Worst Movie Adaptations of Books in History
Hollywood has been adapting books into movies since people started going to movies. Our favorite works of fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels have been turned into Oscar winners, box-office hits, and our favorite films.
But it doesn't always go like that. Anyone who is an avid reader and loves movies has experienced the disappointment of seeing a great book twisted into something unrecognizable. The movies are so bad they tarnish the memory of a great book forever.
These are the worst movie adaptations of books of all time.
Honorable Mention: Interview with the Vampire
Book: "Interview with the Vampire" by Anne Rice
Director: Neil Jordan
Starring: Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Chrisitan Slater, Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst
Budget: $60 million
Box office: $223.7 million
Release date: Nov. 11, 1994
Bottom Line: Interview with the Vampire
The blowback from casting Tom Cruise in the coveted role of Lestat was enormous but upon further viewings, it may have been his costar, Brad Pitt, who was miscast.
The real tragedy from all of this was that they never got to make a movie out of Anne Rice's sequel to "Interview." The far superior "The Vampire Lestat" would have been an epic ride.
The problem with the adaptation isn't Cruise at all. He's actually very good. The problem is with Pitt and with Neil Jordan's direction coming off the ultra-serious "The Crying Game" in 1992.
Book: "Watchmen" By Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1985)
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Good, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Carla Gugino
Budget: $140 million
Box office: $185.3 million
Release date: March 6, 2009
Bottom Line: Watchmen
Zack Snyder's version of the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons ended up being an almost shot-for-shot faithful remake of one of the most beloved works of fiction of all time.
Therein lies the problem. Snyder went through such pains to create this beautiful, lush world for the silver screen. Then he changed the ending.
It's hard to convey the disappointment of sitting through almost three hours of good-to-pretty-great adaptation to be denied the giant intergalactic squid we all deserved at the end, even if the HBO television series eventually delivered it in pretty epic fashion.
29. The Green Mile
Book: "The Green Mile" by Stephen King (1996)
Director: Frank Darabont
Starring: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, Doug Hutchinson, Sam Rockwell, Barry Pepper, Patricia Clarkson, Harry Dean Stanton
Budget: $60 million
Box office: $268.8 million
Release date: Dec. 10, 1999
Bottom Line: The Green Mile
This box-office smash isn't the only Stephen King adaptation to make the list, and we hear you when you say it's not a bad movie.
Here's the problem, though. It's 190 minutes long. That's three hours and 10 minutes for those of you counting at home.
Frank Darabont deserved another shot at making a movie out of a King novel after what he did with "The Shawshank Redemption," but this was just a ridiculous ask of moviegoers, who responded by not going to Darabont's movies anymore.
See how that works?
28. The Beach
Book: "The Beach" by Alex Garland
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen, Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $144.1 million
Release date: Feb. 11, 2000
Bottom Line: The Beach
It's pretty incredible that two artists as talented as Leonardo DiCaprio and Danny Boyle made such a stinker out of such a great book. But it still made a ton of money.
This was DiCaprio's first leading role in two years following "Titanic" and after several high-profile roles fell through for a variety of reasons, including the lead role in "American Psycho" with Oliver Stone attached as a director and "The Godfather Part IV" in which DiCaprio would have played a young Sonny Corleone.
"The Beach" author Alex Garland went on to show he's a great director in his own right with movies like "Ex Machina" and "Annihilation."
Book: "Dune" by Frank Herbert
Director: David Lynch
Starring: Kyle MachLachlan, Sean Young, Patrick Stewart, Sting, Max Von Sydow, Dean Stockwell, Brad Dourif, Linda Hunt, Jurgen Prochnow, Virginia Madsen
Budget: $40 million
Box office: $31 million
Release date: Dec. 14, 1984
Bottom Line: Dune
Frank Herbert wrote one of the greatest sci-fi novels of all time with "Dune." And Hollywood's struggles to adapt it over the years have been as legendary as the book itself.
With David Lynch's 1984 attempt to make "Dune," we got half of a movie essentially. The first hour is as good as most sci-fi films, but due to budget constraints and pressures from the studio, Lynch was pushed off the project, and the second half of the movie isn't very good and borders on schtick actually. And that ending. Woof.
"Dune" will get its third adaptation in 2021 with director Denis Villeneuve's version, although it's reportedly only the first half of the book.
Book: "Jarhead" by Anthony Swofford
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx, Lucas Black
Budget: $75 million
Box office: $97.1 million
Release date: Nov. 4, 2005
Bottom Line: Jarhead
"Jarhead" has been given a second life thanks to four sequels that have zero to do with the original novel on which the first movie was based.
This movie seemed like it was sure to haul in a fair share of Oscar nominations when it was announced — an Academy Award-winning director in Sam Mendes, an Academy Award-winning actor in Jamie Foxx (in a supporting role) and one of Hollywood's hottest up-and-coming stars in Jake Gyllenhaal.
It's hard to put your finger on why "Jarhead" isn't a great movie, but if we're going to venture a guess, it's the same reason the book is so great. It's about the meandering existence of an enlisted military man. Not exactly ideal for a three-act structure.
25. John Carter
Book: "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Dominic West, Ciaran Hinds, Willem Dafoe, James Purefoy
Budget: $306 million
Box office: $284 million
Release date: March 9, 2012
Bottom Line: John Carter
If you want to know where almost all of the modern superhero tropes we love so much come from, look no further than Edgar Rice Burroughs' series of "John Carter of Mars" novels that came out in the early 1900s. The first one was called "A Princess of Mars," and it is the basis of this film.
Which leads us to the biggest question of all — why in the world would they just call this movie "John Carter" and not some variation on Burroughs' titles?
In the end, this was one of the most expensive movies ever made, with a reported price tag of $350 million, which it didn't even make back at the worldwide box office.
For comparison, "The Avengers" came out the same year at a cost of around $300 million and made $1.5 billion at the box office.
24. The Girl on the Train
Book: "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins
Director: Tate Taylor
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Haley Bennett, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Lisa Kudrow
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $173.2 million
Release date: Oct. 7, 2016
Bottom Line: The Girl on the Grain
Such a great book. Such a bad movie.
We couldn't buy tickets quick enough when we heard the potboiler "The Girl on the Train" was being made into a movie starring Emily Blunt, which seemed like perfect casting.
The real fault here lies in the hands of director Tate Taylor ("The Help"), who showed zero signs he could handle a thriller in any of his previous outings. Blunt is a great enough actress that she almost makes up for it and saves the movie, which was a box-office hit.
23. Memoirs of a Geisha
Book: "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Zhang Ziyi, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, Koji Yakusho, Kaori Mmoi, Gong Li
Budget: $85 million
Box office: $162.2 million
Release date: Dec. 9, 2005
Bottom Line: Memoirs of a Geisha
You're not going to see many Academy Award winners on this list, but here we go. "Memoirs of a Geisha" was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2006 and won three, for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
"Geisha" makes the list because of its cultural appropriation — in this case casting Chinese women in the main roles of Japanese women.
It was enough of a controversy that it overshadowed the movie's release, and the movie itself seemed to lack the heart that was such a key part of Arthur Golden's novel.
22. The Golden Compass
Book: "Northern Lights" by Phillip Pullman
Director: Chris Weitz
Starring: Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Cdraig, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, Ian McKellen, Ian McShane, Freddie Highmore, Kathy Bates, Kristin Scott Thomas
Budget: $180 million
Box office: $372.2 million
Release date: Dec. 7, 2007
Bottom Line: The Golden Compass
It's never a good sign when a movie that makes almost $200 million over its budget at the box office doesn't get a sequel, but that's what happened to "The Golden Compass," which was based on the "His Dark Materials" series of novels by Phillip Pullman.
The reason no sequel was ever green-lit was because making almost $200 million wasn't near enough of a return on investment for the studios involved. The movie cost almost $200 million to make.
Over a decade later, HBO rebooted the property as a television series.
21. The Deep End of the Ocean
Book: "The Deep End of the Ocean" by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Director: Ulu Grosbard
Starring: Mchelle Pfeiffer, Treat Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Jackson
Budget: $38 million
Box office: $28.1 million
Release date: March 12, 1999
Bottom Line: The Deep End of the Ocean
Maybe it speaks to how big a star Michelle Pfeiffer was during the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s that this movie got made for almost $40 million. We dare you to try and tell the difference between this and any run-of-the-mill Lifetime Movie of the Week.
That shouldn't be taken as a knock on Lifetime MOTWs, either. Because some of them are very good. So how'd this one get made? The power of Oprah Winfrey. It was the first book ever selected by her book club.
20. Black Dahlia
Book: "The Black Dahlia" by James Ellroy
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $49.3 million
Release date: Sept. 15, 2006
Bottom Line: Black Dahlia
Brian De Palma pushed the envelope in Hollywood for 30 years before the failure of "The Black Dahlia" proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. The venerated director of classics like "The Untouchables" and "Scarface" hasn't had another film financed in the studio system since.
The sad thing about it is that when "Dahlia" focuses on the female leads it's a fairly entrancing film. When it turns to the two male leads, Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart, it gets bad.
This wasn't just the final straw for De Palma. "Dahlia" also represented Hartnett's last gasp at being an A-List actor.
19. All the Pretty Horses
Book: "All the Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Starring: Matt Damon, Henry Thomas, Lucas Black, Penelope Cruz
Budget: $57 million
Box office: $18.1 million
Release date: Dec. 25, 2000
Bottom Line: All the Pretty Horses
In one of the more famous cases of a movie being ripped away from its director by the studio, convicted sex offender and former Miramax studio head Harvey Weinstein wrenchd control of "All the Pretty Horses" from director Billy Bob Thornton.
In Thornton's camp over the years has been the movie's star, Matt Damon, who thinks it could have been one of the best movies he ever made had Weinstein not interfered.
What we got, instead, was a bland version of one of Cormac McCarthy's most beloved novels that seemed to have little connection to the book on which it was based.
18. The Lovely Bones
Book: "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Saoirise Ronan, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli
Budget: $65 million
Box office: $93.6 million
Release date: Dec. 11, 2009
Bottom Line: The Lovely Bones
There's something to be said for when a director knows to stay in their lane. It was a lesson Peter Jackson was never going to learn following the success of the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy in the early 2000s.
Jackson thought he could do anything after winning Best Director for "The Return of the King," including adapting Alice Sebold's beloved novel, which ended up being an uneven disaster.
In Jackson's defense, he was thrown for a bit of a loop when the movie's lead, Ryan Gosling, showed up 60 pounds overweight and with a beard — changes he'd made for the role but hadn't bothered to discuss with Jackson. He was fired and replaced with Mark Wahlberg, who struggled in the role.
Book: "Jumper" by Steven Gould
Director: Doug Liman
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Rachel Bilson, Diane Lane, Michael Rooker
Budget: $85 million
Box office: $225.1 million
Release date: Feb. 14, 2008
Bottom Line: Jumper
"Jumper" was made with the idea that it would be the start of a franchise, with a director coming off a big hit in Doug Liman ("Mr. and Mrs. Smith") and an actor who had just helmed a huge franchise in Hayden Christensen ("Star Wars" prequels).
While "Jumper" made its money back and then some, this movie fell short of all that it could have been. Steven Gould's "Jumper" novels were fairly obscure but had a cool premise.
It's too bad the filmmakers couldn't find a way to translate that to the screen.
Book: "Congo" by Michael Crichton
Director: Frank Marshall
Starring: Laura Linney, Dylan Walsh, Ernie Hudson, Grant Heslov, Joe Don Baker, Tim Curry
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $152 million
Release date: June 9, 1995
Bottom Line: Congo
There was a time in the mid-1990s following "Jurassic Park" where you could just slap novelist Michael Crichton's name on a movie poster and moviegoers would line up around the block.
This didn't last long, mainly because the drivel that hit cinemas were movies like "Congo" and "Sphere" — although at least "Congo" made its money back.
The animatronic gorilla hasn't aged well, and wasn't very well-received when the movie came out. But, yeah, it made a lot of money. So they kept making Crichton novels into movies for years.
Book: "Phantoms" by Dean Koontz
Director: Joe Chappelle
Starring: Ben Affleck, Liev Schreiber, Peter O'Toole, Rose McGowan, Joanna Going, Nicky Katt
Budget: $15 million
Box office: $5.6 million
Release date: Jan. 23, 1998
Bottom Line: Phantoms
You can make a good argument that this movie has become known more for a line from the movie "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" ("Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo!") because there's certainly nothing memorable about the movie itself.
Even a young Ben Affleck couldn't save this sci-fi/horror dud.
That raises the bigger question about adaptations of Dean Koontz movies in general. Has there ever been a good one? And why hasn't anyone ever tried to adapt arguably his two best novels, "Strangers" and "Lightning"?
Book: "Sphere" by Michael Crichton
Director: Barry Levinson
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Coyote, Liev Schreiber
Budget: $80 million
Box office: $73.4 million
Release date: Feb. 13, 1998
Bottom Line: Sphere
Barry Levinson did a lot of great things as a director, but his specialty was dramas based on real life. Not science fiction.
Levinson went off the rails with the budget and production was shut down on "Sphere" for six months before they were allowed to finish. This happened despite reteaming with his "Rain Man" star Dustin Hoffman and bankable stars like Sharon Stone and Samuel L, Jackson.
You can tell this movie was made in two parts. Both of them turned out boring. That's not a great recipe for sci-fi movies.
Book: "Strip Tease" by Carl Hiassen
Director: Andrew Bergman
Starring: Demi Moore, Burt Reynolds, Ving Rhames, Armand Assante, Robert Patrick
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $113 million
Release date: June 28, 1996
Bottom Line: Striptease
Demi Moore's $12.5 million payday for "Striptease" set a record for a female actress, but what would have been nice is getting the potboiler/crime aspects from Carl Hiassen's novel onto the screen.
That didn't happen. The film ended up winning six Golden Raspberry Awards and effectively killed Moore's career as an A-List actress.
In one weird aside, NBA legend Michael Jordan has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo playing himself as a patron at a strip club.
12. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Book: "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Kevin Spacey, John Cusack, Jude Law, Allison Eastwood
Budget: $30 million
Box office: $25.1 million
Release date: Nov. 21, 1997
Bottom Line: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Part of Clint Eastwood's appeal as a director is his productivity. The guy has just never stopped working. But because he works so much and makes so many movies — and a lot of them are based on novels — they're not always going to work.
Interestingly enough, there aren't a lot of adaptations of nonfiction novels that made the list, mainly because they're hard to screw up, and you can't change an ending of something that actually happened.
Eastwood manages to do it here, with a big helping of camp from two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey. Then again, Eastwood's biggest box-office hit of his career would be the adaptation of the nonfiction novel "American Sniper" starring Bradley Cooper.
11. Left Behind
Book: "Left Behind" by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
Director: Vic Sarin
Starring: Kirk Cameron, Brad Johnson, Clarence Gilyard
Budget: $4 million
Box office: $4.2 million
Release date: Feb. 2, 2001
Bottom Line: Left Behind
Say what you will about secular novels dressed up as science fiction, which the original "Left Behind" is. It's a pretty good book.
That's why it was such a surprise to see it turned into such a stinking trash heap of a movie, although it's easily explainable when you see the film headlined by Kirk Cameron.
The former teen heartthrob from "Growing Pains" has become one of the more unlikable Hollywood actors of the last 30 years.
Book: "Dreamcatcher" by Stephen King
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Sizemore, Donnie Wahlberg
Budget: $68 million
Box office: $75.6 million
Release date: March 21, 2003
Bottom Line: Dreamcatcher
That three Stephen King adaptations made the list isn't a knock on King, but more of a testament to the Hollywood fervor that surrounds anything he writes.
"Dreamcatcher" isn't one of King's more memorable novels, but it's nowhere near the monkeys-painting-on-a-canvas treatment that this film gets.
Looking at the talent involved makes this failure all the more disappointing. Director Lawrence Kasdan wrote some of the greatest sci-fi and adventure movies of all time with "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but his talent as a director was with thrillers and dramas like "Body Heat" and "The Big Chill." Not whatever this is.
9. Fever Pitch
Book: "Fever Pitch: A Fan's Life" by Nick Hornby
Directors: The Farrelly Brothers
Starring: Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, JoBeth Williams, Ione Skye
Budget: $30 million
Box office: $51 million
Release date: April 8, 2005
Bottom Line: Fever Pitch
The Farrelly Brothers made some really funny movies together. But this hackneyed adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel about soccer fanaticism turned into a story about an obsessed Boston Red Sox fan isn't one of them.
The idea of stretching a plot set in another country and adapting it for an American story isn't anything new and happens both ways. There are versions of the television series "Breaking Bad" in almost every country. That still doesn't account for quality.
This isn't just a bad adaptation of a book, which loses all of the heart from Hornby's novel. It's also a bad sports movie.
8. The Island of Dr. Moreau
Book: "The Island of Dr. Moreau" by H.G. Wells
Director: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Val Kilmer, Marlon Brando, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk
Budget: $40 million
Box office: $49.6 million
Release date: Aug. 23, 1996
Bottom Line: The Island of Dr. Moreau
"The Island of Dr. Moreau" was one of the more troubled productions in Hollywood history as the personal lives of its stars derailed production and its original director was fired after one week.
The movie's original lead, Bruce Willis, dropped out of the movie after he began divorce proceedings with his wife, Demi Moore. Willis' replacement, Val Kilmer, was served divorce papers on set and began to have angry outbursts against castmates and crew members.
That pales in comparison to what happened with star Marlon Brando, who refused to learn his lines. He had to have them piped in through an earpiece or would just improvise. The final product makes this obvious.
7. The Postman
Book: "The Postman" by David Brin
Director: Kevin Costner
Starring: Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, Tom Petty
Budget: $80 million
Box office: $28.8 million
Release date: Dec. 25, 1997
Bottom Line: The Postman
What's truly amazing about "The Postman" is that all three of the principles won Academy Awards for exactly what they were doing on this movie.
Director and star Kevin Costner won Best Director for "Dances With Wolves" while screenwriters Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump") and Brian Helgeland ("L.A. Confidential") won Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay. None of them had anywhere close to the same success here.
"The Postman" won five Golden Raspberry Awards in 1998, and Costner ended up with two of the biggest box-office flops in Hollywood history on his resume following "Waterworld" in 1995. Brutal.
6. Red Dragon
Book: Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
Director: Brett Ratner
Starring: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mary-Louise Parker, Harvey Keitel
Budget: $78 million
Box office: $209.2 million
Release date: Oct. 4, 2002
Bottom Line: Red Dragon
If you've seen "Red Dragon" and not "Manhunter," shame on you. The original movie version of Thomas Harris' novel directed by Michael Mann is one of the best crime-thriller movies of all time, and for fans of that movie, "Red Dragon" was a tough pill to swallow.
One of Hollywood's ultimate money-grab directors of all time directed this movie with Brett Ratner, who had a similar effect on the "X-Men" franchise when he helmed one of its sequels.
Ratner is a true franchise-killer, even when given such exquisite actors to work with like Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins and the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
5. A Wrinkle in Time
Book: "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline L'Engle
Director: Ava DuVernay
Starring: Storm Reid, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Michael Pena, Zach Galifianakis
Budget: $130 million
Box office: $133.4 million
Release date: March 9, 2018
Bottom Line: A Wrinkle in Time
Director Ava DuVernay doesn't miss very much, but it's hard to put any sort of good spin on how she butchered Madeline L'Engle's classic sci-fi novel, which was one of Hollywood's longest-gestating projects when she took the helm.
This cheese-fest's problems started with casting, where DuVernay decided to put some of her biggest stars in supporting roles. See Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon just playing backup.
In an already bad movie, their presence is a distraction, and the movie reportedly lost between $150 million to $200 million after marketing costs were figured in.
4. The Goldfinch
Book: "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
Director: John Crowley
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Jeffrey Wright, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Nicole Kidman
Budget: $50 million
Box office: $9.9 million
Release date: Sept. 13, 2019
Bottom Line: The Goldfinch
When "The Goldfinch" became a literary sensation in 2013, it wasn't a surprise that someone wanted to make a movie out of it. One of the main concerns from the jump was that the novel's plot was essentially unfilmable because of its complexity — which didn't stop Hollywood from giving it a shot.
"The Goldfinch" became one of the biggest box-office bombs of all time after a wide release of some 2,500 screens across the U.S. It reportedly lost $50 million split between Warner Bros. and Amazon Studios and took the wind out of the sails for an up-and-coming star in Ansel Elgort.
3. The Bonfire of the Vanities
Book: "The Bonfire of the Vanities" by Tom Wolfe
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Morgan Freeman
Budget: $47 million
Box office: $15.6 million
Release date: Dec. 21, 1990
Bottom Line: The Bonfire of the Vanities
One of the more famous flops in Hollywood history belongs to a director who landed multiple films on this list — Brian De Palma, who made a career out of his massive peaks and valleys.
In this case, the main characters portrayed by Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis were such stretches from the book that those who loved Tom Wolfe's novel had a hard time believing it. That they weren't the original casting choices speaks to those problems as well.
The movie's production was such a disaster that a book was written about it by The Wall Street Journal's Julie Salamon called "The Devil's Candy." And it became a bestseller itself.
2. Ready Player One
Book: "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Ben Mendelsohn, Olivia Cooke, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance
Budget: $175 million
Box office: $583 million
Release date: March 29, 2018
Bottom Line: Ready Player One
There are some people who will tell you that the 1979 film "1941" is the low point of Steven Spielberg's directorial career. Don't believe them.
It's "Ready Player One" — a steaming, stinking pile of movie waste that somehow made over a half-billion dollars at the worldwide box office and cost almost $200 million to flm.
In a testament to the butchery Spielberg executed on Ernest Cline's beloved sci-fi novel, the majority of the money this movie made came from overseas. It only made $137.7 million at the U.S. box office, thanks in no small part to the release of an actually good sci-fi film one week later with "A Quiet Place" starring John Krasinksi and Emily Blunt.
1. The Dark Tower
Book: "The Dark Tower" by Stephen King
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Jackie Earle Haley
Budget: $66 million
Box office: $113.2 million
Release date: Aug. 4, 2017
Bottom Line: The Dark Tower
By far the most difficult of all of Stephen King's works to make it to the big screen was "The Dark Tower." At least a dozen directors and stars were attached to make this project over the years.
That it ultimately came out like this and not in the shape it should have been — a television series to tell the entire "Gunslinger" saga — shows how little Hollywood really cares about the people who love these properties.
Turgid. Unwatchable. Stupid. Proceed at your own risk.