postThursday, 18 October 2007

Video Game Destroys the Box Office

Tired of merely killing Aliens, the space marines of Halo 3 set their sights on the film industry, claiming poor Ben Stiller as their first casualty.

According to Studio Briefing the release of Halo 3 may have been the cause of the recent low box office earnings. Here is the original segment:

Some industry analysts are blaming the release of the videogame Halo 3 for the current dive in movie ticket sales. Advertising Age has observed that over the Oct. 5 weekend, after Halo 3 had sold $300 million worth of copies, the box office was down 27 percent below the same weekend last year -- the worst performance for an October weekend since 1999. Over the same weekend, The Heartbreak Kid, which some box-office gurus had predicted would make up to $30 million, brought in only $14 million. "The audience on this game is the 18-to-34 demographic, similar to what you'd see in cinemas," Mike Hickey, an analyst at Denver research firm Janco Partners, told AdAge, adding that the box-office slide "could last for several weeks.

This is just going by official sales and isn't taking into consideration all the pirate copies of the game that are bound to have spread. In any case this means that film distributors will now also have to take high profile game releases into consideration. The poor performing R-rated Heartbreak Kid was essentially released when a large chunk of it's target audience were glued to their computer. Big oops DreamWorks.

Since games tend to consume a lot more time then major sporting events this means that distributors are going to have a whole new bunch of challenges on their hands. Possibly having to forecast a games potential impact in weeks before claiming a release date.

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