Warner Bros. To Make 'Minecraft' Movie
Following the large-scale success of The LEGO Movie, the popular sandbox game Minecraft will be made into a major motion picture by Warner Bros. Minecraft creator Markus Persson made the announcement on Twitter last week.
Warner Bros., a Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) subsidiary, acquired the rights to the video game from the Swedish developer Mojang AB, Deadline reported. Roy Lee (LEGO) and his company, Vertigo Entertainment, will produce it.
Someone is trying leak the fact that we're working with Warner Brothers on a potential Minecraft Movie. I wanted to be the leak!
— Markus Persson (@notch) February 27, 2014
Since its release a little more than three weeks ago, The LEGO Movie has earned $209 million in the United States and $121 million in international markets, giving it $330 million in total worldwide grosses. The movie's production budget was only $60 million. A sequel is already planned.
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NDP Group games industry analyst Liam Callahan told Benzinga that Minecraft's popularity across a multitude of gaming platforms gives it potential to be a film success.
But, Callahan said, what makes Minecraft a success might be a challenge for a movie. “Minecraft allows players to shape their own world as they would like. There is no obvious goal, and there is no plot, story or characters,” he said in an email. “That original approach is what makes Minecraft unique for gaming where exploration, survival and imagination is key. But this may prove difficult in translating to a movie where plot, story and characters are central to the medium.”
This is not the first wave of video-game based movies. Later this month, Disney will release Need for Speed, based on the Electronic Arts racing game, and a movie based on the Blizzard Entertainment Warcraft series will be released by Universal Pictures in 2016. The Lara Croft, Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat series were also based on video game titles.
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