August 24, 2005

Microsoft signs film deal for “Halo” video games

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. has signed a deal
with two film studios to make a movie based on its popular
space-based video game series "Halo," a spokesman for Universal
Pictures said on Wednesday.

Universal and Twentieth Century Fox agreed to pay Microsoft
$5 million plus a percentage of movie ticket sales. The total
price being paid is capped at 10 percent of domestic box office

The deal ends months of speculation over which studio would
win the right to make a "Halo" film, which came to Hollywood
last spring highly-touted by Microsoft and its representatives
at Creative Artists Agency. Messengers delivered a script to
the studios wearing costumes and toting laser guns.

But several studios balked at an initially high asking
price, which at the time published reports pegged at $15
million plus 15 percent of box office receipts in the United
States and Canada.

Under terms of the final agreement, Universal will oversee
the film's production and domestic distribution, while Fox will
handle international distribution.

Universal spokesman Paul Pflug said the studios are aiming
for a summer 2007 release of a movie based on "Halo" and "Halo
2," a science fiction series about an alien-fighting warrior
named Master Chief.

Microsoft spokesman Carlos de Leon declined to comment on
the terms of the movie deal as well as on speculation that the
software giant would launch its "Halo 3" game title alongside
the movie.

"We haven't made any announcement on the launch of 'Halo
3'," he said.