smile 2

Source: Paramount


World box office September 30-October 2

RankFilm (distributor)3-day (world)Cume (world)3-day (int’l)Cume (int’l)Territories
 1. Home Coming (various) $58.3m $58.3m $58.3m $58.3m 1
 2. Smile (Paramount) $36.5m $36.5m $14.5m $14.5m 59
 3. Avatar (2009) (Disney) $17m  $58.1m $12.3m $39.5m 52
 4. Don’t Worry Darling (Warner Bros) $13.7m $54.7m $6.4m $21.9m 64
 5. Ticket To Paradise (Universal) $9.4m $45.3m $9.4m $45.3m 59
 6. The Woman King (Sony) $9.1m $50.6m $2.1m $3.9m 14
 7. Ponniyin Selvan: Part One (various) $8.7m $4.6m $8.7m $4.6m 15
 8. Ordinary Hero (various) $8.5m $8.5m $8.5m $8.5m 1
 9. Bros (Universal) $4.8m $4.8m $4.8m $4.8m 3
 10. DC League Of Super Pets (Warner Bros) $4.7m $193.3m $3.4m $101.6m 71

Credit: Comscore, click top right to expand. All figures are estimates.

‘Smile’ headed for instant profits

With a production budget reported at $17.5m, Paramount’s Smile looks headed for quick recoupment, even when factoring in marketing costs and revenue shares with exhibitors. The horror film opened at the top of the North American box office with an estimated $22m, and also delivered an estimated $14.5m in 58 international markets.

With a $36.5m global debut, Smile is the top US studio currently on release.

Written and directed by Parker Finn, making his feature debut, Smile opened with a robust estimated $2.0m (including previews) in UK/Ireland, landing in second place. Other strong international territories on the title include France (estimated $1.4m, and second place), Mexico (opening at the top of the chart with $1.1m) and Germany ($1.0m).

With its 58 markets so far, Smile has reached 95% of its international rollout. International results are so far on par with Universal’s The Black Phone, on a like-for-like basis.

Smile is adapted from Finn’s 2020 short film Laura Hasn’t Slept, and is co-produced by Paramount Players and Temple Hill Entertainment. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas on September 22.

Smile will arrive in key market South Korea this week, and also in South Africa and Vietnam.

China’s ‘Home Coming’ tops global box office

Although Smile was the top US studio title at the weekend, the global box office crown was won by Chinese film Home Coming – released for China’s National Day holiday weekend. The patriotic action thriller follows two members of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs tasked with the evacuation of Chinese citizens after war breaks out in Libya in 2011.

Home Coming grossed $58.3m at the weekend, and $59.6m overall. Those numbers may sound impressive, but they fall short of 2021, when The Battle At Lake Changjin led the National Cinema Day weekend box office with $203m. Overall, China’s weekend box office was 70% down on a year ago.

China’s box office has been lagging behind 2021 all year – a reversal of the situation in North America and most key markets, where 2022 has represented a significant recovery on the Covid-blighted 2021.

Recent weeks and months have seen a rosier picture in China, and the shortfall vs 2021 has been gradually eroding week by week. A week ago, the shortfall for the year to date had reduced to 25.8%. With the latest weekend numbers added in, China box office is now running 27.4% behind 2021 for the year to date, according to Artisan Gateway.

India’s ‘PS-1’ makes strong debut

Tamil-language film PS-1 (aka Ponniyin Selvan: Part One) made a strong impression at the global box office, landing in North America in sixth place with an estimated $4.1m, and also generating an estimated $4.6m in international markets, not including India. The international tally includes an estimated $890,000 for UK and Ireland.

The period action drama is set against the power struggle during the Chozha rule from 900AD to 950AD, and is based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s 1955 novel Ponniyin Selvan. South Indian director Mani Ratnam directs and co-writes, and the film’s ensemble cast includes Tamil stars Vikram, Jayam Ravi and Karthi, as well as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Comscore’s global box office chart (above) does not include the India box office, but Indian sources are reporting the film’s global weekend box office as 230 crore rupees, which is equivalent to $28.1m.

Sequel Ponniyin Selvan: Part Two, aka PS-2, is set for release in 2023.


‘Bros’ underwhelms with $4.8m North American debut

UPDATE: Universal Pictures released R-rated comedy Bros into its first market – North America – at the weekend, landing in fourth place there with an estimated $4.8m. Directed by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and written by Stoller and Billy Eichner, who also stars, Bros is billed as the first gay romantic comedy from a major US studio.

Eichner stars alongside Luke Macfarlane in the opposites-attract comedy, billed in its tagline as “A boy meets bro love story”.

Bros begins its international rollout this coming week, and lands in key market UK/Ireland on October 28.

Don’t Worry Darling cracks $50m

UPDATE: Warner Bros’ Don’t Worry Darling has pushed through the $50m barrier on its second weekend of release, adding an estimated $13.7m for the session.

The film fell 62% in North America (with estimated box office of $7.3m), but achieved a stronger hold in international markets, down 40% (a confirmed $6.4m). Respective totals are $32.8m and $21.9m, combining for $54.7m.

UK/Ireland remained the hero market for international, delivering $2m for the second session, and retaining the top spot – although probably just behind Smile including its two days of previews. Total so far in UK/Ireland is a handy $7m.

The film’s other strongest international markets are Mexico ($1.8m so far), Italy ($1.6m), France ($1.5m) and Germany ($1.4m).

Don’t Worry Darling is currently fourth in Comscore’s global chart, behind Home Coming, Smile and also the rerelease of Avatar. The latter title added another estimated $12.3m in international markets at the weekend, and $4.7m in North America.

Avatar opened at the top of the box office in Spain at the weekend, with an estimated $1.0m. The rerelease stayed at the top of the French box office, and has now reached an impressive $5.8m there. Germany is at $2.9m, and UK/Ireland and Italy are both at $2.6m.

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way Of Water is set for release in multiple markets on December 14-16.