The Least Successful ‘Potter’ Imitators

The “Harry Potter” film series was already the most successful franchise in movie history even before the final installment hit screens. And with “Deathly Hallows – Part 2” already breaking box-office records, it’s becoming less and less likely that anything will ever match it’s historic achievement. But that’s not to say others haven’t tried.

In the decade since “Potter” first hit screens, a host of other fantasy movies have tried to copy its formula for success. They were based on very popular books, they featured a plucky young hero (or two or three), and they relied heavily on expensive visual effects. And while some made for passable movies, most never launched the sort of multi-film franchise that made “Potter” such a smash.

1. LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS (2004)

Estimated Budget: $142,000,000
US Box Office: $118,627,117

When you think about this one, it wasn’t a half bad movie the thing is they crammed books 1 2 & 3 into one movie and ended with the demise of Jim Carry’s character.  A great movie but it’s understandable why this one never matched up to Harry Potter.

2. ERAGON (2006)

Estimated Budget: $100,000,000
US Box Office: $75,030,163

Just thinking about this movie makes me cringe.  I am a huge fan of the novel and was super excited to see this movie and while most of the cast was great picking for this movie, the script and screenplay were god awful and they sent half the movie to the cutting room floor, portions of it that would have made the book more true to the book.  Stupidest move ever.  Never ever turn a 500 pg. book into 99 minutes, there is no way for it to succeed.

3. THE GOLDEN COMPASS (2007)

Estimated Budget: $180,000,000
US Box Office: $70,083,519

This was a good movie, but when you consider the ending, it was nothing like the book.  They didn’t even try to make it to books 2 & 3 when you look at it. 

4. THE SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING (2007)

Estimated Budget: $20,000,000
US Box Office: $8,791,738

Good movie but the acting could have used some improvement.  I haven’t actually read the books but seeing as how they have started with book 2, even if that works for the Chronicles of Narnia Saga, it’s not for everyone.  Looked like a one-shot movie.  When you make no attempt to move forward, there is no way it is going to happen.

5. CITY OF EMBER

Estimated Budget: $38,000,000
US Box Office: $7,871,693

Good movie and true to the book, I would know because I read it.  I didn’t think the script or the acting was bad, in fact I loved it and I loved this movie.  I just think that maybe this book isn’t as popular as Harry Potter.  I mean until the movie came out, I had never paid attention to the book, never even remembered the name.

6. INKHEART (2009)

Estimated Budget: $60,000,000
US Box Office: $17,281,832

Haven’t read the book but from what I’ve heard it wavered off the path just a bit.  A screenplay with a lot of penitential but given the ending, it’s no surprise that it didn’t make it too the second two novels.

7. THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES (2008)

Estimated Budget: $130,000,000
US Box Office: $71,148,699

Not surprised that this movie didn’t make the desired amount.  I mean saw the movie and I really enjoyed it but at times it lagged I will admit.  At least they squeezed all four books out so the movie was given a proper ending.

8. PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF (2010)

Estimated Budget: $95,000,000
US Box Office: $88,761,720

Another movie that makes me cringe.  I hate this movie with a passion, at least Eragon got some things right.  There is no surprise that this movie didn’t do good.  They made the kids 16 when they are 11 in the book.  They made the movie for teens when teens and adults and kids love the book the way it is.  The books show growth, they appeal to the masses, this movie did not.  At times I was sort disgusted with how the teenagers acted, especially when they were at Vegas.  Also the Satyr is not a pig in the book, he’s more like Neville Longbottom.  Worst part of the movie.  At least all of the movies above were good or at least stayed some what true to the novel.  This one did not at all.  It was crap, pure crap.

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