Hollywood Presses Its Global Agenda
When “Thor,” 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 “Priest,” 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 world’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.
“The idea of opening a film internationally ahead of the U.S. only three-four years ago would have been unthinkable,” said Sanford Panitch, president of Fox International Productions. “I 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.”