×

‘Warcraft’ Shatters Records With $156 Million China Debut

Warcraft” racked up a massive $156 million over its first five days in China, setting a new record for the biggest debut for a foreign release in the country’s history.

It’s good news for Legendary and Universal, the backers of the $160 million video game adaptation. “Warcraft” bombed during its stateside premiere this weekend, eking out a $24.4 million debut.

“Warcraft’s” performance in China flew past the high-water mark set for a foreign release in 2015 with “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Despite the tepid response from stateside crowds, “Warcraft” is shaping up to be a box office hit. It’s a sign of the importance of foreign audiences.

“It’s not a different kind of success story, it’s a global success story,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief. “It has to do with the globalization of the theatrical business and the fact that international markets are getting stronger and stronger.”

China is widely expected to pass the United States as the world’s largest market for film by 2017. Foreign crowds have helped rescue troubled pictures in the past, with Asian markets, in particular, reviving the fortunes of films such as “Terminator: Genisys” and “Pacific Rim” after they bombed domestically.

“At some point you’re going to have a hugely budgeted film from a North American company that forgoes a North American release,” predicted Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There are going to be more films that appeal just to that part of the world, the same way there are U.S. films that do no business in the rest of the world.”

“Warcraft” had a lot of elements that accounted for its success in China. Not only is the game, “World of Warcraft,” hugely popular in the country, but Legendary, the film’s producer is owned by Dalian Wanda, one of the countries largest entertainment companies.

The film is doing well in other foreign territories. Its global total now stands at $286.1 million and there are 14 more territories left to open over the next two months. Next weekend, “Warcraft” will debut in Australia, Cyprus, Mexico, New Zealand and Venezuela.

More Film

  • WGA West Logo

    WGA Plans March 25 Member Vote on Talent Agency Rules

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America plan a March 25 vote for members to decide whether to implement tough new restrictions on how Hollywood talent agencies as operate as agents for writer clients. The vote comes as the guild is in the midst of pitched negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents to renew [...]

  • Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'Wandering

    Netflix Buys Chinese Sci-fi Hit 'Wandering Earth'

    Global streaming giant, Netflix has bought rights to “The Wandering Earth,“ the smash hit film which is pitched as China’s first mainstream sci-fi movie. The film was the sleeper hit of Chinese New Year — it opened in fourth position on Feb. 5 — but climbed to the top spot and has not yet relinquished [...]

  • Michael B. JordanAFI Awards Luncheon, Los

    Film News Roundup: Michael B. Jordan's Hitman Drama 'Silver Bear' Gets Director

    In today’s film news roundup, Michael B. Jordan’s “The Silver Bear” finds a director, biopic “Running for My Life” is in the works, Fox is using new trailer compliance software and the 14-hour “La Flor” gets distribution. DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT Gerard McMurray, director of “The First Purge,” will write and direct Michael B. Jordan’s thriller “The [...]

  • Kevin Costner Diane Lane

    Kevin Costner, Diane Lane to Reunite in Suspense Thriller 'Let Him Go'

    Focus Features has tapped Kevin Costner and Diane Lane to star as a husband and wife in the suspense thriller “Let Him Go.” The two also collaborated on “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” as the parents of Superman. Thomas Bezucha (“The Family Stone”) is set to direct his own screenplay, [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth Hulk Hogan

    Chris Hemsworth to Play Hulk Hogan in Biopic for Netflix

    Netflix is in the early stages of developing a Hulk Hogan biopic with Chris Hemsworth attached to star as the wrestling legend and produce. Netflix has obtained the exclusive life rights and consulting services from Terry Gene Bollea AKA Hulk Hogan. Todd Phillips, whose credits include “War Dogs” and “The Hangover” trilogy, is attached to [...]

  • Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant

    Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant Winners

    Swedish documentary filmmaker Anastasia Kirillova and “Negative Space” co-directors Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter are among the filmmakers who will receive grants from Rooftop Films to help complete their upcoming projects. Kirilova will be awarded $20,000 to finish her film, “In the Shadows of Love,” while collaborators Kuwahata and Porter will receive $10,000 for “Dandelion [...]

  • Jim Gianopulos

    Paramount Chief Jim Gianopulos Unveils Diversity Initiative

    Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos has announced that all studio productions will be required to complete a plan to enhance diversity. Wednesday’s reveal follows Paramount’s commitment to participating in Time’s Up and Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s 4% Challenge. The name is derived from women having directed only 4% of the country’s top grossing movies [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content