GOING BIONIC: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS INTERNATIONALLY – CHINA HELPS “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY” ORBIT THE TOP OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOX OFFICE Image

Welcome to Going Bionic #237. Before we get started this week, I’d just like to express how utterly shocked I am that the Kansas City Royals are in the World Series. I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, and I was a high school senior the last time my hometown Royals were in the Fall Classic (which they won against St. Louis in seven games, I might add). So, as the Royals deliver the first pitch at home in game one of the World Series tonight, all I have to say is “Go Royals, Go!”

As for our topic this week, we’re going to discuss another surprising phenomena; how China helped Guardians of the Galaxy become the biggest film on the planet outside of North America. This feat is especially impressive; given the fact that a) the picture was originally predicted to be a middle-of-the-pack Summer release and b) none of the characters showcased in the film were household names. Nonetheless, the picture captured the attention of the masses as it carved its rightful place into pop culture, in many cultures worldwide. So, without further ado, here’s how Guardians of the Galaxy claimed the international box office crown this week.

International Box Office Has Eclipsed the Domestic Totals
The first key observation about how well Guardians of the Galaxy is doing overseas, is that it’s $404,800,000 international box office total has eclipsed it’s domestic total of $327,792,643. Furthermore, Guardians of the Galaxy earned $66,400,000 in 22 countries over its opening weekend, giving it an average of nearly $3,020,000 per country. In comparison, Guardians earned $94,320,883 on 4,080 screens over its domestic opening weekend, which gave it a franchise-solidifying $23,118 per screen average. While domestic earnings were nearly 50% higher than the international take over the opening frame, the success of the picture’s 22-country launch showed signs of worldwide dominance. Luckily for Buena Vista, those “signs” turned into proof that Guardians of the Galaxy is a mega hit.

China Offers ‘Guardians” of the Galaxy” Box Office Muscle
The reason why Guardians sits atop of the worldwide box office is because it earned $30,070,000 in China over its opening weekend of October 10. Furthermore, the film continued to get “butts in seats” since the opening frame, giving it a take of $69,000,000 in the first ten days of release in China. Such a massive take from China in such a short period of time signals a ripe new feeding ground for major American motion picture releases. Current performance can’t predict future performance, and Marvel Studios are on a historic high when it comes to name brand value, so other non-Marvel related motion pictures may not earn nearly as much. However, the financial floodgates to China have certainly been unlocked, if not pried wide open by Guardians of the Galaxy, so we should expect other highly visible tent pole releases to rely on a healthy chunk of their foreign box office from China. Of course, the only thing that remains to be seen is if China proves to be become a fertile ground for American independent releases. All we can do at this point is hope!

Okay filmmakers. That’s what I have for you today. Thank you once again for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday. Until then, have a great week! I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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