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Novels On The Big Screen: Hits or Misses

Big screen adaptations of novels have been around since, well, movies. Banking on the success of the books, film rights get snatched up and screenplays are written. Some were nothing but a sheer success for the production companies, others not as much. But money isn't the sole judge and not all adaptations are created equal. The argument of 'the book being better than the movie' is not only longstanding but often true.

 Which of these YA/MG book to movie adaptations were successful? Which do you think were a bust?

$7.7 Billion

$2.9 Billion

$2.5 Billion (with one to go)
$249 Million
$209 Million

$226 Million
$33.5 Million


 What other YA/MG movie adaptations did you enjoy or despise?

 *Box office amounts from wikipedia.
Amanda Hannah

Amanda grew up on a big farm in a small town with one stoplight, one school, and a handful of imaginary friends.She would’ve gone to college forever, but eight years and five majors tested her advisor’s patience. So she moved to Germany to explore creepy castles before landing in Spain where she’s perfecting her Flamenco.

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  1. LOTR. The movies stayed very true to the books and I LOVE the movies.

    ERAGON: EPIC FAIL...this is such a great book and I felt the entire movie was rushed. This could've been great and because the first one flopped, they probably won't make the rest.

  2. I'm usually most concerned about an adaptation capturing the tenor of a book than every detail, and I think at times many directors, fearful of fan backlash, don't stray far *enough* from the books to make a great movie.

    One great example of this gone right was in HP 7p2, when Ron went on about the Deluminator bringing him back. In the book, it's a sweet moment. On screen, it sounded over the top and ridiculous. Something needed to be done. So the writer and director choose to put a line in a bit later of Harry mocking Ron for sounding so silly.

    It's that kind of thing I like to see in a movie adaptation--I don't mind if they adapt; movies and books are different mediums. But make a good movie that captures the spirit of the book.

    I would say HP and LoTR did the best job of the ones above at that. (Haven't seen/read Nick & Norah, though.)

  3. I saw the Eragon movie before I read the book. I loved the movie but then I'm a big fan of Garret Hedlund - would have liked to see more Murtaugh in the film and book. Wish they'd make the rest of the books into films.

    Loved LOTR! Can't wait for the Hobbit!

    I loved Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series so I'm really keen to see how they translates to the big screen.

    Tried reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower but didn't like the journal structure so I'll wait for the film instead :)

    Why have no John Green books been made into movies!?

  4. There's only ever been one movie that lived up to my expectation from the book, and that was Holes. Excellent book, excellent movie. Like Lord of the Flies, only with nice people and a happy ending.

  5. I am usually just so excited that a book I love becomes a movie, I don't mind if things are lost in translation. And I tend to look at the movie as a separate story, cause there's no way to compare it to the book. So basically, I liked all of the above.

  6. Really looking forward to the movie of Meg Rosoff's 'How I Live Now', which I believe is due out next year. If it's as impressive as the recent 'Hunger Games' movie then it ought to be good, although Rosoff's book might be harder to adapt...

    Agree that LOTR was epic. Bit disappointed they're making 'The Hobbit' in to a trilogy. It's depressingly greedy. Thought the adaptation of Percy Jackson was pants.

    Anyone know if they're making Skulduggery Pleasant in to a movie?

  7. Is it bad that my response to this isn't a well thought-out comment but quiet sobbing at the atrocity that was the Eragon movie?

  8. The Golden Compass was probably the worst adaptation ever.

  9. I absolutely HATE the Percy Jackson movie. It wasn't even the same plot, not to mention that the new story line they came up with didn't make sense. (Percy doesn't go looking for the lightning bolt, he goes looking for his mom. Yet they keep on mentioning this deadline... which would have only applied if he was looking for the lightning bolt.) The actors were great, but whoever wrote the script butchered it.

  10. I agree that HP and LOTR adaptions are the best.

    I think, in general, longer is better because you can stay truer to the book/books. That's why the A & E version of Pride and Prejudice is the best and the only two good Stephen King adaptations are It and The Stands, two TV mini-series.

    Turning books/series into 2 hour movies requires too much revamping, and I always tend to lean toward the original then.

  11. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned The Hunger Games yet -- IMO, one of the best recent YA book-to-movie adaptations. The Harry Potter movies were excellent as well, and some of the Twilight movies were even better than the books.
    The Eragon movie was okay, but a terrible adaptation; the book was geared toward older teens and it felt like they were trying to dumb it down into a children's movie. Most people I know who saw the movie but never read the book sort of assumed the book was for younger children too.
    The LOTR movies are probably my favorite book-to-movie adaptation, but they're not really YA.

  12. I was really really disappointed with Percy Jackson. I hope they do better with the next one.

    I love the Potter movies I've come to accept that things have to be changed but still some of the things they changed just felt like huge arrows saying "if you read the books, we know this part is different and doesn't matter but we're changing it anyways so deal" and it took me about 6 movies to not totally freak out about those things but you could call me a crazy fan.


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Item Reviewed: Novels On The Big Screen: Hits or Misses Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amanda Hannah