When it comes to the box office, America is not the center of the world anymore. Movies are a global business now, and while we still generate around 30 percent of the worldwide entertainment revenue (thanks to Netflix), China is now running toe-to-toe with us when it comes to box-office revenue. In fact, in the first quarter of 2016, they bested us, thanks to a film called The Mermaid (Mei ren yu), which grossed more in China ($550 million) than any film grossed in America in 2016.
It’s why we are going to continue seeing co-productions with other countries, like The Great Wall directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Matt Damon, which had a $60 million opening weekend in China last month. Even if the film is a relative disappointment in America when it opens in February, worldwide totals will ultimately make it a smash hit, whitewashing claims in America notwithstanding.
In other words, a movie doesn’t have to be a hit in America to still make a sizable profit. Here’s ten examples of movies that managed to do well globally despite being disappointments in America.
London Has Fallen ($62 million domestic; $202 million worldwide)
Those wondering why the modestly performing Olympus Has Fallen ($98 million domestic on a $70 million budget) was given an inexplicable sequel need look no further than China, where the miserably reviewed London Has Fallen racked up a whopping $52 million, only $10 million short of the domestic gross and considerably more than the $15 million the movie made in the nation of the film’s setting, the United Kingdom. What’s even more remarkable about the $52 million take in China is that the original Olympus Has Fallen only made $6 million in China, which either means that Olympus gained some cult following on home video or China is much more interested in seeing London fall than the White House.