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World Box Office: Dying to Survive takes the weekend in an upset


So, who’s the real winner at the global box office this week? According to most reports out of the United States, it’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, which generated $76 million domestically and $85 million internationally for a global gross of $161 million.

Numbers not comparable with Avengers: Infinity War or Black Panther earlier this year, but the 20th film by the Marvel Cinematic Universe starring Paul Rudd as the titular superhero and Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp always had smaller ambitions. The new Ant-Man is still well ahead of the original and major territories such as France, Germany, the UK, and Japan have not opened yet. Also, China is missing, and the first time around for Ant-Man that market alone was worth $105 million.

Out of the Middle Kingdom comes the news however that most likely the real winner at the global box office was actually Dying to Survive, a black comedy directed by a first-time director named Wen Muye. Official reports indicate a $151 million debut, but according to local estimates when you add the previews and the Imax theaters that number is actually closer to a massive $200 million. Starring comedian Zheng Xu, Dying to Survive narrates the story of Lu Wong, a Chinese leukemia patient who became a hero when he was charged for importing cheaper anti-cancer drugs from India. The film has been compared to Dallas Buyers Club and touches on the real issue of the cost of specialty drugs in China. It also shows that Chinese theater audiences are hungry for a diversified range of stories and are looking beyond the usual local and Hollywood fare based on action and comic book heroes.

Disney is not sure if it ended up the week as the No.1 or the No.2 at the global box office. But it has now the certainty that Incredibles 2 is a real winner: with $503 million so far, it has become the top-grossing animated film of all time, beating Pixar’s own Finding Dory. It also added $36 million from 39 foreign markets, for an international total of $269 million. The worldwide global gross stands at $772 million.

With Ant-Man on top and Incredibles at No. 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was dislodged to the No. 3 position on the domestic front, where it added $28.6 million for a total of $333 million. Internationally, Chris Pratt and Bruce Dallas Howard’s adventures with the dinos of Isla Nublar attracted an extra $26.7 million and the global gross of the new title of the franchise originated by Steven Spielberg is now well beyond the 1 billion mark, at $1.060 billion.

Blumhouse’s The First Purge was No. 4 domestically, with a five days debut of $31 million. Internationally, the fourth installment of the franchise added $10.9 million from 26 markets. Sicario: Day of the Soldado got $7.3 million in its second outing, for a total gross of $35.3 million.

Documentaries continue doing very good business this year. On its fifth week of limited release Won’t You Be My Neighbor, based on Fred Rogers life, added $2,6 million for a total so far of $12,4 million. Audiences are attracted to Neighbor’s optimism, but there was also room for a darker and less hopeful documentary: Whitney, about the life and death of Whitney Houston. Directed by Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of ScotlandWhitney had a $1.25 million dollars debut.

Look for next week’s numbers to be turned upside down by Dwayne Johnson as he scales Skyscraper in most of the world except China, where it will be released on July 20.


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