who won an Olivier Best Supporting Actor trophy for his role in Patrick Marber’s National Theatre adaptation of Turgenev’s poignant comedy Three Days in the Country, said he was thrilled to be part of “this terrific company” and “not a little over-awed to be playing Sir John. The play’s the thing, though as someone once said!”

The actor praised Thorne’s “lovely, moving and sensitive piece, which we can’t wait to bring to the National.”

Middleton, recently seen in ITV series Our House and in Downton Abbey: A New Era, has performed in two Off-West End theater productions: The One and The Living Room. The actress will next be seen in feature, The Lord of Misrule. In comments for us, issued through the National, Middleton said that she’s “delighted to be portraying the iconic Elizabeth Taylor,” in her National Theatre debut.

Deadline broke the news of The Motive and the Cue heading to the National back in July and we’ve been keeping you up to date about the celebrated collaboration between the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions over the much garlanded play, The Lehman Trilogy, which is headed for London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre in January starring Michael Balogun, Hadley Fraser and Nigel Lindsay.

Allan Corduner, Ryan Ellsworth, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Michael Walters and Laurence Ubong Williams are also in The Motive and the Cue cast revealed by us today.

The play’s creative team includes: production design by Es Devlin; Katrina Lindsay, costume designer; Jon Clark, lighting design; composer Benjamin Kwasi Burrell; Paul Arditti, sound designer; and Luke Halls, video designer. Associate director is Zoe Ford Burnett.

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Newling and Mendes discovered two books: Richard Sterne’s John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet and William Redfield’s Letters From an Actor, both tomes chronicled Gielgud’s dressed-down adaptation of Hamlet and the often differing views Gielgud and Burton had about the troubled Dane.

The underlying rights to both books were acquired by the production. It has emerged as one of next year’s most eagerly awaited new plays.



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