1st Hollywood mega-hit in China
acquisition to be viewed as successful. So Wanda is pulling out all the stops to make sure the first movie released in China under the acquisition should not surprise anyone,” he said.
The Warcraft games are already popular in China, but the studio promoted the film heavily, partnering with Tencent and Huayi Brothers Media, creating brand sponsorship deals and merchandising around the movie. It worked with brands like Jeep, Lenovo, Intel and an herbal tea maker to market the film, according to the Los Angeles Times.
It helped that decision-makers at those brands were Warcraft players themselves, Peter Loehr, CEO of Legendary East, the company’s China arm, told the Times.
Warcraft’s success doesn’t come as a surprise, given the fandom around the game, said Jonathan Papish, a writer at China Film Insider. “It makes sense given that demographic,” he said.
On the film’s performance in China, film star Jackie Chan said Warcraft’s earnings should worry Hollywood executives.
“Warcraft made 600 million yuan in two days,” Chan said this past weekend at a Shanghai film festival. “This has scared Americans. If we can make a film that earns $10 billion, then people from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese, instead of us learning English.”
China’s videogame- playing population may be giving rise to a trend. During a Monday announcement of his new production company in China, Hollywood director Renny Harlin said he is set to direct anadaptation of Legend of the Ancient Sword, a popular Chinese video game.
A fan livestreams her participation during China’s premiere of the film Warcraft at a theatre in Shanghai on June 7.