At the end of 2017, BookBub released a list of the 32 biggest book-to-movie adaptations scheduled for 2018. Only four of the movies named are based on novels with a central romantic element:
Fifty Shades Freed by E L James
- Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 38% (Tomatometer: 12%)
- Released in Theaters: Feb. 9, 2018
- Box Office Total: $95,599,460*
Every Day by David Levithan
- Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 55% (Tomatometer: 63%)
- Released in Theaters: Feb. 23, 2018
- Box Office Total: $5,260,834*
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
- Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 93% (Tomatometer: 95%)
- Released on Netflix: Aug. 17, 2018
- Box Office Total: Unknown (but if you’re curious, you can read an article about how Netflix pays for its original series).
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
- Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 86% (Tomatometer: 93%)
- Released in Theaters: Aug. 15, 2018
- Box Office Total: Approx. $111,000,000*
* Approximate money earned from the movie’s release at the box office to the date of this post.
Of these four movies, Crazy Rich Asians has made the most money, by far, raking in more than $111 million in less than a month. Some sites even note that it has made the most money for a romantic comedy film in the last nine or ten years.
Regardless of what’s to come for rom-com book adaptations, there’s no doubt that the novel Crazy Rich Asians serves as a great source of inspiration for many aspiring, and published, romance writers.
I can’t help but wonder if this movie will create a new formula for rom-com movie success.
Romantic Comedy Novel =
Diversity + Comedy + Romance =
Box Office Ticket Sales =
Sure, this formula has worked before. There have been plenty of book adaptations made for film, including funny books with kissing.
The question is: With Crazy Rich Asians‘ success in the box office, will producers be more willing to seek out diverse, comedic contemporary romance novels to adapt for their films?
Now that Hollywood has resounding proof that this formula sells tickets, I think the answer to the question above is yes.
But only time, and a book-to-movie-adaptation schedule for the next few years, will truly tell. I can’t wait to see what happens!
2 thoughts on “Will There Be a “Crazy Rich Asians Movie” Effect for Romance Novels?”
Interesting analysis and viewpoint. I hope this is the start of a change. I guess the test will be when we ‘stop noticing’.
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