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Weekend B.O. April 26-28 (The U.S. Is Not The Center Of The B.O. Universe)

Box Office
by Sergio
April 28, 2013 12:32 PM
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Iron Man 3

Though Pain and Gain was the No 1, it’s not the most important box office news this weekend.

What is, is that Iron Man 3, which doesn’t open here in the States until this Friday, has already made $195.3 million in Europe and Asia, proving again that the foreign markets are what really matter when it comes to box office numbers.

And that’s something I’ve always believed that black filmmakers should always keep in mind. I’ve always rejected this idea that “black films don’t travel"  which is a crock of you-know-what.  

Now I’m not saying that black films (or most films for that matter) will make as much as Iron Man 3. Of course not. But there are people everywhere around the world who would love to see black films. They love black culture (music, art, dance, fashion, etc.) but reject black cinema? Get outta here with that.

And, to use an example I’ve said before, I fail to understand why even Tyler Perry hasn’t made an aggressive effort to distribute his films overseas. Not even in South America where I think they would find an audience.

He finances his own films, and if Lionsgate won’t do it, why not do it himself?

But that’s enough of that. As I said at the beginning, Pain and Gain was No. 1 with $20 million, and Oblivion, as expected, due to lackluster word of mouth, took a big dive, but still came in second with over $17 million.

Meanwhile, 42 was third with “great legs” as they say in the box office world, and now looks like it’s heading for $90-100 million.

This weekend's B.O. list:

1) Pain and Gain Par. $20,000,000
2) Oblivion Uni. $17,443,000 Total: $64,731,000
3) 42 WB $10,725,000 Total:  $69,079,000
4) The Big Wedding LGF $7,500,000
5) The Croods Fox $6,600,000 Total:  $163,025,000
6) G.I. Joe: Retaliation Par. $3,620,000 Total:  $116,396,000
7) Scary Movie 5 W/Dim. $3,457,000 Total:  $27,494,000
8) Olympus Has Fallen FD $2,768,000 Total:  $93,076,000
9) The Place Beyond the Pines Focus $2,699,000 Total:  $16,205,000
10) Jurassic Park 3D Uni. $2,310,000 Total:  $133,140,000
11) Mud RAtt. $2,186,000
12) Evil Dead  TriS $2,000,000 Total:  $51,868,000
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  • michele | April 28, 2013 9:51 PMReply

    The key to a 'black' movie opening well overseas is to get outside the romcom box. Action, horror and scifi is where the real money lies.

  • CareyCarey | April 28, 2013 6:58 PMReply

    Bingo! Very well said! Opps, Ms Bee already said that. Okay, so I'll second that emotion, Get-These-Nets has pinned the tail on this donkey. The donkey being people worldwide don't care about the human interaction between Black people. And I've said this many times, why should they? I mean, it's only natural that people of any culture, race or creed, love nothing more than interacting with those who look and act just like them. Now I know that's not a popular opinion, but nevertheless, it's the truth many black folks have a hard time accepting. More importantly, GetTheseNets ushered in another poignant piece of this puzzle... "Generations of people worldwide have grown up seeing images of white people interacting with each other....often before they saw similar images of people who look like them" <----that there opens the real Pandora's box...

    White folks have ruled this world (and mastered the art of brainwash... they have many black folks going out of their damn minds trying to emulating every thing they do) and to a large degree, they've only interacted with black people on a limited basis (sports, music, war). So what on earth would compel them to be emotionally invested in the interactions of black people on the big screen?

    But wait, before my fellow black knees begin to shake, rattle and roll, aka knee-jerk, throwing Denzel's name on the floor as proof that white folks love us, let's take a look at Mr. Washington's movies that made the least money. Nope, I don't think I have to do that because we all know they were movies in which black folks were interacting with other people of color. I rest my case. And kudos to the courageous, tell it like it is reader, GETTHESENETS!

  • CareyCarey | April 29, 2013 12:44 AM

    Thanks Bee, it's always nice to know someone is "listening".

    But have you read Tambay's recent post?: About That Popular "Black Films Don't Sell Overseas" Industry Belief... Reality, Or Just Laziness? APRIL 28, 2013 10:07 PM

    Well, I believe he moved the goal post and misrepresented a few statistics. So I was thinking about writing a rebuttal. However, his post, which he said was initially intended as a comment in this thread, was nearly 2000 words. And again, since I believe it was filled with tons of ambiguity and misrepresentation of a few facts, I don't think I could do my comment justice in less than 3000 words. :-)

    So I am handing the baton to you. Skip on down the road and make the A-Team proud.

  • Bee | April 29, 2013 12:15 AM

    Also, I should add: this doesn't mean that I think black Americans shouldn't try to market our films overseas. I just think we shouldn't expect Iron Man type of success. I do think the world deserves to see some of our films, and that people might be able to see commonalities across political minority status the more they are able to see films by black Americans.

  • Bee | April 29, 2013 12:10 AM

    Lol. And, once again, I agree. Thank you for adding on to his/her comment. Simply said: the world's cinema and cultural production is dominated by Europeans and internally colonized non-white people who subconsciously idolize whiteness (sure it's a little more complex than that, but that's the general gist). *Also, good point about the Denzel films.*

  • Danny | April 28, 2013 6:55 PMReply

    Tyler Perry's last few films have been released overseas. Surprised Sergio never checked Boxofficemojo and typed in Tyler Perry's name? The Madea film from last summer was released in South Africa and did very well there and other foreign territories.

  • sergio | April 29, 2013 12:35 AM

    I know his films have been released in a few countries and I should have said that in my piece. And even then just a few films here in there in a country or two. The vast majority of his films have never played overseas. What I mean is that he should aim broader and wider. To date none of his films have opened in South America or even in Europe except for one film in Croatia ( I can't remember which one now) South Africa is just one country in Africa. What about Nigeria, Ghana, and every other country on the continent? People go to movies in those countries too. I suggest you read Tambay's piece above

  • getthesenets | April 28, 2013 6:29 PMReply

    Shadow and Act

    I'd like to see the worldwide numbers for Eddie Murphy films during his heyday.

    How well his "I'm the only Black guy with more than 3 lines in the entire movie" films did and how well "The Prince in New York"* or Nutty Professor/Boomerang did.

    *aka CTA

  • getthesenets | April 28, 2013 3:31 PMReply

    I don't think people worldwide care about the human interaction between Black people.

    singing dancing clothes etc is don't have to see people as human beings to enjoy and copy them making you laugh or entertaining you.

    I own SEVERAL martial art films....Shaw Brothers, celestial,etc....... I own about 4 films with east Asian casts that don't involve fighting...and they are all period pieces.

    I own about 6 films with Americans of east Asian background as the leads...that aren't martial arts films. I can relate more to these films than the ones set in Korea,China,Japan,etc because some of them are about the immigrant experience in America.

    The reason that white American films travel so well is because the West colonized most of the globe...The sun never set on the british the saying goes. And USA and England culturally colonized even more teritory globally than they ever set their flags down in.
    Some of the first motion pictures ever seen in a lot of countries were American films..probably Westerns. Tv shows..same deal.

    Generations of people worldwide have grown up seeing images of white people interacting with each other....often before they saw similar images of people who look like them.

    These people grew up watching white films, seeing white majority western countries as global powers, having US military presence(or some other white country) in their country.

    I'd love for Black films to travel as well as Black music does, but I think we have to take realistic views about why white american films are embraced.....and Black american films are not.

  • getthesenets | April 29, 2013 1:40 PM


    If you reread all of my comments in this'll see that my point was, and is

    there are reasons why people worldwide will embrace films featuring people who don't look like them or share their history (White Americans), and not embrace other people who don't look like them or share their history(African Americans).

    I used myself as an example of a person who doesn't particularly care to embrace films about others unless I can relate to the story. I'm in no rush to go out and see the next big white drama, for example.

    East Asian action flicks are generally pretty good and I will purchase the good ones, but that doesn't mean that I care about any Asian culture or the human interaction between Asian characters in a non action film. The same way that I made the statement that people enjoy certain aspects of commercialized African American culture, but don't really care to see Black people interact with each other in real ways on screen.

  • mawon | April 29, 2013 10:27 AM

    @NETS You mention the several East Asian films that you personally own, but in terms of international sales, martial arts films dominate the asian movie industry abroad. So why you may be oh so progressive with your film choices, the mainstream world isn't as open minded.

    So to accuse Asians of being too colonized to appreciate black art outside of stereotypes without mentioning the fact that they too are the victim of stereotypes is only telling half the story.

    In my opinion though, good, big budget movies with universal themes will do well abroad. Obviously racism plays a factor in everything, but are we forgetting the African Diaspora in this conversation? And what about Latinos whose culture has been intertwined with Africa since colonization? That's already two continents who would automatically be more open minded to seeing black bodies based on cultural connections alone.

  • getthesenets | April 28, 2013 8:37 PM

    OK Jmac,

    you're confusing the issues.....and when you can pinpoint me throwing "all Asians into one pot"...point that out please...I talked about hair straightening products(among Black folks) and "eyelid" surgeries(in east Asia) and the popularity of them due to the influence of Western culture globally.

    I said that there wasn't a coincidence that these "adjustments" generate so much money globally...and that it's tied in with Western European cultural colonization. I don't think this can be refuted or challenged.

    at the end of the day...the side arguments and tangents don't change this.

  • JMac | April 28, 2013 7:56 PM

    LOL, you're throwing all Asians into one pot. How American! And what does skin lightening (or in some Asian countries skin darkening and kinky hair extensions) have anything to do with whether someone will watch a black film or not. That is the real quetion. Black Americans suffer from Western cultural colonization just as much as anyone - maybe more - but we still want to see black people on the screen and on tv... hence this blog.

    People in other countries would like to see brown people on the screen. The world isn't just White and "Yellow" and "Other" and a lot of the "Yellow" and "Other" are browner than many African Americans. They've been flocking to movies with brown leads for decades. There may be some cultural blocks but the many American movies and tv shows that have already flooded their markets probably help black American movies more than hurt them.

    I doubt people went to see the overwhelmingly black movie TLAM for the token white guy but if they did it does prove my last point. If that's what you have to do in *some* markets to get a foot in the door so be it. It wouldn't be a permanent condition. Of course, they'd be better off with a black singer/actor than Kim K or some other borderline celebrity.

  • getthesenets | April 28, 2013 7:22 PM


    every time the topic of tyler perry's last film was mentioned on S&A..I said that the casting of kim k. was to draw in or help sell the film in overseas markets.

    kim k is the latest american star to also become known and somewhat of a celeb around the world.

    in the last entry where ..Essence Atkins says that the casting of kim was a failure because it didn't bring in the tremendous opening America.....I said that the verdict isn't out until we see foregin numbers.

    Think like a Man had a token white character also......guy who was in the cast of Entourage..which was syndicated internationally

  • CareyCarey | April 28, 2013 7:19 PM

    Danny, I am fully aware that black comedies have been well received overseas... I KNOW that score. Heck, before TLAM and Witness Protection, Martin Lawrence parted those waters. However, read it ^there^ (my comment & GTNets) and you'll find it fair, comedies ARE NOT the crux of the matter. "singing, dancing, clothes etc is entertainment... you don't have to see people as human beings to enjoy and copy them making you LAUGH or entertaining you"

  • Danny | April 28, 2013 7:06 PM

    @GETTHESENETS, part of your argument makes sense that people are conditioned around the world to seeing white people in lead roles in films falling in love doing other things ect. However have you or Carey Carey bothered to go to boxofficemojo? Think Like A Man and Madea's Witness Protection both films were released overseas and did well.
    I think your comment has an American centric perspective. There are millions of people around the world who are interested in black culture, music, books ect. The problem is Hollywood doesn't bother marketing black films overseas. However, black American films DO get released in international territories with black populations such as South Africa, or the United Kingdom. Since Hollywood doesn't put in the effort to market black films or promote black actors no wonder things don't really change.

  • getthesenets | April 28, 2013 6:23 PM


    billion dollar(at least) global black hair care industry with large % of that coming from hair straighening products..and the reported plastic surgery boon in east Asia with large % coming from "eyelid" surgery are mere coincidences, right

    has NOTHING to do directly or indirectly with Western cultural colonization.

  • Akimbo | April 28, 2013 5:56 PM

    Don't action/adventure and fantasy/sci-fi movies translate best internationally? Everyone gets a hero's epic journey, but rom coms and dramas ("black" movie staples) don't travel as well, unless you've got a huge movie star. Even then, they don't do as well.
    The idea of marketing black movies to countries with high concentrations of brown people is great, but Meet the Peeples ain't selling in China...and neither is The Big Wedding. American humor and drama aren't completely universal (What is a tramp stamp? A wine mixer? Why is prom so important? Why is that man's daughter so insolent? These people have a nice house and food and STILL they fight?).
    Now put together an all-black, special effects laden shoot-em-up and you've got your international sales. Shit, if you drop Paul Walker, the Fast & Furious series is pretty much a black (and Latin and Asian) movie. You know that film will do well overseas and it's definitely not because of the one white lead; it's the CONTENT...and The Rock is probably internationally beloved at this point.

  • getthesenets | April 28, 2013 5:42 PM


    hardly wallowing in misery but "taking realistic views about why white american films are embraced.....and Black american films are not." as I stated.

    Fred Williamson has made a second career of making updated blaxploitation and/or low budget action films and he sells foreign distr. rights and uses the pre orders to fund the films. I've been reading about Po' Boy productions for YEARS. Lot of hood films starring American rappers are distributed in foreign markets also. Marvin Hagler, the former boxer, became an action film star in Italy, of all places, and across europe in his post boxing career.

    Common thread is action film genre...with recognizable sports/music figures. Williamson used the fact that for 3-5 year period...Black themed films were being cranked out by Hollywood studios..and that these films were exported overseas with the rest of the global culture that America exported. He was the leading male figure in these he had a name to capitalize on.

    Hardly wallowing to point out that action films translate across my first post I mentioned MY collection of east Asian action films......and the fact I hardly own non action Asian films....or really care to.

    And I pointed out my views on why Black American films face the resistance overseas relative to White American films.

  • JMac | April 28, 2013 5:35 PM

    Untrue statement. I've shown Spike Lee films and documentaries and a few black indies to non-American South East Asian college students and they really dug them and wondered why they'd never heard or seen any of the works in their countries. Contrary to popular belief, the world isn't brainwashed by white society and not everybody sees blacks as walking talking cartoon characters. Plus you're disregarding the large numbers of people of African descent residing in countries all over the world and ignoring the potential viewership in the African continent. Or do they not count?

    Also, one can hardly say Tyler Perry movies aren't entertainment in some form - not the highest form - but they would certainly make huge bucks overseas whether we'd want to see that happen or not. If Eddie Murphy films like the Nutty Professor can make millions in non-US markets I don't see why Tyler Perry films couldn't. Or Oprah movie productions - if she wanted to do that.

  • sergio | April 28, 2013 5:21 PM

    But how do you know if Black films are not embraced no one even tries? I refuse to buy to that "Boo Hoo I'm a black man and I'se been 'buked" line of thought. You want to wallow in misery go ahead. But don't put all black people in the same boat

  • Bee | April 28, 2013 4:57 PM

    Bingo! Very well said.

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