Is Legendary Moving Ahead With More WARCRAFT Films?

Could Legendary Pictures be moving ahead with plans for a Warcraft sequel? Despite an underwhelming performance at the domestic box office, the film is currently the highest grossing video game movie of all-time.

Legendary Pictures and its partner studio, Universal Pictures, undoubtedly had high hopes for the live-action Warcraft movie.  Director Duncan Jones was a big fan and long-time player of the RTS Blizzard game and was adamant proponent of the notion that the film should stay true to the game's lore.  However the film opened June 10 in the US and faced steep competition from X-Men: Apocalypse (05/27), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (06/03),  The Conjuring 2 (06/10), Central Intelligence (06/17) and Finding Dory (06/17). 

As a result, (to date) the film has only managed to grossed only $46.5 million domestically, from an estimated production budget of $160 million. However, the film has performed very well internationally, collecting $376.2 million and counting.  Presently, the film's worldwide gross stands at $422.7 million.  At first glance, that's a respectable gross that nearly triples the estimated production budget.  However, with 89% of the film's gross coming from international markets that number is misleading.  That's because the return from international markets is much less than the profit split between theaters and film studios in North America.  It's generally agreed that the domestic box office gross is split 50:50 by theaters and film studios, but internationally, film studios only receive 1/3 of the gross.  That would mean Legendary and Universal will receive $23.25 million from Warcraft's 46.5 million domestic haul but only $124.2 million from the film's international gross.  Collectively, that gives the studio a $147.5 million return, just short of the estimated production budget of $160. 

However, Warcraft fans shouldn't throw in the towel on a sequel just yet, this scenario is almost identical to the predicament Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim found itself in.  Recently, that film had a sequel greenlit but it appears it will have a new director, screenwriter and leading cast.  Another reason to take heart is the fact that the film's Chinese Twitter account is seemingly confirming that not one but multiple sequels are in the works.  But will they ever be released in the US?  Given the film's poor performance in North America, many analysts and critics think the film would be better off releasing any potential sequel directly to VOD or even on Netflix.

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