While the domestic cume of a Hollywood movie is often what native film critics turn to first, the international box office has become increasingly important to the success of American-made films.
Nowadays, everyone talks about how Hollywood executives are crunching down on creatives and directing them to pander to the huge Chinese audience.
In the examples below, however, movies have found almost unexpected success in other countries simply because they were found to be interesting and enjoyable.
John Carter goes big in Russia
Disney forked out huge sums to make John Carter a big success in the US, spending $250 million on production and as much as that on promotion. The movie opened strongly on home soil, but was quickly forgotten about, opening to $30 million and finishing with a $73 million domestic gross. John Carter struggled immensely on the international market as well, with the one exception being Russia.
In Russia, the 3D movie grossed $6.5 million on opening night, which made it the biggest opening for a movie in the country ever. Talking to indiewire.com, storied Russian film and television producer Alexander Rodnyansky puts John Carter’s success down to the Russian audience preferring films that have a complete mistrust of daily realities in all its forms.
Germany’s endearing love of ‘The Hoff’ buoys Baywatch
Hollywood loves its remakes and late sequels right now, but big-hit originals don’t necessarily spell success when they come to modern audiences. The original Baywatch was, generally speaking, about sexy people doing sexy slow-motion things on a beach. So, Paramount Pictures followed the same formula for their 2017 remake.
The movie flopped domestically despite the likes of Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Zac Efron, Kelly Rohrbach, and Priyanka Chopra starring. Luckily for the box office figures, the movie remembered to include a certain 65-year-old legend in a cameo role amidst the new sexy stars. With David Hasselhoff on board, Baywatch shot to Germany’s top spot with $15 million, per deadline.com.
Paranormal Activity delivers the horror that Canada loves
Shot for a mere $15,000, it would be fair to say that expectations weren’t too high for Paranormal Activity at the box office. However, it makes for a wonderfully effective horror movie that climbed all the way to $193 million worldwide. Naturally, the film did absurdly well for its budget in all regions, but in Canada, it immediately took the number one spot, trumping Saw VI, with $22 million.
The extremely raw horror movie managed to make an immediate impact in Canada, which could be put down to the many reportedly haunted places across all territories. Paranormal Activity won over Canadian audiences and has become entrenched in popular culture, transcending cinema to become one of the most popular games at bonus.ca recommended websites like LeoVegas.
China appears to love bad weather
With the ever-cemented stance that global warming is a myth under the Trump regime, it, perhaps, shouldn’t come as a surprise that a movie about destructive weather didn’t do well in 2017. The audience has seen its ilk before with the likes of 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow, and Geostorm made those two seem much more grounded.
In any case, a $33 million domestic box office for a $120 million movie was a huge disappointment. On top of the budget, Warner Bros went big on advertising, so the losses on this film were going to be huge. Enter China, and its $65.6 million worth of love for a disaster movie, per boxofficemojo.com. It didn’t save the movie – nothing could – but China enjoyed the film nearly twice as much as America did.
Domestic box office totals aren’t the be-all of Hollywood movies anymore, with other countries at the ready to pay up big for the right movies.