The latest entry in Universal’s high-octane franchise, which opens in Korea, Hong Kong, the Middle East, Russia and China in the coming days, is expected to bring in at least $150 million to $180 million at the international box office. Industry analysts are offering a wide range, which could balloon even higher, because it’s hard to track initial grosses in foreign markets even when the world isn’t rebounding from a pandemic. As different parts of the globe recover from COVID-19 at different paces, it’s especially challenging to forecast box office ticket sales.
Outside of the U.S, where “F9” is scheduled to open on June 25, moviegoing has nearly returned to full strength. Asian markets, particularly China and Japan, have been a source of optimism after recently ushering in several blockbusters including “Hi Mom,” “Detective Chinatown 3” and “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train.” Hollywood movies, in post-pandemic times, have seen mixed results internationally.
Among Hollywood films, the Warner Bros. movie “Godzilla vs. Kong” holds the record for the best opening overseas in the pandemic era. It debuted to $121 million from 38 foreign countries. Even if “F9” falls short of expectations, it should easily surpass that benchmark.