The biggest opening for a film adaptation this weekend is Ender’s Game, starring Harrison ford and Asa Butterfield. Based on Orson Card Scott’s 1985 SF novel, it opened in some theaters last night. The E! Online news site reports that forecasters expect it to finish the weekend at #1, despite a threatened boycott. The mass market edition has been NYT best seller list for 54 weeks. UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly examines the question, “Is Ender’s Game the next big YA franchise? Or is it The Golden Compass?” (they come down on the side of the latter).
Opening in more limited runs are Big Sur based on Jack Kerouac’s 1962 novel and Diana, the biopic featuring Naomi Watts, based on Diana; Her Last Love, by Kate Snell, released here for the fist time as a tie-in last month. The film got a sour reception in the U.K. where it opened last month (it has a positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes of only 9%).
To see trailers of these and other upcoming film adaptations, click on links at right, under Movies & TV Based on Books — Trailers.
Tie-ins Releasing Next Week
Many Oscar hopefuls begin debuts this month (as USA Today puts it, this is the time when “Hollywood trims the turkeys for awards season“). Three of the tie-ins releasing next week are for movies considered to be strong contenders.
August: Osage County, Tracy Letts, (Perseus/Theatre Communications Group)
Based on the Pulitzer-winning play, the movie opens Dec. 25 and stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis and the actor-of-the-moment, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search (Movie Tie-in) , by Martin Sixsmith, intro. by Judi Dench, (Penguin; this is the book’s first release in the U.S.)
Judi Dench is considered a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination for her performance as a woman searching for the son she was forced to give up fifty years before. It’s directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) and opens in an Oscar-qualifying limited run on Nov. 22.
The Sting Man: Inside Abscam, Robert W. Greene,
Based on the true story of the ABSCAM sting of the late 1970′s and ’80′s, the movie, titled American Hustle, stars Christian Bale as a con artist recruited for sting operation led by a federal agent (Bradley Cooper). It also stars Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. Directed by David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook which also featured Cooper and Lawrence), it opens Dec. 18 (after a limited opening on Dec. 13). The book is a paperback re-release of a 1981 title. The cover blurb reads, “The true story behind the film American Hustle.”
The Hobbit: Movie Tie-in, Tolkien, J.R.R., (HMH/Mariner)
Probably the biggest release of the year, nonetheless, the second of the Hobbit movies is not on Oscar lists. It opens Dec. 12.
The Motel Life Movie Tie-in Edition, Willy Vlautin, (Harper Perennial)
Starring, Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson, this is based on Willy Vlautin’s debut novel. Opens next week, Nov. 8.