Answers to Read the movie: top five movies based on books

Answers to Read the movie: top five movies based on books

recently posted a game where I listed the top five USA domestic grossing movies based on books.

It’s interesting to me that books are not necessarily the best source for a movie (based on box office)…although comic books/graphic novels (which I did not include) did very well.

If you want to take a shot at guessing, go to the link above before reading these answers. 🙂

I’m going to do this in reverse order…I’ll start at number five and build up to number one. I think number one is not the first one you would come to mind when someone said, “movie based on book”.

Oh, one other observation: three of these are not the first movie in a series, but have a cinematic predecessor. In that sense, it may be that it those are in effect movies based on movies…that it still isn’t a book that is really driving the dogro (my term for “domestic gross”).


All time USA dogro #16

The author of the book on which this movie (the first in a series that will have its fourth installment in 2014) won a Prime time Emmy and a Hugo. The author co-wrote the script for this movie, and has directed movies (one of which spawned a sequel and a TV series).

Kindle edition

Answer: Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton wrote and directed Westworld, which had a sequel (Futureworld) and a TV series (Beyond Westworld). The latter did not get Crichton a Prime Time Emmy (no surprise to anyone who saw it) 😉 ; that came for producing ER. Jurassic Park IV is expected in 2014.

This is a case where it is clearly a movie based on a book…yes, the special effects were undeniably part of it, and hey, you know, dinosaurs, but I think we can reasonably say that the readers of the book were part of the audience in a significant way.


All time USA dogro #14

A character in this movie appears in a 2012 movie (and that movie is part of a trilogy). That same character had previously been played by someone who guested on both The Joey Bishop Show and Late Night with David Letterman.

Kindle edition

Answer: Return of the King (from the Lord of the Rings trilogy)

I was having a tough time hiding this one. 🙂 Absolutely a book driven series, although the last movie in a movie series’ audience is clearly also based on the previous movies). The character? Gollum, who appears in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. They are making three movies out of The Hobbit.

Brother Theodore voiced Gollum, and had talk show appearances (including many on David Letterman).


All time USA dogro #12

This is the eighth (and final) movie in a series…the movie tagline was, “It all ends here.” Until they were released as e-books, they were one of the most requested.

Kindle edition

Answer: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the movie is part 2). Again, I wasn’t sure how not to make this one obvious. Again, I’d clearly credit the book’s audience for part of the success.


All time USA dogro #9

One of the three movies this year to break $400 million dogro, this is the first movie in a series. Four movies are planned in the series, based on three books. The book was not published by one of the Big Six US trade publishers, and is available in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

Kindle edition

Answer: The Hunger Games

Book driven audience? Absolutely! It’s worth noting that this is not a sequel. The top ten has other non-sequels (Star Wars, Avatar), although those two aren’t based on books.


All time USA dogro #6

This is the first sequel (second movie) of four full-length movies, and there was another successful full-length movie spin-off.  It is the most successful movie in the series. Performers include a member of Monty Python, a talk show host, and Larry King.

(not available as a Kindle book, although it is available as an audiobook in the Kindle store)

Answer: Shrek 2

Shrek was first a book by William Steig, a Newberry and Caldecott honoree. My guess is that the book may not have been a big factor in this movie’s success (and I’m not sure how much it was in the first movie’s success, but it’s possible it contributed).


Oh, and adjusted for inflation, the biggest dogroing movie to date (by far)? Gone with the Wind. Of course, it has had re-releases as well. I’m not linking to the Kindle store book, because it blocks text-to-speech access.

There you go! Oh, I just thought of something…one might argue that Shrek is based on a “graphic novel”, I suppose, although it’s really more of a picture book. If that’s the case, the next one down would be The Two Towers at #18.

Thanks to Edward Boyhan for guessing…and all of your guesses were right! 🙂

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

One Response to “Answers to Read the movie: top five movies based on books”

  1. Lyann Glenn Says:

    I don’t see how Shrek could possibly be considered a graphic
    novel. It is a wonderful work by William Steig, and is unquestionably a children’s picture book. Most libraries should have it available,
    and it is well worth checking out. 🙂

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