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Is Hollywood no longer making blockbusters for the US market?
MovieReviews ^ | 04/17/2012 | By Mark Harrison

Posted on 04/18/2012 10:35:40 AM PDT by Carbonsteel

It's curious enough that toy company Hasbro now counts as a Hollywood powerhouse, and still curiouser that Peter Berg managed to make a narrative (sort of) out of Battleship, but what makes me most curious is the fact that the premiere was held in Tokyo. In fact, much of the marketing of this unabashedly patriotic film about the US Navy fighting aliens has focused on the international angle, which leads us to wonder- are non-Americans now the primary audience of Hollywood cinema?

(Excerpt) Read more at moviereviews.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: hollywood
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It's a foregone conclusion that Hollywood stopped making movies that Americans wanted to see some 20 years ago.

The question is why?

I think it has more to do with Hollywoods moral bankruptcy then anything else.

International sales is just now becoming a factor.

1 posted on 04/18/2012 10:35:41 AM PDT by Carbonsteel
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To: Carbonsteel

Ender’s Game is slated for winter next year. Anybody that knows sci-fi knows that book is huge, and the movie could possibly make its popularity explode.


2 posted on 04/18/2012 10:44:57 AM PDT by wastedyears (There can be only one.)
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To: Carbonsteel

Hollywood is so full of blame-America-liberals. They are probably worried that if they hold a big red-carpet premier for a pro-America movie in Hollywood no one would come.


3 posted on 04/18/2012 10:46:48 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (Obama 2012: Dozens of MSNBC viewers can't be wrong!)
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To: wastedyears

Those were great books. I had no idea they were making movies out of them. Awesome news!


4 posted on 04/18/2012 10:47:24 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (Obama 2012: Dozens of MSNBC viewers can't be wrong!)
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To: Carbonsteel

Say what you want about the cheesey movies made in the 80’s. One thing you can’t deny, films like Delta Force were still proudly American...


5 posted on 04/18/2012 10:49:00 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: Carbonsteel

In many recent movies, those with a plot seem to bomb in the US and explode overseas, Captain America and Thor are two examples. America wants explosions and effects with no thought required.


6 posted on 04/18/2012 10:49:07 AM PDT by Ingtar (When I donate to FR, it does not take the money and run as every politician I donate to does)
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To: Carbonsteel

Hollywood started its downward descent in the aftermath of World War Two when the communists started pushing the ‘film noir’ aesthetic. These were movies that left the viewer leaving the theatre feeling less good than when they entered. ‘Thought provoking’ ‘challenging’ and etc. were all just code words for depressing.

This devolved into the 1970’s movies that I call the “Despair Aesthetic”. Movies of that period were filled with so-called ‘anti-heroes’ that set society on its head as audiences sympathized with the bad guys and then none of these movies ever had a happy ending. Horror movies of this period are notorious for having none of their protagonists alive at the end...a nice vehicle for instilling hopelessness into society.

In the mid 1970’s and early 1980’s some brave film makers went against the communist order of the day and they produced movies that were universally panned by the high brow leftist critics.

‘Star Wars’ early reviews panned the film. ‘Top Gun’ was denounced as jingoistic propaganda. ‘Red Dawn’ was denounced as paranoid and juvenile.

Yet all of them were blockbuster hits that featured people doing honorable things at great personal risk and then the movies had happy endings that left audiences feeling inspired and happy.

The 1990’s brought back an echo of the crap films of the 1970’s only to be slapped down as films like ‘The Patriot’, ‘Gladiator’, and, yes, even ‘Titanic’ brought back stories of individuals doing noble things that left audiences inspired and happy.

Hollywood does not want to make these films and they only allow these films to be made because the BILLIONS that these films earn allow them to keep producing crap.

To a very great extent it is a shame that the blacklist of the 1950’s did not also come with a firing squad to exterminate the Soviet moles who still work in Hollywood.

‘Battleship’ will no doubt be savaged by the leftist critics if it is the patriotic work that it seems to be.


7 posted on 04/18/2012 10:52:55 AM PDT by MeganC (No way in Hell am I voting for Mitt Romney. Not now, not ever. Deal with it.)
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To: Ingtar

Captain America did really good business in Europe, actually. I saw it in Berlin; good film.

And the villains weren’t just your garden-variety boring old Nazis; they were super-duper Nazis! None of that wimpy “Heil Hitler!” for them. Oh no, it was nothing less than “Hail HYDRA!”.

And Hugo Weaving was great, as was the Captain. I enjoyed it: good film, and well-written to boot. Didn’t see Thor, but I’ll have to check it out.

Lot’s of movies do better internationally than domestically. Good example; Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”, which grossed over $200 million in Japan alone BEFORE opening in the USA.


8 posted on 04/18/2012 10:54:43 AM PDT by AnAmericanAbroad (It's all bread and circuses for the future prey of the Morlocks.)
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To: wastedyears

Betcha in Hollyweird’s version, a multi-racial Andrew Ender will have some combination of:

1) “gender issues”
2) “environmental concerns”
3) a disdain for Christianity.
4) a devotion to “non-judgmental”, moral equivalence.
5) Roll yer own.....


9 posted on 04/18/2012 10:57:24 AM PDT by EyeGuy (2012: When the Levee Breaks)
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To: Carbonsteel

Hollywood is just earning the foreign exchange the U.S. needs to buy oil in the international market.


10 posted on 04/18/2012 10:59:49 AM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Personal Responsibility

Right now it’s just Ender’s Game to start. The problem obviously is the child violence in the book. Things like how to portray that and how much to show.

The IPO on hsx.com is over $100 now and it’s still a year and a half from release, and this isn’t getting all the big news like the superhero movies, or the big action movies.


11 posted on 04/18/2012 11:00:34 AM PDT by wastedyears (There can be only one.)
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To: wastedyears

Was the screen play written by someone who read the book? So many have been butchered, I don’t have much hope for it.


12 posted on 04/18/2012 11:01:26 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Carbonsteel

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that a movie staring an Irishman with an accent that he never gets rid of is “unabashedly patriotic American”. Not to mention the fact that the Battleship movie just looks painfully stupid.

As for if they make movies for American audiences, yeah, most of the tent pole blockbusters are aimed here where the crazy money comes from.


13 posted on 04/18/2012 11:05:32 AM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: EyeGuy

Orson Scott Card wouldn’t allow a movie to be made if the script and character were written like that. It’s taken a long time to get that wheel rolling, and if there were stipulations such as what you mentioned, OSC would’ve told them to pound sand and look for someone else.

As for the disdain for Christianity, I remember his father being Catholic, but I think Ender didn’t want much to do with it. So there will be that in his character.

Other than that, I’m very worried about the movie as Gavin Hood, who also directed the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie, is directing Ender’s Game. Now I don’t know if it was his doing that made the movie terrible, the writers, or Hollyweird, but I thought that was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Nothing about it meshed with the first X-Men movie, and alone it was total crap.


14 posted on 04/18/2012 11:07:09 AM PDT by wastedyears (There can be only one.)
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To: MeganC

“These were movies that left the viewer leaving the theatre feeling less good than when they entered.”

Exactly how I felt after seeing Oliver Stone’s “JFK” in 1991. I was so rattled that I went directly to the local watering hole and stayed until I ran out of money. I’ll never watch that movie again.


15 posted on 04/18/2012 11:07:20 AM PDT by equaviator
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To: MeganC

Excellent post.

I would add to your history summary, the influx of casual immorality (adultery, open, self-congratulatoru pre-marital sex, etc) that I USED to believe started in the mid 1960’s.

However, I just viewed a 1958 Doris Day vehicle in which among other unsettling things, her neighbor (Gig Young), was an open and quite casual, serial adulterer.


16 posted on 04/18/2012 11:07:48 AM PDT by EyeGuy (2012: When the Levee Breaks)
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To: Carbonsteel
I don't agree that Hollywood has stopped making movies "Americans want to see." The fact is, Hollywood has made a business decision to focus on boys 18-24 and girls 18-30, hence "Transformers" on the one hand and "Twilight" on the other.

The rather rude awakening that Palin's "Undefeated" or the highly produced "Atlas Shrugged" received suggests that there is no massive "silent majority" of adults who are thirsting for purely conservative messages. However, I have staked a considerable amount of my own money on the fact that this "silent majority" will, if marketed to properly, support "movies Hollywood won't make."

That said, Hollywood also makes clear business decisions based on the fact that most movies will not last in a theater longer than two weeks; and that American theaters are merely advertising vehicles for DVD/VOD sales; and that American sales are mostly dollar-setters for the overseas market. Example: "The Expendables," which had terrible reviews and ok domestic dollars, was already profitable based on foreign pre-orders because of Stallone, Jet Li, and Statham.

The other two staggering realities of Hollywood is that someone with a digital cam and a good home editing system can "make" a quality movie for a tiny fraction of what anything other than a special effects blockbuster would cost. This has introduced waves of new competition. And finally, the explosion of hand-held video devices means that things other than movies compete for even teenagers' limited time, and therefore only the very biggest blockbusters can recoup at the gate initially.

17 posted on 04/18/2012 11:10:14 AM PDT by LS ("Castles Made of Sand, Fall in the Sea . . . Eventually (Hendrix))
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To: wastedyears

If I recall, Card is a liberaltarian.

Thus, I don’t expect much defense of social conservative issues from him, except to the extent that they distort his storyline and plot.


18 posted on 04/18/2012 11:12:13 AM PDT by EyeGuy (2012: When the Levee Breaks)
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To: EyeGuy

The book is fairly complex in its attitudes.

IIRC there wasn’t much if any overt religion in the book.
No gender issues either.

There is considerable “moral equivalence”, of the “war is bad, and I’m very sorry about the enemies I was made to kill for no good reason” sort.


19 posted on 04/18/2012 11:13:42 AM PDT by buwaya
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To: redgolum

Well I just checked IMDb and Gavin Hood also wrote the screen play. I don’t know if that’s good or bad yet.


20 posted on 04/18/2012 11:17:15 AM PDT by wastedyears (There can be only one.)
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To: EyeGuy

He’s a Democrat that sounds more like a Republican. A couple of his articles have been posted on here, so you can check for yourself.


21 posted on 04/18/2012 11:18:17 AM PDT by wastedyears (There can be only one.)
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To: buwaya

“IIRC there wasn’t much if any overt religion in the book.
No gender issues either.”

####

Well that’s my point. The intent and focus of Card’s creation, certainly won’t stop Hollywood from inserting its usual messages, unless the author specifically reins them in.

Cameron distorted much of the real history of HMS Titanic, and that was an ACTUAL documented, historic event.


22 posted on 04/18/2012 11:19:23 AM PDT by EyeGuy (2012: When the Levee Breaks)
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To: Carbonsteel

Foreign grosses became the predominant factor in Hollywood profits about twenty years ago. The need to appeal to the international market drives a lot of decisions that otherwise seem hard to explain.


23 posted on 04/18/2012 11:20:52 AM PDT by Argus
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To: EyeGuy
Card writes for the local conservative paper, and I read his articles often. His regular editorials are great, if not shot through with earth shattering insight. Usually, he talks about restaurants and movies.

He self-describes as a Dem. I'd call him a Conservative Christian Democrat. That makes him a pretty rare breed of cat, IMHO.

And FWIW, I've not read Ender's Game. I've tried to read a couple of his other books (don't remember the titles, they were so unremarkable) and I thought they were pretty much unreadable. Came across sort of like a Tom Clancy-lite, without the character development and plot.

24 posted on 04/18/2012 11:21:10 AM PDT by wbill
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To: buwaya

I think he faced that in Speaker For The Dead. Not at all in the first book. I think it may start in First Meetings.


25 posted on 04/18/2012 11:23:18 AM PDT by wastedyears (There can be only one.)
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To: wastedyears
Ender’s Game is slated for winter next year.

Ooooooh....I didn't know that.

Oh boy

Oh boy

Oh boy

Oh boy

Oh boy

Oh boy

Oh boy


26 posted on 04/18/2012 11:24:05 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (I will not comply. I will NEVER submit.)
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To: wastedyears

They managed to downplay the kid-on-kid violence in the Hunger Games. I’m sure they can do so on Enders Game.


27 posted on 04/18/2012 11:25:45 AM PDT by Personal Responsibility (Obama 2012: Dozens of MSNBC viewers can't be wrong!)
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To: wbill

Might have been the Alvin Maker series, or the Homecoming series.

You ought to give Ender’s Game a try. It’s required reading at OCS I’ve heard.


28 posted on 04/18/2012 11:26:18 AM PDT by wastedyears (There can be only one.)
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To: Personal Responsibility

It’s the latest fantasy craze and I personally don’t care for it. Ender’s Game still is relatively underground but has a hardcore following. I think sci-fi is generally more abstract than fantasy so that may have something to do with it.


29 posted on 04/18/2012 11:28:01 AM PDT by wastedyears (There can be only one.)
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To: Personal Responsibility

And another thing, the violence is also something that helps shape and strengthen the character. It can’t just be left out.


30 posted on 04/18/2012 11:30:00 AM PDT by wastedyears (There can be only one.)
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To: Carbonsteel

Movies are made in Mexico and Canada to cut costs.....UNIONS plus over paid actors.....imho


31 posted on 04/18/2012 11:35:10 AM PDT by yoe
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To: EyeGuy

i don’t want to think of what horrific thing they’re going to do with the bonzo fight.


32 posted on 04/18/2012 11:49:50 AM PDT by absolootezer0 (2x divorced tattooed pierced harley hatin meghan mccain luvin' REAL beer drinkin' smoker ..what?)
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To: Carbonsteel

“I think it has more to do with Hollywoods moral bankruptcy then anything else.”

Well that’s certainly part of it, but there’s a large measure of value-neutral business calculation operating here as well.

The global market dwarfs our domestic market and movie makers are targeting that audience and not us. So America-specific themes get rejected.

It’s similar to what’s led to outsourcing and the wholesale transfer of manufacturing to China. The world changed dramatically when the USSR collapsed in 1989 and the old Communist bloc joined the world economy. The developing Third World economies began their explosive growth as well.

The ‘Boomers grew up in a world where the American market was the largest market in the world. American located businesses employed Americans and targeted their products to the American market. Large firms even had specific ties to individual cities.

Well that world and that economy is gone. What we once thought of as ‘American’ corporations went from having a national focus with some international sales, to being multinational with a global focus. Most would likely defer from being described as ‘American’ firms at this point. Their market is global, their workforce is global. So the product they make becomes less and less distinctively American. This is true in Hollywood as well, but it’s probably more just more visible to us.


33 posted on 04/18/2012 11:54:34 AM PDT by Pelham (Obama, the vanguard of the proletariat since 2008)
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To: wastedyears

Enders Game isn’t a bit underground, as I understand it. Its on lots of high schoool reading lists.


34 posted on 04/18/2012 11:57:02 AM PDT by buwaya
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To: Ingtar

“In many recent movies, those with a plot seem to bomb in the US and explode overseas, Captain America and Thor are two examples. America wants explosions and effects with no thought required.”

Wait, I don’t get it. Are you saying Captain America and Thor weren’t just about explosions and effects?


35 posted on 04/18/2012 11:59:18 AM PDT by Tublecane
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To: LS

Way to work in an irrelevant dig at Palin in a discussion about Hollywood movies, and defend the Hollywood left, smooth....


36 posted on 04/18/2012 12:00:16 PM PDT by ansel12 ( Romney is a Mormon Bishop, as was his father, his uncle was in line to be the Mormon Prophet. Pope))
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To: Carbonsteel
Trying to remember if there has even been a decent movie since "The Dark Knight"?

Maybe Star Trek.

37 posted on 04/18/2012 12:00:35 PM PDT by evad (STOP SPENDING, STOP SPENDING, STOP SPENDING. It's the SPENDING Stupid)
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To: Carbonsteel

The international market has definitely became an even bigger factor than it was in the last few years. And not just on the films you might expect. Look how huge Mamma Mia was overseas. Foreign grosses used to be expected to about match domestic grosses on a Hollywood blockbuster. Now I would say they inching closer to averaging 50% more than domestic.

U.S. ticket sales seem to be declining, no doubt because of the huge price increases in the last year or two which came at the worst possible time, when our economy is cratering.

There also seems to be a little boredom setting in for superhero movies and CGI cartoons, which used to be reliably massive grossers here but have been declining. But foreigners are still eating up those types of films and seem to be much less picky about quality. Spider-Man 3 was panned here and grossed much more poorly than the other two, but it was the most popular of the series overseas.

Unfortunately if you look around at other markets, EVERYTHING’S doing better overseas. The U.S. economy SUCKS right now. That cannot be understated. There is NO growth potential here in just about any market, but lots of it overseas.


38 posted on 04/18/2012 12:04:02 PM PDT by JediJones (From the makers of Romney, Bloomberg/Schwarzenegger 2016. Because the GOP can never go too far left.)
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To: AnAmericanAbroad

“Lot’s of movies do better internationally than domestically. Good example; Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”, which grossed over $200 million in Japan alone BEFORE opening in the USA.”

You’re confusing yourself, there. That was a Japanese movie. It doing better in Japan than here excludes it as an example of something doing better internationally.


39 posted on 04/18/2012 12:05:29 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: evad

Faux Trek ? Noooooo.


40 posted on 04/18/2012 12:06:36 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: Ingtar
In many recent movies, those with a plot seem to bomb in the US and explode overseas, Captain America and Thor are two examples.

Uhhh...I guess we saw different "Captain America" films...

41 posted on 04/18/2012 12:07:40 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (If we had a President, he'd look like Newt.)
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To: equaviator

“Exactly how I felt after seeing Oliver Stone’s ‘JFK’ in 1991. I was so rattled that I went directly to the local watering hole and stayed until I ran out of money. I’ll never watch that movie again.”

It’d help to watch again with the mindset that it’s a wildly paranoid piece of contradictory juvenalia. Keep asking yourself, “Just how gullible can grown men be?”


42 posted on 04/18/2012 12:09:42 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: wbill

actually, he is a Mormon.


43 posted on 04/18/2012 12:09:42 PM PDT by ClayinVA ("Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it")
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To: Carbonsteel

There hasn’t been a gerat movie in a very long time. We used to buy lots of them but in the past few years we haven’t bough but a handful and they were terrible.


44 posted on 04/18/2012 12:13:47 PM PDT by CodeToad (If it ain't Newt, we're screwt !)
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To: Carbonsteel

Gran Torino is about the only good Hollywood film I’ve seen come out in the past several years.


45 posted on 04/18/2012 12:14:47 PM PDT by Catholic Canadian
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To: buwaya

“There is considerable ‘moral equivalence’, of the ‘war is bad, and I’m very sorry about the enemies I was made to kill for no good reason’ sort.”

I don’t know about that, exactly. Equivalency, yes. We get force fed the wornout canard that war is caused by failures to communicate. Though the bugs started it, we are taught to hate the humans in charge and damn them for tricking the hero.

The “kill for no good reason” part is a little off, though. Like I said, they did start it. But more to the point, not only does Ender kill them; he commits genocide (or so they think). That’s a genuine moral problem, even for good wars.


46 posted on 04/18/2012 12:18:52 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: Carbonsteel
It's a foregone conclusion that Hollywood stopped making movies that Americans wanted to see some 20 years ago. The question is why?

Well the answer is easy - what happened 20 years ago?


47 posted on 04/18/2012 12:22:55 PM PDT by Talisker (He who commands, must obey.)
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To: JediJones

A lot of why things do better overseas is scale not economy. There’s 311 million people in America, 6.5 BILLION in the not-America part of the world, that’s a lot more people to sell to. Even if you only get half the penetration you’re still talking 5 times the sales.


48 posted on 04/18/2012 12:23:56 PM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: Ingtar
America wants explosions and effects with no thought required.

Not so.
49 posted on 04/18/2012 12:24:05 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: Tublecane

Thanks for the advice Tublecane but that’s pretty much what I was thinking once I settled into what was probably my seventh beer that afternoon. Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop talking about it for a week!


50 posted on 04/18/2012 12:29:29 PM PDT by equaviator
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