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Will a "Magic: The Gathering" Movie Be Magical for Fox and Hasbro?

By Tim Beyers – Jan 21, 2014 at 7:00PM

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History says cashing in on the game’s popularity could prove tough.

For as popular as Magic: The Gathering is, 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and Hasbro (HAS -1.04%) might be making a mistake in trying to adapt the card game into a movie, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Writer and producer Simon Kinberg is signed on to develop a Magic movie, presumably as part of his first-look deal with Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hasbro Studios President Stephen Davis, CEO Brian Goldner, and Wizards of the Coast CEO Greg Leeds are signed on to executive produce. Their involvement could help give the project a familiar feel to fans. Fox, for its part, apparently wants a big-screen experience reminiscent of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings films.

An audacious goal, to be sure, and one Tim isn't so sure is achievable, especially when viewed through the lens of history. Hasbro's Battleship adaptation earned $303 million worldwide on a $209 million production budget. Earlier, New Line's adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons earned a dismal $33.8 million on a $45 million production budget. Precedent doesn't favor Magic: The Gathering's chances to spellbind audiences, Tim argues.

Do you agree? Would you see a Magic: The Gathering movie? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short Fox or Hasbro stock at current prices.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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