We live in a very interesting world. It wasn't too long ago that the domestic gross of a Hollywood film was the sole indicator of its financial success. If a film bombed in North America, it was pretty much universally considered a bomb by the studio that produced and distributed it.
However, we live in an increasingly globalized world. Hollywood films hit theaters internationally within a relatively small window from its North American release, and sometimes they even hit markets overseas first. As such, the overseas market has become increasingly vital to a film's success, and in some cases, that market may actually be more valuable than the domestic market.
One big example comes in the form of the recently-released Warcraft film. This is a movie that many fans of the game were looking for, but when it actually came out, it only grossed $47 million worldwide. This would've been a surefire flop ten years ago, but today, it was able to (presumably) more than break even thanks to the overseas market, in which it took $386 million, for a grand total of $433.5 million in box office gross on a $160 million budget. Worth noting in this is the fact that China made up around $220.8 million of that total number.
Because of this, the new report from TheWrap doesn't really come as a huge surprise. According to Sky Moore, partner of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, a company that's worked on several U.S.-China co-productions, a Warcraft sequel may be more "China-centric" than U.S.-centric.
The outlet went on to state that the film may end up not playing in American theaters at all.
Moore stated the following:
“Who says it needs to have American actors? I would suspect that the sequel would be more China-centric. It’s very possible it wouldn’t be released here [in the states].”
Warcraft isn't the only film that's been affected by this new paradigm, and in fact, as soon as 2017, China may have the largest box office of any country, including the U.S.
“I’d expect more remakes in China of movies that did well there and not-so-well here,” Moore said. “It’s a big enough market.”
If you're wondering why Hollywood would bother doing that, consider the fact that Warcraft only made $47 million in the U.S. With that in mind, it's almost a lost cause to try and appeal to U.S. fans with, say, American actors. Since China proved to be such a lucrative market for the film, if they focus on hiring Chinese talent, they could further the chances of appealing to that specific market, and therefore further the chances of making an even greater return on investment for the sequel.
All in all, we're living in a world of change, and very soon we may see a change in how Hollywood distributes its big budget films. In Warcraft's case, we may even see sequels to these films only hit specific overseas markets in wide release, depending on how well the original did.
What an interesting time to be alive.
What do you think about Warcraft getting a sequel overseas? Let us know your thoughts down below!