Giant prehistoric sharks chasing Jason Statham around doesn’t sound like the kind of movie that gets people swarming to the cinema en masse, and yet, in 2018, that very concept yielded over half-a-billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Five years later, Meg 2: The Trench will build on the story further and should do rather well.
Meg 2 will be released in the middle of the 2023 summer season, on 4 August, the perfect time for an all-out action romp with good enough CGI for the megalodons and a big name like Statham to make a lot of money. It will have some competition, particularly from Oppenheimer, Barbie, and later Gran Turismo, but the ceiling is very high.
Meg 2 is Going to Be Pure Dumb Fun, and That’s Great
In just one week, the official trailer for Meg 2: The Trench amassed over 25 million views on YouTube. By comparison, the official trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie (which made over $1.2 billion worldwide) is still only at 26 million on the same platform. People are fascinated by sharks, and The Meg wasn’t despised or overly panned when it hit the big screen in 2018.
At a time when so many of the goliaths of the cinema slate are crumbling away – such as the superhero movies from DC and Marvel, as well as Star Wars, a film like Meg 2, which purely promises entertainment, can really capture audiences. As the trailer shows, there’s nothing pretentious or hidden in the movie, from its jumping of the shark to quick bits of slapstick: it’s going to be big, silly, fun action with some colossal sharks and a Kraken to power the way.
Another intriguing aspect of the movie is the director, Ben Wheatley, who is particularly good at capturing the British sense of humour in crime and action movies. Free Fire, Sightseers, In the Earth, and High-Rise certainly showcase his range as a director and writer. Based on the trailer, he’ll be capitalising on the craziness of the set-up to create a flick that cuts big action set pieces with comedic skits to keep the levity high.
The Perpetual Allure of Sharks Around the World
The denizens of the deep have long captured the imagination with their truly terrifying anatomy. Naturally, it was Jaws that truly kicked sharks as monsters or antagonists into the entertainment mainstream, but even without Jaws, sharks have inspired folklore and myths throughout human history. Predators in an environment that humans are far from mastering are scary.
Sharks have tremendous appeal across entertainment, regardless of how they’re deployed. Among the selection of slots for real money, some of the most popular titles are centred on sharks or have sharks as the big-ticket symbols. Lucky Catch and Scuba Fishing have sharks as the clear selling point for the slots. Easily the most famous leaning on sharks is the annual Shark Week on Discovery Channel, which continues to rank highly each year.
A surprise hit with $527 million at the box office and without a lingering sense of it being a bad film, The Meg set the stage for what’s to come. For its box office returns in 2023, Meg 2 will also be a Sino-American co-production, which will help it to go big in China once again. In a similar release window, the first film eclipsed $150 million in China alone, but this year, the sequel could make even more domestically and abroad.
It’s clear that Meg 2: The Trench will be unashamedly bombastic and fun. It’ll look great on the big screen, it might not always make sense, but it will strive to entertain for around two hours. For this, and thanks to the success of the first film, it could well be a surprise hit this summer and breach the $500 million mark.