The Next Harry Potter?on August 25th, 2011 at 12:17 am
Okay, I get it, the Harry Potter franchise has made a gazillion dollars between the books, the movies, the merchandise, and everything else. But, just like agents tell authors not to refer to their books as “the next Harry Potter“, movie studios need to stop too.
The latest adaptation that is garnering the comparison is the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. Now, I will admit, I haven’t read the books (towering TBR that threatens to crush me in my sleep and all). As such, I can’t and won’t offer a comment as to whether or not movies of these books are a good idea. I have, however, read quite a bit about this series, and I can tell you that 1) it has a lot of fans…rabid ones, and 2) it isn’t for kids.
Now, if the movies get made, the fans will probably go see them. They will probably take their friends along. Like True Blood and Game of Thrones, they might even get people who have never touched or heard of the books to check them out to satisfy their curiosity. These are all good things as far as money-making potential.
…point 2 is kind of important. You see, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Twilight, etc. are all (fairly) kid friendly. Maybe not kindergartener friendly, but kid-friendly enough that parents who are fans of the books will take their kids. And parents will often go with their kids who are fans of the books. That means a whole extra generation to make money from. That is one reason those series make as much money as they do. They have the PG-13 rating (PG for the early Potters) which they could adapt the stories to without causing serious cuts in order to do it (they made other cuts, but not really for rating purposes).
The Fever books, from everything I’ve heard about them, are sexy…very sexy. So the producers are going to either have to cut/fade-to-black all the sexy bits in order to get a PG-13 rating, or they are going to have to settle for an R. The first option probably isn’t going to sit well with the fans of the books, and an R rating will keep a lot of parents from taking their kids (even older kids depending on the parents). Either way, it’s going to cut into profits.
Which means it simply isn’t possible for Fever to be the next Harry Potter. It just isn’t. Could it be brilliant and popular and make a great profit? Sure (and I hope it ends up that way). But a series of adult romance novels that feature a lot of sex will never be able to match the kind of money that the most popular children’s series ever made.
And that’s the other point. If you look at the other series I’ve mentioned, they were all extremely popular. Most people, even if they hadn’t read them, had heard of them and likely knew someone who had read at least one of them. The same can’t be said of the Fever series. I know a ton of people who have read them, but that’s because I talk to a lot of romance readers. And even I just heard of the series this year when those friends were chomping at the bit for the last book to come out.
My husband? Yeah. He’s never heard of them at all. Or my mom. Or my niece. Or….