The Lego Batman Movie swung into action knocking three- frame champ Split off of the top spot with a $55.6 million debut weekend. Will Arnett voices the Batman in this animated feature from director Chris McKay and finds himself battling the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) to foil his plot to destroy Gotham City. Joining him are Michael Cera as Robin, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, and Rosario Dawson as Batgirl. RatPac-Dune took the lead on production with Warner Bros. distributing. Lego Batman is a spinoff to 2014’s hit The Lego Movie, which went on to gross $496 million worldwide. Overseas plays were strong as well for Batman. It made $37 million in 60 overseas territories.
While it came out on top at home, Batman got tied up by Fifty Shades Darker in foreign markets, losing out in nearly every territory it shared with Michael De Luca and Universal’s soft-core sexual sequel. It made $100.1 million overseas. James Foley signed on to direct while Dakota Johnson returned as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan came back as her S&M obsessed billionaire boyfriend Christian Grey. In this erotic adventure Grey tries to get his girlfriend back while an old lover torments and tries to kill him. Shades was the combined global champ with its $46.8 million domestic numbers added in, for a total gross of $147 million. Its top market so far is Italy, followed by France and the UK.
Still overseas xXx: Return of Xander Cage made a killing in its Chinese debut. Vin Diesel’s return as the hard hitting 2000’s extreme sports secret agent netted an astounding $61.9 million in China, beating Kung Fu Yoga and Journey to The West: Demon Chapter. This is a big win for Paramount, who did not do so well with xXx in North America. Their massive Chinese win represents the biggest single frame return for a Hollywood film in the Middle Kingdom. Vin Diesel, whose Fast and Furious films have found tremendous success there, is a major star in China and is responsible for a good portion of the film’s success. Return of Xander Cage’s global cume is now $225.6 million , out o an $85 million budget.
Back at home, new release John Wick 2 found itself in a solid third place with a $31 million bow. Keanu Reeves returns as the title character and picks up the action just 4 days after the events of the original film. After being called to return a favor to mafia boss Santino D’Antonio he has to travel to Rome on a deadly mission. There he must kill D’Antonio’s sister Gianna, (Claudia Gerini) but must contend with a host of body guards led by a killer named Cassian, played by rapper turned actor Common. Ruby Rose joins the cast as well as a deaf hitwoman, and John Leguizamo returns as Wick’s sassy mechanic Aurellio. Foreign plays in 41 markets were worth $10 million for a global haul of $41 million.
Next week Legendary East’s The Great Wall and Fist Fight, starring Ice Cube and Christina Hendricks, will join our current crop of top international performers.