The target audience for summer blockbuster movies aren’t that different from blockbuster video games. Popcorn flicks feature fast-paced action with special effects, and hit games usually also feature intense action sequences with the latest graphical tricks. Perhaps for this reason, some Hollywood executives are sweating the release of Grand Theft Auto IV.
In particular, the Iron Man movie will hit screens at the end of this week in an environment now filled with people playing Grand Theft Auto IV. The target demographic for Iron Man shares much overlap with GTA IV, causing some concern for Hollywood.
According to the Financial Times, EA CEO John Riccitiello said that movie executives have told him they worry that GTA IV would take away from Iron Man box office. "I don't think I've ever heard of that before," he says. "There's a big reset happening now."
This isn’t the first time that Hollywood is looking at a hot game property with some trepidation. Last fall, the release of Halo 3 pulled in at $170 million on day one, eventually amounting to over $300 million on the game alone in the first week.
Money spent on games could mean less money on movie tickets – a fact that movie executives used to help explain the poor performance of The Heartbreak Kid, the film that reunited the Farrelly brothers with Ben Stiller.
Marvel Studios’ president of marketing Geoff Ammer expressed optimism for both properties sharing the same week. "The two properties can co-exist in the marketplace," he says. "We believe that moviegoers will make going to see Iron Man part of their weekend plans."
Interestingly, little mention was made of the Iron Man videogame, which also released this week on every current game console.