Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Are we backward in the rest of the world?

IndieWire says we lag behind the US culturally. They might be right.

Sun, Mar 9, 2014, 18:57


Such is the implication (indeed, bald statement) in this weekend’s box-office report from our good friends at IndieWire. The report contain the following aside:

“Furthermore, “300: Rise of an Empire” opened to a fantastic $87.8 million overseas, which is keeping with the rest of the global box-office loving folks like Bruce Willis, and generally behaving like they are 10 years behind culturally.”

They have something of a point. A glance at the figures for 2013 show that a massive 78 percent of the takings for A Good Day to Die Hard came from rest of the world. “We” also love Stallone and Cruise. Some clarification is, however, surely required here. Firstly, Asian countries are largely responsible for the popularity of old wrinkly stars such as those mentioned above. Also, there is more to culture than mainstream action movies. We’re way ahead in the world of experimental dance and improvisational poetry. Right? Right.

We protest too much. It remains true that the “rest of the world” box office still skews awkwardly towards the lowest of brows. Blame it on the fact that many of us can’t speak English that well. You don’t need language to appreciate battling robots. Just watch how big Transformers IV is set to be outside the US. It will be terrifying.