Sometimes, the popularity of a video game is so powerful that its fan base demands even more entertainment out of it beyond the gaming experience. Some video games have taken advantage of their popularity and jumped from the video game screen to movie screens. The most successful movies based on video games were able to tell a compelling story, even to moviegoers who hadn’t played the game. Here are nine movies based on video games.
1. Super Mario Bros. (1993)
The first movie based on video games, Super Mario Bros., turned out to be a huge commercial flop. The live action story following Mario, Luigi, Princess Daisy, and King Koopa proved to be a little too ridiculous for modern audiences. Today, the film has found a small cult following of huge video game fans who have discovered this movie. Despite its lack of success, this movie did chronicle the first opportunity to translate a game to a narrative film.
2. Mortal Kombat (1995)
The huge success of the video game Mortal Kombat created an opportunity to make a movie of the same name. In 1995, New Line Cinema released this film to an eager audience. The movie used some of the plot points from the original 1992 release of Mortal Kombat. After debuting, the movie stayed at the top of the box office for weeks and earned a huge profit.
3. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
The next popular movie based on video game was Tomb Raider. This video game had players transfixed since its release in 1996. The beautiful female protagonist of the series, Lara Croft, was brought to life by actress Angelina Jolie in the 2001 film. Audiences flocked to see Jolie navigate the world of the video game, and this film exceeded industry expectations at the box office and spawned a sequel.
4. Resident Evil (2002)
The video game Resident Evil got the box office treatment next with a release in 2002. Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez starred in this live action classic. The film enjoyed box office success due to its exciting plot and elements of horror that brought the game’s terrifying zombies to life. Its success prompted the movie studio to make several more sequels that continued the adventure.
5. Silent Hill (2006)
Another movie based on video games that transformed its plot into a successful horror series is Silent Hill, which got the big screen treatment in 2006. The filmmakers were inspired by the video game title, but they sought out to develop a new plot that incorporated horror, fear, and suspense. Filmmaker Christophe Gans had to lobby the video game producer for several years to get the rights to make the movie.
6. Max Payne (2008)
In 2008, Max Payne was released to moderate success at the movie box office. Mark Wahlberg starred as the title character. Because there were so many differences between the plot of the video game and the plot of the movie, the game’s producers came out and released a statement criticizing the film. Despite this fact, the film did go on to achieve some profit after being released, but some audiences were confused about the character’s motivation or the point of the whole story.
7. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Jake Gyllenhaal took on the title role in 2010’s video game story Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This popular game title got the big budget treatment with Jerry Bruckheimer producing and Walt Disney Studios releasing it. The movie used several plot points from the same video games series that the film is based on. It grossed more than $300 million at the box office upon release and attracted a wide audience of fans of the game along with many newcomers to the story and characters.
8. Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish (2011)
Some movies based on video games have unique origin stories, such as 2011’s Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish, based on the immensely popular Call of Duty series from Activision and company leader Bobby Kotick. This short film was produced after a fan made film was created called Find Makarov. Activision heard about the film after it became popular with the video game’s fans. Then, the gaming studio contacted the original filmmakers and pledged to help make an update of the film and make it an official prequel release to the video game series.
9. The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
One of the most recent movies based on video games released was 2016’s The Angry Birds Movie. This movie, based on the huge success of the mobile game app, showed some of the cartoon video game characters getting into even crazier adventures. This film was primarily marketed to children, which shows how diverse the video game film market could potentially be. It also did well at the box office, making more than $300 million.
Video game movies attempt to bring fans into the theaters by creating an interesting story based on a popular game title or series. While there have been a few failures, some video game based movies have made history with their successes.