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    19 Movies That Flopped In America But Were Massive Hits Everywhere Else

    What's the deal, America?

    1. Warcraft (2016)

    Warcraft's imposing creature Draka screams
    Universal

    Box office in North America: $47,365,290

    Box office in the rest of the world: $391,534,534

    What's the deal? Warcraft was based on a massively popular video game series, looked great, and had a pretty decent audience score (76%) on Rotten Tomatoes, so it's kind of hard to understand why North American audiences didn't show up. Overseas, though, it had the biggest opening ever in Ukraine and the biggest opening of 2016 in Germany. It was big in Russia and China too!

    2. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

    In the film Milla Jovovich rides a motorcycle away from an explosion
    Sony

    Box office in North America: $26,844,692

    Box office in the rest of the world: $287,256,498

    What's the deal? This was the sixth (and final) film in the Resident Evil franchise, and I guess North American audiences were kind of over it. But while this was the worst-performing installment here, it was the biggest hit of the series overseas — largely because of an absolutely behemoth performance in China, grossing $160 million!

    3. Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)

    Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones looks stunned while holding a pregnancy test
    Universal

    Box office in North America: $24,139,805

    Box office in the rest of the world: $181,682,883

    What's the deal? This third movie in the Bridget Jones franchise got good reviews, so Universal was expecting it to do well here, but nope — it barely grossed half of what the second film did. Why? Who knows? We're Americans...who can explain what we do? The British still loved themselves some Bridget Jones, though, and gave it the country's biggest opening weekend for a romantic comedy ever.

    4. XXX: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

    Paramount

    Box office in North America: $44,898,413

    Box office in the rest of the world: $300,134,946

    What's the deal? When promoting the film in Asia, Paramount wisely focused its campaign on martial arts expert Donnie Yen (who played xXx agent Xiang) instead of Vin Diesel (sorry, Vin). Yen's popularity — especially in China — helped the film dominate at the box office.

    5. Battleship (2012)

    Universal

    Box office in North America: $65,233,400

    Box office in the rest of the world: $248,244,317

    What's the deal? This massively budgeted film (200+ million) based on the classic board game seriously underperformed in North America due to bad reviews and a release date smack dab in the middle of The Avengers' box office domination. Internationally, though, it was a blockbuster in places like China (where it became Universal's highest grossing debut ever) and Russia.

    6. The Mummy (2017)

    Box office in North America: $80,101,125

    Box office in the rest of the world: $329,852,780

    What's the deal? This movie was intended to launch a Marvel Cinematic Universe–like franchise based around Universal's classic monsters, but alas, it did not. Deadline did a deep dive on why it failed domestically, but basically it came down to the movie being really bad (and maybe people tiring of Tom Cruise as an action star). Surprisingly, this movie somehow ended up having the biggest international opening in Tom Cruise's entire career!

    7. About Time (2013)

    A romantically shot image of Rachel McAdams looking back in the middle of an empty street
    Universal

    Box office in North America: $15,323,921

    Box office in the rest of the world: $73,214,821

    What's the deal? Yes, this was a British production, but writer/director Richard Curtis had a massive track record in North America with smash hits like Notting Hill and Love Actually. Maybe the problem was a lack of stars outside of Rachel McAdams? Interestingly, while the movie did better in the UK (as to be expected), it was a massive hit in South Korea, where it made more money than anywhere else.

    8. Inferno (2017)

    Tom Hanks as  Robert Langdon running
    Columbia/Sony

    Box office in North America: $34,343,574

    Box office in the rest of the world: $185,175,793

    What's the deal? The second sequel to The Da Vinci Code was expected to go off like a ringing cash register. Not so — in North America, anyway. Bad reviews didn't help, and by 2017 it's possible people here were a bit tired of the franchise. Internationally, though, the book series' ongoing popularity — and the film's European setting — helped the movie do much better, especially in China and Italy.

    9. Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)

    Manny the Mammoth and the film's other characters
    20th Century Fox

    Box office in North America: $64,063,008

    Box office in the rest of the world: $338,093,674

    What's the deal? This was the fifth film in the franchise, so people may not have felt the need to rush out and see another one — especially when it got bad reviews. There was no sequel fatigue internationally, though, when it came to Manny and friends. The animated film did absolutely bonkers numbers in France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and China.

    10. The Golden Compass (2007)

    A young girl looks at a polar bear in the film
    New Line

    Box office in North America: $70,107,728

    Box office in the rest of the world: $297,154,830

    What's the deal? The book this film is based on is largely considered to be an anti-Christian allegory, and while the studio tried to tone down those elements (and even found some theologians to praise it), they should have known they wouldn't make a huge amount of money in North America. The film was a huge hit in less Christian countries like Japan, though, and also was big in the UK.

    11. The Expendables 3 (2014)

    Lionsgate

    Box office in North America: $39,322,544

    Box office in the rest of the world: $170,138,834

    What's the deal? Cowriter/star Sylvester Stallone thinks making the film PG-13 (in hopes of reaching a larger audience) probably hurt domestic box office numbers. A leak of the film online a few weeks before its release didn't help either. But its success overseas isn't a surprise — action films are very popular internationally, and the cast is a virtual who's who of action stars like Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jet Li.

    12. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

    The film's two stars leap from one futuristic craft to another
    Europacorp

    Box office in North America: $40,479,370

    Box office in the rest of the world: $174,618,986

    What's the deal? This English-language French production by Luc Besson — a filmmaker with a history of hits in North America — was supposed to do well here, but didn't. Casting Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne in the lead roles may have been a mistake. While they're both talented, they're not really names to hang a $200 million production on. Another issue was that the French comic the film was based on isn't all that well known in America. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the movie did big business in France, and was also a humongous hit in China.

    13. Gulliver's Travels (2010)

    Jack Black as Gulliver is tied up by hundreds of tiny people
    20th Century Fox

    Box office in North America: $42,779,261

    Box office in the rest of the world: $189,238,587

    What's the deal? Like a lot of the films on this list, Gulliver's Travels got bad reviews, which probably scared off a lot of domestic viewers. One of the criticisms was an over-reliance on special effects, which, ironically enough, might help explain the film's success overseas, as quality special effects are something that don't get lost in translation. The fact it was based on a classic of English literature probably helped it do well in the UK and Australia, as well other parts of Europe, too.

    14. Terminator Genisys (2015)

    Emilia Clarke hangs off the side of a bridge and holds someone's hand for dear life
    Universal

    Box office in North America: $89,760,956

    Box office in the rest of the world: $342,389,938

    What's the deal? Every film in the Terminator franchise has been on a downward trajectory in North America box office–wise since the high-water mark of Judgement Day, so perhaps this film's domestic flop wasn't a huge surprise (especially considering the so-so reviews).

    The movie was big overseas, though, and that may have been due in part to Arnold Schwarzenegger — while his star had dimmed a bit at home by 2015, he was still a huge star around the world. The movie was a hit as big as Schwarzenegger's biceps in countries like Russia, China, Singapore, and Colombia, and it had the distinction of becoming the first American film to earn 400 million worldwide without crossing the 100 million mark in North America.

    15. Everest (2015)

    A man climbs to the very top of Mount Everest
    Universal

    Box office in North America: $43,482,270

    Box office in the rest of the world: $177,814,791

    What's the deal? Jason Clarke had just starred in Terminator Genisys two months earlier, so it's possible people weren't ready to see him again. Or maybe audiences were just in the mood for comedy the weekend Everest was released, as Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Intern topped the box office. Everest was much more popular in places like England, China, and Russia — especially in IMAX theaters.

    16. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

    A crusading knight stands prepared for battle
    20th Century Fox

    Box office in North America: $47,398,41

    Box office in the rest of the world: $171,454,940

    What's the deal? Sword and sandals films like this one tend to do very well overseas, but its failure in North America was a bit surprising since the film's director, Ridley Scott, had recently made Gladiator, a sword and sandals epic that dominated the domestic box office. Scott thinks the film — about a battle between Christian Crusaders and Muslim armies — would have done better domestically if the studio had marketed the film's religious and political aspects. Maybe, or maybe North American audiences just didn't want to see a film like this so soon after 9/11. Countries like Spain and Germany, though, were much more interested in it.

    17. American Reunion (2012)

    Alyson Hannigan in the film
    Universal

    Box office in North America: $56,758,835

    Box office in the rest of the world: $180,040,376

    What's the deal? American comedies often struggle overseas as American humor doesn't always translate, but in the case of this film, international audiences were way more into it than North American ones. In fact, this was the most financially successful film of the franchise internationally, but the least successful one domestically.

    18. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

    Heath Ledger in a white suit speaks to a crowd in the film
    Lionsgate

    Box office in North America: $7,689,607

    Box office in the rest of the world: $56,663,000

    What's the deal? This is the movie Heath Ledger was making when he died. To complete the movie, director Terry Gilliam enlisted Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law to finish his part. The film didn't do much domestically, maybe because Gilliam's surreal sensibility plays better internationally than in North America, and maybe because people were too sad about losing a talent like Ledger to see this.

    The movie did much better internationally, and had a huge bow in Italy. The film's distributor there said it's because A) fans wanted to see Ledger and the stars who helped finish his role, and B) Italian teens love Terry Gilliam. I kind of have a hard time seeing Italian teens screaming for Gilliam like he's Harry Styles, but it's what the guy said, so 🤷.

    19. In Time (2011)

    Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried hold hands and run in the film
    20th Century Fox

    Box office in North America: $37,553,932

    Box office in the rest of the world: $127,550,020

    What's the deal? At the time, Justin Timberlake was box office gold, with three of his previous four films grossing $100 million domestically. So this high-concept, cool-looking movie was expected to do a lot better here than it did. Not sure why the movie underperformed domestically (critics were only so-so on it), but it was big in Japan and a lot of other countries — enough so that, despite the "meh" reaction here, it turned a good profit for the studio.

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