The Meg, released in 2018, could be seen as a silly action flick featuring a big shark. It’d been done countless times before with varying budgets, and most of the films were either released straight to TV or really should have been. Starring Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Ruby Rose, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, and Winston Chao, The Meg was generally considered by critics to be neither awful nor great, but made at least triple its budget.
Now, five years later, Statham will return to explore the depths once again and discover even more of the giant prehistoric fish. However, there’s a distinct difference between the trailers for The Meg and Meg 2: The Trench. Perhaps the most notable aspect is that the first trailer for the first film was somewhat restrained in terms of showing too much of the sharks and crazy stunts, while Meg 2’s first trailer is all-out madness.
Regardless of the presumed pivot in tone – even though Rainn Wilson did provide ample comic relief in The Meg – it seems almost certain that Meg 2: The Trench will reach the same half-a-billion benchmark at the box office as its predecessor.
First official trailer sets the tone of Meg 2
— Meg 2 Movie (@MegMovie) May 8, 2023
The absurdity of what’s to come in Meg 2: The Trench is very well established in the opening 42 seconds of this trailer. Likely the prelude in the movie itself, it shows dinosaurs on the beach, including an instantly recognisable Tyrannosaurus rex, and then reads that for 65 million years, one species (megalodon) ruled the world. A megalodon then launches onto the beach to eat the T-rex. Megalodon lived between 20 million and 3.6 million years ago.
Of course, the whole premise is built around the absurdity of one of these creatures surviving to the modern day, but this strange entry is clearly just a way of having dinosaurs in the trailer for more “wow.” The flick sees the return of Statham as the gruff hero, and he’ll be joined by Wu Jing, who is a massive star in China, having been in the likes of The Battle at Lake Changjin, which we reported for its huge box office haul at OracleGlobe.com.
Meg 2, of course, doesn’t end the action with an out-of-place megalodon eating a dinosaur. The rest of the trailer sees three of them invade a resort, said to be “hunting in packs,” as well as a presumed kraken of sorts. Stupid people get munched, heroes do epic jumps, and Statham even holds one back with his boot. Importantly, the movie knows how silly it’s being and wants you to know: the trailer ends with Statham literally about to do the biggest wave-powered jump over the biggest shark.
Apparently available to see in 3D – because that’s still a thing – Meg 2 will swim into our waters on 4 August 2023. It has to be said that, while it won’t be a cinematic masterpiece in any regard, it looks to be a bombastic flick that’s merely there to dazzle and make people laugh.
Millions will go to watch Meg 2 as we can’t resist sharks
Have you sunk your teeth into the new #Meg2 trailer yet?
— Warner Bros. UK (@WarnerBrosUK) May 9, 2023
The Meg made $527 million at the worldwide box office, which nearly triples even its largest budget estimate of $178 million. Regardless of review scores, it was a hit, the CGI held up well, and it featured big hungry sharks. Sharks have long been an obsession for humans, and many other lines of media and entertainment have sought to capitalise on their instant recognisability as soulless, scary, human-hungry creatures from the depths.
Back in 2011, the Hungry Shark series was still in its infancy as a mobile game but had already hit 18.5 million downloads. Now, it makes its publisher, Ubisoft, an estimated $200,000 per month. You can also see the theme of drawing from massive sharks as going strong in the iGaming sector. Look at any of the top-ranking online casinos and you will find a hefty selection of shark slots. For example, CasinoReviews.com, which offers in-depth reviews and direct access to welcome bonuses, gives LeoVegas a 4.5-star rating. On that platform, Mega Don is one of the top slot games. It clearly draws from the fascination with the megalodon, and the linked bonus can be used to unleash the power of the mighty shark in this slot. Of course, some don’t want to just spin with the sharks, but be them: enter, Maneater. Billed as “sharks meet GTA”, Maneater was an unsurprising indie hit when it was released in 2020. In this video game, you play as a shark, unlock upgrades, and eventually become the ultimate hunter from the depths. After selling over one million copies, the team behind the game celebrated with a free next-gen upgrade.
The obsession with sharks as man-eaters in entertainment, however, can be drawn back to the same medium as The Meg. An in-depth look at how the movie Jaws changed cinema can be seen at IndieWire.com. It may also be seen as the catalyst for shark documentary popularity, with Shark Week getting 21 million viewers and SharkFest getting 31.1 million viewers in 2021. Even the mockumentary Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives earned record ratings.
Sharks will always be popular antagonists in cinema as they’re instantly recognisable threats and almost revered for how much we fear them – despite the incredibly small number of fatal attacks each year. When there’re big-name stars attached and a healthy budget, people can’t wait to watch the movie, so Meg 2 will almost certainly be a big hit this summer.