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Dec 10th
11:27 am
Early Box Office Estimates and Reviews  
I promise that the NYC post is coming soon. That is what I get for working and then going to see New Year's Eve two nights in a row (one was free or I wouldn't have gone twice, lol).

Early numbers indicated a high teens number for NYE. Variety originally reported:
Box office watchers peg the ensemble comedy's Friday take somewhere between $7 million and $8 million, which would position the Garry Marshall-helmed pic to bow in the high teens to low twenties for the weekend - slightly more modest than expectations in the low to mid twenties.

But as the evening returns came in, the Friday number sank and so did the weekend numbers. Nikki Finke on Deadline estimates (as of late last night) a $5.5 Friday and a $16 million weekend. Gitesh Pandya of Boxofficguru calls $5.1 Friday and a $14+ weekend. However that is still good enough for number one... though number one on the second (or possibly even the absolute) worst weekend of the year :/ To put it in perspective, most summer weekends this film would've been number 4 not number 1.

Obviously the film underperformed. I don't think it had a chance of doing as well as Valentine's Day which opened at a whopping $63 million but that was on Valentine's Day weekend and it was a four-day weekend to boot. But this is still massively underwhelming at half what this week's pre-release tracking estimated. Certainly WB was expecting $20 million at least (probably higher, more like the $27 million that He's Just Not That Into You managed) so they have to be sad pandas today. To me it seemed like promo really didn't kick into gear until too late... with only a couple weeks to build up interest. And maybe it was too early in the month, idk idk. But at least WB reportedly kept the budget down so overall I think it will make money but definitely not what was hoped for.

It doesn't help the reviews are dismal. On the plus side several critics have said Zac stands out, even if they are kind of bitter like Peter Travers, who after liking Zac in MAOW became pressed he's taking shitty roles. (I feel your pain Mr. Travers but keep a candle burning for the return to more interesting movies.) To be fair Travers' print review isn't quite so backhanded as his video/twitter comments - "Michelle Pfeiffer, looking dowdy (impossible!), quits her thankless secretary job to live! live! live! with the help of delivery guy Zac Efron, who delivers the film's one appealing performance." At least audiences seem to love Zac. And I didn't hear anyone at my theater say he was fat! In fact there was a lot of whistling for his first appearance on screen. One of my friends did say he hit the tanning booth too much. Though his makeup did improve after that scene. Later I may try to put some quotes together about critics on Zac for the film but paying attention to reviews is painful, lol.

My feelings on the film. It is exactly what you expect. And if you are particularly nostalgic about New Year's Eve as a holiday you will probably like it a smidge more, consequently I liked it more than Valentine's Day. I don't think critics were entirely fair. Overall is it a great film, absolutely not. Is it the worst film ever, not really. Most people can find something to enjoy and in fact I think that critics picked different storylines in the film they liked shows it does have appeal to many people which isn't a bad thing really, even if the stories are kind of shallowly dealt with. Pretty much everyone gets it right that there are just simply too many stories. It is funny to see what the critics take umbrage with when they don't have any real interest in the film. They can get stuck on the smallest things. But it is pretty bland and several plots didn't really hold up well even to a second viewing though I still liked the Zac parts and Seth Meyers and Jessica Biel were pretty funny (though oddly their story was unconnected to the other characters so maybe the most unnecessary subplot).

Anyway, as blacktreemedia said, Zac and Michelle's story could easily be its own movie. Several of her resolutions are just glossed over which is kind of disappointing. I do think Zac stands out. Partially because he is one of the few characters with energy. But he also just does well as a different kind of character than he's played before, which is nice. Most of his characters this upcoming year are very different than the ones we've seen before which is great for his development. Back to NYE - Worst moment overall: Hilary Swank's inspirational speech. Couldn't not laugh either time I saw it. Best moment overall: Zac and Michelle (but mostly Zac) dancing. Thanks Harry Shum Jr for teaching him to Dougie.

Please feel free to talk about the film in comments... try to use the spoiler code: <table bgcolor="#000000" border="0"><tr><td>YOUR TEXT GOES HERE</td></tr></table>

This results in:

But everyone be aware and warned, some spoilers may still show up.

Good times:
Mood: sleepysleepy
43 43 comments Comment
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on December 10th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
um how does wanting a focus on the military equate to automatically liking the lucky one?

i think i've said it before but i'd like the lucky one a lot more if they actually focused on the military aspect and how much of a person and family it can destroy and how little support they have. it is a little addressed problem facing the military today and the lucky one could've really shined a light on that.

instead sparks just uses the military aspect as a plot device and then shoves logan's likely inevitable PTSD (due to having seen many of his friends die while he lives) in a box after the first ten minutes of the story. logan is the one in that story who is truly fucked up, not beth. the interesting character/story isn't the focus at all because sparks sucks as a writer.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on December 11th, 2011 12:09 am (UTC)
I understand your point now, but I don't think it's fair to say Sparks sucks as a writer.
lullaby_lilylullaby_lily on December 11th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
I actually liked The Lucky One as a book -- but only because Sparks was able to create three distinct storytelling voices that broke the monotony of the actual story he was telling. Unfortunately, that's the one aspect that can't be translated to the screen.
lullaby_lilylullaby_lily on December 11th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
Logan's PTSD -- Sparks does mention it, but it's important to remember that the numbness and loneliness Logan felt immediately after his return is part of the character's past, not present. As important as it is to shine a light on the existence of PTSD, IMHO it's even more important to shine a light on the fact that PTSD can be managed. Servicemembers and their families who struggle with PTSD can feel it's insurmountable, when it's not. He focuses on Logan managing the most common behavior shown by those with PTSD, the difficulty they have building new relationships, and communicating with people once they are in a relationship. I think it's excellent that Logan ends up in a healthy, stable place, rather than lingering in the alcoholic stupor he once lived in.

I would also like to mention that PTSD is not "inevitable." There are those who have short-term stress reactions to war, and those who have long-term stress reactions to war. Not all veterans can be painted with the same brush.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on December 11th, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
i'm not trying to generalize and say for everyone it is inevitable but i am trying to say specifically that for logan who has been in the unusual 'final destination' type situation of having this picture keep him alive when he should have died over and over again, the ptsd would, imo, be inevitable. he'd be pretty fucked up, especially cause all the other marines treat him differently, he says, after the 8th car bomb he survived. especially after seeing his best friend die. and in the book he even admits it messed him up badly.

and i realize that sparks put logan's loneliness etc in the past which is kind of my exact problem. that is the interesting part of logan, seeing him go through that and come to terms would have been the example of managing it. but in the story, it gets like a paragraph. and in the movie version, as it was in test screenings at least, he has a serious PTSD episode then it just vanishes with nothing else said. that to me doesn't help people get the idea they can manage it, it just seems ilke they are ignoring it like everyone else and giving the impression you should magically just get over it.
lullaby_lilylullaby_lily on December 11th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
I agree that the darker side of Logan would have been more interesting to read about. But I also think that the lighter side is a story worth telling, and no less authentic. I can't speak for the movie but I thought the book handled it well enough; I can give Sparks points for trying, and he does his research, so his heart is in the right place.

I think they might take my English degree away after this defense of Nicholas Sparks. :-O
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on December 11th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
What's so bad about Sparks writing? I don't get it.
lullaby_lilylullaby_lily on December 11th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
It can be bland.
Miranda gives everyone a chancemirandagirll on December 11th, 2011 05:08 am (UTC)
I don't understand that though. I prefer Sparks writing over the Twilight book series. I really like his books and writing.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on December 11th, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
i think they can be enjoyed but they aren't really great writing.