The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes


After the huge success of the Harry Potter movies, the overwhelming money-making power of the Twilight franchise, and the gargantuan debut of the first Hunger Games film, it was starting to look like adaptations of Young Adult literature were going to be the new go-to when it came to tentpole filmmaking—the new super hero movie, essentially. The longevity of the YA trend got called into question, however, when The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which was the first film adaptation of a series of wildly popular YA novels by author Cassandra Clare, came and went at the box office without making so much as a peep. Suddenly studio execs had to start asking themselves a bunch of questions about the future of supernatural love triangles. Was it possible that the YA craze had come and went already? Was there something about this particular property that didn’t translate as well to the screen as the successes that came before it? Eventually concerns around City of Bones’ sluggish box office returns became so great that production on the sequel, City of Ashes, was halted indefinitely just a week before it was scheduled to begin. That didn’t seem like a good sign for fans who were hoping they’d get movie versions of all three installments of Clare’s initial “Mortal Instruments” trilogy.



Hollywood has loved franchises and sequels for quite a while now. But it’s seemed like ever since pre-planned trilogies like the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings movies were successful, the industry has been in sequel overdrive. Probably the peak of this success came when Marvel was able to weave all of their individual properties together in order to team them up and make about a billion and a half dollars with The Avengers. That was some good franchising. Making sequels and setting up franchises hasn’t always worked out so great though. Sometimes studios will keep churning out movies long after every drop of creative juice has been drained from a franchise (Pirates of the Caribbean), just because international audiences are likely to line up for a brand name they recognize. And sometimes something that shouldn’t be turned into a movie at all gets adapted anyway (Battleship), just because it’s got a name that the public might already recognize, and that could mean franchise potential. Heck, sometimes movies that didn’t even do that well get sequels (Percy Jackson), because the studio thinks that once the name gets out there in the culture, audiences will be more likely to line up at the theater for the second go-around. A couple of movies that were planned to be entries in big franchises just got delayed and possibly even cancelled right at the same time though, so we could be seeing the first signs that the studios’ over-reliance on sequels […]

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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