Universal and Legendary premiered the first trailer for their summer blue-chip Warcraft today at BlizzCon in Anaheim, with the film’s director Duncan Jones and cast members Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Paula Patton, Daniel Wu and Clancy Brown participating in a panel hosted by Chris Hardwick. What is BlizzCon? For those who’ve had their heads in the sand, it’s an annual convention held by videogame developer-publisher Blizzard Entertainment to promote their game franchises, i.e. Warcraft, StarCraft II and Heroes Of The Storm, among other titles.
Warcraft is based on Blizzard’s 21-year-old multiplayer fantasy video game series in which human and Orc armies battle each other. Warcraft has spawned a collectible card game,
comic books and novels and at its peak in 2011 counted close to 12.5M online subscribers worldwide — a number which has fallen to 5.5M. Hopefully, the bigger of those two figures will turn out for the movie when it opens on June 10.
Warcraft director Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie and the helmer behind Moon and Source Code, has been working closely with the game developers at Blizzard to deliver a feature film that will appeal to the fans, not to mention he’s an avid fan of the game himself. Video game films of late tend to fall apart at the domestic box office, with many making under $50M, only to recoup greatly with foreign repping 80% of their worldwide B.O. For example, 2010’s Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth in the series, made $42.3M in the U.S./Canada and close to $200M overseas.
Jones is hoping that Warcraft and Justin Kurzel’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed from 20th Century Fox will reverse this trend stateside. In a recent Entertainment Weekly interview, Jones said: “One thing I would say is that that stigma used to be attached to comic book movies too. It took a generation of filmmakers who loved and were raised on comic books to make movies that you actually cared about and felt something for. I think that’s absolutely the same with what’s going on with video game movies.”