The Avengers

As we pointed out, Marvel worked a similar strategy this summer. By opening overseas first, Iron Man 3 already had roughly $300M in the bank before reaching the U.S. – where it was guaranteed to succeed.

That “guarantee” of success is another reason why, as films continue to play to a global audience, American crowds (and the money that they bring to the box office) just aren’t as special or unique as they once were thought to be. Bock tells Moviefone, “The truth is, with the emergence of Russia and China and other foreign territories as premium box office markets, the United States is starting to become just another territory on the studios' release schedule. This global strategy is becoming a more common occurrence each year as blockbusters are adapting to a worldwide release pattern instead of one that is U.S.-centric."

In other words, we should probably get used to the fact that superheroes and sci-fi characters we once thought of as exclusively ours now belong to everyone. And when it comes time for major studios to market and distribute these movies to a global marketplace, we’re going to see the films … eventually. But it’s likely going to be after everybody else. As movies like Iron Man 3 and Oblivion proved, we’ll show up when the studio finally opens the movie here. Shane Black’s sequel has banked $298M domestically to date, but a whopping $685M overseas. We just aren’t the powerful movie launch pad we once were.

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