This weekend’s box office is likely to be a battle between three new releases and last week’s The Butler. However, one of those new films, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, is already running into problems.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is based on the best-selling young adult book series written by Cassandra Clare about a girl, played by Lili Collins, who discovers that she’s part of a secret order of half-angel warriors. With five books released so far and a sixth and final book set to be released in 2014, the series has sold an estimated 24 million copies worldwide including spin-offs and prequels.
City of Bones, which was produced by Germany’s Constantin Films and distributed in the U.S. by Sony (NYSE:SNE), opened Wednesday with a $3 million box office take, putting it on course for about $15 million through the end of the weekend. While the film scored a CinemaScore rating of B-plus, it already looks as if the $60 million dollar film will have to hope for overseas success to make up the difference.
Many onlookers have noted that the series has many uncanny resemblances to the Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, highlighting movie studios’ desire to find a young adult property that can be as lucrative as Twilight. So far, however, Hollywood’s attempts at mining the genre have not proven fruitful, according to The Hollywood Reporter – even the film adaptation of Meyer’s other novel, The Host, fell flat in its opening weekend, making only $10.6 million.