There are a lot of different things to do when releasing a movie, but one of them is to remember that it’s going to be released overseas, in other words to different countries, there are different customs and rules that are bound to need attention since what goes in American movies might not fly in other countries. Because of this, it’s often necessary to make a few changes to a movie, no matter that it might change things around enough to make it appear different than what people in the states are used to seeing. If a movie is meant to be successful overseas though it’s important to recall that some cultures don’t think or feel the same way as Americans do about various things and definitely have different beliefs that need to be taken into consideration. If this doesn’t happen it’s already been seen a few times that foreign markets won’t be as accepting of American movies as they need to be in order to make a profit. While domestically a movie might do just fine, it can tank overseas if it’s not going to be adjusted as needs be so that the people of another country can comfortably enjoy the experience.
Here are a few movies that had to undergo wild changes to be accepted overseas.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street
It’s amazing enough that this movie was only given an R rating in America, especially since with the number of f-bombs and nudity it came close to being something else. But in other countries, it’s been seen that a lot of the movie had to be cut out. In Dubai, it had roughly 45 minutes cut out of it and the expletives were bleeped out in order to keep it acceptable to the viewing audience. Think about that, a movie with plenty of nudity, copious drug use, and language fit to make a sailor blush was shown as a movie that eliminated all that stuff and was actually intending to focus on the core concept.
Let’s be honest and say that not everyone cares that much about American history since even Americans are fuzzy on a lot of details, which is saddening in a way but unfortunately very true. But in other countries, the fact that Lincoln freed the slaves in his day isn’t that big of a deal, like it or not. That’s why Steven Spielberg had to give a brief history lesson to go with this movie when it was marketed overseas in order to give the audience a quick refresher course on why the importance and significance of the movie were intended to mean something. When you think about it, this is why some foreign movies feature in America don’t make sense, so it’s only fair.
3. Demolition Man
Apparently Taco Bell wasn’t a big name overseas at the time this movie came out, or the reference simply wasn’t understood. In any case, the logo was replaced with Pizza Hut in a lot of places since that appears to be a much more recognized logo that people can get behind. But it might have appeared kind of awkward to see the actors sitting down in an upscale restaurant that didn’t serve pizza. But hey, it was a strange future and it’s easy to assume that the minuscule portions were meant to be some new-age type of pizza, so anything goes sometimes when the future is concerned.
It goes without saying that a lot of countries don’t like being reminded of their sordid past by seeing what amounts to very negative images that don’t put them in the best light. America is a good example of this, as are several other countries. But in order to fix this, it happens that the movie was scrubbed of all Nazi images and Laszlo became a Norwegian physicist that was trying to get away from Interpol. That’s a pretty easy fix it sounds like but it definitely changes up the story in a way that a lot of people might not have been expecting. But one has to wonder just what’s changed in other movies to accommodate various countries.
1. Die Hard
Whether they’ve been under threat from one faction or another or don’t really care to be reminded of a history that’s produced some of the worst human beings the world over, Germany doesn’t always appreciate seeing German terrorists on the screen. For this movie, it was necessary to give all the terrorists English-sounding names and make them former members of the IRA, which is a quick fix but doesn’t make a lot of sense when hearing their accents and trying to tell yourself that they belong to the Irish Republican Army, which has had its fair share of issues over the years but is still hard to picture in a movie like this.
Hollywood bends that knee quickly, but sometimes it’s a little bit necessary.
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