Board Game Movies

Hungry Hungry Hippos

You see what happens when you buy a bunch of tickets to a movie called Transformers? Ever since Hasbro made a gabillion dollars by licensing one of their toy properties for a big screen adaptation, they’ve been trying their damnedest to get every dumb hunk of plastic you played with as a kid into the multiplexes as the latest and greatest summer blockbuster. Already we’ve gotten two Transformers sequels, an abysmal G.I. Joe movie, and a movie about a board game. The disastrous box office performance of this summer’s Battleship and the ending of some of the development deals that Hasbro had with Universal doesn’t seem to be bringing anyone to their senses when it comes to making movies about board games either. The L.A. Times has a report that Hasbro has now signed a trio of new development deals, this time with upstart production company Emmett/Furla, to make more movies based on stupid toys. First in line for development is Monopoly, a movie about that board game with the fake money you always tried to play with your brothers and sisters but never got to the end of before someone quit. Presumably this will be a story about a decrepit old man with a monocle building hotels and taking over railroads, all while bankrupting his friends and loved ones. Sounds scintillating. I hear there’s a scene where he has to go directly to jail that will have you on the edge of your seat. Also included in this dumb deal […]

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Back in August of last year, Universal Pictures chucked their big-budget Ouija back into turnaround – usually the kiss of death for a project like this, one meant to cost over $100m and to tap into the hallowed “four-quadrant” ground (meant to appeal to both sexes and all ages). That first pitch likened the film to something like Jumanji, which could certainly be appealing, but Universal was shy to give it the go-ahead. Even the attachment of producer Michael Bay and director McG didn’t keep them interested, and for all intents and purposes, the project being put into turnaround could have been the last we ever heard of it. But it’s not. Deadline Chesterton now reports that Ouija has slid from a big “NO” to a much smaller “YES,” with Universal back on board to make it for a 2013 release, but with a significantly tighter budget than its previous incarnation. The new film will come with a tiny little $5m pricetag, one that signals that this will be no longer be a four-quadrant blockbuster, but something closer to a genre pic. Another indication that’s so? While original producers Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form are back in, they are also joined by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions, who has produced films like Paranormal Activity and Insidious – films with small budgets that made big box office cash. THR also reports that Blum is responsible for the film’s new direction – a “high concept, lower budget model.”

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Recently, it was reported that Universal Pictures ended their deal with Hasbro – meaning that movies adapted from Hasbro products that nobody wanted to see in the first place, like Ouija Board and Monopoly, now have very questionable futures. Or, at least, you would think that they would have very questionable futures. In actuality they all seem to be getting scooped up by other studios pretty quickly. First, Relativity Media acquired the rights to Stretch Armstrong, and now, in news that surely must be ushering in the end of the world, Sony and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison are teaming up to make Candy Land, which Sandler himself intends on both co-writing and starring in. Kevin Lima (Enchanted) is attached to direct the project, with Robert Smigel and Sandler in talks to pen the screenplay. Why make a Candy Land movie? Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad says, “Candy Land is more than just a game. It is a brand that children, parents and grandparents know and love. The world of Candy Land offers an extraordinary canvas upon which to create a fantastical, live-action family adventure film with a larger than life part for Adam. We are thrilled to partner with Hasbro and Happy Madison on this project.”

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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