In recent years, the world of cinema has seen a dramatic increase in film adaptations based on video games. Many movie studios have tried to capitalize on the success of games, to create movies that engage both video game fans and the general public. In this special, we’re going to take a general overview of how this trend of making video game movies came about, and find out what they are top 5 movies best-selling and highest-grossing films drawn from this genre.
That said, get yourself some popcorn, sit back, and let’s dive into this special.
From the origins to the present day
Until recently, i video games they were considered a mere pastime, mainly for kids. However, with the advancement of graphics technologies and the increase in interactivity, video games have started to offer immersive and cinematic experiences. This new way of storytelling has captured the attention of filmmakers, who have seen in video games an incredible potential to create fantastic worlds and engage audiences in unique ways.
The beginning of this fusion of video games and cinema can be traced back to the 90s, when some famous videogame sagas made their debut on the big screen. Movies like “Super Mario Bros.” (1993) e “Street Fighter” (1994) they were early attempts to bring video game characters and environments to the film set. Although these first experiments have not been critically acclaimed, they have nevertheless laid the foundations for the future evolution of this combination.
In the following years, thanks to the advancement of digital animation techniques and increasingly realistic special effects, films based on video games they started to improve both visually and narratively. This has attracted world-renowned directors and highly talented actors, who have embraced the opportunity to work on projects inspired by successful video game franchises.
Today, we see a wide range of movies based on video games, ranging from action blockbusters like “Tomb Raider” (2018) e “Assassin’s Creed” (2016) to emotional and engaging stories like “The Last of Us” (in this case, a TV series). Thanks to the skilful use of cinematic techniques and the fidelity in the representation of videogame worlds, these films manage to offer viewers a new experience, in which they can immerse themselves even more deeply in the game universe.
Top 5 movies based on video games
The market for video game adaptations has never seen remarkably high receipts, despite this some films have exceeded some very important box office expectations such as: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia – The Sands of Time and the the Resident Evil series. Pokémon the Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back it was the top grosser from 1998 to 2001, making it the only anime to be the top grosser for any given period.
Below we will compile a list of what are generally considered (at the moment) the 5 best films based on video games, also with an eye to the box office.
1. Super Mario Bros the Movie – 2023 (677 959 700$)
It is the latest film adaptation based on the popular video game series of the same name. This marks the third time the popular gaming franchise has been brought to the big screenafter the 1993 live-action film and the Japanese animated film “Super Mario Bros. – Peach-hime kyushutsu dai sakusen!” from 1986.
The plot of the film revolves around the two brothers, Mario and Luigithe plumbers of Italian-American origin deriving from the games of Nintendo. The protagonists are transported to an alternate world and find themselves involved in a fierce battle between the Mushroom Kingdom, led by Princess Peachand the evil Koopas, led by Bowser. Mario, brave and determined, joins Princess Peach and her Mushroom Kingdom in this battle to help them win and save his brother Luigi, who has been imprisoned by Bowser.
The film features a number of iconic characters, including Donkey Kong, Toad, la Principessa Peach e Kamek, Bowser’s trusted henchman. The animation of the film was done by Illumination Studios Paris, in France, and the animation work concluded in October 2022. The director wanted the film to combine elements of stylized animation and realism, in order to create a compelling cinematic experience reminiscent of a great adventure film.
2. Warcraft The Beginning – 2016 (439 084 918$)
It is a 2016 film based on the successful video game of the same name, developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The film is a fantasy adventure story set in the fictional world of Azeroth.
The plot of “Warcraft Beginnings” focuses on the conflict between the humans of Azeroth and the orc invaders from their ruined world, Draenor. The orcs, led by their leader Gul’dan, seek new territory and a vital energy called “fel energy.”
The film mainly follows two main characters – the noble human knight Lothar and the half-orc orphan garonne. Lothar tries to defend Azeroth from orc invaders, while Garona finds herself torn between her orc origins and her loyalty to humans.
As the war between humans and orcs escalates, an even greater threat emerges when Gul’dan opens a portal between Azeroth and Draenor, paving the way for a potential mass orc invasion.
The film deals with themes such as honor, loyalty, friendship and responsibility, and features a diverse range of characters from both factions. The use of special effects and CGI makes the world of Warcraft visually captivating, bringing fantastic creatures, magic and epic battles to life.
3. Pokémon Detective Pikachu – 2019 (431 605 346 $)
2019 film that mixes elements of action, adventure and comedy. It is based on the Pokémon franchise and takes its inspiration from the video game “Detective Pikachu” per Nintendo 3DS.
The plot revolves around the young man Tim Goodman, whose father, a private detective, mysteriously disappears in a car accident. Tim joins an unusual adventure companion: a Pikachu speaker wearing a detective hat. However, the Pikachu’s ability to speak is an unusual phenomenon, as Pokémon can usually only communicate with their own species.
Tim and Detective Pikachu work together to solve the mystery of Tim’s father’s disappearance. Along the way, they uncover a conspiracy that threatens the harmony between humans and Pokémon in the city of Ryme City, where humans and Pokémon live together peacefully. They search for clues and take on a variety of Pokémon, teaming up with a young reporter named Lucy Stevenswill come to discover the reason for the mysterious disappearance of Tim’s father.
The film is known for the interpretation of Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Detective Pikachu, which gives the character a sarcastic and humorous tone. The combination of live-action and CGI creates a world full of Pokémon creatures interacting with human actors.
4. Rampage Fury Animal – 2019 (428 028 233$)
A 2018 action film directed by Brad Peyton. It is based on the namesake video game from the 80s where players control giant creatures that destroy cities.
The protagonist of the film is Davis Okoye, interpreted by Dwayne Johnsona primatologist who has a special bond with an albino gorilla named George. After a genetic experiment gone wrong, George and other animals are transformed into huge and aggressive creatures. Davis pledges to save George and stop the destruction from spreading uncontrollably.
The story develops as the chaos and destruction caused by the mutant creatures increases as they make their way to the city of Chicago. Meanwhile, Davis teams up with a genetically engineered female scientist played by Naomi Harris to find a way to reverse the mutation and save George and the other animals.
The movie delivers plenty of action scenes and spectacular special effects to bring giant creatures and the devastation they cause to life. The chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and the digitally animated gorilla creates moments of emotional bonding and humor.
5. Sonic it movie 2 – 2022 (405 421 518$)
Sonic 2 is a 2022 film, and is the sequel to “Sonic It Movie”the first film dedicated to the blue hedgehog in the video game series “Sonic the Hedgehog”which bear the mark of SEGA.
Sonic, after defeating and confined the Dr. Robotnik on the mushroom planet, he finally feels free from responsibility and can enjoy the relaxation of his home in total bliss. Tom and Maddie have gone out of town, so he can easily enjoy some time off.
However, Sonic’s peace of mind is shattered when Dr. Robotnik, now known as Dr. Eggmanreturns from the mushroom planet with a new ally, Knuckles. These two seek an emerald with the power to destroy humanity. Then Sonic, along with his new friend Tailsdecides to go in search of this powerful crystal before it falls into the wrong hands.
The film sees the return of James Marsden as Tom, Sonic’s human friend. Ben Schwartz still voices our blue hero, Sonic. In the cast we also find Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell e Adam Pally, along with such caliber actors as Jim Carrey e Shemar Moore. Idris Elba voices Knuckles, while Colleen O’Shaughnessey voices Tails.
In conclusion, in recent years we have seen a significant increase in film adaptations based on video games, with the aim of engaging both fans of the games and the general public. This trend was born thanks to the advancement of graphics technologies and the interactivity of video games, which have offered immersive and cinematic experiences. While early attempts to bring video games to the big screen weren’t critically acclaimed, over time, video game-based movies have improved both visually and narratively. In the next special we will also talk about the 5 worst movies based on video games, so if you are interested, we invite you to follow our site to stay updated on the next special on cinema and video games, or even if you are simply passionate about the world of video games.