Honestly, it never seemed like American audiences were interested in the film version of ‘Warcraft’, Universal’s cinematic adaptation of Blizzard’s popular fantasy MMORPG. The trailers generated little buzz while online chatter mostly centered on what some perceived as bad CGI. But guess what? Universal Studios doesn’t care.
The studio seemed to know that the film would not be successful in the U.S. and really didn’t bother trying to market the movie here. Instead they focused their attention on China, which is rapidly becoming the second largest market for U.S. films and a major factor when it comes to studios’ decision to greenlight a film and how they market them after they do. The nation also boasts over five million subscribers to ‘World of Warcraft’, one of the largest audiences for the game.
While ‘Warcraft’ took in a weak $24 million in its opening weekend in the U.S., it raked in an amazing $156M in five days in China– the highest opening in that country EVER. This was following a media blitz in that country, which included sending the main cast over for a press junket.
In addition, Universal released the film in many other foreign markets weeks before dropping it for the North American public. The reason behind that is that the U.S. is still quite the taste-maker and had the film opened and flopped here first, it would have poisoned the film for other markets. (Once again, Universal clearly knew they had a stinker on their hands, when it came to us ‘Muricans.) By releasing it overseas first, that allowed those audiences to check the film out and make up their own minds without being swayed.
Worldwide, ‘Warcraft’ has already made an amazing $304.6 million.
So regardless of its meager U.S. opening, it looks like a franchise has been born.
Director Duncan Jones stated:
“You don’t make films this big and not hope that you’re going to get the chance to make maybe one or two more. I know Chris Metzen, who works at Blizzard and myself have talked about, if we have the chance to make a trilogy, what would story be? And what we set up in this film, I think, I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying… The Orcs had a home, they lost their home. Duratan, who’s chieftain of the Frost Worlds has tried to bring his people somewhere to give them a new home. At the end of this movie they don’t quite have that new home yet. I would hope by the end of the trilogy we know where the Orcs are going to live.”
The film isn’t sunk in the U.S. It could still perform decently, and there’s always home video. But it looks like in this case, it doesn’t matter. Regardless of American opinion, this film is already a huge success worldwide and that could easily lead to more, whether we want it or not. But hopefully, Universal will follow the same formula and take the follow-ups abroad before trying to sell it in the U.S.
Did you see ‘Warcraft’? Would you like to see more?
Source: Geek Tyrant