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International Ticket Sales

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I remember when the Matrix Reloaded came out and some people were talking about how they felt it would end up being a failure and not make it's money back.

Same discussions about The Hulk, Terminator 3 and other big budget flicks. All these discussions were usually based on opening weekend sales and some went as far as the dropoff in week 2.

I read this on IMBD Pro today

Quote:
Warner Bros. Pictures' The Matrix Reloaded, the Wachowski brothers' second installment in the mind-bending Matrix series, has hit $450 million in international ticket sales, it was reported Friday by Warners domestic distribution president Dan Fellman and international distribution president Veronika Kwan-Rubinek. Reloaded's $450 million in foreign grosses, coupled with $280 million in domestic grosses, brings its worldwide total to $730 million. The film, which rolled out in nearly all foreign territories, except for Japan and Russia, in May following a gala screening at the Festival de Cannes on May 15, currently ranks 13th on the all-time worldwide boxoffice chart, according to the Internet Movie Database. With its international rollout nearly completed, it is lodged between 1982's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, in 12th place with $757 million, and 1994's Forrest Gump, in 14th with $679 million.
With all the talk and concern about the opening US weekend amounts, it seemed that there was no real thought about International interest.

With International sales on Reloaded almost $200 million more than the US, it is possible that it is time for people to start considering the importance of other countries when it comes to the success and failure of movies, especially the bigger budget ones? Terminator 3 made $145m here but has passed $200 oversees ($345m with a $170m budget). Not really a failure there, either. The over $75m the Hulk made internationally added to it's U.S. take puts it well over $200m.

I would like to hear opinions about the effect of International sales on the future of movies and over their perceived success and failure.
post #2 of 22
Don't some movies sell the international rights off in order to get their big budgets in the first place? In some cases at least? Would that affect the importance placed by the studio on international box office, since technically it goes to the distributors?

From what I've gleaned over the years, a films success seems to be based just on how it performs in the U.S, regardless of overseas returns.
post #3 of 22
Well you know something is happening in the international market when you have Hollywood trying to force S. Korea to stop its per screen quote for domestic vs foreign films.

Korea has to show on something like 53% of screens domestic releases.

But that is something of a tangent.

But yes the international box office is indeed making a stride back into the limelight. Too often American sensibility let's us forget that movies are release all over the world and not just here.

The problem is singular countries abroad only provide something like 2 million at most to the box office per week. (I believe that is the Japan market which is the 2nd largest marketer of pop culture in the world)
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
From what I've gleaned over the years, a films success seems to be based just on how it performs in the U.S, regardless of overseas returns.
But that is not really fair. Since when did America become the only people to determine if something is good or not? If a film makes a ton of money in the European countries, and a shit load of money as far as Reloaded is concerned, then it has to be considered a success because the world's opinion of something should count more than just one country's opinion of it.

But the big problem is that Hollywood has to figure out what the world wants to see and that is something that is not easy to understand. When they put out something that the entire world enjoys (right now Pirates of the Carribean fits that description based on international box office) then they have a real hit on their hands.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'd also like to hear some from chewers in other countries about what they consider to be the importance of U.S. box office when it comes to their opinions of a movie's success.

Fett? Wickerman? Blunt? Kid Ego?
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Starving Dog:
But that is not really fair. Since when did America become the only people to determine if something is good or not? If a film makes a ton of money in the European countries, and a shit load of money as far as Reloaded is concerned, then it has to be considered a success because the world's opinion of something should count more than just one country's opinion of it.
Oh I agree. My guess is that the American studios stick to what they understand, and the audiences that they can relate to. I.e: their own. Plus there's the (my) question of how much money they actually get back from the international box office.

Internationally speaking, generally if a studio defines a film as a hit or not based on the US box office, then so does everyone else, since it's the studio that will then greenlight a sequel, or pass over the director, or whatever. It's good ammo for defending percieved bad movies, though
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
there's the (my) question of how much money they actually get back from the international box office.
that is an excellent question. Does anyone out there know the answer to this? I have no clue.
post #8 of 22
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it did it really make a sound?

If a movie does a less-than-expected amount in the US it will be considered a failure by the American public and media regardless of what it makes abroad. The movie may be a financial success but will not be considered a hit. Why should it be? Are U.S. moviegoers really supposed to check foreign receipts then based on the fact that a lot of people in Japan saw the movie, declare it a hit domestically?

Also, when you consider foreign grosses, you have to consider how much money was spent marketing the movie in upteen different countries and editing it for specific cultures.

Most Hollywood movies are made based on what studios predict American audiences will pay to see. If there is not a chance that the movie will make money in the U.S. then there is little chance the movie will get made. That is why there is more emphasis on whether or not a movie lives up to financial expectations in the U.S.
post #9 of 22
Well said Anorexic. Last time I check the US market - for every product - was BY FAR the largest. I hate defending the Studios (feel dirty already) but they are trying to make movies for this country's culture. Does anyone who works in Hollywood and lives in Beverly Hills really know what's hot in Tokyo, Amsterdam, and Sydney right now? Doubtful. Also, foreigners, despite their frequent rants about the 'arrrogant Americans' love our stuff.

My guess is the overseas markets are seen as 'gravy'. I can't imagine that a sequel (or similar movie of a specific genre) would be made just because a movie did well in some foreign countries after disappointing sales in the US.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
If a movie does a less-than-expected amount in the US it will be considered a failure by the American public and media regardless of what it makes abroad. The movie may be a financial success but will not be considered a hit.
Quote:
I remember when the Matrix Reloaded came out and some people were talking about how they felt it would end up being a failure and not make it's money back.
I am not talking about a movie being a hit because one person's favorite movie is another person's disaster.

Financial success seems to be everyone's measuring stick these days about whether a movie is a hit. It bombed or it did not bomb.

A movie that makes a ton of money is a success. That money is also what people "in Japan" pay too, not just what good ole American's put into it.

To say that a person's personal opinion of a movie bing a hit matters is wrong. Money is all that matters in Hollywood. And the money in Europe is important too.

Quote:
Most Hollywood movies are made based on what studios predict American audiences will pay to see. If there is not a chance that the movie will make money in the U.S. then there is little chance the movie will get made. That is why there is more emphasis on whether or not a movie lives up to financial expectations in the U.S.
And this is because our opinion as Americans is the God of the world and no one else matters?
post #11 of 22
Quote:
And this is because our opinion as Americans is the God of the world and no one else matters?
No. It is because the last time I checked Hollywood was in the United States. The people conceive, finance, produce, and greenlight movies are Americans. They are not likely to give the go ahead for movies that don't appeal to their own sensibilities and that of the audience they know best--Americans even if they think people in France and Germany will flock to the theater.

By virtue of its population and disposable income the United States is the biggest market for Hollywood to tap into. The US market alone can put some movies in the green while it would have to succeed in over 10 other countries to recoup the same amount abroad that it does in the US. Even then you have to subtract foreign marketing costs. The US= more money and that is why it matters more how well a movie does here.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Last time I check the US market - for every product - was BY FAR the largest.
It might be the largest singular market, but it only represents 30-40% of total box office.

The truth is that most movies, with the exception of baseball and other sports flicks, earn most of their money in the international box office.

I think it's stupid to say that a film like T3, which will probably end up grossing about $300 million outside the US, has not performed well.

Reloaded is the prime example of the importance of international BO and the isolationist, ethnocentric mentality of the US. The film has grossed more than $700 million world-wide. Similarly, The Two Towers has grossed $340 million in the US but $1 billion world-wide. You can't just ignore those numbers.

And you have to understand that studios do count on international grosses. They would never greenlight a film with a $200 million budget based on the US grosses alone. If that was the case, it would have to gross over $400 million to break even.

Quote:
Even then you have to subtract foreign marketing costs.
Local distributors are responsible for their markets' promotional costs.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The truth is that most movies, with the exception of baseball and other sports flicks, earn most of their money in the international box office.

They would never greenlight a film with a $200 million budget based on the US grosses alone. If that was the case, it would have to gross over $400 million to break even.
Right. This is what I was trying to say.

As I said in the first post, I wanted to hear opinions about the effect of International sales of movies and their perceived success and failure.

I was not really talking about people's notions of whether a movie was good or bad, but more along the lines of the people who believe that opening weekend ticket sales and the first week dropoff makes a movie a financial failure.

The increse in International sales the last few years makes the studio's a shitload of money. Therefore, just because a movie does poor here, it could still be considered a success in the studio's eyes if it makes all this money oversees.

I still would like to hear from some UK Chewers. Do people in Europe take into count the success of a movie in the U.S. when deciding to see it over there?

Also, one of the above posts says they believe oversees numbers will not get a sequel made if it did not do well in the U.S. I don't agree with this if the movie makes so much money oversees. What do other people think?
post #14 of 22
Studios have to be careful, though, since it is possible for a bad film to still make a heap of money (by marketing, scandal, star power, mass hallucination), and fool execs into thinking it should get a sequel. The sequel comes out and people think, 'the original wasn't very good after all, so no thanks.', and so gets defenestrated at the box office. From what I've read, I think the second Tomb Raider film is an example of this? (Haven't seen it yet).
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
wow, listen to these numbers

Pirates of the Carribean

United States: $261m (7 weeks)
Russia: $2.5m (175 screens, the 3rd largest opening ever in Russia)
France: $10.9 (2 weeks)
U.K.: $22.6m (3 weeks)
Spain: $11m (2 weeks)
Mexico: $9.2m (4 weeks)
Holland: $3.2m (2 weeks)
Japan: $34.4m (4 weeks)

Pirates was the 14th movie this year to break the $100m International Box Office benchmark.

Those are some big numbers for the movie. Looks like this is one movie that can be considered a "domestic" success and an International Success.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
They would never greenlight a film with a $200 million budget based on the US grosses alone. If that was the case, it would have to gross over $400 million to break even.
They would never greenlight a film with a budget like that PERIOD if they didn't think they would recoup all or more of its cost in the US alone. Can you imagine and exec saying "I know this film is going to flop in the US but foreign markets will love it so let's go ahead with a 200 million budget on that."

Look at the stats for POTC that were just posted.The US market represents such a large portion of the grosses that without the hope of US success big budget films would never make it to screen let alone make it abroad.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Look at the stats for POTC that were just posted.The US market represents such a large portion of the grosses that without the hope of US success big budget films would never make it to screen let alone make it abroad.
but would a great profit oversees make a movie a success for the producers regardless of U.S. box office.

Forget for a second the sequels or the greenlighting. If you just look at a single movie, and the amount of money it makes it's filmmakers, would a success oversees be just as good as a success in the U.S.?

And if the oversees b.o. keeps growing as it is, will it not have an effect on the future of the business?
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Starving Dog:
Quote:
Look at the stats for POTC that were just posted.The US market represents such a large portion of the grosses that without the hope of US success big budget films would never make it to screen let alone make it abroad.
but would a great profit oversees make a movie a success for the producers regardless of U.S. box office.

Forget for a second the sequels or the greenlighting. If you just look at a single movie, and the amount of money it makes it's filmmakers, would a success oversees be just as good as a success in the U.S.?

And if the oversees b.o. keeps growing as it is, will it not have an effect on the future of the business?
Starving, it's impossible to overlook Greenlighting. No green light - no movie.

How would it change the way movies are made? Are they going to make movies and only release them overseas? Highly doubtful. And one can make a case that POTC succeeded overseas because of it's success in the US. I'm sure the buzz that the movie had done well in the US makes it pretty easy to sell overseas. Now if Gigli or Marci X makes over $100M overseas I'll change my mind. Not going to hold my breath.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Starving, it's impossible to overlook Greenlighting. No green light - no movie.
but this is not about a movie being greenlit or a movie being picked up for a sequel.

if a movie is in release in the U.S. and oversees, it has obviously already been greenlit. Whether it succeeds or fails is a differnt animal.

this is simply saying that just because a movie has a bad U.S. run, that it is a failure, and I am saying that is flawed thinking.

Oversees sales can make a U.S. "failure" an overall success. I have heard a lot of talk that Terminator 3 was a failure because it did not make back it's money. But that is B.S. because it doubled it's money when you add in International sales. That makes it a success for the studios, not the failure that people make it out to be. Matrix is another movie that people said would not make back it's money because of the U.S. box office totals. Well, looks like they were wrong, because the U.S. is not where it made most of it's money.

Therefore, I say that people who judge a movie a failure based on U.S. box office (as many, many people have done on the individual movie release forums here at CHUD) are too quick to jump the gun because no one is taking into effect the real financial value of the movie.

And that is what the studio's look at - their profit and loss expenditures.

Personally, I think that a person who deems a movie a failure because of U.S. box office is wrong for another reason. A movie should succeed or fail to an individual movie-goer based on their own personal opinion of the film, but the talk here is all about business, which seems to be more important in discussions today than personal opinion of the film.
post #20 of 22
Starving, I'm sure execs are happy that some movies make money back overseas. But in Hollywood, land of Egos, that's not going to equate to career success. You have to do it here - the US is the Big Leagues. When they make a movie they have some expectation as to what it will gross in the US - if a movie doesn't hit that number it's a failure. Period. And T3 is a bad example - it was going to sell tons of DVDs regardless of how it did overseas.
post #21 of 22
last i heard, they were considering a dungeons and dragons sequel based purely on international sales. even though it flopped in the US, it made a profit overseas.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
SouthBay1:
Starving, I'm sure execs are happy that some movies make money back overseas. But in Hollywood, land of Egos, that's not going to equate to career success.
You have heard of a fellow by the name of Michael Bay? Armageddon and Pearl Harbor more than covered their cost with overseas ticket sales.
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