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'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' loses his name overseas

April 13, 2012 |  7:18 am

Abraham Lincoln won't get top billing in some foreign countries when his vampire-hunting adventure hits the big screen this summer.

Hoping to make its adaptation of the bestselling book "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" more accessible to overseas moviegoers who might not be familiar with America's 16th president, 20th Century Fox is calling its June release "President Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" in Taiwan and Thailand and simply "Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" in Hong Kong and South Korea, a spokesman for the studio confirmed.

In Italy and Portugal, meanwhile, the title character is gone entirely. The film will be called "The Legend of the Vampire Hunter" and "Secret Diary of the Vampire Hunter," respectively, in those countries.

In the rest of Europe and all of the Spanish-speaking world, the picture will carry a local language version of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

It's not uncommon for movies to get new names in certain overseas markets, particularly when the original title contains references that have more resonance for Americans. Last year's "Captain America: The First Avenger," for instance, was known simply as "The First Avenger" in South Korea, Russia and Ukraine.

For "Abraham Lincoln," directed by Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov, some at Fox are already concerned  that the content itself -- with a main character drawn from American history -- will be less appealing than many other summer movies in certain overseas markets. Given the importance of international box office to turning a profit on big budget tentpoles, the last thing the studio needs is a title that will make the challenge even more difficult.


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-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Benjamin Walker in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." Credit: Alan Markfield / 20th Century Fox.