It looks like we've got another Batman v Superman case on our hands: While the first critic reviews of Warcraft weren't all that convinced, fans still flocked to the theaters to see the adaptation of the 1994 Warcraft game, which led to World of Warcraft and one of the most popular game franchises of all time.
Most importantly, the movie's low performance at the North American box office didn't prevent it from drawing in a record number of audiences in China. Back when the movie opened, the first midnight screenings in China had all sold out. Now, Warcraft is on its way to break a series of records, showcasing once again how the Chinese box office is starting to matter just as much as the American one.
Warcraft Achieves The Best Performance Of An International Film In China
On its opening day alone, Warcraft made $46 million in China Ã¢ÂÂ almost twice what it brought in in the US, where its opening weekend totaled a meager $24.4 million. In the end, the first five days of the movie in China allowed it to reach $156 million, which makes it the fastest international movie to make $135 million. Last year, Furious 7 reached that figure in four days.
Its $46 million opening day also places it above Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII Ã¢ÂÂ The Force Awakens, Captain America: Civil War and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
With a global box office of $286.1 million and an initial budget of $160 million, it's safe to say that the profitability of Warcraft is confirmed Ã¢ÂÂ especially since it's still set to open in 14 more territories.
The Success Of Warcraft Hints At The Rise Of The Chinese Box Office
The performance of Warcraft just goes to show how much the international box office can now make a difference for American movies. China's box office has gone up 49 percent between 2014 and 2015, leading analysts to predict that the country's box office would surpass the US no later than next year.
China is also getting much better at producing its own blockbuster movies, which means that American tent-poles will have to get more creative to ensure a spot on this highly-coveted market. Warcraft, for instance, was able to rely on the fact that its producer, Legendary Entertainment, is owned by the Chinese Dalian Wanda Group.
Is Warcraft A Movie For The Gamers?
The reason behind Warcraft's unexpected success might also lie in the fans' obsession with the game, proving once again that negative reviews by critics won't necessarily turn the audiences away if the curiosity is strong enough. In our critic roundup, The Hollywood Reporter called it a "soporific Hobbit trilogy," Kotaku compared it to "a green-screen version of Game of Thrones" and The Wrap found it merely made for a "sludgy, tedious fantasy adventure."
Still, the fanboy enthusiasm brought to the project by director Duncan Jones seems to have caught on. In an interview with The Daily Beast, he explained how much it mattered to him during the development of the movie to stay true to the feeling of the original game:
"We wanted to do what 'Warcraft' does, which is allow you to play any character and see yourself as the hero."
Do you play Warcraft? Did you enjoy the movie, or if you haven't seen it, are you planning on it?