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.
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