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'The Lucky One': Zac Efron Has Good Box Office Year

The Lucky One movie Zac Efron
The Lucky One movie with Zac Efron

April 28, '12, update: The Zac Efron movie The Lucky One, in which Efron romances Atlas Shrugged: Part 1's Taylor Schilling, earned $3.91 million in North America on Friday according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Directed by Shine's Scott Hicks, The Lucky One was down 57 percent compared to the previous Friday.

Despite its relatively steep drop, The Lucky One is expected to stabilize over the weekend and gross $12 million by Sunday evening. If so, The Lucky One will reach a $40.6 million cume, or about 30 percent more than the $31.1 million Zac Efron's Charlie St. Cloud brought in during its entire run in summer 2010.

Although there's no chance that The Lucky One will go as far as previous Zac Efron movies High School Musical 3: Senior Year ($90.55 million) and Hairspray ($118.87 million), there's a good chance Efron's latest will surpass the box office take of the all-star New Year's Eve ($54.54 million) and perhaps even 17 Again ($64.16 million).

Zac Efron's next movie release is Lee Daniels' The Paperboy, co-starring Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, and Matthew McConaughey.

Zac Efron, The Lucky One photo: Patti Perret / Warner Bros.

April 28 p.m.

Emily Blunt The Five-Year Engagement
Emily Blunt, The Five-Year Engagement

Jason Segel / Emily Blunt's The Five-Year Engagement, the animated Pirates! Band of Misfits, Jason Statham's Safe, and John Cusack's The Raven were the four new releases that failed to make much of an impact at the North American box office on Friday, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. (See also: Box Office: Zac Efron's Charlie St. Cloud vs. The Lucky One.)

Produced by Judd Apatow, The Five-Year Engagement took in a paltry $3.5 million at 2,936 locations on Friday, landing at no. 3 behind Tim Story / Michael Ealy's Think Like a Man ($5.5m) and Zac Efron / Taylor Schilling's The Lucky One ($3.91m). The Apatow comedy is expected to reach at most $11.5 million by Sunday, whereas Box Office Mojo had predicted an opening in the low 20s. The Muppets' Jason Segel, The Adjustment Bureau's Emily Blunt, Moneyball's Chris Pratt, and Scream 4's Alison Brie star in The Five-Year Engagement, which has a so-so 60 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics. Nicholas Stoller directed the $30 million comedy.

For comparison's sake: Stoller's Get Him to the Greek opened with $17.5 million in June 2010, while Forgetting Sarah Marshall opened with $17.7 million in April 2008. In fact, The Five-Year Engagement is Judd Apatow's second box office misfire this year, following the Paul Rudd / Jennifer Aniston box office bomb Wanderlust, which cumed at $17.28 million domestically.

Faring even worse than The Five-Year Engagement was Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt's animated 3D feature Pirates! Band of Misfits, which landed at no. 5 behind Gary Ross / Jennifer Lawrence's The Hunger Games ($2.97m). Pirates! Band of Misfits collected $2.75 million, and, if kiddie matinees are successful on Saturday and Sunday, may reach $10 million for the weekend. The good news is that Pirates! has already amassed $55.9 million at the international box office, performing particularly well in the United Kingdom ($22.7m).

Pirates! Band of Misfits features the voices of About a Boy's Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Frida's Salma Hayek, Vera Drake's Imelda Staunton, Entourage's Jeremy Piven, David Tennant, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey's Martin Freeman.

This weekend's two other new entries were next line: the Jason Statham movie Safe, playing at 2,266 theaters, and John Cusack's The Raven at 2,203 locations. The former raked in $2.55m; the latter $2.52 million. They'll be lucky if they reach $7 million by Sunday evening.

Writer-director Boaz Yakin's Safe has received mixed reviews from North American critics – a quite readable and particularly negative one was written by The Atlantic's Ian Buckwalter; its headline proclaims: “Everything That's Wrong With Today's Action Movies, in One Film.” Safe has a dangerously mediocre 55 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

Also in the Safe cast: Catherine Chan, Robert John Burke, and Chris Sarandon, who had the Colin Farrell role in the original Fright Night, was a Best Supporting Actor nominee for Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon, and at one time was the husband of Susan Sarandon.

Directed by V for Vendetta's James McTeigue, in addition to John Cusack The Raven features Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Kevin McNally, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Pirates!'s Brendan Gleeson. The Raven's approval rating is a rotten 26 percent among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

Rounding out the top twelve on Friday were Chimpanzee with $1.6 million, Chris Hemsworth's The Cabin in the Woods with $1.42 million, The Three Stooges with $1.3 million, Jason Biggs' American Reunion with $905,000, and Channing Tatum / Jonah Hill's 21 Jump Street with $900,000.

Emily Blunt / The Five-Year Engagement photo: Glen Wilson / Universal Studios.

April 28 early morning

Jason Statham movies Safe
Jason Statham movie: Safe

Think Like a Man, inspired by TV/radio comedian Steve Harvey's bestselling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, will apparently remain at the top of the North American box office for the second consecutive weekend. That's less because of Think Like a Man's ladylike staying power than because of the weak performance of this weekend's four new entries.

The romantic comedy, which many reviewers found simple-minded and cliche-ridden, opened impressively last weekend, but it has gone steadily downhill this past week. In fact, Think Like a Man's Thursday take was 32 percent below the film's gross on Monday. For comparison's sake, the Zac Efron romantic drama The Lucky One was down 3 percent.

As per Deadline.com, Think Like a Man is expected to collect $5.2 million on Friday, for a weekend total of $17.5 million – down 52 percent compared to last weekend.

Directed by Fantastic Four / Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer's Tim Story, Think Like a Man features Michael Ealy, Entourage's Jerry Ferrara, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson.

At no. 2, The Lucky One, which pairs up Zac Efron with Atlas Shrugged: Part 1's Taylor Schilling, should earn $3.9 million on Friday and $12 million by Sunday evening. If so, The Lucky One will have a $40.6 million cume, or about 30 percent more than the $31.1 million Charlie St. Cloud brought in during its entire run in 2010. On the negative side, if those early estimates are accurate, The Lucky One will be down nearly 50 percent compared to last weekend.

The R-rated Judd Apatow-produced comedy The Five-Year Engagement, which has a so-so 60 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics, took in an estimated $3.8 million at 2,936 locations on Friday, and is expected to reach $11.7 million by Sunday. Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, and Alison Brie star. Nicholas Stoller directed.

For comparison's sake: Stoller's Get Him to the Greek opened with $17.5 million in June 2010, while Forgetting Sarah Marshall opened with $17.7 million in April 2008.

The no. 4 and no. 5 slots will belong to either Gary Ross' The Hunger Games or Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt's animated 3D feature Pirates! Band of Misfits. Both films are expected to earn slightly less than $3 million on Friday and around $10.5-$11 million for the weekend.

The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. Pirates! Band of Misfits features the voices of About a Boy's Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Salma Hayek, Vera Drake's Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, David Tennant, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey's Martin Freeman.

This weekend's two other new entries will be lucky if they reach $7 million by Sunday evening. They are Safe, playing at 2,266 theaters, and The Raven at 2,203 locations. Each grossed an estimated $2.5-$2.6 million on Friday.

Starring Jason Statham, writer-director Boaz Yakin's Safe has received mixed reviews from North American critics (a very readable and particularly negative one is by The Atlantic's Ian Buckwalter; its headline proclaims: “Everything That's Wrong With Today's Action Movies, in One Film.”) Safe has a dangerously mediocre 55 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics. Also in the Safe cast: Catherine Chan, Robert John Burke, and Chris Sarandon, the star of the original Fright Night, a Best Supporting Actor nominee for Dog Day Afternoon, and one-time husband of Susan Sarandon.

Directed by V for Vendetta's James McTeigue, The Raven stars John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Kevin McNally, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Brendan Gleeson. The Raven's approval rating is a lowly 26 percent among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

Remember, the box office estimates mentioned above do not represent official studio figures. Official Friday estimates will come out on Saturday. Weekend estimates will be released on Sunday, and weekend box office actuals on Monday.

Jason Statham / Safe photos: John Baer / Lionsgate.

April 23

The Lucky One movie Zac Efron Taylor Schilling
Taylor Schilling, Zac Efron, The Lucky One movie

At no. 2 this weekend, the Zac Efron romantic movie The Lucky One collected $22.51 million at 3,115 sites, averaging a good $7,137 per-location according to box office actuals found at Box Office Mojo. Following a solid opening on Friday, The Lucky One was expected to gross somewhere between $22-25 million by Sunday evening. It failed to reach the higher mark because, unlike the weekend's other top-twelve movies, it was down on Saturday (-6 percent).

Best known as the leading lady in the nearly universally panned film adaptation of Ayn Rand's libertarian novel Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, Taylor Schilling plays Zac Efron's love interest in this nearly universally panned adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' tearjerking novel – The Lucky One has a dismal 16 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

Now, even though this may sound bad for Schilling, it's anything but. The Lucky One was a smart, high-profile career move following Atlas Shrugged, a critical and box office disaster admired only by the American far-right. Atlas Shrugged has an embarrassing 6 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics, and cumed at $4.62 million in North America – or about half The Lucky One's take on Day One. Worse yet, there was no overseas box office business. That'll hardly be the case with The Lucky One.

Schilling's pairing with Zac Efron ended up ahead of both Ryan Gosling / Rachel McAdams' The Notebook ($13.46 million in 2004, or approximately $17 million today) and Miley Cyrus / Liam Hemsworth's The Last Song (2010, $16 million over the weekend and $25.3 million after five days; the film opened on a Wed.).

Now, The Lucky One opened quite a bit behind Channing Tatum / Amanda Seyfried's Dear John (2010), which debuted with $30.4 million, and slightly behind Kevin Costner / Robin Wright's Message in a Bottle (1999), which opened with $16.75 million (approx. $26 million adjusted). Important point: both of the aforementioned romantic dramas were released in time for the box-office-boosting Valentine's Day. The Lucky One had no such advantage.

I should add that movie adaptations of Nicholas Sparks' novels may be good business in North America, but they're considerably less so internationally. Lacking major international names, The Notebook, The Last Song, and Shane West / Mandy Moore's A Walk to Remember (2002) all performed about twice-to-three times better in the U.S. and Canada than elsewhere. Richard Gere / Diane Lane's Nights in Rodanthe earned about the same – a so-so $41-$42 million – domestically and abroad, while Message in a Bottle, thanks to the presence of Kevin Costner and veteran Paul Newman in a supporting role, was an exception to the rule, collecting around 20 percent more internationally than domestically.

Considering Zac Efron's popularity abroad, don't be too surprised if The Lucky One performs closer to Message in a Bottle, or at least like Night in Rodanthe. In other words, don't be surprised if The Lucky One's international box office either matches or surpasses its domestic take. 17 Again earned 53 percent of its worldwide gross overseas, while High School Musical 3: Senior Year's international cut was 64 percent. Even the minor Orson Welles and Me earned about as much abroad as in North America. (Charlie St. Cloud was an exception, grossing only $17 million internationally vs. $31 million in the U.S. and Canada.)

In only nine markets, The Lucky One has brought in $3.8 million from 545 venues, averaging $6,972 per site. As per The Hollywood Reporter, it was the top movie in Australia, collecting $2.5 million.

Something else: The Lucky One is Zac Efron's third-biggest domestic opening, trailing High Musical 3: Senior Year's $42.03 million in 2007 and 17 Again's $23.72 million (about $24.8 million adjusted) in April 2009. Charlie St. Cloud raked in only $12.38 million on opening weekend in 2010.

Overall, 2012 has been a good year for Efron: The Lucky One has opened above pre-release estimates, The Lorax has grossed nearly $207 million in North America alone, and Lee Daniels' The Paperboy, in which Efron stars opposite Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, and Matthew McConaughey, has been included in the Cannes Film Festival's Official Competition.

Directed by Oscar nominee Scott Hicks (Shine) and adapted by Will Fetters (who wrote the Robert Pattinson movie Remember Me), The Lucky One also features Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson, Robert Hayes, and Joe Chrest.

See also: Think Like a Man Breaks Record

The Lucky One photo: Patti Perret / Warner Bros.

April 21

Zac Efron The Lucky One movie
Zac Efron, The Lucky One

At no. 2 on Friday, the Zac Efron romantic melodrama The Lucky One collected $9.13 million at 3,115 sites (about 1,000 more locations than Think Like a Man), averaging a good $2,894 per-venue according to studio estimates found at Boxofficemojo.com. The Lucky One is expected to score somewhere between $22-25 million by Sunday evening.

Best known as the leading lady in the nearly universally panned film adaptation of Ayn Rand's sprawling libertarian novel Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, Taylor Schilling plays Zac Efron's love interest in this nearly universally panned adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' tearjerking novel. Even though this may sound bad for Schilling, it's not – at all. The Lucky One was a smart, high-profile career move following Atlas Shrugged, a critical and box office disaster admired only by the American far-right.

The Lucky One has a dismal 16 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics; yet, even after adjusting for inflation, if The Lucky One does reach $25 million this weekend it will end up ahead of both Ryan Gosling / Rachel McAdams' The Notebook (2004, approximately $17 million in 2012 dollars) and Miley Cyrus / Liam Hemsworth's The Last Song (2010, $25.3 million after five days; it opened on a Wed.).

Now, The Lucky One will definitely remain behind Channing Tatum / Amanda Seyfried's Dear John (2010), which opened with $30.4 million, and slightly behind Kevin Costner / Robin Wright's Message in a Bottle (1999), which opened with approx. $26 million in 2012 dollars. Important point: both of the aforementioned romantic dramas were released in time for the box-office-boosting Valentine's Day. The Lucky One had no such advantage.

And I should add that movie adaptations of Nicholas Sparks' novels may be good business in North America, but they're considerably less so internationally. The Notebook, The Last Song, and Shane West / Mandy Moore's A Walk to Remember (2002) all performed between two-to-three times better in the U.S. and Canada than elsewhere. Richard Gere / Diane Lane's Nights in Rodanthe earned about the same – a so-so $41-$42 million – domestically and abroad, while Message in a Bottle, thanks to the presence of Kevin Costner and Paul Newman in a supporting role, was an exception to the rule, scoring about 20 percent more overseas than at the domestic box office.

Something else: if The Lucky One does reach $25 million, it'll be Zac Efron's biggest opening since High Musical 3: Senior Year's $42.03 million (not adjusted) in 2007. 17 Again opened with $23.72 (about $24.8 million adjusted) in April 2009; Charlie St. Cloud was a box office disappointment, grossing $12.38 million on opening weekend and cuming at $31.16 million in 2010.

But this has been a good year for Efron, what with The Lucky One overperforming, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax grossing $205 million in North America alone, and the news that Lee Daniels' The Paperboy, in which Efron has the title role opposite Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, and Matthew McConaughey, has been included in the Official Competition of this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Directed by Oscar nominee Scott Hicks (Shine) and adapted by Will Fetters (who penned the Robert Pattinson romantic melodrama Remember Me), The Lucky One also features Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson, Robert Hayes, and Joe Chrest in supporting roles.

Zac Efron / The Lucky One: Alan Markfield / Warner Bros.

April 21 early morning

Zac Efron The Lucky One
Zac Efron, The Lucky One

Box Office: Think Like a Man beats The Lucky One.

At no. 2 this weekend, The Lucky One is expected to take in $25 million (up from an estimated $22 million a few hours ago) after collecting $8.8 million at 3,115 sites (about 1,000 more than Think Like a Man) on Friday according to estimates found at Deadline.com. Taylor Schilling, probably best known as the leading lady in the nearly universally panned film adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, plays Zac Efron's love interest in this nearly universally panned adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' romantic novel. (This may sound bad for Schilling, but it's not. The Lucky One was a smart, high-profile career move following the Atlas Shrugged critical and box office disaster.)

The Lucky One has a mere 16 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics – Think Like a Man is an instant classic by comparison. Yet, even after adjusting for inflation, if Deadline's estimates are correct, The Lucky One will end up ahead of both Ryan Gosling / Rachel McAdams' The Notebook (2004, approximately $17 million in 2012 dollars) and Miley Cyrus / Liam Hemsworth's The Last Song (2010, $25.3 million after five days; it opened on a Wed.).

Now, The Lucky One is noticeably behind Channing Tatum / Amanda Seyfried's Dear John (2010), which opened with $30.4 million, and slightly behind Kevin Costner / Robin Wright's Message in a Bottle (1999), which opened with approx. $26 million in 2012 dollars. Important point: both of the aforementioned romantic melodramas were released in time for the box-office-boosting Valentine's Day. The Lucky One had no such advantage.

It's also worth noting that Nicholas Sparks novels may be good – though not necessarily great – business for U.S. and Canada movie distributors and exhibitors, but it's considerably less so overseas. The Notebook, The Last Song, and Shane West / Mandy Moore's A Walk to Remember (2002) all performed two to close-to-three times better in North America than overseas. Richard Gere / Diane Lane's Nights in Rodanthe earned about the same – a so-so $41-$42 million – domestically and abroad, while Message in a Bottle, thanks to the presence of Kevin Costner and Paul Newman in a supporting role, was an exception to the rule, grossing about 20 percent more overseas than in the U.S. and Canada.

Directed by Oscar nominee Scott Hicks (Shine) and adapted by Will Fetters (of another romantic melodrama, Robert Pattinson's Remember Me), The Lucky One features Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson, Robert Hayes, and Joe Chrest in supporting roles.

At no. 3 this weekend, Gary Ross' The Hunger Games is expected to bring in $13.1 million. Its Friday take was an estimated $3.9 million. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth star.

At no. 4, DisneyNature's Chimpanzee may collect $10.5 million by Sunday evening after scoring $3.4 million at 1,563 locations on Friday. For comparison's sake, both Oceans and African Cats grossed around $6 million over their debut weekends.

Rounding out the top five is Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly's The Three Stooges, which should be down more than 50 percent from last weekend. Starring Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, and Chris Diamantopoulos, the comedy is expected to draw $8.4 million after earning an estimated $2.4 million on Friday.

Remember, those are early, rough Friday estimates. Official studio estimates will be released Saturday morning; weekend estimates come out on Sunday. Box-office actuals will be released on Monday.

Zac Efron / The Lucky One: Warner Bros.

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1 Comment to 'The Lucky One': Zac Efron Has Good Box Office Year

  1. ohwell

    I'm not surprised by the outcome, Safe, The Raven, Five Year Engagement are boring stories starring boring people…Jason Statham's movies are all the same, Cusack is weird looking and Jason Segel is not funny.