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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Iron Man 3 is opening in Sweden on Wednesday....

And on Thursday in the UK.

Although nice, a couple of weeks between releases to different countries doesn't really make much of a difference.

The difference comes when (like Wreck It Ralph) a film opens over here, months after the USA. To me that makes zero sense. Ok, Ralph still made very good money, but that's offset by the huge marketing push. But they miss a trick doing that, as now of course you can illegally download a film in very good quality the same day it comes out on Blu/DVD. That release gap just falls into the pirates hands.

I wonder, and this is utterly unsubstantiated, if the studios have found there's less or slower piracy with films launched in Europe? Seems any big release in the US is available on-line within about ten minutes of the first screening finishing. Whatever the reason it's a nice trend, certainly makes it a fair bit easier to avoid spoilers.

I'm glad the movies are coming in the UK first - it means I can be one of the first to review them on my site.

and I'm seeing it Friday :p

be good if TV did this as well,then i wouldn't have to keep avoiding articles-Den of Geek,I'm looking at you!! ;)

Why not keep everybody happy and release everywhere simultaneously?

This is a dreadful trend. All these movies will be well and truly spoiled before they get back to the land of their birth.

Skyfall made sense because it was such a British film, even for a Bond film.

Opening first in the UK -- in the year of the Olympics and the Queen's jubilee -- is probably one of the main reasons Skyfall is the biggest British film of all time. Which is great.

And it was always unfair to have everything open first in the US and then take forever to trickle out elsewhere. Especially as detailed news of them became more and more easily available.

But having all these movies open a week and more elsewhere before opening in the US is going to cause real problems. Because we will all know far too much about what happens in them.

in South Africa on 1 May :-)

I'm probably going to give Spider-Man 2 a pass. After Jamie Foxx said that he likes killing white people in films, he's taken all the fun out the project.

agreed I would do this, and surely that would have an adverse effect on the damage pirates could do

This is great!

will see it soon :)

I love Spider Man, even though I'm not a comics fan)

Several of my favourite TV shows premier a week before in the US. I understand your frustrations but unless you watch the news about Iron Man 3 or look online about Iron Man 3 - or have friends who would spoil it then you can easily wait a week. Be happy it isn't a whole month or year (As some Japanese films take a whole year before they are released in the Uk - even without a dub)

Of course, the TV shows you are referring to are US TV shows.

Once again, the situation I am referring to is the opposite.

The movies will be spoiled for anyone who follows entertainment news and sites in the US.

But thanks for telling me to ignore it.

"Of course, the TV shows you are referring to are US TV shows."

I never stated ANY of my TV shows - not sure what you were saying that in reply too...

"Once again, the situation I am referring to is the opposite."

What situation?

"The movies will be spoiled for anyone who follows entertainment news and sites in the US."

In the UK they spoiled the ending for several films which premiered in the US a month beforehand.

"But thanks for telling me to ignore it."

Never stated that

Maybe what you are saying then is just too confusing for me to understand.

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