Not Even China Could Save the Warcraft Movie

Illustration for article titled Not Even China Could Save the Warcraft Movie

The Warcraft movie may have tanked in the United States, but it did much better abroad. Although it never even cracked $50 million in the U.S., the film’s massive success in China accounted for more than half of Warcraft’s $430 million total box office—and yet, Warcraft is still poised to lose money.

Even with a Chinese premiere that was the largest foreign debut in that county’s history and $430 million made, Warcraft is still not going to make a profit. Last month, The Hollywood Reporter estimated that the movie would need $450 million to break even. Its theatrical run has already begun slowing down, leaving it about $20 million short or breaking even right now.

According to The Hollywood Reporter’s sources close to the film, the final deficit will end up being about $15 million. (Others, not including the Chinese digital deal and merchandising, put the loss at between $30 and $40 million.) $15 million is a low loss for a movie that cost $160 million to make, butHollywood math is not like regular math.


This puts a damper on the idea that success in China paved the way for a Warcraft sequel. Warcraft 2: The Search for More Money isn’t looking nearly as likely as did when the movie started taking China by storm. If there is one, it’s going to have be a whole lot cheaper than the first movie was.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

Katharine is the Associate Director of Policy and Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the former managing editor of io9. She writes about technology policy and pop culture.

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Warcraft - which got terrible reviews and had no big name stars - made $430 million. It is a flop, because the marketing and production budgets were so high.

John Carter - decent reviews, but still no big stars - made $285 million. Also a flop due to production and marketing costs.

There is an audience for this material. But the CGI has to be more cost effective and the marketing smarter.