This weekend marks the arrival of Battleship on North American shores, a big summer tentpole flick that seems to have very little anticipation surrounding it. That could be because it’s a dumb movie based on a board game, but there’s also another potential reason for the lack of buzz: the movie has already been playing in theatres everywhere else in the world for almost a month now. The Avengers also hit theatres internationally one week before playing in the U.S., and last weekend Piranha 3DD opened in the U.K. a few weeks before it is scheduled to be released here. Some North American movie fans are not particularly pleased by this recent turn of events. Why are moviegoers in every other part of the world getting first crack at all of these Hollywood films?
There are a handful of possible explanations for this release strategy. Some say it is to combat piracy, while others say that many summer movies are trying to avoid going up against the Euro Cup in June. However, the real reason seems to be that many of these big summer blockbusters now generally make way more money overseas than they ever do back home. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides made $241 million domestically last year, but it made over $800 million worldwide. That’s a pretty huge difference. International moviegoers are not the refined, snooty art connoisseurs that people once envisioned them to be. They like popcorn movies just as much, if not more than, American viewers, and now Hollywood studios are doing everything they can to cater to them. But is this alienating American moviegoers? And won’t it encourage more domestic piracy? Would you prefer it if they just opened all major blockbusters around the world simultaneously? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.