The film industry took a massive hit during the pandemic. The lockdown guidelines halted productions and forced theaters to close down. But adaptations can still contribute to post-pandemic recovery, especially considering most of the film franchises identified by CNBC for revitalizing ticket sales are adapted from books and comics.
The continued success of adaptations can be attributed to how they cater not only to devoted readers waiting for their favorite books to rise to the silver screen, but also to wider audiences who simply want to be entertained by immersive storytelling.
Here are five of the best movie adaptations to watch on a weekend, when you want to sit back and relax!
Considered to be a childhood classic by many, the 2009 adaptation follows titular character Coraline and how she discovers an alternate world through a secret door in her new home.
Equal parts bone-chilling and amusing, Coraline’s appeal may be in large part due to book author Neil Gaiman’s direct involvement in the making of the film. What also sets the film apart from other adaptations of children’s books is its stop-motion animation, which effectively communicates the dark, underlying truths in Coraline’s parallel universe.
The Suicide Squad (2021)
The next one on the list is sure to hit the spot for anyone who’s in the mood for a fun and action-packed movie. The Suicide Squad is a superhero film based on the DC Comics team of the same name.
Critics have remarked that the film strikes the right balance of sarcasm, dark humor, and over-the-top action scenes—which is just appropriate for a movie that places anti-villains at the forefront. Follow the story of how Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker, King Shark, and more go on a mission to save the world. (Or do they?)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
If you’re the type to be immersed in fantastical worldbuilding, then try going on a trip down Middle-Earth from the comfort of your own couch. This 2012 fantasy adventure film is based on The Hobbit, a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien that features Bilbo Baggins and his quest to the Lonely Mountain with the company of dwarves.
The length of the film justifiably brings to life the land of Middle-Earth, and showcases remarkable characters that evoke kindness and heroism, the themes central to the original story.
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Adapted from Jane Austen’s novel of the same name, Pride and Prejudice is about the trials and tribulations that the five Bennet sisters encounter in their search for love, marriage, and relationships.
The film’s harmonious set and costume design transport you back to the Regency era. And who could forget Keira Knightley’s spot-on depiction of main character Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet’s wit and charisma? Audiences of all ages are sure to get equally invested in the iconic romance between Lizzie and the prideful yet charming Mr. Darcy.
Gone Girl (2014)
David Fincher’s directorial excellence when it comes to psychological thrillers and complex characters shines in this 2014 film starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck.
It’s based on Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which narrates the tumultuous relationship between Amy and Nick Dunne. With an unreliable and unlikable narrator at its core, the movie successfully illustrates a web of deceit and trickery.
The book is a certified page-turner, so this adaptation is also bound to pull the rug from underneath you with its captivating twists and conflicts.
Readers and film viewers often argue over which medium has the power to tell a better story between the two. Fortunately, these adaptations allow more people to engage with stories that once captured hearts from the pages, and continue to touch more lives through the screen.