Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

April 20, 2009

This goes out to Chris Hyde, who really hates this guy right now.

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We have a lot of closet Efron fans here. They just don't want to admit it.

Kim Hollis: 17 Again, the Zac Efron/Matthew Perry reverse Big story, was number one at the box office this weekend with $23.7 million. Should Warner Bros. be pleased with this result?

Josh Spiegel: As a final stab at box office success before the summer movies come rolling into town, I'd say Warner Bros. should be happy with this result, but not over the moon. Miley Cyrus managed a slightly bigger result with a G-rated film, but still, Zac Efron's not an unknown actor. They may have hoped for slightly better results, especially with the high Friday number. Then again, Efron's probably the only actor who could make this movie get off the ground, let alone hit number one.

Brandon Scott: I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be. Number one for the frame, a story anchored by a youngster, box office poison Matthew Perry was in it, a film that couldn't have cost too much to make...yeah, its a fine result. Absolutely stellar? Maybe not, but good/happy in the end, yes.


Tim Briody: They should be thrilled. Zac Efron starred in a movie not called High School Musical and people showed up.

Eric Hughes: I'm with Tim. WB should sign the boy up for another project stat before the Mouse House snatches him back.

Reagen Sulewski: To expand on Tim's point, there's always a possibility for teen idols that no one's going to care once they get outside their wheelhouse. This is a guy who hasn't appeared in anything significant that wasn't a musical until now, and he still carried his audience over. While I'm not all that surprised in this case, it wasn't a given. But this is just one movie. The question I have is whether he becomes the male Jodie Foster or the next Freddie Prinze, Jr. It's an interesting case where the success mattered a lot more to the actor than the studio.

David Mumpower: The last film of this type, 13 Going on 30, debuted to $21.1 million back in 2004, a total that inflation adjusts to $24.3 million in 2009 ticket pricing. That film had an actress in Jennifer Garner who appeared poised to break out as a movie actress, coming off of her star-making television role on Alias. She was in roughly the same position then that Kristen Bell is in at the moment. While Garner wound up getting derailed (if such a term applies) by personal happiness with Ben Affleck, I believe that there was more cause for optimism for 13 Going on 30 than is the case with 17 Again. These body swap films generally have been popular for everyone from Tom Hanks to Lindsay Lohan to Kirk Cameron (star of Fireproof!), but there isn't anything unique about them. Any success this film had is because that dreamy (Do kids still say dreamy? I kid...mostly) guy from High School Musical was in it. Matthew Perry is a television icon, but his movie career has been soundly rejected, as we discussed last month. 17 Again all hinges on Zac Efron's ability to bring teen viewers into theaters, and he has passed that first test with flying colors.

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