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Movies based on books earn more: Study

By July 16, 2018No Comments

Source : Times of India

The UK Publishers Associations recently shared a study, which examined the effect books had on the other arts, particularly theatre, film and TV. The study was commissioned by the Publishers Associations and produced by Frontier Economics. Titled Publishing’s contribution to the wider creative industries the paper explored how movies, TV shows and plays based on books did compared to those not based on books and how their success impacted the book.

They studied the top 20 (by domestic box office gross) UK-produced films in the decade 2007 – 2016 and found “43% of them were based on books, with a further 9% based on comic books. In short, published material is the basis of 52% of top UK films in the last 10 years, and accounts for an even higher share of revenue from these leading performers, at 61% of UK box office gross and 65% of worldwide gross.”

The study clearly stated that movies based on books did far better than those not, “Book adaptations historically earn 44% more money in the UK (an extra £5.4m per film) and 53% more globally (an extra $91m per film) than films based on original screenplays.”

On their examination of TV shows based on books however, the found that they had a 56% larger share of the audience than original scripts, according to information received from the four major free-to-air UK TV networks between 2013 and 2017. They also noted that, “Shows based on a literary source have received 25% of the Best Drama BAFTA awards and 57% of the relevant Emmy wins”.

On studying books impact on theatre, they found that, “The top 4 longest-running shows in the West End are all based on literary sources.” and that “Book-based family musicals make 2.3 times more money on average than originals; plays based on books make 2.8 times more than original plays.”

They even studied the impact of these adaptations on the original books and found that they vastly helped in book sales. In their case study of Daphne Du Maurier’s thriller My Cousin Rachel, they found that after it was adapted into a movie in 2017 the sales of the book increased, “substantially”.

“…the sales of the book in 2017 alone accounted for nearly a quarter (23%) of all sales since 1992, both in terms of copies and of revenue”, the study stated.

Theatre too can help boost book sales and even help keep books in print, as they found with the War Horse.

“War Horse is one of author Michael Morpurgo’s early works, published in 1982, and sales were very modest initially,” the report said, “Some of his later works became much better known, and in fact War Horse itself was at danger of not being kept in cycle.”

“The book had sold 16,000 copies across several editions accounting for £88,000 in sales in 2005 and 2006 combined. It then went on to sell 23,000 copies for £135,000 in 2007 alone. Nine years after the first stage adaptation, the book was still selling well, with 20,000 copies accounting for £121,000 in revenue in 2016 according to Nielsen data”

The study highlights the influence of books on other forms of storytelling but clearly reminds us how, in this changing word, more moderns forms can help keep the old arts alive.

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