"G.I. Joe" director: This isn't a George Bush movie, it's an Obama movie

Yet overseas, where big action films often earn 60% or more of their ticket sales, rah-rah American sentiment doesn’t play well. So those references have vanished from the advertising.

European marketing, rather, focuses on action sequences set in Paris — where the Eiffel Tower collapses — Egypt and Tokyo, and emphasizes that G.I. Joe is an international team of crack operatives and not some Yankee soldier.

When it comes to selling “G.I. Joe” outside the U.S., the message is “this is not a George Bush movie — it’s an Obama world,” director Stephen Sommers said. “Right from the writing stage we said to ourselves, this can’t be about beefy guys on steroids who all met each other in the Vietnam War, but an elite organization that’s made up of the best of the best from around the world.”