Introduction to the 10 most popular video games
Video game movies are, as a rule, pretty terrible.
Bad acting, special effects, plotlines, and directing are all commonplace in the genre. Especially if our mortal nemesis, Uwe Boll, is anywhere near a project.
However, Hollywood has shown us time and time again that just because a movie is bad, that doesn’t mean it’s not profitable.
That philosophy applies to video game movies too.
Because they’re based on big franchises with
recognisable characters, unsuspecting cinemagoers
flock to see these films in droves, not knowing
what horrors they are about to endure. Also,
a lot of video game movies are aimed at kids, who
drain money faster than a turbo-powered leech.
For today’s list, we’re looking at the video
game movies that made the most money of all.
We’re only counting films based on real world
games, and we’re not accepting movies that simply
feature characters from games. So, no Ready
Player One or Wreck-It Ralph here, I’m afraid.
With that nice and clear, get
your overpriced popcorn ready,
because I’m Ben from TripleJump and here are the
10 Highest-Grossing Video Game Movies of All Time.
#10: Resident Evil: Afterlife
Edging out the first Tomb Raider movie to
take the number ten spot on this list is
the fourth film based on survival
horror juggernaut, Resident Evil.
Resident Evil: Afterlifesees Milla Jovovich
return as Alice to once again do battle with
the evil Umbrella Corporation. The film is
written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson,
who also wrote the first three Resifilms
and is married to Milla Jovovich.I’m sure
that had absolutely nothing to do with
how she got the starring role though.
Afterlife doesn’t really follow the plot of any
of the Resident Evil games but does feature a
lot of characters from the series. Jill Valentine
is in it, Albert Wesker is the villain, and Chris
Redfield makes his first movie appearance,
played by Prison Break star Wentworth Miller.
Yes, his real first name is “Wentworth”. At
least if the acting career doesn’t pan out,
he can always moonlight as a butler.
Despite making a buttload of cash, Afterlife was
not well-received by critics. It stands at just
21% on Rotten Tomatoes with one critic
comparing it to “watching paint dry”.
Still, it did win the Golden Reel
at the 2010 Genie Awards. I don’t
really know what those are
though, so let’s move on.
#9: Resident Evil: The Final
Chapter (2017) ($312,257,250)
We come now to yet another Resident
Evilmovie, though, this is the last one,
we promise. We’d like to assure you that
we haven’t married Paul W.S. Anderson
and Milla Jovovich in secret, and they are
certainly not sponsoring this list. If only.
The husband-and-wifeduo return in their roles
as writer/director and star respectively for
2017’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. In this
instalment of the series, Alice and her fellow
survivors attempt to release an airborne
cure for the apocalypse-causing T-virus.
The film slightly outperformed its predecessor,
coming in at 37% on Rotten Tomatoes instead of
21%. However, there was significant controversy
surrounding its production, as one of
Jovovich’s stunt doubles was seriously
injured in a stunt gone wrong and another
crew member died in an on-set accident.
The three hundred and twelve million dollars made
by this movie does make it the highest grossing
in the series, but no amount of revenue can erase
the tragedies that occurred during its creation.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that this
was the final entry in the franchise.
Well, unless you count 2021’s Welcome
to Raccoon City. Or that dreadfulNetflix
series. And let’s face it, we’d all
rather forget those, wouldn’t we?
#8: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) ($320,954,026)
After much teeth-based criticism, the
Sonic the Hedgehog movie burst onto
our screens in February 2020, right before
really got underway and forced most of
the world to stay home and out of cinemas.
The idea of a Sonic movie had been around
since the 1990s, with several projects ending
up in development hell, but thanks to Paramount
Pictures and chums, audiences around the world
finally got to see their favourite blue blur do
battle against Dr. Robotnik on the big screen!
And it was… fine. The plot is decent,
and Jim Carrey’s always a delight,
but Sonic himself is really rather
annoying. And he flosses. A lot.
Basing afilm on one of the most popular gaming
franchises of all time was a smart move, as the
movie drew the highest opening weekend box office
for a video game movie ever in the United States.
It was also the sixth highest-grossing
film of 2020, but again, the thing.
It may not be every gamer’s cup of tea, but
Sonic the Hedgehog introduced a new set of fans
to the character and was successful enough to get
itself a sequel, which we’ll get to in good time.
#7: Prince of Persia: The Sands
of Time (2010) ($336,365,676)
At one point, this adaptation of
the 2003 title of the same name was
the highest-grossing video game movie
ever made. It’s not hard to see why.
The film has an all-star cast with Jake
Gyllenhaal playing the titular Prince,
and Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, and
Gemma Arterton taking on supporting roles.
Borrowing elements from across the
Prince of Persia reboot series,
Sands of Timefollows Prince Dastan as he tries to
stop the world from being destroyed by a
dagger that has magical sand inside it.
Make sure you check that magical sand
for cat poop, your majesty. Our writer
was never able to trust his childhood sandpit
again after the incident. Anyway, I digress.
Sands of Time might have made a killing at
the box office, but it failed to capture
the public’s imagination. Originally set up to be
the first in a new franchise touted as “the next
Pirates of the Caribbean”, plans for a sequel were
cancelled and the IP has laid dormant ever since.
It may have something to do with the fact
that none of the actors in the movie are
actually Persian, which is problematic
to say the least. And why do they all
have English accents?Jake Gyllenhaal
isn’t even English! I’m so confused.
#6: The Angry Birds Movie (2016) ($353,333,929)
Look, as much as we dunk on them on this channel,
mobile games are video games too. They
might be, for the most part, lower quality,
mind-numbing, cash-grabbing video games, but
they are still video games, none-the-less.
Adapted from the stupidly successful mobile
title published by Rovio Entertainment,
The Angry Birds Movie follows one of the birds,
Red, as he leads a group of his feathered
friends against an army of invading pigs.
The filmmakers were up against it
from the start. There really isn’t
much plot to be mined from a game about
slinging budgies at wooden structures,
but they managed to come up with one and,
all things considered, it’s not too bad.
Starring the likes of Jason Sudekis,
Peter Dinklage, and Sean Penn,
The Angry Birds Movie drew big bucks at the
cinema, finishing number one at the US box
office over its opening weekend. It’s also the
most successful Finnish-produced film of all time,
which just makes me a bit sad for Finland’s
film industry, to tell you the truth.
Although the film’s sequel didn’t do as well,
the original Angry Birds Movie was definitely
an overachiever and this is probably the only
time you’ll hear us mention
Angry Birds on one of our lists.
#5: Uncharted (2022) ($401,748,820)
The production process for a film adaptation
of the Uncharted games took so long that Mark
Wahlberg, who was originally signed
on to play young hero, Nathan Drake,
ended up playing the role of Drake’s older
mentor, Victor “Sully” Sullivan, instead.
Instead,Tom Holland ended up getting the
role of Drake for this action-adventure
romp that loosely follows the events of the games.
The film sees Drake and Sully
heading out on a quest to stop
a crooked billionaire from tracking
down the lost treasure of explorer,
Ferdinand Magellan, but it’s the movie’s
real-life booty that we’re interested in.
Raking in over four hundred
million dollars worldwide,
Unchartedwas a certified hit when it finally made
it into cinemas in February of 2022. Topping the
US box office for two straight weeks, it
was one of the first big post-thingfilm
releases and helped coax people out
of their homes and back into cinemas.
Sadly, it was a bit rubbish. Critics
called it derivative and labelled it as
a weak adaptation of its source material. Maybe
these issues will be addressed in future films,
but we’ll probably just end up with more
of Tom Holland falling out of planes.
#4: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) ($404,372,904)
He’s back! And he’s more
profitable and annoying than ever!
Just a few weeks after Uncharted hit
theatres, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 proved
once and for all that people prefer
to see animated forest creatures than
they do people being shot at in a desert.
Thank God that debate’s finally settled.
Picking up where the first film left off, Sonic is
joined by his buddy, Tails, as they race to find
the Master Chaos Emerald before it falls into the
hands of Robotnik and his new sidekick, Knuckles.
Jim Carrey and Ben Schwartz reprise their
roles as Robotnik and Sonic respectively,
and are joined by Colleen O’Shaughnesseyand Idris
Elba.Clearly, that extra star power did
wonders for the film’s bank account.
Taking over eighty million
dollars more than its predecessor,
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was also a box
office topper and broke the previous
film’s record for the highest-grossing
opening weekend of any video game flick.
Critics were just as pleased with
Sonic’s second outing and this movie
reviewed about as well as the first one.
Praise was levelled at the film’s humour,
as well as the introduction of more
charactersfrom the original games.
I just hope we get to see Big theCat in
the next film. Everybody loves that guy.
#3: Rampage (2018) ($428,028,233)
Starring the world’s most muscular
man, Dwayne “The Dwayne” Dwayneson,
Rampage is based on the 1986
arcade game of the same name.
In Rampage: The Game, which was developed and
published by Midway, players take on the role
of one of three gigantic monsters and are tasked
with destroying a city. Those monsters are George,
a huge gorilla, Lizzie, a radioactive lizard,
and Ralph, a wolf that can walk on its hind legs.
Sadly, The Rock didn’t wind up playing the giant
wolf, which, honestly, I’d have paid to see,
but instead just plays a big human, i.e.,
himself. Rampage is like any other action
film you’ve ever seen with Johnson in it –
fine, but ultimately forgettable. However,
also like every other Dwayne Johnson
action film, this one made a lot of money!
It also garnered a lot of critical praise,
becoming the highest-rated video game movie
in the history of Rotten Tomatoes at the time.
Although, considering it sits at just 51% on
the site, that says more about other video game
adaptations than it does about the qualityRampage.
If you like your action
senseless, your heroes ripped,
and your animals irradiated and oversized, then
this might just be the film for you. Otherwise,
it’s probably not worth the price of admission.
#2: Detective Pikachu (2019) ($433,230,304)
Inspired by the Nintendo 3DS game of the same
name, as well as the world of Pokémonin general,
2019’s Detective Pikachugives a
voice to the yellow electric mouse,
and that voice just happens to
belong to the lovely Ryan Reynolds.
The beloved mascot helps out a young man named
Tim, played by Justice Smith, as he searches
for his missing father. Along the way they
encounter a variety of famous pocket monsters
including Charizard, Psyduck, and a really
creepy looking Mr. Mime. Oh God, get it away!
Detective Pikachu was very well-liked upon its
release with some calling it the greatest video
game movie of all time, though, to be fair,
that’s not saying much. It was praised for
its strong characters, funny dialogue, and the
way it introduced non-Pokémonfans to the series.
It might have only finished second in the
movie charts upon its opening, but it still
made a lot of money. Considering
that it was up against Avengers:
Endgame that weekend we can’t be too mad at it.
Smith said in 2021 that a sequel to the movie
was unlikely, which is a real shame as the film
definitely had potential for a follow-up. Still,
if that means that we never have to see that Mr.
Mime ever again, I’m fine with it.
#1: Warcraft (2016) ($436,048,914)
Based on the insanely popular series that gave
us World of Warcraft, this 2016flickedges out
Detective Pikachu by less than three million
dollars to take the top spot on this list.
Directed by Duncan Jones, who, fun fact,
just so happens to be the son of David Bowie,
Warcraftfollows two warring factions of humans
and orcs as they team up to face a greater threat.
It’s typical fantasy stuff, full
of magical creatures, deep lore,
and silly-sounding names. One of the
orcs is called “Orgrim Doomhammer”,
which is only marginally less
ridiculous than “Wentworth Miller”.
The film went through a troubled production cycle
with multiple script, actor, and director changes.
At one point Uwe Boll offered to direct it,
which gives me shudders just thinking about it.
In the end, the behind-the-scenes chaos may
have contributed to the film being slammed
by the press. It was called “uninspiring” and
a waste of its director’s talent, with many
critics coming to the conclusion that the Warcraft
games just simply weren’t meant for adaptation.
But you know what, who gives a flip?
The film made bank and, in the end,
isn’t that all that matters in
life? No, probably not actually.