The current issue of Entertainment Weekly features a short but provocative story about the danger that Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto IV could pose to the Hollywood box office when it is released on April 29th.
Writer Nicole Sperling points out that GTA IV shares an audience similar to that of Paramount's eagerly awaited film Iron Man, which is set to release three days after the game hits stores. Could GTA IV gamers wind up skipping the movie on opening weekend in favour of plopping themselves in front of their TVs and game consoles?
The story ends up taking the tone that it is unlikely that a game's release will have any impact on a movie's box office take, quoting a Paramount spokesman as saying "It's crazy to think that young males can't carve out two hours for Iron Man," and an industry analyst as making the claim that it's "the dopiest thing" he's ever heard.
Well, it doesn't sound that dopey to me. In fact, it seems entirely possible that some younger GTA IV players will figure that, having already spent $60 on a game that week, it might be wise to conserve funds. Perhaps they'll see Iron Man later in its run, or, if the film gets bad word of mouth, perhaps they won't....