Movies are expensive projects. A lot of money is at stake every time a film premiers on the big screen. It’s vital that a film earns more than what it cost to make, and then some more. Once upon a time, Hollywood films had to make it big at home, in North America, if it were to be a box office success. Well, not anymore. International markets, particularly that of China, increasingly form a large chunk of Hollywood revenues. This is the case, to such a degree, that some films flop at home and recover their losses elsewhere.
This also prompts production houses to tweak their offerings to better suit international audiences. All of this ensures, that even if a film tanks at home, it may yet have a chance to redeem itself in the international markets. Today we look at 6 such films that bombed at home but made colossal amounts of money overseas
1. ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’. (2017)
Fans in China & S. Korea come to the Rescue!
Released in 2017 at a budget of $217 million, this fifth film in the franchise bombed at home. Grossing only $130 million, it was perhaps a sign that the American audience was growing tired of the story. It didn’t help that the film was disliked by critics. However, none of this was a deterrent to international audiences, particularly those from China and S. Korea, who thronged halls to watch it.
It made a cool $475 million overseas, more than making up for its dismal performance at home.
2. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. (2017) High Expectations!
With earlier films in this popular franchise making a lot on the box office, expectations were high for this fifth installment. Alas, in a sign that American audiences are cooling off to these films, this flick, made for $230 million, grossed only $172 million at home. A pale shadow of a figure, when compared to the earnings of its predecessors. Surprisingly, the film was a big hit overseas, netting $622 million in international markets. All of this suggests that the makers might make future installments with international audiences in mind.
3. ‘Warcraft’ (2016)
Honestly, there wasn’t much hope for this CGI- based movie. Even though, it was based on an immensely popular video game. Still, the producers hoped that it would make a decent amount to cover its $160 million budget. It was not to be the case. It made a paltry $47 million. Nevertheless, the international markets loved it, and it made $386 million. With close to a half-billion-dollar worldwide, it exceeded all expectations.
4. ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’. (2016)
Finishes the Franchise With a Bang
This sixth and final installment in the franchise had strong headwinds to overcome. Sadly, it couldn’t, at least domestically, where it grossed an awful $26 million. A sad farewell to a decent franchise. However, it earned an amazing $285 million abroad. $159 from China and another $36 million from Japan alone. Emphasizing a clear divergence of taste between American and Asian audiences.
Thanks to international markets, this final film in the sci-fi/ horror franchise was also the highest-grossing of all its predecessors.
5. ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’. (2013)
Sets the Cash Registers Ringing!
Are Americans tired of John McClain? The Die Hard series is a cult classic and has had lots of fans over the decades. The fans didn’t show up for the fifth film in this franchise, and it made only $67.3 domestically. The International audiences did not disappoint, though, and it made a whopping $237.3 million.
6. ‘The Golden Compass’ (2007)
A Film with a lot of Promise
This fantasy-adventure film had a lot of going for it, an amazing star cast in Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman, a solid storyline, and was based on the first of Philip Pullman’s popular ‘His Dark Materials books. All of this failed to impress the American audiences. The critics hated it and so did the people, it made only $70.1 million at home. However, it was a big hit internationally, making 302.1 million. Making for a much-deserved redemption.