The Rocky movie franchise is still packing a punch for MGM and Warner Brothers (TWX) thanks to Creed, the seventh in the boxing movie series.
The film, starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan, opened to $42.6 million at the box office over the holiday weekend, the second-highest-grossing installment of the series so far. The movie is being hailed a knockout success by critics after already making back its $35 million budget and being tipped for an Oscar run.
The saga of Rocky Balboa started nearly 40 years ago and MGM is looking to pull in the younger fan base. On Tuesday, mobile gaming company Tapinator (TAPM) announced a deal that will take the boxing legend to new platforms.
MGM and Tapinator are teaming to release Rocky interactive, mobile games for Apple's (AAPL) IOS, Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google Play and Amazon (AMZN) software. "We anticipate that the deal will be worth upwards of seven figures for each party, for both Tapinator and MGM," Tapinator CEO Ilya Nikolayev told TheStreet.
But is it too late to hook a younger gaming audience now used to Call of Duty-style automatic weapons or Star Wars outer space graphics? Nikolayev said the nostalgia of old school boxing is still a draw.
"The Rocky franchise itself is a timeless franchise," he said. "We think it's a huge opportunity."
The economic relationship between movie studios and the gaming industry has become increasingly intertwined, with varying degrees of success. High profile game-to-movie flops such as Disney's (DIS) Super Mario Brothers have been followed by the success of Paramount's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider while Electronic Arts (EA) has cashed in on its Star Wars licensing partnership over the holiday season.
"When we look at the size of the mobile gaming industry overall, in several years it will exceed $45 billion in revenue and at that point it will be larger than global box office revenue," said Nikolayev. "Studios increasingly are recognizing that, and they're seeing mobile games as a crucial part of their distribution."