Earlier this summer, Paramount was reportedly considering changing the title of Captain America: The First Avenger to the less American-sounding The First Avenger in foreign markets. The rationale was that a lot of other countries out there don’t love America, and that by playing up the patriotic ties in the title, it could affect the bottom line (of course, no one seemed worried that Cap was running around in red, white, and blue…). Eventually, Paramount’s marketing department won out by insisting that the Captain America brand was so recognizable that name recognition would trump any anti-American sentiment in countries abroad. Turns out they were right.
The studio’s film, based on the popular Marvel Comics’ series about super soldier Steve Rogers and his fight against Red Skull and the Nazis, has actually grossed more in international release than its made here at home. Current box office tallies show Cap has raked in $173.5 million here in the States, while it sits at $178 million internationally – and the film still hasn’t opened in places like Japan.
While it’s not unusual for summer blockbusters to make more in their international release than the domestic debut these days, it does seemingly prove that while the rest of the world may not always agree with America’s political policies, they don’t let that get in the way of enjoying a good superhero flick.
THR broke down the numbers, and Captain America has done quite well in every market it’s appeared in. Latin America has led the way, with over $57 million in ticket sales, which has placed the film ahead of other comic flicks like Thor and X-Men: First Class. It’s done almost as well in Europe, where it still trails Thor, but has put up respectable numbers. Even Russia, one of three regions to actually opt for the The First Avenger title (the others were the Ukraine and South Korea), has seen solid returns. The belief is that the rest of the world loves big budget Hollywood 3D spectacles so much that they’ll set aside philosophical and political differences in order to be entertained. Maybe there’s hope for the future after all. If we can all get together and watch Captain America kick Nazi ass, can world peace really be far behind?