Who said writing wasn't a lucrative profession?!

Not only have some authors like Michael Crichton and Stephanie Meyers made a killing on their books like Jurassic Park and Twilight, they've even managed to sell the rights to their work to major film companies and make millions more while those movies go on to become billion dollar franchises! In honor of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling turning 47 today, here's our round-up of the 8 most successful contemporary authors gone Hollywood!

8. Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games

Book turned into a movie: The Hunger Games

Notable stars in films: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson

Total domestic gross: $405,328,665

We have a feeling that Suzanne is only going to climb higher on this list in the years to come! Not only did this movie dominate at the box office, but there's already a TON of buzz about the Hunger Games follow-up book-to-movie adaptation, Catching Fire, which is set for release in November 2013!

7. Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks and The Notebook

Books turned into movies: The Notebook, Message In a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, among others

Notable stars in films: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Mandy Moore, among others

Total domestic gross: $420,935,418

Nicholas has published 16 novels throughout his career, seven of which have been turned into movies. His most successful book-turned-movie was The Notebook, which grossed $81 million domestically at the box office, but he's had plenty of other box office successes with Dear John ($80 million) and The Last Song ($62 million)

6. William Peter Blatty

William Peter Blatty and The Exorcist

Books turned into movies:  The Exorcist series

Notable stars in films: Linda Blair

Total domestic gross: $576,171,011

There are five Exorcist movies which have been made, most of which are simply awful, but it's the original 1973 classic which is responsible for the overwhelming bulk of the box office success of this franchise. The movie grossed a staggering $441 million at the box office, which is still trickling in through midnight screenings of the flick across the country. And it's still regarded as the best horror movie of all time!

5. Stephen King

Stephen King and The Green Mile

Books turned into movies: The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, Carrie, among others

Notable stars in films: Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Michael Clarke Duncan, among others

Total domestic gross: $634,623,714

Need proof that the book is usually better than the movie? Look no further than Stephen King. Dozens of his books have been turned into movies, ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to straight-to-DVD projects. The overwhelming majority of them are craptacular, but he's had a few critical successes in The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, the former being his biggest box office hit with over $286 million in sales.

4. Dan Brown

Dan Brown and Angels and Demons

Books turned into movies: Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons

Notable stars in films: Ewan McGregor, Tom Hanks

Total domestic gross: $703,466,954

When your book sells over 80 million copies, it's pretty much a guarantee that the movie will do well too. Da Vinci Code raked in over $217 million at the box office, but he managed to smash that number with the 2009 book-turned-film Angels and Demons, which brought in over $485 million in sales domestically.

3. Stephanie Meyers

Stephanie Meyers and Twilight

Books turned into movies: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn Part 1

Notable stars in films: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

Total domestic gross: $1,071,212,372

The first franchise on our list to hit the billion dollar mark! Stephanie's Twilight series is responsible for numerous box office successes, the biggest one being Eclipse with over $300 million in sales. Not only that, the movies have single-handedly catapulted it's main actors like Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson into A-list stardom!

2. Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton and Jurassic Park

Books turned into movies: Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Congo, among others

Notable stars in films: Sam Neill, Wesley Snipes, Morgan Freeman, Laura Linney,

Total domestic gross: $2,162,564,632

Michael had been churning out books-turned-movies since the '70s, but it wasn't until 1993, 17 years after his last novel hit the big screen, when Jurassic Park became one of the most popular films of all time! His two books about the dinosaur park became a billion dollar franchise on its own when they theaters and if you counted Jurassic Park III, which he never wrote, he'd be at the top of our list!

1. J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter

Books turned into movies: The entire Harry Potter series

Notable stars in films: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Total domestic gross: $2,390,076,596

The story has been told ad nauseum at this point. J.K. Rowling was a single mom on welfare when the concept for Harry Potter entered her head and the rest is history. She's now one of the richest women on the planet after the eight-part book series has sold more than 450 million copies! And the movies aren't doing too bad either. Every one of the films has done at least $245 million in sales, but it was the final installment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 which did the best at the box office by raking in $381 million domestically!

 

Honorable mentions also go to several individual books-turned-films that rocked the box office. These include The Help by Kathryn Stockett ($169,708,112), The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger ($124,740,460) and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson ($102,515,793). We predict the late Stieg to climb the ranks of the list with the 2nd two installments of the Dragon Tattoo series set to release in the coming years.

What's the greatest book-to-movie adaptation of all time?

Photos courtesy of Getty Images, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Castle Rock Entertainment, Columbia Pictures and Summit Entertainment