As we celebrate the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this weekend, we’re reminded that it was five years ago this month that a little movie called Twilight burst onto the scene, convincing Hollywood that Harry Potter wasn’t the only game in town when it came to turning kids’ books into wildly successful movies. The numbers — and the fan mania — supported the notion that it wasn’t just kids and teens watching these flicks. Soon, it seemed like every book ever written for young adult or middle grade readers was getting optioned in hopes that they would be the next next big blockbuster franchise. Sadly, as some of this year’s disappointments have shown, you need a little more than a popular book and pretty stars to make a hit.
Catching Fire is on track to have the biggest opening of the year, beating out the likes of Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World. That’s great news for those of us who were rooting for the likes of Beautiful Creatures and The Mortal Instruments to become big franchises this year. “See?” we long to say. “Big audiences do still yearn for a good story with teens at its center.”
So what does it take for a story to make it from the YA section of the bookstore to the hearts of movie-going grownups? In the gallery above, we took a look at the adaptations released in the past five years and broke down why we love them, what critics thought of them (via Metacritic.com) and what their box office take was. But we can’t decide which is the best. How about you help us out with that one: