I think it will be interesting to see how well The Hobbit does when it’s released at the end of this year and what sort of stir it will cause in the entertainment industry – whether it will be larger or smaller than the Lord of the Rings trilogy that was released almost a decade ago. The reason why I feel it’s important in relation to a Zelda movie is because I believe Zelda’s best chance in a film version would be if it can convince the average movie goer that it’s a high-end fantasy film.
Video games in general haven’t ever done very well at the box office. Very few have been largely successful. And only a few more have been merely moderately successful. A lot are complete flops, and part of it might be because there is a certain stigma about movies based on video games. I recall a school report I read a while back in which the author played a song from one of the Final Fantasy games on the piano at school (like in the band room or something). His classmates really liked it until he told them it was from a video game, at which point they began mocking it.
I think any movie made from a video game faces a similar challenge – overcoming the public’s perception that video games aren’t “art.” This is not only a public perception, but a critical one too (as demonstrated by Ebert’s statements in 2010). And even though as gaming gets more widespread and permeates the masses, it’s still an uphill battle at this point. But if the masses could be convinced that a Legend of Zelda film wasn’t just a film based on a video game, but a fantasy epic along the same lines as The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, I think it stands a much better chance of widespread acceptance and ultimately box office gains (which is what the production studio would be hoping for).
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