Why Are Video Game Adaptations (Still) Failing?

Why Video Game Movies Fail

1993 saw the release of Super Mario Bros., the first feature-length live-action motion picture based on a video game franchise. The film was a box office bomb, grossing a paltry $20 million from a budget nearly 2.5 times that amount. In the decades since that debacle, we are disheartened to report that not much has changed.

While there have been some middling successes, movies based directly on video games have failed to break out at the box office or receive reception from fans and critics. To date, the highest-grossing domestic hit in that realm is 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which took in a solid $131 million, and helped to bounce its rising star, Angelina Jolie, straight up …

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