"The Heartbreak Kid" underperforms; blames Halo 3

The target audience for many of the Farrelly brothers’ movies are young adults, predominantly male. The target audience for Bungie Studios’ Halo 3 game are also young adults, also predominantly male.

Using this parallel comparison, many film executives are pointing their fingers at the latest videogame blockbuster as the reason for one of the weakest recent Hollywood box office weekend performances of the current millennium.

The movie industry expected The Heartbreak Kid, the film that reunites the Farrelly brother director duo with Ben Stiller, to make up to $25 million over the opening weekend. The Heartbreak Kid fell short by raking in only $14 million across North America.

While some of those who would have been interested in seeing The Heartbreak Kid chose to stay at home to play Halo 3, another reason for the movie’s disappointing opening may be due to the less than warm reception by critics. Less than one-third of movie critics gave The Heartbreak Kid an overall positive impression, according to statistics gathered by Rotten Tomatoes. Furthermore, the movie’s “R” rating may have also forced younger viewers to stay at home to play their “M” rated videogame.

According to information cited by Advertising Age, total industry ticket sales were only $80 million for the October 5 weekend, a 27 percent decrease from period last year, making it the industry’s worst performance for an October weekend since 1999.

Halo 3’s first day performance rang in at $170 million, which Microsoft called the "biggest day in US entertainment history." Within the first week of the launch of Halo 3, consumers went on to spend over $300 million on the game alone. Halo 3’s launch also spurred sales of Microsoft’s console, pushing Xbox 360 sales to double over the same period.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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