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Halo 3 blamed for poor box office sales

Ticket sales down a whopping 27 percent for first October weekend, film execs blame the Chief.

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.

"The audience on this game is the 18-to-34 demographic, similar to what you'd see in cinemas," said Mike Hickey, an analyst at Janco Partners, adding that "this could last for several weeks."

In its first week of release more than 2.7 million Xbox 360 owners played Halo 3 online - that's more than a third of all Xbox Live subscribers worldwide.

So you can see why a good portion of 18-34s were busy shooting people in the face rather than watching Ben Stiller.

Microsoft is apparently not surprised either: "We marketed it like a film," said Josh Goldberg, a product manager at Microsoft, adding, "and now, we're just as big or bigger than film."

We're starting to think its time to pack this journalist lark in, and sell bootleg Master Chief shirts out the back of a VW. Who's with us?

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