Captain America is doing better overseas than here. Does that mean America is No. 1 again? Do foreigners like us better than we do?
—S. Vanessa, via the inbox
Tell you what. You head over to, say, Afghanistan, and head way out into the mountains—you know, where the folk live. And you ask those good hill people how much they love America. I will wait here for you. Way, way over here.
As for the Captain America phenomenon, here's the explanation:
Yes, people in other countries like American movies. They don't necessarily like Americans, though. In fact, a big seller for Captain America overseas was this:
Yes, really. The Nazis are such terrific bad guys that the world, it seems, will show up to watch anybody kick their ass.
"It seems America is a little like Kim Kardashian: people love to trash her, but can't resist watching her," Exhibitor Relations box office analyst Jeff Bock tells me. "And, filmdom's favorite bad guys, the Nazis, we're on full display, which always seems to generate interest.
The other big plus was the fact that it was a Marvel movie.
Like Pixar movies, those have a good reputation all over: "The fact that Marvel films have such good track records really helped out Captain America, as it was one of the best reviewed superhero movies in recent memory."
Just how well did Cap do in other countries?
It's raked in nearly $179 million overseas, versus roughly $173 million here. So it's close. In China alone, Cap did about $5 million on the first weekend, which is better than Thor but less than Iron Man.
Whatever that means about America.