Just as expected, Warcraft took in a decent, but not impressive amount of money at the domestic box office market. However, as also predicted, the international market is eating this flick up like a kid and their Saturday morning cereal. With $261.7 million of its $286.1 million total gross being made in overseas markets, the majority of the money Duncan Jones' video-game adaptation has made is coming from Chinese audiences - a fact that has not escaped native film star Jackie Chan. In fact, he thinks Warcraft's success might spell trouble for the American based film industry, due to China's gaining influence.
Chan's remarks were part of a conversation at the Shanghai Film Festival, and The Hollywood Reporter picked up on the following specific remarks:
Warcraft made 600 million RMB ($91 million) in two days --- this has scared the Americans. If we can make a film that earns 10 billion ($1.5 billion), then people from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese, instead of us learning English.
Interestingly enough, Jackie Chan's statements remarks aren't too far off from the truth, as analysts have predicted that China will be the largest theatrical market by next year. Considering that the American box office made $11 billion last year, Chan's prediction of a Chinese film making $1.5 billion dollars wouldn't seem to far off. However, his remarks about a Chinese made film are a little harder to parse out, as Chinese films are still slowly creeping into the American marketplace.
If anything, Jackie Chan's prediction could come true thanks to the massive acquisitions of Hollywood based studios, like Dailan Wanda Group's acquisition of Warcraft studio Legendary Pictures. If Legendary manages to land a film that kills it in the American film market, as well as the Chinese market, a $1.5 billion opening could be a possibility. Pacific Rim 2, now would be a good time to shine like the diamond you know you are.
As much as Jackie Chan would like to think that the Chinese film market could overtake the American market, there are still powerhouse studios like Disney and 20th Century Fox that knock films like Captain America: Civil War and Deadpool out of the park. With their brand recognition, and heavily stacked libraries of marketable properties, it'll take more than the success of a film like Warcraft to send those titans of industry to their knees. However, it would be foolish not to take into account the Chinese market's importance on the world stage, and as such it will continue to influence the product that will be made by studios worldwide. So while it may take some time, it may not be a question of if, but when Jackie Chan's prophesy comes true.
Warcraft is in theaters now.