The success or failure of a book adaptation depends on more than just the quality of writing and casting. The adaptation process is a collaborative one involving the writer, the agent, and the publisher. While some properties are well adapted, others find little favor with critics or audiences and receive low reviews even after their home release. It is possible to learn from these films and judge if their adaptation was a success.
Audiences may find it hard to connect with an adaptation in which the underlying themes remain the same, or, at best, remain the same for the first 30-40% of the film. Adaptations may very well succeed if the story is interesting and if the story of the book and the film have a similar tone. According to Betway Casino, the following book-to-film adaptations have been most popular and are a commercial success
Some stories lend themselves to both great acting and visual artistry. The Shining is perhaps the perfect example of this. The iconic presence of Jack Nicholson and the creepy scenery drew in filmgoers and critics, resulting in a movie that earned five Oscar nominations. Both he and Shelley Duvall played their parts exceptionally, making The Shining one of the most memorable horror movies of the 1980s. The same movie named Dr. Sleep has been remade in the 21st century, however, and was deemed a flop by fans and critics alike. The remake was given a poor rating of 24 percent from Rotten Tomatoes and has a 0 percent rating on IMDB.
It was just an example of good casting and visuals that have worked for the previous shining movie.
There are two main reasons why some films are successful and others. First, the adaptation becomes more than just the story. The narrative that may have worked earlier may not work again as we see countless sequels that fail at the box office. The audience experience is usually enhanced by film and sets a tone for the rest of the production. Perhaps the reason Captain America: The First Avenger was successful was that it did exactly that; it felt like an epic action film when compared to the original comic book. Guardians of the Galaxy, on the other hand, did not get to the point of greatness. It succeeded as a solid comic book adaptation that set up the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rather than as a groundbreaking action film.
According to Agatha Christie, one of the world’s most popular and influential mystery writers, the story is the most important aspect of a mystery novel and should be the biggest focus of any adaptation. An accurate adaptation will faithfully follow the original story but will also place importance on the storyline and plot development. If it fails to do this, it is more likely to fail at the adaptation stage.
Why does an accurate adaptation matter? Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is a classic example of this, the 1963 film adaptation of which was released just two years after the novel was published and grossed $240 million, at the time the largest box office gross for independent production.
The perfect adaptations do not exist. The adaptation process is fraught with obstacles and a lot of work can go to waste. However, even the worst adaptations can provide useful lessons for aspiring writers. A good example of this was J.K Rowling’s final Harry Potter novel, Deathly Hallows. While fans were sure it was her best work, it was a commercial failure with sales of just 800,000 copies. However, the movie did great as evident from its commercial success.