Constantin Film learned two valuable lessons after releasing The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. One is that young adult readers are fickle, and two is that continually yelling that your movie is a huge deal doesn’t make it a huge deal. After the domestic box-office take failed to come remotely close to it’s $60 million budget, production was smartly halted on its sequel, City of Ashes. Now, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that production of the sequel will start back up again next year, against all tenants of general common sense.
Even in the face of City of Bones‘ disappointing box-office numbers, Constantin Film’s Martin Moszkowicz remains confident. “The fan response, from the blogosphere and the thousands of mails we have received, has encouraged us to keep going,” Moszkowicz told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive, in contrast to some other YA titles.”
Even if you are able to entertain fans that were already familiar with the book series, that does not translate into a successful film. The studio needs to focus its efforts on attracting fresh eyes to the project, or the second film will likely do just as bad or worse than the first one. Moszkowicz goes on to say, “We are analyzing what we did wrong with the first film — particularly with the positioning and marketing — and what changes we have to make. We are working with a great group of people to reposition the franchise [for City of Ashes].”
The issue facing The Mortal Instruments series might be that there is simply an oversaturation of young adult novels on the cinematic horizon. With The Hunger Games series still postioned as the reigning king of teenage angst, and the upcoming Divergence nipping at its heels, is there any room for the generic-looking The Mortal Instruments series? Only time and ticket receipts will tell.