Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

April 24, 2012

Kill yourself. Screw you. Hate you. Die in a fire.

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Now we've got a Loverboy earworm

Kim Hollis: The Lucky One, which we presume refers to the one character in a Nicholas Sparks movie who lives, opened to $22.5 million. Should Warner Bros. be satisfied with this as a success? Also, what do you think of Zac Efron's career at this point?

David Mumpower: I believe any Nicholas Sparks adaptation that starts on the ground level tomorrow should expect roughly a $20 million opening weekend, give or take a bit for quality, star power and all the other miscellany that factor into the mercurial box office equation. This premise is a bit more romantic than most albeit quite stalker-ish, too. I was expecting just a touch more from the project since Zac Efron films have largely exceeded my expectations thus far. I guess I over-adjusted for this one. That in no way changes the fact that Warner Bros. has a hit on their hands here, though. $22.8 million in domestic revenue for a $25 million production is impeccable.

As for the latter question, I am of the opinion that Zac Efron has that rare ability that could make him the next Leonardo DiCaprio if he chooses commercial enough projects to achieve that sort of success. Charlie St. Cloud and Me and Orson Welles were not those sorts of projects, but New Year's Eve was supposed to be, The Lorax was (not that it sold well because of him) and The Lucky One is impossibly commercial. If he continues to gravitate toward these roles, he is going to be an anchor player in Hollywood.


Edwin Davies: Every time a Nicholas Sparks adaptation comes out, I find myself thinking, "Sure, that's a good result, but imagine how much better it would be if the film was good." Sparks' name is strong enough now to guarantee a solid opening for any adaptation, but the long-term success of each seems to hinge on how good the film is overall. There's a reason why the most successful Sparks adaptation, The Notebook, is also the one that comes closest to being a good film.

I think that Efron seems to be on the verge of either becoming a huge star or a mid-tier actor who never quite makes it. He's got an old school song-and-dance man charisma that is pretty rare these days, and with the right project he could be headlining huge films. However, the projects that he has chosen since becoming known for playing young Simon Tam in Firefly starring in High School Musical have not been the right ones. Another few films like The Lucky One and he could be a major figure.

Matthew Huntley: From a Warner Bros. perspective, this result is solid and the studio will certainly end up in the black on this. That's good for them and for the industry, but from a viewer's perspective, it just means we'll have even more "From the best-selling author of 'The Notebook'..." adaptations to endure. Granted, I haven't seen The Lucky One, but the trailer made it seem overly schmaltzy and cookie-cutter. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong if/when I see it.

Speaking of schmaltzy and cookie-cutter, Zac Efron's career looks like it's turning into just that. I've seen a handful of his films, but I've yet to see him stand outside the "male celebrity idol" roles. He's likable, sure, but nothing special. Perhaps he needs to delve into more independent cinema and find a part that can show off his raw acting talent, if any.

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