The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has been made twice - once in Swedish and once in the English language.

The Hollywood remake has had a favourable reception but what does the box office tell us about the two films?

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  • Comment number 154. Posted by Rosko

    on 26 Feb 2012 19:02

    #99 - while it might be unacceptable that the likes of W.N.T.T.A.K.'s Tilda Swindon or Babycall's Noomi Repace were ignored, it should be absolutely expected by now that the Oscars take a colonial approach to non-English speaking films - is it even possible for a non-English film to win the best picture category.... Most years, the majority of the best pictures are non-English e.g. The White Ribbon would have been a shoe in if it were set in the American plains, rather than German. They should at least be honest and call the best picture category, best film produced by an American company (even the British ones usually have heavy US involvement behind the scenes) - to be expected you might say given the make-up and agenda of the Academy. It does make you wonder why the world hasn't come together to create a replacement for the Oscars that the rest of the world can focus their attention on, backed by the big non-american distributors like Canal. It's like we're celebrating the supposedly authoritative view of a group with very narrow aims.

    As to generalising about Americans and their ability to read subtitles, we are being a bit unfair I think because surely the indy scene in the USA is bigger than in Britain or China or India etc. - look at the number of big US festivals like Sundance that give a voice to films that would otherwise have struggled to find distributors. The issue with films like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is, why are the big American distributors so frightened of change - it's reached the point where it doesn't even make business sense any longer - they seem to be driving the american public to piracy - the majority of people downloading european films are American. Explain that if Americans can't read subtitles.

    I also think that if you know that the majority of your audience is going to be reading subs, you have to ajust the style of the film so as to give people a chance to read and watch, which some scandinavian films don't because they are so confident in the the vibrancy of their own scene and audience in Europe.

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  • Comment number 153. Posted by PartYetiPartMan

    on 15 Feb 2012 19:15

    Now I have read all three books and seen the film in it's original subtitled version before watching Fincher version. Now I know I am in the minority here but I think it is closer to the book. I am not saying remake all foreign language films but this one definetly needed it the Made for TV original was ripe for a remake.

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  • Comment number 152. Posted by Ed Jackson

    on 14 Feb 2012 13:51

    I don't disagree with your point and I enjoyed both movies but surely using the figures 4 weeks after release is a bit misleading? You make the point in your book that even "flops" make money but this has made it's money back and then some, before the inevitable boost it will get by Oscar nominations and further worldwide releases

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  • Comment number 151. Posted by Dorothymantooth

    on 13 Feb 2012 18:33

    Studios remake these films because they want to try to make more money in America Mark. Like you said 'the original didnt do well in America'. I happily saw the original at the veiw cinema in Leeds and loved it, subtitles dont effect my decision to go see a film or not, but a majority of english speaking viewers do have an issue with it. Clearly. Its not the film studios fault for remaking them at all. If the public came out and saw the subtitled originals in droves then remaking it would be pointless AND WOULD NOT HAPPEN. Why do you always attack the American Studios?? Just man up and admit it is us the cinema going public who need to change and who you are having a go at!

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  • Comment number 150. Posted by CinemaScream

    on 12 Feb 2012 23:13

    I'm thinking that if organisations like BAFTA ensured that the best foreign language film was not relegated to the also ran highlights at the end of award ceremonies then foreign cinema would not have such a hard time at the box office.

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  • Comment number 149. Posted by Gary Ingrey

    on 10 Feb 2012 10:16

    This is an interesting debate. The main point, in my view, being the issue of subtitles and the reluctance of US audiences to accept them & sadly the similar attitude with the mainstream UK film goer (I know of many who have rented the Swedish 'Girl with....' who watched it dubbed and complained about the awefulness of the dubbing but made no effort to use the subtitles). How do you change this? In short I have no idea, but where european films become popular as with 'Girl..." and the sequels it will inevitably lead to US remaking. I can think of numerous examples where my American friends are completely unaware there is a european original (Assassin/Nikita, The Next Three Days/Anything For Her for example), but do enjoy them once they are aware. I think this problem is rooted in the multiplex culture and the power of the mainstream distributors.

    As for comparisons between the two versions of 'Girl With...', when viewed in their uncut versions as the 6 part TV drama the swedish version takes on a different approach. Clearly made as a full Lisbeth Salander story, taking in all three of the original books, these versions are excellent with stunning performances especially by Noomi Rapace. The Fincher directed version stands alone as a very good piece of narrative cinema with again stunning performances. Comparisons are unfair with this particular film because the intentions of the two are so different when you consider the television root of the swedish versions. It will be interesting to see if the sequels are made with the same american cast and see how they are marketed. But in conclusion, in this case I think the US version and taking into account the milieu and mise en scene was worth making.

    Both versions can be enjoyed for what they are and intended to be, which is not the case with most US remakes.

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  • Comment number 148. Posted by fellafella

    on 9 Feb 2012 13:49

    Your figures are way off, The movie has crossed $100m in the US and $100m internationally, topping out at $240m with some locations still to release.

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  • Comment number 147. Posted by NoGod4Me

    on 8 Feb 2012 18:03

    Calling the Fincher version a remake is wrong. It's not a remake of the original film but a screen adaptation of the book just like the original film is. When a theatre company does another version of Macbeth we don't accuse it of being a remake of another company's production, its a unique interpretation of the source material.
    It's not a question of subtitles its a question of which movie best adapts the book to the screen and guess what - it's the Fincher version without doubt.

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  • Comment number 146. Posted by TheThinWhiteDude2708

    on 8 Feb 2012 11:27

    My review for Fincher's Dragon Tattoo here at: http://snoopcallymac.blogspot.com/2012/01/thin-white-dudes-reviews-girl-with.html

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  • Comment number 145. Posted by TheThinWhiteDude2708

    on 8 Feb 2012 11:26

    I would tend to agree with you, Dr K., on the argument that there is no point in remaking movies that were originally made in a foreign-language. However, the key word there is movies.

    Granted, I'd be rather cross if someone decided to remake Drive or Audition, both terrific films based on literary sources. Nevertheless, when it comes to literary adaptations, I think it is fair game for there to be a 'remake,' or as I would call it in the case of TGWTDT, 'second adaptation.'

    To my shame, I have yet to see the Swedish-language TGWTDT (though a DVD copy is sitting in my collection, waiting to be polished off), but I think Fincher's film is a tough and uncompromised interpretation of the original source by Stieg Larsson.

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