Box Office Beyond Borders III: What 2014 Movies Did Other Countries Enjoy More Than We Did?

Expendables 3!

From a certain perspective, the third outing for the Expendables proved the worldwide marketing viability of all-star team-ups, diversity, explosions, and machismo. Probably not in that order.

For the last two years around this time, I asked a question aloud to no one in particular: if we know the highest-grossing movies at the American box office each year, and we know the highest-grossing movies worldwide at all box offices, which movies were the year’s winners if we subtract America’s dollars? What were the rest of Planet Earth’s favorite popcorn flicks?

Box Office Mojo is a fantastic source for fans who can’t get enough number-crunching, being the premiere online source for film revenue tracking. You can check out their 2014 stats for domestic and total worldwide box office as separate lists, but if you want to know only what drove the rest of the world into their respective theaters regardless of American appetites, additional math is required to remove us from the Big Picture.

Lo and behold: I did the math for all of us. Presented below are the forty highest-grossing movies of 2014 outside the U.S. Right this way for the World’s Top 50 Without Us!

2014 Road Trip Photos #20: Monkey Donuts and the Rest Stop Lake

Mojo Monkey!

Two of the four creations we sampled at Mojo Monkey Donuts in St. Paul: Hanna Banana and the Maple Bacon Bar. (Click to enlarge! That way you get even more donut!)

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year from 2003 to 2013 my wife, my son, and your humble writer headed out on a long road trip to anywhere but here. Our 2014 road trip represented a milestone of sorts: our first vacation in over a decade without my son tagging along for the ride. At my wife’s prodding, I examined our vacation options and decided we ought to make this year a milestone in another way — our first sequel vacation. This year’s objective, then: a return to Wisconsin and Minnesota. In my mind, our 2006 road trip was a good start, but in some ways a surface-skimming of what each state has to offer. I wanted a do-over.

My wife and I awoke on Day Five in St. Paul a little grateful that our lodgers did not offer the sort of free continental morning snacks we’re used to seeing in our hotels every year. Being deprived of this standard money-saving amenity forced us to hunt for breakfast options in our surroundings, preferably on the imaginative side.

Right this way for more donuts and Minnesota greenery!

On Leonard Nimoy.

Leonard Nimoy!

My wife and I once, and only once, stood in the same area code as Leonard Nimoy. On Thanksgiving weekend 2001, Nimoy was one of the most special guests at Indianapolis’ annual Star Trek convention, during the dark-ages period when it was run by a notorious out-of-state company. The autographs and fleeting moments with all non-Nimoy actor guests were included in the ticket price, years before al-a-carte autographs at skyrocketing prices became the industry norm. In-person autographs from the esteemed Mister Spock were permitted only to VIP attendees who paid extra for the Saturday evening “Dinner with the Stars” gathering; all other attendees like us received non-personalized pre-signed photos with admission.

That’s ours scanned and shown above. At the time Anne and I were best friends with separate low-rent apartments and not much disposable income to pool together. The VIP package was beyond our means, but we were thrilled simply to inhabit the same building as the greatest science officer in pop culture history.

We had terrible seats at his Sunday Q&A, near the back of the long, long ballroom. We have no live photos of him from this occasion because our primitive 35mm cameras were useless against the vast gulf of heads between us and the stage. And yet…what mattered most was we were in the same room as The Leonard Nimoy.

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MCC Llooks Back at the Llamas of Our Llives


“Yep, that’s right. I’m a llama. You know you love me!”

For those just joining the internet today: hearts and minds across America were swept away by the spellbinding spectacle of a pair of lively llamas on the loose in Phoenix who apparently came from nowhere, took a while to run down, and by the end of their escapade had become the heartily hailed heroes of a thousand news sites that were bored with covering the whole “net neutrality” thing. Internet freedom was out; llama freedom was in.

I may have missed out on today’s llama craze, but I’m okay with that. This wouldn’t have been my first llama rodeo. Our family has encountered these affable animals on two of our previous road trips. Those Arizona lawmen may have struggled to keep up with their quarry, but it’s been our experience that llamas aren’t that hard to catch if you go meet them where they like to hang out.

Right this way for – you guessed it – llamas!

2014 Road Trip Photos #19: Twin City II: Minneapolis

Mary Tyler Moore!

Mary Tyler Moore takes a nothing day and suddenly makes it all seem worthwhile in front of the still-open Macy’s at 7th and Nicollet.

After spending the first several hours of Day Four walking around downtown St. Paul, we crashed at the hotel for a while. As someone who hates naps, that’s hard for me to admit, but it had to be done. We needed to recharge for the sake of our evening plans, for which we’d be driving into downtown Minneapolis to create a fun bookend effect for our day in the Twin Cities.

That evening we tried something we’ve never done before on vacation: a formal anniversary dinner.

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2014 Road Trip Photos #18: Twin City I: St. Paul

Dino Prince!

Many Minnesota travelers dream of seeing Prince, but no one would think to look for him on the back of a dinosaur. It’s the perfect hiding spot.

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