Early last week, Warner Bros’ The Meg was tracking an opening US weekend in the mid $20 million bracket. However, thanks to some very shrewd social media marketing that leaned into the ridiculous proposition of the movie, The Meg lived up to its name.
Taking an estimated $45.4 million domestically, and a gigantic $101 million worldwide, The Meg took a powerful $146 million bite out of the worldwide box office. The Meg is a co-production with the China-based Flagship Entertainment/Gravity Pictures, and The Stath proved he’s still a big draw with more than $50 million generated over the weekend. Unlike other Hollywood movies that get 23-27% of the box office from China, as The Meg is a co-production, Warner Bros will get 43% of whatever it makes in The Middle Kingdom.
I have a lifelong love of shark movies, we all know that Jaws is and will always be the best of its kind, and there have been at least four too many Sharknados. You’ve got to go all the way back to 1999 with Renny Harlin’s fun romp Deep Blue Sea (also Warners Bros) to find a big studio shark movie. The genre has had some neat additions with the excellent The Shallows, Open Water, and last summer’s 47 Metres Down (sequel arrives next year), yet none come close to Steven Spielberg’s classic.
To many insiders, The Meg was doomed to be a costly flop with a reported production budget of $178 million. Warner Bros has denied this is the case and claim it cost $130 million. Either way, The Meg is still something of a gamble in this age of franchises and superheroes. A big budget popcorn flick released in the wastelands of August, it’s exactly what audiences needed. While The Meg won’t see a profit until at least the $400 million mark, should a sequel be given the go-ahead, there are plenty more books from Steve Alten to adapt.