Mummies, Mavka, Katak Mummies, Mavka, Katak

We’ve published numerous stories over recent months about the impressive numbers that anime films put up at Japanese cinemas. And while Japan is clearly the global leader when it comes to locally-made animation dominating the box office, plenty of other countries have their own home-grown animation success stories.

Here are three box office wins for animated features from smaller markets that are achieving big in their own territories and abroad.

Mummies – Spain

Warner Bros. has already put an animated feature in global theaters this year, but American audiences could be forgiven for not noticing as the company did nothing to promote the film in the U.S. and didn’t even report its North American box office numbers. In Spain, however, the locally-produced film opened at number one over the weekend of February 24-26. Playing on 558 screens – 204 fewer than Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp at the time – Mummies grossed an impressive €1.4 million (USD$1.5 million). By comparison, Dreamworks’ Puss in Boots: The Last Wish only managed €558,000 ($609,000) over its first weekend in Spain.

Mummies has gone on to become the highest-grossing local film in Spain this year, now sitting at €5.4 million ($5.9 million). Globally the film has been a smash hit by Spanish standards, having grossed more than €39.4 million ($43 million). It’s been a hit all across Europe, grossing €5.8 million ($6.3 million) in France, €2.1 million ($2.3 million) in the Netherlands and Italy, and around €2 million ($1.8 million) in Poland and Germany. Why Warner decided against pushing the film in the U.S. is a mystery we may never solve, but it certainly seems like a missed opportunity on the part of the distributor.

Mummies is the directorial debut of Juan Jesús García Galocha, known colloquially as “Galo,” who previously worked as art director on the Tadeo Jones franchise, Spain’s highest-grossing original animated film series. It was written by Jordi Gasull and Javier Barreira and produced by Jordi Gasull. Spanish studio Core Animation handled the film’s animation.

Mavka. The Forest Song – Ukraine

Under the circumstances, a locally produced animated feature hitting cinemas in Ukraine is already exceptional. The incredible box office success of Mavka. The Forest Song makes the feat all the more impressive.

The film hit cinemas on March 2 and sold 189,048 admissions and grossed UAH 24.9 million (USD $680,912) over its debut weekend, which was more than Avatar: The Way of Water sold during its opening frame. This spring, Mavka will embark on a world tour, having secured distribution in more than 80 countries including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and South Korea.

So far, Mavka has grossed more than UAH 116.6 million ($3.1 million) in Ukraine. It also just opened in France last weekend with more than 160,000 admissions sold for a box office take of around €1.1 million ($1.2 million).

Animagrad and produced Mavka. The Forest Song, which was directed by Oleg Malamuzh and Oleksandra Ruban from a screenplay by Yaroslav Voytseshek. Iryna Kostyuk, Anna Eliseeva, and Egor Olesov are the film’s producers.

Katak the Brave Beluga – Canada

Katak the Brave Beluga is the fifth animated feature produced by Quebec studio 10th Ave Productions and has been a breakout hit at the Quebec and Canadian box offices (they’re tracked separately) since being released on February 24.

Distributed by Maison 4:3, the film debuted at number four in Quebec, grossing CAD $182,829 ($140,445)in its first weekend. The film has proved to have impressive legs, or fins in this case, and has grossed nearly CAD $1.5 million ($1.1 million) in Quebec in the six weeks since. Those numbers are even higher across all provinces in Canada, though reliable numbers for all of Canada are still unavailable.

Katak was directed by Christine Dallaire-Dupont and Nicola Lemay, written by Andrée Lambert, illustrated by Philippe Arseneau Bussières, and produced by Nancy Florence Savard.

Pictured at top: Mummies; Mavka. The Forest Song; Katak, the Brave Beluga

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