By Patrick Kevin Day and Jevon Phillips, Los Angeles Times
There have been hits but many misses at the box office for video game adaptations. Here’s a list of some of the genre’s live-action successes and failures, with domestic box office totals from BoxOfficeMojo. (Ubisoft)
Super Mario Brothers (1993)
Domestic box office: $20,915,465
Why the game succeeded: Super-accurate controls brought a new level of control to console gaming, while the inventive and diverse levels improved upon the repetitive experience of Space Invaders and Pac-Man.
The movie? Game over: Controls and leveling don't mean much in a movie theater, you've got to rely on the story and "Super Mario" had the thinnest of plots stomp on mushrooms to rescue the princess. Even the presence of off-Broadway superstar John Leguizamo couldn't save this muddled turkey. (Buena Vista Pictures)
‘Street Fighter’ (1994)
Box office: $33,423,521
Why the game succeeded: The game changed the industry in the arcade and on the then-emerging home console market. The mix of fighting styles, strategic play and awesome displays of power made characters such as Ryu, Ken and Chun Li household names -- at least in gaming households.
The movie? Game over: Despite the presence of acting dynamo, the ‘muscles from Brussels’ Jean-Claude Van Damme, the movie’s serious take was not serious enough for gamers. It was Raul Julia’s last role, but luckily not the role for which he’ll be remembered. (Universal Pictures)
Double Dragon (1994)
Domestic box office: $2,341,309
Why the game succeeded: Cooperative game-play allowed introverted arcade junkies to team-up to beat the bad guys. The opportunity to act out secret Bruce Lee fight fantasies didnt hurt either.
The movie? Game over: Serious "Double Dragon" fans expected a serious "Double Dragon" movie, but instead they got a jokey, hokey, half-serious martial arts film with Alyssa Milano thrown in for eye candy. But not even a pretty girl could save the lame jokes. (Gramercy Pictures)
"Mortal Kombat" (1995)
Domestic box office: $70,454,098
Why the game succeeded: Never underestimate the blood lust of the average video gamer. Super-realistic and extremely gory finishing moves provided a lurid thrill to those willing to plunk down enough quarters to master the games infinite combination of fight moves.
The movie? Game on!: Although not as violent as the game, the film featured a large and bizarre cast of characters filled with just the kind of fighting for which the game was known. Just don't expect to see anyone's spine yanked from their back. (R.E. Aaron / New Line Cinema)
"Wing Commander" (1999)
Domestic box office: $11,578,059
Why the game succeeded: Advanced computer graphics and a more complex storyline than was common for games of its era made the original Wing Commander space flight simulator into a breakthrough on PCs.
The movie? Game over: Game fans aren't as demanding in their dialogue and character development as movie fans, so even though the game's original creator directed the film, the leap between the monitor and the big screen yawned as wide as space itself. (Steve Braun / 20th Century Fox)
“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001)
Domestic box office: $131,168,070; (“The Cradle of Life” grossed $65,660,196 in 2004.)
Why the game succeeded: Lara Croft is probably the biggest sex symbol ever in video games. The game itself was a great adventure romp in exotic locales utilizing numerous weapons against monks, tigers, dinosaurs and mobsters alike.
The movie? Game on!: Angelina Jolie. No, she wasn’t the only reason. The game itself had a huge following, but Jolie was a major reason for the film’s success. The plots were simple and action-filled, but for the most-profitable video game movie franchise, having Angelina Jolie in a sexy role was obviously a huge plus. (Alex Bailey / Paramount Pictures)
‘Resident Evil’ (1994)
Domestic box office: $40,119,709; (“Apocalypse” grossed $51,201,453 in 2004, “Extinction” made $50,648,679 in 2007, and “Afterlife” earned $60,128,566 in 2010.)
Why the game succeeded: The cinematic quality and in-depth storytelling helped scare the heck out of game players in its original and sequel versions.
The movie? Game on!: When a game is turned intol three films and a fourth is on the way, you know something went right. With Milla Jovovich and butt-kicking femmes such as Michelle Rodriguez and Ali Larter in supporting roles, the draw is there. The movie, though, is more action than suspense and horror, which is where the game succeeded initially and where the movie takes off. (Rolf Konow / Screen Gems)
‘Silent Hill’ (2006)
Domestic box office: $46,982,632
Why the game succeeded: Much more horror than sci-fi, the game lets players explore a fictional town, uncovering its secrets and those of the town’s evil twin, Otherworld. The ‘noise effect’ keeps you occupied, while the game’s monsters sneak up and scare you.
The movie? Game over: Not a complete failure, the movie’s effects and weird creatures were just as spooky as those in the game. There’s a lot less of an understanding of what is going on in the movie than in the game though, and that’s not good. (TriStar Pictures)
Domestic box office: $39,687,694
Why the game succeeded: One of the best first-person shooter games, it often required more guile and subtlety than shooting and fighting ability. And don’t mess up or you’ll mar smooth hit man Agent 47’s flawless record.
The movie? Game over: “Hitman” was popular among gamers, but maybe not as appealing to the mainstream as filmmakers hoped. Timothy Olyphant and Dougray Scott should’ve helped, but they didn’t. The plot was also panned as Metacritic gave the film a score of 35 out of 100 based on 22 reviews. (20th Century Fox)
‘DOA: Dead or Alive!’ (2007)Domestic box office: $480,813 Why the game succeeded: Would like to say that it was the fluid fighting, varied styles, impressive mix of weaponry with a bit of the supernatural thrown in and a cool battle tournament-style story line. But it might’ve just been the women. The movie? Game over: Even though the movie does center on the four popular main female characters in the video game, the film didn’t receive much publicity or support outside of the gaming community. More popular overseas ($7,035,719), the hodge-podge cast of actors -- including Devon Aoki, Eric Roberts, Jaime Pressly and Kevin Nash -- might not have helped. (Edwin Yuen)
‘Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li’ (2009)Domestic box office: $8,742,261 Why the game succeeded: As stated in the previous “Street Fighter” bio: The game changed the industry in the arcade and on the emerging home consoles. It’s gotten a revitalized popularity with the Capcom vs. Marvel line and the newest Street Fighter V release. The movie? Game over: Even though the film shines a spotlight on Chun Li, arguably the most popular female of the franchise and definitely of the original characters, and shows off a spunky Kristin Kreuk, the film was not well-received. (Patrick Brown / 20th Century Fox)
“Doom” (2005)Domestic box office: $28,212,337 Why the game succeeded: Helped popularize the first-person shooter genre and added network play, allowing gamers the joy of shooting their friends. The movie? Game over: Critics savaged the film, with critic Richard Roeper stating, “The performances are awful, the action sequences are impossible to follow, the violence is gratuitous, the lighting is bad and I have my doubts that the catering truck was even up to snuff on this project.” (Keith Hamshere / Universal Pictures)
“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (2010)Domestic box office: $90,759,676 Why the game succeeded: The game wasn’t the first in the “Prince of Persia” series, but critics praised this entry’s beautiful animation, atmospheric environments, clever puzzles and strong characterization. All the elements that make up a compelling game. The movie? Game over: Rather than do a straight adaptation of the game, producer Jerry Bruckheimer chose to take elements from the game to craft a brand new live action adventure starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Critics were quick to bash this casting choice, along with almost everything else about the movie. (Andrew Cooper / Disney Enterprises)
‘Max Payne’ (2008)
Domestic box office: $40,689,393
Why the game succeeded: The BAFTA-award winning game was one of the first to use “bullet time” in its game-play, allowing players to slow down time to dodge bullets! The Hong Kong-action and film noir also impressed critics.
The movie? Game over: This “Punisher"-like story was OK, but when the elements of a drug trip and supernatural entities mixed, it became a bit confusing. And though Mark Wahlberg is likable, he was too monotone for this anger-bubbling-under-the-surface character. (Michael Muller / 20th Century Fox)