Overseas audiences, in general (and collectively) seem to care less about the quality of sequels. Word of mouth in the USA can cause the new episode of a blockbuster series to fall below expectations. However, overseas, it seems that the brand is all that matters – not the quality. The Chicago Tribune says:
Take “Ice Age: Continental Drift.” The animated sequel debuted in North America to mediocre reviews and has so far racked up a decent $143.7 million domestically. But abroad it’s been a different picture entirely. The fourth film in Twentieth Century Fox’s Pleistocene era franchise has drawn a massive $620.5 million at the foreign box office, making it ones of the year’s biggest, albeit unheralded, hits.
Likewise Men In Black 3. Nobody feels that it is better than the original.
“Men in Black 3″ and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” for instance, were outperformed domestically by their predecessors, earning $176.6 million and $255.5 million respectively. Yet overseas audiences seemed to find the films fresher, propelling the latest “Men in Black” to $445.3 million at the foreign box office and helping to justify more “Spider-Man” sequels by pushing the latest wall-crawler film to $435.1 million at the foreign box office.
One reason offered is that in countries like India they have only recently been able to enjoy the complete cinema experience – in the past they tended to watch videos and DVDs.