How much money do videogame movies actually make?

$85 million's not too shabby considering the last Max Payne game was released in 2003 and that, unlike Lara Croft, the name 'Max Payne' means squat to anyone not directly involved with gamer culture. On its opening weekend in the US it took $17.6 million - only $500k less than Stallone's return as Rambo in the same year. That's Max Payne holding his own against Rambo. Crazy.

Game franchises don't come much bigger than Final Fantasy and the $85 million it brought in at box-offices worldwide looks like a decent enough payday. But the film had a truly extortionate budget, so it was actually an absolute disaster for Square Pictures, who promptly went bankrupt. Despite going down in history as one of cinema's mightiest animated flops, it's still 'outdone' (ie less floppy than) the recent Star Wars: The Clone Wars by about $20 million.

Gamers might have been smitten with Mario when this movie came out, but the love wasn't so blind that the kids couldn't see that this was a steaming pile of awful. It flopped hard. It made $8.5 million on its opening weekend - pretty miserable considering that Mario was such a big-time household name. Tears were cried. Money was lost. It might not feature in the same league of disaster as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, but it still flushed plenty of cash down the pipes.

This is Uwe Boll's most successful videogame movie in as much as it actually made more than the production budget. And just shy of $14 million is hardly terrible for an obscure, low budget zombie flick. Combined box-office takings for House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne and Dungeon Siege (all Uwe Boll movies) totals around $40 million. The combined budget? $117 million. Luckily, there's a sweet little German tax incentive that means Boll can keep making movies that lose money without actually losing money.

Hot women. Big swords. Beach volleyball. How could this movie fail so badly? In the US it made an embarrassing $481,000 at box-offices. In its defence, it was only shown in 500 or so theatres, but still... $481,000 is not a lot of money for a movie with a budget of $21 million. Outside the US it did manage to attract more movie-goers - it reportedly made a whole $1 million in the UK - but regardless, DOA still goes down as one of the biggest ever videogame flop-bombs.

March 19, 2009

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  • afroninjakatana - July 15, 2009 8:22 p.m.

    I thought DOA was pretty good. That's because it's made about one of my favorite games
  • NullG7 - March 24, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    Wow Im not suprized look in that picture of DOA you can see they splurged on plastic swords
  • ugthecaveman - March 21, 2009 10:24 p.m.

    i thnk every movie on this list was pure garbage its surprising how the ones on the 1st page made that much its not surprising on the 2nd page
  • Jpeg - March 21, 2009 9:35 p.m.

    in my opinion Hitman is the most decent game-movie ive seen
  • deathrebellion - March 21, 2009 12:25 p.m.

    well not all video game movies suk. SH wuz gud i heard
  • derringer83 - March 20, 2009 1:53 p.m.

    I'm gonna put this out there for all the idiots that think that Hitman was terrible. It was actually a very solid movie. Olyphant definitely held his own and was way better than Statham would've been, due to the fact that Statham is so recognizable which totally kills the whole idea. Also, Max Payne was not a bad movie, a little strange but c'mon the game was wacked too.
  • Unoriginal - March 20, 2009 1:03 p.m.

    Video game movies will probably always suck but they seem to be making their moneys worth. If they made a movie out of a franchise I loved, let's say Zelda, and everyone would say it sucked I would still probably go see it. If we want these to go away or get better we need to stop seeing them and that probably will never happen so we are stuck this way. But Tomb Raider>Godfather, that's unbelievable. Interesting article
  • somerandomchap - March 20, 2009 7:27 a.m.

    ha no one likes video game movies, they are sooo bad. and that reminds me, over here in australia they are showing tomb raider 2 on tv... lucky me
  • jtslugmaster10 - March 20, 2009 3:25 a.m.

    @ monkeylink i defiantly agree with that and i havent even seen the movie but based on the commercials i think so too. and yes tomb raider is more like 1/10^100 compared to the godfathers but Angelina is just really hot thats the only reason it did well but what can u do
  • Monkeylink - March 20, 2009 2:34 a.m.

    I kinda thought Jason Statham should have been in Hitman, he just would have been better
  • RedOutlive10 - March 20, 2009 1:53 a.m.

    Even if that first Tomb Raider movie made money, it is far from being 1/100 of what The Godfather is in terms of quality.
  • MacGyver1138 - March 19, 2009 7:10 p.m.

    It is pretty interesting to see this represented with actual numbers. The worst part about most of these is that the game stories have potential to be pretty good movies. Max Payne especially disappointed me, as they could have just followed the game storyline and thrown in some slow motion gunfights and it would have been decent. It would have been better than the convoluted mess that got made instead.
  • Matt Cundy - March 19, 2009 4:04 p.m.

    @Bossco Game publishers are much more cagey about budgets and earnings than movie distributors. Success is measured more in number of copies sold, not amount of dollars made.
  • vic88 - March 19, 2009 3:03 p.m.

    ugh horrible movies cant be forgotten, must redeem self by playing there game counterparts... ahh thats more lke it
  • Kattleox - March 19, 2009 2:03 p.m.

    I'm glad to see that all the lousy ones are massive failures.
  • Bossco - March 19, 2009 1:43 p.m.

    Good article but how much money did the actual games make compared to the movies? Or have you already done that feature?
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - April 3, 2009 10:39 p.m.

    I saw the first MK in the theater FIVE TIMES. Then saw Armageddon once and kinda regretted it. Now, I LOVE Armageddon. It's easily the best awful movie in existence.
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - March 25, 2009 9:50 p.m.

    Hey, DOA was a surprisingly fun movie, and it was even relatively faithful to the game's plot. Plus it has Eric Roberts at his overacting best. I'd actually say it's one of the better videogame movies made to date, although that's not saying much as most videogame movies are irredeemable piles of shit.
  • stickboy8 - March 24, 2009 6:22 p.m.

    I haven't actually seen any of these movies but they look pretty bad
  • ZombieGenocider - March 22, 2009 2:18 p.m.

    Not all of them are bad, just most. I love the Resident Evil films and Mortal Kombat (mock me all you want :P). I blame Uwe Boll for most of the failures (Bloodrayne anyone?), I did enjoy Mario Bros. when I was younger, but now I can see why it failed.

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