Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Heyday Films’ Wonka begins early release in 37 international box office markets this session, ahead of the domestic bow on December 15. Next week will also see the addition of all other overseas markets, save Korea which is going at the end of January.
Current estimates for this frame’s offshore bow — which includes such majors as Spain, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, Japan and China — are for a $30M early debut for the Timothée Chalamet-starrer.
Comps here are The Greatest Showman which had a $28.1M opening in like-for-like markets at historical rates ($24.9M at today’s dollars); Paddington, also from Wonka director Paul King, at $26.2M historical and $21.9M restated; and Mary Poppins Returns with $24.9M at 2018 figures and $23.8M at today’s rates. (Note we are not comping to Tim Burton’s 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory due to the length of time that has passed in the interim.)
We’re looking at the UK to be the biggest of this frame’s starts, and not putting too much sway on China. The latter market has been inhospitable to Hollywood fare for some time.
The origins story/musical that sees Chalamet in the titular role of the enigmatic candy maker has been out on the road in the past several weeks including a fan event in Tokyo. That was followed by the London world premiere, and another premiere screening in Paris last Friday (note that France opens next Wednesday). Hugh Grant, Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman, Jim Carter and Matt Lucas also star.
Universal/Illumination’s Migration is also starting early offshore rollout this session, on a very staggered flight pattern. It’s dipping its beak into just 17 markets starting today and two weeks ahead of domestic.
Across this first wave are such majors as France, Italy and China (as we previously reported, China dated Migration and Wonka head-to-head). The rest of rollout continues in the ensuing weeks, with some significant hubs like Brazil, Korea, the UK and Japan releasing throughout January, February and March.
This is similar to the launch pattern for Uni/DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish last year. That film legged out to a $481M+ global gross.