August 27, 2001
But the producers keep going back to the stacks. In a business so bereft of new ideas that Planet of the Apes can seem vaguely original, books still hold their ground. Two studios are gambling more than $200 million on the first installments in the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises, certain to be the falls biggest events. The risks are not limited to these mega best sellers. Ten more movies born in a bindery will debut before the year-end, when studios release their top Oscar contenders. No matter how famous or obscure the book, the same rule applies: the loveliest prose guarantees not one movie ticket sold. Its all in the translation.