Iron-Man and GTA IV Team up to Crush a Modern Marketing Myth

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Last year, Hollywood executives were whining about how the fact that they make bad movies Halo 3 (a massively successful video game) was putting a big dent in their movie sales. In October 2007, box office receipts were down 27%. Company mouthpieces had to come up with a reason why, so they fired up their BS machine that allows them to blame everything from online piracy to Scientology for poor movie sales and came up with this: (Excerpt from CVG)

Film executives are blaming Halo 3 for lower than expected October Box Office numbers, which on the weekend of the 5th were down a whopping 27 percent from the same time last year.

Many film executives, reports Advertising Age, are convinced that punters stayed indoors to play Master Chief’s latest, which let’s not forget broke all box office records by making $170 million on its first day. It’s now gone on to sell well over $300 million.

Ben Stiller’s new offering, The Heartbreak Kid (which cost $60 million to make) was expected to clear $20 million in its opening weekend, instead it made only $14 million. Execs blame the Chief.

It sounds like a good excuse, but RUH-ROH! A little movie called Iron Man debuted this weekend and brought in ~$104 million, which sets it at the second-highest ever opening weekend gross for a non-sequel movie. That’s a pretty good take; in fact, it’s an opening weekend that most studio execs would give their eye teeth for.

Now consider the fact that Grand Theft Auto IV was released last week. The Grand Theft Auto gaming-franchise is one of the few that is actually bigger than Halo’s. This latest installment cost $100 million to make, and GTA IV is expected to out-sell Halo 3 by more than two-fold in it’s first week of release.

In conclusion: big, bad GTA IV just came out and should have kept Iron Man’s bread-and-butter audience indoors, they’re blood-shot eyes illuminated by a flickering screen filled with the most comprehensive, open-ended virtual world ever created. So, why didn’t Iron Man flop and make $1 over the weekend? Um, maybe because it’s a good movie, and if you make good movies you don’t have to come up with silly, back-pedaling excuses for your share holders.

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