While chatting about the movie Jupiter Ascending in the chat room, I learned that the movie is apparently already out in many European countries, whereas the movie comes out today, 6 February 2015, in the United States. Over the last several years I've noticed that this trend seems to be increasing:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man had its premiere in Tokyo, Japan on 30 June 2012, where as the American release wasn't until 3 July 2012. Its sequel hit UK theaters nearly an entire month before it hit US theaters.
  • While Kick-Ass had a premiere at Sundance, it went wide in the UK on 26 March 2010, and didn't go wide in the US until 16 April. Its sequel had a much smaller window for releasing early in the UK before the US, but still, it hit the UK before it hit the US.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction hit Asian markets about 2 to 3 days before it premiered in the US.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past hit the UK a couple weeks before it hit the US.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a sequel, came out in Europe before the US, as did the third film.
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, a movie based on a Tom Clancy character (and a very American franchise to begin with) came out in Europe and some Asian/Pacific regions before the US.

My question is: Why does it seem like more and more movies produced in the US hit foreign markets before they hit the US market? I'm not asking out of some misplaced sense of patriotism or American zealotry, but movies produced by US studios used to take quite a bit longer to hit foreign theaters after making it to US theaters. Are distribution methods simply faster? Is there a marketing reason? What's the deal?

  • Yep, sure enough. Those with closing powers please vote to close as a duplicate. – MattD Feb 6 '15 at 15:40

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