Adaptations Top Box Office

The top three films at the box office on President’s Day weekend are all book adaptations. Overturning predictions, Unknown, adapted from the book Out of My Head by Didier van Cauwelaert, and starring Liam Neeson, came in at #1.

The #2 film, Gnomeo and Juliet is a very loose adaptation (we doubt that even a modern-day Shakespeare would use the line, “Tell him I’m washing my hair”); as the trailer nicely understates, it’s “Shakespeare’s legendary tale as you’ve never seen it before.”

I Am Number Four, underperformed expectations and came in  at #3. An adaptation of the book by James Frey and Jobie Hughes, under the pseudonym “Pittacus Lore,”  it was sold to Dreamworks last year before it appeared as a book.

Sales of the tie-ins are the reverse of the box office; as shown below by each title’s Amazon sales ranking.

Amazon – #110 (and #1 on the NYT Children’s Chapter Books list)

I Am Number Four Movie Tie-in Edition
Pittacus Lore
Retail Price: $17.99
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins – (2011-01-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0062026240 / 9780062026248


Amazon – #10,807

When Out of My Head, a French thriller about identity theft, was published here in 2005, it received admiring reviews. Entertainment Weekly called it a “convincing little nightmare” and awarded it an A-.  The NYT presciently noted, “this is a novel that really, really wants to be a movie.” The tie-in uses the movie title.

Unknown: A Novel
Didier van Cauwelaert
Retail Price: $14.00
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) – (2011-01-12)
ISBN / EAN: 014311901X / 9780143119012


Amazon – #15,941

Gnomeo and Juliet Junior Novelization (Disney Gnomeo and Juliet)
Molly McGuire Woods
Retail Price: $4.99
Ages: 8 to 12
Publisher: RH/Disney – (2011-01-11)
ISBN / EAN: 0736428232 / 9780736428231

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