‘Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes’ delayed after first film flops

“Mortal Instruments” author Cassandra Clare was right.

In the week leading up to the Aug. 21 release of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” the author of the series was skeptical that a sequel -- which had already been greenlighted and was supposed to begin production this month -- would actually start shooting. After all, the first film had yet to prove itself at the box office.

Sure, director Harald Zwart was already scouting locations in Toronto for “The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes,” and preproduction offices were up and running. But Clare had her doubts.

“I still actually can’t believe it. I keep going up to them saying, ‘Really, you totally sure?’ And they keep saying they are sure,” Clare said in an interview with The Times in mid-August. “My wisdom on this is the same as everyone else’s. It doesn’t happen that often. I tend to reserve my feelings of rejoicing until they are actually rolling camera. Things can fall apart at the last minute. I know these things, I watched ‘Entourage.’ ”


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Turns out she was correct. On Tuesday evening, producer Constantin Films announced it would delay “City of Ashes” indefinitely.

In a statement, Constantin’s Martin Moszkowicz said: “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.”

A new date has not been set and Zwart could not be reached for comment.


“City of Bones” collected only $28 million at the domestic box office, and $9 million overseas, according to Box Office Mojo. (Constantin says the film has earned $70 million worldwide.) The PG-13 movie, which centers on protagonist Clary Fray, played by Lily Collins, had a production budget of $60 million.

The production company behind such successful franchises as “Resident Evil” was hopeful that the books’ international popularity would offset the weak U.S. box office. But the film suffered from weak reviews, with critics trouncing the movie for its unoriginality and muddled storyline. It generated only a 12% positive rating on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

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