The Billion-Dollar Video Game Vs The Billion-Dollar Movie

James Cameron's Avatar has brought in over $US1 billion at the box office. Activision's Modern Warfare 2 has done likewise. Let's see how a blockbuster film and a blockbuster video game compare.

As you can see, when it comes to profit - the only number that really matters - the two are relatively close, the key differences being unit price (Avatar costs less but more people have "bought in" and production costs (Avatar's development budget dwarfing that of Modern Warfare 2).

Most interesting, though, is the marketing spend; who would have thought the biggest film since Titanic would have less money spent on its advertising than a video game?

Avatar Vs Modern Warfare 2: The billion dollar behemoths [Business Management]


    Well they're never gonna get it exact and especially with marketing. This is all just guesstimations and analysts will never get the marketing budget of a film or video game correct unless a publisher damn right says how much.

    All i can say is, whoever was in charge of the marketing budget for MW2 should be fired.

    A=Video-games don't seem to need as much spent on marketing as films do. Certain games, maybe so, but when you have MW2 which was hyped and eagerly awaited a year before release - a $200 million budget is definitely not needed. Same with Halo. I guess it pays off, but they really could have spent much less and still had the success they received.

    Video games appeal to gamers. Film appeal to anyone interested. You're not going to be as successful trying to sell your product, in this case; MW2, to a non-gamer where as you're most likely going to be more successful selling Avatar to someone.

    Gamers follow the news, read about upcoming games. Talk it up, spread the word. Marketing clearly helps - but if they're serious about $200 million it was the worst way it was spent, EVER! IMO Australia was clearly not given any of that $200 million marketing cause i saw ZERO effort on radio/tv. I saw ONE advert of TV and it was late at night on ONE HD.

      I take it you haven't been to the cinemas in a while then. They're always playing ads for games before the movies start, and most of them seem to go hand in hand with advertisement for the 360.

        Oh i have - but not every film receives the same adverts. Same with the cinema itself.

        Obviously i'm not going to receive the same ads as you if you're in a different state or city at a different cinema.

        IMO means In My Opinion, and in my opinion, i believed that Australia didn't receive a lot of marketing/advertising of MW2. I wasn't whinging cause i couldn't care less if we received nothing cause either way the game did well and still is here in Australia.

        The only video game i can re-call seeing advertised before a film was Gears of War. I didn't see a GTA IV or Halo 3 advert before any films either if they ever were marketed in that field.

    uhh... they couldn't get any MW2 screenshots? Sure guitar hero 3 is mentioned as a one liner, but does that take precedence?

    apart from that, pretty interesting stuff.

      You didn't look very hard, did you? The centre circle IS MW2. It's showing that GH is bigger than MW2.

      It would appear the graphic is a comparrison of james cameron and activision-blizzard, the cash cow mediums...

    not too surprising really, given that Modern Warfare was entering the traditionally highly competitive November holiday release date, while Avatar... i don't think movies don't have a crunch time.

      @Phil Barker: Movies have a crunch time somewhere in the middle of the year. Like July or something. So this was either late because of recession concerns / production over run or early because they figured they should get in on 3D cinema before people get sick of it.

    Interesting to read, nice to see some stats that just speak for themselves. I get annoyed at vague reports that really don't mean anything ie when MW2 was released I heard reports it had made the most money of an entertainment release ever, destroying The Dark Knight.
    Didn't seem to make much sense that a game that had been out for a few days could make more than a movie that had been out for years so when I checked it out they were actually only referring to money made over a specific time period. Given that MW2 unit price is a lot bigger, no big surprise there.

    Also speaking of unit price, 7.50 for a movie ticket?? That equals $8.12 in AUD. And we pay what, $17? for a ticket here, which is $15.70 USD. That's more than double the price! Why do we have to get screwed on movie and game prices.

      We don't have 300 million people and we have higher minimum wages.

      Enough said.

        "We have less people, and pay each of you more, therefore things have to be completely and disproportionally more expensive!"

        Good sense no?

          type "economies of scale" into google.

          It is not (often) disproportional. _Factoring in the higher minimum wage, therefore higher disposable income, the sheer size of the country, the large population spread, the small size of the potential number of sales, the higher cost of advertising that reaches fewer potential customers... It isn't terribly out of proportion at all.

          Ok, we get a little screwed, but think of it as the "living in a country that isn't cowded as hell" tax.

      because they can, i bought a laptop bag from overseas, even with the ludicrous shipping rate, the bag is like half the price of a bag of similar size in australia.

      $17? Are you kidding me...

      Where are you living, in the country perhaps?? I pay $10 as an adult price.

        It depends on where you go. Here in Brisbane, you can pay about $8 all the way up to $17 to see a movie. I think the prices went up about 40 cents in the past year, which doesn't help...

        Where are you going, to a local cinema? I go to Village. I'm in Melbourne so I go to Knox Shopping Centre most of the time but I know they're the same price at Southland. I believe its 17 or 17.50 for an adult, about 14 for a concession, and it used to be 10 on a tight-ass tuesday but I think thats gone up. I know smaller cinemas like the Metro in boronia is cheaper and last time I went to Village in Waverly Gardens they had cheaper tickets but got movies much later. Though that was a few years ago.

    Cost $20 for us each to see it in 3D, maybe the glasses are more awesome than we thought? ;)

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