British film franchises top the charts of greatest book adaptations


Harry Potter and James Bond are the nation's most loved book to film adaptations To celebrate World Book Day, BT TV has polled the Nation to find the 100 most popular book to film adaptations, and Brits are leading the way with Harry Potter and James Bond taking the highest spots on the chart.

Harry Potter and James Bond are the nation's most loved book to film adaptations

To celebrate World Book Day, BT TV has polled the Nation to find the 100 most popular book to film adaptations, and Brits are leading the way with Harry Potter and James Bond taking the highest spots on the chart. 

The study of 2,000 adults and 1,000 children also revealed the huge popularity of novels on the big screen, with more than a third (38 per cent) of adults and 41 per cent of children saying the last film they watched was adapted from a book. As well as this, half of Brits claimed they enjoy watching film adaptations because they simply like to see a book brought to life. 

BT TV also asked Brits to reveal their favourite genre film adaptations across drama, romance, thrillers, tearjerkers, action, horror and science fiction. The charts are full of surprises. 

Film critic James King commented on the findings: "Books are always a popular choice for film studios. They already have a fan base so there is a natural buzz around the films while they are in production. It is always exciting to see how the director interprets the story and how the actors bring the characters we know and love to life."

Top genre adaptations 

Romance and tearjerkers

Author Nicholas Sparks has proved himself to be a modern day Jane Austen, claiming three of the top 10 romance films compared to Austen's two. But it was everyone's favourite romantic at heart, Bridget Jones, who took the top spot. There is one author who has successfully written the two biggest tearjerkers -Stephen King, with The Green Mile taking the top spot followed by Shawshank Redemption. 

Top 10 romance film adaptations

  1. Bridget Jones' Diary 
  2. Pride and Prejudice 
  3. The Notebook 
  4. P.S. I Love You 
  5. Jane Eyre 
  6. Sense and Sensibility 
  7. The Time Traveller's Wife 
  8. Dear John 
  9. The Importance of Being Ernest 
  10. A Walk to Remember 

Top 10 tearjerker film adaptations

  1. The Green Mile 
  2. The Shawshank Redemption 
  3. Schindler's List 
  4. Les Miserables 
  5. Marley & Me 
  6. Brokeback Mountain 
  7. The Theory of Everything 
  8. The Horse Whisperer 
  9. Little Women 
  10. The English Patient 

Drama and Thrillers 

The Devil Wears Prada, which starred the multi-Oscar winner Meryl Streep is the most popular drama (19 per cent) while Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code is the most popular thriller (27 per cent). 

Top 10 drama film adaptations 

  1. Devil Wears Prada 
  2. The Great Gatsby 
  3. The Wolf of Wall Street 
  4. Chocolat 
  5. Angela's Ashes 
  6. The Stepford Wives 
  7. Seabiscuit 
  8. Fifty Shades of Grey 
  9. Memoirs of a Geisha 
  10. Girl With a Pearl Earring 

Top 10 thriller film adaptations

  1. The Da Vinci Code
  2. The Godfather 
  3. The 39 Steps 
  4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 
  5. A Clockwork Orange 
  6. 6. Gone Girl 
  7. Shutter Island 
  8. The Firm 
  9. Before I go to Sleep 
  10. The Runaway Jury 

Battle of the action heroes

James Bond and Jason Bourne have battled it out for the best action hero to jump from page to screen, but there can only be one winner and the crown goes to the Brit-agent 007 aka James Bond (31 per cent). The Bourne franchise came a close second with 27 per cent. 

Top 10 action film adaptations

  1. James Bond 
  2. Bourne 
  3. Die Hard 
  4. Braveheart 
  5. The Hunt for Red October 
  6. The Day After Tomorrow 
  7. Black Hawk Down 
  8. Armageddon 
  9. Patriot Games 
  10. Who Framed Roger Rabbit 

Science Fiction and Horror

The epic Lord of the Rings trilogy took the top science fiction spot, followed by dino-thriller Jurassic Park. Author Stephen King predictably flexes his muscle in this category too, with no less than four films featured in the horror chart - having already had two in the tearjerkers ranking. 

Top 10 science fiction film adaptations

  1. Lord of the Rings 
  2. Jurassic Park 
  3. The Hobbit 
  4. Planet of the Apes
  5. I Am Legend 
  6. War of the Worlds 
  7. Dracula 
  8. Interview With the Vampire
  9. World War Z 
  10. Journey to the Center of the Earth 

Top 10 horror film adaptations

  1. The Shining 
  2. Psycho 
  3. The Exorcist 
  4. Carrie 
  5. Rosemary's Baby 
  6. Misery 
  7. Hannibal
  8. Poltergeist 
  9. The Wicker Man 
  10. Woman in Black

Up and coming hits 

There's also plenty of classic book to film adaptations in the pipeline as well. Of those that are currently in production, the film people want to see the most is the final instalment in a franchise that is already in the top 100 -The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (19 per cent). 

Top 10 up and coming film adaptations

  1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 
  2. Jungle Book 
  3. Far From the Madding Crowd 
  4. Peter Pan 
  5. A Thousand Splendid Suns 
  6. Testament of Youth 
  7. Frankenstein 
  8. Inferno 
  9. A Walk in the Woods 
  10. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children/ The Moomins 

Book adaptions also proved popular with children and young adults. A quarter (25 per cent) of five to 16 year olds want to see a different interpretation of the book however, more than one in 10 (11 per cent) children admitted to watching a film adaptation to pretend they had read the book. 

Top children's and young adult films

The BT research asked 1,000 children what their favourite film adaptations are. British author Roald Dahl claimed the top two spots, with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (22 per cent) and Matilda (17 per cent). For young adults, Harry Potter (34 per cent) is the most-loved film, followed closely by The Chronicles of Narnia (24 per cent). 

Top 10 children's film adaptations

  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
  2. Matilda 
  3. Coraline 
  4. Alice in Wonderland 
  5. Charlotte's Web 
  6. Night at the Museum 
  7. Babe 
  8. A Series of Unfortunate Events 
  9. The Wizard of Oz 
  10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Top 10 young adults' film adaptations

  1. Harry Potter 
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia 
  3. The Hunger Games 
  4. Twilight Saga 
  5. The Maze Runner 
  6. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 
  7. The Princess Diaries 
  8. Percy Jackson and the Olympians 
  9. Beautiful Creatures 
  10. The Book Thief 

Pawel Glodowski, Head of Film, BT TV says: "It's great to see that the British franchises and authors are leading the way in the top 100. There are so many good book to film adaptations on this list, and those that are yet to make a dent in the top 100 will be able to find plenty on our paid-for Film service, BT Box Office and Netflix - including Gone Girl, The Hunger Games and The Shawshank Redemption." 

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