Now The Movie Industry Wants To Blame Halo 3 For Bad Box Office Weekend

from the nice-try dept

The movie industry always wants to blame someone else when something goes wrong with ticket sales — and it almost always seems technology focused. There is, of course, the ever popular technique of blaming bittorrent, despite the fact that the most popular movies for download do quite well at the box office. A few years ago, we heard that the industry was blaming text messaging, as apparently kids would SMS their friends to let them know that a movie sucked. Again, there was no proof of this — but the industry insiders insisted it must be true. Over the summer, the industry had little to blame (though, they tried to pin some blame on camcording) since it actually had a record setting summer at the box office. Yet, now that we’re into October, there’s been a dip and the blame pointing fingers come out quick. What’s the problem? Apparently it’s Microsoft. You see, Halo 3 recently came out, bringing in more money on opening day than any movie ever. That news seems to have gotten the attention of some movie studio folks who are now grousing that Halo 3 is to blame for poor box office performance this past weekend (found via The Raw Feed). While there appear to be at least a few sane insiders who point out that a much bigger culprit could be the fact that the movies that came out last weekend just weren’t very good, others are sticking by their story that movie watchers were staying home to play Halo 3. It’s a good thing felony interference of a business model isn’t a crime, or the studios would probably be suing Microsoft. Actually, I probably shouldn’t give them any ideas…

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Comments on “Now The Movie Industry Wants To Blame Halo 3 For Bad Box Office Weekend”

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Josh says:

They're not the same thing

One thing no one seems to note when looking at movies vs video games is that the average movie ticket costs about $10 while the average video game costs over $60 (or around there). So saying that “Video games made over twice what the box offices made this weekend!” doesn’t really add up, since less people probably bought a new game than went to the movies. Maybe new movies did just suck this weekend.

random_lurker says:

Re: They're not the same thing

Physically, they’re not the same thing, but they are both forms of entertainment, so in that sense they do compete with one another (think satellite radio vs. terrestrial radio).

And what’s wrong with “Video games made over twice what the box offices made this weekend?” Halo 3 generated $170 million in its first day whereas the box office brought in $80 million for the weekend. That statement doesn’t say anything about how many people bought Halo 3 vs. how many people went to the movies. It’s all about the money.

As an aside, my wife and I both thought the Heartbreak Kid would tank. It looked terrible. A guy who gets married and then starts cheating on his wife while on his honeymoon? How is that funny?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: They're not the same thing

You miss the point. That means that less people bought Halo 3 than went to the box office:

Halo 3 at $60(not counting the deluxe $100 editions)
170,000,000/60 = 2.8 million purchases (not nearly exact I know)

Movies at $10 a pop
80,000,000 = 8 million purchases (again not nearly exact, again I know)

That is why you can’t compare box office revenue against video game revenue.

Casper says:

Re: Re: Re: They're not the same thing

You miss the point. That means that less people bought Halo 3 than went to the box office

No, I think you missed the point. Regardless of the number of items shipped or tickets purchased, it was still higher grossing. Period. It doesn’t matter if you sell a single copy of a game or movie for $100,000,000… that is still the amount it brought in. Grossing value does not equate to numbers shipped, simply the generated revenue.

Anonymous of Course says:

Re: Re:

Good summer weather sometimes increases movie
ticket sales. The only reason I saw Fast And
Furious was no air conditioning on a very hot
and muggy day.

The theater was dark and icy-cool. I hated
leaving the plush velvet seat for the sweltering
sidewalk when the show was over. It exceeded my

The movie, on the other hand, kinda sucked.

Greg (user link) says:

Not that I necessarily agree with their grousing about it, but I think maybe the movie industry has a point here – people who went out and bought Halo 3 and played it all weekend probably would have gone to the movies in absence of Halo.

Not that the lackluster crop of openings this weekend wasn’t a much larger factor, but I don’t think it’s out of line to think that Halo may have kept some people from seeing a movie.

Video games, Halo included, are just another competitor to Hollywood in the race for people’s disposable income and free time. It’s about time the movies took notice of that, and if they want to stay in business they have to not only be better than that week’s other movies, but better than Halo and whatnot.

Overcast says:

Yeah, so much good crap came out this weekend.

Actually, I was doing home improvements with a break to watch a bit of football, an old Charlton Heston movie, and played WoW too, lol

And even if the movies would have been free, I would have done the exact same thing, oh wait – I did go out Friday night, to get something to eat with my family and dad.

I asked my Dad if there was anything good out at the movies. We agreed there wasn’t. So we went back to his place, chatted a while and watched some stuff on the History channel.

But as I was talking to the wife a week or so ago – a thought occurred to me about my generation. When I was growing up – we had just regular broadcast TV, cable came a bit later.. But in between, the Atari and other Video Game consoles became popular. They were a kid’s DREAM come true of the time… No more MASH, Mork and Mindy, Three’s Company, Brady Bunch, Magnum PI!!!! There was SOMETHING else to do.

Can’t say my opinion’s changed much. The last ‘new’ DVD I bought – and spend a good dime for the collector’s edition, was made by Cecil B. DeMille – if that says anything about the quality of today’s Hollywood vs. ‘Yesterday’s’.

joe c says:

wow i see boxoffice fanboys

ok halo 3 is for use on 1 console only and yes it does cost at least $60 for there are 2 higher priced versions to choose from. you are comparing ONE game specific and exclusive to ONE console against every damn movie ever released…….big whoopty-do a game beat the box office…why must you make excuses and defend the box office…. regaurdless those are fenominal sales figures for a game and halo 3 is a blockbuster title well worth the money spent. games have gone mainstream and you will likely see this happen again.

TheDock22 says:

Or offer something better...

Maybe the movie theaters could offer companions and incentives to see movies. Like a limited edition WoW item free with every ticket…or a special edition Halo 3 souvenir + discount on Halo 3 with the purchase of two tickets.

Everyone would win and the entertainment industry would flourish. Now if only the two sects could play nice…

Anonymous Coward says:

Post hoc ergo propter hoc


because Halo 3 came out, then movie sales dropped, H3 must have caused the tank.

actually in a way, i believe it’s true. companies fight for “first” rights. who sold more, who made more….yada yada yada

the movies will be here next week, H3 as well (granted H3 will be out longer than a movie at the theater) but remember, movies will come out a 2nd time, on DVD

i mean, 10 bucks for the movie ticket, 20 bucks for the dvd. humm…

Give me a reason says:

Youth-anizing Movies

Its both, They keep targeting more and more towards younger audiences offering just eye candy either of flesh or CGI verity. I think the movie folks are over estimating teenie-boppers and twenty somethings income. Once they’ve gone out and bought halo 3 and any extras with that there could go there whole entertainment budget for the next month or so.
Why wouldn’t they just stay home and play video games, better CGI. They have an interactive experience rather then a passive one and they’re interacting with others playing the game online. Why wouldn’t someone with A.D.D (as that seems to be Hollywood’s target audience) prefer that to any movie.

At the same time there leaving more and more of us out when making movies. As its too hard to apply a cookie cutter philosophy and get good films for the rest of us.

So yes! Hollywood should fear video games as composition. There competing for the money of the exact same audience. Till they start making better movies in general the movie industry will continue to see it profits shrinking. …Hopefully!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Youth-anizing Movies

So yes! Hollywood should fear video games as composition. There competing for the money of the exact same audience. Till they start making better movies in general the movie industry will continue to see it profits shrinking. …Hopefully!

So next week when we hear of the MPAA (and RIAA) starting a lawsuit against the video game industry over “unfair practices”, “anit-trust violations”, and something that requires a large sum of cash to compensate for “irreparable damages”…

Anonymous Coward says:

Hollywodd idiots

Yeah like no one would have sat around the house all weekend playing video games if it wasn’t for halo 3, give me a friggin break. Millions of people dont have Playstation 1-3, any number of nintendo consoles, 2 choices of xbox and more pc and internet games imaginable, and these people are just figuring out that some people prefer interactive entertainment over passive. I though about going to the movies last weekend and everything looked stupid, so i stayed home and played video games.

Danny says:

Poor movie industry...

I just watched Resident Evil: Extinction this passed weekend and I fully see why there may have been more copies of Halo 3 sold that movie tickets sold. Mind you RE:Extinction was on its fourth week but I was literally the only person in the entire room. After that movie I’d rather buy Halo 3 as well (even though I don’t own a 360)

It’s a known fact that (for the most part) the only times of year you should go to the movies is during the summer and near the end of the year when people are trying to show off for the Oscars and other awards. Outside of those time spans the movie scene is usually pretty weak and studios have only themselves to blame for that. If they would realease better movies then more people would go see them, plain and simple.

John (profile) says:

Other comparisons

Didn’t the latest Harry Potter movie suffer lower box-office income because the latest Harry Potter book went on sale around the same time?

Isn’t the real reason that fall movies are so bad is because they have to compete with the new season of TV shows?

In other words, people don’t go to the movies because of anything the movie industry does- it’s all those other, outside forces at work.
Forget what you hear about bad experiences when going to the movies or the poor quality of movies or the TV commercials played before movies. The real reason why movies aren’t doing well this fall is because Microsoft released a new video game!

fat Tony says:

So what

So M$ caused you to earn less money…
So what?
How is this legitimate news to anyone? I agree that it’s apples and oranges. I agree that most likley Halo did impact sales. I agree that the industry should focus on better quality movies as well as making them more readily available and DRM free and so forth. Finally I do agree that the apples are in direct competition to oranges in terms of fruit (entertainment) sales.
But that still doesn’t answer the question…
So what. If your industy cannot compete with another industry…so what?
You don’t hear Ford complaining about Harley Davidson…or for that matter NIKE about Prada.
Just because you may be losing business to someone else does not mean they are at fault or you can actually compare to their product quality or market share(I.E. PalmOs and Windows)
In conclusion…the horse is dead…and it’s not a pinata…candy will not come out

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