There is no secret that most film adaptations of video game properties are…mediocre, at best. Sure, you have the occasional adaptation that scores with critics and audiences alike (the original Tomb Raider, for instance) but those films are generally the exception that proves the rule. While international box offices have somehow been able to drive some of even the worst of these films (Warcraft has somehow managed to generate $422 mil worldwide, 90% of which was international box office), those numbers cannot be counted on when it comes to generating revenue for a property. One of the next films that will be trying to break the box office is the upcoming Assassin’s Creed adaptation, starring Michael Fessbender. The video game franchise, developed by Ubisoft, has a massive following but in a recent interview with MCV, Ubisoft’s European Head, Alain Corre, doesn’t seem to believe that those fans will lead to revenue once the film hits screens.
After Ubisoft announced that their new film division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, would kick things off with Assassin’s Creed, fans all over the globe became excited at the prospect of a video game company taking their own property from console to screen with integrity. However, even if every Creed fan in the world went to see the film, it still wouldn’t generate the estimated $100-200mil price tag the film carries along with it. This means that in order to bring those totals up, the promotion of the film will have to draw in those that may have never even heard of the game. This is not an easy endeavor, typically, and Corre is very realistic in his assumptions when it comes to the box office tallies.
We are not going to earn a lot of money from it. It is a lot more a marketing thing, it is also good for the image of the brand. Although we will make some money, it is not the purpose of this movie. The purpose is to bring Assassin’s Creed to more people. We have our core fans, but what we would like is to put this franchise in front of a lot more people who, maybe, will then pick up future Assassin’s Creed games.
Now, there are a couple of ways to take these comments. Either Corre believes that the movie itself won’t generate revenue or, if taken a bit out of context, perhaps he simply meant that in the end, Ubisoft’s cut of the pie may not be as big as they like, once you throw in distribution and licensing fees, etc. Either way, though, Corre obviously recognizes the challenges in bringing the property to new fans and that is the endgame. This makes sense; after all, the film, if successful, could basically be a 2 hour (or longer) commercial for the video game franchise and as long as Ubisoft keeps that in mind, chances are that they are going to give fans a film that will be fun and adventurous, and will give newcomers a reason to run out and buy a few of the games. In case you missed it, take a look at the trailer.
Assassin’s Creed hits theaters on December 21, 2016.
Are you exicted for the film? Do you think it has a chance at breaking the box office?