Grand Theft Auto IV Sales Taking Away From Iron Man Opening?
Analysts have predicted that six million copies of Grand Theft Auto IV will pass into the hands of eager gamers this week for a total of $400 million in revenue. Trouble is, those gamers are the same people that might have spent their money on Iron Man, which arrives in theaters this Friday.
Earlier this year EA's chief executive John Riccitiello said movie executives told him they feared the game could "kill" Iron Man, the indestructible iron-encased superhero from the Marvel comic of the same name. "I don't think I've ever heard of that before," he said. "There's a big reset happening now."
Indeed, Iron Man was supposed to be one of the big blockbusters in the traditional summer movie blitz, but now, with more than half a billion dollars flowing from the movie industry into Take Two's coffers, industry watchers aren't so sure.
Dings in Ironman's Suit
Edward Woo, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities, is one detractor who thinks Iron Man will come out of this with more than just a few dings in his super suit. "In entertainment dollars, that means less money for people to go and watch a movie," Woo said in an interview with the Financial Times.
It's true. depending on which version of GTA IV you bought this week (standard or limited edition), you could end up spending more than $120 to play the game and then see Iron Man on Friday at the theater.
Even so, Hollywood puts its best foot forward this week as GTA IV was set to make more money in seven days than many of their blockbusters make in a lifetime of theatrical releases, DVD sales and merchandising--and that's without the Xbox 360 exclusive episodic content!
"The forecasts range from $50m to $100m for [Iron Man's] opening weekend," said Paul Dergara
The he stretched things a bit, saying that the release of GTA IV could help Iron Man, because "gamers buying GTA IV are going to be talking about the game and they're going to be talking about the movies and the movie they will be talking about is Iron Man".
To which we at GamePro ask: Why, exactly, would a sandbox-style game about crime in a pseudo-New York inspire people to see a comic movie about a flying iron-clad man?
Other executives, like Geoff Ammer, president of worldwide marketing and home entertainment for Marvel Studios, tried to save face following the launch of GTA IV. He said the two properties can co-exist, but the facts are plain to see: video games are a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry today, and there's only so much money to go around.