News

2010 Preview: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

by Ray Subers
Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia
 

 
January 25, 2010

Release Date: May 28
Studio: Disney
Genre: Adventure
Director: Mike Newell
Writer: Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard and Jordan Mechner and Boaz Yakin
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Alfred Molina, Ben Kingsley
Studio Description: A rogue prince (Gyllenhaal) reluctantly joins forces with a mysterious princess (Arterton) and together they race against dark forces to safeguard an ancient dagger capable of releasing the Sands of Time—a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world.
Watch the Trailer

Analysis: Since Super Mario Bros. tanked at the box office in 1993, video game adaptations have consistently struggled to match the popularity of their original form. In fact, the only one to top $100 million was Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which grossed $131.2 million in 2001. Video game movies are considered such a poor financial investment that a Peter Jackson-produced version of one of the top-selling series of all-time, Halo, was scrapped over a year ago due to budgetary concerns.

However, the latest video game adaptation, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, has something going for it the others did not: it's produced by Pirates of the Caribbean hitmaker Jerry Bruckheimer for Disney. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was a longshot in 2003, due to the notorious history of failure for pirate movies, but it turned out to be a swashbuckling, supernatural crowd pleaser. Disney seems to be taking the same approach with Prince of Persia, including a trailer promising action and comedy with a decent amount of fantasy mixed in.

Prince of Persia is scheduled for release on Memorial Day weekend, going up against Sex and the City 2. Memorial Day weekend is known for huge openings, such as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End's $139.8 million, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull's $126.9 million and X-Men: The Last Stand's $122.9 million. All of those were sequels, though, so it is unreasonable to expect Persia to open so high.

While Prince of Persia will have a tough time performing in the league of the first Pirates of the Caribbean, it's poised to challenge Lara Croft: Tomb Raider for highest-grossing video game adaptation. With a production rumored to be in the $200 million, though, it's gunning for even greater blockbuster returns.

Related Stories:
'Pirates' Raids Record Books
Third 'Pirates' Sacks Memorial Record
'Indy' Whips Up Massive Memorial Start

Similar Movies: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Related Charts: Video Game Adaptation; Adventure - Period; Adventure—Desert

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