Bad Box Office? Blame Halo 3

Poor box office receipts have been blamed on a number of things (besides a bad movie, that is), including poor weather, natural disasters, embarrassing news for the stars, strong box office competition, etc.  This is the first time we have heard a video game blamed for bad box office.

Industry expectations for "The Heartbreak Kid," the date movie that re-teamed him with the Farrelly brothers (the duo who made him a megastar in "There's Something About Mary"), called for a $20 million to $25 million opening for the film. Instead, "Kid," which cost north of $60 million to make, managed only $14 million in the U.S. and Canada -- heartbreaking, indeed.

But there's more. Total industry ticket sales were only $80 million for the Oct. 5 weekend the film opened, a whopping 27% below the same weekend the year before, according to research firm Media by Numbers. That's the industry's worst performance for an October weekend since 1999. Overall, domestic receipts are down 6% from last fall.

Blame the Master Chief.

It's well-known that sometimes movie opening dates are shifted to prevent a collision with another juggernaut movie; does this mean that movie execs will now watch out for video game release dates as well?