Investigated – Book Movies

Posted August 19, 2013 by Emily in Investigated / 5 Comments

Book movies. Movies that are adapted from books. They seem to be very popular nowadays. Beautiful Creatures and Perks of Being a Wallflower, which won Choice Movie – Drama at the Teen Choice Awards, (yes, I watched it, there was nothing better on TV, don’t judge) were released last year. Sea of Monsters just came out on the big screen, along with The Spectacular Now. City of Bones will be in movie theaters starting Wednesday (August 21) and Catching Fire will be out in a few months. And there are a lot more. Divergent and Maze Runners finished filming. The Fault in Our Stars is rumored to start filming next week. If I Stay is supposedly building its cast. Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls are being optioned for film… and the list goes on.
All that is kind of understandable. Some film makers see making film adaptions of books to be a lucrative business (some don’t but I’m just going to ignore that fact or this post will be veerrryyyy long). Of course there have been a few flops (sorry Beautiful Creatures), but there have also been some very large profits. For instance Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but Twilight also, have been huge successes. All in all, I guess it makes sense to make movies out of books. After all, most of those books have interesting stories, but also large fan bases. It’s almost guaranteed that fans are willing to pay to see the movie version of their favorite books in the movie theater. Fans play a huge role in all this. Which brings us to the point… what if fans are unhappy with the turn out?
Ever since I started reading, I’ve enjoyed “watching” a movie of the book I was reading unfold in my head. In fact, a couple of my friends have confessed to the same thing. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that its hard when a the actual movie doesn’t go the way it does in your head. Sometimes changes are understandable. Maybe you don’t agree on the casting choices or how they changed the order of events. But those things cannot be helped. After all, the movie can’t be exactly like the book.Those are just some minor details.
But when the people who make the movie change it too much from the book, it’ll lose the fan base the book has and along with it the money of fans. If the movie gets vital facts wrong or misinterprets a scene in the book, it won’t be looked upon kindly. Sure, maybe people who haven’t read the books won’t really mind. But the people who have, the people that have invested the most time and money into the franchise will. Take Percy Jackson for example. I went to see the first movie with some of my friends. Most of them own the whole series. Some of them even own all the companion books, so you can’t accuse them of not being fans. And then, there was some friends that haven’t read the book. When we got out of the movie theater, the majority of my friends were fuming about the movie (Why is Annabeth a brunette? Why? This isn’t right…). They swore they would not pay to see another Percy Jackson movie, if there was one (there is). And then there were the ones that were new to Percy Jackson (What!?!). They loved the film. They could not understand why my other friends disliked (I’ve been told hate is a strong word…) the movie so much.
I guess what I’m saying is that book to films are tricky. Sometimes they are hits. Sometimes they are misses. Sometimes they are in the gray area. Whatever they are, I’m always willing to give the film a try, just because I enjoyed the book. But that doesn’t mean I’m willing to “pay” for it. What are libraries for (and of course parents…)?
What about you?
Do you like book movies?
Are you planning to watch any in the future? 



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5 responses to “Investigated – Book Movies

  1. I very rarely actually watch movies, so I’m not as excited as most people when it comes to seeing a book being made into a movie. A lot of the times it can ruin my perception. Also, with some of the more emotional movies that come from well written books, I doubt the movie can even compare. I like seeing movies made of plot driven books, but even that, like you said about PJ, can go on.

    That being said, I’m going to watch The Sea of Monsters with my little sister. I didn’t hate the first movie, and I want to introduce the series to my sister. Hopefully I’ll have a better experience than you did. 😛

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

    • I know what you mean about the movie never quite owning up to the book if it is emotional. That makes me a bit nervous about the movie of If I Stay. My brother went and watched the Sea of Monsters last week and he liked it, so I don’t really think it’ll be too bad. I still think the books are better than the movie through…

  2. I feel like you hit the nail on the head when you talk about how similar the movie and book is can greatly impact how fans respond to it. They already know that by basing a movie off a book they’re likely to draw that fanbase into the theaters, so why not produce something that remains at least somewhat true to the book? Otherwise they have to know their going to upset a bunch of angry book lovers, and that’s always dangerous. (Not that we’re easy to please to begin with, but really, it’s obvious when they barely put any effort into it.) Great discussion!

    • Exactly, especially since there is such a huge book blogging community! I get that everyone has different opinions about everything and you can’t please everyone, but sometimes it feels like they are trying to please the movie goers, not the book lovers (huh, new post idea). But hello, we are the reason why the movie was possible in the first place! Would it hurt to try harder to please us? It would surely help their wallet after all.