Home > #1, Film & convergence > Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

While not over break, this was the most recent movie I have seen that meets the criteria for this assignment so I’m running with it. Orz

This film provides a good example of technological convergence in several ways. The original basis of the movie was a console game by the same name for the playstation 2, released in 2003 and produced by Ubisoft. The film also incorporates elements of the subsequent sequels while weaving its own creative take on the world set up in the games with an original story. Before being adapted into a movie in 2010, the series of games were released for other platforms, including the PC and mobile phones in addition to the other consoles. Prince of Persia is also the most successful movie based on a video game to date, thereby showing the viability of cross-media adaptation for other media besides just books.

This film also demonstrates the qualities of cultural convergence. Loosely based off of some characters of Persian mythology and the myths of Malik-Shah I, Nizam al-Mulk, and Hassan-i Sabbah, it adapts them for a more modern audience. While not on the scale of cross-border cultural convergence, there is something to be said about the convergence of video gaming and movie watching in this instance. While common for books to become movies, it is still quite rare for video games to make the transition. Laura Croft of the tomb raider series the other notable exception. This represents a convergence in the entertainment sector and, while not a blockbuster hit, with the reasonable financial success of the movie, a possible sign of things to come.

Additionally, this film is an example of economic convergence. The studio that produced the film was Jerry Bruckheimer Films and was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The film debuted at #3 at the U.S. box office. In its first 3 days of release the film grossed $30.1 million, making it the third highest opening for a film adapted from a video game. While Disney had hoped it to be its new Pirates of the Caribbean, the film’s lower than desired numbers made this unlikely. In the end, the film grossed $335 million worldwide, making it the most successful film based on a video game to date, if somewhat below what Disney had initially desired. To date, home sales of the DVDs and Blue-ray discs have generated over $33 million.

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  1. Lynn
    January 6, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Interesting to learn of the cross-platform design behind this film, and it’s a great example of technological convergence. Your discussion of the adaptation of Persian myths is an instance of cultural convergence, although you seem to be using “more modern” as a synonym for “western,” or maybe “US” audience. Is that what you mean? Or do you mean a “more modern” audience that also includes those in the middle East? And if so, do you have evidence of the film’s appeal outside the US? In the section on cultural convergence, you return to issues of technological convergence: video games & film.
    For more about economic convergence: is there a relationship between Disney & Playstation 2? How about Disney & Ubisoft? Does Disney own the rights to the video game Pirates of the Caribbean? How is Disney benefitting because of these relationships or others (e.g., soundtrack rights, Jake Gyllenhaal in other Disney movies, cross-promotion with Disney tv programs, etc.)?

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