I’m always fascinated by foreign-market title changes, because even in the age when global box office is king and corporate products trump national boundaries, title changes put a fine point on those “little differences” Vincent Vega was talking about. In Japan, for instance, Fast Five was called Wild Speed: Mega Max, perhaps the best title for anything. Vin Diesel’s The Pacifier was inexplicably called Gnome in The Philippines. Saving Silverman became Evil Woman in Australia, I suspect because ‘Strayans are mostly unfamiliar with the Hebrew persuasion. And in China, As Good As It Gets became Mr. Cat Poop and Free Willy turned into A Very Powerful Whale Runs To Heaven.
Now, at long last, the highest-grossing movie at the US box office, Guardians of the Galaxy, opens this Friday in China. Seems like a pretty straightforward title, no? Not straightforward enough, apparently. (Or maybe too straightforward? I dunno.)
INTERPLANETARY UNUSUAL ATTACKING TEAM! That’s actually kind of sweet. It sounds much more like a prog rock album that way. Regardless of title, Guardians, will have to earn $400 million in China and remaining territories in order to catch the $1.08 billion worldwide take of the year’s highest-grossing film worldwide by a long shot, Transformers: Age of Extinction. Which I believe was called “Madame Bayhem And Her Amazing Logo-Covered Smashing Machines” in China.