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Lionsgate, Hasbro bet on Monopoly becoming movie
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SANTA MONICA  (AP) — Uncle Pennybags is going to Hollywood.

Lionsgate said Wednesday it will turn Monopoly — the ubiquitous American board game — into a feature length film, in collaboration with toy maker Hasbro.

The announcement follows the blockbuster success of last year’s “The Lego Movie,” which grossed more than $468 million worldwide. Other films, including the “Transformer” series, have also demonstrated the financial potential of turning children’s toys into Hollywood films.

The “Monopoly” script will be penned by Andrew Niccol, who was nominated for an Academy Award for writing 1998’s “The Truman Show.”

Monopoly, first licensed by Parker Brothers in the 1930s, pits players against each other in trying to acquire properties based on landmarks around Atlantic City, New Jersey. The game ends when one player achieves a monopoly by driving all his competitors into bankruptcy.

The game has been translated into 47 different languages and sold in 114 countries, according to a company release.

“Monopoly is one of the most popular games of all time, and it will translate into a film with tremendous global appeal,” said Stephen Davis, executive vice president of Hasbro Inc., in a printed statement.

The film’s plot will center on “a boy from Baltic Avenue who uses both Chance and Community in a quest to make his fortune,” according to the press release.

Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. rose 23 cents to $37.28 in trading Wednesday. Hasbro Inc. shares rose 64 cents to $75.43 in trading.