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How Wattpad Broke Into The Entertainment Industry

As unrealistic and as cliche as these movies are, they’re magnetic. It’s exciting to daydream about the world in tropes.
“After Everything,” the 5th movie in the “After” series, embraces drama. (Courtesy of Cosmopolitan)


The list of movies inspired by popular Wattpad stories recently grew with the release of “After Everything,” the fifth movie in the “After” series.

The “After” series is based on a fanfiction-turned-book series written by Anna Todd. Todd first unveiled her work on Wattpad, a site that lets authors publish their work for readers to access for free. The first book, “After,” has garnered 714 million reads on the site.

Wattpad and the Entertainment Industry

Since the launch of their website in 2006, Wattpad has generated millions of monthly visitors. It currently has a collection of over 500 million stories posted to their website. The wild success of the site allowed the company to expand and create a publishing sector known as Wattpad Webtoon Book Group. They’ve also began producing films through Wattpad Studios.

“Wattpad Studios has radically transformed the way the entertainment industry sources and produces content,” the Wattpad Studios website reads.

Wattpad Studios searches through the millions of stories uploaded to the site to find the ones with the potential of commercial success. They then bring these stories to the entertainment industry for commercial production.

“After” is just one example of Wattpad leading the way to commercial success. The Netflix trilogy “The Kissing Booth” is also inspired by a story originally published on the site. The author, Beth Reekles, accumulated 20 million views on her story before it was published as a book by Random House.

The Netflix movie “Through My Window” is also inspired by a Wattpad story.

Bad Reviews, Big Bucks

Wattpad-inspired movies are becoming a new sort of genre. They are distinctly marked with both poor reviews and financial success.

The first “After” movie grossed more than $69 million worldwide, yet scored an 18% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. “After Everything’” currently sits at just a 4.9 out of 10 on IMDB.

Similarly, the first “The Kissing Booth” movie was one of Netflix’s most watched movies in the country. Yet it scored only 15% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The two movie series are also marked by the heavy embrace of tropes, like the “best friend’s brother” trope that “The Kissing Booth” uses or the “bad boy, innocent girl” trope “After” relies on. The films utilize one-dimensional, cliché characters and situations.

Still, despite this, these stories have some appeal. Without it, they wouldn’t keep being produced.

Cheesy yet Charming

These stories play into wild, romantic fantasies you think of before realizing what love actually looks like. The excitement of falling for someone you shouldn’t is glorified by watching two people who are forbidden to be together share a blindfolded kiss. Confusion and chaos abounds and it only adds passion to the relationship.

The idea of being the one person who completes another is celebrated in “After.” We watch two people in a tumultuous relationship repeatedly come back together. It happens for no reason other than their passion for one another is just that strong. 

As unrealistic and as cliché as these movies are, they’re magnetic. It’s exciting to daydream about the world in tropes. The idea that your new neighbor might be the love of your life. Or, that the relationship with that person you always fight with could turn from enemies to lovers adds interest to the often mundane reality. 

So, as bad as the acting might seem or as cheesy as the lines are, sometimes it’s necessary. It strips away the seriousness of everything to watch a bad movie that plays out an unrealistic fantasy. 


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About the Contributor
Josi Hinds, Arts Writer
Josi Hinds is in her second year at the University of Utah, majoring in communications with a minor in both gender studies and Spanish (for now). She grew up in Bozeman, Montana, and moved to Salt Lake in hopes of venturing out in the world and meeting new people. She joined the Chronicle out of a love for writing and meeting new people, and she hopes to share stories that broaden both her and others' perspective on the world

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