The Most Popular Board Game In History Gets Live-Action Movie

By Sean Thiessen | Published


Get ready to pass GO. Variety reports that Lionsgate has acquired Entertainment One from Hasbro, and part of the deal includes a plan to turn the board game Monopoly into a big-screen movie. The $500 million deal between Hasbro and Lionsgate is expected to finalize by the end of 2023.

Lionsgate is purchasing Entertainment One, the multimedia arm of toy giant Hasbro, and the deal includes a Monopoly movie.

The Monopoly movie has been rumored for some time. Kevin Hart is currently attached to star in the film. Ride Along and The Blackening director Tim Story is on board to helm a script by The Truman Show scribe Andrew Niccol.

A Monopoly movie only seems natural at this point. The recent success of Barbie will no doubt incite a slew of toy and game-themed blockbusters looking to follow in Margot Robbie’s billion-dollar footsteps. It is no surprise that Hasbro is doubling down on its branded content as franchises continue to rule studios across Hollywood.

Hasbro purchased eOne four years ago, shelling out a whopping $3.8 billion for the company’s rich library. Last fall, Hasbro announced that it was ready for eOne to trade hands once again. The move is part of the toy conglomerate’s strategy to focus its attention on branded entertainment.

In addition to a Monopoly movie, Lionsgate now owns the rights to Nathan Fillion’s The Rookie and Cristina Ricci’s Yellowjackets.

Headed to Lionsgate are properties like The Rookie and Yellowjackets. Hasbro also intends to leverage a partnership with Lionsgate for certain projects, including the Monopoly movie. Hasbro will retain rights to some of its most prized franchises, including Peppa Pig, Transformers, Power Rangers, Clue, Dungeons & Dragons, among others.

Those properties, along with the Monopoly movie, have been collected under Hasbro’s brand licensing and merchandising umbrella, so fans can expect to see a lot more products emerge from those popular franchises.

In preparation for the move, both eOne and Hasbro have seen significant downsizing. Hasbro announced a plan to release 1,000 employees earlier this year, while eOne has laid off about 10% of its staff over the past two years.

The massive deal looks as though it will yield much more than a Monopoly movie; Hasbro’s vision for an increased entertainment output includes original content along with a leveraging of its most beloved assets. However, the move comes at a time of major instability in Hollywood. With the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild on their first simultaneous strike since 1960, American studio movies and television shows have shut down entirely.

In this uncertain time, many have questioned the sustainability of the studio model. Tried and true brands are struggling to drum up business at the box office in recent years. Enthusiasm for franchises like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones seems to be waning, and that sentiment is beginning to show at the box office.

The deal for a Monopoly movie is poorly timed with Hollywood paralyzed by two strikes, so it could be years before we hear anything else.

Studios like Hasbro continue to double down on branded content, and while Barbie may indicate that something like the Monopoly movie could still work, the numbers suggest that moviegoers are coming down with a serious case of franchise fatigue.

Hollywood is not playing with Monopoly money, and the studio movie business is one with billions on the line. The stakes are high as Hasbro bets the farm on its branded content. Hollywood studios are gaining a reputation as creatively bankrupt, and they are trying to make sure their finances do not follow suit.