Digital Nerd

Sunday, June 12, 2005

HALO the movie

BinkNu reports:
Hollywood does not like it when outsiders play certain games.
That was the message sent this week to Microsoft Corp. and its agents at the Creative Artists Agency. Movie studio executives were outraged at the aggressive proposal being shopped for the movie version of the popular Xbox video game "Halo."

Even studio executives, known for their lavish spending, winced at Microsoft's demands, including a $10 million upfront fee for rights, approval over the cast and director -- and 60 first-class plane tickets for Microsoft representatives and their guests to the movie's premiere.

As a result, the auction that Microsoft had hoped for never materialized. Within 24 hours of reading the script, five studios dropped out of the bidding, including DreamWorks SKG and Paramount Pictures. The two that remained, 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures, balked at the price.
But in the end, after intense negotiations, Microsoft and CAA have negotiated a deal, although it is not yet final. The intense, high-stakes talks that got them there indicate just how big the video-game business has grown -- and how attuned to its power Hollywood studios have become.

To many in Hollywood, it was a stunning display of hubris on behalf of CAA and its client, Microsoft, which has a reputation for running roughshod over its rivals in the computer businesses. "Halo" is one of the most popular video-game franchises; the sequel to "Halo," released last year, sold 6.8 million copies globally. But few video-game adaptations have proved popular at the domestic box office. Of the 19 adaptations tracked by, only one has earned more than $100 million in the United States: "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.


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