‘Paddington’ Becomes Studiocanal’s Biggest B.O. Hit

At $241 million, family CGI-live action comedy bows in China Friday

A TWC-Dimension release in the U.S., “Paddington,” the biggest-ever movie bet of Euro film-TV group Studiocanal, has also become Studiocanal’s biggest theatrical earner.

Storming to $241 million through Sunday, the CGI live-action comedy, which is budgeted at $55 million, passed the $236 million for “Non Stop,” making it Studiocanal’s high-grossing movie title in its corporate history.

Of major territories, China, where “Paddington” bows Thursday on 4,000-plus screens, and Japan, which will give it a Jan. 2016 opening, are still in play. It will now most certainly cross $250 million in global box office, “the level of a significant success for a family movie,” Studiocanal chairman-CEO Olivier Courson told Variety at Berlin.

The question is whether it could get to $280 million or more. With Prince William honoring “Paddington” with a royal premiere in China, prospects are intriguing.

Directed by Paul King and starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Nicole Kidman and Ben Whishaw, and already the highest-grossing family film of all-time released by a non-U.S. studio, “Paddington” is the fruit of several strategies out into place since Olivier Courson took over the reins of the indie studio.

One is its allying with the best creative talent out, which doesn’t just means directors. Financed, distributed and sold by Studiocanal, “Paddington” is produced by David Heyman (“Harry Potter,” “Gravity”). “Paddington’s” results also reflect its drive into direct distribution outside France in the U.K., then Germany and finally Australia/New Zealand. “Paddington” has grossed $71 million Stateside for TWC-Dimension. Its U.K. gross, $57 million, is not far behind and the biggest for any Brit pic last year. Of other home territories, “Paddington” is tracking for two million tickets in Germany and has notched up 2.8 million admissions in France from a Dec. 3 bow.

“Paddington” also reps Studiocanal’s drive into family entertainment, an area undeserved by indie production in Europe and beyond, Courson has maintained, and where many of the best-loved properties seem to be British. Returns have been healthy in Benelux ($5.5 million), Scandinavia ($6.3 million) and Russia/Ukraine ($7 million), as well as Australia/New Zealand (a standout $10.6 million) and Latin American ($9.6 million), where families make up a large part of the region’s cinema going constituency.

Little wonder that, with its first big bet under its belt, Studiocanal could now contemplate “one or two” big family audience plays a year, Courson said at Berlin, adding that Studiocanal is in talks with Heyman for a “Paddington” sequel.

Leo Barraclough contributed to this article

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

    Film News Roundup: Stephen King's 'Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' Movie in the Works

    In today’s film news roundup, a Stephen King horror movie is in the works, “Downton Abbey” is seeing strong sales and a project about Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson is in development. KING ADAPTATION Stephen King’s “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” has been set up as a movie at George A. Romero’s Sanibel Films, [...]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Confirms Security Issue With Customer Records

    MoviePass, the struggling movie ticket subscription service, has confirmed a security issue may have exposed customers’ records. In a statement, MoviePass said Wednesday that the security lapse was recently discovered and its system was immediately secured. Reports of the data breach first surfaced Tuesday through the Tech Crunch site, which alleged that tens of thousands [...]

  • Matthew Modine

    Matthew Modine Accused of Violating Labor Laws With Campaign Videos

    Matthew Modine has been accused by SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris of violating federal laws in his campaign to unseat Carteris. The production of three campaign videos for Modine by the for-profit New York Film Academy — on whose board Modine sits — has been blasted by Carteris for alleged violations of federal labor law prohibiting [...]

  • Ready or Not Movie

    'Ready or Not,' 'Angel Has Fallen' Enter Box Office Race

    Three more contenders are joining what has lately been a hostile box office arena. Can anyone emerge from August victorious? Fox Searchlight’s “Ready or Not,” a black comedy about a diabolical game of hide-and-seek, will debut in 2,244 North American theaters on Wednesday. The low-budget film is expected to earn upwards of $6.5 million over [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Adam Brody'Ready or Not' film premiere,

    Adam Brody to Executive Produce, Star in 'The Kid Detective'

    “Ready or Not’s” Adam Brody has signed on to star in “The Kid Detective.” Sophie Nelisse will co-star in the dramedy from writer-director Evan Morgan. Brody will star as a once-celebrated kid detective, now 31, who continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity until a 16-year-old client (Nelisse) brings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content