Most films based on video games are popular and successful at the box office
As video games became more and more popular, there came the idea of adapting them into the big screen, complete with a concrete (and mostly slightly differentiated) plot.
These film adaptations are hugely popular, and no matter how many missteps they’ve thrown out, or no matter how many critics are nit-picking at most of them, Hollywood will never stop producing these video-game based movies. As long as there are video games and sci-fi/fantasy fanatics, this film genre will always be here to stay. Why should film studios stop themselves from producing them? Even if they’re the worst video-game-based movies they’ve ever done in terms of the storyline and the treatment of characters, as long as they bring astronomically huge returns at the box-office.
Here are the only few best-known examples of movies that have been adapted from video games:
1. Mortal Kombat films
These series of films were based from the popular Mortal Kombatarcade video game franchise. There have been two film adaptations so far Mortal Kombat (1995), and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997). Neither films were pre-screened for the critics; despite that, both films received critical summations from mixed to negative. Even fans of the video game gave scathing “thumbs-down” to both films.
The first Mortal Kombat film became a financial success, bringing in over $122 million worldwide, but the second movie performed so-so at the box office. At least in the first Mortal Kombat film, director Paul W.S. Anderson did his best to keep with the game’s story about a group of martial arts masters faced to fight in an intergalactic tournament in their bid to save the Earthrealm.
2. Tomb Raider films
So far there have been two films that are adapted from the popular video game series Tomb Raider. They center around the thrilling, pulsating adventures and exploits of the beautiful and intelligent archaeologist Lara Croft. Her character is touted as the “Most Successful Human Virtual Game Heroine.” The two films are called Lara Croft: Tomb Raider(2001) and the 2003 sequel Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, both starring Hollywood A-lister Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft.
The first Tomb Raider film received disappointing critical reviews, but it nevertheless grossed over $274 million. Surprisingly, the sequel found more favor with the critics, but it earned “only” about $156 million, paling in comparison to the first Tomb Raider film.
3. Resident Evil films
Five live Resident Evil action films based on the popular and successful horror fiction video game series have been produced and shown as of yet. These are Resident Evil (2002),Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004),Resident Evil: Extinction (2007),Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) andResident Evil: Retribution (2012); three of the films were directed by Paul W. S. Anderson who also directed other sci-fi/action films like Mortal Kombat. All of the five films were box office successes, being Resident Evil: Afterlife the highest-grossing, having earned over $296 million worldwide. As with most video games adapted into films, all of the five Resident Evil films didn’t fare quite well with the critics, mostly citing predictability, although there are still really, really scary scenes.
A new Resident Evil sequel is currently in the works as of this writing. Anderson is also reported to direct the new movie.
4. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Film critics have a consensus when reviewing this film adaptation of the popular video game franchise — it is an okay and enjoyable swashbuckling film. In fact, it is quite enjoyable and doesn’t take itself quite seriously. At least, it manages bring a message to the audiences what makes the video games so fun. Released in 2010, this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced film grossed around $334 million worldwide, although considering its quite large budget (about $150-$200 million) the movie just earned decent profits.
5. Street Fighter films
There have been a lot of film adaptations based on the popular Capcom fighting video game. The first live-action feature film, also titledStreet Fighter, was released in 1994 and loosely based on that video game because the producers almost radically altered the game’s plot. Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, the film received mostly negative reviews, but was a box office success. The second live-action feature film, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, was released in 2009. It follows the story of the Street Fighter character Chun-Li and her quest for justice. Although the film was not pre-screened for critics, it nevertheless received mostly negative reviews focusing on the film’s poor dialogue and fight scenes. It performed poorly at the box office, considering its big budget.
Because of the sheer popularity of the Street Fighter video games, there have also been animated film and TV series adaptations based on these games, mostly coming from Japan.
More on video games-based movies
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