‘Wonka’ International Box Office Delivers Pure Imagination to Top Spot

The Big Picture

  • Wonka opens as the number one film worldwide, raking in $43.2 million in international box office revenue, including a strong $11.1 million in the United Kingdom.
  • Director Paul King’s decision to helm Wonka instead of the upcoming Paddington film seems to have paid off with an excellent opening weekend and positive word-of-mouth.
  • Wonka is praised for its spirit, optimism, and the fantastic performance of Timothée Chalamet in the lead role.

Paul King‘s Wonka, the origin story of Roald Dahl‘s legendary chocolatier Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) opened worldwide this weekend, and if there’s one thing the movie’s launch has proven? Audiences still have a sweet tooth. The Warner Bros. movie has opened as the number one film both internationally and globally with a terrific haul of $43.2 million in international box office revenue, including a tremendous $11.1 million in the United Kingdom, where the movie was shot.

Director Paul King took the movie on instead of reprising his role as director of the upcoming Paddington in Peru, with some skepticism given the acclaim that came with Paddington and its sequel, the latter of which is considered one of the greatest films of all time. However, King’s decision seems to have paid dividends with an excellent opening weekend as well as strong word-of-mouth.

What is ‘Wonka’ About?

Wonka sees Chalamet’s Willy Wonka arrive in an unnamed European city, armed with a can-do attitude and a suitcase full of dreams, chocolate and a sprinking of magic. Despite falling into trouble with Olivia Colman‘s Scrubbit, he soon finds his way into the hearts of the locals who fall in love with his chocolate, while trying to avoid the local chocolate cartel, run by the Galeries Gourmet’s three main chocolatiers — Slugworth, Prodnose and Fickelgruber, played by Paterson Joseph, Matt Lucas and Mathew Baynton — who deem him a threat to their ongoing success.

Wonka currently sits at an 83% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In his review of the film, Collider’s Ross Bonaime admitted the film wasn’t perfect, but found so much to like in it that the flaws didn’t matter. Bonaime also adored the performance of Chalamet in the lead role.

Wonka is a bit shaggy, with too many moving parts, but its spirit and its optimism—and a fantastic performance by Chalamet—make up for the film’s weaknesses. From the script to the cast, Wonka is a film that feels like it was made with heart—much like Wonka’s chocolate.

Who knows if there’s more Wonka in the works, but considering the world of pure imagination that King shows us here, hopefully, there’s more chocolate to be saved for later.

Where Can I See ‘Wonka’?

Wonka will open in the United States on December 15.

Wonka Poster Timothee Chalamet


Based on the extraordinary character at the center of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, “Wonka” tells the wondrous story of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today.

Release Date
December 15, 2023

Paul King


116 minutes

Main Genre

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