Warcraft opened at the US box office last week amidst scathing critical reviews to a slim $US24.4 million ($32.9 million), but it’s a completely different story in the apparently Warcraft-mad China, where after just five days the film has cinched the title of the largest foreign debut in Chinese history.
As we said before, the Chinese audience for Warcraft is huge — they make up a good chunk of World of Warcraft‘s active subscriber base, and Blizzard’s fantasy series has long been beloved in the country. That love, combined with the fact that there’s also been the Dragon Boat Festival holiday weekend in the country during Warcraft‘s release, has seen the movie take in $US156 million ($210.9 million) in just five days.
How impressive is that? Well, not only does it make Warcraft the largest foreign film debut in China’s history, that’s more than Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Batman v Superman did in their entire box office runs in China (which were $US125.4 million [$169.5 million] and $US95.8 million [$129.5 million] respectively). It’s not the first time a movie’s Chinese success has bolstered a flailing US box office, but this disparity is unprecedented. Looks like Warcraft 2: Bigger, Badder and Orc-ier will be almost guaranteed after this.