World Box Office: Universal and DreamWorks’ Abominable take top spot

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Universal and DreamWorks’ Abominable took the top spot on the overall global chart with $29.65 million. It made $8.8 million overseas with highlights coming from Mexico and China, where it earned $1.98 and $1.45 million respectively. Releases in France, Italy, Russia, and the UK are still to come. DreamWorks produced the film in conjunction with its Chinese joint funding venture Pearl Studios. It went into limited release in the PRC this weekend and will soon expand to full-scale distribution there. The film’s story begins in Shanghai when a teenager finds a Yeti on the roof of her apartment building. She decides to take him back to his home in what is presumably Tibet, though that name is never mentioned in the picture. Eddie Izzard voices an evil western businessman who is intent on capturing the creature and chases him all the way up into the Himalayas. Chloe Bennet, Sarah Paulson, and 1960’s bond girl Tsai Chin is also part of the voice cast. It made $20 million in the US, finishing in the first place.

No other new films went into wide release this weekend but there was one notable indie opening in the US. Roadside Attractions’ Judy, which stars Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland, was shown in 461 US theaters and made $3 million in its debut. West-end theater veteran Rupert Goold is at the helm, while Finn Wittrock, Jessie Buckley, and Michael Gambon round out the cast. The film focuses on Garland’s time playing variety shows in London during a lull in her career, and her drug addiction and an affair with a much younger man. It opens in the UK and Ireland on Tuesday, followed by major European releases stretching all the way into January.

First, among holdovers, this weekend, Disney’s Fox labeled Ad Astra took $28.14 million on the combined chart. It started number one in Russia with $3.1 million and second in Italy with $1 million. At $5.6 million the UK is its biggest market so far followed by France at $5.4 million and Japan at $4.5 million. At home, Ad Astra made $10.1 million this frame and came in fifth. Global sales are now at $89 million against a $100 million budget, which might be have been a problem hadn’t Disney already grossed nearly $8 billion this year.

Downton Abbey came in next in third place on the combined chart taking $24.5 million. $10 million were earned overseas while it made $14.5 million in the US where it finished second. Global sales for this British drama now total $58.5 million.

Last week’s third newcomer, Rambo Last Blood, had another tough session and took only $18 million worldwide. It slipped into sixth in the US with $8.5 million and made $9.4 million abroad. A global cume of $56 million after two weeks may be an issue for an independently produced film with a $50 million budget.

Next week Warner’s Joker opens in the US, together with Pedro Almodovar’s Pain & Glory and concert film Roger Waters – Us + Them.

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