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In addition to playing the world-straddling leader Kublai Khan in Netflix's big, expensive period action series, Marco Polo, Benedict Wong has carved out a niche in quality UK sci-fi films. He followed Danny Boyle's Sunshine with Duncan Jones' Moon, worked twice with Ridley Scott in The Martian and Prometheus, and recently came aboard Alex Garland's next picture, Annihilation. Before that comes to cinemas, he'll be seen alongside the UK's other acting Benedict in Marvel's Doctor Strange.
Many, of course, will fondly remember Wong as Errol, the optimistic innocent to Sean Lock's cynical misanthropist Vince in cult BBC comedy series 15 Storeys High, or even for a one-time appearance in The It Crowd.
We chatted to him about playing the would-be CEO of the world in Marco Polo, »
Warcraft never really found its feet domestically, and has dropped out of the Top 10 after just three weeks (earning around $2 million over the weekend), and its domestic total of $43 million is much lower than the likes of other adaptations like Silent Hill, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Mortal Kombat and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
However a fantastic campaign outside of the Us has pushed Warcraft over the $400 million mark to $412 million. If you go by the industry rule-of-thumb (that a movie needs to do 2.5x its budget in order to turn a profit), Warcraft is now making money. Expect to hear news of a sequel soon.
See Also: Read our reviews of Warcraft here and here
- Luke Owen
A Marvel picture will soon to be added to actor Benedict Wong’s sterling run of UK sci-fi films, which includes Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, Duncan Jones’ Moon, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and The Martian, as well as, we're pleased to announce, an as-yet-unknown part in Alex Garland’s 2017 sci-fi thriller Annihilation.
The aptly named actor will be playing Wong in Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange, due out in the UK on the 28th of October. In the comics, Wong can be described as a sidekick and valet to Stephen Strange as well as a master of martial arts.
Things have been shaken up for the new film, Benedict Wong told us:
“I’m certainly not going to be the tea-making manservant. We’re heading in a different direction. »
Movies based on video games have generally had a tough time winning over audiences – particularly in the U.S. However, as Warcraft is currently reminding us, international audiences are an entirely different matter. Despite poor reviews and a dismal box-office performance in U.S. theaters, Moon director Duncan Jones' adaptation of the popular fantasy game franchise has become a bona fide hit overseas, and now reigns supreme as the highest-grossing movie based on a video game ever made – and it's only been in theaters two weeks. Still, the buzz – both negative and positive – surrounding Warcraft has put the spotlight back on video game movies, and there's been no shortage of pundits, pessimists, and prognosticators willing to declare movies...
- Rick Marshall
Last week we reported how The Angry Birds Movie had become the second biggest video game movie of all-time and theorised it would overtake Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in the coming weeks. Well it looks like we were a little off base as the worldwide screenings of Warcraft have propelled it to the number one position.
In its second week of domestic release Warcraft dropped an incredible 71% to only take just $6 million, failing to compete against horror sequel The Conjuring 2 and animated juggernaut Finding Dory. However the film is still playing amazingly overseas – in China especially – and it made another $41 million worldwide over the weekend. This brings its total to $377 million, finally knocking Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time from the number one position its held for so long.
The Angry Birds Movie is now the third biggest video game movie of all-time, sitting $10 million »
- Luke Owen
Video game films have a lot of hurdles to overcome in the best situations, but when we’re “adapting” something that doesn’t exactly have a story to adapt (novels aside), pulling something together that can even manage to simply entertain is nearly impossible.
Luckily, the film took a chance on Duncan Jones, whose credits don’t exactly scream “fantasy, tentpole spectacle,” though they do give one a reasonable expectation to deliver “sci-fi storytelling.”
Odd as it may sound for a film that perhaps ultimately lives or dies on its fight scenes and action, Jones’ commitment to characters gives Warcraft its ability to keep things moving. Though this isn’t a film that has the potential to live up to the character-driven approach of Moon, or Source Code (Jones’ only other efforts), it clearly places more value on sticking with motivations and delivering honest characters than most things anywhere near the genre. »
- Marc Eastman
Chinese moviegoers have embraced “Warcraft” with $145 million in its first four days — more than five times the $27 million opening weekend at the U.S. box office.
The China performance makes “Warcraft” the fastest international film ever to top $135 million (900 million Renminbi) in that market. That figure outpaced last year’s four-day record by “Furious 7,” which finished its run in China with $390 million.
The stellar performance in China gives the fantasy actioner a worldwide total of $277 million from 51 markets so far with 23 launching this weekend. It’s opened as the number one film in 45 of those markets, with launches starting May 25.
Russia is the second-best international territory so far with $19.1 million in 16 days.
“Warcraft” took in $1.8 million in its first two days in South Korea and $1.7 million in Taiwan. Ukraine set a record Thursday for top opening day at $233,000.
The videogame adaptation grossed a massive $46 million on its opening day in China. Legendary and Universal backed the $160 million film, which needs a lift from foreign audiences in view of prospects for moderate performance in North America, where it’s projected to finish in second place, 30% behind the opening of “The Conjuring 2.”
Universal is distributing the film in most of the world, aside from China, where China Film Group and Huaxia are handling the rollout.
- Dave McNary
Duncan Jones has had a tumultuous few years so we wanted to honor him with a quick Posterized today. In January the 45 year old filmmaker lost his father David Bowie (he's the superstar's only son). His first child is due this month. His other new baby, the long-gestating video game big screen adaptation Warcraft is getting savaged by the critics.
It wasn't so long ago that he was getting 'Hot New Director' drooling from the media, starting off strong with the sci-fi drama Moon. His second film Source Code wasn't as ecstatically received but performed decently. Three films isn't much to go on so we shall maintain high hopes. Do you think he will rally with a fourth film and make good on that initial promise? His next sci-fi film -- he's not straying from his preferred genre -- is called Mute, and stars Alexander Skarsgård as a »
- NATHANIEL R
My introduction to Blizzard’s popular Warcraft universe happened at a friend’s house. We couldn’t put the game down because we just wanted to see the next in-game cinematic. In the late 90’s that was the reward for playing a game. The animation is crude by today’s standards but at the time I thought it was the most radical thing I’d ever seen. Check out any of Blizzard’s more recent work and you’ll see what I believe to be some the best CG animation in the video game industry. It’s safe to say that I was excited when Blizzard announced plans to make a full-length Warcraft movie…10 years ago.
Directed by Duncan Jones (Source Code, Moon), Warcraft takes place in the realm of Azeroth. A peaceful civilization on the brink of invasion by the Orcish Horde, who must flee their dying homeworld to colonize another. »
- Caleb Richards
Directed by Duncan Jones.
The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.
Never once while watching Warcraft (the silver screen adaptation from the video game and novel lore of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft franchise) did I feel that director Duncan Jones had made a terrible movie, but rather one that was not meant for those unfamiliar with the series, »
- Robert Kojder
Chicago – The best that can be said for the video game adaptation “Warcraft” is that it’s not the incoherent, CGI heavy and Michael-Bay-type nightmare it could have been. It’s still somewhat incoherent – full of computer generated cannon fodder – but I am surprised and happy to report it did not induce any headaches, even in pointless 3-D.
“Warcraft” is less a video game movie – based on the online phenomenon “World of Warcraft” – and more of a third rate “Lord Of The Rings” ripoff. This time a group of human knights and kings form an uneasy alliance with a band of pensive, monster-like “Orcs” to take down a greater and deeper magic that threatens to destroy the entire world.
The plot involves a sinister corrupting form of magic known as the Fell. It’s main side effect seems to be bringing a greenish tint to the eyes of all whom it touches, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The film tells the story of a journalist couple who invite a man and woman into their idyllic village home, but what begins with an informal interview descends into a nightmarish fight for survival.
The feature marks the first for former Maven Pictures senior »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
It really didn’t sit too well with us here at Thn Towers, and it is set to open in U.S. cinemas this weekend, by Warcraft is already doing really rather well over in the China. The film has already taken a huge $90 million… in just two days.
According to Legendary, who are behind the mammoth production, the film has taken Rmb 595-605 million, which is approximately $90.6 – $92.2 million, almost matching Furious 7 in the land, and we all know how well that movie ended up doing. The film has also made around $78 million from the other territories around the world, including he UK, where it was released a couple of weeks ago.
This should please Legendary and Universal, who looks like may have a big, big hit on their hands.
The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race »
- Paul Heath
“Warcraft” feasted on a record $90 million in its first two days in China, including the highest Thursday box office of all time in the country, with an estimated $46 million.
The fantasy thriller topped the previous two-day record of $88 million set last year by “Furious 7.”
The Thursday gross also beat the $37 million record set earlier this year by the local film “The Mermaid.” “Warcraft” accounted for 81% of the Chinese box office on Thursday.
The video game adaptation grossed a massive $46 million on its opening day in the Middle Kingdom.
Legendary backed the $160 million film, which needs a lift from foreign audiences. It opens Friday in North America, where it’s projected to pull in $25 million against the openings of “The Conjuring 2” and “Now You See Me 2.”
Universal is distributing the film in most of the world, aside from China, where China Film Group and Huaxia are handling the rollout. »
- Dave McNary
For my money, there are few up and coming filmmakers who are more exciting to follow than Duncan Jones. He is a director who consistently puts out unique movies that make you always want to see what he has up his sleeve next. This week, he goes big and blockbuster for the first time with Warcraft, based on the obsessively played online computer game. It’s my least favorite work from Jones, I concede that, having loved Moon and dug Source Code, but it’s his most ambitious, so that’s of note too, as well. That being said, it’s finally getting him into the mainstream, so I can take that as a real positive. It may even get a passion project or two of his (like the science fiction tale Mute) off the ground! This epic film is an adaptation of the video game World of Warcraft. It »
- Joey Magidson
Following the weekend’s box office, we reported that Duncan Jones’ Warcraft (or Warcraft: The Beginning) had worked its way up to $70 million worldwide. Although some are theorising a pretty poor run domestically, it has performed exceptionally well in China.
After a whopping $7.6 million from midnight screenings, Warcraft brought home $46 million from its China opening according to first estimates. This is the second biggest opening for an American movie behind last year’s Furious 7, and it has vastly outperformed Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. It could end up with $170-$200 million in China alone.
If the movie can keep up this pace oversees, the $160 million video game movie might see some sequels after all.
Warcraft opens this weekend in North America, and experts say it could earn upwards of $25 million with a projected total of $75 million. »
- Luke Owen
Welcome to a new installment of “The Preview Reel” where we look at the week’s upcoming wide release movies. This summer has seen its fair share of sequels, and while there are plenty more on the way, this weekend features two from a couple of 2013’s surprise hits. The Conjuring 2 brings back stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, along with director James Wan, for another spooky adventure from the case files of the Warrens, while Now You See Me 2 brings back most of its magicians (and a new wizard) for another magical con job. Then there is the long-delayed, big-budgeted Warcraft, based on the best-selling video game from director Duncan Jones. It’s another busy week, let’s break them down:
What we are excited about:
The Conjuring was one of the best surprises during the summer of 2013 as it provided incredibly tense horror sequences, »
- Scott Davis
Movie premieres are weird. Even more so when the movie's based on a video game property that has eaten nearly a decade of your life (off and on). But when you’re asked to see Warcraft at the Tcl Chinese Theater in glorious IMAX 3D, you yell “For The Horde!” put on a fancy party dress, and proceed to throw your analytical mind out the window because Oh My God, That Fan Is Dressed As An Arakkoa!!!!! Last night was the premiere of Duncan Jones' (Moon) latest film, Warcraft. Based on the Blizzard video game franchise of the same name, Warcraft pits humans against orcs in the ultimate battle for the survival of the world (Azeroth). Nearly three years in the making, the movie features cutting edge special effects from Ilm that pushed the boundaries of CGI characters. But can a lore-dense video game be converted into a film for general audiences? »
- Donna Dickens
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Duncan Jones, the director of Moon and Source Code, is tired of seeing great video games being turned into lacklustre films, and it was his desire to reverse this trend that motivated him to want to bring Warcraft: The Beginning to the big screen, along with his own personal relationship with the Warcraft universe, which has spanned more than twenty years.
Jones devoted three years of his life to the making of this film, a process that saw him also assume scripting chores. If his endeavor proves to be successful, this commitment will only deepen, which is why Jones, the son of legendary musician and occasional actor David Bowie, wanted to follow-up Warcraft with another film, Mute, an independent science fiction thriller that Jones began shooting shortly after finishing post-production work on Warcraft.
“I needed a break from Warcraft, after three years, and I »
- David Grove
Jamie Lee Curtis isn’t even in the cast of Warcraft, but she’s the one who was getting the most attention on the carpet for the movie’s world premiere in Los Angeles on Monday. The actress made the Warcraft premiere a family affair, bringing her son, Thomas Guest. Both whom are professed fans of the Blizzard Entertainment role-playing game World of Warcraft. “We’re serious about our games,” Curtis told Entertainment Tonight. “I think that what Blizzard has done has changed the universe.” Photo credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage The mother-son pair cosplayed an orc shaman and a warrior, as she noted on Twitter (believe me, I wouldn’t have known who they were dressed as otherwise, though HitFix’s Donna Dickens, whose Warcraft uber-expert questions kept getting shot down on her trip to Ilm, certainly wouldn’t need a tweet to tell her who they’re cosplaying). #WarcraftMovie »
- Emily Rome
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