Movie Execs Say Halo 3 Caused Bad Ticket Sales

BOOM widget 114768Lackluster ticket sales have some film studios blaming Bungie's Halo 3 (X360) for the decline in box office revenues and worrying about the possible effects of next year's Grand Theft Auto 4 (PS3, X360) from Rockstar North.

Halo 3 amassed upwards of $300 million for publisher Microsoft in the week following its September 25 release, with over 2.7 million gamers hopping online and racking up more than 40 million hours of play across the same time span.

That's a worrying figure for the film industry, which saw ticket sales reduced by 27% for the weekend of October 5 over last year, resulting in paltry total revenue of $80 million. Couple that with the less-than-stellar performance of The Heartbreak Kid--the latest directorial effort from Dumb & Dumber writers Bobby and Peter Farrelly (pictured left)--and it's got Hollywood sweating over the eternal struggle between games and movies.

"The audience on this game is the 18-to-34 demographic, similar to what you'd see in cinemas," Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey told Advertising Age.

"We marketed it like a film and now we're just as big or bigger than film," boasted Halo 3 product manager Josh Goldberg.

Of course, not everyone attributes tinsel town's issues to Halo 3. Some merely blame the current trend of tired formulaic rehashes and actors playing the same basic character time and time again, a criticism frequently levied against Ben Stiller's roles in There's Something About Mary, Duplex, Meet The Parents, and The Heartbreak Kid.