“Warcraft” is such an astounding blockbuster hit in China that legendary movie star Jackie Chan says it will terrify Americans and make people want to learn Chinese.
“Warcraft”, a film with a $160 million budget, made $24.3 million during its debut weekend in North America. The movie has been called a “domestic disaster” with poor reviews from critics. It is speculated that the film will make a total of $55 to $65 million in the U.S. where it is considered a flop.
China is a different story. On its first day in China, “Warcraft” brought in $46 million. On its second day in China, “Warcraft” had raked in a total of $91 million. It is a record-breaking success in China and has outgrossed films like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Iron Man 3”.
Jackie Chan, inspired by Warcraft’s unquestionable success in China, believes it will motivate filmmakers to learn Chinese. According to The Hollywood Reporter, during the Shanghai International Film Festival, Chan said:
“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 RMB ($1.5 billion), then people from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese, instead of us learning English.
“It is you, not us who makes China powerful. So, thank you all — we hope the Chinese film industry gets even more powerful.”
Warcraft has become the 25th film in history to earn more than $150 million in China. It is expected to total $275 million in China. It’s uncertain whether Chan meant $1.5 billion worldwide or domestically. However, it’s not unlikely that a Chinese film can be a $1.5 billion domestic-grosser given the country’s growth. China has grown to become the world’s second largest box office and is predicted to surpass North America in 2017.
The country is also erecting more movie screens. President of Wanda Cinemas, Zeng Maojun, believes that the ideal number of movie screens in the country is 80,000. Warcraft has been shown on 68% of all screens in China.
It’s undeniable that getting movies to Chinese theaters is a priority for filmmakers. Only 35 foreign films appear at Chinese cinemas each year. Worldwide, Warcraft has earned $286.1. The film will make at least $320 million worldwide and potentially hit $400 million, according to Forbes.
Avatar was the highest-grossing movie in history. Worldwide, it brought in $2.7 billion. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has the most earnings from a single continent. It raked in $936.6 million from North America.
Warcraft was produced by Legendary Studios, which was acquired by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, for $3.5 billion in January. Jianlin, the CEO of Dalian Wanda Group, also bought out the AMC theaters chain. Jianlin is known as an advocate of “local culture” and recently put down Shanghai Disneyland for its purported “lack of innovation.”