Are movies as big of a deal in other countries as they are in America?

I was thinking how much time, effort, and attention we give to movies in the United States. We go to movie theaters all the time and spend money on DVDs. Movies are promoted like crazy and then analyzed once they come out. We even have an enormously overblown awards show every year for our movies. It seems like this is very much an American thing. Is there this much attention paid to movies in other countries? Do those movies get quite this much hype and promotion?

Italy? India?

Not sure where I want to start.

India, though I don’t know anything about the awards (and firmly feel they are all fixed anyway). But there certainly is a lot of hype - it’s escapism, pure and simple.

Do those countries also do “tie ins” like we see in America? Mostly with kids’ movies. But you know, a line of clothes at Wal Mart featuring Cars or all of Burger King brought to you by Iron Giant.

Spain came up with the Goyas as a way to promote made-in-Spain movies: in general it works. This year’s big winner wouldn’t have made a penny if it hadn’t won so many statues, that’s for sure (they weren’t even distributing it to the general market). The amount of money our government(s) pour into movies, either directly (Art grants) or indirectly (via public television companies) is a running joke and has been for decades.

There is a very large amount of money being moved around movies, both legally and ilegally. The illegal markets for movies and records are so big that there are “top manta” compilations (lit “top blanket”, so called after the “top 40” song list and because many sellers place their evidently-illegal copies on a blanket on the floor): listings of which pirated movies/records have been seized by the police lately, amounts by location.

ZipperJJ, most Spanish movies don’t have that kind of marketing. But you do get Cars Tshirts and MickeyD kiddie meals with toys from the latest Disney offering.

Must be in China, considering the (apparent) massive intellectual property right thefts.


Domestic box office gross: $749M
Foreign box office gross (not counting domestic): $2 billion

So yeah, I’d say movies are big everywhere. But of course since movies are one of our chief exports they are a bit closer to our culture than other countries that have less well-developed filmmaking departments.

I think movies are a bigger deal in India than they are in the US. When I was in India, pretty much the first thing my coworkers asked me was who my favorite actor/actress is. I am about the furthest thing from a movie buff you can imagine (I can easily go for years without going to the theater) and my coworkers were shocked I couldn’t come up with an answer. I don’t know that I have ever had a conversation quite like that in the US, like chatting about movies and actors is the best possible ice-breaking conversation with a new acquaintance.

I don’t think Australians are as obsessed with movies as Americans are.

Every once in a while someone tries to reboot the Australian film industry, and maybe one or two high-profile films come out of it, but then it just kind-of dies off again. I couldn’t tell you the name of a single Australian film released in 2010.

The King’s Speech?

Animal Kingdom?

Exactly. Not only do Indians make a lot more movies than Americans do, they see a lot more movies than Americans do, and it’s hard to carry on a conversation with an Indian for more than five minutes without some kind of reference to movies or movie culture. Film stars (“heroes” and “heroines”) are always on people’s minds and they are literally worshipped, much more so than politicians.