Why do they change names of books/films for the American Market?

@Galena (9123)
April 1, 2007 9:43am CST
when the original titles are fine. for example, as I've been re-reading the books recently, I am really looking forward to the film of the fantastic book, Northern Lights. which is called The Golden Compass. which has nothing to do with the story. the book does feature an object called an Alethiometer, which has lots of pictures around the outside, and lots of hands. it couldn't really be called a Compass, because...... it isn't one. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone had similar treatment. what I'd like to know is. why change the titles when there's nothing wrong with the original titles. surely the Authors know best what the story should be called. if I were an author I would be very annoyed. anyone else find this a niggle?
3 people like this
2 responses
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
1 Apr 07
I think "the Philosopher's Stone" got changed because they didn't expect American audiences to be attracted to it as much as "the Sorceror's Stone" which is what it became. They think we're dumb and need something flashy. I do know that some titles get changed in America because there is already something fairly well known with that name, or because it isn't "catchy" enough. I'm not sure why that would be the case with "Northern Lights" though. I did a quick search, and found that there was a movie named "Northern Lights" just last year, as well as several others and a TV show. So I wonder if that has something to do with it. I want to see that movie too by the way. =p
3 people like this
@Galena (9123)
1 Apr 07
wonder if any americans get offended by the industry assuming they're too thick to get it?
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
1 Apr 07
I know I do! Sometimes I just want to scream when I see things being dumbed down for us. While it's true that some Americans have short attention spans and require a lot of flash and action, I don't even really think they're in the majority. It drives me crazy when things are changed when there was nothing wrong with the original! Sometimes too, things are changed for American audiences to satisfy certain loud political or religious factions, and that drives me nuts too. Grr.
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@arcadian (931)
• United States
29 Apr 07
It was in response to another post that I mentioned that we have a popular and much heralded condition in the US called illiteracy- Over 40% of American adults are contentedly (not to say- proudly)- functionally illiterate. along with having to drive theirselves everywhere because they can't get on a bus with any certainty that it is the correct one -it also means that unless a word has been used over and over again in contexts with which they are, in their limited way, familiar (sit-coms are the reason the word sorcerer is in more common usage than philosopher) your basic American shouldn't be considered in the demographics for HP books- as they've been condemning them and even burning them since the first one showed up on these shores. they claim that Harry is demonstrating satanic ways-and it is a play to trick their children into demonic practices- hmmm, well anyway, I took points away from JK Rowling for the silliness of calling it a sorcerors stone ( having a jot of familiarity with alchemy- until someone told me that was the American title. I just felt as I often do, very tired, very weary. Why why why do we insist on being a**holes? Arrogant ones, at that. ( big sigh)
@bufu2u (445)
• China
29 Apr 07
That is marketing policy.sometimes the name of books/films is not suitable for local concept or tradition.It is better to use another thing.