Prior to the 1985 release of Clue, it was probably difficult for anyone to imagine a hit movie based upon a board game. It was another ten years after that before Jumanji came out. But both had all of the makings of great films—action, intrigue, great characters—and both ended up as hits. Ten years after Jumanji (again! maybe ten is the magic number?), Zathura used a similar formula to achieve cinematic success.
So it’s not that movies based on what happens with a board game can’t be successful. It’s happened before. Obviously.
Hasbro and Universal have released a joint statement announcing their new “six-year strategic partnership,” which should bring “at least four” movies based on Hasbro properties to the big screen. The short list, apparently, includes Monopoly, Ouija, Battleship, Magic: The Gathering, Stretch Armstrong, and a new Clue. From the statement:
“This deal gives Universal access to some of the greatest brands in the world. Hasbro’s portfolio of products has tremendous emotional resonance with children and adults. They offer an exciting opportunity for us to develop tentpole movies with built-in global brand awareness, which is a key component of our slate strategy. Universal’s creativity and worldwide marketing and distribution strength make them the perfect partner. Today’s Hasbro is so much more than a traditional toy and game company, and this partnership is a powerful example of how we are offering our consumers new ways to enjoy unique and immersive experiences with our brands.”
I salute Hasbro for its optimism, y’know? And I can sort of see it… for a couple of those… I mean, Magic: The Gathering is incredibly story-rich, for example. But a Monopoly movie? Battleship? I’m not quite ready to drink the Kool-Aid, I don’t think.
In the meantime, put a hotel on Park Place for me. And please don’t sink my battleship.