Jonny Depp and Angelina Jolie Prove That The Non-US Cinema Market Is Now Much Bigger Than Hollywood.
Jonathan Stuart-Brown for Save The British Film Industry.
Hollywood in 1910 was an unwanted unloved desert. It was New York not Hollywood which was set to dominate global cinema. In fact by 1920, it was obvious that Hollywood was set to dominate global cinema and the only place to be. The year of change in movie making power was 1911, and in that sense Hollywood is 100 years old this year.
The US box office power was total into the 1990s. Over 80% of cinema revenue was the US cinema market. The US customer was king. The US public made and broke stars, producers, directors, genres.
Moreover, as the opening weekend was believed to be 30% of the US cinema revenue, and over 10% of total revenue (DVD, pay TV, free to air TV) so accountants believed that two days into a movie they could guage its three year revenue cycle.
Further, US critics and websites could make or break the opening weekend, so they had real power.
But times are changing. Power is shifting.
The LA Times has noted the growing trend for movies and stars which did poorly in The US market but then did very well indeed outside The US.
We noted that Jonny Depp and Angelina Jolie had not failed in ‘The Tourist’ but indeed done over $250 million with the same again and more to come from DVD. Tourist 2 anyone ? Well a movie making over $500 million is not to be sneezed at.
Yet the Hollywood trade media had The Tourist down as a failure after its first two days. They were wrong and increasingly are wrong.
Avatar took 73% of its cinema gross outside The USA.
The reports that a film has done well or badly based on The US opening weekend will increasingly be an unreliable guide if out of synch with international consumer feeling.
The Green Hornet was not the greatest US opening weekend but more than recouped its $120 million budget from the international box office. The US $98 million was the cherry on the cake but no longer the cake itself. The Green Hornet will level out between $230 to $250 million (plus double that on DVD) but this seemed impossible after its first US wekend.
In 1911 New York looked set to be the world cinema capital. By 1920 it had become Hollywood. Will Hollywood be the capital in 2020 or will it become The UK or other EU centre ?
If we had a UK Government which knew what it was doing, it could and should be The UK. If….!!