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.