In years past there’s been examples of films from “Pacific Rim” to “The Adventures of Tintin” that have been ‘saved’ by international box-office returns so robust that they negate the harmful impact of a soft domestic bow.
When Duncan Jones’ $160 million “Warcraft” film opened and made a grand total of $47 million at the domestic box office, the talk of an obvious flop was there – at least until the international numbers came in. Not only did the film do well in many overseas territories, in China alone it pulled in $220.8 million. To date it holds the record for the biggest disparity between domestic and foreign receipts of any studio film with only 10.9% of its $433 million worldwide box-office coming from the United States.
The Chinese success has effectively greenlit a sequel and now it has been suggested that the new film could be the first English-language movie from an American production company that will get a theatrical release in China and not the Unitied States.
Speaking with The Wrap, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan partner Sky Moore spoke about U.S.-China co-production deals and revealed the possibility of making the follow-up film a much more Chinese production: “Who says it needs to have American actors? I would suspect that the sequel would be more China-centric. It’s very possible it wouldn’t be released here [in the United States].”
Moore says as the Chinese market continues to grow, people should “expect more remakes in China of movies that did well there and not-so-well here. It’s a big enough market.”
“Warcraft” had several advantages in its favor – from Legendary’s acquisition by China’s Dalian Wanda Group which is also China’s largest movie theater operator, to the film getting a massive social media marketing push, to the fact that the country is estimated to be home to about half the world’s ‘World of Warcraft’ players which gives it a built-in fanbase.
No word on when a “Warcraft” sequel might go into production at this point.