Grey cloud hanging over Mortal Instruments franchise?

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A disappointing opening weekend for “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” has seen the production company delay announcement of any sequels, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes” has been put on hold thanks to the lackluster box office performance of its predecessor, with Constantin Film announcing that it needed time to “analyse the results to date and reposition the franchise.”

Both films are based on a series penned by author Cassandra Clare, and tells the tale of Clary Fray (Lily Collins) and her would-be-lover Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell-Bower); half-angel “Shadowhunters” tasked with ridding the world of demonic creatures via the use of archaic weaponry, mystic runes and hallowed seraph blades.

Principal photography of the sequel was already in production, with Sigourney Weaver attached to join the cast; however, this has now been delayed while the production company decides whether or not to pursue additional films in the series.

With the film only taking $14 million over the course of its 5-day opening weekend and a disappointing gross of just $37 million worldwide, producers are alarmed that the film may not even make back its $60 million production budget.

Many critics panned the film as a “desperate Twilight wannabe”, which is surprising; the literary content of the books is actually far and beyond anything Stephenie Meyer managed to generate.

Said Constantin Films’ Martin Moszkowicz:

“Constantin Films 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 market place. The Mortal Instruments series has an incredibly loyal and ardent fan base and is a bestselling book series. While taking Cassandra Claire’s vision to the screen we want to make sure to draw on the full potential of the franchise.”