According to Advertising Age, it was all a matter of bad timing. The movie hit the theaters on October 5, too soon after the release of Halo 3 (September 25). After all, the movie was aimed at the 18-to-34 demographic, so Halo 3 must be the reason.
The game lured 2.7 million players on the Xbox Live, meaning that the movie industry supposedly lost $27 million in ticket sales because gamers chose to ignore the movie and focus on slaying the Covenants. And the losses can be raised to a hefty $54 million if each of the players had brought a date to the movie. Don’t forget to add popcorn and soda, so the losses would really go sky-high.
However, that’s only wishful thinking. The “blame Master Chief” line might work for CEOs already out of touch with reality, but it’s hardly an explanation. First of all, the movie was released one week later than the game.
Second, I find it hard to believe that a FPS player would willingly go to a Ben Stiller romantic comedy unless literally dragged there by his special Covenant Brute, also known as “girlfriend”.
Third and perhaps, most important, "The Heartbreak Kid" only got mediocre reviews. We’re willing to bet those did a far better job than Halo 3.
Master Chief, put on a beard, you’ve just been turned into a scape goat.