Germans Love David Hasselhoff / Film

    open/close all folders 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Irish animated film Song of the Sea was a very popular movie in Japan, likely due to Saoirse being a cute rare Selkie-themed magical girl.
  • Despicable Me:
    • Japan loves the Minions so much that they cameoed along with Agnes in Inazuma Eleven. Also, the DVD of the first film frequently shows up in Amazon Japan's top 20 kids and family DVD rankings, occasionally beating out shows like Aikatsu! and Kamen Rider, and the third movie topped the box office for four weeks in a row, something that hasn't been accomplished by a non-anime or non-Disney film.
    • The Minions are also massive in the Philippines, and there are even claims that some of the gibberish they mutter is actually Tagalog.
  • Illumination Entertainment films in general are quite popular in Japan as all of their films are box office hits. Sing even managed to overthrow Moana as the number one film of the month upon its release.
  • Anything related to Walt Disney or Disney is big in Japan. No exceptions (see live-action films for those). This has led to Square Enix making the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • While we're talking about Japan, Cheburashka (a Russian book and cartoon character) is very popular there as well. It is a recurring joke in Russia that Cheburashka is the first Pokémon ever created.
  • Pixar examples:
    • An example crossing this with Ensemble Darkhorse - During a publicity trip to Japan promoting A Bug's Life, the Pixar crew noticed that the Japanese loved the little green alien toys from Toy Story. As a result, this led to them giving the aliens a more prominent role than intended in Toy Story 2 (and needless to say, prominently featuring them among the main cast in Toy Story 3). This is probably also the reason they were incorporated into Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
    • Lotso Hugging Bear got a lot of merchandise in Japan, such as a toy bus, UFO catcher plushies, and even Halloween costumes for kids!
    • Inside Out has become extremely popular in Latin America to the point where it topped the box office for two weekends in a row, and merchandise relating to the film frequently sold out in that country, now going for double the price.
      • There are also many British fans of the film, to the point where they outnumber the American fans. It's also worth noting that fans in that country love Bing Bong due to his Comic Relief Character status. In fact, the line that gets the biggest audience reaction during most British screenings of Inside Out will usually be one of his lines, and merchandise of him is very hard to find there. He's also left a bit of an impact in Japan, as there's also something of a Japanese fad where people take toys of him out to cafes and restaurants.
      • It's also very popular in Italy. Similar to the Frozen example above, it topped the box office every week in the country, even beating out such films as Ant-Man and Minions. This lead to it becoming the second highest-grossing film of the year there, only beaten by The Force Awakens.
    • Monsters Inc. is the most popular Pixar movie in Japan, possibly because Japan has a lot of monsters in their folklore.
    • In France, Cars is a very popular film, and has a strong presence at Disneyland Paris.
    • Finding Dory is huge in Japan and spent many weeks in the top ten at the box office, which lead to it becoming the second highest-grossing animated movie in Japan of 2016, after Your Name. It's popularity lead to the release exclusive merchandise based on the film, including everything from stuffed animals and figurines of characters that haven't had toys released in the USA to an educational kids' smartphone toy.
    • Coco became the highest grossing film of ALL TIME in Mexico before even releasing in the US, and it's extremely beloved there to the point that the film's Tear Jerker aspect became a national meme. Understandable as it is a very respectful and fun representation not only of Day of the Dead, but Mexican culture in general.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas is also a prominent Disney film in Japan instead of the cult-classic, Touchstone production in its home country, where it is usually presented as a Tim Burton film instead. Because of the movie's massive fanbase in Japan, Halloween Town is a recurring world in the Kingdom Hearts series. Its presence in Kingdom Hearts has actually made this come full circle with western fans of KH knowing about TNBC through the game.
    • The Japanese are well-aware of the movie's status in the United States, and the Japanese arm of Square (this was pre-merger) was rather surprised that the American arm wanted to promote the Halloween Town levels here, not realizing it would go over well in part because the American fandom for the movie overlaps well with video gaming fandom. Also, American Kirby Is Hardcore came into effect.
    • The Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise seem to be huge hits in many South East Asian countries such as Malaysia, where everything from handbags to cell phone cases feature Jack Skellington.
  • Nickelodeon's Barnyard gained huge popularity in Iran when it was released for Home Media. Although it did not have an official dub, it was awesomely translated.
  • The animated film Gnomes and Trolls: The Secret Chamber has been almost universally panned in its native Sweden. In Turkey, however, it was still playing in theaters half a year after its initial release.
  • 3D animated features tend to gross ridiculous amounts of money in Russia, particularly if it's a sequel (the country's cinema audience widens every year). Basically, the formula for success is 3D animation + talking animals = $$$. Dreamworks seems to exploit this trend most successfully, with the latest installments of Shrek and Madagascar sitting in the top 10 highest-grossing movies of (post-Soviet) Russia.
  • While The Three Caballeros are Ensemble Darkhorses among fans of Disney animation, Brazilians will be quick to single out their favorite character: their fellow green Brazilian parrot, José Carioca. In fact, they've even given him an endearing alias, Zé Carioca. Walt Disney would probably be very pleased, given that Saludos Amigos was made expressly as a propaganda piece to improve relations between the peoples of North America and South America.
  • As of now, The Jungle Book holds the record of being the most-watched Disney movie in Sweden. It's also pretty popular in other European countries, but is MUCH beloved in Germany. For further details, this article explains why.
  • Kung Fu Panda was a massive hit in China. So much so there was a council meeting where the officials of the nation chided their own people for not doing something of the same detail.
    • The sequel did not do as well in North America as the original, although it was popular enough to make back the production budget. However, the film is a worldwide smash hit, especially in China, reigning as #1 for two weeks with overseas earnings that more than compensated to outgross not only the original, but also Pixar's Cars 2.
    • The third film made even less money in the US than Kung Fu Panda 2 (being released in the dump month of January might have caused this), but it once again proved to be very popular in China. And like with Kung Fu Panda 2, over 70% of its total box office grosses came from overseas.
  • The Ice Age series have all had decent box office runs in the United States and Canada, but are mainly just viewed as just another animated film series. However, in the overseas market, the series has been huge, with the first four films in the series being the highest grossing animated films worldwide in the years in which they were released.
  • Going from a post on Jorge's Tumblr, The Book of Life seems to have been well received in Italy and Taipei.
  • Zootopia has become very popular in China, France, Russia, and especially Korea. It was so popular in China, in fact, that it got an extension in Chinese theaters, something that's very rare for a foreign film there. Not only that, it's the highest-grossing animated film of all time over there.
  • Ferngully The Last Rainforest and Thumbelina, two animated movies from 1994 that were bombs in their native country of the United States, were more successful in Japan, to the point where both films sold more VHS copies than the Sailor Moon S movie.
  • The Emperor's New Groove is considered one of the best and funniest Disney films in Italy, mainly thanks to its Superlative Dubbing.
  • The How to Train Your Dragon films and TV shows are huge across Scandinavia, thanks to their Viking-era setting. In fact, Alexander Rybak, who represented Norway in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest and won, recorded a few songs for the second film and even voices Toothless in the Norwegian dub!
  • Disney's Snow White was beloved in Nazi Germany (the next time Disney would have a movie ready for interternaltional distribution, Europe was kind in the middle of a huge war, so it was more well known in Allied Countries at the time). Just how popular was it? Adolf Hitler doodled fan art of the Dwarves during war meetings!
  • In the UK and Ireland, The LEGO Movie was the second highest-grossing American film of 2014.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Cave of the Yellow Dog movie from Mongolia is very popular in Japan without a doubt, likely due to it's exotic setting, The innocence of childhood, and Similar themes throughout this movie.
  • Chocolate is more popular with American audiences than its native Thailand, because of Zen's autistic nature.
  • All The Marbles bombed in the USA but was popular with foreign audiences, especially in Japan, to the point the movie made enough to get a sequel shot primarily in Japan that was only called off when the director died. Over three years later, it would still be referenced in the country, such as World Wonder Ring STARDOM making its own "California Dolls" tag team.
  • Harry Potter is extremely popular in Japan even more so than in its native UK and is only second to the United States, which is why Japan is getting its own Wizarding World theme park.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch has mentioned that the Tibetan monks he taught English to during his gap year absolutely loved Braveheart and would watch it all the time. The Tibetans feel a connection with the Scots because of their fight for independence from China.
  • France in general tend to be quite fascinated with classic Hollywood movies, being the birthplace of The Auteur Theory, whose critics argued that popular film-makers like Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Howard Hawks were True Art rather than entertainers:
    • The French are quite enamored of Jerry Lewis, or at least they were in the 1960's. Nowadays, it's hard to find anyone under 50 who has seen one of his movies. In 2006, the French Ministry of Culture awarded him the Legion of Honor medal; pictures and a clip of the ceremony can be found here.
    • Woody Allen's movies have sometimes been more popular in Europe (and particularly France) than in the United States. Woody Allen himself parodied this phenomenon with Hollywood Ending, in which a film-maker has to shoot a movie while suffering from stress-induced blindness. It totally bombs in the US... but turns out to be a surprise hit overseas.
    • In 1958, the influential French film magazine Cahiers du cinema included a certain Hitchcock film in their list of the 10 greatest films ever made. That film...Under Capricorn. Outside of France, however, the film was a critical and commercial bomb, in part because audiences expecting a traditional Hitchcock thriller were surprised to see a costume drama instead.
  • Being as Central Asia is the furthest region on the Earth from the ocean, ocean-themed films and television programs do well with citizens of the the Asian steppes as they're considered "exotic". The movie Titanic (1997) is wildly popular there, especially in Kyrgyzstan. The movie plays about 5 times a day on TV. There are radio plays, novelizations, comics, and basically everything on the market has the image of one the movie's characters on it. There's also the whole class conflict thing, that struck a chord in a ex-communist third world country. Plus it's a love story, and that's always popular.
  • In México there is almost an urban legend that "El Santo" films were big in Europe, he was an icon here as well but the films themselves were soon forgotten except for a niche group.
    • El Santo movies did however have a large following in Turkey. So much that Three Big Men, a movie featuring three famous superheroes had El Santo as one of the "Big Men". There's an El Santo statue outside a movie theater in Istanbul.
  • Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was thrown into the Dump Month of February and barely recouped its $50 million budget in the States. However, it was a massive hit oversees and managed to earned a final gross of $226 million. In fact, 75% of its total gross came from overseas markets these a sequel was greenlit only because of its worldwide success.
  • Seeing as Yandere is a Trope that appears often in Japanese fiction, it's no surprise that Fatal Attraction was a smash hit there.
  • Epics of both the historical and fantasy varieties tend to fare much better overseas. Thus, you have movies like Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, and The Golden Compass doing phenomenal business abroad while underperforming in the US.
    • Lampshaded by recent commercials touting The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor as the number one movie in the world. True, if you look at international box office and not North America (where The Dark Knight's domestic gross doubles up The Mummys international one).
    • Kingdom of Heaven was especially popular in Muslim countries, which might on the face of it be considered rather strange - after all, the hero (a heavily fictionalised Balian of Ibelin - the real Balian was older, not a blacksmith, and a ruthless political operator) is a crusader knight who leads the defence of Jerusalem against the Muslims in 1187. The crusades are, unsurprisingly, something of a touchy subject in the Middle East, especially since the film was released at the height of the War on Terror. However, it also depicts each and every one of the 'Hawks' of the Jerusalem court as a Card-Carrying Villain, especially Reynald de Chatillon (who was arguably even worse in real life than he was in the film), with the 'Doves' being presented more sympathetically, generally coming across a very thinly veiled rebuke of contemporary Western policy in the Middle East. It also depicts Saladin as The Good King by contrast, who pointedly puts a cross back on the altar it had been knocked off of in one of the final shots of the film, demonstrating his religious tolerance. While this might seem like a minor moment, it got a literal standing ovation in a cinema in Beirut.
  • While the Walt Disney/Alexander Seversky WWII propaganda film Victory Through Air Power (about how a strong air force and long-range bombs were key to beating the Nazis) went more or less unnoticed in America, it was a huge hit in Britain. It only really started to gain attention in the U.S. after Winston Churchill convinced Franklin D. Roosevelt to see it, which in turn influenced Roosevelt enough to put Seversky's concepts into action.
  • This can happen to an entire genre:
    • For instance, the term "spaghetti western" comes from the large quantity of cowboy movies made in Italy, of all places — despite the fact that the Western genre is firmly rooted in American history. Also, one of Italy's most famous and loved comic series is Tex, featuring the eponymous hero Tex Willer as a ranger in a typical western setting. It has been running uninterrupted since 1948.
    • And "curry westerns" in India, where Bollywood movies set in mid-Rajasthan and other dry desert-like areas of the north capture a slight (only slight, though) western feel. The most famous example would be Sholay.
    • Westerns are also popular in East Asia, with a few Kung Fu films being set in the Old West. A modern example would be the Korean film The Good, the Bad, the Weird, set in 1930s Manchuria. It helps that the "lone hero Walking the Earth" plot is so common worldwide that it can fit in almost any setting; consider Red Harvest (detective fiction) becoming Yojimbo (samurai) becoming A Fistful of Dollars (Western) and later Last Man Standing (1930s gangsters).
    • Westerns have been popular in Europe for a very long time and Germany in particular, even during the Nazi periodnote . It was sparked off by the phenomenal success of James Fenimore Cooper's novels in European countries (Last of the Mohicans was even written in Paris), and so e.g. the first German Western/Frontier novels go back to the 1830s and 1840s with authors like Charles Sealsfield (born Karl Anton Postl) and Friedrich Gerstäcker. There already were silent Westerns produced in Germany and Italy before World War I (including one in 1912 directed by Vincenzo Leone, father of Sergio). During Nazi rule, there weren't really any Western movies to speak of, although plays based on Karl May's stories were produced on open-air stages. Westerns as a European major movie genre only began with Der Schatz im Silbersee (The Treasure of Silver Lake) in 1962, which began the highly successful series of Karl May films. The success of these West German "Kraut Westerns" in turn led Italian producers to become interested in the genre again (and thus was a factor in the emergence of "Spaghetti Westerns"), while the East German DEFA studios countered with anti-imperialist "Indian films". (So on both sides of the Iron Curtain there was a tendency in German Westerns to portray Native Americans sympathetically). These movies also had a Germans Love David Hasselhoff effect for two actors - Pierre Brice, who portrayed Winnetou, became a huge star in West Germany while remainging nearly unknown in his native France, and Yugoslavian Gojko Mitic, who played the lead in every "Indianerfilm" was one of the biggest box office draws in the GDR and the Soviet Union.
      • How much had this gotten into German culture? German fighter pilots during World War 2 would refer to hostile fighters (what American and British pilots called "bandits"), as "Indians".
      • How much did Germany love westerns in The '50s and The '60s? Highly decorated WWII veteran Audie Murphy was astonished to find that his westerns did big business in West Germany. West Germany's affection for his movies was probably more Germans Love Westerns than seeing him as a Worthy Opponent (Audie Murphy's feats of arms received little attention in Germany, even after 1945) but whatever the case, his westerns remain sufficiently popular in Germany for Koch Media to have released quite a few of them on DVD, including ones which have yet to arrive on Region 1.
    • Mongolians adore every Western ever. The fact that Mongolians live in Wild West-esque conditions themselves may have something to do with it, along with the nation's fascination with horses.
    • Russians loved the Western genre and even developed their own take on it, dubbed the Ostern. Their Ostern films had counterparts to the American Western - the Ural Mountains were the equivalent to Monument Valley, the Volga River for the Rio Grande, and the Turkic peoples for the Mexicans or American Indians.
  • Spaghetti Westerns and American gangster movies were extremely popular in Jamaica in The '60s and The '70s. This is reflected in the names of many Jamaicans deejays (Clint Eastwood, Josey Wales, Dillinger, Dennis Alcapone).
  • Ask anyone from Britain or America what Rowan Atkinson's most famous role is from, and they'll probably say Blackadder. Ask anyone in mainland Europe and Russia what he's most famous for, and they'll answer Mr. Bean. It helps that the comedy is mostly physical so there is very little dialogue to translate. Mr. Bean is also very popular in Iran, Thailand (as the Mr. Bean-themed cafe in Bankok can attest to) and Japan. Rowan Atkinson once told that, during his visit to Japan, a crowd of rabid Mr. Bean fangirls tore his suit to bits, and he was lucky to escape relatively intact!
    • Benny Hill is a similar example. His comedy too is mostly visual and thus translated well in other parts of the world. In fact, he was one of the most internationally popular TV comedians of all time and became rich as a result. Yet in his fatherland, the United Kingdom, most Britons see him more or less as an embarassment and his comedy series haven't been seen on British television since his death.
  • Laurel and Hardy have always been hugely popular in Europe. The heydays of the duo were the 1930s. During the 1940s they made such awful movies that their followers, Abbott and Costello and The Three Stooges, became far more popular in the United States. In Europe, due to the Nazi occupation, the audience never saw these movies until after the war. So Laurel & Hardy's best years were still in people's memories when Europe was liberated and thus their popularity never faded away. To this day Laurel & Hardy remain more famous and recognizable in Europe than Abbott & Costello and The Three Stooges, who are way more obscure.
    • Other factors to take into account: Laurel and Hardy have a more universal appeal because they came from silent comedy and only used dialogue sparingly for their gags (many of which worked practically as pantomime), which made their films easier to dub into foreign languages. It probably helped that they were masterminded by an Englishman (Stan Laurel) and that from the beginning they were marketed internationally (many of the early L & H talkies were produced in German, French and Spanish with Stan and Ollie learning their lines phonetically) and made tours to Britain and continental Europe. Indeed, in the twilight years of their career they still did many stage shows in Europe and their last film, Atoll K, was produced in France. The humor of Abbott and Costello and the Three Stooges may have been too "American" for European tastes (and that seems to include countries that did not fall under Nazi occupation, like Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland...). In contrast, the Marx Brothers did succeed in becoming cult favourites in many European countries, even if it sometimes took some years after the war.
  • Donnie Darko in the United Kingdom. The film was relatively unpopular in the States and managed to earn eight times as much abroad than it in did the US. The makers were aware of this so when the Director's Cut was released onto DVD a double disc CD of all the music was only released in the UK (as the music became extremely popular in the UK — "Mad World" became the Christmas Number One without a fight). The Blu-Ray Director's Cut was double disc for the UK as well (everywhere else only getting the one disc) and the makers made a 52-minute "film" about the fan following in Britain.
  • TRON: Legacy. American policies are rather unpopular in Venezuela, especially since many people over there support Hugo Chavez. Screening TRON: Legacy in Venezuelan cinemas, on the other hand...
    • TRON: Legacy also became quite popular in Japan, where it made most of its foreign box office. That and the popularity of the "Space Paranoids" level in Kingdom Hearts II were the main reasons why Kingdom Hearts 3D has a world based on the film. Moreover, the movie got adapted to a manga, which was released in Japan on June 30, 2011.
    • A not insignificant portion of TRON fandom is located in France. Of course, the late Moebius being one the designers on the first film and Promoted Fanboys Daft Punk scoring the second film have something to do with it.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon received rave reviews in America, and won four Academy Awards. It launched an interest in the Wuxia genre and singlehandedly jumpstarted Zhang Ziyi's career. In China and Hong Kong, however, the film was seen as "just another action flick." With bad accents, no less.
  • Brian De Palma's early film Phantom of the Paradise (1974) was a flop on its initial release but was extremely popular in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and still is to this day. Its initial run lasted two years! It has run intermittently ever since, spawned a festival dubbed Phantompalooza, and some people claim to have seen it more than 50 times.
  • Any Hollywood movie starring Jackie Chan or Jet Li is popular in Asia, flop or not.
    • The Medallion and Around The World in 80 Days are major box-office flops in the States, but did very well in Asia.
    • Shanghai Knights is considered a failure compared to Shanghai Noon, but it stayed at No. 1 in most Asian countries during the Chinese New Year period. Having a Singaporean actress (Fann Wong) helps.
    • Danny the Dog didn't do well in America, but the movie, under the name Unleashed, has a cult following in Asia.
    • The Forbidden Kingdom, starring both Jackie and Li, a sleeper hit in the U.S., is a BLOCKBUSTER in Asia.
    • One installment of Jet Li's Once Upon a Time in China movie series plays with this trope — the national hero Wong Feihong and all his disciples are well-known all over China — all except for Leung Foon, who's only recognized by people from his hometown.
  • The film version of Mamma Mia! was only fairly successful in North America, but nearly everywhere else it was an enormous blockbuster hit, mainly due to its appeal to older women. In Britain it actually outperformed The Dark Knight and Titanic (1997). Understandable, since ABBA has been a British favourite ever since they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in the UK.
  • Transformers is the highest-grossing movie of all time, IN MALAYSIA! No, seriously.
    • Transformers: Age of Extinction tried to appeal to Chinese audiences by setting part of the story there and giving popular Chinese actress Li Bingbing a role. It worked: the movie grossed over $320 million in China, (surpassing the American gross) and became the highest-grossing film in the country.
  • The 1940 film Waterloo Bridge starring Vivien Leigh is one of the most popular Western films in China. Its popularity among English language learners there can be explained by the slow, carefully-paced dialogue which is helpful for repetition.
  • Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare films were negatively received in Britain, but very popular in America.
    • This appears to be more of just the opinions of stubborn critics. Branagh's films have relatively low ratings on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, while they are considerably higher on IMDb.
      • And it was somewhat turned around in the case of his Thor. American critics enjoyed it but it was received even better in the UK.
  • Bollywood films. Some of which actually achieved bigger success outside of India.
    • Its success overseas was taken into ridiculous levels when Shah Rukh Khan got knighted (or in local terms, getting "Datukship") in Malaysia. No, seriously.
    • They used to be wildly popular in '60s-'80s Soviet Union, being *MUCH* more easily available than Hollywood blockbusters and given wide releases. Even in modern Russian pop culture, the Luke, I Am Your Father trope is more closely associated with Indian cinema (where sudden "I am your brother/sister/aunt/etc." revelations were all too common) than with Star Wars. And up to this day, there are separate sections of Indian films in large media stores.
    • Bollywood movies are also very popular in Niger and northern Nigeria, moreso than Hollywood movies, which are seen as too sleazy.
  • The works of Norman Wisdom were the only Western films allowed in Albania under Hoxha, resulting in him becoming an epic cult figure there. British comedian Tony Hawks borrowed him for his quest to reach the top twenty of the music charts somewhere in the world (so he'd no longer be a One-Hit Wonder, having had a novelty hit in the UK); Big In Albania by Tony Hawks, Norman Wisdom and Tim Rice reached number 18.
  • Hungarians love Bud Spencer films, especially those that pair him with Terence Hill, to the point that you can run into at least one of their movies on any given day on at least half a dozen TV stations. The two are also considered mainstream, A-list film stars and have major cult followings. The reason behind this ridiculous obsession is the wide publicity their movies received during the Soviet era, while most film imports were blocked from the country. Spencer and Hill specialized in easy to digest, low-brow action comedies, and viewers also latched onto the escapism provided by the exotic places often featured in their works. Over the decades, heaps of nostalgia just added to their cult status. Hungarians even made a series of "imitation" films, starring, directed and written by Bud Spencer's voice actor and lookalike István Bujtor.
    • He's also very popular in Germany, as is Terence Hill, mostly due to hilarious dubbing. There's even Bud Spencer & Terence Hill merchandise. German author and poetry slammer Marc-Uwe Kling also created characters that are very fond of Bud Spencer movies, despite being a communist kangaroo and the anarchist persona of the author - Spencer's own right wing politics are never brought up in Kling's otherwise very political works. Many Kling fans are Spencer fans as well.
      • Bud Spencer (who was a swimmer before he became an actor) had the public swimming pool in the town of Schwäbisch Gmünd named after him in 2011.
      • They're very popular in Greece, too, particularly amongst those aged 30-40. In the 80s, their films were shown on TV almost daily, while Bud Spencer appeared in commercials for a very popular brand of chewing gum. The movies are still shown quite often, though not to the extent they were in the 80s.
    • The duo also got some success in Brazil - along with the Spaghetti Western genre, to the point that the above mentioned Tex has an enduring fandom there.
  • Streets of Fire was very big in Japan, influencing the anime Bubble Gum Crisis and the game series Final Fight, as well as its' fighting game counterpart Street Fighter. In addition, while it received an extremely lukewarm reception in the States, many Japanese filmmakers have cited it as a modern classic and major inspiration, as well as an influence on the style of Japanese 'yanki' - or delinquent - culture. Undoubtedly, a part of this also had to do with the popularity of Diane Lane, who - aside from acting - did extensive modeling and advertising in Japan, and was a popular Japanese counter-culture icon.
  • Screwball sports comedy Slap Shot, which has become more obscure as time goes on in the US, is an iconic film in Quebec. This is because the two French-Canadian actors in the film translated the film themselves, and they chose to do a contextual translation rather than a normal one. They also used Quebecois French rather than "standard" French for the translation. As a result, it's one of the very few films that bilingual French-Canadians prefer to watch dubbed rather than subtitled. The movie is STILL to this day widely quoted among French-Canadians, and there's even three season ticket holders for the Montreal Canadiens who show up to every game dressed as the Hanson Brothers.
    • Although in the U.S. It has become generally obscure, it is still extremely popular in Western Pennsylvania where it was set and mostly filmed.
  • 300 was a massive hit in Greece and cultural neighbor Cyprus, probably because it depicted Greeks as total badasses. On the other hand, it probably wouldn't have gone over well in Iran, even if it hadn't been banned.
  • Richard Curtis movies have their audience in Britain, but are likely to be accused of laying on the "heartwarming" a bit too heavy and playing up a certain type of Britishness to appeal to American viewers... which works.
  • The Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Red Heat is still very popular in Russia, because of its unintentional comedy value. In general, action movies featuring the actor were watched on bootleg VHS by just about the entire male population of Russia in The '90s, and the particularly good ones (like Commando, Predator or, naturally, The Terminator) maintain a cult following.
    • Speaking of Schwarzie, the guy is more popular in France than he ever was in the US, thanks to his accent and acting being covered up. Made that much better by the fact that his manly-voiced, official dub actor (Daniel Beretta) is also the namesake of a GUN.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme is really popular in Brazil. Two of his movies, Sudden Death and Replicant, got released there first (the latter did not even get a theatrical release in the USA).
  • From the pirated VHS of the Communist 1980s to the TV screens and well after 2000, The Blue Lagoon and Return to the Blue Lagoon have been wildly popular in Romania among women of all ages and social classes, from high school teenagers to mature ladies and down to grandmothers, and even some men. Every single comment the Almighty Google can find from the English-speaking countries treats them as the absolute and most obvious kitsch in the history of cinema.
  • David Lynch, like Philip K. Dick (below) got a lot of praise from French intellectuals, who were talking about more or less exactly the same thing Lynch was making films about (or so they thought).
    • He's rather popular in Japan too, especially for Twin Peaks.
  • Hudson Hawk was a complete and utter box office Bomb in the USA, mainly because it was marketed as a serious action flick (to get the Die Hard fans interested, probably) when it very clearly is a comedy... which is why it has a popular following in Japan, because it's pretty much a Spiritual Adaptation of Lupin III.
  • The Die Hard movies biggest foreign box office profits are from Japan, with the third movie grossing over 81 million dollars. The first movie has been spoofed several time in Japanese media, and even had Bruce Willis come over there to do some commercials.
  • Audrey Hepburn was infinitely more popular in Japan than in western countries. Given that Ms. Hepburn was named by the American Film Institute the third greatest actress of all time, this says A LOT about the Japanese love for her. This is probably because she was one of the few western women, who could fit the concept of the Yamato Nadeshiko.
  • The comedy Top Secret! was quite a (bootleg) VHS hit behind the iron curtain (ex. in Poland), though it was received in a way unexpected by its authors (who aimed at mocking American cold-war stereotypes). The same goes for Terry Gilliam's Brazil, which was intended to convey a leftist message but was instead seen as a metaphor for a communist regime (btw. Polish director Piotr Szulkin had used similar imagery in his 1981 film War of Worlds - The Next Century, which was exactly this).
  • Home Alone is a cult classic in Poland. It is a national tradition to show it every year on TV at Christmas. When it had been announced it wouldn't be on in 2010... cue a flood of angry letters from viewers, and it was broadcast. This case can be roughly described as an unholy mix of Nostalgia Filter, Narm Charm and Memetic Mutation.
    • In Germany, it was pretty much responsible for making "Kevin" popular as a baby name (although that trend really began when footballer Kevin Keegan played for Hamburger SV).
    • The situation is fairly similar in Hungary to the one in Poland: no Christmas without at least ONE of the movies, and most people who grew up in the nineties or earlier can quote several lines á la Memetic Mutation.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid is so popular in Singapore, the success of the first film there prompted Fox to release the second film 8 days ''before'' the US release. Not many films get this kind of treatment.
  • Edward Furlong, as a result of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, has quite a following in Japan, and has starred in a number of Japanese commercials, and has even released an album there.
  • The film Alienł was poorly received in the United States, with many fans considering it to be the worst entry in the franchise (at least until Alien: Resurrection came along). But in some European countries, Alien 3 is considered to be the best film in the series.
    • Speaking of Alien Resurrection, it was a bomb in its native country, but pulled in $100 million overseas, and even has a few fans in Australia.
  • Sucker Punch was a Box Office Bomb in the U.S., but pulled in another 50 million (and better reviews) overseas.
  • Taken had average box office and weak reviews in its native France. When it came to the US, it managed to become the highest grossing film of producer Luc Besson's career and had excellent word of mouth.
    • This is true of most of Besson's work. In France, he's regarded as a Hollywood-inspired hack by many critics. In the US, he's been hailed as one of the most innovative action directors and producers from the 90's onward.
  • According to Guillermo del Toro, John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) was a huge hit in Mexico.
  • While Kevin Costner may no longer be the star he was in The '90s in his home country, he is huge star in Turkey as of recently. He has been seen in advertisements for Turkish Airlines, his music has sold well there and he even considered taking part in Turkish politics.
  • The Three Musketeers (2011) was a flop in the US. In Japan, it managed to outgross the American numbers and has had very strong legs there. In fact the foreign total to date is five and a half times the amount of the American gross (domestic gross: $20 million, international gross: $110 million).
  • John Carter was a box office failure in the United States but set records in Russia.
  • Battleship notably made over $200 million overseas before opening in the US. While the film was largely ignored in America, European markets such as the UK helped it make four times more overseas than it did in the US. This might be because the movie had an Audience-Alienating Premise for Americans: it was based on a board game, and the sheer absurdity of making a movie out of a plotless toy made Americans turn away in droves before it even came out. Outside of the USA, the original "Battleship" board game is either unknown or is known by a different name, so overseas audiences were more easily able to view the movie at face value.
  • Dragonball Evolution and the Speed Racer movie both performed modestly in the US, but were HUGE in China.
  • The horror film A Horrible Way To Die was badly received in its native US but was an acclaimed arthouse film overseas and played at many film festivals. The film's international reception led Lionsgate to pay $6 million for the director's follow-up You're Next.
  • Intouchables was one of the biggest films of all-time in its native France but the film's success in Germany is just as amazing. The film has played more than half a year there and is still in the top 15 every week. It even more than doubled the box office of The Avengers.
  • The ''Star Wars'' prequel trilogy is more well-received in the Philippines than in the West.
    • There is a sizable group of people analyzing philosophy that view the Prequels as having a degree of merit than what the media gives it because of supposed Campbellian and cultural subtext within these movies.
    • Conspiracy theorists tend to view the Prequel Trilogy more positively as well due to the implied political and conspiratorial subtext within the movies.
    • Speaking about Star Wars, the whole film franchise is huge in Japan, possibly due to the sheer number of samurai movie tropes references/homages to eastern culture. The franchise is currently a huge Cash Cow Franchise in there (and it's even more bigger after Disney bought the franchise), with many merchandises and memorabillias like a Darth Vader themed dictionary, traditional woodblock prints, and even a box of Star Wars-themed koban (traditional golden coins) made of actual gold. On the topic of Japan (and Disney-bought franchises), the Marvel Cinematic Universe is also loved in Japan, which led to Captain America: Civil War being theatrically released before the US. There's even a Japan-only Mobile Phone Game featuring Marvel characters (including comics) as Tsum-Tsum.
    • While on the topic of the Philippines, what are their top three grossing films of all time? The Avengers, Iron Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The same case of early openings for superhero movies applies there as well, and many of them (either DC or Marvel Studios flicks) scored huge box office records.
  • 62% of the profits made by Spider-Man 3 were made overseas rather than in its home country, in contrast to the previous two where only 50% and 52% respectively came from other countres.
  • Somewhere in Time was a box-office flop in the USA - but it was a big hit in Asia. In Hong Kong, it played in theaters for a year-and-a-half!
  • Rinko Kikuchi is a very popular actress worldwide, being one of the few Japanese actors to get an Oscar nomination and starring in critically acclaimed movies such as Babel. However, she is virtually unheard of and in fact rather unpopular in her home country of Japan, mostly due to the fact that fame in Japan is measured by how well you do in television, not film.
  • Ted proved to be a big hit in Japan, managing to top the box office for 4 weeks in a row. He's especially popular among young Japanese women in their 20's, who seem to find Ted adorable despite his raunchiness and foul mouth. The film was also very popular with Japanese men in their 30's. In fact, Ted became so popular that the official Japanese Facebook page held a contest to celebrate his success in Japan, with the winners being those who wrote most passionate comments about him.
  • The critical and box office disaster Movie 43 managed to be a hit in Russia, of all places (possibly due to the star power).
  • The horror-comedy genre tends to fare much better in the UK, where Black Comedy is more accepted, than it does in the US. Examples include the Evil Dead series, Drag Me to Hell and Slither.
  • According to Roger Ebert, Baby's Day Out was a bigger success than Star Wars in Calcutta. Interesting to note, since hardly anyone bothered seeing it in the United States.
  • So far, Pacific Rim was a success internationally, especially in China, and got good critical reviews. But it didn't much do well in the US, having beaten by two sequels of Despicable Me and Grown Ups. (In fact, it's actually made more money in China than in the States!)
  • Eskimo Limon, an Israeli series of raunchy sex comedies from the late 1970's and 80's, was surprisingly popular in West Germany, with each film selling twice as many tickets as in Israel.
  • While still a success in America, it has been repeatedly noted that Man of Steel is doing particularly well in Britain (likely because of Henry Cavill) and southeast Asia. It set the highest-ever opening day record in the Philippines.
  • M. Night Shyamalan claims he had this reaction when hearing about his adaptation on The Last Airbender, claiming that people in America called him an idiot where people in Japan viewed him as a genius for the changes. It is quite clear this film was hated everywhere.
  • Jessica Simpson's film Major Movie Star, which didn't even rate a theatrical release in the U.S., was a #1 box office hit in Russia.
  • Kung Fu movies
    • In 1970s America, Chinese martial arts movies were quite popular, helped along by the meteoric rise and then tragic death of Bruce Lee, resulting in 'Brucesploitation' and a general kung-fu craze.
    • These films even have a Periphery Demographic within a Periphery Demographic. Hong Kong martial arts movies from The '70s are remembered as kitschy in much of the Western world... but they were huge among urban African-Americans. As discussed here by Moviebob and the RZA (maker of the Genre Throwback The Man with the Iron Fists), a combination of cheap dubs playing in inner-city grindhouse theaters and the themes of many such movies (downtrodden non-white commoners studying secret techniques to fight back against The Man) resonating with lower-class minority youth helped make such films into cult classics within black America.
  • Interestingly, the Rambo films are very popular in Japan. There's even a Rambo light gun arcade game that was only released in Japan.
  • While still only cult status, Desperado has left a thorough mark across Japanese anime, game, and manga creators, especially in the '90s.
    • There are several expies of El Mariachi using weapon cases and poses mixed with his band mates'. Wolfwood's Punisher is a mix of all three musicians' guitar cases. Bulleta/B.B. Hood strikes a lot of poses from the movie and launches rockets from her basket, naturally with one leg to the side. Roberta's bulletproof suitcase is fitted with a machine gun a la Campa. Bato has the same getup and guitar case but carries fantasy Power Armor in it instead. Ricardo Gomez adds references to the sequel with a flamethrower and guns built directly into his guitar. Beyond the Grave whips around dual pistols with El Mariachi's flamboyance and carries a coffin that functions as a mix of all three guitar cases, launching rockets in a familiar stance.
    • The first episode of Cowboy Bebop recreates the look of the bar and characters. Hellsing likewise homages some gunfight shots from the film. There is no telling how many characters have recreated Quino's rocket launcher pose, up to more recent titles like Nichijou and Kill Me Baby. A collection of some examples including people playing with action figures.
  • Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry) movies are fairly popular in the Caribbean. This article explains it as being because of the similarity in cultures of the two areas, both being ex-colonial majority-black and Christian countries.
  • Both of the Garfield movies were big overseas successes, and while the sequel Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties bombed domestically, it ended up becoming one of the biggest films in the worldwide market for the entire year, and was particularly well-received in China.
  • The 2012 reissue of Titanic (1997) set a box-office record in China, opening at $67 million (more than it made in its entire 1998 run in the country).
  • Although one of the most infamous and most often-bashed In-Name-Only adaptations, Godzilla (1998) is an incredibly popular monster movie in places where the Godzilla franchise never took off (for instance in Sweden and some former Communist/Socialist countries), and unlike the US or Japan, don't have many "old-school" G-fans rallying against it. Part of this comes from the fact that the film was widely advertised in Eastern Europe by showing out-of-context clips from the worst Godzilla films, then contrasting them with the hyper-budgeted remake, giving the impression that the 1998 film was the only redeeming feature of the franchise. As a result, there was backlash in many of these countries against the more Japanese-inspired Godzilla (2014).
    • When it comes to Godzilla in general, the US is the only western territory where these movies and their merchandise have anything resembling an actual consumer base, with other countries where the series has a history (like Germany, the UK or Mexico) trailing some distance behind.
  • Sexy Beast earned Ben Kingsley an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and launched director Jonathan Glazer's career, but was dismissed or ignored by critics in the UK who were exhausted from the glut of gangster movies following ''Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels".
  • The Crying Game was rejected in the United Kingdom due to its sympathetic portrayal of an IRA member. In the United States, audiences didn't much care about this and fixated on the provocative love story instead. The film was a major hit for Miramax and earned a number of major Academy Award nominations.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier was surprisingly popular in China partially because it showed that loving one's country isn't the same as loving one's government. Films with this theme are rare in China due to government censorship.
  • Ghostbusters (1984) was tremendously popular in the United States (it's still one of the highest-grossing comedies of all time), but it apparently made an even bigger mark in Italy. Long after the film had taken on nostalgic value in its home country, there was still a pizzeria in Rome named Acchappiafantasmi (the name by which Ghostbusters went in Italian markets), apparently for no other reason than because the owners of the establishment either liked the movie or just liked the name. Their specialty was a "ghost pizza", with olives placed on a pizza "face" to simulate eyes and a moaning mouth.
  • The Paranormal Activity movies were smash successes throughout the US, but they were especially popular among Hispanic Americans; this article notes that Latinos purchased a third of all the tickets sold for the first three films. This eventually led to the creation of the spinoff The Marked Ones, featuring a mostly Latin cast.
  • Mel Brooks's films have a cult following in Sweden; The Producers was titled Det våras för Hitler (literally "Springtime for Hitler"); his subsequent films are titled Springtime for..., creating an implicit franchise.
  • Akira Kurosawa used to be this. Films such as The Hidden Fortress and Rashomon were absolute smash hits in the West and highly influential in Hollywood cinema, but he was seen as nothing special in his native Japan; in fact, he received a lot of flak for pandering to the Western taste for samurai. However, his reputation in Japan has improved since his death.
    • Yet another circular version of this trope: The above mentioned Star Wars was basically George Lucas' love letter to Kurosawa films. The term Jedi comes from Jedai Geki, the film genre samurai films fall under.
  • Although Annie (2014) bombed in the United States, the movie was a huge success in Japan, opening at #1 on it's first weekend, knocking Big Hero 6 from the top spot and remained in the top 3 for a month. It's still in the top 5 and is the best-selling motion picture soundtrack on the Japanese Amazon website, not counting anime or Japanese productions. Even the original movie is a success, beating western shows like SpongeBob SquarePants and Thomas the Tank Engine in DVD sales. This might be because the Japanese really like musicals.
  • The Mask is considered a cult comedy film in France. This has a lot to do with the French dub of the film, especially Emmanuel Curtil'snote  hilarious performance as Stanley Ipkiss/the Mask (some even argues that the dub is better than the original). The French "Cuban Pete" musical number is a notable One-Scene Wonder.
  • While Edge of Tomorrow opened up to a weak box office total for a big budget Sci-Fi film (29.1 million, with most of its thunder stolen by, of all things, a love story about teenagers with cancer), it was more successful overseas, especially in China and South Korea. It eventually grossed $100 million in the U.S. and $269 million in other territories.
  • The Expendables 2 outgrossed both The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man in China.
  • German filmmakers seem to have an in-depth passion with experiments in which the dark side of human nature is shown. The first German film that did this was Das Experiment which is based on the Stanford Prison Experiment, which was successful enough in movie theaters that other German filmmakers made movies with similar premises. For proof you need not to look further than at the German film Die Welle which is based on the 'Third Wave'. Some may suggest that the passion for those experiments, that all were conducted in the US, is because most of them were conducted in order to give people an understanding as to how the German Nazis could be the cruel beings that they were in the Second World War.
  • The Chilean drama No 2012, about the 1988 plebiscite that preceded Pinochet's removal from power, received a mixed reception in Chile, where critics accused it of intentionally downplaying the "No" campaign's successful grassroots organization in favor of celebrating the television advertisement campaign. Outside of Chile, it was critically adored.
  • The Italian movie series Fantozzi (detailing the misadventures of an Italian salaryman put Up to Eleven for comedic purpose) and the short stories that the movies adapt are really popular in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. What's more, said popularity started during the Cold War.
  • Similar to the Annie example above, Pan, which bombed in the United States against competition from Hotel Transylvania Two, was a huge success in Japan. The fact that the story upon which the movie is based is popular in the country helps a lot.
  • The Corpse of Anna Fritz, a Spanish movie about necrophilia with a very limited release, had over 3 million illegal downloads in the Philippines. The filming crew was so surprised by the fan response from the Philippines in social media that they decided to release the film theatrically in this country.
  • Jurassic Park is quite popular in Japan, due to the country's high interest in dinosaurs. The country's Universal Studios theme park has an area based on the films (although it's downsized compared to Island of Adventures's version), a manga adaptation of the first film was published in 1993, and there was an exhibition utilizing the JP franchise which also came with a tie-in video game for the Game Boy Advance. And now with the success of Jurassic World, there's going to be a new flying coaster ride in Universal Studios Japan.
  • The John Landis movie Oscar has become immensely popular in Hungary, to the point where practically everyone who owns or at some point owned a TV set can probably quote several parts from it, and it is one of the better known roles of Tim Curry among local audiences (just think about that for a minute). It might be because classic French-style comedy theatre has a huge tradition in Hungarian literature.
  • Charlton Heston, icon, some may even say patron saint, of biblical epics, historical dramas and cult sci-fi films, was very popular in Japan, where even his lesser films tended to be well liked. Reportedly, Heston's larger than life screen persona reminded Japanese audiences of their Samurai.
  • If only American box-office is considered, then WarCraft was a flat-out Box Office Bomb, receiving scathing reviews and making only $47 million at the domestic box office on a budget of $160 million. In China, on the other hand, it shattered box-office records, its opening weekend (over $65 million) dwarfing its entire American theatrical run. By the time it completed its theatrical run, it had made over $433 million, with almost 90% of its box office coming from international receipts and over half of it ($220 million) coming from China, making it the sixth highest-grossing Western film of all time in that country.
  • Russian film He is a Dragon allegedly sold a lot of bootleg copies in China. Seeing how its native country wasn't too enthusiastic about it, and that producers never intended to release the movie in China in first place, makes it even more strange — or funny.
  • Despite a mediocre box-office response in the U.S. — albeit it still earned almost as much in its opening weekend alone than Xx X State Of The Union did in its entire theatrical run — Xx X Return Of Xander Cage did much better elsewhere, with its international gross exceeding the film's budget in just two weeks. It was especially successful in China, where the marketing focused on Donnie Yen.
  • The film adaptation of The Bonfire of the Vanities became a cult classic in Europe, the eastern countries of the region, especially, because of Adaptation Displacement; the main reason the movie got such a negative reception in the U.S.A. is the amount of deviance from the book, which is well known in the U.S.A., but obscure in the rest of the world. The largest sucsess is in the former Yugoslavia, where it's re-run on television multiple times per year.
  • The Hollywood adaptation of Ghost in the Shell received a lot of controversy before it was even released due to the Race Lift nature of Scarlett Johansson playing the role of The Major in an anime adaptation with many saying an Asian actress should have been cast as the lead. This, combined with The Reveal at the end of the film that that The Major's original body was Japanese is believed to be the major factor in the films poor domestic sales. However in international markets, particularly as Japan, where the whitewashing controversy was not considered as much of an issue, the film's gross more then tripled its domestic income.
  • Sweden, for some inexplicable reason, decided that the 1982 film adaptation of Ivanhoe was the ultimate New Years Day hangover movie, and it was shown on New Years Day for more than three decades consecutively.
  • The Fate of the Furious was immensely popular in China. It broke heaps of box office records and became the highest-grossing Western film of all time there.
  • Eurotrip didn't exactly receive much success in its home country, the US, and bombed at the box office, but the film is considered a cult classic in Russia, on par with the first American Pie. Many Russians who grew up or went to school in the early 2000s still smile when they hear "Fluggegecheimen" or "Vandersexxx", and remember stuff like "Scotty doesn't know" song, "Hitler boy", "Mi scusi", a nude beach full of dicks, or "Dear sweet mother of God... we're in Eastern Europe!"
    • Likewise, many Russians remember the infamous bike-riding scene from the German sex comedy Mädchen, Mädchen (2001). Mädchen, Mädchen, its 2004 sequel Mädchen, Mädchen 2 – Loft oder Liebe, as well as Harte Jungs (2000), its sequel Knallharte Jungs (2002), Swiss film Achtung, fertig, Charlie! (2003) and a French film Sexy Boys (2001) got some degree of popularity (or, in some cases, notoriety) in Russia because they were marketed as sequels/spinoffs to American Pie. Sexy Boys was literally localized as "French Pie", and Achtung, fertig, Charlie! as "Army Pie".
  • Aversion: While Downfall was relatively successful - if wildly controversial even before shooting began - in its native Germany, the international cultural phenomenon that is "Hitler Rants" is lost on most Germans as they simply cannot tune out the audio while reading the subtitles.

    In-Universe Examples 
  • Played literally in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story. The German team's lucky charm of sorts is a photo of David Hasselhoff, and after they are defeated they are bawled out by the man himself.
  • In Lost in Translation, it is implied that Bob Harris is a much more popular actor in Japan than he is in America since the last twenty years or so.
  • This Is Spinal Tap ends with the title band, largely washed up in America, becoming spectacularly successful in Japan. This is a reference to the real-life band Cheap Trick, who became a Japanese (and to a lesser extent Latin American) favorite after their American audience dwindled.
  • In The Peacemaker, George Clooney and Nicole Kidman try to retrieve a list of records from a German baddie's computer. At first the baddie refuses to give up the password, but after some Torture for Fun and Information, he gives it up. It is "Hasselhoff".
  • In Tropic Thunder, an important plot point revolves around action star Tugg Speedman discovering that his drug trafficking captors are huge fans of Simple Jack, Tugg's Oscar Bait film which the American press heralded as one of the worst movies of all time. Of course, this is because Simple Jack is the only movie said drug traffickers have access to.
  • In Love & Basketball, Sidra tells Monica about this when they are both playing basketball in Europe. In Europe they are relatively famous and live a good life, but in the U.S. they are nobodies.
  • In The Fifth Element, Ruby Rhod has a group of Japanese schoolgirls waiting for autographs aboard the flight to Phloston Paradise.
  • The title characters in ˇThree Amigos! were very popular in Germany, with a German antagonist that idolized Ned Nedelander for his gun skills, until he found out about trick photography. When Ned denies this, the German immediately challenges him to a duel to prove whether he really can do it. Ned wins.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff/FIlm