How public opinion on video games movies has changed


Film adaptations of video games have always had a stigma with fans of said video games. Whether it be a lack of originality or terrible screenplays and casting. Video game movies have always had a negative or mixed reception to them.

We start off with the first video game to have a blockbuster movie about it, “Super Mario Bros.”

The “Super Mario Bros.” film first released May 28, 1993, having a $42 to 48 million budget, and only grossing $38.9 million at the box office.

The film also had a terribly troubled production, with directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel being blamed by most of the actors and staff for trouble onset. Accidents, changes mid-filming, and tons of rewriting of the script by half a dozen different writers were prevalent in the film production. There’s even a half-hour of footage cut from the finished movie.

Even when the film was released, the reviews were lukewarm at best. Many critics praise the movie’s sets, creatures, and special effects, but it lacks any story or substance to be a good movie. Audiences, on the other hand, find the film strangely charming and fun to watch, despite how it’s nowhere near the source material.

After many other terrible film adaptations of video games, video game movies have developed a reputation for being absolutely awful. The best rated video game movies before 2017 had only ever been rated around 40% on Rotten Tomatoes.

There’s plenty of reasons why movie adaptations of video games don’t work, like too much or too little plot to fit into 1-3 hours, problems translating interactive games to non-interactive films, and just a poor understanding of what makes the game so appealing to audiences in the first place.

Fortunately, video game movies have been getting better as of recently. Films like “Detective Pikachu” succeed in telling a character-driven story and managing to be faithful to the original source material by adapting a spin-off instead of a main game. With positive reviews from fans of the franchise loving the film.

The “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie has also received overwhelmingly positive reviews, but it didn’t start out like that at first. When the first trailer for the movie was released, fans were horrified by the initial design of Sonic the Hedgehog. With the uncanny design of Sonic, expectations for the film were an all-time low. Luckily, Paramount listened to the fans and decided to change Sonic’s design to the one we see today.

When the film was released, audiences’ reviews were absolutely positive with a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even with its many clichés of ‘90s road trip movies, the Sonic movie was praised for its great CGI, perfect casting, and being an overall fun movie to watch. So, it wouldn’t be false to say fans were excited over a sequel of the movie coming soon.

A sequel for the Sonic movie was teased when the after credits showed a ring portal popping out, and coming from it was the two-tailed fox himself, Tails. Needless to say, fans were ecstatic about this scene. A few months later in May 2020, a sequel was confirmed for the film with Tails and Knuckles making their official debut on the big screen.

On April 8, 2022, the film was released in the US, and the film received even more praise than the first one. Being more accurate to the games, and having more action-packed scenes featuring Sonic and Knuckles. Sonic and Tails’ dynamic is also really sweet.

More seems to be coming from the Sonic franchise. A sequel was announced before the second film even released, and a TV show spinoff starring Knuckles has also been announced.

With the new found success of video game movies, Nintendo decided to cash in and announce a new Mario movie courtesy of Illumination Entertainment. With an interesting cast of Chris Pratt as Mario, Jack Black as Bowser, and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, the new Mario movie will certainly be a fascinating experience.

Video game movies have faced scrutiny for a very long time because of terrible or below average film adaptations. But with movies like “Detective Pikachu” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” a new light was shed for this genre of film, and soon we might get more great video game movies in the future.

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