After months of heated debate as to the box-office chances of “Divergent,” the statistics are in — and all the doubters who dissed the film’s potential, and by extension the entire concept of YA novels being brought to life on the big screen are eating crow. A lot of crow. Like, almost $100 million worth of flappy, embarrassing crow.
Although last year saw some disappointing performances by highly-anticipated franchises, most notably the movies based on “Beautiful Creatures” and “The Mortal Instruments,” the amazing numbers brought in by “Divergent” prove that people do love to see their favorite books go to Hollywood — and to see the resulting films in droves.
With the year not even half over, we have a half dozen more (hopefully) great movies based on YA novels to look forward to:
“The Fault in Our Stars“
Out June 6, this movie based on the massively bestselling book by John Green tells the story of two teenage cancer patients in love. With a vast audience of avid readers already crazy for central couple Hazel and Augustus — an audience that includes not just teenage “Nerdfighter” fans of Green, but a heck of a lot of adults, too — it’s a fair bet that this film will blow up at the box office in a way that leaves little room for doubt about the ability of YA to pay off in Hollywood.
More than twenty years after its release in print, Lois Lowry’s award-winning book about a strict, structured futuristic society and the boy who becomes its memory keeper is finally finding its way to the screen. Though the dystopian premise might seem familiar, this story is both quieter and more frightening than action-packed franchises like “Divergent” or “The Hunger Games.” The movie hits theaters August 15.
“If I Stay“
Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, “If I Stay” follows 17 year-old Mia, who finds herself left in comatose limbo in the wake of an accident that kills her father, mother, and brother. Knowing what she’s lost, Mia must make a choice: return to the mortal world where her friends, her boyfriend, and what’s left of her family still live, or let go and move on to the afterlife. The movie is out August 22.
“The Maze Runner“
A sci-fi drama in a labyrinthine setting, this movie out September 19 has a thrilling premise that might sound familiar to fans of “The Hunger Games”: two dozen teenagers are trapped in the Glade, an elaborate prison seemingly designed to test their nerve, smarts, and survival skills.
But in addition to “Survivor”-style group dynamic drama and a maze full of lurking horrors, “The Maze Runner” has an added layer of mystery: none of the kids who wake up in the Glade remember who they are or how they got there.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1“
And speaking of the familiar: After “Catching Fire” posted record-breaking numbers at the box office last year, the penultimate film in the “Hunger Games” franchise is one hotly-anticipated piece of cinema. With perfectly-cast megastar Jennifer Lawrence leading the way, there’s no doubt that “Mockingjay” will deliver serious profits when it hits theaters November 21; the only real question is how we can possibly wait that long for our first peek at District 13.