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Aug 27th
02:30 pm
TLO Release Date Thoughts  
I don't know what to say. I'm stuck in a bemused place of frustration, embarrassment, disappointment and indifference.

I'm kind of tired of rehashing the stupid things about this and ways Warner Brothers is letting this project and Zac down. It's a complete vacuum of action, passion or care over there seemingly. Yes I know things are happening behind the scenes, but there's been no spurring of audience interest, they screwed around on a release date and they apparently lack of interest in correcting issues from pre-screening feedback. I wish I could name more stupid things they've done but since they've done basically nothing, that's about it.

(Side note: If you want to enter a contest to visit the set of Safe Haven, the next Nicholas Sparks film slated for an admittedly likely-to-be-pushed June 2012 release, please click here.)

As I was saying WB has done zilch for this film. But credit where it is due, as much as I may personally dislike Nicholas Sparks' writings, at least he twitters about The Lucky One like he cares that it does well.

I could say a lot more on this I think but I'm not sure people care and those that might, would just be mad. So I'll just be moving along to specific thoughts on the date.

This date is mediocre.

August is not really a great month for anything but horror and comedy. The only movie close to this demographic that opened on the fourth weekend of August, The Nanny Diaries, opened to just $7.4 million.

Minus the interruption of Labor Day weekend, the closer you get to September the worse the box office is. Business tapers off from July and more of the box office revenue is from hold-overs, with newer releases making weak entrances.

At least WB didn't put it on the weekend after Labor Day. That is pretty much the worst weekend of the whole year, a death knell for sure.

Also I'm not keen at all that they scheduled it two weeks (technically 1.5 weeks as it is scheduled for a mid-week release) after The Odd Life of Timothy Green. That is a fantasy film but, based on the trailer, it looks like it could overlap in key demographics for The Lucky One. That is trouble.

But again, since WB dicked around with the date, their only real option before August of 2012 was April and that was tenuous given the Titanic re-release and also, a little while after my last TLO date post, a Universal romcom landed on April 27. It easily could have swallow TLO's business. June and July, it wouldn't be strong enough. So then you get to August or worse September... could they really want to wait longer?

What do I take hope in? Sort-of.

Well for one, at least they have time to put together a decent promo campaign for the four months leading up to the film. Will they? I don't know if I have hope in that at this point given how little they've done to lay any groundwork publicity for the film so far.

And there is a minuscule chance that they put it off because they actually do want to fix some of the problems. I think it is unlikely in some ways but 'd be really happy if this was the case. Still why then put it on kind of a weak date if you think you can fix it?

Another hopeful thing I look at is a comparison between The Lucky One and another August romantic drama, The Time Traveler's Wife. That film managed to open with $18.6 million (in third place).

Some similarities: it was a movie based on an immensely popular weepy book, it was WB (in this case New Line really), it was finished shooting over a year and a half before being released, and it was not-well-received critically (like most films of this genre).

However there are some key differences that are not so good.

The Time Traveler's Wife had more coverage through filming and after. Also it had Rachel McAdams with her The Notebook pedigree. As much as I'd love to believe Charlie St. Cloud gave Zac recognition in this genre, it really didn't. Certainly not on the level of Rachel's.

Most importantly, The Time Traveler's Wife opened on the second weekend of August. In fact, most of the few chick flicks (comedy or drama) released in August opened on the first or second weekend. And they were decent successes.

I don't know what would happen if WB moved The Lucky One up to August 10th. They'd also have to move their comedy Rivals which isn't a huge disadvantage to that film imo. But if The Odd Life stays on the next week, it may still hurt The Lucky One.

So bottom line, I don't know what'll happen. I don't think it is a great weekend for the film. But it could also be worse. I'll just keep hoping for the best, for Zac's sake.

Really I just wish we could get it over with. I want to see Zac's work, but also I'm just ready to move on.

On the plus side, this gives Zac the opportunity to keep on filming through the Spring (aside from the small amounts of New Year's Eve and The Lorax promo he'll do). And I want him to take advantage of it. Now that he's got a few indies under his belt, I'd like to see him get another big studio picture done.
Mood: blankblank
42 42 comments Comment
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on August 27th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
I pretty much agree with everything you said.
redundancy is not elaborationthelightisdim on August 27th, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
I'm already "over" this. Yesterday I ranted all I could and now all I can say is that I've never been more whatever about this movie than I am right now.

Anyway, on maybe better news, isn't WB suppose to start production on that Snabba Cash remake soon? I thoughtthe deadline was April 2012.
Bee: Zac - SNL - Ahoi 1jeezbee on August 27th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
Let's hope the rightsholders either give them an extension or there are other provisions in the contract because right now, I'm not super optimistic that WB will move it into production by next spring.

Imo Zac has been moving too slow with his transition (and TLO is part of that) for WB to do this right now. It happens more often than not that rights expire although I was hoping it wouldn't be the case with this project.

Yeah, it's still possible but personally I don't think it's very likely at this point (if they have to keep the original date).

Edited at 2011-08-27 09:19 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - thelightisdim on August 27th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jeezbee on August 28th, 2011 04:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on August 27th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jeezbee on August 28th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thelightisdim on August 28th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bee: Yick! - Lion Kingjeezbee on August 27th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
I don't care that the date is still far away, but I'm pissed because the date isn't very good as you said. Late August is a notoriously slow time at the box office and if that wasn't bad enough putting it one weekend after The Odd Life of Timothy Green with Jennifer Garner makes it worse. While that movie is slightly more family-themed, it also goes after the female audience. And it's one week after Expendables 2 which has a 100% different audience but will still be big on 24 Aug. Basically WB is dumping it into summer graveyard because they don't care and they don't have much confidence in the movie to succeed in a better release date. I guess that doesn't make them much different from some of us who never had much confidence in it either.

What pisses me off is that fact that they could have easily had an early August date (which is good for this type of movie) if they had it set just a few weeks ago. I was hoping TLO wouldn't embarrass itself at the BO since it won't be winning over any critics but with that date I'm not very hopeful.

Oh well, Zac signed up for this so now he has to live with the consequences.

Having said that, 12 months is a long time and many release date changes will happen. So I can see WB moving it short-term if a decent slot eg in spring opens up. The movie is basically ready and we know they are already working on the marketing material, so as long as they have at least 3 months leadtime, they can do it without problems. BUT that depends a lot on what other studios do and that's frustrating because WB could have controlled it if they weren't sitting on their asses for 10 months.

On the plus side, with some luck perhaps one of the two indies he's currently filming premieres in Cannes, then he might be able to pick up a little bit of goodwill with the critics if he can deliver there and they will just ignore his performance in TLO outside of the actual review and not write him off overall. And like you I hope he can film at least one more studio project by the time this comes out (well, as long as it isn't another low-rent chick-flick).

Edited at 2011-08-27 09:37 pm (UTC)
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on August 27th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
I just don't see why people are automatically knocking TLO. Like there is nothing wrong with the story or characters, so the fact some people are saying Zac didn't choose the right role with this is beyond me.
(no subject) - jeezbee on August 28th, 2011 12:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mirandagirll on August 28th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jeezbee on August 28th, 2011 03:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - musewriter on August 28th, 2011 04:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - m2enr on August 30th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jeezbee on August 30th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - m2enr on September 1st, 2011 12:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jeezbee on September 1st, 2011 01:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jeezbee on August 30th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
annabelle83 on August 27th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
August is still better than September, and the fourth weekend of that month is not that bad as Glorious Bastards did so well on that weekend. What makes me angry it that Warners probably picked that date only because it's an empty slot as of now. When bigger movies take that date later, they may move TLO to another date. Not only they totally lack any confidence in TLO, but also they're not even trying to make it a success. I'd never thought Nicholas Sparks-Zac Efron movie would be treated like this. Relativity has already set the date for new Sparks movie in June before they go into production, while WB was ignoring TLO's existence up until now.
I've been a fan of huge A-list actors like Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie for decades, so I'd never had to worry about my favorite stars' movies getting abandoned by studioes... until I became a fan of Zac. From 17 Again to TLO, his movies always had some trouble in securing proper release dates. I just wish he were a more successful actor so that his movies could find more support from distributors.

I'm okay with him doing more indies as long as he makes good films, but I don't want to go through stressing over distributing problems again. I'm just depressed even his studio project has a hard time getting released...
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on August 28th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
i think comparing inglourious basterds to tlo is not really useful for estimating potential box office success just cause they are so different. it's a bit too apples and oranges.

but what you said about a nicholas sparks movie being treated this way is true. even taking zac out of the equation, given how antsy studios are to get their hands on sparks' novels, it surprises me that they turn around and do this to one of the productions.

17 again's date situation was a very different thing than this. and neither are really having trouble getting released. date setting isn't really about that when dealing with studio movies. it's often more an indication of how they think the movie will do or what its quality is.

17 again's date getting moved around was more because they were giving it a lot of consideration. they knew it would play well and they were trying to maximize their publicity and the film's box office.

on the otherhand tlo and charlie st cloud's dates just seem like neglect (esp cstc). obvs wb might turn it around and prove they did this in the film's best interest by doing a stellar job with marketing but so far it's just a totally different attitude towards it than 17 again or a lot of their other films.

it'll smooth out though for zac, compared to those other stars he is ofc very young and at the beginning of a career. it is awkward though as he's big enough that he's well-known (more so than a lot of young actors his age) but not quite strong or respected enough to be put just anywhere haphazardly.
(no subject) - annabelle83 on August 28th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
lilly4848lilly4848 on August 28th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
Now I will have even more time to finish reading the book. I was having such a hard time with how boring it was, I ended up getting it on Audible so that I could have it read to me. That helped a bit, but I think I'm still only on chapter 14 or so.
The Writers Denmusewriter on August 28th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
I don't know what to feel, to be honest. Yesterday I was upset, mainly because people I know who have seen the movie have told me how good it is and I don't want to wait a year to see it. But also because I can't believe that WB has done NOTHING for the film. It's pretty shocking considering it's a Nicholas Sparks based movie. Granted it's nowhere near a film that would get any award acclaim, there are a lot of Sparks fans out there who are faithful to his movies.

But now, to be quite honest, I'm more excited for the Paperboy and Bahrani...because I think if he does well Zac will get a lot of respect from it. And even though I strongly disliked Precious, I recognize how awesome it is for Zac to be working with a director like Lee Daniels and a great cast. And even though I don't know much about Bahrani other than what I've read here, he seems like a good director too.

I tend to agree with C in that I don't necessarily think he's transitioning too slowly. Like she said, he needs time to mature physically. I'm not sure what it's gonna take for him to be taken seriously in demographics other than the females, but I don't think it'll happen for awhile. Just from reading around the internet it seems 99% of people still associate him with HSM. A lot of girls mention CSC and other people mention 17 Again. I'm confident he will transition I just think it will be slow.

I just hope he keeps working. Reading around Twitter and such I keep seeing comments like 'what happened to Zac Efron?' Granted most of the people saying that might not even be fans, but I've been seeing it a lot. I just hope he keeps busy in the months before and after NYE and the Lorax promo until TLO releases.
Bee: Zac - GQ - In Car 1 (full)jeezbee on August 28th, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
I'll reply here since Cady already knows what I want to say.

Like she said, he needs time to mature physically. I'm not sure what it's gonna take for him to be taken seriously in demographics other than the females, but I don't think it'll happen for awhile.

My "issue" isn't so much as that he would transition slowly but as you pointed out, he has problems with audiences outside of his fanbase (females, mostly young) and I think TLO wasn't only not helping but alienating those others. That's my main issue. Moving slowly forward is fine with me... I just don't want to make him backwards steps by painting himself into a corner and the guys who aren't his biggest supporters in the first place, to hate him more because he's doing only romance-oriented movies. 17 Again was actually a nice step in the right direction... many guys like it just ok but Sparks is just really high up on the hate level. Doing one of those is ok but doing 2 after each other is just not a transition to me. Having said that, this recent choices with The Paperboy or the Bahrani Film are great. I love them. I just think he should have skipped TLO (or done a different, less chick-flick project) and do what he's being doing now last year. Now he's moving forward but last year was rather a backwards step in terms of transition imo.

I just hope he keeps busy in the months before and after NYE and the Lorax promo until TLO releases.

I think he's fine if he can get at least one decent studio film wrapped before TLO comes out. Even if it's getting quieter around him until then. But he needs a studio project to give him enough exposure after TLO imo. I love both indies he's doing right now and think they are great choices no matter how they do but it remains to be seen how wide a distribution they will get.
(no subject) - mirandagirll on August 28th, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
butterflybee260: by funsizedbutterflybee260 on August 28th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)

Tbh I think because of where I am in my own life I can't bring myself to get really upset over it. It is what it is and yes I'll be sad if it bombs but he's working on some really great movies right now and there's nothing that I can do about it besides be upset and cause myself more stress.

That being said, if there's some way another movie of his (other than NYE and The Lorax) could come out before or around the same time as this I'd feel better. Because then TLO wouldn't be his "NEXT STEP" movie, it'd be more of one of the many films he's tried.

Idk I'm trying to look at it how I see MAOW. I was wildly disappointed in MAOW the first time I saw it because I LOVED the book and I didn't feel Zac's acting was what it could be or that it showcased his talent very much at all. But hey, it was a learning experience. He worked with some great people, he stretched himself. Even if TLO bombs and WB just lets it slide I'll still be happy that he got to do something that allowed him to totally change his physical appearance and go outside his comfort zone in some manner.

tl:dr - idc, really.
The Writers Denmusewriter on August 28th, 2011 05:21 am (UTC)
Well said, Mel.
Gillian loves lemoñadé.invisible_cunt on August 28th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
hun, you're reading way too much into this
It's Audrey not Aubreyaudrey_za on August 28th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
I'm not mad and I plan to be in theaters to see the movie again, because I really enjoyed the film (more so than the book).
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on August 29th, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
you wouldn't be mad. you saw it already! lol.
(no subject) - audrey_za on August 29th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kleth on August 29th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - annabelle83 on August 29th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - annabelle83 on August 29th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on August 30th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mirandagirll on August 30th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on August 30th, 2011 02:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on August 30th, 2011 02:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
The Writers Denmusewriter on August 30th, 2011 07:42 am (UTC)
Question, non-TLO related: Do we know if Charlie Countryman or whatever the name of the movie is now is still on the table as a potential project? I was poking around in IMDB (both versions) and it seems as if Zac (or any cast for that matter) is not listed for the film, though it still has a director and is listed as being in pre-production.

I like the idea of this one, just haven't heard anything in awhile...
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on August 30th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
it's 50/50 for me whether he got taken off of imdb by accident or not.

he is still listed a couple of other legit places as being attached. and he's become unattached before when they were shuffling some details (like the director) then reattached. so idk for sure.

but i do think zac could've dropped it for scheduling problems (which might only be a temporary problem then) or also because maybe he liked the re-write of die in a gunfight better.

recently there was some strange and random rumor of owen wilson being in talks for the role of the girl's ex-boyfriend. even if that was b/s, i think stuff is still happening to get it together (with or without zac that is).

we might here more at tiff if they got some names attached and are trying to sell it.
(no subject) - kleth on August 30th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)