EDITORIALS

3rd Biggest Overseas Box Office Earner Isn't What You Think

by
September 9, 2009
Source: Movieline

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Most of this industry is obsessed with the domestic box office results, but we can't forget that overseas box office results are just as important as well. While we don't normally care about box office numbers, this was just too shocking. As of this moment, Titanic is the #1 overseas box office earner, at $1.24 billion, followed by Return of the King at $742 million. This week, the #3 spot, currently held by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, will be overtaken by one of this year's releases. What is it? Not what you think. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs has passed $657.5 million at the overseas box office. Are you kidding me?!

Here's the really messed up part of this story. Ice Age 3 (as it's better known) has only made $194 million in the US (ranked #7 for this year domestically). And it has a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. How the hell did this movie beat out every last Harry Potter movie? And The Dark Knight? And all six of the Star Wars movies? Box office results are always crazy, they're always hard to predict accurately, and even when the reaction is fairly bad (e.g. Transformers 2), the movie can still make a lot of money, but this is just insane! I guess now we know why Fox continues to make more Ice Age movies - they make bank on them overseas. Go figure!

Because I live in the US, it's admittedly hard for me to really judge the overseas box office, especially since cultures around the world differ so much from ours, that there's really no way for me to know how or why people choose to see certain movies. However, I would've never thought that the third Ice Age movie, which I thought almost everyone hated (at least those who went to see it), would end up becoming the #3 biggest overseas box office earner. It just doesn't make any sense? Why isn't it Transformers 2? Or Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? I'm just shocked by all this. Is it just me though? Is anyone else blown away?

You can find a complete worldwide box office chart over on Box Office Mojo, although it should be noted that the worldwide totals combine both domestic and overseas totals. Special thanks to Movieline as well, as they were originally baffled by this news, too. And thanks to Hollywood Reporter for the latest overseas box office report. I don't really want to say (yes I do) that Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs doesn't deserve to be up that high on the charts, but I would feel much happier knowing it wasn't some bad animated movie that was a recorder breaker. I would even be happier with Transformers 2 being #3. But maybe that's just me?

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  • Voice of reason
    Un believable, what the hell? it was the worst Ice Age film out of the three, yet it has made so much money, am thinking most of it is parents taking their kids to go see it, the kind of parents who aren't really into movies and never read reviews, they go to the cinema look for any kids film and bingo...Ice Age 3 is on, something else definately deserves that number 3 spot!!!!!!!!
  • SuicidalOptimist
    Yes, it is just you. Or maybe it's just me, because I really don't care. And I definitely am not 'shocked'. You sound kinda disgusted and offended in your movie honor that this happened. Ice Age was a huge success, and kids and adults alike loved Sid, Manny and Co. Now, while Ice Age 2 and 3 are definitely not nearly as sweet and funny as the 1st one, they were still popular with the kids. And they would gladly watch 2 more movies with some of their favorite characters. The kids LOVE retarded Sid and ever-unlucky Scratch. They almost choke laughing when those 2 get into trouble (which they are most of the time). I am not surprised that Ice Age 3 made out better than expected. Of course I can't speak for all of Overseas, but I can tell you that Germany's movie mentality is still a little different than that of the US. P.S.: I watched Ice Age 3 three times already, only because certain scenes like the "toxic fumes" one made me crack up. =P Sure, there are way better animated movies out there, but Ice Age 3 was by no means "terrible".
  • #2 - I don't mind that it made money and that people enjoyed it... I just think a more deserving movie should "go down in history" in that #3 spot rather than this. That or I'm just "shocked" because I really don't think anyone cared about this. Out of ALL the animated movies this year, including ones that were MUCH better (e.g. Up, Monsters vs Aliens), why this one? Hardly makes any sense...
  • Morpheous
    Unfortunately, most people take the red pill and decide to stay in wonderland. This is proof of that.
  • SuicidalOptimist
    I think it's because it's the 3 installment of that franchise while all the other movies were brand new. Like I said, I can only speak from what I hear and see in my friends families. But all their kids (and their friends) were crazy about the newest Ice Age, because its characters where already known, and they just wanted to see "what happens next". While I personally think UP and MvA are a lot better than Ice Age, I still think the latter was easier to understand for kids than UP for instance. On top of that, Ice Age has a 'cast' of adorable, fluffy, cuddly characters. Kids generally go for that rather than a grumpy old man or a crazy scientist who looks like a mutated cockroach. I think all this plays into it. *shrugs* And like #1 said, many parents take their kids to the movies, regardless of what a review says. It's not unusual to stuff your kids' birthday party guests into the car and load them off into a theater to watch a movie. I agree with you that something else should have been in 3rd place, but I can understand how this could have happened. =)
  • Alfredo
    WTF??!? This is really weird news. Of all the very popular animated movies throughout the years this turd gets to be the highest earner of them all? That's just ridiculous. I thought Transformers 2 making that much bank domestically was horrifying enough, but this is just disconcerting. And yes, I did watch this (with my little nephews, mind you), and while not extremely terrible, it definitely doesn't deserve any type of distinction.
  • J
    might have something to do with the draw of foreign celebrity voice actors.
  • ConnachtFan
    Give me a break, you are the same clowns who rave and get all wet with excitement over Transformers2 ( made a few zillion dollars world wide) so whats the problem? Dont be getting all artsy fartsy all of a sudden with such outrage, just because a cartoon made #3, since when dooes $= artistic/cinematic/cult merit? Fecking toe rags the lot of you! :O)
  • Michael
    Here in Germany Sid is voiced by a very famous comedian and everybody is loving Scratch. Ok not everybody but the mainstream folks. And I didn't see the third movie, too boring.
  • Chris
    Why are you people so upset by this??? If it really bothers you that much, then go to Germany and watch Transformers.
  • suresh
    Alex I m not shocked.. But I was shocked when I see the first week collection overseas for IceAge 3.. It made about 210 m + $ worldwide in the very first weekend.. you should check the alltime opening weekend for overseas as well... It might hold record for tat as well.. This is pure Marketing power.... They only spent 90 m $ to make this movie... but they spent nearly the same amount to market this movie.. which is pretty good strategy for them as they didn't spend much for production... IceAge 2 was bad... it still made 650 m $ world wide... I guess its just franchise power ... They created puffy and cute characters which most ppl like it.. I hope Fox will follow this for AVATAR as well.... They might hit BIG with that...
  • Ace
    Haven't seen the third movie yet, but i'm from germany too, and in my hometown we got a new 3D cinema and ICE AGE 3 was the first movie, that was running there in 3D. And it is still running there... since over 2 months now!! As described by #10 Sid is voiced by a very famous comedian in germany, that's one reason why many people like the Ice Age movies here.
  • Europe
    Well, I'm not surpised at all. Currently I'm working in a cinema in Europe, and there Ice Age 3 was running for over 6 weeks in the cinemas and almost every time the room was sold out (Transformers 2 ran only for two weeks, than it was over). Why did that happen? Because nobody around this world (expect you americans) gives a fuck about speaking vehicles. Come on, how silly is that? Sure Ice Age 3 doesn't have a great story, but it is funny and it has an humor everyone can understand. And besides that, Ice Age 3 was the first movie running in 3D in the most countrys of Europe, so of course everyone was curious.
  • Ezequeil
    Hi!!! I`m from Agentina and Ice Age3 is now the best boxoffice all time. I can´t understand but I guest that the reason of this is that is one of the firts big opening for 3D cinemas.
  • chris
    @ 13 ... Spot on.
  • Sleepykid
    Perhaps it's to do with other studios not quite knowing how best to sell their summer product abroad or they simply lack appeal, or euro audiences are fed up with overblown CGI-fests and stuck with a pretty traditional talking animals cartoon, or....whatever. Well done all the same, and nothing to get narked about, frankly.
  • Nithin
    Its still running here in India mainly due to kids i guess. I go to the Multiplex and there are only kids with their parents. I cant think of any other reason for it run till this point of time.
  • Alex, it's only money. Yeah, so it made an astronomical sum. Big deal. Don't beat yourself up that The Dark Knight doesn't hold every box office record imaginable. It's a business. Sometimes a movie will strike gold, other times not. Take solace in the fact that in five or ten years the record Ice Age 3 has achieved won't even matter. Instead of fretting over dollars and cents, take a moment and think of the films that will be remembered for years and decades to come. Not because of box office grosses, but rather those that have had a lasting impact on the medium itself.
  • branden
    I really think it has to do with the fact that the main characters are animals. Even though Up was good, it starred an old white guy and younger white boy. Monsters v Aliens also had white characters and was set in America. Most animated stories have something to do with American culture or settings and this one did not. I am shocked, but that would be my best guess. I wouldn't blame Fox for putting out 10 more Ice Age movies. Land of Time-esque
  • ABSO-F'N-LUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!!! Those are pretty much all the words I can sum up. RETARDED!!!(There's another one).
  • Vold
    I loved Ice Age 3. I thought it was great. One of my fav movies this year (and i've seen about twenty so far). I can totally understand why it reached this level of success. Bitterness is unbecoming of you Alex.
  • Darrin
    actually i had more fun with this movie than wolverine or star trek or tf2
  • Al
    You're complaining that a terrible movie has the third highest oversees gross ever, and yet you want it to go to Transformer 2? Ummmm.....everyone hated that too.
  • Dirty Dutchman
    Perhaps Ice Age 3 had a decent marketing scheme that chose the right time to be released or it was lucky with this overall disappointing summer of quality films. On another note... Some people like to be spoon fed the same "crap" over and over which is a compliment to Ice Age 3 because it is at least consistent of what it delivers. This film does not deserve the status of being the #3 box office film of all time and neither does Titanic at #1. I can not wait for the day when Titanic is overthrown from the #1 spot... "over rated".
  • Greetings from Portugal! And yes, Portugal = overseas (it's in Europe!) I can point some reasons for that box office values 1 - I guess that all the kids in all the schools and summer camps have seen that movie 2 - Lots and lots of viewers just choose movies poorly, there isn't much of a "best movie" choice when one goes to cinemas... people just tend to buy the most entertaining... and animated movies (even other "Ice Age-like movies" are tremendous hits over here) 3 - It's in 3D, and this means it's much more expensive (€5 regular ticket + €2.5 for the glasses) In the overall... I guess it is really connected with the cinema culture on this side of the Atlantic... It does not exist in most countries!
  • shadow
    Monsters Vs. Aliens was SHIT, Simon Pegg saved this film. And to suggest that Transformers 2 deserves more money is insulting beyond all words.
  • Nikhil Hariharan
    I dont get why people like you Alex make such a big deal about these box office numbers...seriously $$ doesnt really showcase which movie is better. Also i laugh at them Dark Knight fanboys, i can tell you personally that internationally, people care more about Supes than Bats, but than again its because of the way both characters were advertised since their creation.
  • pipo
    Wonders of helium!
  • Dan the Fan
    I would say psychologically speaking that it's a generic film that can be translated in all languages where it's audience base is simple enough for all kids while utterly devoid of ethnicity.
  • Tra la la la la di da
    I liked it. wouldn't pay to see it, but it was way better than the 2nd but not quite the first, but close. They're fun to watch and have humor in all the right places. Plus, it has Dennis Leary!
  • EJP
    I thought Ice Age 3 was great. I saw it in 3D and the visuals were awesome. Who cares if it was a dumb story. I'll see anything with Scrat.
  • smokey
    Maybe it's also because UP wasn't released yet in the most european countries. So till the end of the year can be everything different.
  • RC
    #8: I don't think anybody worth their salt in brain cells actually liked Transformers. Certainly not most of the people who post on this site.
  • Grzesiek
    The only thing I can say is that in Poland it was the most popular as it was probably one of the first 3D cartoons out. So everyone run to the box office to experience the 3D. I know I did. Wasn't too bad, but the "romance" between Scrat and his girl brought lots of couples to the theaters. well my 2cents
  • cub
    Urh... from what I can see at the link provided - http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/world/ Ice Age 3 is at $613.8 Mil Where did the number $657.5 Mil come from...?
  • Jos van den Atmos
    I live in Europe, saw it and hated it (like "most people you know who saw it"), but for that to happen I'd have to go and see it first, thus it making money. Doesn't really matter what you think of it afterwards, right?
  • I live in Switzerland and "Ice Age 3" has just become the second-biggest grosser of all time (behind "Titanic" of course). The film is massive here. The main reason why it's pulling in such a huge audience here is because of 3D. "Ice Age 3" was the first really 'big' release to push 3D cinema, and people are loving it. 3D cinema hereabouts is not as advanced as in the US (never mind IMAX-3D!), and I'd wager it's the same in other foreign markets. So this might be the reason why "Ice Age 3" is doing so well outside of the US. For most moviegoers, it's not just another film, but a completely novel experience.
  • Andrew
    I have to disagree with you on the animated movies being better than IA3. While this third installment was not a great movie, or even a good movie, it made people laugh. Monsters Vs. Aliens was complete and utter snooze fest. I almost fell asleep during it, because it was so boring and the characters so uninteresting. Up is a completely different story. A great movie, but simply not as appealing to kids or adults (at least in my geographical areas). Who wants to know about a grumpy old man? In Romania, Bulgaria IA3 is the first movie to make 1mil $ in a long time and IMO it deserves it.
  • me
    Ice Age 4!... creepy thought; for US I guess. I'm from Romania and I loved the movies; for their humor, not for style and story and other things. In my town Ice Age is something equal to Shrek.
  • Christ
    I'm from Venezuela, I haven't seen Ice Age 2 and 3, and I don't care about 3D. But I sure know that kids love those movies. Besides, ticket prices are so high most people go to the theaters to get their children and watch some nice family movies. I'm a fan of cinema, I don't have kids and don't care about the box office of the summer movies, but I understand why they make so much money.
  • Wilson
    I'm from Honduras and the movie was a total sucess... you need to understand that kids love the movie and when you're a parent you do everything for them.. this mean watch the same movie more than 3 times But also you need to see what other choices were out there this summer, I mean... Monsters Vs. Aliens sucks and I love UP but Ice Age 3 is more child-friendly... That's how this work... kids are the future man...
  • Shalnark
    im from the philippines You people don't know how to appreciate art! this movie is amazing i watch it in 3d and my nephews love it too scrat is way better than shrek, and by the way you dont know what the animators went through doing that movie so dont judge this movie that you cant create by yourself
  • It's the 3D gimmick effect...I'm sure this movie was huge in Asia too, where animation is not only considered "kids stuff"...
  • rich
    The Critics are so Anti-Fox but is it simply the stupid movies they ve made or is it them ruining great scripts. I think not being a US owned entity is one of the reasons that people hate it. Loads of American comedies are simply no fun to audiences around the world. Especially the Hangover thats a huge hit in the US but around the world its not a great deal. Wake up guys you are not the only ones watchin movies even Africa is watchin movies.

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