Although the notion might’ve seemed unfathomable thirty years ago, video game movies are no longer laughing stocks. In fact, they’re some of the most lucrative movies in theaters these days, with films like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($405.4 million worldwide), Pokemon: Detective Pikachu ($433.2 million worldwide) and the recent record-setting Super Mario Bros. Movie ($1.357 billion worldwide) doing next level box office numbers. In addition, HBO’s The Last of Us television series, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey garnered critic and audience praise alike for the stellar acting performances, production design, musical score and overall achievement and was nominated for 24 primetime Emmy Awards.
Despite that notable success, the head of Take-Two Interactive, the company behind such notable games as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption and Midnight Club, says not to expect Take Two to follow the trend just because of the aforementioned video game movies’ success.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, who served as CEO of 20th Century Fox in the early 90s, clarified that film and television projects are actually precarious ones with regards to the “relatively small [economic] opportunity” they produce. Although Take-Two does currently have two video-game-based films on the way in the form of Borderlands and BioShock, the company will nonetheless retain a selective approach to their licensing.
“We think it’s a relatively small opportunity economically. We’re not going to use our balance sheet to invest in film and television projects,” Zelnick said in the company’s latest earnings call. “Those are typically very challenged asset classes with which I’m quite familiar.”
Zelnick added, “The reason you’ve had the failure in the past is the expression of the IP just wasn’t very good, despite people’s best efforts. It’s a really hard business. And we’re not going to bet this company’s future, or the value of our intellectual property based on someone else’s execution in another area of the entertainment business. So, we’ll continue to be very selective. Indeed, even if we did take a broad-based approach, in the absence of investing ourselves, the economic opportunity in the context of the much greater economic opportunity for our core business is limited.”
What do you think of the approach that the Take-Two Interactive CEO has planned with regards to Take-Two films such as a Red Dead Redemption movie or a Grand Theft Auto movie? Would you like to see a Red Dead Redemption movie or a GTA movie? Let us know in the comments.