I think most Americans have an aversion to watching subtitled movies – I know I did. However, I’ve gotten into watching more as the years have gone by. I do think it’s a distraction because you have to read and absorb the scene at the same time. Obviously, the more you watch subtitled movies the easier it is to get beyond that. Also, sometimes you have to read fairly quickly, and not everyone reads at the same speed, so that’s a turn-off for many. And lets face it; you have to constantly watch the screen or you will miss something. When you can understand the language you can stray from the screen for any number of reasons and at least hear what is being said so you don’t miss the gist of the scene. Whether the remake will be better received worldwide than the original remains to be seen. But I do believe many Americans will see TGWTDT for the first time. And if the books are as good as I've heard, and based on the directors previous work, then it should be a success, at least in America.
Looking at IMDb voters for the original, 85% are foreign viewers, and they’re predominately male.
The bottom line: Most Americans just like to sit and watch; not read.