Nearly 40 years ago, Jonathan Lynn’s movie Clue, based on the popular board game of the same name, was released to theatres and saw a measly $14.6 million at the box office. Despite not finding immediate success, the movie aged well, and it's now considered a cult classic.
This status of the dark comedy that featured multiple endings makes it one of the best movie adaptations of a board game, as many have tried and few have succeeded. For instance, in 2012, the movie Battleship (based on the strategy guessing board game with origins dating back to 1946) only grossed $300 million worldwide.
The exception is the 2014 horror movie Ouija, which grossed $100 million, but even then, critics panned the movie and highlighted its inconsistent tone and story.
A Multi-Industry Interest
Either way, these films show that people are interested in seeing their favorite board games come to life. This interest is even visible in other forms of entertainment, too, and the iGaming industry is a great example. For instance, online casinos like Betfair offer games like Monopoly Live, based on the 1936 board game. When individuals play Monopoly Live, they transport into a 3D Monopoly world that features aspects of the original game, including GO, jail, and community chest. Mr.
Monopoly is also in the game, which launched in 2019 and has won two Game of the Year Awards. In other iGaming niches, individuals will find slot games like Battleship and Clue. Casino operators are famous for basing games on movies or music, but gaming genres like board games and video games are proving worthy avenues too. For example, there are also slot games based on the action-adventure video game Tomb Raider (1996).
Why Do Games Do It Better?
The commercial success of casino games like Monopoly Live, and the box office flop of several movies based on board games, could be because other gaming niches are better equipped to adapt these games than movies. Movies are subjective, and this reality can be worrying for a production team who does not want to remove too much but also wants to present their take on things. Games, however, often stay true to the source, and we have seen this in other casino games like the Age of the Gods slot series, which has images depicting traditional Greek mythology.
Similarly, there is no risk and reward element when watching movies like there is playing board games. There are incentives to playing board games like Monopoly or Scrabble, just as there are promotions to incentivize casino players. Additionally, with board games, players use similar skills and attributes in these games as they do in casino games. The two games run on similar wavelengths and attract similar audiences, which has improved the commercial success of casino games based on board games.
Movies are great at bringing new stories to light. However, when it comes to adaptations, things can go astray. It is widely regarded that films based on books rarely do justice, and we are starting to see a similar pattern in movies based on board games. However, that is not the case when other gaming niches like iGaming take inspiration from these franchises, as demonstrated by the award-winning Monopoly Live game.