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‘Warcraft’ Is the Most Successful Video-Game Adaptation of All Time — But It’s Still Losing Money

Its total losses are estimated at $15 million.

Warcraft

“Warcraft”

Universal Pictures

It’s been an especially disappointing summer moviegoing season, with any number of sequels, reboots and adaptations — “Finding Dory,” “Ghostbusters,” “Jason Bourne” — but few movies that have proven successful with both critics and audiences. “Warcraft” is far from an exception to that rule, garnering negative reviews and, according to the folks at IGN, losing money despite grossing more than $430 million worldwide.

READ MORE: Why Hollywood Should Worry About ‘Warcraft’ Despite Chinese Box Office

Their number-crunching puts the final deficit at $15 million, which takes into account lucrative deals for both merchandising and digital distribution in China, where Duncan Jones’ adaptation of the massively popular video-game franchise took in most of its money ($220 million; it made just $45 million domestically).

READ MORE: Duncan Jones Takes Aim At ‘Warcraft’ Critics: ‘Chill Out’ If You Don’t Like It

“You’re almost better off just making it for the Chinese audience,” analyst Eric Handler told the Hollywood Reporter last month. “It did okay in some other markets where the game was big — including Germany and France — but China really saved the day.” If ever you doubted the oddity of Hollywood accounting, consider this: “Warcraft” has made more money than any other video-game adaptation ever made, and it’s still losing money.

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