Monday, July 22, 2024

Wolf of Wall Street Worldwide Hit at $160 Mil: French, Germans Love the Sex, Drugs


Usually movies that do better abroad than in the US are action films. They don’t require much understanding of the English language. If the story stinks or the dialogue is bad, foreigners don’t care so much. They want to see movie stars.

Then how do you explain “The Wolf of Wall Street”? Sacre bleu: “Wolf” has racked up $160 million internationally, versus $102 million here in the U.S. All those long speeches! Apparently they don’t matter. The French have spent $25 million on “Wolf.” Germany has forked over $20 million. Spain, Italy, Poland have each embraced this three hour tale of debauchery and greed. I wish I knew what Quaaludes translated into in those places!

Of course, the movie’s been a big hit in the U.K. and Australia, but that was to be expected.

“Wolf” has turned into the best bet a big studio has made on a long shot in a long time. Everyone worried the three hours running time would turn off audiences. There was also the math– a three hour movie plays fewer times a day. Plus, Martin Scorsese almost didn’t make a release date. He edited the movie in his home, in kitchens and bathrooms, around the clock. So it’s a very happy ending.

Domestically, “Wolf” has a way to go before it surpasses “Shutter Island” ($128 mil) and “The Departed” ($132 million). But if it can hold on through the Oscars on March 2, the Jordan Belfort story could become Scorsese’s biggest grossing film.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News