‘Warcraft’ Movie Has Second Biggest Opening Day Ever in China

Despite less-than-favorable reviews, the Warcraft movie hit it big in China, pulling in $46 million in its first day. While the haul wasn’t quite big enough to match the opening day of Fast and Furious 7, which pulled in $63 million in its first day, the video game adaptation, which cost $160 million to make, easily beat out Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Captain America: Civil War, and other big-name movies. The movie made $7.6 million just in midnight previews.

The two-day total for the Warcraft movie is estimated to be more than $90 million, and according to Legendary, this makes Warcraft the fastest movie to cross $90 million in sales. The initial estimates had sales around $120 million to $150 million in its first five days, however, given the current sales, that number could end up being much higher.

Warcraft is not faring well with critics, with the majority of reviews being lackluster at best, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the fans in China from hitting the theater in droves. The movie has already brought in about $75 million internationally, but focusing on the Chinese market makes sense. Half of the World of Warcraft video game’s five million players live in China, and sci-fi movies have found recent success there.

Experts are predicting much lower sales when the film opens in the U.S. and Canada this week, estimating the total could be as low as $22 million. Warcraft is competing against The Conjuring 2, which is expected to take the top spot this weekend, and Now You See Me 2, which is also expected to do well.

The Warcraft movie is based on the popular video game series World of Warcraft. The first game came out in 1994, but the series didn’t hit its stride until Worlds of Warcraft — one of the most-played video games out there today — came out in 2004. According to Vox, the movie, like the game, centers around a battle between humans and orcs after the orcs arrive through a magic portal linked to their dying world Draenor.

Despite the battle, the majority of the orcs are not evil creatures — they are simply trying to survive the destruction of their world. There are the obligatory “bad guys,” primarily an evil warlock named Gul’dan, but according to Vox, there is no clear line between good and evil among the orcs.

According to Venture Beat, fans of the video game will appreciate the fact that the characters are recognizable, there are little parts throughout the movie that only long-time players of the game will recognize and love, and the story follows roughly the same plot. One of the biggest complaints about video game movies is that they completely depart from the core of the game people love, resulting in many upset fans. By sticking closer to the game, it is possible that Warcraft will manage to pull in their loyal game fans.

The film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Robert Kazinsky, and more. The majority of the cast is unrecognizable in the movie thanks to heavy makeup and CGI effects. Legendary has released a slideshow of the actors with their character counterpart to showcase the huge transformation they went through.

No doubt before official sequel plans are made, the studio will be looking to see whether the film outperforms the expectations for the North American box office and just how big it gets in China. Director Duncan Jones has had no problem admitting that he plans to have more than one movie and claims he has set the sequels up perfectly in the first installment.

The Warcraft movie hits theaters this weekend in Canada and the United States, with many theaters doing early midnight screenings.

[Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images]