Film Execs Blame Halo 3 for Poor Movie Ticket Sales


Movie ticket sales for October are already being recorded as some of the lowest in recent years. And who’s to blame according to the film industry? Why, Master Chief of course. Several film executives and researchers are convinced that many movie-goers stayed home playing the game instead of venturing out to the theater.

“The audience on this game is the 18-to-34 demographic, similar to what you’d see in cinemas,” said Mike Hickey, an analyst at Janco Partners, a Denver research firm, adding that “this could last for several weeks.”

As their prime example, they cite the newest Ben Stiller comedy, The Heartbreak Kid, which cost $60 million and only collected $14 million on its opening weekend. What they don’t mention though is how that same weekend another film, The Game Plan, starring The Rock, collected $2 million more than Heartbreak Kid, even though it had been out for a week. Mark Weinstock, marketing chief at Screen Gems, who released the newest Resident Evil movie, has noted that mediocre reviews and an R rating could have hurt the movie’s sales just as much as Halo.

Honestly, this whole thing isn’t all that surprising to me. Every weekend, me and my friends look at what’s out in theaters to see if there’s anything that worth paying $8 to see. For the past month, the answer has been a resounding, “No,” and then we usually rent an old movie or, yep, play video games. My point is, if people actually want to go to the theater, but can’t find anything worth seeing, I wouldn’t completely fault a video game for poor ticket sales. Let this be a lesson to you, film execs: don’t give Ben Stiller $60 million to make a movie. Just don’t do it.

Via Advertising Age; stats via Rotten Tomatoes

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49 Comments on Film Execs Blame Halo 3 for Poor Movie Ticket Sales


On October 15, 2007 at 2:01 pm

“Let this be a lesson to you, film execs: don’t give Ben Stiller $60 million to make a movie. Just don’t do it.”

Mmmmm. Lets look at his main starring roles:

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM Budget $150m Worldwide takings $573m
MEET THE FOCKERS Budget $80m Worldwide takings $516m
DODGEBALL Budget $20m Worldwide takings $167m
STARSKY AND HUTCH Budget $60m Worldwide takings $170m
ZOOLANDER Budget $28m Worldwide takings $60m
MEET THE PARENTS Budget $55m Worldwide takings $330m
ALONG CAME POLLY Budget $42m Worldwide takings $171m


On October 15, 2007 at 2:28 pm

terrible, terrible movies. except zoolander. and possibly meet the parents. but please don’t even mention Along Came Polly. ugh now i just feel ill.


On October 15, 2007 at 2:30 pm

I guess pandering to the lowest common denominator only sells for so long.. :mrgreen:


On October 15, 2007 at 2:32 pm

I was gonna say, the only film out of that lot I’ve seen or wanted to has been Zoolander and that was admittedly good. I just don’t find the guy funny. Best portrayed in Extras, to be honest.

Also, any film that casually fits in a obsenity just makes me laugh. Worryingly so that it made that much profit too! That and the fact that films like Serenity end up losing money even though they’re really good. Ahwell, cruel cruel world.


On October 15, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Are you kidding? Movies suck, I’d rather just have sex.


On October 15, 2007 at 3:12 pm

well, there’s something we can all agree on. :razz:


On October 15, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Note to movie studios: If you’re going to blame “Halo” for poor movie ticket sales, perhaps you need to FUND A HALO MOVIE.


On October 15, 2007 at 4:31 pm

And yet they don’t want to make a Halo movie…….

Making a good Halo movie would be like printing you own money….


On October 15, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Absolutely. Get Uwe Boll on the phone right away.


On October 15, 2007 at 5:52 pm

i blame poor ticket sales on crappy movies that nobody wants to see.


On October 15, 2007 at 6:44 pm

They actually canceled a halo movie they were going to make.


On October 15, 2007 at 7:13 pm

they should just sow their mouths shut.

Vincent Volker

On October 15, 2007 at 8:06 pm

Here is the thing. And take note Hollywood.

1. Good movies, bring sales. No good movies after Halo3 release.
2. There are a few top selling DVD’s that are going to be released this week and next. When they do, Hollywood is gonna STFU.
3. This is the main reason:
a. The demographic for Halo 3 is predominantly Sub 18 year Old males. Which in most cases, don’t own a car.
b. The average Halo 3 player beat the game in 3-4 days (legendary). This would leave roughly a month since release until this article came out, for such a deduction to be made.
c. As stated in (A), the average Halo3 player is Sub -18, which implies:
They dont:
Have a serious relationship EG: marriage
Have a job
Have a life.
Thus leading me to conclude that the typical Halo3 demographic would most probably be living with their parents. Also leading me to state the obvious:
If they are addicted to Halo3, they are most probably addicted to other games. DUH.

4. World of Warcraft. The game alone racks enough to make hollywood look like an amateur porn.

In conclusion, Hollywood like the RIAA search for lame excuses to give reason to their piece of product. “knocked UP” come ON! i mean seriously everything that has been coming out of Hollywood has been utter crap.
This is going to prompt gamers to boycott the industry. I mean Gamers are already being played and stuffed with Ad’s and other meaningless bull, this will only make us hate the industry even more.

Gabe Newell Rocks! So eat it Warner.


On October 15, 2007 at 8:53 pm

“Note to movie studios: If you’re going to blame “Halo” for poor movie ticket sales, perhaps you need to FUND A HALO MOVIE.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

I can’t believe you get a script for a movie version of one of the highest grossing video game franchises of all times and you give it a “pass”… what the hell? Granted video game movies have not been a HUGE success, but it would be pretty hard to mess up a Halo movie. You need a guy in a big metal suit shooting aliens. Sounds like a formula that’s worked before!


On October 15, 2007 at 10:11 pm

uhhh. my 2 cents.
no, halo does not have a primary demographic of 18 and under year olds.. the people a bungie know that college aged and even older make up a HUGE part of their sales so they are not going to ignore them at all. In fact, it’s the 18 year olds and older who can afford Halo 3 on their own. So i wouldn’t say pre-18 is thier primary demographic.

and to whoever said “but it would be pretty hard to mess up a Halo movie” … umm, i think it would be ridiculously EASY to mess up a halo movie. some gamers don’t wait their fav video game tainted with anything sub-par.. and yea. making sub-par video game movies seems to be a Hollywood staple. It’s a great game.. why ruin it with a move. just like there are GREAT books that make crappy movies.

Daniel Sellers

On October 15, 2007 at 11:32 pm

So, first they blame Pirating and now they’re blaming Halo 3. To bad people in this day and age can’t take responsibility for their own F-Ups. I’m in the industry (very Indie) and I’m so sick of the garbage that’s being put out and called movies. Norbit had it absolutely right! Hollywood: STOP FUNDING HACKS AND POS MOVIES AND MAYBE JUST MAYBE WE’LL LAY DOWN OUR EXTREMELY HARD EARNED CASH TO SEE WHAT YOU PUT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Look I do pirate some stuff (and i own Halo 3), but if I can actually watch a new movie without having to turn it off (that’s the free movie that I technically stole that I’m turning off) and I like it I will pay to see it in theaters or I’ll buy it on DVD. I own over 800 STORE BOUGHT DVDs, so don’t tell me videogames and pirating are wrecking your careers! The CRAP you’re spewing on to film is doing that just fine for you.

Larry Gasik

On October 16, 2007 at 1:52 am

Yep – I’ll admit, I haven’t gone to the movies since Halo3 came out… But so what? That’s because everything sucks that’s out there… and it is so expensive. Halo3 will last me years. The $20 to go see a movie will last two hours. Tops.


On October 16, 2007 at 4:46 am

Ever think people get tired of seeing the same movie over and over again, except it’s reworked in slight different ways each time?… gg movie industry

havoc of smeg

On October 16, 2007 at 6:14 am

welcome to the future of entertainment!

and you know what, gaming is a good thing going on :cool: :grin:
and i’m lovin’ it!!! :smile:

Go watch cable

On October 16, 2007 at 7:05 am

Random note: I live (literally) above a 21 screen uber-hooked-up theatre complex. It’s built into my condo. And I think I went there once like 5 years ago when it opened and they gave me free tickets…

Last good film I saw in theatres was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In 1989. Well – to be fair – the first Austin Powers wasn’t that bad. And I sort of laughed at Ron Burgundy. But still – since Indy I can’t remember thinking “wow, that was awesome. I’m so glad I decided to come.”

* The movies just aren’t that great. Take the last three Star Wars movies. Great effects, but terrible, terrible dialogue. So bad (to me) that it totally suspended the fantasy and I felt genuinely bad for what the recent movies did to the series.

* It’s unoriginal recycled crap. Cloned junk that gets weaker each successive lather-rinse-repeat cycle. Stop inbreeding and go do something original.

* All flash, no engagement. To abuse a line from Heart of Darkness, “it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through [it], and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt, maybe.” Maybe. All kaboomination and no character development, engaging plot, or any of the other elements of “good” story telling makes for a poor experience. But the realistic hair on the 3D models was cool…

* I’m desensitized. You remember when there were “big” movies like Superman or E.T. and you heard about them everywhere? It was _huge_. Now with the constant media blitz and sensationalism I don’t listen to any of it. I’m immune. No banner ad, radio spot, TV annoyance, or spam shall touch me. All I listen to is word of mouth – and, frankly, that ain’t happenin’. If I ask people whose opinion I trust if they liked a recent movie and get “meh – it was OK, I guess,” that’s not motivation. That just means the movie goes on my Netflix queue. Maybe.

* Re: Netflix. I’m done with theatres (short of the new Indy IV movie, which I’ll go see because I want to be surrounded by it). It’s just not worth it at this point when I can kick back and check out the same content (with pausing and my own food) on a high resolution HD set and surround sound. And I can watch it again if I like.

* Strangely, movies are a bit of an impersonal experience compared to watching at home. Despite being surrounded by hundreds of others you’re still alone in the crowd. At home I can have people over, hook them up with a few beers and food or whatever, and collectively “ooooh” and “aaaah” as much as we want. Or make fun of poor film dialogue without fear of fanboy retribution. ;)

* I’m not cheap, but there’s no way I’m spending ~$16-20 USD for my wife and I to sit through a crappy movie with pretentious git “actors” when I can get better films on demand or on DVD and genuinely enjoy them. I’m there for the entertainment and the movies just aren’t a good value. Thanks to the goodness of DVD rental and online distribution I’m back to finding whole generations of TV that I missed out on (A Bit of Fry and Laurie :D ).

* Jar Jar Binks.

God, I sound old for 32. I need to go get a walker and harass the neighborhood kids…


On October 16, 2007 at 10:16 am

Bravo to you Go Watch Cable. I also think your last point is particularly valid. The invention of jar Jar Binks is up there with some of the greatest mistakes in the history of mankind. Honestly…horrific.


On October 16, 2007 at 10:48 am

I know everyone always picks on Jar Jar, but that’s what turned all the little kids onto Star Wars, just like we all liked R2D2 as little kids and probably didn’t even get most of the rest of the movie when we were 5 years old. We all wanted to be R2D2 at halloween, but come on, was he really as cool as we remember him ? Jar jar is the same, sadly, he’s the next generations R2D2. Just accept it.


On October 16, 2007 at 10:57 am

@Go Watch Cable: You make some great points! I hope you become a regular commenter on Gaming Today because you my friend are someone I could read comments from all day.

Leon James

On October 16, 2007 at 11:37 am

Maybe the MPAA should sue Microsoft for stealing profits away from the Movie Industry. I’d like to see that!!


On October 16, 2007 at 11:47 am

There are several reasons why I haven’t been to the movies.

1. My 8 yr old sidekick.
2. It’s too expensive
3. Don’t have no one to watch her so I can take the bus to the theater
4. I can be sitting in McDonalds and some Asian lady will eventually walk in selling her bootleg movies.

P.S. Since so many of you are staying at home, anyone want to watch my daughter so I can go see 30 Days of Night and Why Did I Get Married? She wants to see the second one but I can’t convice her to see the vampire movie with me. Go figure…:P


On October 16, 2007 at 11:52 am

Oops, forgot to mention like everyone else said the movies out have been mostly crap. I might want to see those dramas that are getting Oscar buzz but that brings me to point #1. My daughter will not sit through that so it will wait til DVD. But I must say I’m getting more and more interested in the Bee Movie. I saw more clips on Oprah and I laughed so hard. It actually might not be just for little kids.

notorious S.L.O.B

On October 16, 2007 at 11:59 am

:twisted: UMMM.. I think the game was released on a Tuesday. How can that greatly impact anything to do with movies? I’m sure nobody rarely sees any movies during the weekday.

Estlin Jack

On October 16, 2007 at 12:41 pm

The only reason people are going to see the GOD AWFUL movies that come out is for a change of pace. When it’s all the same bull, we tend to not want to go. I find that if I see any more than four movies in the summer, or more than ten movies in the theatre all year, I will be very disappointed.


On October 16, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Thing is, some of the best films are those that don’t come out in the summer or christmas, because they’re not blighted by the ‘have to be a summer blockbuster’ cliché. Summer means teen films, horror/thiller’s and cheap lamey action film’s. Replace the former with christmas themed at christmas and it’s mostly the same. Coming out a different time will mean that there is no demand for a particular type of film.

Not to say that means all summer/christmas films are sucky, but I’ve seen less good films during the summer or christmas than at other points of the year. I hope Indiana Jones 4 next year proves me heartily wrong though.


On October 16, 2007 at 3:33 pm

No. I love going out to the movies, and if only these execs knew how badly I wished there was a half decent movie, that’s even slighty appealing, for me to go see.


On October 16, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Well, what do you expect? After the game was a success most people want to play it. No one has time to go watch the movie…maybe after the Halo fever is over :grin: :grin: :grin:


On October 17, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Yea, only movies I watch in theaters these days are boobies + shiny + boom. Please to be giving me more Fast and the Furious, Kung Fu Hustle, and Batman. And stop murdering childhood icons (Transformers, I’m looking at you .\/.). Also, you’re not allowed to try to make a “deep” movie unless you’re over 60 and have cancer.


On October 17, 2007 at 11:02 pm

@Go Watch Cable – I agree with Daniel – please stick around. I also have to agree with you on several of your points.

The last time I went to the movies was to see 300. The time before that was Sin City. Before that was the LOTR movies, and before that?…… I have zero recollection. To be honest, I rarely rent movies : One, because my live in and I do not like the same sort of films (although he did like 300). I have no desire to see utter crap like “The Hills Have Eyes 2″ , to watch what I want I have to wait for him to go out of town so that I can rent flicks like “The Departed” , “Notes on a Scandal”, and “Smokin’ Aces”. He should just be thankful that I hate chick flicks and get over it and let me pick one once in a while.

But this is not a tirade at him (or is it?), but at the movie industry at large. Before I got the writing gig that I have here at Gaming Today, I reviewed movies just released on DVD. You would not BELIEVE the rubbish I had to view. Thankfully, my editor loved the fact that I hated most of them. He both nurtured and encouraged my wrath and then set me loose upon the world like rabid pit bull. Hollywierd sucks, and they love nothing more than to waste time and money on craptacular films with asinine scripts acted out by talentless hacks. Wow. I think I may have had too much wine tonight…….


On October 18, 2007 at 1:32 am

I don’t see the big deal really. By saying that Halo 3 is at fault, what they are saying is that Halo 3 is superior to their Ben Stiller movie. It’s survival of the fittest, you guys. If your formulaic movie doesn’t cut it, you are right to blame the superior forms of entertainment, because yours is inferior.


On October 18, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Holy crap, why doesn’t anybody say the obvious?
We’ll be doing whatever we think is more entertaining. Release ty films and we’ll stay home and play Halo 3. Release Iron Man and I guarantee we’ll be lining up to see the movie.”Heartbreak kid” with Ben Hack Stiller? No thank you.

Kiernan Holland

On October 26, 2007 at 8:57 am

I think Diggnation is to blame to loss in movie sales..

Truthfully, I’ve looked at the offerings at the theater, and and I agree with Kevin, the films suck now.. But, I think the problem, partially is that the movie business sees its market a global one, and in india I’ve been told they prefer to dance in the theaters than watch the film (told this by an indian media 101 instructor I had).. When movies are made for a world market, the content gets watered down because its being made to satisfy all viewers and cultures (Disney films basically).. The other major studios make films that follow a formula, that if you’ve seen one movie, you’ve seen them all.

The reason games suck ticket sales.. They are interactive.. Movies are not interactive.. Games, even board games, involve others, and are honestly a lot of
fun.. Movies are not fun, they are boring as all hell.. Unless they are soooo good that you come out of the theatre inspired.. Even bad games are better than most movies..

The film execs should get a clue, it’s not about the product, its about the customer.. Don’t get stuck in the mindset that the entertainment industry is films, is cd’s, is dvd’s.. The new media is interactive.. It’s everything.. Maybe the film execs should think about re-inventing media..

I doubt they will.. Any kind of change is seen as failure.. Exploit what the market has proven has worked.. The usual conservative thinking.. Enter in the Internet.. The conservative hits the fan.. Internet just chops it all to hell..

Rethink your approach guys.. I think at the heart of it.. Stop trying to turn out products.. Turn out experiences.. Start with games that present a unique world, a place to explore. Follow that with movies. Follow that with music centered around that world, that experience.. The build a amusement park based on that world.. But let it build out that way if the topic is popular enough.. Games are cheaper to make than amusement rides, that are cheaper to make than movies, that are cheaper to make than vegas hotels, and so on..

And as a hint, try making the video games free.. So people on fridays can invite their friends.. People are more likely to share a free experience than a costly one.

And advertising? Forget advertising.. It’s useless and people’s minds are already bent to ignore it..


On October 31, 2007 at 9:25 am

Maybe people didn’t see Heartbreak Kid because Ben Stiller is the worst and most unfunniest actor who ever lived. He plays only 2 parts, his dodgeball character and his meet the parents character.


On November 26, 2007 at 6:58 pm

you’ll should make a movie about halo it will be awesome


On November 26, 2007 at 6:59 pm

and gears of war movie

Halo Fanatic

On November 30, 2007 at 10:01 pm

y the wud u cancel the best selling viedo game of all time?????????? it wud be the biggest movie of all time u dumb asses jeaus tits!!!!!!!!!!!!! come on on the first night halo 3 was sold they made over 15 million dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 just think if thier was a movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! u guys cud be multi trillion airs well u ed thing up then hope u wrote in a plastic bag on the side of a road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


On December 23, 2007 at 2:15 am :arrow: :shock: :cool: :evil: :idea: :mrgreen: :twisted: :arrow: :???: :cool: :wink: :wink: :lol: :lol: :?: :evil: :smile: :twisted:

Lannen O'Rouke

On December 23, 2007 at 2:51 am

This isn’t anything new, and i personally believe that the cinema is a slowly dying beast.

Most of us have a surround sound system and T.V. that is slightly under or even rivals anything we can get in the cinema, we can watch movies in the privacy of our own homes and without 100+/- strangers shoveling candies and popcorn in their mouths or talking on their cellphones throughout the entire movie.

Going to the cinema is far more expensive then waiting a few more months for the movie to be released to video and i’ve gotten to the point where i prefer it.

mass article

On March 4, 2008 at 6:12 am

Why don’t they realize that it’s the crappy movies that have been coming out for some time now.. Maybe if they made some movies that were worth watching they would make some money.


On May 3, 2008 at 8:19 pm

I also think that if they bothered to make the halo movie people would see it 100 times over, now lets think prity much everyone wi;ll see it and for the few who ndont the neards how watch 10 times will make up for them now in one country alone the are trillions of people so if the make it they will make over 7 trillion dollars!!!!(give or take little)thats enough to give all the snobby basterds enough to retire.oh wait if they change you 5 bucks to see the movie the will make 35 trillion dollars so why the dont they make the bloody movie!!!! :shock:

random man on random site

On May 29, 2008 at 3:14 pm


random man on random site

On May 29, 2008 at 3:17 pm

yes i said it movies suck sue me poor movie makerz what r u gonna do with all that money any way donate some to charity no not some alot id liek some 2

Alex J Rodgers

On September 27, 2009 at 6:41 pm

A yea after the fact. ODST came out, and people still want a Halo movie. Relatively inexpensive considering you would be using CGI characters for the most part. Also I have talked with many people who think that if a Halo movie did come out our Economy would sky rocket do to the number of ticket sales. I could care less if the story line of movie sucked as long as stuff is blowing up I am happy.

P.S. ODST = Sucks except for FireFight thats pretty sweet.