First, all the data (culled, of course, from my beloved Wikipedia). Click to embiggen.
- Movies based on video games have an average Rotten Tomatoes score of 18 out of 100. None of them got higher than 42.
- Most (72%) had a budget of $50 million or less.
- Most (68%) made less than $100 million at the box office.
- It should be no surprise then that half of these movies did not make a profit.
Looking at the list of movies, my first thought was they were poorly chosen. There do exist games with solid, character-based stories (I helped make one of them), but Doom, for example, is not one of them. So it might be that producers are choosing games from the wrong genres:
84% of these titles are in action genres. And while RPGs (for example) are known for their stories, action and fighting games aren't so much.
Unfortunately, when I grouped review scores by genre, there didn't appear to be much correlation. Every genre is spread pretty evenly between hits and misses:
|Apologies for not labeling the genres. Excel was mean to me.|
At this point, I wondered if there was any answer at all. Is it just dumb luck? Is there even a correlation between review score and profit?
Thank goodness there is. It's not a huge correlation (and my heart goes out to the Final Fantasy movie, which got the highest score yet lost the most money -- clearly there is no justice in this world), but the trendline definitely goes up.
Finally, I had the idea to look at the directors. It turns out there is one man who has directed almost a quarter of these movies -- twice as many as any other single person.
He has directed movies from four different game genres. The highest score he received was 24 out of 100, and it was an outlier. Only one of his games-based movies ever made a profit (a whole two million dollars). In short, this man has never directed a video-game-based movie worth seeing.
His name is Uwe Boll.
I'm just looking at the numbers here, but it seems to me that this man should never be allowed near a video game again.