The Avengers, Robert Downey Jr.


The tweets from Down Under began rubbing it in early and often.

"Woke up to realize I'm watching the avengers today," went one. "So glad to b in Australia!" went another.

Yes, The Avengers, the fanboy event of the century, is playing in a theater not near your U.S.-based self today.

Australia, France and the Philippines are some of the countries where the comic-book movie, starring the Iron Man series' Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, Thor's Chris Hemsworth and Captain America's Chris Evans, was designated for an April 25 release.

The next couple of days will see the Joss Whedon-directed film, costarring a Hulk-ish Mark Ruffalo, roll out in Argentina, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Elsewhere, meaning "Sorry, Vermont."

The U.S. box office won't get its presumed first blockbuster of summer for another whole seven days—not until May 4.

The Avengers is but the latest Hollywood film to open far, far from Hollywood.

Battleship, with a few weeks to go until its May 18 stateside debut, has already grossed more than $100 million internationally. Last year, Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin played in Europe about two months in advance of its U.S. release. 

"The trend," says business journalist Robert Marich, author of Marketing to Moviegoers, "is that the world is one big market."

Marich doesn't see an early-bird overseas release as a hedge against bad buzz, a problem The Avengers decidedly does not have, or as a sign of anything but its studio looking for the best and biggest opportunities.

In the end, and in any case, according to Marich, "How audiences react in the U.S. is watched all over the world."

So take that, you already-Avengers-watching Australia! 

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