Films based on books take in 44% more at the box office in the U.K. and 53% more worldwide than original screenplays, according to a recent study released by the Publishers Association. The Bookseller said that the report, "Publishing's Contribution to the Wider Creative Industries," explores what impact a book has when adapted for film, TV and theater, in terms of critical and commercial success.
Data was collected through a combination of qualitative interviews, case studies, publicly available information, data drawn from creative industry bodies such as the British Film Institute (BFI), the BBC, UK Theatre and Nielsen BookScan.
The research found that 43% of the top 20 box office-grossing films in the U.K. between 2007 and 2016 were based on books, with a further 9% based on comic books.
"In short, published material is the basis of 52% of top U.K. films in the last 10 years, and accounts for an even higher share of revenue from these leading performers, at 61% of U.K. box office gross and 65% of worldwide gross," according to the study. "This share changes somewhat over time: in some years such as 2011 and 2015, two-thirds of the highest-grossing U.K.-produced films were adapted from published material."
The effect on book sales was also explored. The Bookseller noted that "the Hollywood adaptation of My Cousin Rachel was shown to have a significant impact on the sales of the Daphne du Maurier thriller. The sales of the book in 2017 alone accounted for nearly a quarter (23%) of all sales since 1992, both in terms of value and volume, according to the report."
Regarding TV adaptations, the study found that "almost a quarter of dramas were based on literary sources and attracted a 56% larger share of the audience than those based on original scripts, according to data from the four major free-to-air U.K. TV networks between 2013 and 2017," the Bookseller wrote.
"Storytelling is at the heart of the creative industries and often the best stories begin with a book," said P.A. CEO Stephen Lotinga. "This research shows the hugely positive commercial impact British publishing is having on film, television and theatre as our incredible authors' ideas are the source of so many successful productions."