In 2015 just three out of the top 20 grossing films managed to earn more at the US Box Office than abroad.
“Pitch Perfect 2,” “The SpongeBob Movie” and “Straight Outta Compton” were the only films that earned more than 50% of their total Box Office revenue inside the US market.
A majority of films this year required overseas markets to make up for their returns including the likes of “Jurassic World,” “Spectre” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
The importance of the overseas markets can’t be ignored and most of the major blockbusters coming out in the next few years will depend on foreign territories to bring a return. China is an emerging market that is proving very lucrative but with caps on film imports, co-productions are becoming more important, and that will also affect the storytelling of future films.
We’ve known for sometime now that tapping into foreign markets is essential for success but this year we’ve seen a host of movies in production that have yet to be released where the casting has been somewhat un-diverse. Audiences are changing and so too are the demographics. With American produced films being consumed more and more overseas, casting diversity is one of the major issues that could undermine the success of films abroad. However these changes could provide new opportunities for actors that want to break into the entertainment business or get cast in new TV shows with international viewers.
Earlier this year we spoke with William Shatner regarding diversity and what he thought about the current situation in the industry regarding the debate:
“The movies, television, the entertainment industry is based on what people are watching. If people will watch this, that’s what’s made. So if they’ll watch diversity, then there’ll be diversity…The audience leads the producers.”
Today we saw an internet backlash for ‘Gods of Egypt’ which comes out next year, and will likely depend on attaining 60% or more of its revenue at the Box Office from overseas. Can Hollywood really afford to keep making films that audiences feel are not diverse enough or have casting that isn’t aligned with the story elements themselves?