Will Grand Theft Auto IV Hurt Iron Man's Opening Weekend Sales?

from the the-media-landscape-has-expanded... dept

While Marvel’s lawyers have been doing plenty of work on their own to hurt interest in the new movie Iron Man, some are suggesting an even more interesting scenario: that the release this week of the video game Grand Theft Auto IV (to excellent reviews) will have an impact on how many people are willing to buy tickets to Iron Man’s opening weekend. Certainly, the target audience is similar and you could definitely see some gameplayers being more interested in exploring the game than going out to the theater.

While I doubt the impact will be that noticeable (or that there will be any accurate way to measure it), it does say something about the changing media landscape. The video game industry has been trying to position itself as the “next generation Hollywood” for a few years now — and while not entirely accurate, the growth of the industry has definitely shown that there are many more options for “entertainment dollars” than there were not so many years ago. Of course, while the movie industry keeps whining about piracy, it might want to note that it’s starting to face competition from other sources as well.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Will Grand Theft Auto IV Hurt Iron Man's Opening Weekend Sales?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Still Gonna Watch It

Monday night, I picked up GTA IV at my local GameStop’s midnight release event. Been playing it since and loving it.

I’m also going to see Iron Man tonight at midnight — a sneak peek event at a Studio Movie Grill with some friends. I’m not a fan of super hero movies, and I got bored of SpiderMan halfway through the second movie. I’m only going to see Iron Man because my friends invited me. It would have had nothing to do with GTA IV if I were not going to see it, though.

And if someone is so obsessed with playing GTA IV days after it came out, that they can’t shell out another $20 or so to go see a movie, well I think that says something about the people, not necessarily the movie.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Still Gonna Watch It

Sad that you can’t see the correlation. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an asinine correlation, but I still see where they’re coming from.

I agree with the GP though:
“if someone is so obsessed with playing GTA IV days after it came out, that they can’t shell out another $20 or so to go see a movie, well I think that says something about the people, not necessarily the movie.”

Ron says:

Re: Re: Re: Still Gonna Watch It

You both assume the money exists to do both. With inflation, fuel prices, and general high cost of living, that is not a reasonable assumption. After 60$ to purchase the game I could fully understand not having extra to go out to a movie during that pay period. also the $20 number is for what 1 person to go? For me and my wife it cost 25 to see Transformers and that was with winning free tickets (popcorn, drinks, parking). Its easy for the living with mommy crowd to talk but pull your head out of your nether regions. Personally I don’t have the extra to do either.

War Machine says:


I’ve been playing gta for three days,
But I”ve been waiting THIRTY YEARS for this movie.
It is the BEST SuperHero move to EVER come out !!
Iron man is the perfect Super Geek Movie .
A guy with no super powers excet his brain and some ballS !
oh yea not to mention some awesome firepower !!!
I’ll be there tonite at an invite preview !
and tomorrow nite with my kids !1

Jeremy says:

Another reason to blame GTA for low ticket sales

I’m also surprised they didn’t comment on the offer from Rockstar, the 100% club. If you beat the game 100% by next Tuesday, Rockstar will send you a “Key to the City” So, if you play the ~100 hours it will take to finish the game, then you probably won’t have time to go to a movie.

Mojo (user link) says:

Bad reviews will hurt Iron Man box office more than anything. Remember, Iron Man isn’t like Superman or Batman, the character does NOT have that sort of universal appeal and recognition; sure, there is a lot of hype, but Iron Man needs to be a good movie and get favorable reviews if it’s going to do well.

Even if GTA affected opening weekend box office, people who want to see it will eventually get out and see it, so in the long run it makes no difference.

Anonymous Coward says:

Bad reviews will hurt Iron Man box office more than anything.

Check out the reviews. Very positive (95% on rotten tomatoes is not just good, it’s pretty amazing). I seriously doubt the impact form GTA IV will be very large… teenage boys can find three hours over the course of a weekend to go see a movie. Heck, my son is trying to convince me to take him to the showing midnight tonight. He will fail; we’ll go at 7pm tomorrow, like normal people.

The really significant aspect of the Iron Man movie is how well it’s kicking off Marvel’s own movie production company. Marvel characters have accounted for a significant portion of blockbusters over the last five years; if Marvel had the resources to take them all back under their wing, that could have large ramifications.

Franssu says:

Who gives a fuck about opening weekend ?

I have bought GTA4, and I agree this is one of the best videogames ever, light years from the drunk driving/hooker killing game that some conservative assholes think it is. It has depth, a compelling story, awesome gameplay, greatc acting… worth the 100$ I paid for the special edition.

Will it keep me from seeing Iron Man on its opening weekend ? Certainly not. I never planned to see it this weekend, because I hate overcrowded cinemas.

Now about the general assumption that great videogames tend to hurt Hollywood’s bottom line, I sure as hell hope so. Hollywood deserves it. If they want to make money, they’ll have to make better movies. Movies clever enough for us gamers.

Kodo (profile) says:

Iron man is great

I saw it yesterday at lunch time andit was awesome. Only other decent superhero movie of recent years has been batman begins. I didn’t know the Iron Man story at all but was always going to see this and am glad I did. It has even been getting good reviews in local press here in Australia as well and that’s saying something.

Never played any GTA game and am not about to now.

PaulT (profile) says:


I agree that the reviews of Iron Man will be the real make-or-break for this movie. The trailers have been nothing short of spectacular – this is the first movie in ages where I watch the trailer and thought “yeah, I’ve definitely watching THAT on the big screen”!

If GTA4 affects it in any way, it’ll be that box office is more spread out – if there’s good word of mouth, plenty of people will watch it next weekend as well as this. The fact it’s a simultaneous worldwide release also helps spread the online word – if it’s any good of course!

(Ah… While writing this message I popped over to Rotten Tomatoes.. front page article headline: “Iron Man is the Best-Reviewed Movie of 2008!”. That settles that then…)

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...