It seems like these days the phrase, “The book was better than the move,” is bing uttered more and more. I believe that this is a good thing for two reasons, 1.) People are reading more books and 2.) People are enjoying more movies that are based on books, which when are well done often increase the sales of the book it was based on. One thing that is often underestimated is the number of books that are actually based off of books.
It is thought to be that nearly a third of all moves adapted from novels. When that scope is widened to include short stories, dramas and novellas that number rises to nearly 65 percent. Just about all of the classics that are taught in high school were adapted into films, some of them, more than once. Examples of these include The Great Gatsby, Great Expectation, The Outsiders, Dracula, and The Giver. The list goes on and on, and are too numerous to list completely. More recent popular movies adapted from books include The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Divergent Trilogy (Movies in Progress), American Sniper, Gone Girl, and of course the insanely popular Harry Potter Series.
As it can be imagined, the popularity of a movie based off of a book, directly effect the sales the title after the movie’s release. This increase in sales is known as the “book-to-movie bounce.” Going back to Harry Potter, arguably one of the biggest successes in terms of book-to-move adaptations, in the four weeks after the debut of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in November of 2001, the number of units sold more than tripled the sales of the previous four weeks 956,700 units and 223,200 units sold in the week of the movie’s release. Of course, these numbers aren’t the gospel truth for every book-to-move bounce but it gives a good idea as to the potential effect that movies can have on book sales.
If the trend of book-to-move adaptation continues the way it has been, and people continue to read the books and watch the movies, the phrase “the book is better than the movie” may just one day become an adage.