Movie Reviews

Why Warcraft 2 Never Happened

Summary

  • Warcraft movie, released in 2016, never got a sequel due to disappointing box office performance and critical reception.
  • Despite global popularity, the film’s $160 million budget and marketing costs left it needing to make $450-500 million to break even.
  • Director Duncan Jones has expressed interest in a sequel, and plans were reportedly in place in 2020 to adapt the second game into a movie.



For many fans of both the long-running multimedia franchise and the original movie, the fact that a second Warcraft film never happened is a constant source of disappointment. Released in 2016, the Warcraft movie built on the legacy of the long-running videogame series by uniting an impressive cast and director Duncan Jones, creating an epic original fantasy story. However, despite retaining many of the elements that made the Warcraft games so popular, the movie never received a sequel – remaining as a standalone entry in the franchise.

Warcraft
is available to stream on Netflix.


The first Warcraft movie follows a conflict between orc tribes and humans against a background where a mysterious evil threatens both groups’ existence. Although the movie does not copy its story from any single Warcraft game or pre-existing material, the film was heavily influenced by the wider Warcraft series. Unusually, the movie featured the perspectives of both human and orc characters, an approach that helped it stand out from other fantasy projects like The Lord of the Rings. However, despite this novel perspective, no sequel to Warcraft ever happened – with the film’s performance explaining its aborted future.

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Warcraft’s Box Office Performance & Reviews Hurt Plans For a Sequel

It Didn’t Make Enough Money To Become Viable


Despite the global popularity of the Warcraft brand, the Warcraft movie simply did not make enough money for a sequel to be a tempting prospect for producers. In many ways, this is surprising – not least because it was actually the first videogame movie to make over $400 million at the global box office, largely thanks to an impressive financial performance in China. However, its budget of $160 million and extensive marketing campaign left the film needing to make between $450-500 million just to break even. The result was that the movie made a loss of around $15 million (via The Hollywood Reporter).

The narrowness by which Warcraft missed out on becoming profitable may have been forgiven had the film proved to be a critical hit. However, on this front too, Warcraft failed to impress. The movie scored an unimpressive 29% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, indicating generally unfavorable reviews from critics. Combined with the disappointing box office, this meant that there was little incentive to greenlight a sequel.


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How Warcraft 2 Could Still Happen

Plans Have Previously Been In Place

An army gathered in the Warcraft movie

Despite there being no concrete plans in place for Warcraft 2, it’s clear that the sequel is not completely dead. Director Duncan Jones has previously expressed interest in such a project, although he admitted in a 2018 tweet that prospects for the movie “(don’t) look good” (via X). Nevertheless, attempts have still been made to revitalize the cinematic Warcraft franchise.

Although there has been little news on the project since,
Warcraft
remains a hugely popular franchise and videogame series, suggesting that there may be interest in such a movie.


In 2020 (via Knight Edge Media) plans were reportedly in place to adapt the second game in the Warcraft series into a movie. Although there has been little news on the project since, Warcraft remains a hugely popular franchise and videogame series, suggesting that there may be interest in such a movie. Although the original Warcraft failed to set any box office records, it performed well enough to suggest that there could be an audience for another movie in the right circumstances.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, X, Knight Edge Media

warcraft movie poster

Warcraft

Director
Duncan Jones

Release Date
May 25, 2016

Cast
Travis Fimmel , Daniel Wu , Toby Kebbell , Paula Patton , Ben Foster , Dominic Cooper

Runtime
123 minutes

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