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Movies Based on YA Books: Why Hollywood Is Failing At Making Successful YA Book Adaptations

Movies Based on YA Books

Movies based on YA books have captured the hearts of readers around the world, with their relatable characters, coming-of-age themes, and immersive worlds.

However, when it comes to translating these literary gems into successful films, Hollywood has faced its fair share of obstacles. In this post, we’ll delve into the reasons behind the struggles and discuss why some adaptations have failed to capture the essence of the original books. So grab your popcorn and join me on this cinematic journey as we examine the complexities of bringing YA books to life on the silver screen.

Many of the highest-grossing franchises are book adaptations, and we’re of course talking about the big names like “Twilight”, “Harry Potter”, and “The Hunger Games”. J.K Rowling’s wizarding world itself is the second highest-grossing franchise of all time, following right behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Hollywood in a way got lucky with these franchises. Twilight was successful thanks to the book’s legion of loyal fans despite its reputation for a lousy storyline and one-dimensional characters. Suzanne Collins had already made herself a big name in YA society through her books way before the films were released.

As for J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter, It’s fricking Harry Potter. Like, seriously. Do I really need to explain this one?

These franchises are absolutely loved and adored by the public. They’re fricking legends now. Twilight has completely transformed the image of vampires and werewolves, and the Hunger Games Series has and will forever set the high bar for future dystopian or sci-fi book adaption franchises.

Hollywood doesn’t take the books seriously, no less whether or not it pleases the fans. They just want to use the name of the books to trick the book fans into making them money.

It has to be true. Or else why would Hollywood just never seem to honestly work hard and make a book adaptation good?

It makes sense from all these huge successes, Hollywood would try to recreate these franchises so they can make more money. However, after nearly a decade of YA teen fantasy romance book adaption films, the audience is starting to get sick of them. And all the back-to-back box office bombs such as Beautiful Creatures, Vampire Academy, The Percy Jackson Series, and The Mortal Instrument of Bones prove my point as well. But of course, how these movies terribly contributed to the failed box office performances.

Hollywood seemingly realized that as well, as YA book adaptions are still being made, but now moving more toward the dystopian and sci-fi genres. This strategy was not a total fault, as we can see through the financial successes of The Maze Runner and Divergent. However, both series just weren’t exactly able to live up to the success of The Hunger Games. The Divergent series itself after the first two films’ success is now on the decline, and its final installment would not have a theatrical release and would instead be released straight into TV due to its highly disappointing box office and the previous film’s highly disappointing box office performance.

The reason this series was a success in the first place is that the first film did the book justice. Of course, the movie would never be as good as the film, but at least they didn’t twist the plot ridiculously and followed the storyline, and made some excellent casting choices. Shailene Woodley was a fantastic casting choice and she absolutely embodied the character perfectly – both characteristically and physically.

But Hollywood just can’t learn their lesson. Obviously trying to mimic the Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Twilight franchises, their pathetic attempt to stretch Veronica Roth’s last book of the franchise into two parts so they can trick viewers into paying more money totally backfired and slapped them hard in the face, making them pay the consequences dearly financially.

Anyone who has read and knows Veronica Roth’s series well knows how her last book cannot and is not fit to be stretched that long. The story in the book was being wrapped up, and it’s just not enough to be made into two movies. So the film added twists and new elements in order to make it longer, which totally ruined it for the audience – especially the fans who came to see their favourite characters on the big screen.

I’ll admit – I’m totally biased here, but I believe certain factors of the first film Divergent because it followed the storyline of the book, and it’s because of this that many came to watch the second installment, Insurgent. And even though the box office result was not high as the first film, it still ended with a strong performance of $130.2 million in North America, and $166.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $297 million against the budget of $110 million.

But those who came to watch Insurgent at the theatres, especially the readers, were absolutely enraged by it. Even Veronica Roth herself had admitted to being displeased by the changes Hollywood had done to the film. And say what you want, but this definitely affected the box office result for the next installment, Allegiant and resulted in it becoming an absolute box office bomb.

Hollywood needs to learn that they cannot just pick up production, rush through it, change the contents randomly, turn it into a piece of crap and expect the readers to be easily fooled and help them earn money by paying to watch those movies. We are not stupid.

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Yes, because it’s a favourite in the young adult genre the series would have lots of young adult fans. Yes, the viewers would be majority teenagers because of that. But no, they would not be easily fooled and pay for the crap you made in their favourite book’s name just because they’re young or whatever. They are not stupid.

No matter who the readers are, they would want to see the films do their favourite beloved books justice. No matter how much they love that series, if you make a crap out of it they would not go back and watch it.

It really infuriates me. Hollywood needs to realize that they can no longer not take the book fans seriously and needs to pay the time and effort to make a piece of work that the fans would be proud of. Every single fan would love to have their favourite characters on the big screen. If Hollywood does us and our stories justice, we’ll be happy and they’ll earn money. Everyone’s happy. And yet they’re still too lazy to make a piece of work that is actually good.

It’s not hard. It really isn’t. The fans would be more than willing to pay and watch the movies if they’re done well. But Hollywood needs to make them good first.

Of course, Hollywood would still have successful book-movie adaptions here and there, but if any of them can ever live up to “The Big Three”, we would never know. There really isn’t much to say, who knows what the future would hold.

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