Despite opening to a mediocre response in the United States, strong performances overseas have allowed Warcraft to become the highest grossing video game movie of all time.
When the Warcraft movie was first being discussed, fans and film pundits alike had plenty of reservations about whether the finished product would find its audience. Now, there's word that the project has become the highest grossing video game adaptation ever — even despite a very disappointing box office return domestically.
With its global haul passing $377 million according to a report from Box Office Mojo, Warcraft has broken the record of $336 million set by Prince of Persia in 2010. Amazingly, just $37 million of that amount comes from ticket sales in the United States.
Warcraft opened in the U.S. last week, but could only muster up a total take of $24 million over the course of its first few days in cinemas. This figure plummeted to $6 million in its second week, an enormous drop of about 73% — not a good sign, considering the budget for the film was around $160 million.
However, the film is being rescued by strong international response, which could still preserve plans for Warcraft to launch a movie franchise. More than $200 million of its total gross has come from ticket sales in China, which makes up more than half of its total return so far.
Given the scale of the production, Warcraft was always intended to lay the foundation for sequels. However, the fact that the movie is only really seeing success outside of the U.S. will certainly change the discussion surrounding plans for a follow-up.
This isn't to say that the current cast will be exchanged for Chinese actors, or that the overarching narrative will be tweaked to suit the country's tastes — but it might lead to the film's production being transplanted to Asia. There would perhaps be promotional advantages to the sequel being shot on Chinese soil.
Of course, this is assuming that the film will receive a sequel simply because it's now the most successful video game adaptation. However, the Prince of Persia movie that previously held that title never saw a follow-up — even if its star Jake Gyllenhaal did just book a lead role in another project based on an Ubisoft property.
For all its faults, there is plenty to praise about the way Duncan Jones and his crew set out to bring Warcraft to the silver screen. It's a shame that audiences in the U.S. don't see to have much interest in the film — but its popularity elsewhere might give the franchise a chance to blossom.
Warcraft is now showing in cinemas worldwide.
Source: Box Office Mojo