April would have been a dominating month for Insomniac Games. Starting with the Ratchet and Clank remake, which is a game based on the upcoming movie which was based on the 2002 game, it received favorable widespread attention. When the game officially went gold, the PlayStation Trophies list went public, and a store selling official gear based on the game opened online, pre-sale orders skyrocketed. Needless to say, sales for the game after its release were very high too.
Though the Ratchet and Clank remake is the primary reason April was such a good month, Insomniac Games had other reasons why they were riding high on cloud nine. The highly-anticipated game Song of the Deep was finally given a release date. Not only that, but Insomniac Games announced they are working on two more titles for Oculus Rift that will join their first Oculus Rift title, Edge of Nowhere.
As mentioned earlier, April would have been a dominating month for Insomniac Games if it were not for the Ratchet and Clank movie. Both critics and audiences literally pulled out an R.Y.N.O. and “ripped a new one” into the movie with scathing reviews. This brings up the question why the movie based on the popular video game bombed.
Prior to the movie being released at the box office, Ratchet and Clank was relentlessly panned by critics. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the rating was at a rotten 18 percent with 10 fresh reviews and 45 rotten reviews. In the past, such ratings would usually be argued with the movie critics not understanding video games and only those who play video games will enjoy such a movie. There is some truth to that statement but unfortunately, Ratchet and Clank cannot receive the same merciful grace. Numerous sites known for their input in video games, such as IGN for example, have also joined in the fray of criticizing the movie.
As for the audiences watching, they too are not satisfied with Ratchet and Clank. According to Box Office Mojo via Attack of the Fanboy, the movie ended up making a paltry $4.8 million in its opening weekend. It was recorded as the lowest grossing new release for the week, and it is a bad omen that the movie will have a troublesome time trying to break even with its $20 million budget. It does not help that the movie has limited promotions and a limited release internationally. For example, the video game based on the movie did very well in sales in Australia and New Zealand. However, those areas have yet to have a release date at their box office for the movie. It is even possible they may never release the movie at all.
It is sad that the Ratchet and Clank movie did so poorly at the box office, but one should ask why. With so many years of Hollywood creating movies based on video games, we should have the formula down for one to at least be successful right? Sadly, most video games will never truly transfer over to movies if fans want the movies to be primarily true to the source material. For starters, the action people take to movies and video games are very different. In movies, it is about visual reaction. People watch and they react. With video games, it is about direct interaction. With that in mind, the story does not have to play such an important role in games as long as the interaction, better known as the actual gaming, is satisfactory.
As a matter of fact, the video game movies that succeeded in theaters are the ones that concentrated on story over style or made a new story with respect to setting and characters. So far, Prince of Persia, Wreck-It Ralph, and Silent Hill have accomplished this feat. Maybe Hollywood needs to take a gander into such films to see why they are considered the measuring stick.
[Image via Insomniac Studios Promotions for Ratchet & Clank (Remake)]