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Still, those who relied on “What to Expect” during their pregnancies won’t really find the book’s advice on screen.

“It’s the source material we wanted to include, but there’s so little there that was actually used,” said Heather Hach, who co-wrote the screenplay. “It’s not an adaptation in the truest sense, but without this wonderful pregnancy bible that countless women have consulted, the germ wouldn’t have been there.”

Director Kirk Jones said that while some have called adapting the pregnancy handbook “desperate,” anticipating a baby is a naturally funny experience.

“Just stop and look beyond the manual and think about pregnancy and that nine-month period: It affects guys and it affects girls in the most extraordinary ways,” he said. “It was really just taking the essence of the book… You’re basically enhancing the brand, because people are already familiar with the title.”

The book’s author, Heidi Murkoff, is one of the film’s executive producers. Hasbro’s president and chief executive, Brian Goldner, is a producer of “Battleship.”

Hach said guidebooks are great for adapting into movies: “What’s interesting about advice books is there are so many ways to tackle a problem. There are so many ways to think about a situation, and that’s what our characters are doing.”

Turan, the film critic, expects the trend to continue, whether or not the results are worthy.

“This is not about making good movies. It’s about getting people into theaters… Everything else is secondary,” he said. “They might make a movie out of Scrabble.”


AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen is on Twitter: