A Bunch Of American Box-Office Disappointments Were Global Hits In 2018

01.03.19 3 months ago

Warner Brothers

Annually, one of my favorite lists to write is the one where we figure out why sequels are made to movies that didn’t fare particularly well in America, mostly because it’s a much-needed reminder that, though United States still boasts the biggest box-office in the world, not everything is about us. Even the biggest movies each year owe much — or most — of their success to international box office. For instance, the second biggest movie of the year in the United States, Avengers: Infinity War, earned $2 billion worldwide. Only 33 percent of that came from America. The United States matters — and we matter a lot — but a film can succeed globally without succeeding in the United States.

In fact, here are ten examples of that from 2018:

Universal

Johnny English Strikes Again (Domestic: $4.3 million; International: $153 million) — There have been three Johnny English films and a Mr. Bean movie since 2003, and while none of them have ever fared particularly well in America (Mr. Bean’s Holiday is Rowan Atkinson’s biggest hit stateside, earning $33 million), Atkinson is a bizarrely huge box-office star overseas. In fact, no matter how poorly they fare in America, the Johnny English films — made relatively inexpensively ($25 million for Strikes Again) — always manage to muster around $160 million worldwide. While the UK expectedly is a big source of those grosses, Rowan Atkinson is actually apparently even bigger in China.

Fox

Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Domestic: $58 million; International: $230 million) — Like another YA film series, Divergent, the Maze Runner series has largely been an afterthought to America’s moviegoers. The first one earned $100 million back in 2014, but audiences quickly cooled as the YA adaptations went out of fashion. Not so, internationally, where the last two Maze Runner films earned $230 million, thanks largely to China and France, where Death Cure was the 13th biggest film of 2018.

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