This is the worst book-to-film adaptation ever - have you watched it?

Book-to-film adaptations aren't always worth the hype...

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Book-to-film adaptations are often a risky choice for film-makers as they take on plots, characters, and sometimes whole worlds that already have millions of fans across the world. 

So many of us love re-reading our favorite novel on our best eReader before seeing the story come to life on screen. With recent Netflix series such as Bridgerton, thriller Behind Her Eyes, and even friendship drama Firefly Lane being based on books, it seems that when it comes to TV show adaptations, they can give fans just what they were expecting and more. 

But with the longer running time, films aren’t always quite so lucky. The ultimate question - is the book always better than the film? - isn’t an easy one. Now has looked into which book-to-film adaptations left fans most underwhelmed. 

Combining Goodreads reviews and IMDB reviews of each book’s movie counterparts, they’ve uncovered the book-to-film adaptations that disappoint us the most...

What is the worst book-to-film adaptation? 

Fifty Shades of Grey 

E. L. James’ steamy 2011 book may have quickly caught readers’ attention, but the 2015 film adaptation has the unenviable honor of coming first place as the worst book-to-film adaptation ever. 

The film, which stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as lead characters Ana and Christian, was considered 44% worse than E. L. James’ 2011 book. With the final book in the series set to be published this year, fans already can’t wait to see the original story continue - at least in written form!

What are the other most disappointing book-to-film adaptations?

The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2

Coming in second place is the last film in The Hunger Games series, based on writer Suzanne Collins’ bestselling books. The screen adaptation of the franchise may have helped make Jennifer Lawrence a household name, but it was reportedly considered 19% worse than Suzanne’s last book in the trilogy.

The Girl on the Train *and* Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

We may never have expected it, but it seems that both of these blockbuster book-to-film adaptations were considered disappointments by some fans, coming in joint third place, with ratings 17% worse than those of their respective books. 

It seems that Harry Potter fans felt the final installment of the film franchise failed to conjure the magic formula of J.K. Rowling’s book. 

Whilst Paula Hawkins’ shocking page-turner was so good that even Emily Blunt’s portrayal of main character Rachel in the film couldn’t satisfy book fans.

The Da Vinci Code 

The book-to-film adaptation starred Tom Hanks as Professor Robert Langdon and was considered 15% worse than Dan Brown's 2003 best-selling novel of the same name. It might not have set viewers’ worlds on fire compared to the original book, but that didn’t stop an adaptation of Dan Brown’s follow-up novel, Angels & Demons, being released in 2009. 

Me Before You *and* The Book Thief 

Anyone who raced to the end of the emotional rollercoaster of Jojo Moyes’ poignant book, Me Before You, might have been curious to see exactly how Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke and The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin brought the blossoming romance of Lou and Will to life on-screen. 

Unfortunately, according to’s research, it seems that many weren’t overwhelmed with the 2016 adaptation, with ratings that were 13% worse! 

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This number was matched by the film adaptation of The Book Thief released in 2013. Markus Zusak’s original book is an international bestseller and it seems if you want to be swept away by this war-time story, then the novel is the best way to go.

Whilst we might all have our favorite thrillers, romances, and historic tales, it seems the book-to-film adaptations might not always live up to our expectations...

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!