Film Flop: Why Stephen King's Movies Bomb at the Box Office

Anyone who is a fan of Stephen King’s work knows that the vast majority of the film adaptations of his books are absolutely horrible. There are a few notable exceptions: The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and Stand by Me (based on the novella The Body). Using specific examples of some of his book-to-movie failures (Dreamcatcher immediately comes to mind), discuss possible reasons for why his books make such bad movies. Or conversely, compare one of his movie successes (Shawshank, for example) to one of his film failures, and discuss what aspects of the work/screen writing/acting/directing/etc. made the one successful and the other a failure.

  • When talking about this, make sure one uses the Shining as a reference. How the Stanley Kubrick adaptation was successful, it was hated by Stephen King himself. Wasn't till years later he managed to make it into a miniseries with his vision but was critically panned. Probably showing the difference of how he's better for writing for stories, but sadly his vision doesn't translate well to the silver screen. – Ryan Walsh 5 years ago
  • It's also worth noting that The Shawshank Redemption, while a masterful piece of storytelling and filmmaking, wasn't such a success at the box office, instead making its name through critical acclaim and a cult following that developed. Interesting that the film wasn't fully appreciated or even widely noticed on its release. Perhaps it would be useful to mention this when talking about the general appeal of King's work. – IRBurnett 5 years ago

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