Will Warcraft Conquer Legendary’s Box Office Doldrums?

WarcraftLegendary, despite a somewhat acrimonious split from production partner Warner Bros, has been trying to make a go of it with Universal Pictures.

This new partnership has been an uneven one–with recent titles like Straight Outta Compton and Jurassic World doing massive box office, while Crimson Peak has so far underperformed with a total cume of $62 million on a $55 million budget–and Steve Jobs appears to flat-lining with a take of $14 million (luckily it’s relatively cheap at $30 million).

The worse hit they have suffered has been Michael Mann’s cyber-terrorist thriller, Blackhat (earning almost $18 million on a $70 million budget).

Though I get the feeling that they may be another sore spot, and that’s Warcraft, based on the Blizzard Entertainment video game of the same name.  While the budget isn’t currently known, it’s been estimated higher than $100 million, a not prohibitively expensive amount as far as these movies go, but hardly inexpensive.

As far as I can tell, it’s greatest problem is one of name recognition.  Who’s heard of Warcraft beyond gamers, a group not large enough to put a movie into the black.  It doesn’t have the broad and deep support of a Harry Potter or Lord Of The Rings so if the movie’s to be a success it has to reach beyond its current fanbase into uncharted territory.

The feature is being directed by Duncan Jones, who was in demand coming off Moon and Source Code.  The thing is the budget of both of those features isn’t half the budget of Warcraft, which isn’t to imply that he can’t do well (after all Colin Trevorrow had never worked on anything as large as Jurassic World, and he knocked that out of the park) but stakes rise exponentially with the increase in cost.

Then there’s the most important thing, namely that when people are talking about upcoming movies that they want to see, it’s usually in reference to Star Wars: The Force Awakens or even Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, and not Warcraft–which is supposed to release a trailer this Friday–which Legendary hopes to change.

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