Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ten of the biggest book adaptation flops

One of the ten biggest book-to-film flops--adaptations that were a critical/audience failure and a box office failure--Gabe Habash named for PWxyz, the news blog of Publishers Weekly:
All the King’s Men (2006)

Net Losses (inflation adjusted to 2012): $52,511,544

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11%

Representative Review Quote: “Failures on the scale of writer-director Steven Zaillian’s All the King’s Men are as rare as falling sequoias, and they make a noise even if no one’s in the woods to hear them.” -New York Daily News

In 1949, Robert Penn Warren’s classic was adapted for the screen and won Best Picture, Best Actor (Broderick Crawford) and Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes McCambridge). In 2006, the book was adapted again, this time with Sean Penn screaming over inspirational music for two hours. No awards were won and the movie was called “depressing,” “dull” and “hysterically over-the-top yet strangely lifeless.”
Read about the other flops on the list.

All the King's Men appears on David Blight's list of five outstanding novels about the Civil War era, Heather Brooke's top five list of books on holding power to account, Melanie Kirkpatrick's list of her five favorite novels of political intrigue, and H.W. Brands's five best list of books on scandals...in truth or just in print; Robert McCrum called it a book to inspire busy public figures.

Also see: Fifteen top film adaptations of literary classics; Five great books that worked as films; and The Daily Telegraph's top 25 book to film adaptations.

--Marshal Zeringue