Tag Archives: Mark Waters

Will ‘Vampire Academy”s Bad Box Office Kill the YA Craze?

Vampire_AcademyVampire Academy was having a good time riding the young-adult book-to-film wave. It had the director of Mean Girls, the writer of Heathers and a number of hot, new up-and-comers, but the film still tanked at the box office. In fact, it didn’t just tank — it crashed and burned until there was little to nothing left. The film opened with an abysmal $1,466 per theater average, leaving it just $3.9 million for its opening weekend and putting it well behind last year’s biggest YA losers, Beautiful CreaturesThe Host and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

You’d think with an opening that low, it wouldn’t have all that far to fall in its second weekend out, but no. Vampire Academy couldn’t even hold on to half of its opening-weekend profits, bumping it all the way down from number seven to number 14 in its second weekend. There’s a good chance this thing won’t even be in theaters for a full two months.

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Review: Vampire Academy

Vampire_Academy_PosterIt doesn’t build its world as deftly as “The Hunger Games” and can’t compete with “Mean Girls’” smart wit, but “Vampire Academy” does manage to find a place for itself as a silly yet enjoyable variant.

First off, the must-know basics – there are three species in “Vampire Academy;” the Moroi are benevolent vampires that only drink the blood of willing human feeders, the Strigoi are an immortal, vicious breed of vampire that target Moroi because their blood makes them stronger, and then there are the Dhampirs, human-Moroi hybrids that train to become Guardians and protect the Moroi from Strigoi attacks.

Now meet Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry) and Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch). Lissa is a Moroi and Rose is a Dhampir, but both attend St. Vladimir’s Academy – that is until they decided they were better off on their own. After a year on the run, Lissa and Rose are caught and forced to return to St. Vladimir’s to continue their studies. While Lissa tries to shed her late-bloomer status and finally specialize in an element, Rose is playing catch-up for her combat courses by training with a mentor, a Guardian named Dimitri (Danila Kozlovsky). Despite making an effort to keep in line, the threat of school bullies has Rose on high alert. Trouble is, there’s something far worse than gossip brewing within the walls of St. Vladimir’s and as Lissa’s soon-to-be Guardian, it’s up to Rose to keep her safe from all threats.

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Here’s How ‘Vampire Academy’ Could Inject New Life into Vampire Movies

Vampire_Academy_StillThe World

It’s no wonder Vampire Academy is oozing with expository dialogue; there’s a lot going on in this vampire battle-filled world:

The Strigoi: They need Moroi blood in order to maintain their superstrength.

The Moroi: Are determined to preserve their morality and never turn into Strigoi.

The Dhampirs: Protect the Moroi — if there were no Moroi left, their race would die out (a Dhampir can only be born to a Dhampir and a Moroi).

St. Vladimir’s Academy: The boarding school in Montana where Moroi and their guardian novices are trained in combat and culture.

Throw in that Dhampirs are stronger, faster and more agile than the Moroi, who can’t even use weapons, and you wind up with a LOT of folks needing something from someone else.

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NYCC 2013: Vampire Academy is Out for Blood at New York Comic Con

vampireacademynycc1Casters (Beautiful Creatures), Souls (The Host), and Shadowhunters (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) didn’t really work out, so why not give vampires another go? The young adult book-to-film adaptation of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy is due in theaters on February 14, 2014, and in an effort to build some hype and satiate the series’ devout fan base, the Weinstein Company brought the project to New York Comic Con.

The film focuses on two primary characters, Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) and Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry). Both girls attend St. Vladimir’s Academy, but Lissa is a Moroi and Rose is a Dhampir, and that means Lissa is there to learn about honing her skills as a vampire while Rose trains to become her protector. Moroi are benevolent vampires, but the problem is, they can choose to trade their morality for immortality and turn Strigoi. Whereas Moroi feed from willing human donors, Strigoi go after Moroi blood because it gives them more power, making Rose essential to Lissa’s survival.

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Interview: Vampire Academy Screenwriter Daniel Waters

Vampire_Academy_Poster_InterviewIt’s easy to look at the promotional campaign for the adaptation of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy and brand the film another Twilight or just another one-note teen supernatural adventure, but screenwriter Daniel Waters is well aware of that and expects to prove those naysayers wrong come February 14, 2014.

The film’s first teaser trailer just dropped and, as it should, only scratches the surface of the narrative: best friends Rose (Zoey Deutch) and Lissa (Lucy Fry) attend St. Vladimir’s Academy, your typical high school filled with young love, parties and gossip. Oh, and vampires, too. Lissa is a Moroi, a benevolent breed of vampire whose existence is threatened by the malicious Strigoi. That’s where Rose steps in. She’s a Dhampir, half human and half vampire, and is studying to become Lissa’s guardian in order to protect her from the Strigoi.

Again, that’s only the surface. The story is loaded with curious characters, varying relationships, sass, action and a particularly unique set of world rules. The film isn’t due in theaters until Valentine’s Day of next year, but Waters took the time out of postproduction work to give us an update on the project, enlighten us on his adaptation process, and offer some thoughts on the book-to-film potential beyond Vampire Academy. Catch it all for yourself in the interview below.

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YA Movie Countdown: Will ‘The Mortal Instruments’ Be a Hit? Plus, the First ‘Vampire Academy’ Teaser

Mortal_InstrumentsThe book-to-film adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hits theaters today, and the companies and people involved have a lot riding on it. Unlike most potential franchise starters, the second film in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Ashes, was announced well before the first film’s release and even went into preproduction back in May. Yes, there are long-term projections, but that early on they’re far from sound and certainly don’t make moving forward with film number two any less of a risk.

But what’s done is done, and soon enough we’ll find out if that leap was worth it. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones opens solo at 3,000 theaters, and then come Friday it goes head to head with The World’s End and You’re Next, not to mention the box office veterans that are poised to hold strong.

At a glance, looking at Mortal Instruments alone, you’d expect the film to match Beautiful Creatures or The Host, which isn’t a good thing considering the former took just $7.6 million in its opening weekend and the latter only $10.6 million during its debut. Then there’s alsoPercy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, which just last weekend proved there isn’t much interest in supernatural YA material at the moment.

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