"The Lucky One," a romantic drama starring Zac Efron as a returning soldier, grossed $22.8 million from 3,155 locations. Released by Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is based on Nicholas Sparks's novel by the same name and appealed primarily to women, who made up 76% of the audience.
According to Warner Bros. President of Domestic Distribution Dan Fellman, Mr. Efron was the main draw, with 57% of audience members citing the young actor as their primary reason for wanting to see the movie.
Warner Bros’ romantic drama from star author Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Dear John), The Lucky One starring Zac Efron is looking like $8.9M Saturday — about even with Friday – for a $22.8M weekend. This is another wild overperformer because the studio only expected $15M through Sunday. Playing in 3,115 theaters, it received a ‘B+’ CinemaScore from audiences. Warner Bros’ private tracking saw this film was at the high end for a Sparks film, which all have a good multiple of approximately 4x. So the studio marketed the movie based on the well-developed fan base for both Sparks and Efron. (Though Zac’s box office appeal is going down as his age goes up.)
The campaign targeted females both by leveraging Zac’s appeal and the novelist’s pedigree. “The heart of our online marketing campaign was leveraging the celebrity and likability of Zac Efron in advertising, publicity and social media, while additionally leveraging the various social networks surrounding Nicholas Sparks and his previous films,” a WB exec told me. The sell was heavily focused on romance, and included aspirational messages like “What if you were destined to fall in love with someone before you even met?” (I know: barf. But this crap works, obviously.)
Nikki doesn't make a lot of sense though with his appeal going down, since this box office went up. But whatevs, she's never overly positive unless (seemingly) some publicist has an in with her. Also I wish there was a better way to evaluate how much that 'leveraging' of Sparks' social networks helped. It did not seem to noticeably help The Lucky One Facebook very much since TLO's likes on opening day were half that of Charlie St. Cloud's and a bit over a third of The Vow's.
In second was the PG-13 romance The Lucky One with $22.8 million. That’s a return to form for star Zac Efron, as the movie performed more like 17 Again ($23.7 million) than Charlie St. Cloud ($12.4 million). It’s also a solid showing for author Nicholas Sparks — the only Sparks adaptation that opened stronger was 2010′s Dear John ($30.5 million). Despite unfavorable reviews, the $25 million movie earned a respectable “B+” grade from CinemaScore participants. Young women represented the majority of the film’s audience, with 76 percent of ticket buyers being female and 52 percent under the age of 25.
The commenters on Deadline and other sites are so pressed, lol. It's hilarious to me because it does better than expected and it couldn't possibly be due to his involvement. But you know if it had bombed, it would be all his fault. C'est la vie. The world is full of morons, what can you do.
And speaking of morons, The Hollywood Reporter is the worst since they refuse to properly reference The Last Song's opening weekend. They keep quoting the five-day opening number of The Last Song as being higher than The Lucky One's three-day. Obviously three to five days is not comparable. So not that I needed another sign that THR is mostly just a glorified gossip blog anymore... but that's pretty wretched reporting.
Anyway. I'm pleased for Zac. Even if it didn't open number one, it did really well and definitely over-performed.