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maryann johanson | #BlackLivesMatter

question of the day: Would Russian, Ukrainian, and South Korean audiences really avoid ‘Captain America’ if it were called ‘Captain America’?

Have you heard? When Captain America: The First Avenger is released in Russia, Ukraine and South Korea, it will be called simply The First Avenger. From the New York Times’ blog Media Decoder:

Why the change in those places? Spokeswomen for Marvel and Paramount declined to comment. But people with knowledge of the decision, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid a conflict with the studios, cited reasons of culture and politics in addition to brand awareness.

The cold war kept the comic book version of Captain America from putting down roots in Russia and Ukraine as he did elsewhere in the world, these people said. But anti-American sentiment was also a factor.

The studios ultimately decided too much ticket revenue was on the table in Russia and Ukraine, both fast-growing movie markets, to take a risk over the title.

South Korea is another story. Although that country is one of Hollywood’s top-performing territories, resentment about the continued presence of the United States military runs deep. Marvel and Paramount worry that those feelings are particularly strong among younger South Koreans, the ones who powered “Iron Man 2” to $27 million in ticket sales in that country last year.

This makes little sense to me. If there truly is strong anti-American sentiment in these places, wouldn’t people there avoid Hollywood movies altogether?

Would Russian, Ukrainian, and South Korean audiences really avoid Captain America if it were called Captain America?

I’d love to hear from any readers actually in those places what they think.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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