World Book Day: Harry Potter best movie adaptation ever, claims survey

The Harry Potter franchise has been voted the best movie adaptation of a book of all time, according to new research marking this Thursday’s World Book Day (March 4).

The study, by Showcase Cinemas, shows that a third of Brits voted the magical movies as the greatest film adaptations of all time.

Following close behind in joint second place is the classic The Shawshank Redemption (28%), tied with the fantasy franchise The Lord of the Rings (28%).

Despite its popularity as a book turned movie, Harry Potter himself only came in third place (28%) when it comes to the most popular book characters, with James Bond topping the list with 33% of the votes and Sherlock Holmes coming in second (29%).

However, the young wizard was a clear favourite when it came to 18-24 year olds, as almost half of the age group (41%) named Harry Potter as the most popular book character in a film. 

Despite coming in second place in the top 10 best movie adaptations, only 5% of Brits voted the leading man, Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption, as the best character.

And while 50 Shades of Grey was a hugely popular draw as both a book and a movie, Anastasia Steele fell short of supporters, polling just 4% of the ballot in the favourite character vote.

Casino Royale was voted best James Bond adaptation from Ian Fleming novel

In advance of the eagerly anticipated release of the latest Bond instalment No Time To Die later this year, participants were also asked to vote on which book, written by Ian Fleming, made the best James Bond film.

The blockbuster hit Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s first instalment as the suave secret agent, was crowned the winner, with one in 10 film fans voting it as the most popular. The late great Sean Connery’s Goldfinger came in second place (7%), followed by Dr No (5%).

Children’s literature is regularly made into film adaptations, with classics like The Chronicles of NarniaThe Wizard of Oz and Matilda hitting the big screen. Here, once again, Harry Potter reigned supreme – topping the list of the best adaptations from a children’s book (16%), with Disney hits The Jungle Book and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory following in joint second place (9%).

For all those hopeless romantics out there, nothing beats sitting down and indulging in a book filled with love letters. Being able to watch those character’s journeys get played out in front of you on the big screen is the icing on the cake. Film fans named Bridget Jones’s Diary as the most successful romantic film adaptation (15%), followed by the story of Allie and Noah in the Nicholas Sparks love story, The Notebook (7%).

However, romantic movies aren’t as popular with the male audience, with almost half of UK men claiming they don’t have a favourite romantic film.  

Nearly half of Brits admit they are more likely to watch a movie (43%) than to read a book (29%) and 23% of participants claim they enjoyed the two in equal measure.

When it comes to the younger generation, a massive 63% confirmed they are more likely to watch a film than read a book (16%). Over a quarter of those aged 65 plus said they would prefer to watch the film (28%).

With the schools still closed, Showcase Cinemas is running a competition to win one of 10 family tickets to the cinema once they reopen. Simply email a picture of your little one dressed up as their favourite book character to [email protected] to be in with a chance of winning.


  1. Harry Potter franchise
  2. The Shawshank Redemption
  3. The Lord of the Rings franchise
  4. Schindler’s List
  5. Forrest Gump
  6. Jurassic Park
  7. The Wizard of Oz
  8. The Godfather
  9. The Hunger Games franchise
  10. 12 Years a Slave


  • The Lord of the Rings – best action/fantasy movie adaptation
  • Sherlock Holmes – best period drama movie adaptation
  • The Silence of the Lambs – best horror movie adaptation
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary series – best romance movie adaptation
  • Mrs. Doubtfire – best comedy movie adaptation



Chris Price