With the recent box office hit Hollywood has with The Fault in Our Stars in theaters, will the industry be looking to acquire the rights of some of the more popular contemporary books in Young Adult Contemporary?
John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has been an international best-selling novel for the past three years, and on June 6th it’s adaptation made $48 million in the weekend box office. For a film that only cost $12 million to produce, Fox must be jumping for joy with the cost-to-gross cash rolling in. This begs my former question, will the industry be looking to replicate this kind of hit in the future? Are we going to see the 2013 Twilight copycats all over again, except this time with real life angsty teenage stories?
Heck yes, because Hollywood has one goal… to make loads of money.
Sometimes it’s about the craft (for those independent films), but studios just don’t throw down millions of dollars in hopes that a film will do “mediocre” in the box office. As we’ve seen in the past, studios clamored to get their hands on the hottest teen book series in hopes of a huge multi-film hit. Divergent was the only one to make money ($267 mil) out of the bombs following Twilight and The Hunger Games. Giving hope to other projects forgotten about like The Legend series or The Lunar Chronicles.
The Fault in Our Stars is giving hope for the books in it’s genre for their big book-to-movie debut. It’s not even a question if John Green’s other works will be translated to film, as Paper Towns already cast it’s lead with Nat Wolfe. Will we see other author’s works make it to the big screen? Why yes, Rainbow Rowell’s (who John Green supports) Eleanor and Park was the first book to become optioned in the wake of the TFiOS anticipation this year. Gayle Forman’s best selling novel, If I Stay, is hitting theaters this August. The novel doesn’t have the cross gender support that The Fault in Our Stars had, more women and young girls will have read If I Stay, and that’s fine, but will it be enough for a box office hit? From an outside perspective, the books that do well in the cinema aren’t just read by the “young adults” of our generation, they are enjoyed by everyone!
Will we see such titles as Anna and The French Kiss, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, or Thirteen Reasons Why make their way to the big screen? It’s definite possibility when it only takes a couple million to make these films. However, only another big title like The Fault in Our Stars will conjure a huge blockbuster hit. Take a look at Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being A Wallflower, Summit Entertainment had Emma Watson headlining the feature, but the film did poorly in the box office making only $33 million during it’s run.
A book’s fandom isn’t something a studio should rely on when it comes to these Young Adult contemporaries, it’s how the story will resonate with the general audience. The buzz surrounding TFiOS has sure sparked curiosity in the non book readers across the world, and the film will quickly become a generational classic, but it’s a phenomenon that might only happen once in ten years. John Green’s books will make their way onto the big screen in years to come, but I doubt none of them will have the success that TFiOS has had. The Fault in Our Stars is the Twilight of 2014, and other contemporaries made into movies might pale in comparison to the grandfather of the modern Young Adult contemporary. But will the industry learn from it’s mistakes? I have a feeling that might be a no.
History will repeat it’s self, and Hollywood will once again try to replicate The Fault in Our Stars success… I have no doubt about it. Hey, I’m all for Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins on the big screen, so keep making those mistakes, Hollywood!