In a recent investors call, Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, discussed the prospect of a Grand Theft Auto (GTA) movie and why the company isn’t pursuing it.
Despite the potential for financial success if they produced a film or series themselves, Zelnick pointed out the high risk involved in the film and television industry, which he described as “super challenging” and not aligned with Take-Two’s core business.
Zelnick elaborated that even if a GTA film were successful, the licensing profits would be a mere fraction of what the video game itself generates. To illustrate his point, he compared it to the expected profits from the Barbie movie, which, despite being an “extraordinary hit,” would only bring in around $125 million in licensing profits. This figure pales in comparison to Take-Two’s net revenues, which were $1.3 billion in the most recent quarter.
Moreover, Zelnick highlighted the lower success rates of movies compared to video games. While Take-Two’s console properties have a success rate of 80-90%, a well-run movie studio’s hit rate is around 30%. This means there’s a significant chance that a GTA movie could fail, potentially damaging the brand.
The conversation also touched on the broader shift in the entertainment industry, where blockbuster film projects are no longer seen as the pinnacle of fame and fortune compared to the lucrative video game market.