Unless Google Translate lied to me, this is how you write “Stupid film critics know nothing” in Chinese: “愚蠢的影評人什麼都不知道”. If you’re wondering about the significance of this language lesson, it’s because that is probably a phrase being written/said all through China lately as Duncan Jones’ Warcraft has gone on to break box office records in the Asian market despite mixed to poor reviews from many film reviewers (I actually dug it).
And buoyed on by that huge Chinese box office success, Warcraft – which is based on Blizzard’s long running strategy/role-playing franchise – can now also claim the title of being the most successful video game feature film adaptation of all time. Box Office Mojo revealed the accolade, which the big budget fantasy adventure achieved this week when it eclipsed the $336 million global tally of 2010’s Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Currently Warcraft is sitting on a worldwide total of $378.4 million at the time of this writing, which is definitely not much in comparison to something like Captain America: Civil War‘s $1.14 billion, but as far as video game movie adaptation goes, it’s tops.
What’s of course most interesting about that figure is that the film is a massive undeniable flop domestically – only 10% ($38.4 million) of Warcraft‘s total earnings have come from the US, with the rest all coming from international markets. Many other domestic flops have been rescued by big international earnings (here’s looking at you, Pacific Rim), but that kind of lopsided split is certainly unprecedented. And with the $204 million from China alone already making back the film’s $160 million budget with profit, it looks highly likely that we’re going to be getting the sequel that Jones and co clearly planned for. And which the young writer-director would be more than willing to tackle himself again.
@KenrickBlock if it becomes an option, I'd love to.
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) June 19, 2016
Of course, we should not expect that sequel to materialize anytime soon though. The first film finished principal photography back in 2014 already and then had to go two years’ worth of post production to pull off all the incredibly detailed CG characters and landscapes. But whenever the sequel does show up, I’ll be there to see it. Warcraft certainly had its fair share of faults, and its biggest in my opinion was the insane headlong rush it threw itself in to try and establish this world. There was so much frantic setup and character introductions going on, that its ability to get you engaged in the film’s leads were severely hampered. Now that all the groundwork has been laid though, Jones can get on with telling this epic fantasy tale properly.
Warcraft is in cinemas right now.
Last Updated: June 22, 2016