'Warcraft' Could Break This Curse

Movies based on video games do not have the greatest track record, with films like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider all receiving negative reviews from critics, but the new film Warcraft could be the one to break the mold. Fans are excited to see it, and many are already wondering if a Warcraft sequel could be on the way to make the new movie into a big, blockbuster franchise.

It certainly seems like this current movie was not meant to be a one-off. World of Warcraft is a very popular gaming franchise with a ton of installments, so the material is there for countless sequels. The film is also the first movie produced by video game company Blizzard Entertainment, and they've been developing it for 10 years. That level of commitment doesn't sound like Blizzard was looking to spend a lot of time and money (Warcraft's budget is a reported $160 million) just for one pet project. Rather, it sounds as if the company was looking to become a major player in film production — with Warcraft movies being the cornerstone. Even Warcraft's director, Duncan Jones, told Christina Radish of Collider that he envisions his film as the first in a trilogy. But intentions are one thing. How likely is it that another Warcraft movie will actually happen?

Like any other new movie, the answer ultimately will depend on how well Warcraft performs at the box office. Variety reports that the film is tracking for a $25 million opening weekend, which would put it below its low budget horror sequel competition, The Conjuring 2. But overseas, the film is expected to fare much better. It has already opened in 19 territories worldwide ahead of its U.S. release on June 10, and has amassed a total of $69 million. That's a pretty solid start, but the real test will be when the film hits China.

CGI-filled movies often find a saving grace with Chinese audiences these days, but Warcraft is an extra special case since the franchise is hugely popular in that country. According to Matt Pressberg of International Business Times, the film's Chinese ticket presale numbers are on pace to top those of Furious 7, which brought in a whopping $391 million in China and stands as the highest-grossing Hollywood movie ever in that country.

So if the Chinese show up as furiously for Warcraft as they did for Furious 7, the film could be looking at a total worldwide gross of $600 - $700 million, which would be more than enough to keep the Warcraft movies coming.

Images: Universal Pictures; Giphy