Books vs. Movie Adaptations


Andrew Cappuccio

Books vs. Movie Adaptations

There have been many movie adaptations of best selling books over the years, but do they really give the audience the same enjoyment that the book has? It’s not just novels either, movies have been developed by other source material such as comics, videogames, and TV shows.

After the tremendous success of the Harry Potter film franchise, which has made a total of $7 billion in the box office, studios have been pushing to produce films that could possibly hop on the same success train that was handed down to J.K. Rowling’s “Wizarding World.” Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson are to name a few. While Twilight, nor Percy Jackson, didn’t quite get enough stardom to follow in Potter’s footsteps, it was The Hunger Games that came to be the last standing tribute. With the first Hunger Games installment making a total of $694 million at the box office, it certainly gave audience an action filled journey. Like the Potter franchise, Suzanne Collins’ Panem was transformed into a theme park located in Dubai.

Despite the massive success a film adaptation could get, were fans of the source material pleased with them. As it is common knowledge that not all movies will have a story that is  100% identical to the book, directors, producers, etc. have to make sacrifices so that a 700 page novel can fit in a 2 hour time limit.

One adaptation, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, is very different from the source material. Fans and movie goers alike weren’t too anxious to go see these two films as the film worldwide box office sales only reached to $426 million. I have been told by people who read the books, the movies took the base of the story and changed drastically enough that the movies had completely drifted away from the source material. I also believe this is why there was a three year period between the release of the two films, which also leads to why Fox 2000 Pictures has greenlit a third one.

As someone who is currently reading the Harry Potter books, and someone who has watched the movies more times than I have fingers, I would have to say how the movies were dealt with in terms of staying accurate to plot, character development, and imagery, is that they are the best example of how a book series should be adapted for film. I grew up as a fan from watching the movies first, so when I finally had decided to read the books, it was like I was reconnecting with old friends, but at the same time, I felt like I just discovered  J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World because the movies leaves out little details such as Hermione trying abolish house elf slavery. Even though details like that didn’t make it into the films, the movies were pretty spot on 90% of the time.