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Percy Jackson Movies

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or other adventure-packed stories featuring a trio of friends vs. the world, you’ll probably be a fan of the Percy Jackson movies. The movies are based on the book series by Rick Riordan, which soared to popularity in the early 2000s.

Riordan’s books were almost instantly a hit, telling the story of Percy Jackson, an awkward teenage boy with a rough life, that changes completely when he finds out he’s the son of the greek god Poseidon. Being a demi-god is a lot of work, and Percy has powers of his own.

While there are seven (soon to be eight) books in the Percy Jackson series, so far, only two movie adaptations have been made. Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief came out in February 2010, and its sequel Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, premiered in 2013.

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When the Lightning Thief hit the box office, it was a huge success, while The Sea of Monsters, after a three-year wait, was met with mixed reviews. Author Rick Riordan has mentioned several times that he had no involvement in either of the films, and he refuses to watch them himself.

Percy Jackson Movies Reception

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters were made by two different directors, which could also explain their mixed review results. The Lightning Thief was directed by Chris Columbus, who also directed several of the Harry Potter films.

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters was directed by Thor Freudenthal, whose credits include the Diary of a Wimpy kid, which was another popular book series when Riordan’s books were coming out. While Sea of Monsters wasn’t a smashing success, it’s still a very fun film.

In 2016, Rick Riordan wrote an open letter to teachers asking them not to play either of the Percy Jackson films for their students while teaching them about Greek Mythology. Riordan (and some fans) felt that the movies strayed too far from the original story told in the books.

Despite the controversy, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters have 53% and 55% audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes, so plenty of viewers enjoyed and still enjoy them. If you’re looking to watch the movies in order, we’re here to help!

Percy Jackson Movies in Order

If you want to watch the Percy Jackson movies in order that they were released, here’s your guide. This order also follows the sequence of books.

  1. Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (February 2010)
  2. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters (August 2013)

Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The first movie and book in the Percy Jackson series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, was directed by Chris Columbus in 2010. Columbus had previously directed the first three Harry Potter movie adaptations and both Home Alone movies.

The Lightning Thief is the beginning of Percy Jackson’s journey, and it follows the story of Percy discovering his true godly heritage. After realizing he’s a demi-god, Percy is faced with his first quest, return Zeus’s stolen thunderbolt to him, and rescue his mother from the underworld.

It should be no problem for a kid with no training and ADHD, right? With help from who he thought were his teachers and his best friend, Percy comes to Camp Half-Blood to train up enough to protect himself from the various greek gods and monsters who are after him.

However, once at camp, Percy’s mother is stolen down to the underworld by Hades, and he realizes the most powerful god in Olympus thinks Percy stole something from him. Determined to save his mother and prevent a war among the gods, Percy has no choice but to act.

The Lightning Thief starred Logan Lerman in the titular role, with Brandon T. Jackson and Alexandra Daddario as Percy’s closest friends, Grover Underwood and Annabeth Chase. Other notable names include Pierce Brosnan as Chiron and Uma Thurman as Medusa.

Worldwide, The Lightning Thief grossed $226.4 million at the box office, and it inspired a video game for Nintendo DS that was released one days before the movie initially premiered. Multiple actors from the movie, including Lerman and Daddario, were nominated for various awards.

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters shares its name with the second book in Rick Riordan’s series (2006), though its plot includes parts of the fifth book’s (2009) storyline too. It was directed by Thor Freudenthal, who directed both Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Hotel for Dogs.

Picking up after The Lightning Thief, Percy is feeling discouraged by the lack of adventure in his life until his brother arrives at Camp Half-Blood and the protective barrier around it begins to break down. On top of this, Percy may be the subject of an ancient prophecy about Olympus.

Hermes’ son Luke (Jake Abel), was Percy’s main adversary in The Lightning Thief and the one who set him up to take the fall for Zeus’s missing thunderbolt. In the Sea of Monsters, Luke poisons the tree that protects Camp Half-Blood and kidnaps Grover, Percy’s best friend.

To rescue Grover, save Camp Half-Blood, and prevent Luke from waking the Titan Kronos to destroy Olympus, Percy, and Annabeth, go after one of greek mythology’s most famous artifacts, the golden fleece. With it, they can save everyone if they can keep it out of Luke’s hands.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters has most of the first movie’s original cast, with Douglas Smith joining as Percy’s brother Tyson and Paloma Kwiatkowski as Thalia Grace, a daughter of Zeus. Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, and Brandon T Jackson reprise their starring roles.

Sea of Monsters grossed $200.9 million worldwide at the box office, and a sequel was planned based on Riordan’s third book, The Titans Curse but never entered production. While the movie was criticized for its deviation from the books, it’s still a hit with fans of the Percy Jackson series.

Frequently Asked Questions about Percy Jackson and the Olympians

How many Percy Jackson Books are there?

There are five books in the main Percy Jackson series, although author Rick Riordan recently announced that a sixth book is in the works and will hit shelves on September 26th, 2023. Outside of the main series, there are two supplementary books written from Percy’s perspective.

Author Rick Riordan has also written several other standalone books and series that take place in the Camp-Half Blood universe, including The Heroes of Olympus series and The Trials of Apollo series. Standalone novels include The Demigod Files and Camp Half-Blood Confidential.

While Riordan has written other books outside of the Camp Half-Blood universe, the Percy Jackson series is his most popular collection. The book series was immensely popular with age-appropriate readers in the early 2000s, and Percy was often called “the next Harry Potter.”

In What Order Should I Read the Percy Jackson Books?

To understand the story, it’s best to read the Percy Jackson series in order from the first book to the last before reading any supplemental novels. Here are the first five books in order, and the sixth (unreleased) book, which will be the first book written from Percy’s point of view since 2009.

  1. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2005)
  2. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters (2006)
  3. Percy Jackson and the Titans Curse (2007)
  4. Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth (2008)
  5. Percy Jackson and the Lasy Olympian (2009)
  6. Percy Jackson and the Chalice of the Gods (2023)

While you don’t have to read the books to understand the movies, they are full of details that may have been left out in the films. Descriptions of the Greek gods, their attributes and powers, and the monsters of Greek mythology are scattered throughout the books.

Will There Be More Percy Jackson Movies?

No. However, when Disney+ acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019, they gained the rights to the Percy Jackson books. Rick Riordan, who was notoriously against the film adaptations of his books, pitched a new live-action adaptation to Disney+, and a Percy Jackson series is coming!

The new TV series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, will premiere on Disney+ in early 2024. Rick Riordan is an executive producer of the show, and James Bobin (The Muppet Movies, Alice Through the Looking Glass) is directing. The show is in production in Vancouver, Canada.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians will be the first show made on Light & Magic’s new StageCraft LED stage. The stage features a 95-foot LED screen that will allow “filmmakers to design, light, and shoot the digital world as they would in the practical world.”

The new Disney+ series has already been cast, with newcomer Walker Scobell (13) playing Percy, Aryan Simhadri (15) playing Grover, and Leah Jeffries (13) playing Annabeth. Other stars include Glynn Turman, Lin Manuel Miranda, Jason Mantzoukas, and Virginia Kull.

While the series has yet to release, it’s already stirred up controversy over its casting choices. Annabeth, who in the books is described as pale and blonde, is played by Black actress Leah Jeffries, and she’s faced horrible racist backlash from “fans” over getting the part.

When the main cast was announced on May 5th, 2022, Jeffries’ social media pages were filled with hate. Yet there was minimal backlash over Alexandra Daddario’s casting in the movie adaptations despite her having differently colored eyes and hair than Annabeth in the books.

Rick Riordan has condemned the racism Jeffries has faced, and multiple actors have reached out with words of support for her. Alexandra Daddario herself tweeted about her support for Leah Jeffries as Annabeth, and actor Kendrick Sampson posted about protecting her.

Check out the Percy Jackson and the Olympians teaser trailer, and keep an eye out for the show premiering in early 2024 on Disney+ – where you can also find both Percy Jackson movies. Chat with us in the comments below about your favorite book or film!

About the Author
Halla Warner is a Content Writer for Celebrity Myxer.
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