Audiences love Jason Statham. Based on his massive success in the Fast and Furious and The Expendables franchises, audiences react best when the actor teams up with someone. Would audiences accept his team-up with a prehistoric shark creature? The $44 million opening weekend in the United States provides a resounding “yes” as an answer. The Meg opened at the number one spot at the box office for the August 10 – 12 weekend. At present, the film represents the biggest opening for a Jason Statham solo action vehicle. The CGI shark doesn’t count towards the fellow actor team-up stats.
The Meg tells the tale of an underwater team uncovering the last living Megoladon shark. The now-extinct shark once ruled the ocean millions of years ago. At more than 100 feet in length, the creature was an ominous presence even in the age of dinosaurs. Now, one of those sharks makes its incredible presence known at the worldwide box office.
And The Meg is a worldwide hit. The film earned well over $100 million in foreign territories. A strong performance in China shouldn’t be unexpected. The film is a U.S./China co-production. The feature also benefits from renewed interest in two different fantasy/action subgenres: shark movies and giant monster movies. 47 Meters Down and Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom represent just two recent hits reflecting these types of movies.
The Meg took a long time to reach the screen. The project floated around in development for years. Different talent was attached at varying times. Worries about whether a “monster shark” movie would do great box office likely slowed down the production. Critics savaged the film, but audiences lined up for screenings. The film ranks as a resounding commercial success.
The incredible box office returns will lead to sequels. The Meg is based on a series of novels. So, there won’t be a lack of source material to craft future installments.
Jason Statham’s involvement with any sequels isn’t known. Likely, the studio wants to keep him.