In news that is apparently a surprise to the business-entertainment complex but should be no surprise to any right-thinking person alive on Earth in the year 2018, the movie where Jason Statham battles an unusually large shark has blasted out of the gate as a certified box-office smash.
Despite the fact most analysts seemed to think The Meg would score between $18 – $22 million at the box office on its opening weekend, it scored double that – collecting $44.5 million at the US box office and a further $97 million internationally. That makes it a certified hit, and solidifies the conventional wisdom that people will always turn out for a big-ass shark.
There’s actually more going on business-wise with The Meg than you might imagine. Box office watchers have kept a close eye on this one because it is – despite its campy exterior – a fairly high-profile co-production between the US and China. This is becoming a more common occurrence, as China opens itself up to more Hollywood-backed blockbusters, and the US tries to gain access to the biggest movie market in the world.
This often means that Chinese actors and settings make their way into American films. In The Meg, the shark attacks a Chinese beach, and it stars actress Li Bingbing alongside Statham.
The gambit worked: over half of that international box office result came from Chinese cinemas. Another thing that worked, in my opinion, was making a movie about a shark which is large. Everyone can appreciate a great white shark which happens to be somewhat bigger than your average shark.
So there you go. The Meg hits Aussie cinemas on Thursday.