Why The Meg Needs To Win Big At The Box Office Overseas

The Meg

Just because a movie doesn't do well domestically doesn't mean that it's totally screwed. If the last decade has taught us anything in Hollywood, it's that overseas markets sometimes have totally different reactions to material that Americans don't click with, and it creates the potential to generate lots and lots of money. It's worked out well for the Transformers movies, as well as the Resident Evil series, and now it looks like Jon Turteltaub's The Meg is hoping to generate a similar box office ratio - as estimates for here at home don't look great.

The Hollywood Reporter has published their forecast for the weekend ahead at the box office, and things aren't looking so super for the giant shark movie. It does look like the feature should be able to walk away from the three day stretch with the new title "Number One Movie in America," beating out Mission: Impossible - Fallout and Christopher Robin, but it looks like it will only earn that crown with a take between $20 and 22 million. That's not exactly fantastic for a film with a reported budget of $130 million (the trade suggests it's more like $150 million), as that kind of start will make it hard for it to make its money back domestically.

Obviously the folks at Warner Bros. would prefer that The Meg make a crazy amount of money in the United States, but with that probably not happening, the back-up plan is hoping that the rest of the worldwide audience connects with it. The action-adventure feature is debuting simultaneously in China this weekend, and the movie notably has a lot of influence from the country. These Chinese studio Gravity took on a "significant portion" of the budget, and the second most significant character in the story - a.k.a. second fiddle to Jason Statham - is star Li Bingbing, who, funny enough, has also been a part of the Resident Evil and Transformers franchises.

Also starring Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao and Cliff Curtis, The Meg begins at an advanced underwater facility that is trying to explore new depths of the ocean floor. A successful mission winds up breaking new ground for the crew, but it also creates a bit of a problem when they discover that they have inadvertently allowed the escape of a prehistoric creature known as a Megalodon. Realizing the number of lives they have put at risk, they band together to try and think of a way to stop the monster shark before it winds up claiming thousands of lives.

The Meg is currently splitting critics, and it will be interesting to see how audiences react to it - which we will be able to see this weekend when the CinemaScore is released. We'll be tracking the film closely, and be sure to return to CinemaBlend on Sunday for my full box office report.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.