August 8, 2014 12:18 pm
Updated: August 8, 2014 1:44 pm

5 movies based on books coming to theatres this season


ABOVE: Watch a panel of entertainment experts, including Global News’ John R. Kennedy, talk about new movies based on books during an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show.

TORONTO — Hollywood has long turned to the printed word for source material.

Two of the 10 top-grossing movies of all time are based on books (and another three are based on comic books).

J.R.R. Tolkien’s books alone have spawned movies grossing more than $5 billion worldwide.

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But, adapting books for the big screen doesn’t always translate into big box office numbers.

For every The Hunger Games ($691 million worldwide) there is a The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones ($91 million).

Here’s a look at some of the new movies based upon novels that are hoping to draw book lovers to cinemas.

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Based upon the 2010 book of the same name by Richard C. Morais, The Hundred-Foot Journey was written by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) and directed by Lasse Hallstrom (Safe Haven). It stars Helen Mirren as the owner of a French restaurant thrust into a culture war an Indian restaurant opens up across the street.

In theatres: Aug. 8.

Who will want to see it: Fans of the book, foodies, and followers of Oprah Winfrey, who named the book a “favourite summer read” when it was published. (Winfrey co-produced the film with Steven Spielberg).

Canadian connection: The Hundred-Foot Journey cast includes Montreal-born Charlotte Le Bon.

The Giver

Phillip Noyce (Salt) directs this Michael Mitnick-penned adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1993 children’s book of the same name. It’s set in a seemingly utopian society that reveals itself to be more of a dystopian one. Its all-star cast includes Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard and Taylor Swift.

In theatres: Aug. 15

Who will want to see it: Fans of the book, teen girls who think Brenton Thwaites is dreamy, and anyone who believes Streep can do no wrong.

If I Stay

Gayle Forman’s 2009 young adult novel has been adapted by Shauna Cross (Whip It) for a film directed by R. J. Cutler (TV’s Nashville). Chloe Grace Moretz is a young musician in love with a boy named Adam (Jamie Blackley) whose life is forever changed by a terrible accident — but she gets a special perspective on it.

In theatres: Aug. 22

Who will want to see it: Fans of the book, people who paid to see The Fault in Our Stars, and anyone who likes to cry.

This Is Where I Leave You

A comedy-drama written by Jonathan Tropper and based upon his 2009 book of the same name, This Is Where I Leave You follows four siblings who reunite — and try to get along — at their childhood home following the death of their father. A stellar cast includes Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll and Jane Fonda.

In theatres: Sept. 19

Who will want to see it: Fans of the book, Fey fanatics, anyone who has ever sat Shiva.

Canadian connection: The film was directed by Montreal’s Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) and Fonda’s half-Canadian thanks to her late mom Frances Seymour.

Gone Girl

Not to be confused by Gone Baby Gone, Gone Girl stars…um…Ben Affleck as well as Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry. Directed by David Fincher (The Social Network) using a screenplay by former Entertainment Weekly writer Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the 2012 book on which it’s based, Gone Girl is a crime thriller. Reese Witherspoon is among the film’s producers.

In theatres: Oct. 3

Who will want to see it: Fans of the book, murder mystery lovers, Fincher fans.

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