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Disney+ Announces Percy Jackson Series - Can It Outperform the Movies?

Ben Bowman

The Percy Jackson book series has sold more than 69 million copies. Now, Disney+ is hoping it can lure a big chunk of those fans to stream an upcoming TV series. Author Rick Riordan shared the news on Twitter.

20th Century Fox had high hopes that Percy Jackson would do Harry Potter-sized business at the box office back in 2010. “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” hauled in $226 million in theaters. It was even directed by Chris Columbus, who helmed the first two Potter films. The sequel, “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” pulled $200 milion. But the first film was a critical miss, with just a 47 on Metacritic and a 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. The sequel fared even worse with a 39 on Metacritic and a 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although the franchise was supposed to run over five films, Fox pulled the plug after just two.

For reference, the worst-performing Harry Potter film (“Prisoner of Azkaban”) pulled in $797 million worldwide. The entire franchise sold over $7.7 billion in tickets. Potter’s success kicked off a wave of adaptations of young adult fiction, including the Divergent and Maze Runner series, all of which faded quickly.

Disney bought the 20th Century Fox library in 2019, giving it the rights to the Percy Jackson book series. Now, we’ll see if the property can succeed on the small screen.

Disney+ has been struggling to branch out beyond its Star Wars and Marvel properties. While “The Mandalorian” was a hit, “The Book of Boba Fett” hasn’t caught on. A look at the Google Trends data below shows that searches for “The Mandalorian” are now higher than those for “Fett,” even though the new show is still releasing new episodes.

When it comes to Marvel, “WandaVision” and “Loki” hit the mark, but “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Hawkeye” were met with more muted responses.

If Disney+ is really hoping to grow, it will need far more compelling content that can appeal to a wider audience. While international markets have the benefit of the Star section of the site, which contains more mature movies and shows, Disney+ users are stuck with relatively harmless PG-13 options unless they choose to bundle the service with Hulu. That may change in time, but for now, the library seems aimed at a narrow audience.

  • パーシー・ジャクソンとオリンポスの神々

    2010 M02 1

    実の父の顔を知らず、母と暴力的な継父と暮らす高校生パーシー。学校にも居場所がなく、孤独な日々を送る彼にとって、なぜかプールの水の中だけが落ち着ける場所だった。そんなある日、彼の前に謎の怪物が現われ、ゼウスから盗んだ稲妻を返せと迫られる。身に覚えのないパーシーだったが、怪物は母を人質に連れ去ってしまった。まもなく彼は、自分が半神半人の《デミゴッド》であり、父が海神ポセイドンであることを知らされる。

  • パーシー・ジャクソンとオリンポスの神々:魔の海

    2013 M08 7

    ギリシャ神話でも知られる海の神ポセイドンと人間の母の間に生まれた、ハーフゴッドのパーシー。謎のクリーチャーに襲われた彼は、それをきっかけに人間界と神々の世界の境目にあった結界が破られ、ハーフゴッドの世界を守るタレイラの木が枯れようとしているのを知る。また、その裏にはポセイドンらによって封印された神々の父クロノスの復活が関与していた。

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