City of Ashes Clary

Is there hope for ‘City of Ashes’ when box office reports are looking slim for ‘City of Bones’?

Shadowhunters are very fearful when it comes to how well their beloved movie will do in the box office. The sad thing about book-to-movie adaptations recently – especially YA – is their obvious failure to draw audiences to the theater. We’ve seen a pattern recently with Beautiful Creatures and The Host; studios throw money at these popular book series thinking the built in audience will bring in the big bucks. However, for some reason these adaptations are barely making bank, and fans of Cassandra Clare’s best selling series believed The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones would break that pattern and move forward with future installments.

Last April, fans were delighted to hear that Constantin Films had green lighted City of Ashes, the second book in The Mortal Instruments series. Some people were skeptical saying it was “too soon” for the studio to move forward with a sequel, but the movie makers were relying on the fervent online community for the film’s success. Many people thought The Mortal Instruments would do well. It’s action packed, romantic, and entertaining. So what went wrong? Instead of asking “why” (which we kinda already know the answer to), I’d like to dive into the future and hope for City of Ashes.

Sony and Constantin Film dulled out $60 million for the Young Adult Fantasy film and another $60 million in marketing, and unfortunately the reality of the numbers are a bit crushing. The first weekend came in third at the box office with only $9.3 million according to Box Office Mojo. People who aren’t even versed in movie business lingo know that that number is extremely low. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has now been in theaters for a week earning a total of $26.6 million domestically including some countries worldwide. The Hollywood Reporter wrote an article stating “‘Mortal Instruments’ Looking to Global Box Office to Avoid ‘Twilight’ Curse”, here’s what they had to say on the box office forecast:

Mortal Instrument’s international rollout has only just begun. Constantin said the film’s total take so far is $26.6 million, driven by a U.K. bow of around $1.8 million and more than $1.4 million from Australia. Several major territories follow this week, including Spain, Italy, Germany and Mexico. From there, the film will make its way around the world throughout the fall and into the winter months. Moszkowicz said it was still too early to make a prognosis for Mortal Instrument’s global box office revenue. But Constantin has proven before that it can successfully use international markets to recoup a shortfall in the U.S. Paul WS Anderson’s The Three Musketeers (2011), a Constantin production, earned s disappointing $20 million in its U.S. release through Summit Entertainment, but went on to gross some $150 million worldwide

You see that Shadowhunters! Don’t lose hope now!

Constantin has proven to do well internationally, yet with the soft opening in the U.S., sales will not be reliant on just the box office. With a possible franchise comes licensed merchandise. Hot Topic as well as other merchandisers have been in high demand over their Mortal Instruments products when they debuted back in June. Fans went a little crazy over items on presale, the demand was so high merchandiser couldn’t keep up. Some items sold out instantly, and fans are still searching high and low for Isabelle’s night club dress, mugs, and of course shirts with the actor’s faces on them.

The soundtrack to the film was released just a couple days prior with artists such as Demi Lovato, Colbie Caillat, and Ariana Grande. Also the movie tie-in books are bringing in revenue for the film. The Co-President of Constantin had something to say about the subject in LA Times recent article discussing “Building a Foundation”.

Even if the movie performs moderately, it will still warrant a sequel. Now that $60 million has been spent worldwide on prints and advertising, you can already see how the book sales are accelerating, the soundtrack is hitting the charts. Even if the first one doesn’t become a gigantic success, we will have a profitable track ahead of us.” – Co- President of Constantin

The quote above settled many of the fans worries, but not to put a damper on anything, the article was published two days prior to the movie’s U.S debut. The co-president might be singing a different tune these days.

City of Ashes is set to begin filming mid September, but at any moment the production companies could pull the plug on the project. With a sequel comes redemption, the moviemakers have the opportunity to fix their mistakes and continue the story telling. As my friend Christine said in her The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie Review and Discussion video – “It felt like a bunch of action sequences mashed together with not enough dialogue in between to properly develop anything that was going on. Or properly develop the characters.

As a HUGE fan of Cassandra’s series, I know that City of Bones is just a small part of the series. I’m still on the edge about the movie, I liked it, and I hated that I ridiculed a movie that I so wanted to love. We need a sequel to explain the world Cassandra Clare so beautifully constructed, then general audiences will be used to it. I have faith that City of Bones will make a formidable profit with merchandise, the soundtrack, and the box office revenue combines. Producers of the film know how hard-core the fans are, and will surely try their best to do us right.

If you want a sequel, go see the movie again, and take your mundane friends and family with you! Have a little faith, and keep checking back here for news on City of Ashes.



Natasha is an 20 year old born and raised California girl. She is currently working her way toward being a professional hair and makeup artist, but fills her free time fangirling over her favorite series and actors. She loves reading, designing geek apparel for Bitter~Sweet Stories Designs with her best friend, and enjoys spending time with her family, lovable fat cat, and hyper husky! Check her out on her YouTube Channel - Tashapolis, and Fangirl with her on Twitter @Tashapolis !


  • EmilyGracie

    I don’t know what to think anymore. It seems in this article that it could go either way. I would see it again, but nobody I know wants to see it and I don’t feel comfortable seeing a movie by myself.

    This just doesn’t make sense! The Percy Jackson movie was horrible and the sequel was still made. Now there might be a possibility that there won’t be a sequel of City of Bones and it was amazing!! I just don’t understand.

  • Greenleaf17

    Whether the movie is good or not is irrelevant. The reason why Percy Jackson has a sequel, is because I’m pretty sure the Lightning Thief actually made a profit, which right now, does not look good for the Mortal Instruments :’(

  • Ingrid

    I’ve been checking online for days for any news of how the film is doing, because I was worried and I want it to do good. It would be so sad if they stopped making the movies after the first one. I would at least like to see the original trilogy be made into films.
    I’ve seen the movie twice, so i think I’ve made my contribution :)

  • EmilyGracie

    Yeah, I see what you’re saying. It seems as though they picked a wrong weekend for its release though.

  • http://lovethroughthedarkdays.tumblr.com/ Amelia B

    Percy Jackson was actually not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Plus, it did actually pretty well domestically and did fantastic overseas, and they’re finding that overseas audiences really love sequels, so they wanted to try and see what would happen.

  • Alice Bridges

    The secret to making the book to movie adaptations profitable? STAY TRUE TO THE BOOK!!! honestly I don’t get why hollywood screenwriters think they can write a better story. There are definitely fans of the books who were excited for the first movie but wouldn’t see the second because they were so disappointed by how much they changed it.
    I didn’t think it was that bad, but the successful YA movies have been the ones that didn’t change too many of the plot elements of the book.

  • Katie Storm

    My hope as a fangirl with a new love * cough* obsession *cough* ! ( I haven’t had one since harry potter was in theatres and was all that) That they stay true to the book as much as possible in the next film! And that they make all the movies! Fan base may be small..but were growing each day with book sales, merchandise ( need more available! ) and who knows, it could be a hit else where over seas!

  • http://www.temas-wordpress.com/ Yaira

    They need to stay AWAY from cheesiness and cliches that RIDICULES the movie and in moments that are SUPPOSED to be serious only make you laugh. The also need to keep it close to the source no crappy, rain, snow or floating Jocelyn please!

  • Tell-it-like-it-is

    If cassandra Clare was happy about it, and they were her books, why can fans not be happy about it? I thought it was well written and not rushed through. Remember the stupid lines in twilight and the fact that what was said was rushed? (and yes I liked Twilight and was a huge fan but no I didn’t agree with the way the script was written and pointless addins) its never going to be 100% to everybody’s taste, but as in the words of Jace “this is bigger than us” it had to appeal to non fans, prospective book fans that hadn’t discovered it yet, mums who hadn’t given it a chance before (holds hand up guilty as charged) and who went purely because the clips looked good. Fathers who don’t read anything let along YA books and husbands who were dragged more than once to keep wives happy.
    There is not one book to screen adaptation that hasn’t changed things. It had the majority of it in, including the lines and that was good enough for me. People will always laugh at wrong moments, thats not down to the film, but ignorant people imo.
    Perhaps the lack of support to it has been because of the constant “its the next twilight” comments (immediately puts non Twifans off) and the fact that the only time I have seen clips in the UK is twice at the cinema, because we went to see other films, and all the clips on you tube. I didn’t see one on TV, or anywhere else :(

  • a.c.

    The movie didnt get the press it deserved in the States, which is sad. I liked the movie. I also liked the book… New fictional character crush on Jace. Hope they make another movie. Us fans deserve a sequel

  • Jade

    The movie city of bones mortal instruments was an amazing film, the supernatural, fantasy, horror , romance themes were breath taking and i cant wait for city of ashes. Its the best film i have ever watched, Jace is so funny, yet so romantic at the same time cant wait for the sequal