Boots Riley foreign distributors: ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Director Blasts Foreign, Report.

Sorry to Bother You helmer Boots Riley says international distributors are claiming “black” movies don’t perform well internationally and are treating his film “as such.”

“re: the international distribution of #SorryToBotherYou : Even tho we’r outperforming a gang of other movies, distributors r claiming ‘Black movies’ dont do well internationally and r treating it as such,” Riley, who made his feature directorial debut with the film, wrote on Twitter on Friday. “There’r films that bombed here, that theyr distributing. Let em know wsup.”

Domestically, Sorry to Bother You finish Sunday — its fourth weekend — with a domestic total of $14 million, a strong showing for a specialty pic.

Annapurna is handling domestic distribution and holds worldwide rights to the film. The movie’s foreign rollout via local international distributors is still being worked out.

Historically, American films featuring an African-American cast that have been given a chance to play overseas have had a tough time at the international box office, although a spate of recent of films have helped to change that, at least to some extent. Disney and Marvel’s superhero blockbuster Black Panther grossed $647 million overseas. Hidden Figures and Straight Outta Compton also did solid business overseas. (All these films still pulled in their biggest grosses in North America, including Black Panther; generally, a superhero tentpole earns more internationally).

But even in the post-Black Panther era, foreign distributors can still be reluctant to book U.S. films with a black cast.

One comparison for Sorry to Bother You is the specialty film Moonlight, which, buoyed in part by its Oscar win, grossed $37 million overseas, or more than half of its total gross.


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