Warcraft Movie Will Ultimately Lose Money, But a Sequel Could Still Happen
Blame that big budget.
As we've heard previously, the Warcraft movie was a flop in the United States, but did well overseas. That international success still won't be enough to save it from losing money, though, according to a new report.
Of the $430 million Warcraft earned worldwide, a whopping 89 percent came from outside of the United States. The movie made almost $221 million--more than half of the total gross--in China alone, while the US generated just $46.6 million of the gross.
"Warcraft is a strange box-office beast and unlike anything the industry has seen," analyst Jeff Bock told The Hollywood Reporter. "If China didn't end up grossing what it did, this would have been an utter failure. Now it's only a mild concussion."
With a budget of $160 million, sources connected to the movie expect it to lose about $15 million. This contradicts earlier reports that it would make its money back on the strength of the Chinese market.
Warcraft director Duncan Jones has said he has ideas for sequels, but like the 40-minute-longer extended cut, those will depend upon the success of the first movie. A loss wouldn't bode well for any of this, but Bock suggested a sequel is not out of the question.
"In fact, sequels have been okayed with [lower grosses]--just look at Legendary's Pacific Rim," he said.
Pacific Rim getting a sequel is no guarantee that Warcraft will; MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler is skeptical one will happen. Another anonymous source says a plan is already in place for such a project, but admitted it would need a lower budget to happen.
Reviews of Warcraft were not especially enthusiastic (read GameSpot's here), though it still managed to open in the No. 2 spot in the US in June--one or two places ahead of where it was expected to land. That was still a weak start for the movie, however, with it only going on to make about $24 million in its opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. Given the movie's budget, that simply wasn't enough.
Despite looking like a money-loser, Warcraft has become the top-grossing video game movie ever, surpassing Prince of Persia ($336 million globally). Assassin's Creed will look to break that mark later this year.