Once again fighting off prehistoric sharks is rough and gruff monster hunter Jonas Taylor, played once again by Fast & Furious franchise star Jason Statham. Ever since his breakout roles in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, Statham has become a power player in the action world, starring in hits like The Transporter, The Italian Job, Crank, The Expandables, Fast & Furious 6, and more. This successful career has led to Statham having a net worth of about $90 million, which is more than half of the total budget for Meg 2: The Trench. Statham was more than likely paid more than his co-stars, likely around a minimum of $20 million.
Joining Statham are some returning allies from the first film, including Shuya Sophia Cai (Somewhere Only We Know) as Meiying, Cliff Curtis (Avatar: The Way of Water) as Mac, and Page Kennedy (S.W.A.T.) as DJ. Joining the Meg universe for the sequel is major Chinses film star Jing Wu, best known for films like The Wandering Earth and Wolf Warrior. The new cast is then rounded out by Sergio Peris-Mencheta (Resident Evil: Afterlife), Skyler Samuels (The Gifted), and Melissanthi Mahut (The Other Me). For the major cast members, the final price tag is likely somewhere around $40 million.
As significant as the leading actor Jason Statham is, the undisputed star of this franchise is the titular Megalodon. This time, however, Jonas Taylor faces off against not one, not two, but three colossal Great White Megalodons (plus a giant squid). Despite being a goofy movie about big sharks, the original film's VFX team took incredible care to make an anatomically correct and visually distinct Megalodon. That task is essentially tripled in Meg 2: The Trench, though the reported budget for the sequel is actually a million dollars less than its predecessor.
Believe it or not, the cast and crew of Meg 2: The Trench did not actually travel to the depths of the ocean to film the blockbuster sequel. The trench base and ocean floor sets were reportedly created at Warner Bros. Discovery's studio in Burbank. Exterior shots were also conducted in China and Thailand.
The Costs of Promoting Meg 2: The Trench
Warner Bros. Discovery had their work cut out for them when marketing Summer's most prominent film, Barbie. That's not to say that Meg 2: The Trench got wholly left out, with a marketing campaign beginning about two months before its theatrical release. The series also got positive marketing synergy thanks to Discovery's annual Shark Week event. Overall, marketing campaigns for blockbusters like Meg 2: The Trench has a minimum advertising budget of $65 million, which is not included in the production budget.
How Much Does Meg 2: The Trench Need to Make to Break Even?
The total reported budget for Meg 2: The Trench is reportedly $129 million, which is about $1 million less than what The Meg costs to make. With a budget of $129 million and a marketing budget that likely ranges from $65 million to $100 million, Meg 2: The Trench will need to make somewhere between $194 million and $229 million to break even. Meg 2: The Trench will likely need to make $388 million to $458 million at the international box office to be considered a financial success.
While Barbenheimer's unprecedented success at the box office and prevented Meg 2: The Trench's opening weekend from being a total feeding frenzy, the shark sequel still took a considerable chomp in its theatrical debut. With a domestic take of about $35 million and a massive international total of over $145 million, Meg 2: The Trench has already made back its production budget and will likely break even as early as its second theatrical weekend. As of now, the film has made $384.9 million worldwide. A great hold considering not only competing with Barbie and Oppenheimer but also the likes of the superhero film Blue Beetle and the sports biopic Gran Turismo.
How Do Meg 2: The Trench's Box Office Projections Compare to Other Summer 2023 Blockbusters?
Summer 2023 has been an unusual season for the box office. Big-budget films like The Flash, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and Haunted Mansion became unprecedented box office bombs, potentially losing more than a billion considering their budget.
Thankfully, Barbie and Oppenheimer came in to create an incredible double feature combo, shattering records with Barbie crossing the billion-dollar milestone and Oppenheimer repeatedly extending its 70mm theatrical run. While Meg 2: The Trench probably won't catch up to that dynamic duo, it's still looking like it will be one of the more impressively profitable films of this unusual blockbuster season.