3 Book-to-Film Box Office Winners That Deviated from the Originals

Most people say that films based on books always disappoint and that their novel versions are usually more entertaining. This is due to the fact that film adaptations, more often than not, have to cut “scenes” from the book due to running time constraints. The original story also tends to get lost in translation as it could be interpreted differently by the screenwriter and director.

Another factor is the cast of actors in movie adaptations. Sometimes, actors portray their roles differently from what you might have imagined based on reading the book.

Given all these factors, some movie adaptations get really bad reviews. Sometimes, it might just be better for you to wait for them to be released on DVD or grabbed online with your handy video downloader. However, some still turn out to be blockbuster hits.

You be the judge. Below are three recently released movies that turned out to be significantly different from their original book versions, yet made a huge buzz in the entertainment scene.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The Percy Jackson book series is one of the most popular titles in the young adult market today. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the first of the series, and it talks about the twelve-year-old Percy Jackson as he finally arrives at a secret training facility for demigods called Camp Half-Blood.


His adventure starts after talking with the Oracle. Percy immediately goes on a quest to look for Zeus’ lost master bolt. Together with his satyr friend Grover and fellow camper Annabeth, Percy heads out to the Underworld to confront the prime suspect Hades as they battle monsters. Although Percy manages to retrieve the master bolt, he also reveals a story of betrayal among the gods that could ruin Olympus.

In the movie, released in 2010, Percy is already sixteen years old when he arrives at Camp Half-Blood. After Hades issues him a challenge, Percy sneaks out of camp and takes up the quest to recover Zeus’ lost master bolt. While being accompanied by the Grover and Annabeth, Percy goes on with his journey with the aid of a map of contrivance that is very particular about where to find pearls that grant escape from the Underworld.

The book describes Percy as someone who is cool and proud of being a demigod. Also, aside from helping Percy with his quest, Grover and Annabeth are fully developed characters in their own rights. The screen version showcased that Percy is a little emotional. This version of him is pretty much devoid of all humor, and he tends to freak out a lot. However, he has that distinct advantage of being portrayed by Logan Lerman.

Understandably, the book has more allowance for Percy to go into more exciting adventures and mishaps. On the other hand, the action scenes from the movie are a bit more intense than what was written on the book.

Considering these differences, you can pick out which version has the more dynamic scenes as you join Percy in his quests.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

The book’s author, Ransom Rigg, initially had the idea to make a picture book out of photographs that he had compiled from his hobby as a photograph collector. However, with advice from an editor, he decided to make a novel based on the photographs he collected. This is when Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children came to be.


The novel told the story of Jacob and his relationship with a particular woman named Emma. Emma was in love with Jacob’s grandfather when he was the same as Jacob’s age during the beginning of the tale. She begins to fall for Jacob now that he has found out about the peculiar children. In the story, it was all possible because Emma is unable to age.

As with the book version, the live action adaptation brings the story to life with Tim Burton’s beautiful style of movie direction. The movie is very visually pleasing, and although the story has been altered from the plot line in the book, it is still enjoyable to watch.

One of the key elements in the story is the ymbrynes, the ladies that look over peculiar children who have the ability to manipulate time.

As the story goes, they were kidnapped by the wight, while Jacob, Emma, Millard, Enoch, and Bronwyn went outside of the loop looking for answers about the monster. However, the movie had the wight take only Miss Peregrine while all the kids were in the house.

This conflict eventually leads to a climactic fight scene between the peculiar children and the wights. Though the movie set it up at an amusement park. The original story placed the final standoff at a lighthouse.

Also, considering the book version, Jacob did not track down the peculiar children after regretting leaving them behind. However, the adaptation showed how he went out to find them right after saying goodbye to his dad.

For whatever reason, there is a significant number of differences between the book and the movie for Miss Peregrine. The respective styles of storytelling have created exciting moments for all the fans of this peculiar tale in both media.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

The Hunger Games has become an iconic tale for book lovers all over the world. It tells the tale of Katniss Everdeen and the world she lives in after a great civil rebellion. The premise is exciting and dramatic enough as a book, but it was when Lionsgate decided to bring it to the big screen that this franchise became a true classic. 


As a trilogy, The Hunger Games book series allowed the movie to split its final book to two full-length films. The movie adaptation of the last two installments of The Hunger Games movie sequel created twist and turns of its own to make the huge fanbase love the title even more.

One of the most critical scene in the movie was when Peeta was taken down and the broadcast is interrupted immediately after he revealed on air that District 13 was soon to be bombed. His warning went straight to the point by saying that the Capitol was going to bomb District 13, instead of saying that they would soon be dead by morning. In the book, the scene actually went on much longer.

This story adjustment was a preparation to the whole rescue mission for Peeta and the other victors. The book tells that whole mission is performed off-screen and that there is no communication at all with the rescue team. However, in the movie, the whole event made it to film. Also, the conversation between Snow and Katniss via video chat during the rescue mission does not actually happen in the book.

Towards the end of Katniss’ adventure in the novel, she was pushed into the crowd of Capitol refugees outside Snow’s mansion when the Rebels suddenly presented themselves during the invasion of the Capitol. But the rebels invaded the Capitol much earlier in the book, and that is why Katniss, Gale, and refugees marched towards Snow’s mansion.

The Hunger Games is without a doubt a masterpiece to cherish for years to come. It has made readers think about their current reality and how their choices could lead to a dystopian future. Whether you choose the book or the movie, you can feel the energy and excitement their world, characters and conflict bring to your very existence.

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