5 Fantasy Stories that Were Great Books but Terrible Adaptations, Ranked

5 Fantasy Stories that Were Great Books but Terrible Adaptations, Ranked
Image credit: Screen Gems

These adaptations were so bad they discouraged viewers from reading the original.

When you hear about a new popular fantasy book, you can take your time and not read it – it's going to be made into a movie soon anyway.

However, there are not many successful fantasy adaptations in the history of cinema – sometimes it seems that stories about vampires, wizards and other supernatural beings are cursed, because books of this genre rarely get worthy adaptations.

5. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series has been popular since the first book, City of Bones, was released in 2007. Thanks to the novels, the author became the queen of fantasy and topped all kinds of book ratings.

Filmmakers could not ignore such success, and in 2013 the adaptation was released. However, the film version tended to confuse viewers who had not read the original.

Cassandra Clare herself noted that the movie gave the audience a first, figurative description of the characters, and not a complete story.

4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a fantasy novel by Ransom Riggs, published in 2011. Tim Burton's film adaptation of the same name was released in 2016.

The age and abilities of the children differed from the source material in favor of a spectacular visual style and cool CGI. Burton's efforts were praised, but critics felt that the emphasis on the visuals did not compensate for the weakly developed plot.

3. Beautiful Creatures

The movie, based on the novel of the same name by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, is similar to Twilight in many ways: the plot centers on an ordinary person who becomes romantically involved with a supernatural being.

However, Beautiful Creatures failed to repeat the success of Twilight. Earning only $60.1 million on a $60 million budget, the movie flopped.

2. Fallen

The film adaptation had a lot of great source material to work with, as Lauren Kate's Fallen was one of the most popular bestsellers of 2010.

However, the movie's box office performance was lackluster. Everything that made the book so compelling didn't make it to the screen. Not only did it seem uninventive, but also focused too much on setting up a sequel rather than the content of the current installment.

1. Vampire Academy

One of the worst film adaptations of fantasy books is definitely Richelle Mead’s book series of the same name. It was a proof that even a popular vampire topic cannot save a bad movie.

With a budget of $30 million, the movie only grossed $15.4 million. It has a 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the general consensus among viewers being that the movie lazily borrows from its predecessors and offers too little new material.