Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing
China has become a true powerhouse behind potential movie grosses, as evidenced by the gangbusters box office Warcraft has been doing there ($221-million, versus $47-million in North America).
Faced with a vocal segment of the North American audiences that has pre-judged and boycotted Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot, Sony had hoped China would offset the cost of the picture. China, though, has now denied the movie a release in their country. Continue reading
Photo: Legendary Pictures
Being a bomb in North America no longer guarantees a movie’s global failure. Warcraft, which cost over $200-million between production and marketing costs, has earned $44-million in Canada and the U.S. over the last three weeks’ of release.
It’s made $221-million in China so far.
Globally, Warcraft has now earned almost ten times its domestic box office numbers, totalling upwards of $420-million.
That makes it a higher-grosser than the previously most-profitable video games Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Angry Birds Movie, and Resident Evil: Afterlife, none of which crossed $400-million.
Legendary Pictures hasn’t yet decided whether to greenlight a sequel to the fantasy epic, but is at work on Pacific Rim 2 — which also happened to earn more in China than in Canada and the U.S.
Demand in China for Warcraft was so large, over 70% of theatre screens in the country were dedicated to the movie on its opening weekend.
Warcraft is just one of many recent China-backed pictures to do better overseas than domestically. This past weekend, Now You See Me 2 also opened to $43-million in China (outperforming Independence Day: Resurgence‘s opening), nearly double its North American opening of $22-million.
(Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Forbes)
Photo: Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures’ Warcraft is getting abysmal reviews, but that hasn’t stopped it from setting a new record in China for the biggest non-weekend opening ever.
Warcraft opened in China Wednesday to the equivalent of $46-million, easily beating previous record holder The Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s opening of $28-million.
Estimates for the five-day launch period of June 8-12 in China had been between $100-million and $150-million, but that now looks to be conservative.
With expectations in the United States and Canada very low for the picture and pundits predicting a North American opening of less than $25-million, the picture’s achievement could have huge implications for how movies are made or marketed.
Box office success in North American could no longer be necessary to ensure a movie’s profitability with such success in foreign markets, particularly in China.
Warcraft also set a Chinese record for largest IMAX opening day, with an equivalent of $5-million coming from the large-format screens, toppling previous record-holder Furious 7.