The global box office is down six percent this year because foreigners don’t like Hollywood’s crap any more than Americans do.
Hollywood’s greedy and cynical crusade to open the international market, even if that means licking the boots of tyrants and human rights abuses in places like China, was supposed to save the movie business, supposed to result in unheard of profits, but it didn’t work out that way. In fact, the push to make the movie business a worldwide enterprise has painted Hollywood into a dire and deadly corner that will someday blow up in their face.
The problem with catering to the world is that there is only one kind of movie that appeals to the whole wide world, and that is the blockbuster, the $350 million (production budget plus advertising) gamble that has to gross between $600 and $750 million before anyone sees a profit.
That is no way to run a business.
Throwing out one massive gamble after another puts every studio at risk of catastrophe if just two or three of these dice throws comes up snake eyes.
Opening the foreign market was not a gift, it was Pandora’s Box.
Worse still, something else Hollywood discovered is that foreigners are not fools. With rare exceptions, if it bombs in America, it will bomb overseas. And so, unless intelligent life is found on another planet sometime soon, there is no place for the studios to peddle their garbage.
Here in America, even with the success of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the box office is still the worst in three years and trailing nine percent behind last year.
Globally, everything is down six percent.
And, surprise-surprise, all the movies that flopped here also flopped over there.
Here are the domestic and foreign grosses for this year’s biggest blockbuster flops…
- Dumbo: $114M / $238M — this sucker lost a fortune.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters: $107M / $271M — will probably lose $100M.
- Shazam!: $140M / $225M – maybe broke even.
- The LEGO Movie 2:– $105M / $86M – catastrophe
- Rocketman: $86M / $82M – less than 20 percent of Bohemian Rhapsody’s global gross.
- Men In Black: International: $68M / $153M – will likely lose $100M – $200M.
- Dark Phoenix: $64M – $181M – The red ink on this $300M X-Men flop could exceed $300M.
- Hellboy: $21M / $0 foreign – speechless.
What’s more, other than Dumbo and Rocketman, these are golden geese franchises getting buried in a global market where there are only so many golden geese franchises to go around. Each one of these dead franchises is not just the loss of that particular release, but the loss of what was supposed to be a perpetual motion machine everyone was counting on to keep the movie business alive for generations.
Even if the box office year rebounds, the loss of these franchises is incalculable.
The number of tickets sold (admissions) in the U.S. alone cratered by 8 percent.
In a country where the population continues to grow, fewer people are going to the movies.
But what does Hollywood expect from their generic, sexless (unless it’s gay sex) blockbusters and woke lectures and cookie cutter actors and terrible comedy and tired horror and soul-darkening indies and a Star Wars franchise that tells us men suck and our hero Land Calrissian has sex with feminist robots, which it totes normal because everything is normal except the nuclear family.
Man, I miss T & A.