Most authors have many dreams that can range from an interview with Oprah Winfrey, being featured on Oprah’s book club, selling millions of copies, or having Jennifer Lawrence play one of the characters in their books. Either way, having a book adapted into film or a miniseries is in most authors’ bucket lists, and these authors managed just that. Not only did they create fascinating motions out of their words, but they also made a killing at the box office while at it, and, in some cases, bagged more awards than they could count, in addition to gaining favor with the culture.
1. ‘Diary Of A Wimpy Kid’ (2010)
Directed by Thor Freudenthal, Diary of a Wimpy Kid was born off of Jeff Kinney’s 2007 release that bore the same name. The book tells the story of Greg Heffley, a boy who struggles to become popular in middle school. The film, released in 2010, marked the beginning of a series of movies, following the success of the first one. It featured Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron as stars and grossed $75 million against a $15 million budget at the box office.
2. ‘The Help’ (2011)
The Help was based on a 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett, which tells the story of house helps working in Mississippi in the ‘60s. Stockett began drafting the manuscript after the September 11th attacks and faced rejection multiple times before the story was ever accepted. Following the release of the movie, Octavia Spencer got her breakout role, and The Help bagged four Academy Award nominations. Commercially, it grossed $216 million against a $25 million budget.
3. ‘The Hunger Games’ (2012)
Between 7th and 10th grade, author Suzanne Collins lived overseas. During that period, she became an avid reader, who enjoyed works such as Lord of the Flies by William Golding and A Wrinkle in Time, both of which had a big effect on her. Collins would grow up to become a television writer, and birth The Hunger Games trilogy, the first film of which was released in 2012. The Hunger Games’ success only comes second to the most successful book-to-film adaptation, the Harry Potter Series. The books, on the other hand, have equally sold copies in the millions.
4. ‘Warm Bodies’ (2013)
Author Isaac Marion believes in taking dumb ideas too seriously. That prompted him to come up with books inspired by everyday things such as traffic lights, or the solar system. Directed by Jonathan Levine, Warm Bodies, the movie, was released in 2013, and inspired by Marion’s 2010 novel that has the same name. Marion’s inspiration for the book was not everyday things, but rather, he borrowed a leaf from the script of William Shakespeare, telling a story of deep love amongst zombies.
5. ‘Gone Girl’ (2014)
Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry, Gone Girl, was a successful film commercially, based on Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel. It tells the story of Nick Dunne, whose wife disappears, making him the sole suspect. According to Reese Witherspoon, who was one of the producers of the film, it was likely to be an exciting topic for first-date conversations. For her role as Amy, Pike received several nominations, including Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations.
6. ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ (2015)
Starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, 50 Shades of Grey, based on a novel by E.L.James, tells the story of Anastasia Steele, a young woman, fresh out of college, who finds herself in a pleasure-pain relationship with Christian, a business mogul. At the box office, the film was incredibly successful, grossing a little over $560 million against a $40 million budget. Despite its success commercially, it earned itself a couple of Raspberry awards, just like its sequel Fifty Shades Darker. The last of the trilogy, 50 Shades Freed, though commercially a success, wasn’t well-received.
7. ‘Hidden Figures’ (2016)
Hidden Figures, the book, was based on the lives of NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson, who had 33-year run at the agency and was termed one of the greatest African American scientists to work with NASA, Dorothy Vaughan, who earned a reputation for being as close as any human can be to being a computer, and Mary Jackson, an aerospace engineer. The film, released in 2016, featured Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monae. Upon release, it was estimated to have made a profit of $95 million, against a $25 million budget.
8. ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ (2018)
Directed by Jon M. Chu, Crazy Rich Asians was based on a novel by Kevin Kwan. As a child, Kwan lived in what he calls a ‘bubble’. He was raised in an affluent neighborhood, where he interacted with people of the same echelon. It goes without saying that Crazy Rich Asians, his debut novel, borrowed heavily from his background. Upon the release of the film, starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, and Lisa Lu, it became a cultural hit, and commercial success, grossing $238 million against a $30 million budget.
9. ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ (2018)
On a normal day, Regina King would be caught dead watching herself on camera. It’s her least favorite thing to do. So, it was a surprise when she revealed that, under the direction of Barry Jenkins, she watched herself on If Beale Street Could Talk, based on a book by James Baldwin. The novel, Baldwin’s fifth story at the time, was the author’s first attempt at telling a black love story. For her performance, King earned herself an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
10. Little Women’ (2019)
Born in 1832, Louisa May Alcott was a feminist writer, who volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War. Little Women was based on some of the author’s own personal stories and tells how characters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy morph into womanhood. The film made its debut at the Museum of Modern Art in December of 2019, making it the seventh one adapted off of the novel. The film, with an all-star cast ensemble that includes Emma Watson and Meryl Streep, gained six Academy Award nominations. Commercially, it was a success, grossing an estimated $218 million against a $40 million budget.
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