Just like any other business or industry, movies have to make profit. While a lot of them would fail miserably in the US, their home country, such would not be the case when they get released internationally. Here are some of the movies that failed at the US box office, but were well-received abroad.

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rimhad the highest first week opening of any film by Guillermo del Toro. However, its 50 percent 3D ticket share is second only to “Gravity” in all-time records. Later, its $37.2 million first week takings were still a huge disappointment. This film would, later on, crawl to earn just $101.8 million in North America, which is way below the $190 million spent to make it. It is a good thing that China came to save it.

The film was set in Hong Kong and featured some minor Chinese characters, and this could be why the Chinese community received it well. It earned $111.9 million in China, which broke records to be the sixth highest for any American film in the country’s history. Not only did China save it from becoming a flop, they even managed to convince Warner Brothers to start filming a sequel, which has been confirmed recently.

John Carter

Everyone might have thought that every other person was raving to watch this pioneering sci-fi movie with strange creatures and all, but nobody in the US really cared about it or barely knew that it was being shown. “John Carter” earned only around $73 million locally which is barely even a fraction of its $250 million budget. This movie would go down in history as one of Disney’s biggest flops.

Just when everything would have gone to waste, it had a silver lining. “John Carter” earned $284 million worldwide as 74 percent of the figures were attributed to foreign sales.


Battleshipnot only flunked at the US box office, but such failure was so terrible that plans to release a game based on the movie was canceled. Activision had already been planning a game based on the movie, but all those sunk along with box office figures.

“I got a taste of a film’s global power [with Hancock]. But I discounted the effect of Will Smith on Hancock’s success. I thought I could pull off ‘Battleship’ without a big star … I don’t want to tackle that kind of economic project for quite a while.” – Peter Berg, Director

Universal Pictures spent $220 million on this movie, only for it to earn a meager $9.5 million on its opening day and $25.4 million on its opening weekend. Fortunately, “Battleship” made $226.8 million when it would be released internationally, thanks to the foreign market.


This animated epic based on a classic strategy game of the same title needed to earn $400 million just to break even, so Universal executives needed a crackdown on bad reviews. The news came out that the film had only managed to rake in $24.2 million in its first week. What followed was even worse because the film just earned $7.2 million in its second week and by the time its run was done, it only earned $46.7 million. Just when this movie was about to be forgotten for good, here again, comes China to the rescue.

”Warcraft” was very popular in China, so Universal had a lot of love to capitalize on. The film received the widest Chinese release ever, which paid off when it would ultimately earn $221 million there.

Need for Speed


Despite having recently established his name in “Breaking Bad,” Aaron Paul would not be so lucky in “Need for Speed.” The movie only grossed 17.8 million on its opening weekend. This was followed by poor reviews and word of mouth. By the time its run ended, it only earned $43.6 million.

Just when everyone was about to give up on this B-movie, it was released in China and again tables turned. It resulted to a higher opening weekend until it reached an overall total of $66 million. What is even more interesting is that the Chinese like the movie so much that there have been rumors that a sequel is being produced in China with a largely Chinese cast.

Have you seen any of these movies? What do you think of how well they were received internationally? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.

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