- Meg 2: The Trench surprises by surpassing Oppenheimer at the weekend box office, despite negative reviews and a press tour cut short.
- The sequel’s success lies in its international audience, with a domestic gross of $30 million and a worldwide tally of $142 million.
- The appeal of international stars like Wu Jing, paired with Jason Statham, contributes to the film’s popularity overseas.
Meg 2: The Trench manages to surpass Oppenheimer at the box office this weekend in a surprising upset. Despite mixed reviews, 2018’s The Meg was a commercial success, grossing over $530.2 million worldwide. With the “Barbenheimer” box office battle still going strong, the assumption was that Meg 2: The Trench wouldn’t open as strongly as the first film, especially because this installment received overwhelmingly negative reviews a day before it was released in theaters.
Now, Warner Bros. has revealed the official box office numbers for Meg 2: The Trench, which has managed to knock Oppenheimer out of second place for the first time since its release. Domestically, the sequel grossed $30 million, while Oppenheimer took $28.7 million and finished in third place. The worldwide tally for Meg 2: The Trench is even more impressive, earning $142 million.
Meg 2: The Trench’s Box Office Explained
While the movie opened below its predecessor’s $45.4 million domestic opening, the success of Meg 2: The Trench‘s box office lies in its international audience. Despite the negative reviews and a press tour cut short due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, its international gross opened above the first film’s initial $101.5 million. International audiences were more receptive to the sequel than in North America, and it’s part of the reason why Meg 2: The Trench can be considered a success amid a very crowded theatrical landscape.
One of the main reasons the Meg movies are so popular internationally is their ability to cross over with recognizable international stars who are consistently bankable in foreign countries. In the 2018 film, Li Bingbing and Winston Chao starred opposite Statham’s Jonas Taylor, while Wu Jing appeared in Meg 2: The Trench this time. Wu is one of the most profitable stars in China, and many of his movies, including Wolf Warrior 2 and The Wandering Earth, were massive hits in its country of origin and worldwide.
Statham is a recognizable star in North America, but the appeal of seeing him team up with Wu, who makes his Hollywood debut in Meg 2: The Trench, may be one of the biggest reasons why the film succeeds more internationally than in its domestic market. However, even in North America, Oppenheimer couldn’t beat the sequel’s appeal, even with not-so-great word-of-mouth from critics and audiences. Time will tell how Meg 2: The Trench will perform in its second weekend and beyond.
Source: Warner Bros.