It was inevitable that teen sensation Justin Bieber would try to transition his starpower to the celluloid medium, but the news this week that a 3-D biopic/concert film was in the works struck many off guard. Usually, an artist of Bieber’s stature would make a teen comedy, romance or, perhaps, a rockin’ “Step Up” variation of some kind. Instead, Paramount Pictures is banking on a mixmash of “8 Mile” and “Jonas Bros: The 3D Concert Experience.” It’s worth noting the later was a massive under performer, but more on that fact later.
Making matters more intriguing was that none other than Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) was on board to direct the hybrid pic that already has a release date of Feb. 11, 2011. And then, just three days later, Guggenheim dropped out of the picture citing a need to promote his Sundance documentary “Waiting for Superman.” Right…..Sadly, either peer pressure or the rushed nature of the project might have had something more to do with it.
While a new director search is on, Paramount needs to be very careful about managing expectations on this one. Bieber has only one top 10 hit to his credit and 270 million plays on YouTube doesn’t translate into tweens buying expensive 3D movie tickets. After “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds” concert tour movie grossed $65 million off only 687 screens (mostly due to the fact it was promoted as a special one-week engagement), Walt Disney’s follow up, “Jonas Brothers,” was expected to be a monster. Instead, the flick crashed and stunned the industry by taking in only $19 million. Bieber is hot right now and should still be breaking hearts in February, but his staying power may not be enough to warrant this type of endeavor yet.
As for the rest of this week’s must read movie poll…
August 5, 2010
1. “The Justin Bieber Movie” (not ranked)
It could either be really, really huge or it could be a stunning disappointment. We’re withholding judgment for now.
2. “The Expendables” (not ranked)
It’s gonna open like a mutha, but how far will it fall its second weekend?
3. “The Twilight Saga” (last poll no. 8)
Fans are going to have to wait a full two years for “Breaking Dawn” to play out, but it appears Summit made the safest decision to avoid franchise fatigue.
4. “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” (last poll no. 11)
Hoping for a last minute energizer before opening against Sly and crew.
5. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (last poll no. 14)
Daniel Craig may not have Bond (for the moment), but he’s landed a key role in David Fincher’s adaptation of the massively popular literary series.
6. Miramax (not ranked)
OK Tutor. You said you’re going to turn Miramax back into an independent studio again within the next year. We’ll be watching.
7. “Black Swan” (not ranked)
Darren Aronofsky’s latest is opening the Venice Film Festival in Sept, but won’t hit theaters till December. That’s called awards season confidence people.
8. “Oblivion” (not ranked)
“Tron Legacy” director Joe Kosinski’s latest Sci-Fi project stays at Disney proving the Mouse House believes he’s one to watch. But will it be rated PG or PG-13?
9. “Tresspass” (not ranked)
He’s in. He’s out. He’s back in again, but playing a different character. Nic Cage gives more press to this Millennium thriller than necessary and we’re sure co-star Nicole Kidman isn’t thrilled.
10. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (not ranked)
Proving, along with the latest preview for “The Social Network,” that the art of fine trailer editing is hardly dead.
11. “Young Adult” (not ranked)
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody are reuniting or the first time as director and writer respectively since the “Juno” for this new dramedy. Throw buzzworthy-needing Charlize Theron into the mix and you have something interesting for Oscar 2012.
12. “Inception” (last poll no. 6)
$201 million in just 19 days. $300 million may not be a pipe dream after all.
13. “The Other Guys” (not ranked)
Should do good business, but certainly isn’t generating the buzz everyone expected when the first preview came out months ago.
14. “Battleship” (not ranked)
Rihanna didn’t need to star in a cliched horror flick for her big screen debut, she’s already lived through that once before. Instead, she’s joining director Peter Berg’s adventure on the high seas.
15. “Little Fockers” (not ranked)
Pickups on “Little Fockers”? Waste. It would still open gangbusters without them.
Dropping like a rock…
*”Eat Pray Love”
Buzz is not good for this Ryan Murphy directed romance. If it fails, what does Julia do next?
Movie Power Rankings usually appear every Tuesday on HitFix. Share your thoughts on this week’s list below.â€¨