Five movies based on YA books that wish they made it to their 'Breaking Dawn'

Five movies based on YA books that wish they made it to their 'Breaking Dawn'

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1" is released today and is expected to bring in the dough. The first movie made $191.4 million, the second movie pulled in $296.6 million and the third movie topped them all at $300.5 million. Twilight already has joined Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter in the ranks of book series that have turned into movie gold and get the opportunity to finish the story to the end.

Next spring, the movie version of "The Hunger Games" – the first book in a trilogy – will be released, hoping to capture some of that magic, as well.

But for every success story, there are those who don't make the cut and never make it to their "Breaking Dawn."

The green light for a sequel depends heavily on how well the first movie does. The first Harry Potter movie made $317.6 million. The first Lord of the Rings movie made $313.8 million.

But the movies also have to keep it up, which happened in the case of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, but not with the Chronicles of Narnia. While "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" movie made $291.7 million, the next two trailed off with the third movie, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" pulling in just $104.4 million after Disney gave up on the series. The fourth movie probably will never be made.

But at least the Chronicles of Narnia made it through three books. Four of the series listed below are one and done so far, and the fifth is unlikely to make it past its second movie.

 

5. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Rotten Tomatoes stats:

Critics: 72 percent

Audience: 61 percent

Box Office: $118.5 million

It's not surprising that critics liked this more than the audience. A huge fan of the series, I recognized that the movie – which combined the first three of the 12 books in the series – was well done, but there were a few glaring problems that weighed it down with the biggest of these being the casting of Klaus. The middle child of the three orphans featured in the books, Klaus is supposed to wear glasses all the time, be bookish and be smaller than his older sister. The movie decided to disregard all three of these facets of his character. Jim Carrey was a good choice for Count Olaf, but the sequels never got made despite rumors they were in the works. Now, all of the original characters are too old to continue the story. The rest of the books might be made sometime in the future, but it would require starting over.

 

4. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Rotten Tomatoes stats:

Critics: 48 percent

Audience: 57 percent

Box Office: $86.7 million

Technically, this series isn't dead yet, but I have no idea why they're making a sequel – scheduled to release in 2013 – and it had better be much better than the first if they want to make it all the way to the fifth book of this series. Another $86.7 million showing probably won't be enough to save the series. The movie was lackluster. The romance between Percy Jackson and Annabeth happened much too quickly – it would have been like having Hermione and Ron fall for each other in the first Harry Potter movie – and Pierce Brosnan simply doesn't work as Chiron. Here's hoping the second one is better, but I'm doubtful.

 

3. Eragon

Rotten Tomatoes stats:

Critics: 16 percent

Audience: 58 percent

Box Office: $75 million

Just a wretched movie. So disappointing. I've blocked most of it from my mind. While the audience was forgiving of it, the critics lambasted it and rightfully so. It just took all the joy of the book and sucked it out. There is no open discussion of a sequel. This is also the only series of the five I haven't finished, yet. I was slightly disappointed with the third book, "Brisingr" and haven't gotten around yet to reading the final book, "Inheritance," which just came out.

 

2. The Golden Compass

Rotten Tomatoes stats:

Critics: 42 percent

Audience: 55 percent

Box Office: $70.1 million

Such a great series. Such a lousy movie. It's a series you need to go all in with, despite the backlash that would come about because of some of its views regarding religion, or not do at all as a movie. The movie chose to be lukewarm and as a result it received a lukewarm reception. An expensive movie, the box office failure of "The Golden Compass" put the next two movies of the trilogy on indefinite hold.

 

1. Inkheart

Rotten Tomatoes stats:

Critics: 39 percent

Audience: 50 percent

Box Office: $17.3 million

By far the biggest box office flop of the bunch, I barely remember it even being in the theaters and had to rent this one on DVD. There are small rumors of a sequel in a work, but I've not been able to find anything definitive and I remain doubtful. Like with "Eragon," the joy of the book just didn't translate to film. Brendan Fraser wasn't a great choice for the main character, a wonderful storyteller who can bring characters to life with his words, and it just fell short. Also, the way it ended messed up the next two books. Note to filmmakers: If you try to wrap up the first in a series so that it can stand on its own, you're essentially saying you don't feel confident enough in your work. Don't do this.

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