Manny Camacho with ten awful movies that failed to ride Harry Potter’s success…
There are bad movies and then there are bad movies that are “bad” because they tried to be like another film and hyped themselves to be like those films; worse, hyped themselves to be better than the films they’re copying. In the case of Harry Potter, there are dozens of films that were produced to ride the coat-tails of this juggernaut property that started with the humblest of beginnings.
The Harry Potter series will now be continuing with a set of spin off films, starting with Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. I wanted to write about a very special list that points out films that tried to repeat the success of this amazing franchise and generally failed in one way or another.
Harry Potter is a beloved book and equally enthralling film series worth a total of over $15 billion commercially. A project J.K. Rowling began to craft since 1990, inspired in the middle of a delayed train ride, and finished by 1995 after losing her mother, a failed marriage and nearly destitute with an infant child. She was virtually incapable of supporting herself, living off the country’s welfare. The first book in this series was finished by Rowling in a cafe that allowed her child to fall asleep, giving her more time to focus on her work. She was able to gain an agent and had her book rejected by twelve different publishers. I’d like to meet the idiots that rejected this book. Whoever they were in these various companies, I’d guess they’ve undoubtedly been fired. Rowling had very little finances at this time. Almost destitute and homeless she stated in an interview at the time she was living closer to her sister in Edinburgh. But she received a £2,500 advance from Bloomsbury, the British publisher that would publish every book in the UK. She received a then unheard of $105,000 advance for the rights in the United States. The rest as they say is history.
Harry Potter has sold over 450 million books and each film has grossed over (if not is just shy of) $1 billion worldwide. A feat that most authors and only a few film studios have ever accomplished. Most just dream of this level of success.
This amazing film and book series sparked a renaissance of fantasy, coming of age, supernatural, adventure and mystery-thriller novels of a similar flavor in a mad dash to capture the same feeling that Harry Potter evokes from its audiences. Rowling has crafted a literary masterpiece that would herald a new generation of fantasy and adventure books and subsequent films from a variety of other authors and film studios. Some of them nearly in the same vein as the Harry Potter series. Some of them attempting to concoct a formulaic avenue of attack at repeating what Rowling’s has accomplished. Many of those formulaic films failing massively either critically or worse, financially.
This feature listing of “10 Awful Movies That Failed To Ride Harry Potter’s Success” is a small list of films that could have been great but all mostly came up short, not because they were written poorly or adapted into film horribly. It’s simply because they took everything seen in the Harry Potter films, among other properties, and tried to recreate the same magic in a manner that was exceedingly evident to be weak attempts to copy J.K. Rowling’s amazing franchise. If not attempting to copy the concept directly, to copy its archetypes, its plot points and the cause and effect of the pathology of the characters. Some are more subtle than others. Some are heavily steeped in alternative Young Adult Material. But it is horrifically evident, these ten films couldn’t get away with the attempt.
Whether these movies failed because audiences couldn’t be fooled they weren’t Frankenstein Potter-Clones or if they generally failed because of their own inherent issues is up to the audiences and the critics who judge them…