World box office May 12-14

 RankFilm (distributor)3-day (world) Cume (world)3-day (int’l)Cume (int’l)Territories
 1.  Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 (Disney)  $152.4m  $528.8m  $91.9m  $315.6m  53
 2.  The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal)  $39.1m  $1.2bn  $26.1m  $674.4m  81
 3.   Godspeed (various)  $13.1m  $120.2m  $13.1m  $120.2m  3
 4.  Evil Dead Rise (Warner Bros)  $10.4m  $131.7m  $6.7m  $71.6m  66
 5.  Book Club: The Next Chapter (Universal)  $9.6m  $9.6m  $3.1m  $3.1m  36
 6.  Born To Fly (various)  $8.9m  $106.7m  $8.9m  $106.4m  8
 7.  John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate)  $4.6m  $423.4m  $2.6m  $240.4m  46
 8.  Love Again (Sony)  $4m  $7.6m  $2.5m  $2.6m  36 
 9.  Detective Conan: The Black Iron Submarine (Toho)   $3.8m  $84m  $3.8m  $84m  1
 10.  The Pope’s Exorcist (Sony)  $3.1m  $70.2m  $2.8m  $50.7m  61

‘Guardians Of The Galaxy 3’ achieves strong hold – for a Marvel film

The power of Marvel’s brand can be seen in the very strong opening weekend box office numbers for the studio’s films, as fans rush out to see the latest release as soon as possible. But the flipside is that Marvel titles usually decline quickly after a powerful start.

Disney is celebrating the box office for the second weekend of play for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3: an estimated $60.6m in North America (down 49%) and $91.9m for international (down 40%). The totals after two weekends in cinemas are $213.2m in North America and $315.6m for international, combining for $528.8m worldwide.

Despite declining by almost half in North America from the opening, that 49% drop represents the best second-weekend hold (in percentage terms) for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the pandemic era. It’s also the best second-weekend drop for any Marvel sequel, as well as gentler than the drops for the second sessions of both Guardians Of The Galaxy and sequel Vol 2 (both 55%).

International drops tender to be gentler, and the 40% decline for Vol 3 in international markets represents the fifth best second-weekend hold for an MCU title. The fall is gentler than was the case for both Guardians Of The Galaxy (-42%) and sequel Vol 2 (-52%) for the same suite of markets.

Despite competition on television from the Eurovision Song Contest live final on Saturday night (reported at 161million viewers), the Guardians movie achieved strong holds in key European markets Germany (-30%), Spain (-38%) and Italy (-38%). In Australia – which competed in Eurovision, but where the live final began at 5am local time on Sunday, thus not impacting cinemagoing – the drop was 31%. China saw a 32% drop.

Even stronger holds were achieved in a range of smaller markets, led by Chile (-7%), Hungary (-14%) and Austria (-15%).

After two weekends of play, China leads the international pack for Vol 3 with $58.4m ahead of UK/Ireland ($29.6m), Mexico ($24.7m), South Korea ($22.1m) and France ($18.3m).

Vol 3 is now 61% of the way to matching the $863.8m lifetime total of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, and 68% of the way to reaching the $773.4m achieved by the original Guardians Of The Galaxy in 2014. The new film faces the handicap of no contribution from Russia this time around.

‘Book Club 2’ makes $9.6m start

Judging by the opening numbers for Universal’s Book Club: The Next Chapter, the female-friendship comedy will struggle to match the $104.4m global total achieved by the original Book Club in 2018.

Released to coincide with Mother’s Day in US, Canada and Australia, The Next Chapter opened with an estimated $6.5m in North America and $3.1m in 35 international markets. The original Book Club debuted with $13.6m in North America in May 2018.

Among international markets, Australia led the way with an estimated $769,000, ahead of Germany ($469,000) and UK/Ireland ($409,000). In Germany, the film opened on Wednesday, bolstered by “Ladies Night” promotions.

The Next Chapter reunites the Book Club cast of Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, and is once again directed by Bill Holderman, co-writing with Erin Simms. This time, the four best friends take their book club to Italy.

Key markets yet to open The Next Chapter include Mexico (opening on June 1), South Korea (June 7) and France (August 30).

‘Love Again’ hits international markets

While the numbers look soft for the Book Club film, they are firmer than is the case for rival female-skewing release Love Again.

The Sony romantic drama grossed an estimated $1.55m from 2,703 sites in its second session in North America (down 35%), taking the total after two weekends there to $5.0m. The Screen Gems film also began in its first international markets, grossing an estimated $2.6m from 35 territories. Global total is $7.6m so far.

Priyanka Chopra Jones stars as a children’s book illustrator who deals with the death of her fiancé by sending text messages to his old cell phone number, which has now been reassigned to a music journalist (Sam Heughan). Celine Dion also stars, playing herself. The film is based on the 2009 German novel SMS für Dich(Text For You), which was made into a 2016 German film of the same name.

The next key market to release Love Again is France, on June 7.

‘Super Mario’ hits $1.2bn

The sixth weekend of release for The Super Mario Bros. Movie sees the film hold steady in second place at the global box office, adding an estimated $39.1m, and taking the total to $1.21bn.

The Universal release is closing in on Incredibles 2 – which, with $1.24bn, is the third-biggest animated film of all time at the global box office. Ahead of it are Frozen II ($1.45bn) and Frozen ($1.28bn).

The past week saw The Super Mario Bros. Movie overtake Minions ($1.16bn) to become the fourth-biggest animation of all time, and the biggest from Illumination. These comparisons are not adjusted for inflation.

Top international market remains Mexico (with $82.4m), ahead of UK/Ireland ($63.2m). Japan, where the film is only in its third weekend of play, has overtaken France, and is closing in on UK/Ireland with a $59.8m total. The French total is $54.9m.

In Mexico, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has now overtaken Avengers: Endgame to become the second biggest film of all time there, behind only Spider-Man: No Way Home.