Hollywood Presses Its Global Agenda
When â€œThor,â€ the Marvel superhero action film directed by Kenneth Branagh, opened in theaters in North America on May 6, the $150 million 3-D film had already made more than $130 million at the international box office.
The horror film â€œPriest,â€ with Paul Bettany, was not as successful, taking in only $25 million before its American opening weekend May 13.
Yet more and more Hollywood films are opening outside the United States, a reflection of the growing importance of the international market to the worldâ€™s major studios. The Motion Picture Association of America says 67 percent of box office revenue comes from outside the United States.
A new film trade event, ScreenSingapore, scheduled for June 5 through June 12, is designed to capitalize on the trend by offering the studios a springboard to Asian filmgoers.
â€œThe idea of opening a film internationally ahead of the U.S. only three-four years ago would have been unthinkable,â€ said Sanford Panitch, president of Fox International Productions. â€œI think this is really just the reality of the international marketplace becoming as a whole more important than the U.S. box office for event films.â€