Margin Makers: Guide to video game movies

The summer movie season is in full swing, meaning cinephilic gamers will be settling down with popcorn and the latest flick. MCV checks out the games that made it to the silver screen

No longer are video games merely described as having ‘cinematic qualities’ – many of the industry’s biggest franchises have flourished in the medium of film.

The highest-grossing video game adaptation to date is 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, based on the Ubisoft IP. Sporting a star-studded cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley, helmed by Harry Potter director Mike Newell, and produced by legendary movie exec Jerry Bruckheimer, the film made over $335 million at the Box Office.

With an average critic rating of 5/10, Prince of Persia is also the second-highest-rated game movie of all time on Metacritic, behind 1995’s Mortal Kombat, which has an average score of 6/10.

While game film adaptations have become notorious for their varying quality, mixed critical reception doesn’t deter fans from checking out their favourite franchises on the big screen, with the sector earning big bucks.

Indeed, the next 12 months will see several game series take on the Box Office. These include Hitman: Agent 47, the second Hitman film after 2007’s effort, set for release this August. On the family-friendly side of things, an Angry Birds movie is slated for early 2016, starring Games of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage and Frozen’s Josh Gad.

Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones is lending his talent to a silver screen adaptation of Blizzard’s MMO World of Warcraft set for release next summer, potentially signalling an end to the critical struggle of game films.

Movies of Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed and The Last of Us are just a handful of the big-brand adaptions also on the way, meaning that now is the perfect time to remind players of games’ cinematic success.

Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist

Originally created as a hit YouTube web series, Assassin’s Fist follows the iconic battlers from Capcom’s fighting franchise, Ryu and Ken, as they unveil the secrets of their master Gouken and master the art of Ansatsuken. This release features all 12 episodes from the first series of the show, and is available in the form of a limited edition steelbook, as well as DVD and normal Blu-ray.

SRP: 12.99 (DVD), 29.99 (Ltd Edn Blu-ray)

Manufacturer: Assassin’s Fist Limited, Evropa Films, Gloucester Place Films, Lonely Rock Productions

Distributor: Manga Entertainment/Starz


Angry Birds Toons: Season 1 – Volumes 1 and 2

This bumper set contains all 52 episodes from the first two volumes of the Finnish kids’ cartoon based on the massively popular mobile game. Following the narrative of the app, the show sees avian projectiles Red, Chuck, Bomb, Matilda, Terence and the Blues take on the evil swine of Piggy Island as they fight to protect their precious eggs. The collection also includes a soft plush toy of Red, which talks when squeezed.

SRP: 15.99 (DVD)

Manufacturer: Atomic Cartoons, Rovio Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Telepictures, Walt Disney TV

Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Contact: 020 7533 1111

Halo: Nightfall

Produced by Ridley Scott, Nightfall introduces the pivotal character of Locke to the shooter’s universe in time for Halo 5 later this year.

SRP: 12.99 DVD, 29.99 Collector’s Blu-ray

Manufacturer: Anchor Bay

Distributor: Manga Entertainment/Starz


Resident Evil: Retribution

The fifth entry in the biggest video game movie series of all time sees Alice battle against Umbrella and its undead hordes.

SRP: 19.99 (DVD), 29.99 (3D Blu-ray)

Manufacturer: Constantin Film, Impact Pics

Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Ent.

Contact: 020 7533 1111

Hitman Steel Pack

Agent 47’s silver screen adaptation stars Timothy Olyphant as the bald assassin and Bond girl Olga Kurylenko as his companion.

SRP: 25.99 (Blu-ray)

Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox

Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Ent.

Contact: 020 7437 7766

Need for Speed

With an ensemble cast including Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, this high-octane racer is inspired by EA’s eponymous driving franchise.

SRP: 17.99 (DVD), 24.99 (3D Blu-ray)

Manufacturer: DreamWorks

Distributor: E1 Entertainment

Contact: 0203 691 8600

Wreck-it Ralph

This animation proves that baddies aren’t all bad, as Ralph sets out to become a hero with the help of characters like Pac-Man and Sonic.

SRP: 14.99 (DVD), 25.99 (3D Blu-ray)

Manufacturer: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Distributor: Walt Disney Home Entertainment

Contact: 0208 222 2707

The Basement Collection +Indie Game: The Movie

Nine award-winning games accompany this Sundance-recognised documentary about the creators of Braid, Fez and Super Meat Boy.

SRP: 14.99

Manufacturer: Merge Games

Distributor: Merge Games

Contact: 07885 723 353

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