A couple of months ago came word that Paramount and Marvel were considering shortening their upcoming superhero film’s title from “Captain America: The First Avenger” to just “The First Avenger” in select international territories.
By making the film a WW2 period piece set mostly in Europe, the filmmakers have mostly avoided potentially thorny contemporary political issues that could have arisen from making a film about such a famously strong patriotic character – something that may have undermined their international box-office haul.
Yet the title is something that was inescapable, and changing it was not out of the question as American blockbusters often feature less U.S.-focused titles in foreign markets due to slang differences or for marketing purposes. The studio offered all territories the choice of both titles.
Now, The Hollywood Reporter reports that only three countries have opted for the shortened version – Russia, Ukraine and South Korea.
It seems that most international distributors believed the franchise name was so identifiable that not using “Captain America” in the title could risk losing ticket sales. In the three countries it will take place, the change was reportedly done for “cultural and political reasons”.
Some elements of the marketing are being altered though. A new Australian version of the recently released full trailer for the film confirms that the tagline “Heroes are made in America” has been dropped from the international versions of the trailer, replaced with a far less interesting and more generic “When evil rises, a hero will stand.”
The film will get its big push internationally in the UK, Australia, certain Asian and South American markets on July 28th, a week after the US release. Most of continental European will receive it in August. The film isn’t expected to get a release in China due to their strict foreign film allowance policies, but a final decision has yet to be made.