Elements That Decide the Success of a Book-To-Film Adaptation

Imagine this scenario. You just saw a movie with every element a mind-blowing movie would have – from an intriguing narrative, fascinating scenes, iconic dialogues, incredible character building, to great cinematography and sound effects. All these elements point to a high probability of it being adapted from a book.

However, in the current era, we can agree that movies are more popular than books. A key reason being the timeframe required by the reader or viewer to cover each task. In this context, it is only logical that a 90-minute movie will be voted for over a 400-page novel.

This, however, does not imply that both forms of storytelling are not connected in any way. Betway takes a look at some of the most iconic film adaptations from equally popular books, for instance, the character of James Bond, played by 12 actors to date, was created by Ian Fleming. Beginning with ‘Dr. No’ played by Sean Connery in 1962 to the expected 2021 release of ‘No Time to Die’ starring Daniel Craig, along with adventure, thriller, crime, and casino scenes, the series has captivated several generations over sixty years, all thanks to the imaginative mind of science-fiction novelist Ian Fleming.

This relationship created by film adaptions between the original literature and the film industry provides a supportive incline to the scriptwriters, thereby building a legacy in the process.

Have you wondered what aspects make a book-to-film adaption more memorable than others?

Elements of Success

Already Established: Novels like Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the rings, and the Hobbit were all bestsellers way before their movie adaptations. To top this fact, once they were remade into visual storytelling art forms, all scored as the best ten book-to-movie adaptations in the industry’s history.

Series: Another strong mutuality is that all the books mentioned above were series. So, leaving an unfinished mystery thread at the end holds the audience in place – for years.

Sufficient Data: From Harry Potter to the Hobbit, all books in the series are set in an imaginative and fantasy world. This helps the movie writers to extract readymade information on background, scenes, atmosphere, and the landscape.

Fan Base: Sine the books had been published and were popular among the masses, the movies were guaranteed viewership, at least for the first screening. So, the books already have a fan base, and once it has been visualized, the base expands. If the movies are continuously successful, there is little probability that another part would fail to garner viewership. For instance, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II was the seventh film in the series, so there was little chance of its failure given the hysterical hype and fandom.

Movies and IMDB Ratings

However, it is not always necessary that famous literature would provide a great adaptation. Or that top charted book-to-movie adaptations have failed to impress critics. Many IMDB ratings can prove this fact.

Just two, from the Lord of the Ring series, have gone well with the critics – from the best ten movies on books in financial terms. The remaining seven movies are standalone releases. Though the latter is extremely successful, the global appeal level fails to match the movies mentioned above.

Harry Potter Ratings

Though three Harry Potter movies were among the seven most profitable movies, none made it to the top 10 books-to movie adaptations on IMDB.

On taking a look at the Goodreads ratings and the IMDB reviews of the Harry Potter series, it is evident that the quality of the original literature led to the success of the movies. The Harry Potter trend can be seen in Alice in Wonderland and The Hobbit books as well. Though movies are more popular today, it is the books that ensure a high grossing book remake. As you might have noticed, this trend is not unique to HP stories alone.

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