Warcraft has been in theaters for a while now, and now that the dust has settled, how well has it done?
For all intents and purposes, Warcraft has flopped domestically, and hard. It barely scraped by with $24.2 million on the first weekend, and that gross dropped by 73% the following weekend. It seems as though nobody in the US outside of Warcraft fans had much interest in seeing the movie. The mixed reviews and the general stigma toward both fantasy and video game movies probably kept a lot of fans away, and virtually all of the general public.
Elsewhere, though, Warcraft has seen loads of success, especially in China. There it had the second biggest opening day ever, but the movie also didn’t open on the weekend, and in terms of specifically non-weekend openings, Warcraft has reigned supreme in China and has done pretty well in other markets, too. So much so that it might keep the movie’s box office afloat despite poor performance in the US.
The movie hasn’t done well enough to guarantee a sequel, but I wouldn’t write it off quite yet. It is the most successful video game adaptation ever, but that bar hasn’t exactly been set too high by previous video game movies. To date, Warcraft has made just under $380 million globally and will evidently need to make about $450 million total to break even, so it’s not in the clear yet, but I’m hopeful. Normally, China takes a pretty large cut out of ticket sales , but since Legendary Pictures is owned by the Chinese Wanda Group, the math might break down differently, and considering how much China loves the movie, who knows. Maybe they’ll bankroll the sequel(s) themselves.
Personally, I saw it opening weekend and quite liked it. While much of the criticism was on point, that didn’t prevent it from being highly enjoyable. The movie could’ve used more room to breathe (which probably had something to do with 40 minutes being cut), and the human characters were a bit underdeveloped compared to the Orcs. For the horde, I guess?
The movie however had so much fan service and passion for the Warcraft franchise that it’s easy to overlooked the few niggles that were present. Azeroth (and Outland) were both fantastically realized, and so were many of the iconic locations. The movie had some Stellar fight scenes, too.
Duncan Jones set out to accomplish loads of world-building and general setting up for the franchise with this movie, and the fact that it didn’t completely crumble under that weight, and in the end turned out to be quite entertaining, is a testament.