New Year's Eve won the weekend box office, but the A-list ensemble romantic comedy, featuring stars ranging from Michelle Pfeiffer to Zac Efron to Robert De Niro, didn't have studio bosses breaking out the bubbly. The film brought in just $13.7 million, far short of the $20-plus million the studios expected. The movie's haul was especially disappointing given that its predecessor, Valentine's Day, opened with a whopping $72 million last year. Valentine's Day did debut over a four-day holiday weekend, while New Year's Eve started on what turned out to be the lowest-grossing weekend since 2008. Still, was New Year's Eve's performance so dismal that it will discourage Hollywood from making more of these star-heavy ensemble pieces?
It's definitely a blow to the genre: Well, "the New Year's Eve/Valentine's Day mini-franchise is pretty much over" after this, says Katey Rich at CinemaBlend. There are other, perhaps better, big ensemble rom coms in the pipeline, such as What to Expect When You're Expecting, but this looks like the beginning of the end for these films. "It's always a bummer to see Hollywood fall on its face for a weekend," but a movie category with "gooey slop" like New Year's Eve will not be missed.
"Can New Years Eve's weak box office kill that rom-com style for good?"
These films were already on the way out: "Vignette-filled, cameo-laden, holiday movies have already become something of a punchline," says Grady Smith at Entertainment Weekly. "With grosses like this, I wouldn't count on seeing Flag Day or Thanksgiving in theaters anytime soon." Still, as New Year's Eve (the holiday) approaches, there's a good chance that the movie could get a bump and come closer to earning its $56 million budget back.
"Box office report: New Year's Eve drops the ball with $13.7 million; The Sitter can't fill seats"
Maybe this just wasn't the right ensemble: There are some key differences between Valentine's Day (the hit) and New Year's Eve (the bomb), says Brooks Barnes in The New York Times. Last year's smash had big names like Julia Roberts and Jamie Foxx. "New Year’s Eve included actors better known for TV — Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Sofia Vergara — and some whose careers appear to be ice cold (Hilary Swank, Halle Berry)."
"New Year's Eve leads box office but trails expectations"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
- 7 common estate-planning mistakes
- How to be a moral internet citizen on the often-immoral internet
Subscribe to the Week