[MUD-Dev] Movie grosses

Myschyf myschyf at xrgaming.net
Tue Apr 10 09:18:44 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


"Matt Mihaly" <the_logos at achaea.com> wrote:

> In cases anyone cares, I've found a much more realistic figure for
> what the movie industry grosses: US$40 billion. Games don't come
> close yet.

Yeah but that esssay/report/whatever-it-is also says it costs: "...34
million and the average initial marketing costs (prints and
advertising) for a feature was $16 million. These two statistics alone
make the task of recouping production and marketing costs for MPAA
pictures formidable. Low and medium budget pictures produced by the
independents (typically for less than $2.5 million and $10 million,
respectively)...."

That's 50m for a major release with indie films costing about the same
as it takes to make a major MMOG these days.  It doesn't give any
figures for the average indie film gross but it does say that:
"Independent pictures gross much more modest sums, but, as mentioned,
their production and marketing budgets are considerably less as
well. The top 10 grossing limited release films of 1995, for instance,
grossed between $9.4 million (The Brothers Mc Mullen) and $3.7 million
(Bad Company)."

Actually I just read down a bit further.  It does give indie film
figures.  "Quality B-Pictures produced by independent production
companies in the past have been able to routinely generate revenues in
excess of $2 million when one considers not only theatrical, but home
video, foreign and ancillary revenues."

That would mean that the indie films barely break even.  It also says
that only about half the films made see theatrical production.  I'd be
interested in seeing how figures on how many films get half or 3/4
close to completion and then do not get finished (for whatever
reason).  I'd also be interested in seeing how many unfinished films
are major studio releases.

I'd think you'd need all these figures before you could reasonably
compare gaming revenues with movie revenues.  Its a natural
correlation and one I've been tempted to make many times.  Take EQ or
SWG which I'd equate to a major studio release to something like
Shadowbane which I'd equate to an independent release.... see how well
they do (well it isn't as if the respective companies would release
their earnings or spending figures but it would be nice).

The other thing that isn't figured in is ongoing support.  I don't
know that much about the movie industry but once its released, isn't
the work of the studio pretty much done?  Besides distribution costs I
mean.  But there's no server farm, there's no customer service,
there's no complaints about behavior, character names, getting stuck
in a black hole, bug exploitation, etc etc.  So you don't have the
same ongoing costs for a movie that you would have for a game.

It would be nice to get some real figures for games so we could do a
real comparison but I don't think games have been out long enough to
do that (I mean on a mass-marketed scale).


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