OVERSEAS FORECAST: 'RoboCop' Shows Promise; Can 'LEGO' Build a Global Following?

on February 06, 2014

robocop.jpgBy Phil Contrino and Daniel Loria

RoboCop expands its overseas reach this weekend after an impressive debut in three territories last weekend, while The LEGO Movie looks to build a strong following abroad. BoxOffice takes a look at how much these familiar brands can rake in overseas. 



  • Sci-fi has proven potential in Asia. A $5.5 million head start from only three territories in the region (Malaysia, Taiwan, and Singapore) is a very good sign. Expect a bigger number than the one quoted below if this movie catches on in either China, Japan, or South Korea. Expect a significantly bigger number if it becomes a big hit in more than one of those markets. 
  • No stars? No problem. Like James Bond, the biggest draw in RoboCop is the character itself. 
  • Brazilian director Jose Padilha has experience with this type of film. His Elite Squad films were major blockbusters in his home country.
  • This Korean fried chicken commercial. If RoboCop can sell fried chicken in Korea, we can only assume that it can also sell tickets.


  • Audiences weren't particularly clamoring for a RoboCop reboot. In fact, audiences weren't exactly clamoring for reboots of any of the following 80s/90s sci-fi hits: Dredd ($27.6M Overseas Total), Predators ($75.2M), Total Recall ($139.9M).
  • Brazil might be a hot emerging market, but it can't carry Latin America on its own. Elysium featured two popular Brazilian actors and grossed a moderately successful $9.1 million in the market. RoboCop will need to perform well in both Brazil and Mexico to come away with a substantial haul from the region. The one-two punch of Mexico & Brazil has been elusive for action films in 2014. I, Frankenstein and 47 Ronin each took less than a combined $4 million from their respective opening weekends in both countries. 
  • RoboCop might not need an established star to play the protagonist, but that doesn't mean that supporting actors can't be marketable. Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Keaton were all exciting actors with a great career ahead of them ...during the early '90s.
  • The RoboCop property has been dormant for too long. An entire generation has grown up without RoboCop toys, video games, or merchandise. 
  • RoboCop has not sold fried chicken in Korea for decades. Honestly, the BoxOffice staff isn't even sure if fried chicken is even all that popular in Korea. Moreover, there is no definitive data that correlates fried chicken sales with box office receipts. Yet. 

BoxOffice's Overseas Cumulative Forecast: $150 million

The LEGO Movie


  • This is an instantly recognizable brand with multi-generational appeal around the world. The movie markets itself through the title alone.
  • Strong reviews coming from the United States suggest this film can have some staying power and bring in viewers for a second time.


  • Pop-culture references don't always translate well overseas. The film might miss its mark by relying too much on a humor that can't play abroad.
  • Frozen shows no signs of slowing down overseas. Is The LEGO Movie strong enough to steal the spotlight away from the Disney hit?
  • The Lego brand works well in video games, but can it translate into a feature film? 

BoxOffice's Overseas Cumulative Forecast: $280 million


Tags: The LEGO Movie, RoboCop

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