Thor 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and early UK releases

News Simon Brew
22 Apr 2013 - 08:27

The trend for releasing American superhero blockbusters early in Europe is set to continue with the new Thor and Spider-Man adventures

In what's becoming something of a regular occurence, it seems as though the UK will be getting another bunch of American blockbusters before they're unleashed in the US.

This continues a trend that's had interesting results. Battleship, for instance, came out around the world before it arrived in America. The result? A solid international hit, that partly offset the disappointing US box office. That delay in the US meant that Battleship was released in the wake of The Avengers, which was gobbling up box office dollars this time last year. However, The Avengers too was a film that arrived in Britain first, a week in advance of America.

A few Marvel films have been scheduled this way, and more recently, the Tom Cruise-headlined Oblivion has as well. Star Trek Into Darkness, meanwhile, gets just over a week headstart in Britain next month. The advantage to all of this? Presumably, that it allows a large amount of noise to be generated online ahead of a movie's American release. Furthermore, it may be partly in acceptance of the fact that non-US takings are now making up the majority of a film's cinematic gross.

Furthermore it does, if all goes to plan, allow the film's talent to arrive back on domestic shores (domestic to where the film was funded anyway), ideally off the back of headlines reporting strong box office and lots of positive reviews.

Skyfall, incidentally, arrived first in the UK, but that's a little easier to wrap our heads around, given that it's ostensibly a British production.

Whatever the key reasons for the pro-UK staggering of big superhero blockbuster scheduling though, it's a trend that's very much going to continue. We learned at the end of last week that Marvel's next, post-Iron Man 3 blockbuster, Thor: The Dark World, is heading to Britain early. Its official release date? October 30th 2013, with the US bow to follow on November 8th.

Now, it seems as though The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is going to follow the same path. America is getting that movie, which is currently shooting in New York, on May 2nd. The UK, however, gets it a full two weeks earlier. As things stand, the British release is set for April 18th 2014. If you live in Germany, you get it a day earlier than that.

Granted, the staggered releases tradionally haven't always worked in Britain's favour. Disney movies such as The Muppets and Wreck-It Ralph have followed months behind their US bows, although that too - like it or lump it - has proven a spectacularly successful strategy. Wreck-It Ralph is the most successful animated film from Disney (not Pixar) in the UK ever, not including re-releases.

We suspect, though, that the trend will now continue towards early international releases with a US roll-out to follow. Why? Because, bluntly, it seems to be working. We'll keep you posted as we hear more release dates...

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