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Saturday, April 27, 2024 

Surely it's too soon to conclude video game film adaptations are picking up success from where comics adaptations have begun to fail?

Forbes India wrote about video game adaptations now becoming the next big thing for Hollywood, and allegedly for screen viewers:
The movie world has long loved superheroes, and they've always proved profitable. But while comic books used to be the golden goose for Hollywood, it seems that studios are now turning to video game characters to fill the coffers. And it's working! Video game adaptations are growing in popularity, while comic book adaptations are waning, both on the small and the big screens.

Is Super Mario mightier than Aquaman? It seems that, in terms of popularity, video game adaptations are winning over more and more viewers, who are gradually turning away from comic-book adaptations. This is demonstrated by the latest report from Ampere Analysis, which looked at average consumer search volumes for the latest versions of comic book and video game adaptations.

According to the data, there has been a downward trend in the popularity of comic book adaptations since 2021 and 2022. While the blockbusters "Spider-Man: No Way Home," directed by Jon Watts and released in 2021, and Matt Reeves' 2022 movie "The Batman," stand out from the crowd, shows like "WandaVision" and "Loki" on Disney+ score lower, as does the second installment in the DC Comics franchise, "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," directed by James Wan and released at the end of 2023.

Conversely, adaptations of certain video game franchises have enjoyed an uptick in popularity over the past three years. The "Uncharted" video game adaptation starring Tom Holland—who also happens to play Spider-Man in "No Way Home"—largely dominated consumer searches in 2022, as did the HBO series "The Last of Us," starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" also topped the search charts in 2023, well ahead of the third installment of "Guardians of the Galaxy," reports Ampere Analysis.
The Super Mario Brothers movie may have proven a big hit in terms of animation as much as video game adaptations, but that doesn't mean any and all soon to come will be artistically successful, let alone box office bonanzas. It's important to remember some of the early ones like the late Bob Hoskins' live action adaptation of Mario in 1993 were a disaster. And were superhero movies always successful and profitable? We should consider that over 40 years ago, Superman III and Supergirl's live action adaptations tanked, and the 4th Batman movie in 1997 was the least successful at the time. Some of the early Marvel adaptations weren't successful either, like the Daredevil and Elektra movies, and the Fantastic Four adaptations made to date weren't very successful either. Nor was a Catwoman movie from the mid-2000s starring Halle Berry in the role. The problem with this article is it's written like a tabloid.

If video game adaptations are working so far, it's possibly because the audience is desperate for something new, and that does have a downside. Why must only action-style movies be the ones they're looking for, and not drama? Maybe it's time to give serious character drama another chance at the box office again, certainly if it's artistically successful. The same can be said for comedy, which has regrettably been sidelined as a result of PC mentality. We shouldn't just jump to viewing video game adaptations just because they're the new big deal in Hollywood, based on their determination to make a quick buck.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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