Young Adult Movie Adaptations Are a Cursed Genre, and This Bomb Proves as Much

Young Adult Movie Adaptations Are a Cursed Genre, and This Bomb Proves as Much
Image credit: Legion-Media

Young adult book series have been popular for many years; their big-screen adaptations just kept flopping. This is definitely a cursed genre, and here’s the perfect example to prove it.

It’s a wonderful yet mysterious phenomenon: why do young adult movie adaptations fail so miserably while young adult books are so popular? No one knows the answer for sure, and each new director that decides to undertake a fresh adaptation clearly believes that his predecessors simply messed up and that can be avoided.

Despite that, pretty much every time a new YA fantasy movie comes out, no one cares. The vast majority of people don’t even acknowledge the adaptation’s existence and those who do cover it in terrible reviews and poor ratings. This fate almost seems inevitable by now, but directors can’t stop their stubborn attempts.

So far, very few have managed to escape the Young Adult Movie Curse: if we keep the Harry Potter franchise out of the equation, can you quickly name three successful movies in this genre from the past dozen or so years? Yeah, neither can we. We are not even sure whether the curse jokes are jokes anymore.

Have you ever heard of City of Ember, for example? This movie was directed by the Monster House’s creator Gil Kenan, produced by Tom Hanks, and had a great cast that included Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, and Toby Jones. It had a reasonably popular book franchise behind it, too; so why did you answer “no” to our question?

Young Adult Movie Adaptations Are a Cursed Genre, and This Bomb Proves as Much - image 1

We’ll tell you exactly why.

Despite its solid $55M budget, City of Ember managed to only earn around $8M of it back in the US. Despite its star cast and crew, it failed to gain any publicity. Despite great visual effects and an amazing story behind it, the movie earned terrible scores from both critics and the audience: 54% and 46%, respectively.

Long story short, it proved to be a huge flop; and, unlike some other flops (hi, The Flash ), you’ve never even heard of it — and most people haven’t, either.

The reason for it? The curse, of course. No young adult movie adaptation can ever become successful if it’s not an eight-movie-long series made by a handful of different director half of who don’t even know the source material. It’s a sacred law, this much is known now; still, somehow, directors keep trying… And failing.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes