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‘West Side Story’ Goes South In Offshore Debut, But Is There A Place For It Over Time?; ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ Nears $500M Global- International Box Office

Refresh for latest…: With stellar critical and audience scores, there is certainly a place for Disney/20th Century Studios’ take on West Side Story — and the hope is that it will grow through the coming weeks. In its debut session at the international box office, however, the Steven Spielberg-directed version of the classic musical landed well below expectations. In 37 material markets, which include six majors, WSS grossed $4.4M — far under the low end of the projected range coming into the session. The global total through Sunday is $15M.

So what happened? Anthony has the domestic rundown here — and offshore is a somewhat similar situation. There are increased Covid fears in Europe and older audiences are not rushing out to see a film they know they can catch during the down time after holiday preparations are through. In terms of individual markets, the UK leads at $1.7M (No. 2 opening), followed by France with $1.1M (the soft market is led by a local fourquel which saw a bigger drop from Wednesday-Thursday than WSS). After that, we cast downwards to Germany’s $300K start and Russia and Netherlands’ $200K debuts. Russia and Germany were expected to be soft, and Netherlands has a 5PM curfew in place.

Still, given the competitive landscape ahead — which includes the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix Resurrections — there was not much else place to land in terms of a release date in the major European markets; and it was important to secure and be able to hold screens for a certain period. The hope is that, as with other Spielberg movies, there is a leg-out from this launch. There have been a lot of queries as to for whom this movie was intended, and I think that’s thorny. Maybe the timing is not opportune for the available audience, but this is not obscure property; ie, it’s well-known globally.For Disney, this is a movie that has awards momentum and which should have holiday momentum behind it. There are many markets to come throughout the holiday period.

In other studio news, Disney’s Encanto dropped by 37% in its third weekend and has become the highest grossing animated title of the pandemic era across Latin America. The weekend was good for $13.6M from 47 markets for an offshore cume of $80.5M and a global total of $151.2M. France is the top market at $9M, followed by Colombia ($7.9M), UK ($5.6M), Spain ($5.5M) and Russia ($4.8M).

MGM/Universal’s House Of Gucci added $10.1M from 63 combined markets. That lifts the offshore cume to $52M and global to $93M. Russia is loving the Lady Gaga-starrer with a 19% drop and a $6.3M cume; Germany dipped just 5% from open to top A Star Is Born at the same point with $4.1M. In lead market, the UK, House Of Gucci has topped Ford V Ferrari at a running $9.8M. Several key markets are still on deck.

Sony/Marvel

Meanwhile, Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage is expected to pass a new milestone this week as the symbiote has now cumed $493.3M global. That’s following a $4.7M international weekend in 60 markets. After debuting last session, Japan was down 45% for a market cume of $9.3M and Australia is now at $9.4M. The overseas total is $281.3M to date.

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