Movies and literature go hand in hand. If a book sells well, then you can bet that there will be a movie made about it. If a film does really well, then there’s a good chance somebody will make a novel adaptation to go alongside it. But how do the two businesses co-exist? Is it as clear cut as the ebook-paperback debate?
Films undoubtedly help the sales of the book that they’re based on. In fact, films tend to help any media that they’re based on. Take ‘The Woman in Black’, for example. Most people have no idea that the 2012 film was loosely based on the 1983 novel by Susan Hill, which has received a significant boost in sales since the release of the film. Similarly, the play, first conceived in 1987, has also seen an increase in ticket sales since the release of the film. If anything, the release of a film makes the audience more aware of books or plays that they didn’t know existed, and helps expand their cultural understanding. Perhaps then, authors are helped significantly by the release of supporting films, and underrated books such as the ‘Jack Reacher Series’ should be grateful if a film is commissioned about them.
However, there are a few negative effects to having a film released about a book. I went to see ‘The Hunger Games’ recently with a bunch of friends at the cinema. I had never read the book, and I was worried that it might be a repeat of the quite horrific Twilight saga. Fortunately, I found the film quite enjoyable, and a good time was had by all. Personally, I thought the plot was quite interesting, and if there’s a sequel, I might think about going. But the film wasn’t so good that I would think about buying the book as well. In fact, I feel the film has put me off buying the book. I mean, why would I want to read something when I have just seen it at the cinema? The same can be said of the Harry Potter franchise. I would bet that there are thousands of people who have seen the film, but aren’t nearly interested enough to then go on to buy the books. Although this is everybody’s own choice, it’s a shame to see this happen to such popular and critically acclaimed books, such as The Great Gatsby, when its film adaptation inevitably comes out.
Article by Scott Clawson
image from here
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