The trouble with video game adaptations in general is that many of them fail to strike the balance between pandering to the core fanbase and appealing to those unfamiliar with the source material, which often ends up creating a discrepancy between the critical and fan consensus, which in turn may affect box office takings.
We saw it earlier this year with the Mortal Kombat reboot, which wound up with a solid-if-unspectacular Rotten Tomatoes score of 54% and a commercial haul of less than $90 million, while users deemed it worthy of an 86% rating as it became the most-watched HBO Max hybrid release of the year.
Based on the early responses, it looks as though the same fate has befallen Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which comes to theaters tomorrow. Johannes Roberts’ reboot moves away from the sci-fi actioners spearheaded by Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich and into full-blown horror territory, and the reviews are very mixed.
The general consensus is that fans of the console series are going to enjoy the movie much more than those going in cold, and while that’s to be expected given that Resident Evil has endured for decades as a titan of the gaming industry, it could end up having a detrimental effect on whether or not Joe Public is willing to shell out for a ticket.