Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have a Chinese film at the top of the international box office. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons had a phenomenal record opening over the Chinese New Year holiday. Meanwhile a Good Day to Die Hard expanded into quite a few more markets securing 2nd place, and Skyfall passed another epic milestone.
Comedian Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle) directs but doesn’t star in Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, the fastest grossing film of all time in China with over $100 million after 8 days in theaters. The film made a whopping $94.2 million last week alone, more than enough to claim the top spot over the other big film out now. It’s not every day we see a foreign film beating a Hollywood blockbuster so enjoy the view.
A Good Day to Die Hard came out in 65 more territories around the globe, moving $60.6 million last weekend for a new international total of $79.6 million. That’s certainly less underwhelming than the North American numbers but I also can’t really tell you everything is fine here. That’s because it really isn’t, A Good Day to Die Hard has been getting incredibly awful reviews so expect big drops in the next few weeks. Unless this makes a killing in the remaining countries that haven’t opened the flick yet, I don’t see it matching the $249 million international take of Live Free or Die Hard. At best, it could pull $200 million, maybe more, for a worldwide total above or under $300 million. Live Free or Die Hard made $383.5 million in 2007.
In 3rd we have Chinese romantic comedy Say Yes with an opening of $18.9 million. Apparently this stars the same lead as Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, Huang Bo, so he must be pretty big over there. You know, having two big films at the same time over what’s probably the best week to open a film in China.
Coming in at #4 is Django Unchained, finally dropping from the top after 4 consecutive wins. The western epic did $13.8 million for a total of $208.6 million internationally. That’s more than the $201 million of Inglorious Basterds (the previous Tarantino international record holder) and brings the film to an amazing $366.1 million worldwide.
Rounding out the top 5 was Les Miserables with $9.8 million for $233.3 million internationally and $379.1 million worldwide. It’s now the 3rd highest grossing musical of all time worldwide behind Grease ($394.9 million) and Mamma Mia ($609.8 million).
In other related news the already ridiculously popular Skyfall passed the $800 million mark internationally. That’s only the 6th film to ever do so. Worldwide the film sits at over $1.1 billion, close to double the previous best, Casino Royale ($599 million).