If you’re an action movie buff, you may have noticed an unusual trend over the past few years. Scripts that were once relegated to the “B-movie” drawers of Hollywood offices are suddenly getting the big budget treatment, complete with splashy special effects, massive marketing campaigns, and usually, a star like Dwayne Johnson. Got a fresh rehash of a mildly popular ’90s video game? Perfect. Want to pour black paint and CGI on Tom Hardy? Done deal. Six more Transformers movies? Just what the doctor ordered!

Movies like “Rampage,” “Skyscraper,” “Venom,” and “Jurassic World” all have at least two things in common: they were panned by moviegoers and critics alike, and they made a fortuneBased on historical precedent, that doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Sure, these flicks all brought star power and CGI to the table, but all of them failed to truly connect to American audiences. Repackaged tropes masquerading as plot points fill quiet moments between explosions, but without any real story to speak of, most Americans found their entertainment elsewhere. Under normal circumstances, this sort of trend would be self-corrected by our unwillingness to pay studios for crappy films — but things have changed. These movies aren’t made for us anymore.

Not just rotten tomatoes: The reverberating effects today's crappy movies have on foreign policy
(Universal)

If you’ve ever been a teenage boy, chances are good that you were excited about a movie based on the Marvel character, Venom. That excitement only grew when Tom Hardy was cast as Eddie Brock, a massive step up from Topher Grace’s portrayal in the ill-fated “Spider-Man 3.” But when it finally hit theaters, movie goers found this extension of the Spider-verse underwhelming at best. It only went on to gross around $200 million in the American box offices, likely not even recouping its combined production and marketing budgets. Yet, if you check last year’s global box office standings, you’ll find Sony’s symbiote-crap heap standing tall at No. 6 worldwide. “Venom” may have failed to find a strong audience in the U.S., but China loved it. Before it ended its run on foreign screens, “Venom” racked up more than $600 million more dollars.

That’s right, it made three times more in the international market.