The Meg has made a huge splash at the box office over the last few days, surprising box office experts by grossing over $141.5 million in its opening weekend worldwide.
“The Meg’s” haul domestically was especially impressive, as it was previously expected to take in between $20 million and $22 million, but it ultimately debuted to $44.5 million instead.
However, one person who wasn’t surprised by “The Meg’s” success was Steve Alten, the writer of 1997’s “Meg: A Novel Of Deep Terror,” on which the film is based.
“My feeling has always been that this is a a billion dollar franchise if it was done right,” Alten recently told me over the phone. “But to be done right you had to get the shark right, get the cast right, get the tone right. And Warner Bros have nailed it completely. The producers have nailed it.”
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Alten’s declaration that “The Meg” is a billion dollar franchise is looking a little more likely now, especially as he has written six more follow-ups, with a seventh planned for next year, too.
During our conversation, Alten suggested that any potential follow-ups to “The Meg” would probably follow his books, especially as they repeatedly raise the stakes and introduce a series of new monsters.
“The thing about the book series is, I just finished book 6, ’Meg: Generation,’ and each book ups the ante a little bit more.”
“So if the producers, and Belle Avery especially I know she will follow the sequels. If they follow the sequels then they won’t have to reinvent the wheel. Because it takes it to new places and introduces new monsters.”
“A lot of people like dinosaurs, and I did, too, growing up. But the sea creature monsters and dinosaurs are much more fearsome than the land creatures. There’s the T-Rex, but that is pretty much all you really have on the land. In the ocean you have some amazing sea creatures, and I’d love to see them all brought back to life.”
But since “The Meg” cost somewhere between $130 million and $180 million to make, it has been estimated that the film would need to gross $400 million just to break even. So there’s still a long way to go before a sequel is anywhere near confirmed.