The recent trend in video game movies

Back in the 90s, there was a curse associated with video game movies since they were first introduced with Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton’s 1993 Super Mario Bros. The Movie. The movie went over budget, was slammed by critics, bombed in the box office and was not faithful to the source material. 

The late Bob Hoskins, who played Mario in the movie, was once asked what he believed was the worst thing he ever worked on. In 2007, Hoskins did an interview where he said it was a nightmare. 

This movie created a “curse,” where every video game movie would get terrible reviews and bomb in the box office. This “curse” was broken by Paul W. S. Anderson’s 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, which did well in the box office and was praised by video game fans for being somewhat faithful to source material. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert from At the Movies even gave the movie two thumbs up. After Mortal Kombat, video game movies tended to get meddling reviews and do well in the box office. 

In recent years, video game movies have been getting good reviews and have also been doing well in the box office. 

Pokémon Detective Pikachu and the Sonic the Hedgehog movie did great critically and financially. Pokémon Detective Pikachu grossed $433 million during its theatrical run against its $150 million budget and has a 69% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Sonic the Hedgehog has currently grossed around $296 million worldwide against its $85 million budget and has a 64% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Sonic the Hedgehog even broke Pokémon Detective Pikachu’s opening week box office record by earning $57 million on its opening weekend, while Pokémon Detective Pikachu earned $54 million.

These well-regarded video game movies are coming out after a decade and a half filled with movies like Uwe Boll’s BloodRayne and Alone in the Dark and Paul W. S. Anderson’s Resident Evil films. Uwe Boll’s films are notoriously bad and have odd creative decisions, like randomly flashing House of the Dead video game footage throughout his film adaption of said game. 

 Paul W. S. Anderson’s films after Mortal Kombat tended to do well financially, but his films are usually criticized for their stories not being faithful to the source material. Paul W. S. Anderson is currently working on the post-production of his film Monster Hunter, which is going to theaters on Sept. 4, 2020. 

The current trend in video game movies are creating new stories that are faithful to the characters and are CGI live-action mash-ups. Two critically acclaimed video game franchises have movies in the works– Uncharted and The Last of Us. These movies have some big names attached to them. Tom Holland is said to be involved in the Uncharted movie as the main character, Nathan Drake. The people behind The Last of Us movie even got the game’s writer and creative director, Neil Druckmann, working on the production.

The current landscape of video game movies is looking better than it ever has, and it seems that the curse associated with them is gone.