Hollywood still rolling the dice on board game movies - 34% on Rotten Tomatoes. 41% on Metacritic. 6.0 on IMDB. It's fair to say Hasbro and Universal's "Battleship" movie, based loosely on the traditional board game, wasn't exactly a resounding success.
Planned as the first in a string of joint projects between the pair, it was squashed at the box office by The Avengers, slammed by critics, and largely ignored by movie-goers. Once-bitten, twice-shy Universal bought their way out of the rest of the deal -- at a price reportedly well into the millions -- and the board game flick concept was sunk.
Or so we thought.
An above-expectations performance overseas went a considerable way towards raising the wreck that was "Battleship." Whatever critics may have thought of it, the movie finished up well into the black, and while Hasbro's brief dalliance with Universal may be over, there's no shortage of other production companies interested in turning classic board games into not-so-classic films. So whether you like it or not, Battleship is just the first in a veritable fleet of similarly "inspired" Hasbro crossover projects anticipated to be steaming towards theaters over the next few years. Here's what movie-goers can expect from them.
A truly authentic Monopoly movie ought to run at least six hours, have the eventual winner become obvious to everyone thirty minutes in, and yet still manage to end with a good argument, accusations of cheating all round, and even a fistfight or two.
Somehow we doubt any of those things will be true of the actual Monopoly movie, which is still inching gradually closer to "Go!" after years in the planning stages. Sci-fi maestro Ridley Scott remains in the frame to direct. He once described the movie in an interview as "a black comedy based on the housing crisis." Y'know, that might just work...
Hungry Hungry Hippos
You think we're kidding. We wish we were kidding. But we're not.
Hungry Hungry Hippos: The Movie is indeed A Thing.
It's being converted from plastic to celluloid by indie studio Emmett/Furla. Getting hold of details is trickier than scooping up that last marble, though, and we can only speculate about what a Hungry Hungry Hippos flick might have in store for cinephiles. A sensitive exploration of the Pink Hippo's struggle with its marble-eating disorder and body image issues? An edge-of-the-seat gambling flick based in the glamorous world of pro Hippo players? The mind truly boggles (thankfully they're not making THAT into a movie yet.)
Who? - Action Man is the British version of G.I. Joe: same plastic army guy, just with a little less "U-S-A!" and a little more tea and crumpets. And he's making his way to the silver screen courtesy of screenwriting duo Emmett/Furla and their independent production company.
Of all the toy-turned-movie projects Hasbro could have come up with, we've got to admit this one's got plenty of potential. All they need is the right square-jawed Brit to star. Jason Statham, maybe?
Ouija Board: The Movie
In the works for years, this project based on the notoriously problem-prone, pseudo-supernatural letterboard has recently fallen victim to a curse of its own.
What kind of curse? The kind that gets your budget slashed from a blockbuster-worthy $100 million to a paltry, pocket-changey $5 million. Of course, a low budget didn't hurt the similarly themed "Paranormal Activity" too much. Maybe it'll be enough to spell success for Ouija, too.
The concept of a Candyland movie is bizarre enough, but at one point the project's since-departed screenwriting team of Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger were outlining their vision in terms more appropriate to a sweeping fantasy epic than a soft-centered kid-flick.
"Lord of The Rings, but set in a world of candy," as Aibel put it. Much as we'd like to know exactly what that would look like, these days it's Adam Sandler who's reported to be in talks with Sony to co-write and star in...well, in whatever the movie turns out to be. At this point, your guess is as good as ours.
It might seem odd to make a movie based on a toy that reached the pinnacle of its popularity in about 1978, but hey, at least Stretch Armstrong has a superpower. Sort of.
At one point, Twilight's Taylor Lautner was pegged to play the eponymous, infinitely bendable hero of the Stretch Armstrong film. That's no longer the case, but Stretch Armstrong: The Movie is alive and well. Breck Eisner signed as director back in July, and it's pegged for a 2013 release -- unless they stretch that date out. ( Unplugged )