Industry News

Video Game Movies Are Having a Moment in Hollywood—and It’s Just the Start

12 June, 2024

Video game intellectual property (IP) has emerged as the next battleground for Hollywood as comic book movie enthusiasm begins to wane and wobble, and studios are leveraging video game assets better than ever after years of resistance and failure. Globally, 82 percent of people play video games. In the U.S., this number is 85 percent, according to GWI. Familiarity de-risks content investments in the eyes of Hollywood decision makers whose mouths water at the potential offered by IPs with a pre-existing fanbase. Smaller IPs such as Five Nights at Freddy’s ($297 million worldwide against a $20 million budget) offer tantalizing return on investment when executed properly while high-profile titles like The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($1.36 billion) emerge as true smash hits. The film industry is currently enduring a painful contraction. Though a rebound in 2025 is expected, returning to pre-pandemic levels of wide release volume and revenue will be difficult. On the small screen, the number of new streaming originals is shrinking, too, as the industry desperately attempts to claw its way Wolverine-style toward consistent profitability. Between Q1 2020 and Q1 2024, the percentage of quarterly streaming original TV growth dropped from 11 percent to just 4.6 percent, according to Parrot Analytics, where I work as Senior Entertainment Industry Strategist.

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