Raja Gosnell

'The Smurfs 2' looks overseas for more green

'The Smurfs 2' looks overseas for more green

The central conceit of "The Smurfs 2" is that the wicked wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) is desperate to capture the secret essence of Smurfs. But Sony Pictures already has found the magic formula that makes the blue cartoon characters so popular — and it isn't found at the domestic box office.

Hollywood has been a global business for decades, but the film industry's international reach increasingly is being defined by animated and family-friendly movies, which continue to generate foreign revenues much bigger than any Smurf or Minion.

Some live-action films still do much better in foreign markets than in domestic venues. Sony's losses on the dud "After...

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