Saturday, February 9, 2013

Microsoft's Halo Movie Proves Decent Movies Can be Made Cheap

You probably know that the video game franchise Halo is Microsoft's backbone for the Xbox.  What the Xbox is today owes much to Halo and the teams behind its development.  It's no wonder that Microsoft has tried to make Halo grow beyond its gaming and into the movies.

But you can bet a Hollywood style movie would have cost upwards of $200 million which means unless the Halo movie brings in a healthy $1 billion globally, you're not going to be able to call it a success.

So, Microsoft made a $10 million version of it.  Hence, we get "Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn".  It started off as a weekly series that lead up to the release of Halo 4 and eventually onto DVD.  So, this is why you and I haven't been bombarded with movie trailers on TV or previews when we watch movies in the theaters.

First, let me say a bit about the movie.  It wasn't bad.  It definitely wasn't Hollywood.  It had the feel of a SyFy movie that they produce and show from time to time.  The movie started off following a squad of cadets training to become officers.  They were told they would be trained to put down a rebellion.  Instead, they were attacked by aliens, the Covenant.

H4 reminded me of a series that you probably have heard of:  Starship Troopers.  It was produced in 1997 for more than $1 million and probably lost a bit of money.  And I'll be honest, the quality and acting of Halo 4 to that of ST.  There have been subsequent ST movies that went direct to video that likely cost closer into the tens of millions instead of hundreds.

A lot of people will be watching this.  In trying to promote Halo 4, Microsoft may have inadvertently opened a new distribution route for film makers that either cannot go the Hollywood route or find someone willing to distribute it.

Another series that has done well is the Resident Evil franchise.  It's movies has made hundreds of millions each while it's video games have done very well and Sony has managed to keep the cost down while going the traditional route.  If the RE series want to go direct to video like some a couple of its CG videos have, it like can continue to do well on conjunction the video games.

Here are the clips released by Microsoft via Youtube.  I'm surprised it's still on Youtube given that it's available for sale in digital and DVD formats.  But hey, who am I to complain?


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