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Aug 1st
08:06 am
Weekend numbers adjusted for Saturday  
We knew Nikki had adjusted her numbers up and down a few times yesterday but with her numbers released this morning, it is clear her internal multiplier was too high (unfortunately):

From Deadline:

6. Charlie St Cloud (Universal) NEW [2,720 Dates]
Friday $5.6M, Saturday $3.8M, Weekend $12M

Rival studios thought Friday's result was frontloaded by Zac Ephron's [sic] High School Musical fans. So right. The pic fell a jaw-dropping -32% from Friday to Saturday, which is either a big error or proof that Zac needs to stick to light comedy. Actually, weeks of tracking had indicated a $13M weekend, in line with other movies of this genre. (Miley Cyrus' The Last Song debuted Easter weekend and its 3-day was $16M as a result.) Zac did everything publicity-wise including envelope openings to push this pic. But the marketing stupidly gave away the whole plot in the ads. Moviegoers gave it a "B+" Cinemascore overall but under-18s upped that to an "A-".

I'm still okay (but tinged slightly with sadness lol) about this number as it isn't out of a normal range for the genre... it is just on the lower end of it, but it has to be disappointing for Zac and co. Personally, I wouldn't say he should stick to light comedy, just stick to better movies with better studios who know better how to market their films and not mess them up. To me, it's clear he still has a fanbase and it still grows as he does, but it just seems like Universal did a good job of not compelling people to feel motivated to see it... there was an obvious difference in levels of fanaticism about this film compared to 17 Again everywhere (and even Me and Orson Welles on this lj).

How about this afternoon for a discussion post? I won't really be participating much as I am still in the middle of family stuff and haven't seen the movie (tonight, finally! though i pretty much know how the movie goes) but I know you guys are ready for one so I'm happy to oblige.
Mood: busybusy
23 23 comments Comment
Bee: Zac - GQ - On Top Parking Meter 1jeezbee on August 1st, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Saturday number is disappointing. Hopefully Sunday won't crash further.

Nikki's comedy comment is stupid. For one, comedies are an easier sell than a (let's be honest) sad/depressing and cheesy drama, so obviously 17 Again would have higher numbers, Zac or not.

But he does need to stick to better movies. Obviously a lot went wrong in the execution of this film on top of being a harder sell. Personally, I'm fine with romantic dramas in the future but a) not two in a row (I'm still praying he won't do The Lucky One next or at all) and b) perhaps something which isn't such an obvious emotional downer with a dead brother from the start (unless you really make a dark movie about grief but that can't be a studio movie then).

Considering he won't have a new movie coming out soon (since he doesn't have anything in the can), he really needs to pick his next movie well. This movie('s BO) will be forgotten soon, if his follow up is decent. And I hope he doesn't pick a project which gravitates further into female demos but is more balanced... acceptable for guys (not necessarily male screwing but just not 90% females). And for that, a comedy wouldn't be a bad pick, or some adventure type movie.

While we don't know much about Einstein Theory, I always thought that could be a decent "transition" project. The comparison to BTTF sounds like it could have that light and fun tone and the involvement of Stoller doesn't sound like it would be "dark" either. This would make it perfect for his fanbase to buy in but at the same time for new audiences to enjoy. Of course, that's all spec and we don't now which status the script is in either. I wish someone had asked him about this project during promo, esp since Stoller said in June that they are working on that for a while, so hopefully the writers can come up with a good draft soon.

Edited at 2010-08-01 02:42 pm (UTC)
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on August 1st, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
IA...the "missed marketing opportunity" blurb that came out yesterday makes this all the more disappointing. i can't help but wonder if a stronger momentum would have helped the BO, and if the lack of it can be linked back to the release date change.

i saw it last night with 4 friends. the theater was full--and that is the comment i'm hearing about everyone's experience. i liked it. admittedly i get into sappy, cheesy romance flicks, what can i say? this story i thought had more depth than some of its peers, but i'll save any further thoughts for a discussion post :)

as for its mediocre performance, i found the following particularly frustrating, although i was glad to see a critic own up to it.

"If some unknown 22-year-old actor had given the same performance in the same movie, I think there'd be a lot less automatic scoffing from those outside the teen-girl demographic."

he still has an extreme bias toward him, and his next project has to continue breaking it down. thankfully many critics offered positive comments about zac's ability overall, and he needs to build on that.

to me Fire has a great deal of potential, and i was disheartened to learn the script still has a long way to go. granted, i know nothing about the process, but i would have thought a graphic novel would be the "easiest" form to adapt into a screenplay. since bendis has been working on it for months, my first thought was, "what the hell is taking so long?" Even if the NS story is a compelling one it shouldn't be up next, but i fear it is. its written, they have a director, studio backing, and presumably a star.

wait and see sucks....

oh and lastly...my new catch phrase since the reviews started coming out...."don't hate b/c he's beautiful." :)
Beejeezbee on August 1st, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
if the lack of it can be linked back to the release date change.

That's a given. Uni dropped the trailer without any previous awareness or info only 2.5 months before release and didn't really start promoting the movie until 4 weeks ago (except airing the trailer in front of a few movies). There was zero awareness about the movie until July and tracking shows that awareness wasn't particularly high.

admittedly i get into sappy, cheesy romance flicks,

I don't mind watching a cheesy chick flick every once in a while too. I think the issue is that most people who like this type of movie just want to have a good time and CStC might have been a bit too depressing/sad for them. I certainly read tons of online comments how people said it was too sad.

I think it's the combo which hurt the movie - people who like chick flicks don't want it too heavy and for people who are more open for dramatic storylines it was probably too sappy. And if you combine it with the fact that the TV commercials weren't that great and the romance storyline was secondary... you end up with these results.

he still has an extreme bias toward him

Yeah, the high scrutiny is the price he has to pay for his stardom. No surprise here.

to me Fire has a great deal of potential, and i was disheartened to learn the script still has a long way to go

I like Fire too and think has good potential but this is really 180° from his previous movies and he would have a hard time selling it if he hasn't done a movie where he got some acceptance from guys before.

Even if the script is done (this or any other), that still doesn't mean a movie goes into production. It all depends if the movie fits into the studio's overall plans. They release 8-18 movies per year (depending on studio) and they need to make sure to have a good mix of genres, big and small movies etc. every year.

As for the Sparks movie - Nicholas Sparks gave an interview end January where he said it was the plan to start filming in May but then WB assigned a new director end February which explains why filming hasn't happened yet. However, it also shows that WB had planned on shooting it this year. I hope that's not the case anymore. Like you, I really don't want Zac to film this movie next.

Edited at 2010-08-01 04:17 pm (UTC)
annabelle83 on August 1st, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong but, among Zac's potential new projects, only The Lucky One and Die in a Gunfight have actual scripts, right?

I have high hopes in Die in a Gunfight. Hopefully it finds director and studio soon and gets into pre-production.

Shruticalcified on August 1st, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
You're right! (I should say, as far as we know.) But since neither even have directors yet, it might take a few months.

Edited at 2010-08-01 04:49 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Shruticalcified on August 1st, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
Oh jk......... why did I not see that.
annabelle83 on August 1st, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
Sorry! I deleted my original reply after seeing jeezbee's more detailed explanation below..

BTW, thanks for your reply!! :)
Beejeezbee on August 1st, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Re The Lucky One: Sort of. The movie had an original script from Will Fetters but in August 2009, Douglas McGrath came on board to direct and re-write the script. He left the project as director end February this year when Scott Hicks came on board but we haven't heard anything about the script since then. We don't know if Hicks will just direct McGrath's re-written script or will have another re-write. So, there is definitely a script but we don't know if its status is good enough to start directing asap. However, given how long they are already working on it and a normal pre-production takes time, I think the script can be brought into shape fast enough if WB wants to movie the film into production.

Re Die in a Gunfight: Yes, there is a spec script but I can't see a studio picking it up without a re-write. Right now, the script is R-rated but the demo who would be interested in a film like that screws younger. With Zac in the lead, this movie needs to be PG-13 (I don't think it's a teen movie but excluding teens would be a mistake). Plus, the director will make or break this project. It's an interesting script but if tone and style isn't right, this movie won't work. It's not a "safe" project.

As for his other projects - according to Zac a Snabba Cash draft is due in a few weeks but tbh I think he was fibbing there. Plus, even if a script for this movie is ready, I doubt that WB would move it into production because right now, I don't think he could sell it.

I think Einstein Theory has a script but just not a draft WB and the rest of the producers are happy enough with to move into production. However, there are writers who are working on this project for a while and have a lot to prove, so imo this could come together sooner than other projects. And I could see WB putting this in production.

And of course, there will be projects we just don't know about. Something he's not producing - only starring in. But I doubt it will be something which starts shooting in the next 1-2 months. Those projects are all already in pre-production and I can't see much where he would fit in.
annabelle83 on August 1st, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
Wow, didn't expect such a long, detailed information. Thanks!!!

It's disappointing that Die in a Gunfight won't happen in the near future. Then, I like Einsten Theory and the "workplace comedy" best.
Beejeezbee on August 2nd, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
You're welcome.

Die in a Gunfight has also other issues with plot and character. It's definitely not ready to move into production soon.

And the workplace comedy hasn't even started, so that will take a while too.
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on August 1st, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
agree, agree bee. i would label fire a big step rather than a leap. did you read it? its a good character, he starts off kinda nerdy, and it would downplay his looks. he heeds to find something that takes his pretty heartthrob-ness and turn it masculine, but not in a malevolent way. Zac's right he can't do "die hard." as much as i don't want the NS proj. to happen, if it's primary story line is his experiences as a marine it might be an easier sell. via the military, the character can be within his age range. many guys in their 20's have served more than one tour of duty. i keep having flashes of "born on the 4th of july," even though i know its not the same story AT ALL. i can't think of a good comparison...."jar head" maybe? two examples of gorgeous leading men, who are manly LOL. as it relates to the sparks proj. zac looked pretty damn good "roughed-up" :) and they did it within Zac's limitations, his beauty non-withstanding. put that with the idea of a "non-speaking" female lead and you have a much more male-centric story. but idk LOL

a standout point for me in CstC was their ability to convey the same emotions from the book with fewer scenes. amanda's role was significantly cut from the way sherwood wrote it. and it worked.

as to your distribution/release comment...you always know more about this than i do...that's why i ask :) this could be the next proj. he films, but it doesn't mean its the next to be released.
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on August 1st, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
lord i've no idea if any of that makes sense...too much caffeine :)
livingwell100livingwell100 on August 1st, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
I think what stunned me yesterday was at the theater here in LA there were couples in the more 40-50 than teens and young adults. THe theaters was not half full though.

I thought he was good and for that I was happy. But I have to confess I was not in love with movie as a whole.

bettybaby63bettybaby63 on August 1st, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
Re: People
there are certainly several issues that can be discussed :(

our theater was full, & that seems to be the consensus from what i heard. it was a big drop off i thought. i also know quite a number of people that saw/will see it several times before the weekend is out :D
Beejeezbee on August 2nd, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
I think it doesn't really matter if he plays a soldier if the movie is directed exclusively at women. Also, from what I get, it has very little to do with the military - the story sets in more or less after he leaves the military and goes searching for that woman which he starts a relationship with after he finds her. Btw, I don't know where the idea comes from that she's non-speaking... that's not true. It's a "normal" female character. I haven't read the book but from everything I get it's a standard romantic drama with a Sparks-typical romance - directed at women. There is nothing male-centric here except the characters background.
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on August 2nd, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
Btw, I don't know where the idea comes from that she's non-speaking...

it was definitely stated that way in one of the announcements. obviously that doesn't guarantee its an accurate assessment. LOL

i haven't read the book either, hence my wishful musings on how it could make a viable male-centric storyline :)

oh well...hopefully the whole thing is being re-examined at this point.
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on August 2nd, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)

nearly everything he has in the pipeline would be a better alternative to the NS project...
It's Audrey not Aubrey: LAaudrey_za on August 1st, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
I was happy to see major adjustments made from the screener version to what debuted in theaters. New material (the hospital scene, in particular), sound adjustment, and soundtrack insertion made for a better viewing experience.

If anything, I hope the box office numbers are a wake up call to Zac and his team when deciding his next project.

There is public interest in Zac. Numbers speak that the masses buy publications he appears on the cover of, tune in when he's a guest on shows, purchase his movies On-Demand (17 Again)... so I do not fear the curiosity is lacking- but the material has GOT to stand on it's own. Not many will argue that he has a camera-ready visage but gratuitous, lingering shots of Zac will not hold up at the box office if the storyline is flawed (not necessarily due to what Ben Sherwood wrote- his novel seemed script ready/better to be told on-screen).

To their credit, Zac, Charlie and Amanda should be proud. They exhibited strong performances. Hopefully the latter two won't see their star fizzle.
ryanefronryanefron on August 1st, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
I completely agree. The numbers for fridays box office were strong and i believe that is mainly due to Zac's star power. I think he will be able to look at this and realize what movies he needs to place himself in now, and grow from this.
Hes proved himself as an actor and I don't think these numbers will hurt him by any means. He just needs to be smart about his next role.
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on August 2nd, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
i really did like it, and am planning on seeing it again this weekend.

unfortunately it had some handicaps going in, and it all seemed to snowball.

the success of inception played a role, as did the "catch up" mentality it created for Salt.

however, he can take away several positives from the experience, and as we all keep saying, hopefully this will make them re-think his next move.

nearly everything he has in the pipeline would be a better alternative to the NS project...

knock, knock.....are you listening Zac???? .....lol

i'm curious to see what type of push they make for the international market?
butterflybee260: by funsizedbutterflybee260 on August 1st, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)

He was bound to have something bomb sometime lol. Hopefully its a good wakeup call and will make him consider seriously what he does next.

I really don't think the failure of this movie was in any way his fault so hopefully he can find comfort in that.
The Writers Denmusewriter on August 1st, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
While these numbers are slightly disappointing, I'm just happy that the majority of the feedback I'm seeing on Facebook and Twitter is positive. And that even though a lot of the critics didn't like the movie as a whole, they are praising the cast and their performances.

I just got back from seeing for the second time. My theater, which is located in a very small town, had about 20 people or so for the 3:00 showing. And, I have to say, seeing it again made me appreciate it more. I liked it the first time but this time around I was able to put the book out of my mind and just focus on what was on the screen. I picked up on a lot more overall. Even though the movie has its flaws, it's still really good and heartwarming.
lilly4848lilly4848 on August 3rd, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
latest numbers
Okay, I just saw the latest numbers, and they've got CSC moving up from #6 to #5 with $12.3 million. Good. At least he's in the top 5, right?