Gandalf must divine what has brought the Nazg├╗l back. Science and entertainment website io9 believes that, by and large, live-action fantasy films have fared poorly of late. Financially, that is.

Its exceptions? The Harry Potter franchise, Twilight and Peter Jackson’s adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. But if that’s the case, what’s the cause? Follow the link to discover what io9’s writers have to say on the matter.

Apart from Harry Potter, Twilight and the Tolkien adaptations, live-action fantasy movies always seem to tank these days. Latest case in point: Mortal Instruments, which underperformed massively, taking in only about $14 million on a $60 million budget. Why are fantasy movies cursed?

Here’s a partial list of fantasy movies that have underperformed domestically in the last decade or so, according to Box Office Mojo: The Last Airbender, Eragon, Immortals, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Golden Compass, Bewitched, Dragonball Evolution, Dylan Dog, Jack the Giant Slayer, Mirror Mirror, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, the Conan reboot, The Brothers Grimm, Inkheart, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising and Beautiful Creatures.

Meanwhile, Clash of the Titans and Percy Jackson did just barely well enough to justify sequels, which tanked. Also, the first Chronicles of Narnia movie did quite well, but then the sequels fell off a cliff.

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