There's no doubt that Activision Blizzard has created one of the largest and most dedicated fan bases in the world of gaming. However, many experts have been scratching their heads, wondering if this massive following would translate to the world of film. Blizzard decided to take one of its most well-known properties, World of Warcraft, and turn it into a feature-length film, in the hope of WoWing fans (sorry for that pun).
According to the numbers, the action-packed fantasy adventure Warcraft (directed by none other than David Bowie's son Duncan Jones) just accomplished a huge feat at the Chinese box office. To put this amazing achievement into perspective, let's take a look at some of China's biggest opening days, many of which also rank among the highest-grossing movies of all time.
Transformers: Age of Extinction — $27 Million
Captain America: Civil War — $30.6 Million
Star Wars: The Force Awakens — $33 Million
Avengers: Age of Ultron — $33.9 Million
So how much exactly did Warcraft manage to rake in on opening day? The figure marks it as the second-largest opening day in China's box office history, just shy of the record Furious 7 set last year. It also has the second-largest midnight showing in China's history, again just below Furious 7. In fact, the huge amount of money that Warcraft earned on opening day means it has earned more in one day than it's expected to make in the United States during its entire theatrical run. Are you ready for the big reveal? The astronomical number is, drum role, please...
Warcraft — $46 Million
Warcraft came nowhere near Furious 7's astonishing $63 million, but when the film is only expected to gross $22 million on opening weekend, and a mere $45 million in its whole run in the States, this number is truly impressive. In midnight previews alone, Warcraft grossed $7.6 million (placing it just under Furious 7's $8.4 million).
This really shouldn't come as too big of a surprise, as Blizzard's hit game World of Warcraft boasts nearly 10 percent of its 100 million players from China. Clearly all those games brought players and their friends to cinemas to witness the epic Warcraft. Furthermore, Warcraft came out on a Tuesday (it isn't set for release in the States until Friday), making these numbers even more astounding as it cements the film as the best non-weekend launch in history.
But what does this huge opening day in China really mean for the film?
According to Forbes:
Warcraft may be a rare international tentpole that outright tanks in America ... but still becomes one of the biggest releases ever in China.
As shown above, Warcraft has managed to out-earn some of the biggest movies in recent memory. There have been only 11 Hollywood blockbusters that have made more than $150 million in China's marketplace. A lowball estimate puts Warcraft at a respectable $170–200 million. That number places it in the same group as box office monsters that grossed nearly $1 billion worldwide.
However, since it isn't expected to do too well in America, Warcraft may prove to be an anomaly; a huge worldwide success while suffering horribly in the US. All of this is speculative, of course, but it will be interesting to see if this prosperity encourages more viewers to check out the film. Whatever the case, Warcraft's journey will definitely be an interesting one to follow.
Warcraft hits American theaters Friday, June 10.