I saw Les Miserables’ recently. Later because I’m a tad geeky, I followed how well the movie was doing. Turning a profitable $400 million over from a $61 million budget. Then the question popped up to me, I wondered how many of those actual people, that contributed to said rather sizable amount, actually knew that the movie is loosely based on the original story from an equally sizable book written by Victor Hugo. This was a fair question as many did not even know that the movie was an adaption of a theater musical adapting Hugo’s book, illustrated by the amount of complaints made by people who weren’t aware that the actors would be singing throughout the entire movie.
This then brought up a second question, because I was mostly bored but also a little curious. Are movie theaters the largest medium of artistic expression and the most common form of entertainment for the 21st century? I came to my conclusion that yes they most definitely are. With the ability to reach multiple amounts of people in just one 2 hour session, a process which can be repeated several times in the space of 24 hours, film has the ability to be a vehicle for original, converted and adapted storytelling. The prime example being Les Miserables, within it’s theater medium it’s the longest running production when combining both West End and Broadway performances. With the production being put on for an estimated 18,000 times. It also has an extensive amount of prestigious awards. Hugo’s book is no less prestigious or unpopular and yet it is the movie that has made to most recent and largest splash in one fell swoop. With that movie theaters reign supreme as the most common form of art expression in the 21st century, renewing literature for the masses.
Emile Bayard’s famous illustration of Cosette has been adapted for the film too.