'The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes' Pushed After Lackluster Franchise Opening

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Collins - H 2013
Screen Gems

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Collins - H 2013

Constantin Film announced on Tuesday that the sequel would be delayed in order to "analyze the results to date and reposition the franchise."

The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes has been pushed in the wake of a lackluster box-office opening for its predecessor, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

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Constantin Film announced on Tuesday that principal photography on the sequel, which was already in production with Sigourney Weaver attached to join the cast, has been delayed. A statement from the production company states that it will use the time to "analyze the results to date and reposition the franchise in order to maximize results for future installments."

City of Bones, adapted from Cassandra Clare's best-selling novel of the same name and released by Sony, took in $14 million over the course of its five-day opening (the film hit theaters on Wednesday, Aug. 21). Producers of the $60 million film, starring Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, hoped to compensate for the underwhelming opening overseas. To date, the film has grossed $37 million worldwide.

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Harald Zwart directed the critically panned film, which THR film critic Michael Rechtshaffen dubbed a "desperate Twilight wannabe" that "hits more than its own share of clunky notes."

Speaking with THR at a press day for the film in August, Zwart said that he was "very excited about the script" for City of Ashes, adding: "It's gonna be even more complex and scary than the first one."

Said Constantin Film's Martin Moszkowicz: "Constantin Film has a long tradition of adapting books to the big screen. Pushing back the start of production of City of Ashes was a decision we did not take lightly. But after speaking with all of our partners on the creative and distribution side, it was clear that it will be beneficial to have more time to reposition the film in the current marketplace. The Mortal Instruments series has an incredibly loyal and ardent fan base and is a best-selling book series. While taking Cassandra Claire's [sic] vision to the screen we want to make sure to draw on the full potential of the franchise."

E-mail: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com
Twitter: @SophieSchillaci