Despite the domestic and international commercial triumph that was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it appears that the recently released World of Warcraft will trump the latest installment of the Star Wars saga at the Chinese film box office.
According to Chinese media outlet Yibida, 'Warcraft' has been a revelation in the domestic market of China. The film is based on the hit gaming franchise, World of Warcraft and is fast becoming the second highest grossing film of all time in China. On opening day alone, the film obtained $90 million in gross sales. Yibida predicts the movie will attract $305 million in ticket sales alone.
In comparison, Walt Disney's The Force Awkakens attained $53 million on its opening day, close to two-thirds the amount made by Warcraft on its opening day.
This tells us that Chinese audiences are perhaps not as enchanted with 'Star Wars' as has been initially touted by some film experts. Bloomberg made highlighted this point by stating:
"Star Wars could not replicate the success with Chinese moviegoers when it opened in January given the audience's unfamiliarity with the franchise."
It is also important to note that Warcraft is one of the most popular games played in Chin. The financial success of the Warcraft film is largely based on the popularity of the gaming franchise rather than the story or quality of the film itself - a film which has received a high level of criticism from many film experts, as epitomised with the lowly 24% rating it has received on Rotten Tomatoes and 32% rating on Metacritic.
It also shows that Star Wars will have to do something special to monopolise the Chinese market, if that is Disney and Lucasfilm's intention. However, I would have to agree with reviews made by Variety and Metacritic that Warcraft has nothing on The Force Awakens in terms of acting performances story and visual effects. Warcraft has received most of its grossing success because of it's reputation as a popular gaming franchise rather than a well established film franchise.
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