Even if Barbie does dominate the silver screen, a box office blockbuster is likely no match for a stellar video game release. Let’s dig into the mathematical reasons why:
Warner Brothers reportedly spent $145M to make the Barbie movie, of which $100 million alone was spent on marketing.
According to Variety, the movie is expected to generate about $100 million on opening weekend and maybe as much as $500 million in global gross revenue. And while this sounds like a lot, let’s put it into perspective.
Warner Brothers spent the same amount of money (rumored to be $150 million) making Hogwarts Legacy, the top grossing video game of 2023. The Hogwarts game generated $1 billion in a single quarter.1 (Many times more than any of the Harry Potter movies ever generated!)
There have been countless Barbie video games, beginning in 1984 when a Barbie game was sold for the Commodore 64. Despite all the Barbie games, presumably none have benefitted from a $100 million marketing budget. How would a AAA Barbie game with a $100 million marketing budget perform? (After all, more than half of all gamers are women, and Barbie is one of the world’s most valuable IPs.)
Here is another anecdote worth considering: BattleBit Remastered, an MMO FPS2 video game, recently sold 1.8 million copies in its first two weeks on the market, generating more than $30 million in revenue–and it was developed by a team of three indie developers.3 The massive potential for video game revenue should serve as a potent wake-up call for the movie industry, especially in light of all its current existential problems.
Video games are where it’s at.