GTA IV may carjack Iron Man movie

Target audience for the upcoming Iron Man movie may be preoccupied...

The target audience for the upcoming Iron Man movie may be preoccupied with Grand Theft Auto IV, releasing days earlier, softening box office sales, according to one analyst.

Industry watchers often warn game developers that they are competing not only with other game companies, but also with other forms of entertainment, such as movies.

That warning may be increasingly applicable to filmmakers whose audiences are made up of the gamer demographic. Analyst Mike Hickey with Janco Parters said the April 29 release of Rockstar's GTA IV may eat into ticket sales for the May 2 theatrical release of Iron Man.

"We anticipate the video game release of GTA IV on April 29 could dampen the potential from Iron Man's theatrical release on May 2," Hickey said in a Wednesday note regarding Marvel Entertainment stock.

"The last significant video game release, Halo 3, generated over $300 million in sales from its first week in the market," he added. "Halo 3 was released on just one platform, the Xbox 360, and attached nearly 50 percent of the installed base. GTA IV will be released on both the Xbox 360 and PS3, which have both significantly increased their installed bases since the release of Halo 3. A GTA IV 25 percent attach rate to a combined Xbox 360 and PS3 installed base at its April 29 release would imply 5.8 million units sold or roughly $360 million in retail sales the first week of the game's release."

In September, Hollywood executives blamed Microsoft and Bungie's Halo 3 for poor ticket sales during the period. "The audience on this game is the 18-to-34 demographic, similar to what you'd see in cinemas," Hickey said at the time.

Sega is currently developing an Iron Man videogame based on the upcoming film starring Robert Downey Jr.

Article supplied by Next-Gen