The impressive success of ‘Warcraft: The Beginning’ at China’s box office is currently under scrutiny following claims that Chinese conglomerate the Wanda Group may be fiddling the figures.
The allegations surfaced as the film’s worldwide box office total broke the record set by 2010’s 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’, making it the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time.
Chinese conglomerate the Wanda Group is the focus of the accusations, which have primarily been made on social media (via China Film Insider). The company, which bought 'Warcraft’ production company Legendary Pictures for $3.5 billion in February, also owns a large number of cinemas in China.
A whopping 82 of these cinemas appeared in the top 100 highest-grossing cinemas in China this past Saturday, which fell on 'Warcraft’s second weekend in theatres. Typically, the number is around 40.
This led to accusations that the numbers had been manipulated. Wanda released a statement on Monday explaining the situation, claiming it attributes to the nationwide promotional campaign Wanda has laid on for the film, which lead to “record numbers of consumers”.
As surprising as ‘Warcraft’s success in China has been, it’s not a complete shock. The game on which the film is based - ‘World of Warcraft’ - is enormously popular in the country.
Around the world 'Warcraft’ has been less of a success, especially in the US - where the film tanked on its three-day opening weekend.
Picture Credits: Universal Pictures